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Revisited - or, The Social Question
One hundred years before Max Weber “crystallised” the entire Romantic opposition to the ravages of capitalist industry, of its “iron cage”, of its “soul-less bureaucratisation” and “dis-enchanted” Rationalisierung of all aspects of social life; one hundred years before Weber had finally isolated and identified the source of this otherwise inexplicable socio-political and politico-economic development in the Vorbermerkungen as the “exact calculation” enabled by the constitution of “rational organisation of free labor under the regular [calculable] discipline of the [capitalist] factory”, Benjamin Constant, one of the greatest exponents of the European Liberalism that emerged triumphant out of the upheaval of the Age of Revolution, summarised what he perceived to be the great transformation of human society from Antiquity to Modernity as follows:
Cette différence en amène une autre. La guerre est antérieure au commerce; car la guerre et le commerce ne sont que deux moyens différents d'atteindre le même but, celui de posséder ce que l'on désire. Le commerce n'est qu'un hommage rendu à la force du possesseur par l'aspirant à la possession. C'est une tentative pour obtenir de gré à gré ce qu'on n'espère plus conquérir par la violence. Un homme qui serait toujours le plus fort n'aurait jamais l'idée du commerce. C'est l'expérience qui, en lui prouvant que la guerre, c'est-a-dire, l'emploi de sa force contre la force d'autrui, l'expose à diverses résistances et à divers échecs, le porte à recourir au commerce, c'est-à-dire, à un moyen plus doux et plus sûr d'engager l'intérêt d'un autre à consentir à ce qui convient à son intérêt. La guerre est l'impulsion, le commerce est le calcul. Mais par la’ même il doit venir une époque où le commerce remplace la guerre. Nous sommes arrivés a cette époque.
Utterly evident is the Hobbesian derivation of Constant’s hypothesis, which however he does not seem to appreciate in its explicit and dramatic implications. If, indeed, “commerce has replaced war” as the ex-pression of human individualist antagonism, of human conflict in the state of nature or of the degeneration of civil society into civil war (remember von Klausewitz, “War is the continuation of politics by other means”), Constant is unable to explain how and why this switch, how and why this quasi-religious conversion has taken place historically and indeed how and why this “commerce” can take place at all (!) beyond the mere statement that “le commerce n'est qu'un hommage rendu à la force du possesseur par l'aspirant à la possession; c'est une
tentative pour obtenir de gré à gré ce qu'on n'espère plus conquérir par la violence”. Had Constant read Hobbes more carefully, or had he lived long enough to read Nietzsche, he would have realised that commerce can replace war as a manifestation of human conflict whilst still providing the basis of the social synthesis, only if commerce or exchange involve not the exchange of mere “possessions”(however “gradual”) but rather that of dead labor (Constant’s “possessions”) with living labor – that is to say, only if this “exchange” is categorically incommensurable in that it involves the reduction of human living labor to mere dead objectified labor so that the former may be commanded politically by means of the latter! - And that such “exchange” can take place if and only if living labor is “separated” from the means of its reproduction and of production. It is only if living labor is politically and violently reduced to dead objectified labor that its pro-duct can be “calculated” or “measured” under “the regular discipline of the factory”. As we explained in Part Two, contrary to Marx’s own account of this “reduction” (or “fetishism” as he styles it), there is absolutely no way in which this can occur by means of “market forces” or a “market mechanism” that operates automatically! There is no way therefore, contrary to Marxian theory and orthodoxy, how a capitalist society can function without the wilful and conscious action of specific political institutions (whose operation and function we will describe in this Part). Our task in this Part is not to describe how capitalist society is politically regulated but simply to show that it must be so regulated if it is to function at all! Similarly Weber, in reprising a century later “the brilliant Constant hypothesis” with its functionalist and organicist ideal type of “the ancient State”, as he himself acknowledges in ‘Objektivitat’, is entirely silent about the real historical and theoretical foundations of this exakte Kalkulation that he too places at the centre of capitalist society and industry:
The constructs of the natural law and the organic theories of the state have exactly the same function and, to recall an ideal type in our sense, so does Benjamin Constant's theory of the ancient state. It serves as a harbor until one has learned to navigate safely in the vast sea of empirical facts. The coming of age of science in fact always implies the transcendence of the ideal-type, insofar as it was thought of as possessing empirical validity or as a class concept (Gattungsbegriff) . However, it is still legitimate today to use the brilliant Constant hypothesis to demonstrate certain aspects and historically unique features of ancient political life, as long as one carefully bears in mind its ideal-typical character. (p.104, MoSS)
In effect, Weber adopts much more than what he, following Simmel’s neo-Kantian theory of “social forms”, styles as merely Constant’s “ideal-type” analysis of “ancient political life”: by exploiting the contrast that Constant so ably draws between the State in Antiquity and “the modern State”, Weber effectively assimilates and elaborates the Frenchman’s “brilliant hypothesis” to erect upon it his entire analysis of capitalism and theory of society as well! In doing so, however, Weber does more than jettison, with Nietzsche, the “jusnaturalist and organicist” delusions that abounded from Hobbes to Durkheim: Weber also wholly eludes and elides and even obfuscates Constant’s genial distinction between the importance of “political freedom” (liberte’) for the citizens of Antiquity and the functional retreat from this “public happiness” (jouissance publique) occasioned by the spread of “commerce and circulation of property” under the novel capitalist regime, in favour of “private happiness” (jouissance privee), of the pursuit of private wealth and luxury. The reason for this apparent “omission” is that Weber’s rigorous intellectual training, and in particular his thorough grounding in and assimilation of the negatives Denken of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, prevent him from com-prehending the fundamental dif-ference (the different practical effect) of what appears to Weber as an innocuous and vapid, “romantic” distinction between that “public happiness”, that political “freedom” that had been so precious to the artificers of the American and French Revolutions, and the mere “private happiness”, the petty and restricted “liberties” – what Constant calls “garanties” – to which the rise of the bourgeoisie and its “commerce”, or the rule of capital, have dramatically reduced and confined human political freedom. Constant continues,
Il résulte de ce que je viens d'exposer, que nous ne pouvons plus jouir de la liberté des anciens, qui se composait de la participation active et constante au pouvoir collectif. Notre liberté à nous, doit se composer de la jouissance paisible de l'indépendance privée. La part que dans l'antiquité chacun prenait à la souveraineté nationale n'était point, comme de nos jours, une supposition abstraite. La volonté de chacun avait une influence réelle: l'exercice de cette volonté était un plaisir vif et répété. En conséquence, les anciens étaient disposés à faire beaucoup de sacrifices pour la conservation de leurs droits politiques et de leur part dans l'administration de l'État. Chacun sentant avec orgueil tout ce que valait son suffrage, trouvait dans cette conscience de son importance personnelle, un ample dédommagement.
With Classics and Neoclassics, the sphere of “happiness” or “utility” (for the Classics “labor” has utility because it “creates value” positively, whereas for Neoclassics it “consumes” the world so that “utility” or “value” consists in the “saving of labor” instead, which therefore has “dis-utility”) is always “private” because “labor” can be “divided” into “individual labors” and can thereby be alienated in exchange for dead objectified labor, so that the whole point of the “sociality” of social labor, its phylogenetic interdependence, is lost. This is the root cause for the fact that
nous ne pouvons plus jouir de la liberté des anciens, qui se composait de la participation active et constante au pouvoir collectif .
Under the rule of capital with its Trennung or enforced separation of living labor from means of production, and its parcelisation of social labor into “individual labors”, the private sphere, civil society or the status civilis, is what must be protected from the State, which was constituted for this purpose by political convention specifically as a way of preventing or escaping from the state of nature or status naturae and its concomitant scientific hypothesis as being the domain of necessity. Already, therefore, the “everyday life” of “citizens” is subjected to the “sovereignty” of the constituted powers and cannot itself act as a constituent power. The original contractum unionis, by virtue of the fact that it always understood the subjects of this “union” to be individuals in opposition to one another under the dire necessity (Hobbes) or the simple “necessity” (negatives Denken) that leads to the alienation of individual political “freedom” to a Sovereign who will “pre-vent civil war” and assure “public safety”– by virtue of this fact, the con-vention of the contractum unionis between “individuals” was bound to degenerate into a contractum subjectionis of these “individuals” by the Sovereign or State. Put differently, because in this status civilis, in this “State”, the individuals composing civil society have necessarily alienated the “freedom” they enjoyed in the state of nature, now this “freedom” is reduced to and even confused with “liberty”, that is to say, with the “protection” of their “possessions” and the preservation of the salus publica (public safety). This is the essence of liberalism. Norberto Bobbio is entirely right, therefore, to insist on the incompatibility of liberalism and democracy (which is his central thesis in Liberalismo e Democrazia). This is what Constant, and Weber who copies his analytical blueprint, both fail to grasp. Constant mistakes for a “technical” fact – the difficulty and complexity of “modern life” – what is indeed the reality of the disenfranchisement of the entire class of workers from ownership and decision-making in capitalist society under the rule of the bourgeoisie.
Ce dédommagement n'existe plus aujourd'hui pour nous. Perdu dans la multitude, l'individu n'aperçoit presque jamais l'influence qu'il exerce. Jamais sa volonté ne s'empreint sur l'ensemble, rien ne constate à ses propres yeux sa coopération. L'exercice des droits politiques ne nous offre donc plus qu'une partie des jouissances que les anciens y trouvaient, et en même temps les progrès de la civilisation, la tendance commerciale de l'époque, la communication des peuples entre eux, ont multiplié et varié à l'infini les moyens de bonheur particulier.
Whether it be under Hobbes’s “Leviathan” or State-machine, or else under Locke’s consensual “common-wealth”, what the State protects are the “possessions” of “self-interested individuals” – life, liberty and estate – to which they had either a “natural right” (Locke) or a de facto claim (Hobbes) already in the state of nature but which were then under constant threat from mutual aggression. There is no notion of “public happiness” in this political theory because “happiness” or “utility” or “pleasure” is limited to the sphere of “individual possessions”, which includes the power “to possess and alienate” human living labor as if it were a mere “object”, as if it were mere dead objectified labor – in such a way that the “pro-ducer” (the worker) is homologated with and mistaken for the object, the pro-duct of the work! Indeed, the social, political and economic reality that underpins the concomitant social theory of liberalism is that this “private happiness” made up of the ownership of private property is entirely dependent on the “separation” (Trennung) of living labor from its means of production, its “parcelisation” from social labor into “separate individual labors”, and its violent “exchange”and therefore homogenisation with dead labor (Constant’s “possessions”). This and this alone is the basis of the capitalist social synthesis: unable to comprehend the real character of the capitalist transformation, Constant can only lament the loss of political “totality” (l’ensemble) by the individual will (volonte’). The problem arises, as Constant and later even de Tocqueville perceived, when this “protection” comes to permeate every aspect of the “private sphere” through the process of what Constant calls “commerce” and Weber describes more aptly as “socialisation”, that is, the development of social capital. Both Constant and Weber, following the classic lines of liberalist doctrine, mistake the effect for the cause: - they believe that the Parlamentarisierung is the “result” of a “natural progression” to the Demokratisierung, dictated by “the system of needs and wants”, by “the state of nature”, by the “freedom of the will” occasioning “the iron cage”, from the political model of Antiquity to that of “modern capitalism”, rather than being the “instrumental political expression” of capitalist relations of production.
of Weber’s presumed reconciliation of Demokratisierung with Parlamentarisierung. of co-operation and even of inter esse! That is why he gave the problem of the Rationalisierung a “solution” that we have explored in the Nietzschebuch. a contradictio in adjecto. So important. Le danger de la liberté moderne. And this “solution” involves the definition of “parliamentary democracy”. de ce que la liberté moderne diffère de la liberté antique. Le but des modernes est la sécurité dans les jouissances privées. lorsqu'ils sacrifiaient cette indépendance aux droits politiques. . nous donnerions plus pour obtenir moins. tandis qu'en faisant le même sacrifice. In the uni-versal Eris of the newly-constituted liberal bourgeois society. nous ne renoncions trop facilement à notre droit de partage dans le pouvoir politique. so “apocalyptic”. By contrast.Car. Il s'ensuit que nous devons être bien plus attachés que les anciens à notre indépendance individuelle. Le danger de la liberté antique était qu'attentifs uniquement à s'assurer le partage du pouvoir social. et dans la poursuite de nos intérêts particuliers. et ils nomment liberté les garanties accordées par les institutions à ces jouissances…. Nietzsche understood all too well that Schopenhauer’s postulate of this universal Eris (in Book IV of Die Welt) was “powerless” (ohnmachtig) to confront Hegel’s problematic of the social synthesis . of human com-unitas. les hommes ne fissent trop bon marché des droits et des jouissances individuelles. is this Nietzschean pitiless critique of the presumed liberal homologation and osmosis of the Political with the Economic in both its Hegelian and Liberal forms. the overriding function of the State (les institutions) can be one and one only: to grant (accorder) “security” to its component “selfinterested individuals” against the rapacity of one another that threatens always to widen into the “war of all against all”! The essential apory in Constant’s and Weber’s “formulation” of this problem – of how “conflicting self-interests” in their “freedom” can ever “converge” so as to found a “rationality”. so “fundamental”. Le but des anciens était le partage du pouvoir social entre tous les citoyens d'une même patrie: c'était là ce qu'ils nommaient liberté. il s'ensuit qu'elle est aussi menacée d'un danger d'espèce différente. whether economic or still less “political”. sacrifiaient moins pour obtenir plus.of the actual existence of society. or else of how these self-interests can “diverge” and still found a sphere of “necessity” or “scarcity”! – is that this Schopenhauerian and Hobbesian “universal Eris” cannot resolve these conundrums of political “freedom” and of economic “necessity” except by sublating and reducing the former to the latter (determinism) or by hypostatising the former by postulating its “autonomy”. that Weber would surely have made it explicit in his work had he truly understood it rather than simply “pass it by” (allusion to ‘On PassingBy’ in Zarathustra). c'est qu'absorbés dans la jouissance de notre indépendance privée. as an oxymoron. car les anciens.
et qui néanmoins n'a pas le temps de les défendre toujours luimême. In other words. Le système représentatif est une procuration donnée à un certain nombre d'hommes par la masse du peuple. Mais a moins d'être insensés. Constant believes not only that it is possible to separate the Political from the Economic. C'est l'histoire des nations anciennes et des nations modernes. recourent au système représentatif. dans l'espèce de liberté dont nous sommes susceptibles. Weber follows faithfully the lead proffered by the “liberal” Constant. the State represents both a mechanical or organic as well as automatic representation of the individual self-interests of its subjects. Que le pouvoir s'y résigne donc. dans le but de jouir de la liberté qui leur convient. dans celle-ci. the “representative system” of bourgeois capitalist society is not only possible as a means of re-presenting the possessive individualist interests of its subjects without interference by the State in the “private sphere” of “commerce”. Whereas earlier it was the complexity of “socialisation”. Les individus pauvres font eux-mêmes leurs affaires: les hommes riches prennent des intendants. of “commerce”. that narrowed the individual’s focus from the political “totality” of “public freedom” to his “private possessions”. le droit de les écarter s'ils ont trompé leurs voeux. In this sense. ni incapables. et de révoquer les pouvoirs dont ils auraient abusé. indeed. plus il se croyait libre. now it is also this complexity of commerce that narrows the political power of the State over the private sphere of its individual members. plus la liberté nous sera précieuse. et nous l'aurons. . la nécessité du système représentatif. s'ils ne sont ni négligents ni corruptibles. Messieurs. Le système représentatif n'est autre chose qu'une organisation à l'aide de laquelle une nation se décharge sur quelques individus de ce qu'elle ne peut ou ne veut pas faire elle-même. plus l'homme consacrait de temps et de force a l'exercice de ses droits politiques. De même.Instead. but that indeed it is necessary to do so to ensure the correct functioning of the market mechanism and that. but with an essential difference: for Constant. plus l'exercice de nos droits politiques nous laissera de temps pour nos intérêts privés. à des époques qui ne soient pas séparées par de trop longs intervalles. les peuples qui. this functioning itself is a powerful corrective to any dysfunctional “interference” against it by the Political. il faut à cette liberté une autre organisation que celle qui pourrait convenir a la liberté antique. les hommes riches qui ont des intendants examinent avec attention et sévérité si ces intendants font leur devoir. les commettants qui ont de la prudence se mettent bien au fait des affaires dont ils leur confient l'administration. qui veut que ses intérêts soient défendus. il nous faut de la liberté. doivent exercer une surveillance active et constante sur leur représentants. mais comme la liberté qu'il nous faut est différente de celle des anciens. De la vient. et pour juger de la gestion de ces mandataires. et se réserver. but it is also necessary to ensure that this State-machine is not used by those “representatives” to interfere with the market mechanism.
But whereas for Constant the spheres of Politics and Economics remain clearly separate. . of bourgeois Sekuritat and salus publica in “modern capitalism”. is related functionally and organically to the progress and evolution of the “system of needs and wants”. the State is for Weber. as it was for Hobbes. by “the market”. Benjamin Constant. far from being “necessary”. the “trans-formation” of the experience of “freedom” from that of “active participation” in the affairs of State in Antiquity to that of “passive protection” under the State. for Weber this “automatic” separation. the scientific hypothesis of the equi-librium of self-interests of atomised individuals whose only aim in social life. in that “civil society” now is identical with the State because the entire “task”. He understands “the iron cage of modern industrial labor” – the Economic . of the State. The Political becomes absorbed into the Economic. Weber sees the “freedom” of “labor” only as “autonomous market demand” and not in broader “political” terms in an ethical or teleological sense. is the pursuit of “private happiness” or “utility”. then. as was the pretension of Liberalism and the “science” of Political Economy. which was a product of Galilean and Newtonian rationalism. it is incapable of providing an “ultimate guarantee” of rationality to human civil society. legality and legitimacy. of the State is precisely this “guarantee” (cf.For both Constant and Weber. as it was for Hobbes. For Weber. a Statemachine. but unlike Hobbes’s Leviathan. in exiting the state of nature.to be naturaliter the necessary condition of the Political. is simply im-possible. . the “freedom” of labor refers merely to the “specification” of its wants and needs not through the market mechanism but rather through “compromise” in Parliament of the necessarily conflicting individual self-interests that are merely filtered but never mechanically determined or reconciled by “commerce (!). is erected. Both the ascetic ideal and the iron cage provide the “irrational foundations” on which the “purposive rationality” (Zweck-rationalitat) of the Political. This helps explain why in Weber there is concern for the State and parliamentary democracy only to the extent that they are functional and organic to “the rational organisation of free labor” and ultimately to “the iron cage”. Reflexions sur les Constitutions et les Guaranties) of the market mechanism as the necessitas (either “dire” or not. of the “iron cage of modern industrial labor” (Weber). a mere instrument. and indeed must remain so for the correct functioning of the “representative system”. given that for Weber the will is not identical with Hobbesian liberum arbitrium and there ec-sists a “technical rationality”).certainly not as it does in the Hegelian Vergeistigung of the Absolute Spirit so thoroughly dismantled by Nietzsche or in the “self-regulating” Smithian homologation of Politics and Economics envisaged by Constant. But the State cannot found or guarantee the “normative rationality” (Wert-rationalitat) of the Economic.
of the “in-dividual’s” natural right to the pro-duct of individual labors. Today. Weber’s Entwurf instead has already overcome this “enlightened” version of bourgeois civil society and conceives of “free-dom” not in a telelological. as a means – and most important as a means and an instrument that by definition cannot be “neutral” but must be wielded by a particular class or “human community” intended as a sub-set of society! Ultimately. for Weber.Today the relation between the state and violence is an especially intimate one.for Weber instead the “State” exists not as an end but purely as an instrument. But whilst Constant still preserves the validity of the Classical notion of “freedom” which. is the “greed-dom” of conflicting individual self-interests that have finally found their most “rational” expression as the end-result of the “ascetic Ideal” that has debouched into “the iron cage of modern industrial labor”. as to every political association. Weber’s position represents a regression with respect to Constant’s still clear and sharp distinction between “freedom” and “guarantees”. but only as the negative by-product of “greed-dom”. between active participation in politics and passive “enjoyment” of constitutional “rights and liberties”. final section on “Weltgeschichte”). millenary sense. namely. a class] . the most varied institutions—beginning with the state—have known the use of physical force as quite normal. but was only a “meta-physical” delusion. In the past. Constant’s liberalism remains tied to the ideology of “Enlightenment” in its British or French or German varieties all of which see “freedom” as the final re-solution of human conflict. Both Constant and Weber maintain the metaphysical notion of “possession”. the apotheosis of human universality as a stage of the Objective Spirit in the extrinsication of the Idea (cf. Philosophie des Rechts. to his mind. or the “guarantee” of the “neutrality” of its institutions whether actual as in the Liberal utopia or “potential” in the Socialist yet founded for both these ideologies on the “scientific” enforcement of the Law of Value (even in the Marxian framework where instead the “withering away” of the State is anticipated once capitalism is superseded). as “the end of history” in both senses of the word – the conclusion and the final goal of history. this classical “freedom” or Freiheit never existed! It was never “real”. one can define  the modern state sociologically only in terms of the specific means peculiar to it. instead. Far from being the Hegelian Vergeistigung. What is real for Weber. what is physical. we have to say that a state is a human community [a “group”. however.As we hinted above. has been eclipsed by the complexity of the “socialisation” occasioned by “the system of needs and wants”. the use of physical force…. .
“from the top down”) of the social pyramid of power and authority! And this “legitimacy” rests for him precisely on “the social question”. Note that 'territory' is one of the characteristics of the state. after all. even the best organized. at the present time. that is to say. Hence. by the Economic. on that “sphere of necessity”. Clear is the “division of labor” indicated by Weber between “the bureaucracy” on one side. upon which the “autonomy” or “freedom” of the Political is founded! Let us read Weber carefully: Let us now turn to parliament. the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it.that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory . auch der bestorganisierten. one that comes not from the base (from the demos. a “successful” legitimacy. which simply “administers” to “the most . Weber is speaking of a very specific type of “legitimacy” – that is to say. a condition of the duration of any rule. on that “struggle for existence” dictated by “the scarcity of means”. dies Minimum von Zustimmung äußerlich zu manifestieren. that it should enjoy a certain measure of inner assent from at least those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society. 'politics' for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power. “from the bottom up”) but from the vertex (from the “leadership”. The state is considered the sole source of the 'right' to use violence. Ein gewisses Minimum von innerer Zustimmung mindestens der sozial gewichtigen Schichten der Beherrschten ist ja Vorbedingung der Dauer einer jeden. It is. many conclude thereby that for Weber the Political or “legitimacy” takes priority and has primacy over Economics! To be sure. p. then it needs a modicum of “inner assent”. Weber does stipulate that if a state is to claim and hold successfully a monopoly over “the legitimate use of physical force”. (PaB. Specifically. Today parliaments are the means whereby to manifest outwardly this minimum of assent. Die Parlamente sind heute das Mittel. First and foremost modern parliaments are assemblies representing the people who are ruled by the means of bureaucracy. But far from postulating what many have called “the autonomy of the Political” in the sense that the “power” of the State is based solely or predominantly on its “legitimacy”. (165) Die modernen Parlamente sind in erster Linie Vertretungen der durch die Mittel der Bürokratie Beherrschten. either among states or among groups within a state. Herrschaft.78) The well-nigh universal consensus in interpretations of Weber’s political sociology is that because Weber insists on the need for the State as a “means” or instrument to hold its “monopoly of physical force” in a manner that is “legitimate” – because of this condition.
whether or not they themselves in reality held the reins of State power in that society or whether they allow their “representatives” to do it! Indeed. This is a point – the “circulation” of capital as a tool of “disciplining” their representative governments on the part of the bourgeoisie – to which Constant gives great prominence. Weber therefore assumes the pre-existence of a pyramid of “power” (potestas) that runs from officialdom to private capitalistic enterprise that “rules the people” of a modern nation-state who are in turn merely “re-presented” by an assembly called “parliament” which they have “selected” to secure for the “rule” – that is. but only as a “condition of its duration”. it is difficult to conceive of a State that “ruled” without the “inner assent” of “at least those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society”.basic needs of social life” (that is. or “profitability”. in turn. in the sense that capital is free to be withdrawn from the territory of a nation-state. official and private – “a certain measure of inner assent”. “from at least those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society”! After all. importantly. that effectively “rules the people” independently of their assent or dissent! “A measure of inner assent outwardly manifested by means of parliaments” is essential for Weber not to the definition of a State.if at all! – “democratic consensus” but rather “the use by the State of its monopoly of physical force instrumentally on behalf of the powerful elites in society”! By this last phrase Weber means principally the owners of capital – because we must remember that a nation-state is “a nation-state among many”. that is specific to a society founded on “the rational organisation of free labor under the regular discipline of the factory”! Thus this “inner assent” (legitimacy and . which is both “official” (military and civilian) and “private” (capitalistic). in particular its workforce which is part of “those sections who carry weight” because. which means “legitimacy and authority”. and "modern parliaments" on the other side which exist as a "means to manifest outwardly this minimum of assent”. It is the “bureaucracy”. of its rule. for the “bureaucracy”. Still. the “rationalization” operated by the advent of capitalist industry is dependent on the “exact calculation”. it is all but evident from Weber’s indisputable adherence to elitarian theories of politics (from Pareto to Mosca to his Archiv colleagues Michels and Schumpeter) that he always intended by “legitimacy” and “inner assent” not so much . a minimum of legitimacy in terms of its ability to provide for the needs and wants of most members of a society. as we saw in Part Two. the “rationality” of capitalist enterprise that has now become “social capital” and on whose “profitability” the entire reproduction of “the society of capital” is dependent). it is evident that not only officialdom but also private capitalist enterprise needs.
by means of a “tool”. Weber is saying that “parliaments generally” are the new “organic tools” or “institutional instruments” by means of which the particular structure and form of politico-economic power constituted by the capitalist bourgeoisie “in the Occident” manifests itself outwardly or ostensibly as "legitimate". in the sense that it must be “gathered”. “interpreted”. Parliament is the means by which this “inner assent is made manifest” in an objective instrumental organicist sense! – Today parliaments are the means to manifest outwardly this minimum of assent. first. It is evident. almost passive voice (“to manifest”) here and refers to “parliaments” generically to convey strongly the sense that a particular “parliament” is not the instrument of the “people”. therefore. Furthermore. whose “inner assent” it is there to re-present. Quite to the contrary. that dispenses political power in accordance with a pool of economic resources drawn from the productive activities of workers. Weber’s use of the plural “parliaments” is clearly intended to stress the transience of individual parliamentary terms or governments against the constancy – the “duration” [Dauer] – of “bureaucracies! Instead. in a manner that does not endanger the wage relation and. it is not so much that Parliament is “the means by which this inner assent [its legitimacy] becomes manifest” in the sense that Parliament merely ex-presses or is a mere mouthpiece for “the system of needs and wants”. the State. It is not an accident that Weber uses the impersonal. “the iron cage of modern industrial labor”.authority) at least under what Weber calls “modern capitalism” seems to depend very much for him on the ability of “the rulers” (the combined bureaucracies. that Weber always intended . Rather. that is. as a “show of support”! It follows therefrom that “inner assent” is not a “spontaneous manifestation” of popular democratic consensus formed autonomously by “the people”. “shaped” and “directed” (and even “purchased”venally. for the State bureaucracy "to claim successfully" its monopoly over the use of physical force. in a manner that perpetuates the existing system of political domination. it must secure this “minimum of assent” by means of parliaments! In other words. Die Parlamente sind heute das Mittel. second. as "inner assent".and on the means to ensure that this happens. this "minimum of assent" must be “garnered and governed” by the ruling bureaucracy. grex venalium) through the “separation” of workers from “the machinery of State” (the bureaucracy) and their “individual division of labor”. of the demos. . public and private) to deliver the goods of economic growth and development. Thus. dies Minimum von Zustimmung äußerlich zu manifestieren.
this much: the leaders. the Political reflects the “sphere of freedom” only to the extent that “freedom” is intended either as sheer arbitrium – as mere “arbitrariness” that is inconsequential in terms of the overall structure and division of power in society. despite far-reaching analogies. through usurpation or election. from “those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society”! Indeed. whose “inner assent” is needed for the State. p82) . Weber never intended the Political to be fundamentally autonomous from the Economic. that it should enjoy a certain measure of inner assent from at least those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society. on the basis of this at least apparent success. after all. to exert its constituted rule “for any length of time or duration”. 1918] has accomplished. Whether the leaders. at least in so far as leaders have taken the place of the statutory authorities. follows quite different laws from those of political administration. necessarily and inevitably lies in the hands of officialdom [Beamtentum. In a modern state real rule. the interests of “those who carry weight in society”. – or else as the articulation of those relevant interests. (PaB. even the best organized. can rightfully entertain the hope of also carrying through the expropriation within the capitalist enterprises is a different question. And Socialism cannot overcome this “necessity” because its very political organisation is elitist and ends up preserving the “oligarchy” of private industry: The revolution [of Germany.“legitimacy” to be part and parcel of his “instrumental” definition of the State and not a separate requirement or criterion for its definition! For him. which becomes effective in everyday life neither through parliamentary speeches nor through the pronouncements of monarchs but through the day-to-day management of the administration. a condition of the duration of any rule. bureaucracy]. both military and civilian. have attained control over the political staff and the apparatus of material goods. there is no viable State without “legitimacy” intended in this special instrumentalist and elitarian sense: It is. (145) Weber makes a point that Arendt seems to share about the “difference” between “political administration” and “private enterprise” in that the latter is much more “technical” and even represents the realm of“necessity”. The modern high-ranking officer even conducts battles from his ‘office’. in its organic and instrumental function as “a community with the legitimate use of physical force”. and they deduce their legitimacy—no matter with what right—from the will of the governed. The direction of capitalist enterprises.
wherever there is a “struggle for existence” (cf.defined as "the rational organisation of free labor under the regular discipline of the factory". the market. or what he called in his Inaugural Address "the economic struggle for life" – which for him is just about in all areas of social life. the Strife. For this reason.the one “guarantees” the other. not through the Economics.the individual. Weber forgets that even when“economic science” is applied “correctly” or “rationally”. but one cannot invade the other’s sphere! Yet this is what the negatives Denken does. But especially in modern capitalism .The State. Indeed. through the impossibility of “reconciliation” of self-interests. as Weber styles it. articulates those “normative goals”. But Weber diverges also from Nietzsche in his inchoate and incipient “liberalism” that springs from his sharing Neoclassical economic principles . . it is simply impossible for Weber to distinguish neatly between Politics and Economics for the simple reason that he quite correctly defines Economics in very broad terms as the area of social life in which there is a“scarcity of means”. it is in the factory that this “scarcity”and this “struggle” are concentrated and where the sphere of necessity in society is separated from the sphere of freedom – from “cultural life”. as we showed in Part Three.. ‘Objektivitat’. we cannot know what means are “scarce” until“the market” prices them – but the market is supposed to price them on their“scarcity”!). Once again. and makes himself liable to Schmitt’s trenchant critique (in Parlamentarismus) is in the attempt to reconcile the Demokratisierung with the State by means of “parliamentary democracy”. the polemos. but through the Eris. labor – all “metaphysical” excogitations of the Austrian School and its “economic science” that Weber never questioned – especially its supposed “purposive rationality” or “axiomatic discipline”! Weber encounters an “apory” here that Nietzsche a-voided precisely because . utility. those “evaluations” that then become “unambiguous” and are pursued rationally-technically or “scientifically” in relation to available “scarce means”. but also the “means” available to achieve them! For liberalism. the task is made paradoxically impossible by the fact that the “scarcity” of means depends on the “market prices” of those “means” – which is the classical circulus vitiosus (more simply put. Where Weber diverges from Nietzsche. through Parliament.64-5 in MoSS). even on Weber’s own “presupposition-less”assumptions. the task of Parliament or “parliaments” to determine“democratically” the political will of the nation is quite simply impossible given that there is no scientific or automatic way of determining not only the“goals” of government. Politics and Economics need to be“homologated”. as ought to be amply evident by now. pp.
The only relevance of “politics” is “the raison d’etat” – which is connected to the optimisation of the resources of the nation-state in foro interno for the ex-ercise of its Machtpolitik on the inter-national battlefield. the Rationalisierung “overcomes” this opposition of freedom and necessity. But Weber never enucleates philosophically the meaning of the concept for him – or at least he does not elucidate it sufficiently for us to be able to say that he did not believe his “rationality” to be “scientific-mathematical” or “irresistible as a structure of the human brain” (Arendt in On Revolution. from Arendt to Kalyvas and others neglect. The “principle” and the “principium” of human freedom must be found in the notion of inter esse as historico-material “liberation” from the “necessity” of self-interest and poverty. . then we can see that the status naturae. or the Economics. does not and can-not exhaust the sphere of the Political and. or indeed Nietzschean-Freudian “drives” (Triebe). and of the Liberal Parlamentarismus – their “power-lessness” in securing social harmony and stability. is delimited and constricted strictly by this “sphere of necessity” – something many. And yet when we consider the internal inconsistency of Weber’s own position – the “ontogenetic” Nietzschean basis of “free labor” on which the entire “rationality” of capitalism and of the Parlamentarisierung is based -. For Weber and above all Nietzsche. of the Sozialismus. the Aristotelian energeya. in foro externo! And the nation-state acts in the geopolitical forum as a mirror-image of those self-interested individuals whose descent into civil war its “institution” was meant to avoid! Weber thinks that this “abstraction” of “freedom” from material conditions is “romanticism” pure and simple because under capitalism the Political assumes an increasingly technical-rational character however “irrational” may be the ultimate “Economic” motivations. that lead to its rise.he indicted the Ohnmacht of the State. For Weber as for the entirety of the negatives Denken. psychologism) or even in the Husserlian sense of “the transcendental ego” (in Ideen) – which in either case would constitute a re-lapse into the philosophia perennis that the negatives Denken had effectively demolished. in fact. the Leibnizian appetitus or Spinozan conatus. the State merely “guarantees” the salus publica! It ensures that the status civilis does not degenerate into a bellum civium: the question of “extraordinary politics”. intended in a broad sense. it is com-penetrated by the Political in its phylogenetic historical aspects. So did Schmitt – but only to insist on the dira necessitas of the Hobbesian State-machine as a “total state”.
and therefore it is possible for a Hobbesian common-wealth to be established in which the provision for wants becomes “rational” through capitalistic economic action. . from the contractum unionis to the contractum subjectionis.because he assumes (like all the Economics. is used is “how is it possible for a sphere of human action that is toto genere dif-ferent from calculation to be made rationally calculable? Weber never asks this question – because in this crucial and essential respect he has not under-stood Nietzsche.The “freedom” of labor is a by-product of conflict over the provision for wants. by its “Strife”. which depends also on “cultural values” (‘Objektivitat’). Again. but also in terms of the “exchange value” of itself. And the “quantification” of this conflict. the comunitas. turns from the law-less inequality of the status naturae to the legal equality under the Sovereign of the status civilis. where “the Sovereign is he who decides on the exception” (Schmitt in Political Theology). It is this Hobbesian “immanence” of precisely that “physicalastronomical” notion of “revolution” that Arendt condemns (in chapter one). the Dictator – at least in foro externo. Classical and Neo-classical) that “labor” is one “homogeneous mass” that can be divided into calculable temporal aliquot parts that can then be rewarded for their “dis-utility” with marginal equivalents in terms of “goods” that are “scarce” and that the worker chooses “freely” for their marginal utility to himself (“utility” is not an attribute of the goods shared universally by all human beings but is a “subjective need or want” that the goods “satisfy” in each particular individual). because the negatives Denken – especially in the “existential pessimism” of Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard – conceives of human beings as “ontological human beings”. of “labor”. as in a state of isolated “poverty” or “scarcity” that pits them one against the other. not just in terms of “goods”. . together with its specification in terms of how much is produced and what. The “necessity” is given by the tension between “scarcity of means” and the “Eris or excess of the Will”. but putatively also in foro interno given that any “ultimate disputes” under the law will be “decided ultimately” by the ultima ratio of the Sovereign. depends for its “maximisation” on the “rational organisation of labor” upon condition that it be “free” to formulate its “choices” through autonomous demand. But what needs to be comprehended whenever this. It is the market mechanism that allows this “osmosis” or “synthesis” of the “necessity” of the “provision for wants” given the “insatiability” of the latter and the “scarcity” of the former. the most central (!) of Nietzschean concepts. in the inter-national state of nature. this is all part of the Rationalisierung. The “geometricity” of this “system” will have to have an “axiom” at some stage – and this “axiom” can never be a “self-evident truth” – only an “axiomatic” one. There is no “phylogenetic inter esse” so that the “common-wealth”.
of workers through “the rational organisation of labor (meaning. it is because it is this that “provides” rationally and most efficiently for those “freely expressed” wants and needs – “the free play of economic forces” . The assumption that these “wants” are “limitless” . meaning “workers reduced to labor force” for the scarce provision of their wants) get to choose “freely” on which of the “objectified labor” or “goods”. for Weber as for Schumpeter and Keynes . Weber at least understands that in a capitalist society “power” – by which he means “constituted power” (potestas) and not “constituent power” (living labor or vis or potentia) . without which it would be impossible to operate that “exact calculation [exakte Kalkulation] which depends only on the rational organisation of [this] free labor” from which “profitability” is derived. to which capitalists who possess the means of production (capital) allow them to apply their living labor. The Neoclassical notion of “equilibrium” has to do with the “necessity” of “scarcity” of “provisions” in proportion to endless “wants”. But all of this “Neoclassical Economics” is based on the paradox of Smith’s “invisible hand” – the equivalent of Leibniz’s “pre-established harmony” between “monads”. So if the law is fully “rationalised” and legal judgements become “automatic”. it is appetitus in search of Nirvana (not Schopenhauer’s “evanescence of the world”.all “Neoclassical economists” -. But this “commodity called labor power” does not have any “utility”: it has only “dis-utility” because it is Will to Life. there is no question of “exploitation” of living labor as there is for Marx. The only way to resolve this “paradox” is through the “arbitrary arbitration” of the “Absolute Monarch”. they can spend their money-wage! So this is a passive freedom. Thus. a mere liberty whereby living labor is seen as a “commodity or dis-utility for exchange in the possession of workers” – which they exchange for “money” (not capital!) and which they then “spend or exchange” for the pro-ducts of their living labor – for “dead objectified labor”.springs (entstehen) from “free labor”. By “free labor” Weber understands a condition whereby workers (“labor”. “labor power”) under the regular (and therefore calculable) discipline of the (capitalist) factory”. but Robbins’s “satisfaction of all wants”) which is what makes produced goods “subjectively scarce” and what makes economic activity amenable to scientific systematization as “the science of choice” or the science of “the scarcity of means” (Weber) – the Economics. as an “instrument” (Cacciari). this Automatik must still be founded on a ultima ratio in the sense that capitalism represents the ultimate form of economic rationality! If Weber is concerned about “profit” or “capitalistic economic action”.Thus. Here the State is seen as “pure means”.
not the permanent equilibrium of these “will-forces”.and “insatiable” is “necessary” – it is the “necessity of scarcity” – for a conception of “labor” as endless acquisitiveness.) . But the main question here. the “renewed exchange (!) of living labor with dead labor”. without which it would be a-bulic. the only way in which Weber’s “rationality” can be reconciled with the “freedom” of “labor” is if this “freedom”. to cavil at it. the impellent one. by which he means “autonomous demand for consumption goods on the part of workers”. Robbins and the rest of the negatives Denken take it more realistically as the “budget constraint” of Neoclassical Theory that allows it to become “the science of choice” – what makes “choice by the will” subject to “scientific and rational analysis and explanation” (Weber’s formulation in his Freiburg inaugural address). is the resultant of “the clash of wills” – it is the instantaneous “balance of forces”. worker and work. respectively. Schopenhauer and Robbins understand the Will and “wants”. in-determinate. “every builder stands outside the object built”.what happens when “responsibility” (read “profitability”) becomes “ir-responsible” because “profit” becomes “a barrier to production”? This “barrier” is not a “technical” or “economic” one: it is a “political” barrier in the broadest sense – and with this notion of “living labor as a barrier to the accumulation of dead labor” both Arendt’s and Weber’s notions of “freedom” (voluntaristic the first. and therefore it is utterly impossible “to exchange” the human “ability to act” with an object pro-duced by that living activity! (Although. Of course. Arendt sees the “distinction” only ontologically [cf. but not in its specifically historical sense of the inevitability of “violence” as the essential ingredient for the abstraction of living labor and its equal or free exchange for dead labor through the wage relation. as “dis-utility”. its free-dom. But whereas Schopenhauer sees this as a motive “to renounce” the world of wants (the Entsagung). The “resolve” of freedom. “The scarcity of means” is what realises free-dom. Heidegger’s similar distinction between Dasein and Seiende] between artist and artifact. gives it its dom-ain. Freedom is not a “steady state” but rather an unstable process. as “freedom of the will” as the resultant of “the clash of wills” rather than as the goal of the will. its “range”. mechanical the second) can be overcome. As Arendt reminds us in chapter five of “On Revolution”. by capitalists so as to ensure the “profitability” of “capitalist economic action” – that is to say. is: . violently. ir-resolute. of this ant-agonism. as “insatiable”. is limited prepotently.
The overriding aim of “parliaments” therefore is to preserve a private economic sphere from which at least putatively the profitability of the entire system is drawn. Parliaments act as safetyvalves that release political pressure by “monitoring”. but it also makes . only of “physical force”!). This is the essence of liberalism: It has nothing to do with ‘democracy’ (cf. even if this means the “subtraction”. the power to determine the manner in which the state procures its finances has been parliament's decisive instrument of power. between the “collection” of resources for the public budget through taxation. of the State. the right to control the budget. and the more precarious will grow the role of Parliament – also in its role as “direct employer of wage labor”. parliaments play an intermediate role in the sense that their own operation is not “for profit”. not of potentia or vis – so that in effect the State does not have a monopoly of “power”. Bobbio. the more politically explosive becomes the role of the Political. ch. to become an a-political form of control. of entire areas of “investment” from private capital. In other words. which means from those sectors that generate “profits”. and ever since the time when the prerogatives of the estates were first created. by “planning” its future distribution (“electoral promises”). by “redistributing”. the “delivery” or less of “growth and development” tends. It is obvious that the greater is the role of the government budget in the Economy strictly defined as the generation of profits based on the rational organisation of free labor under the discipline of the factory. (166) The “instrumental” potestas of governments consists in their ability to decide over how to devolve social resources drawn predominantly through taxation from the economically significant sectors of civil society. then. There is a political discrepancy.POLITICAL PARTIES For certain acts. and by intervening where necessary to neutralize or destroy or even prevent the formation of alternative sources of “power” (in the sense of potestas. LibeDem. the public powers are obliged to use the form of an agreement in law after prior consultation with parliament . yes. at least temporarily. the most important of these is the budget.2). Today. and yet it aims at preserving the means for the generation of “profits”. In so doing. and the “dispensation” of these resources that go through the “filter” of the state bureaucracy.
it will lack the dynamism required by a capitalist system in which “labor” is “free” – “free”. the State. This is what Weber’s “positive politics” is meant to prevent. Admittedly. or that such leaders require the expressly stated confidence of a majority in parliament if they are to remain in office. because the bureaucracy merely “executes” the will of the government leadership – but if this “leadership” is merely hierarchical and sclerotic and wishes to preserve the status quo. parliament is excluded from participating positively in political leadership. so long as parliament’s only means of lending weight to the population’s complaints about the administration is to deny the government finances. It can and will then engage only in 'negative politics’ confronting the leaders of the administration like some hostile power. The situation is different in countries where parliament has established the principle that the leaders of the administration must either be drawn directly from its own ranks (a 'parliamentary system' in the true sense). or that they (166) must at least yield to an expression of no confidence (parliamentary selection of the leaders). that is. (166) A “negative politics”. the leaders of the decisive parties in parliament at any given moment necessarily share positive responsibility for the power of the state.again. to indicate how the money-wage is to be spent. as we showed in Part Two). and subject to verification by parliament or its committees (parliamentary accountability of the leaders») and they must lead the administration in accordance with guidelines approved by parliament (parliamentary control of the administration). exhaustively. For this reason they must give an account of themselves. . an assembly of impotent grumblers and know-alls. to refuse its assent to legislative proposals and to put forward motions of its own which lack binding force.the failure of delivery a direct threat not just to “private capital” but to “the collective capitalist”. the bureaucracy in turn tends to be regarded by parliament and the voters as a caste of careerists and bailiffs ranged against the people who are the object of its tiresome and largely superfluous arts. a “negative” purchasing “power” that leaves intact the “limits to production” imposed by the need of capital to re-produce or “renew” the money-wage on an expanded scale (either “quantitative expansion” or “qualitative development”. On the other hand. and hence being fobbed off by them with the irreducible minimum of information and being regarded as a mere hindrance. one in which Parliament begins to fail in its “mediating” role between social needs and “profitability”. . In this case. as well! There is a “latency” to “power” that a “negative politics” on the part of Parliament may well not detect and that may lead to social and political upheaval. threatens the stability of the bureaucracy as well.
the bureaucracy – military and civilian and economic – that is drawn from the body politic. It is this “iron cage” of needs and wants that gives “life” in the “form” of a “congealed spirit” to the “machinery”– “both military and civilian”. which will be very great in any case but will vary according to his political astuteness and his determination to reach his goals. And above all a nation entirely without any political will. but involves also the “leadership” of this “machine” that “embodies” within its structures “the care for external goods” (its “congealed spirit”) that is the “autonomous market demand for the provision of needs and wants” expressed by “formally free labor”. (165-6) The Beamtentum (officialdom) that Weber has in mind here is not restricted to the strictly “lifeless” machinery of production and government administration. whether one loves or hates the whole parliamentary business it is not to be got rid of. whereas a parliament of the ruled confronting a ruling body of officials with negative politics is a variety of authoritarian state (Obrigkeitsstaat) . Rightly or wrongly. whose “totality of interests” it both “re-presents” and “manages” through the “administration”. whose role in helping to shape policy is not based on the formal prerogatives of the crown (or at least not mainly or exclusively on such rights). the faithful and accurate and “effective management” – that is to say. no less than “economic” – of “everyday life” that is subject to the “rule” of “the modern state” that “becomes effective” through the active “management of the administration”. the consultation and interpretation of the “popular will”. What interests us here is the question of the political legacy bequeathed by Bismarck as a result of all these things. in other words. He left behind a nation entirely lacking in any kind of political education. . an entity that can be given a specific shape and expression. what interests us here is the practical significance of the position of parliament. but he believes also that the expression of this “political will of the nation” is a “rule”. accustomed to assume that the great statesman at the head of the nation would take care of political matters for them. but on his influence. the selection of goals and coordination and implementation of their pursuit – of the system of needs and wants that constitutes the “everyday life” of “the nation” and therefore also its “political will”. that it is imposed from above on the “ruled” below. far below the level it had already attained twenty years previously. this is what is called a popular democracy (Volksstaat).Then parliament is a positive political factor alongside the monarch. (144) Not only does Weber believe that “the political will of the nation” is a “unity”. What matters to Weber is the re-presentation.
the “crisis” (the social division) represented by conflict can be “negotiated” on a peaceful battleground. room for manoeuvre) that is the “resultant” of “conflict”. the State-machine. in sparring matches in Parliament whereby “the will to power” of individual leaders can be accommodated and integrated in the overall “system of production” . Unlike the Hobbesian “Sovereign”. Weber envisages a “parliamentary system” founded on a minimum of “inner assent” that can “select” and “assign” responsibility so that “politics” does not become a game of “conviction” (PaB). To his merit. Here “the machine” is able “to select” its “leadership” not “mechanically” but within “rules” that maintain any “promises” within the realm of “possibility” and “profitability” to assure a modicum of “inner assent” from the “electorate”. namely that parliament deserved to remain powerless because of the low quality of parliamentary life. (144-5) For Weber. Weber never fell into the trap of believing that the market is capable of being a “mechanism” that “develops” either automatically and scientifically or indeed through entrepreneurial “creativity”. Rather. Freedom and necessity are much more “specific” or “rational” in Weber. Whether a parliament is of high or low intellectual quality depends on whether great problems are not only discussed but are conclusively decided there. The true state of affairs.' Admittedly. it depends on whether anything happens in parliament and on how much depends on what happens there. he accused himself of having made a mistake in this respect) and was then made to suffer the consequences as part of his own fate. Schumpeter could reconcile “mechanism” (Kreis-lauf) and “creativity” (Innovation) through the “division” or “schism” (Schelling’s ‘Krisis’) of the social syn-thesis in the Ent-wicklung. down to the constitutional design or Frage. In other words. or whether it is merely the reluctantly tolerated rubber-stamping machine for a ruling bureaucracy. the con-ventum (convention) that “selects” the Politiker but pre-vents (prevention) the bellum civium. The powerlessness of parliament also meant that its intellectual level was very 'low. self-evident on any sober reflection.At the same time his [Bismarck’s] enormous prestige had the purely negative consequence of leaving parliament utterly without power. It is well known that. the naively moralising legend of our litterateurs would have us believe that cause and effect were in fact the other way found. is indicated by some very simple facts and considerations. however. But Weber denies this Schumpeterian “transformation mechanism” (Ver-anderungsmechanismus in the Theorie) except as a “heuristic” device. so long as its “market demand” remains “framed” within the parliamentary rules. “free-dom” is only the Ellenbongsraum (elbow-room. after leaving office.
and only as such.and indeed become its “motor”. parties still cling to the system of administration by local notables which once dominated all kinds of association in the Middle Ages and is still predominant in small and medium-sized municipalities today. the more complicated its tasks are. Nowadays the parties consider using such 'respected citizens’. that has formed in “the Occident”. Alternatively. in which case their aim is to achieve victory for substantive political ideals. (154) Clearly. its guide and “government”. the iron cage. But the “socialisation” of production is simply inescapable precisely because of the “system of wants and needs”.above all . as in France (where the whole parliamentary misere stems from the absence of bureaucratised parties). it is not political parties that “demand elections” to represent their members: it is the other way around! It is “elections” that require the formation of “parliamentary majorities” to take up the “positions of power” made available by the Constitution! This way “liberalism” ensures that no countervailing powers develop from the rest of society – by “dispensing government offices”! The ability of social capital to reproduce itself (on an expanded scale) is dependent on those “monetary signals” – the “transmission mechanism” of finance – that allow capital to gauge and predict the “availability” and the “efficacy” of the wage relation in distributing social resources in the way requisite for social capital to reproduce itself. The same is true of the parties. then.301) and Duverger (PP) remark on the “notables” who take over parties at elections – and so does Weber: The only thing that matters here is the fact that in the administration of mass associations the permanently appointed officials with specialised training always form the core of the apparatus. the larger the association becomes. but not as bearers of decisive. 'leading scholars' and whatever else they are called as an advertising device. This is increasingly the case. and . everyday work. parties can be mainly parties of a particular Weltanschauung. the Centre Party in the 1870s and the . and partly here too. and its ‘discipline' is an absolute prerequisite of success. This is what political parties as “mass parties” are supposed to do. on the electoral battlefield or on the military battlefield). Both Arendt (p. In party politics the situation is doomed to disappear whereby.the more its existence is determined by power (whether in the shape of power struggles in the market place. In Germany.
The rule is. It is normal. Finally. the monarch needed a single personality to cover him and to assume responsibility. p84) Furthermore. It is through the law of private property and taxation. to answer to parliament and to negotiate with the parties. the same progress towards bureaucratisation as is taking place in economic life and in state administration is now also to be found in the parties. All these interests worked together and in the same direction: a minister emerged to direct the . handed down by tradition which. They have concrete political goals. Political parties in their very “organization” and “recruitment” of members and then “electors” or “constituents” ensure that the demands of the latter are formulated in terms of the “rationality” already shaped by the existing “organisms” of government. however.Social Democratic Party before it became thoroughly bureaucratised are fairly pure examples of this type of party. are only capable of slow modification. although they are nowadays by far the most important bearers of the political will of those who are ruled by the bureaucracy. (PaB.(152) What needs scrutiny. ‘the citizens of the state’ (Staatsburger). however. that the functions of government are “financed” and. at least in thought. (148) There are two ways of making politics one's vocation: Either one lives 'for' politics or one lives 'off' politics. that is. consequently. However many devices they employ to bind their clientele permanently to them. because of their respect for tradition. and certainly he also does both in practice. in contrast to all corporations which are firmly delimited by law or by contract. “the line of command” that responds to the “financing” of government through existing distribution of private property. Besides this. parties are essentially voluntarily created organisations directed at free recruitment which is necessarily continuous. is this “patronage of office” – the fact that the parliamentary system allows the “channeling” of political participation into “institutional forms” that can be controlled by capital because the various “branches of government administration” are already under the control of a bureaucracy whose “leaders” (political and official) can be controlled “from above”. The existence of parties is acknowledged by no constitution and by no law (at least here in Germany). then. whereby government “revenue” is gathered. they strive for the patronage of office. By no means is this contrast an exclusive one. that is. are “rationalized” according to the requirements of “profitability”. rather. that man does both. Nowadays their goal is always the canvassing of votes for elections to political positions or to an electoral corporation. in order to be removed in a purely formal way from the struggle of parties and from party attacks. for parties to be a mixture of both types.
In practice this means the division of the citizens with the right to vote into politically active and politically passive elements. The English system has been taken over on the Continent in the form of parliamentary ministries. political organization is necessarily managed by men interested in the management of politics. These categories are 'administrative' officials on the one hand. who would confidentially discuss matters in order to maintain power within and be capable of engaging in grand politics outside. Where parliament gained supremacy over the monarch—as in England —the development of parliamentary power worked even more strongly in the direction of a unification of the state apparatus. that they can be dismissed. keep the members of the parliament in check.99) It is decisive that this whole apparatus of people—characteristically called a 'machine' in Anglo-Saxon countries—or rather those who direct the machine. and in the methods of this struggle as developed by modern party policies. The cabinet is simply this organization. It is unimaginable how in large associations elections could function at all without this managerial pattern. in fact. They provide themselves with a following through free recruitment. The 'political' officials. in the genuine sense of the word. and in the democracies influenced by America.officialdom in a unified way. the 'cabinet. and hence could not be the bearers of real government. present themselves or their proteges as candidates for election. which.90) In all political associations which are somehow extensive. They are in . In England. that is. the party. in relation to the public. In America alone. The official collegial bodies as such were not organs of the actual ruling power. it alone was politically decisive. a quite heterogeneous system was placed into opposition with this system. or at least temporarily withdrawn. associations going beyond the sphere and range of the tasks of small rural districts where power-holders are periodically elected. are by no means rigidly but nevertheless distinctly separated. This is to say that a relatively small number of men are primarily interested in political life and hence interested in sharing political power. The ruling party required an ever-ready organization composed only of its actually leading men. (p.' The development of politics into an organization which demanded training in the struggle for power.' with the single head of Parliament as its 'leader. and go out for vote-grabbing. collect the financial means. determined the separation of public functionaries into two categories.' developed as a committee of the party which at the time controlled the majority. especially the parliamentary public. however. and 'political' officials on the other. The American system placed the directly and popularly elected leader of the victorious party at the head of the apparatus of officials appointed by him and bound him to the consent of 'parliament' only in budgetary and legislative matters. (p. can regularly and externally be recognized by the fact that they can be transferred any time at will. This party power was ignored by official law but. the party needed a leader responsible for all decisions—the cabinet head. However.
but also the effective exercise of this “legislative power” into its administrative implementation. Lincoln's election was possible only through this character of party organization. no “innovativeness”. The fact that. even over the head of the parliamentary party. In other words.113) The leitender Geist The “power” (potestas) of Parliament is not derived from its formal legal statute but rather from the effective exercise of its administrative functions. The man whom the machine follows now becomes the leader. after what has been said above. his legal position is also no different in principle from that of other officials. (p. from the bottom. the politician in the other. too. but not all other officials. The entrepreneur. Consequently. and that is of special significance for the selection of the party leader. then. the same happened in the caucus. no aura about the “role” of the leitender Geist! No “creativity”. the creation of such machines signifies the advent of plebiscitarian democracy. No mystique here. The army commander is an officer and thus formally no differ159 ent from all other officers. sits in an 'office'. The leading spirit. An army commander does the same. the ‘entrepreneur’ in the one case. This is simply the price paid for guidance by leaders. In order to be a useful apparatus. as mentioned before. is something different from an ‘official’. no halo. In the sphere of the state the same applies to the leading politician. one might say. no Individualitat or Personlichkeit! It is not “innate talent” or “intellect” or (indeed!) “charisma” that determine the “ability” of parliamentary leadership: it is the actual performance of the “leadership functions” that hones the “task” of political “responsibility”. he can be dismissed at any time and can demand to be discharged distinguishes his position outwardly from that of many. it has to be clearly realized that the plebiscitarian leadership of parties entails the 'soullessness' of the following. Not necessarily in form. and with Gladstone. a machine in the American sense—undisturbed either by the vanity of notables or pretensions to independent views—the following of such a leader must obey him blindly. Yet much more striking . according to all known constitutions.a position to impose their will to a rather far-reaching extent. Weber intends power to be the dual relationship between “the discussion of great problems” that are re-presented by members of parliament authorized from their “constituencies” or “electorates” so to do. If the general manager of a large enterprise is the hired official of a limited company. (p102) Let us assume that all this were to change. The leading minister is formally an official with a pensionable salary. the “power” of Parliament is “political” in a functional sense – as an extension of “the management of the administration”. their intellectual proletarianization. but certainly in substance.
unlike other officials. – refined by Nietzsche (philosophically) and by the Neoclassics (economically) . The 'principle of the small number' (that is the superior political manoeuverability of small leading groups) always rules political action.is unmistakeable. especially in “mass states”. That is how things should be. The point Weber makes above about the “speed of decision-making” which he calls “the superior political manoeuverability of ‘small’ leading groups” is something that Robert Michels takes up in Political Parties to substantiate their supremacy over more “democratic” or “consiliar” deliberative bodies. This element of 'Caesarism' is ineradicable in mass states. But it is also this element alone which guarantees that responsibility towards the public rests with particular individuals whereas it would be completely dissipated within a many-headed governing assembly. then. (174) “True democracy” is then a parliamentary “oversight” of “bureaucratic rule” based on the “exact calculation of profit” consequent upon the “autonomous demand of workers” (free labor) whose “industrial work” is a homogeneous “force” (labor power) to be “organized rationally” by capitalists in accordance with this “autonomous demand” or “iron cage” – an “oversight” that is “governed” by “leaders selected” by Parliament through debate and compromise and whose continued leadership is dependent on their “continued success”. The “responsibility” of the leitender Geist. he and he alone is not required to demonstrate any kind of qualification based on training. not even in England. Weber’s reliance on the Hobbesian and Schopenhauerian “pessimist or eristic individual possessivism”. The entire broad mass of the deputies functions only as a following for the 'leader' . Once more. This is particularly evident in true democracy. What the bureaucracy “cannot do” is actually “conclusively to decide” – this is the “function” of the leitender Geist.is the fact that. but not in a “Caesarist” sense! Even when Weber “mentions” the term “Caesarism”. Weber does not define “success” but we can take it that this pivots on the “profitability” of the system which is the ultimate sanction of its “rationality”. There is no question of this anywhere in the world. is something that is owed to “the public”. and that “would be completely dissipated within a .or the small group of leaders who form the cabinet. he clearly and explicitly does not intend it to be as a “charismatic leader” whose task or role in government is “special” or “elevated” or different in quality from other “managerial administrative functions”: it is simply a “function”! For it is not the many-headed assembly of parliament as such that can 'govern' and 'make’ policy. and they obey them blindly as long as the leaders are successful.
and therefore it is utterly impossible “to exchange” the human “ability to act” with an object pro-duced by that living activity! (Although. The chief result of our study of Weber’s theory of “rationalization” so far is that it is not and cannot be “scientific” because its “unit of measurement” relies on the homogeneity of “labor”. is: . the second is that in any case “individual labor” can be “measured” in terms of “output” – but that “output” is not “homogeneous” across product industries! It is for this reason that both Weber and Marx rely ultimately on “the self-regulating market” (the law of supply and demand) to determine “the value” of output.what happens when “responsibility” (read “profitability”) becomes “ir-responsible” because “profit” becomes “a barrier to production”? This “barrier” is not a “technical” or “economic” one: it is a “political” barrier in the broadest sense – and with this notion of “living labor as a barrier to the accumulation of dead labor” both Arendt’s and Weber’s notions of “freedom” (voluntaristic the first. Marx’s inability to determine “value” and “prices” independently of the market “mechanism” induced him to seek the “objectification” of value in the “fetishism of commodities” which served the same . the only way in which Weber’s “rationality” can be reconciled with the “freedom” of “labor” is if this “freedom”. mechanical the second) can be overcome. by which he means “autonomous demand for consumption goods on the part of workers” is limited prepotently. but not in its specifically historical sense of the inevitability of “violence” as the essential ingredient for the abstraction of living labor and its equal or free exchange for dead labor through the wage relation. the “renewed exchange(!) of living labor with dead labor”. As Arendt reminds us in chapter five of “On Revolution”. violently. Of course. by capitalists so as to ensure the “profitability” of “capitalist economic action” – that is to say. worker and work.many-headed governing assembly” if it did not “rest with particular individuals”. Arendt sees the “distinction” only ontologically [cf. it is entirely evident here how Weber relies on an external or extrinsic notion of “free labor”. the impellent one. Again. of “efficiency” – not in terms of “political freedom”. “every builder stands outside the object built”. “political responsibility” is conceived of in terms of “results”. to cavil at it. Given that the “power” (potestas) of the “rulers” is derived from “the provision for the system of needs and wants” (“rational” under bureaucratic rule). Weber ignores the fact that living labor is not and cannot be homogeneous for at least two reasons: the first is that it is impossible to divide social labor into “individual labors”. of “economy”. Heidegger’s similar distinction between Dasein and Seiende] between artist and artifact. one based on “labor power” and not on “living labor” which he would identify with “the politics of conviction” as against “the politics of responsibility”! But the main question here.
which is what Lukacs translated into the concept of “reification”. We dealt before with Lukacs’s description of “necessary illusion” – which is an oxymoron because “illusions” cannot be “necessary” and “necessity” cannot be “illusory”. Habermas understands Lukacs’s statement to mean that workers understand that the “reification” of labor time is “an illusion”. Capital must impose not just its “mode of production” through the labor process and technologies used in the production process. the “unreality” of values) an “arbitrary” one that responds to a strategy of command and exploitation. 6 to 10] and Arendt . Consumption simply allows that “osmosis” that makes antagonism “measurable” after the event. will defeat capitalism for the precise reason that there is a reality of “antagonism”. the process of production first and foremost. Yet this does not deal with the problem because.which does not mean that the “foundation” of capitalism is not “the wage relation”. This is why “formalism” is the limit of capitalism: because “rationalization” is not an “objective” (Weber) or merely “ideological” (MarxLukacs. chpts. This is intuited by Weber and then “theorized” by Keynes in terms of the money-wage as the fundamental unit of measurement in capitalist industry. there is no “real” or “necessary” illusion behind reification but the naked blunt violence of the capitalist – “the discipline of the factory”. Livre IV. as “realization” of what had preceded as “valorization” of capital. Just as with Weber’s “rationalization”. that “the limit to reification is its ‘formalism’”. then Heidegger-Marcuse) phenomenon. This ts the apparent paradox (apparent even to Tocqueville [Democratie en Amerique. which entails opposing one “illusion” to another (as the old Frankfurt School realized. this “formalism” can be overcome only “philosophically” – through “class consciousness”. it must also impose and define “the mode of consumption” for workers so that their living labor may be “rationally calculable” according to the law of value and the equalization of the rate of profit! But careful! The mode of consumption “closes the circle” of the circulation of capital. Lukacs perceives this problem when he asserts. This solves the conundrum of “the affluent society”. . of valorization. It must be stressed that capitalism in its guise as “social capital” becomes as much a “mode of consumption” as it is a “mode of production”.purpose as Weber’s “rationalization” – that of “measuring” the social synthesis. as “profit” and provides that “sphere of autonomy” to workers (Weber’s “free labor”) – through “the market” and the welfare state or Sozialstaat – that supplies “the unit of measurement”. only to preserve the idolatry of “Reason”). The only way to lend validity to Lukacs’s position is to reflect that the “formalism” of reification. of capitalist command over living labor that makes possible the “abstraction of living labor”. albeit still from the viewpoint of the opposition of “fragmented alienated labor” against the “totality of artisanal labor”. however “necessary” it may be “objectively”. as Habermas rightly notes. the Marxian concept of “commodity fetishism” or the Lukacsian equivalent of “reification” simply cannot account for “the social synthesis”. the seeming integration of workers in the society of capital that Habermas correctly identifies as the overriding theoretical concern of Western Marxism since Lukacs. of the law of value. but rather (with Nietzsche’s invariance. In other words. that is. the moneywage acting as a “social wage” that ensures the “reproduction” of the wage relation.
of “profit”. which is due to the incogruence between production and consumption derived from the corresponding impossibility to make “value in production” equal “value in consumption”. who does not see the point] to Marcuse and Baran and Sweezy) of the “apathy” of workers in the face of “material (consumption) affluence” – the “welfare state” or Sozialstaat fully implemented under the New Deal.’. of open revolt and revolution. preferred to speak of “tranquility” rather than “equilibrium” as a category of economic analysis (in The Accumulation of Capital). This is precisely what is happening at the moment with the evident decline and “implosion” not just of the “financial system”. The problem is not that “there is not enough profit”. associations going beyond the sphere and range of the tasks of small rural districts where power-holders are periodically elected. Indeed. from physical all the way to “cultural” and propagandistic violence. that is. ch on ‘Pol. the problem is that “profit” and “value” can no longer be “measured” monetarily whenever the “political equilibria” (the only “equilibria” that are possible) explode in a full-blown crisis. but also of the parliamentary “partitocracy” that has dominated government in advanced industrial capitalist countries since the New Deal Settlement. of Kalkulation. This is achieved through various strategies that include various degrees of political “violence”. The “apathy” of workers is a direct result of the “division” of social labor into “individual labors” remunerated or rewarded with “individual money-wages” and the corresponding “concentration” of monetary social resources in the “central government” which then uses the existing structure of government administration to impose its “constituted power”. Crisis is not something that happens “occasionally” or “accidentally” or “exogenously” or “by mistake” because of failure to apply the “correct economic measures or policies”. it may even be said that even the “absence” of conspicuous open conflict may be a sign that explosive antagonism is being “swept under the carpet” or “repressed” until it reaches the point of social explosion. (See below. (See on all this. Les Pouvoirs de Decision dans l’Etat Moderne.) In all political associations which are somehow extensive. “Crisis” does not just mean a “dysfunction” in the “production” of value or profit.) That is why Joan Robinson. fundamental impossibility to measure social antagonism in monetary terms.[discussion in Negri.inAm. with characteristic genial intuition. They provide themselves with a following through free recruitment. Crisis is instead the perennial. . This is to say that a relatively small number of men are primarily interested in political life and hence interested in sharing political power. The “crises” that it experiences regularly are really the most “visible” manifestations of its underlying antagonism. The society of capital is far from “free from difficulties”. as if these were “quantities” rather than “social relations” that need special political intervention (regulation) to avoid “crises”. the “Sozialisierung” that Weber considered to be a result of “rationalization” simply cannot be explained unless we penetrate and enucleate – explode – this notion by removing it from the field of “science” and by re-interpreting the entire notion of mathesis. ‘Insurgencies’.Const.Eman. political organization is necessarily managed by men interested in the management of politics. Thus. Jean Meynaud. quote from p312.
Opinions ·are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate. Through pressure groups. lobbies. and other devices.present themselves or their proteges as candidates for election. on the contrary. In this system the opinions of the people are indeed unascertainable for the simple reason that they are non-existent. in the interest of the many. at the same time. It is unimaginable how in large associations elections could function at all without this managerial pattern.99) And Arendt makes the same point: …… However. neither the people in general nor· the political scientists in particular have left much doubt that the parties. though not in the classical sense of rule by the few in the interest of the few. at least supposedly. or the welfare of the constituents. only the two-party system has proved its viability and. collect the financial means. which can be ascertained objectively. (Weber. and where the need for action and decision arises out of the various conflicts among interest groups. and the residue of power he still holds in his hands resembles rather the reckless coercion with which a blackmailer forces his victim into obedience than the power that arises out of joint action and joint deliberation.but no opinion. This government is democratic in that popular welfare and private happiness are its chief goals. . The same is not true for questions of interest and welfare. but that they are.moods of the masses and moods of individuals. p. the best the representative can do is to act as his constituents would act if they themselves had any oppor. Be that as it may. what we today call democracy is a form of government where the few rule. there may be moods . and go out for vote-grabbing. cannot be regarded as popular organs. but that it has by no means enabled the citizen to become a 'participator' in public affairs. that is. The most the citizen can hope for is to be 'represented'. as a device of government. but it can be called oligarchic in the sense that public happiness and public freedom have again become the privilege of the few. while it may be true that. the voters can indeed influence the actions of their representatives with respect to interest. tunity to do so. because of their monopoly of nomination. and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists. its capacity to guarantee constitutional liberties. the very efficient instruments through which the power of the people is curtailed and controlled. PaB. In all these instances the voter acts out of concern with his private life and well-being. In practice this means the division of the citizens with the right to vote into politically active and politically passive elements. Hence. but neither their actions nor their opinions. whereby it is obvious that the only thing which can be represented and delegated is interest. the The Revolutionary T1·adition and Its Lost Treasu1·e 269 latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former . it is no less true that the best it has achieved is a certain control of the rulers by those who are ruled. they can force their representatives to execute their wishes at the expense of the wishes and interests of other groups of voters. That representative government has in fact become oligarchic government is true enough.
p306). Que le gouvernement . but rather an “act-ivity”. Wirk-lichkeit.without canvassing these matters of “beginnings” or “foundations”. constituent power) and the potestas (the constituted power [just as operari becomes opus.201 of my Portuguese translation] that James Harrison in The Art of Lawgiving distinguishes between “true” and “untrue laws”. that its attitude toward all government is 'hostility' because 'government and constraint are inseparable'. They will agree with Saint-Just: 'La liberte du peuple est dans sa vie privee. . ne la troublez point. whereas by vis we mean an “actu-ality” that is not an “act”.. a completed action such as a legal institution. (Negri points out in ‘Insurgencies’.The defenders of this system.6. The vis would be “nature” itself. a “strength”. Tat-lichkeit) . taught by the profound turmoil of this century.91 Arendt then is quite right on the broader notion of “freedom” and “politics”. of “potential”.) Arendt rebukes Weber (implicitly) for assuming that the “frugality” of the Founding Fathers was exclusively “Puritanical” – when in fact it could have been the “opposite” of retreat from the world. the vis (or potentia.' that 'the will of the people is profounuly anarchic: it wants to do as it pleases'. [p. ne soit une force que pour proteger cet etat de simplicite contre la force meme. they have lost their liberal illusion about some innate goodness_oi the people. which actually is the system of the welfare state.Ce of public happiness and public freedom.' If. and constraint by definition 'is external to the constrained' . the physis rather than the nomos. facere becomes factum and agere. the former being “natural” and “requiring the removal of all interpositions of force” and the latter being a “superstructure that involves violence because it is contra naturam”.. actus – we prefer vis to potentia because the latter has a connotation of in-actuality. because one cannot analyze or conceptualize “politics”. she dwells on Jefferson’s insistence for “constituencies” that remind Arendt of Luxemburg’s exaltation of “soviets” (ch. But Arendt neglects the reality that “the social question” intruded on the making of the US Constitution just as much as it did on the dis-solution of the French! Instead.olution hand. let alone the State – in other words. they arc likely to conclude that 'no people has ever been known to govern itself. on the other On Ret!. they must insist that politics is a burden and that its end is itself not political. if they are liberal and of democratic convictions must deny the very existef?. the opposite of “renunciation”: the “frugality” and “industry” of the Puritans could have been due to a greater concern for “public happiness” and therefore “freedom” than for “private happiness” and therefore “luxury”.
Arendt. by “the powers that be”.3. and the modern estimate that tends to blame the insistence of the Founding Fathers on frugality and 'simplicity of manners' (Jefferson) upon a Puritan contempt for the delights of the world much rather testifies to an inability to understand freedom than to a freedom from prejudice. as it was for Constant. to engage actively in the political life of one’s community. in America no less than in France. . p. and it is also quite appropriate in some respects. Tocqueville again is quite right when he remarks that 'of all ideas and sentiments which prepared the Revolution. the loss of the original meaning and the oblivion of the spirit that had been manifest in the Revolution…. (H. affluence and wretchedness are only two sides of the same coin.132) For abundance and endless consumption are the ideals of the poor: they are the mirage in the desert of misery. and the “public happiness” it inspires. the bonds of necessity need not be of iron. To be “free” is for Arendt. though it blurs the distinction between private and public happiness. To be “at liberty” to do something. In this sense. is to be the passive beneficiary of a right or benefit “conceded” to oneself by the constituted powers. But the rapidity with which the second meaning was forgotten and the term used and understood without its original qualifying adjective may well be the standard by which to measure. then humanity has an even greater problem – and freedom has found an insurmountable barrier! This is Arendt’s reproach to Weber and indirectly also to Marx in that she highlights the need to avoid the reduction of political freedom to the “technical” sphere of the economy: it is most enlightening from a conceptual or analytical perspective. of one thing at least we may be sure: the Declaration of Independence. one may say that “freedom” and “the pursuit of luxury” – not “luxury” itself! .In this sense. But if “freedom and luxury” also are incompatible.However that may be. may tend to shrink the political or “public” space or universe of human beings so as to render them a-political – with the consequent neglect of the forms of political activity that “freedom”. ch.may well be at odds. Freedom and luxury have always been thought to be incompatible. But she forgets.31 (p. instead. but not be necessarily “incompatible”! That “freedom and poverty” may be incompatible is a problem or “social question” that may be resolved simply by eliminating poverty through the diffusion of the institutions of “freedom”. as Marx would pointedly remind her. in opposition to “passive” liberties. the pursuit of well-being as well as being a 'participator in public affairs'. On Revolution. they can be made of silk. the notion and the taste of public liberty strictly speaking have been the first ones to disappear' . at least still intends us to hear the term 'pursuit of happiness' in its twofold meaning: private welfare as well as the right to public happiness. must stand for.139) What Arendt means here is that “the pursuit of luxury” or Constant’s “private happiness”.
in a creative and productive dimension.to have reconstituted the entire quaestio of the Constitutio Libertatis. that simply ensures that “the freedom of antagonistic wills”. and the very reason why he imputes a large degree of autonomy to the State as a “cultural” entity. as a basis for the analysis of capitalism. and least of all Constant. rather than as “protection under Sovereignty” or “protection from Sovereignty”. and then. and therefore of present-day society. the freedom to choose the specific pro-ducts to which that money-wage is applied – a choice that validates which competing capitalist will be able to command more labor-power in the next round of production.that her own high-brow. neo-Aristotelian conception of “freedom” does not deal integrally (let alone fairly) with what is the most important aspect of human existence under capitalism: . that is what Hobbes called “the price of one’s worth”. Arendt therefore re-presents the nostalgic apotheosis of the dichotomy of bourgeois and citoyen that has been the bane of Western political theory since Hobbes. of the “iron cage” – of what leads to “modern industrial labor” or “free labor” as the unique condition for that “exact calculation” that is the essence of capitalism. after that labor-power is exerted. as a function of the “system of needs and wants” of civil society. So this is perhaps the great merit of Arendt’s work: . if Weber understands anything by Arendt’s “freedom”. The State is a pure “instrument” that simply guarantees the salus publica. Indeed. of the meaning of “freedom” in a positive sense. their ability to do so depended exclusively or predominantly on that “luxury” that she says they eschewed and selfrighteously (hypocritically) denigrated! Whilst Arendt’s inchoate correction of Weber’s interpretation of the Protestant work ethic is completely misplaced. which neither Weber nor Arendt. it is precisely that “freedom” is entirely dependent on and governed by the sphere of economic necessity! Ultimately for Weber “freedom” means the freedom to bargain over the “value” of one’s labor-power. is identified immediately as an organon. ever distinguish from human living labor. the clash of wills.wage labor. at the same time it hits the mark on the fact that in Weber this antithesis of “freedom” and “greed-dom” does not even begin to exist because the Political. She forgets that whilst the American Founding Fathers may well have preferred the “public happiness” of active participation in the political affairs of the newly-founded nation-state (the famed spectemur agendo coveted by John Adams). . does not degenerate into the civil war of the Hobbesian state of nature. the State.
to Economics. besides reviving the question of the difference between “power” and “authority” (auctoritas. ch. the role and scope of the State are very limited in terms of its “purposive rationality”. For both Marx and Weber the State becomes a mere “instrument”. For the qualities of the statesman or the political man and the qualities of the manager or administrator are not only not the same.And. Here Arendt is divorcing “wealth” or “value” – economic action – from political institutions: . and therefore renders it much more amenable to treatment as “an axiomatic discipline”. in instrumental terms. to the sphere of “social reproduction” in Marx and “the care for material or external goods” (“the iron cage”) in Weber. Negri. including that for “freedom”. the Political.which is something that. Politics and economics differ in this – that the former has an almost unlimited “variety” of expressions whereas the latter concerns a “dimension” – that of “scarcity of means” against “inexhaustible demand for provision” – that brings it within the sphere of “necessity”. they very seldom are to be found in the same individual. but one whose ultimate function and limits are set by “the system of needs and wants” indicated and set by the “productive utilisation of scarce resources and the distribution of scarce pro-ducts”.3 of ‘Insurgencies’. (p. thereby “reducing” the notion of “freedom”. and the other must know how to manage things and people in a sphere of life whose principle is necessity. so the mere fact that people are de-livered from poverty and lifted into luxury does not mean that “freedom” will be established. to the sphere of the social relations of production. a tool that is subject to “ideological” or “cultural” variations. And so are those of the leitender Geist. by extension. In this perspective.274) The biggest threat to Arendt’s conception of “freedom” and “public happiness” comes precisely from that sphere of “economic necessity” that with one hand she condemns as “private happiness” and “luxury” (we would call it consumerism) and yet with the other she herself recognises and acknowledges as “necessary” but from which she . the one is supposed to know how to deal with men in a field of human relations. whose principle is freedom.248): she draws a line between “political freedom” and “social equality”. neither Marx nor Weber are prepared to do because they tie “the most basic needs of social life”. p. Arendt’s chastisement of Marx and Weber raises the question of their equating “freedom from poverty” with “freedom” itself – the theory of “the two revolutions” (cf. initium) for the comunitas and of “power” and “liberty” for individuals. augere. says Arendt.
of “production” that “gravitates” ultimately around the “reproduction” of a society. Marx could see that the social power of the bourgeoisie consists precisely in its ability to effect this “reduction” through political violence. (ch. but more importantly for us because it is social labor that provides also the nexus rerum that allows the human species to survive and evolve. it is the sphere of “necessity”. its corpus – is the “system of needs and wants”. to “the rational organisation of (formally) ‘free’ labor under the regular discipline of the factory” -.2.] OnRevolution [I]t is beyond doubt  that the young Marx became convinced that the reason why the French Revolution had failed to found freedom was that it had failed to solve the social question. to the “system of needs and wants” that is the expression of “free wills” clashing with one another! The fact that this is a “technical rationality” means that inevitably the leitender Geist will take an elitist turn! [The subject-matter of the Economics – its subjectum. in the long run. Ver-geist-igung) in “parliamentary democracy” as the most “technically rational” exploitation of the “scarce resources” of the nation-state. not for the sake of bread or wealth. in Weber’s own words. His most explosive and indeed most original contribution to the cause of revolution was that he interpreted the compelling needs of mass poverty in political terms as an uprising. and not in some process of Rationalisierung that can somehow find its (quasi-Hegelian) “reconciliation” (Ver-sohnung. its substratum. having found out that capitalism reduces “living labor” to “labor power” – that is. because it gives vent to that “free play of autonomous demand”. Whether “labor” is seen as the source of “value” by pro-ducing its objectification (as with Classical Political Economy) or whether value is seen as arising from the “saving” of “labor” by re-arranging or de-viating a “wealth” or “utility” that is “contained” in “nature” and to which “labor” only provides “access” for the “provision for insatiable wants”(as with Neoclassical Theory).because it is “labor” that either creates “value” or provides access to it according to the Economics. no State that can “guarantee legally” the “equilibrium” of conflicting self-interests as Liberalism theorizes them in the state of nature! Whilst Arendt singles out Marx explicitly and Weber only implicitly as the objects of her rebuke. From this he concluded that freedom and poverty were incompatible. its nervus rerum. but for the sake of freedom as well.inexplicably wishes to remove “the Political” in the name of a highminded Hellenistic notion of “the autonomy of the Political”. the difference between the last two remains that. the fundamental reality is that “labor” remains at the heart of “the social question”: . What he learned from the French Revolution was that poverty can be a political force of the first order.61-2) . This is a liberal notion that the very unforgiving development of social capital into “the society of capital” has made totally anachronistic if not insensate! There is no Politics. pp.
Corruption in this kind of government is much more likely to spring from the midst of -society. checks. in an egalitarian republic than in any other form of government. What could happen. Intellectual and Manual Labor.) This order of things should have sufficed if Jefferson had actually believed (as he sometimes professed) that the happiness of the people lay exclusively in their private welfare.it was highly unlikely. which will be discussed in a future work on Marx.57 but such corruption was not likely to be due (and hardly ever has been due) to a conspiracy of the representative organs against the people whom they represented. – Which once again only serves to show that no “Constitution” can preserve her notion of “freedom” unless “the social question” is resolved first – exactly what Marx was arguing in his devastating critique of political economy and of liberalism! Unfortunately. as Weber defines “capitalism”. It is . “too late to turn it to account”! (Far more sophisticated are the treatments in Habermas. Perhaps the fundamental flaw in her entire thesis in On Revolution is just her ethereal Hellenistic. Erkenntnis und Interesse. that is. from the people themselves. which is brought down to earth with a heavy thud when she comes to consider the leaden and corruptive role that “private interests” have played in any “Constitution” known to humanity.with its division and separation of powers. they spring from below and not from above. that of economic “necessity”. though of course not impossible. and in Sohn-Rethel. But that Marx ever made the mistake of confusing de-liverance (Latin. until the very end of her book . that a tyranny could arise out of it. that is. and at the same time more likely to occur. built into its very centre .as Camus says in La Peste. Arendt does not tackle this ineluctable problem. and balances. Arendt succeeds only in demonstrating her “poverty of philosophy” by mistaking Marx with Proudhon. in its complexity. liber. Corruption and perversion are more pernicious. for because of the way the government of the union was constituted . the bathetic author of “The Philosophy of Poverty”! That poverty and freedom are two different concepts is blatantly evident. with controls. they come to pass when private interests invade the public domain.There can be precious little “freedom” if one is under the yoke of “the rational organisation of ‘free’ labor under the regular discipline of the factory”. was that 'the representative organs should become corrupt and perverted'. Schematically speaking. neo-Aristotelian notion of “freedom” as separate from “the social question”. freed slave) from poverty with freedom when in fact he was stating merely that any “freedom” that fails to abolish poverty is ipso facto defective in any humanly acceptable sense. is an accusation unworthy of Arendt’s otherwise admirable intellect. and what indeed has happened over and over again since.
The Bill of Rights in the American Constitution forms the last. effect a dreadful but necessary insurrection. p. the framing of a system of laws through which the rights of privacy were publicly guaranteed and the dividing line between public and private legally protected. And it speaks for the high calibre of Jefferson's statesmanship that he The Revolutionary Tradition and Its Lost Treasure 253 was able to perceive this danger despite his preoccupation with the older and better-known threats of corruption in bodies politic. Corruption of the people themselves .precisely because the republic excluded on principle the old dichotomy of ruler and ruled that corruption of the body politic did not leave the people untouched. and where therefore an 'innocent' people might indeed first suffer and then. Where the rift between ruler and ruled has been closed. eventually. legal bulwark for the private realm against public power. as in other forms of government. obliterated. but rather of alienated labor (the command of living by dead labor) as the foundation of capitalist society.252-3) Arendt seems wholly to ignore the possibility that it is the very existence of a “line between public and private” that causes the problem of “corruption”! Yet again she is unable to deal with the fundamental problem – “the social question” – not of “poverty versus freedom” or of “freedom versus luxury”. that is. this danger. not of prosperity as such. under conditions. but of rapid and constant economic growth. from the tendency of public power to expand and to trespass upon private interests. where only the rulers or the ruling classes needed to be affected. one day. Both Arendt and Weber fall into the Marxian trap of “socially necessary labor time” and indeed into the trap of “the Law of Value” or of “the scarcity of means” (p. However.104).is possible only under a government that has granted them a share in public power and has taught them how to manipulate it.64 in MoSS) – however much Weber may scoff at the “the unfortunate child of misery of our science” (end of ‘Objektivitat’. used to arise from the public realm. . that is. Prior to the modern age and the rise of society. of a constantly increasing expansion of the private realm .as distinguished from corruption of their representatives or a ruling class . it is always possible that the dividing line between public and private may become blurred and. inherent in republican government. and the most exhaustive.and these were of course the conditions of the modern age the dangers of corruption and perversion were much more likely to arise from private interests than from public power. (pp. The age-old remedy against this danger was respect for private property. and Jefferson's preoccupation with the dangers of public power and this remedy against them is sufficiently well known.
Insurgencies) understood that “equality” is not possible without the “emancipation” of “freedom” from “private property”! (The point was made later also by Rousseau. although at the very end of her reflections. she fails to see that. Habermas’s “Natural Law and Revolution” in Theorie und Praxis is much to be preferred as . But Arendt assumes naively that revolution and constitution can be “separated” from the “social question”. no matter what the disquisitions of John Adams and Jefferson.Weber’s phrase “free labor” is not an oxymoron only because his “labor” is an entity that can be either “free” or “not free” only in a formal sense. She believes that she can neatly distinguish between the Political (the sphere of “freedom”) and the Economic (the sphere of “necessity” [that is what she calls it at the end of her book]). Marx does not explain the process of this “liberation” of living labor from wage labor except “mechanically” in Kapital and in a more coherent “political” fashion in the Grundrisse. the social relations of production come into contra-diction with the Political. sec. that “labor power” cannot but be unfree.) By keeping the “questions” separate (the “social question” and the “freedom question”). Arendt risks falling from sublimity into ridicule. given that he wrongly identifies all human activity with “labor power”. she has to capitulate and admit that “private interests” will always interfere with “public” ones (ch. Now. Like Weber. Again. For Marx. whatever the merits of the American Revolution. contra Weber. to the “freedom” of living labor. its lofty ideals never escaped from the “gravitational pull” of private interests. until these break loose from its strictures. meaning thereby that human beings are “condemned” to “scarcity” and that “labor” is condemned to remain “labor power”. it is impossible for “living labor” to be anything but “potentially free” as a phylogenetic immanent quality of “being human”: it is only under the violent command of the capitalist that living labor is turned politically into unfree “labor power” – meaning therefore. even James Harrington (in ‘Oceana’. Marx instead insists that the Political is the tool that poses a barrier to the development of the forces of production.3. and force the “abolition” of the State. instead. Hamilton or Madison might say in this regard! (For this alone. which is the meaning and source of the “power” in a capitalist society. but see also Negri. Our central aim here is to understand what relationship there is between “freedom” and “labor” in Weber’s work and how this crucial difference is articulated in the political institutions of the society of capital. or rather. pp.6. depending on the formal ability of the labor force to frame its “market demand”. Arendt does not go “to the root of the question”.290-1). in the Discours sur l’Inegalite’ parmi les Hommes.
Nevertheless. as Negri points out in Insurgencies [at 18. a Schumpeterian Kreislauf that does not allow for “a remnant of ‘individual’ freedom” in the sense of Entwicklung (evolution as trans-crescence) – it is the impossible “re-solution” or “equilibration” or Ver-gleich-ung . The same can be said of Nietzsche. potentia from potestas and freedom from liberty – because she too can see the Economics as the sphere of “necessity” which.1 of her book).an account of the aetiologies of “the two revolutions”. true to Jasperian-Heideggerian form. “astronomical-mechanical or geometric” notion of “revolution” (expounded in ch. consistently. the Sovereign is not “ab-solved” from the Political because the “scientific hypothesis”. the “truth” of the intuitus (Leibniz) in the identity of “laws” with “self-evidence” or “necessity” is impossible – because Nietzsche denies that anything – including logico-mathematics! – is “self-evident”! The meaning of the Rationalisierung is all here! (Marcuse sees right.2]. one empiricistpolitical [the American] and the other rationalist-economic [the French]. Arendt’s implicit critique of Weber is similar to Schmitt’s. does the same! “On Revolution” is dedicated to Karl! Cf. but he simplifies the problematic by not tackling this “link-lex-nomos” between “labor” as “labor power” and as “living labor” and the “sociality” underlying both! Arendt. what Schelling calls “a lifeless machine” in that it is strictly deterministic in its “reduction” of God to a “receptacle” for Nature) “system” is “stagnant”. Jaspers’s notion of das Umgreifende [“tutto-circonfondente”] and Heidegger on “Absolute” in Schelling’s ‘Essence’. it is a “mechanical equilibrium”. die Diktatur. will lead to the “irresistible”.9. ch. who starts from Hobbesian lines like Weber but then applies them unflinchingly. his virtually total neglect of Arendt’s truly “revolutionary” resurrection of the notion of “constituent power” and “insurrection” means that the latter is worth infinitely more than Habermas’s neoScholastic byzantine divagations on the “total constitutional order” of the Sozialstaat!) Curiously. as with Weber who copies him. more geometrico until he gets to the ‘Leviathan’. Here. This is why Arendt claims that “the social question” is separate from “freedom” – hence her effort to distinguish “power” from “authority”.) The Hobbesian mechanical (and Spinoza’s more geometrico pantheism. if consistently adhered to.
And above all a nation entirely without any political will.' Admittedly. he had a son whose truly modest qualities of statesmanship he overestimated to an astonishing degree. is indicated by some very simple facts and considerations. far below the level it had already attained twenty years previously. Whether a parliament is of high or low intellectual quality depends on whether great problems are not only discussed but are conclusively decided there. He did not recruit. the naively moralising legend of our litterateurs would have us believe that cause and effect were in fact the other way found. self-evident on any sober reflection. In . In no sense did the great statesman leave behind a political tradition. accustomed to assume that the great statesman at the head of the nation would take care of political matters for them. the State-Machine as the Absolute. nor could he even tolerate. under the label of 'monarchic government’ without criticising the political qualifications of those who filled the chair left  empty by Bismarck and who seized the reins of government with such an astonishing lack of self-doubt. men with an independent cast of mind. he accused himself of having made a mistake in this respect) and was then made to suffer the consequences as part of his own fate. in addition to his furious suspicion of anyone who could possibly be thought of as his successor. after leaving office.or “balance of forces” that “ab-solves” the Sovereign from all need to justify or found its legitimacy and legality: the “laws of the commonwealth” become “self-evident” like Euclid’s and can dispense with explanation or foundation – they are the Absolute. It is well known that. the Sovereign. It was in this area that the most severe damage by far was done. The true state of affairs. The powerlessness of parliament also meant that its intellectual level was very 'low. namely that parliament deserved to remain powerless because of the low quality of parliamentary life. Quotes from Parlament und Regierung What interests us here is the question of the political legacy bequeathed by Bismarck as a result of all these things. It was the nation's misfortune that. he left behind a nation accustomed to submit passively and fatalistically to whatever was decided on its behalf. He left behind a nation entirely lacking in any kind of political education. as a result of his misuse of monarchic sentiment as a cover for his own power interests in the struggle between the political parties. Furthermore. At the same time his enormous prestige had the purely negative consequence of leaving parliament utterly without power. to say nothing of men of character.
the knight and the vassal. provisions. the hierarchical dependency of the worker. rested in (147) each case on the fact that they themselves owned the tools. the modern state is an ‘organisation’ (Betrieb) in exactly the same way as a factory. technical employee. or a private capitalist business. namely the ‘separation’ of the worker from the material means of conducting the activity of the organisation . clerk. both military and civilian. the means of war in the army. Fundamentally they are both exactly the same kind of thing. the assistant in an academic institution and also of the official and soldier of the state rests in every case on the fact that the tools. the Commendatar.other words. political or military functions. Looked at from a social-scientific point of view. it depends on whether anything happens in parliament and on how much depends on what happens there. and it is quite ridiculous for our litterateurs to imagine that there is the slightest difference between the mental work done in the office of a private firm and that performed in an office of the state. and lived off them while they were carrying out those functions. (146) The relative independence of the craftsman or the home-worker. indeed this is its specific historical characteristic. (146-7) Whether an organisation is a modern state apparatus engaging in power politics or cultural politics (Kulturpolitik) or pursuing military aims. (147) This apparatus is the common feature shared . the freehold farmer. Conversely.the means of production in the economy. The modern high-ranking officer even conducts battles from his ‘office’. and the financial means in all of them. (145) In statistical terms the numbers of office workers in private firms are growing faster than manual workers. finances or weapons which they used to perform their economic. (144-5) In a modern state real rule. and in those of a political master in the other. or whether it is merely the reluctantly tolerated rubber-stamping machine for a ruling bureaucracy. or the means of research in a university institution or laboratory. provisions and finances which are indispensable both (or the performance of his work and for his economic existence are concentrated in the hands of an entrepreneur in the one case. which becomes effective in everyday life neither through parliamentary speeches nor through the pronouncements of monarchs but through the day-to-day management of the administration. necessarily and inevitably lies in the hands of officialdom. the same decisive economic basis is common to both.
although they are nowadays by far the most important bearers of the political will of those who are ruled by the bureaucracy. Or rather this apparatus is the form taken by that very process of concentration. (148) The fact that parties are formations resting on free recruitment is an (152) obstacle to their regulation. In Germany. the same progress towards bureaucratisation as is taking place in economic life and in state administration is now also to be found in the parties. Besides this. Today increasing 'socialisation’ inevitably means increasing bureaucratisation. handed down by tradition which. with the 'concentration of the material means of operation'. (151-2) Alternatively. it requires a system of justice and administration which in 147 principle at any rate. because of their respect for tradition. they strive for the patronage of office. The main inner foundation of the modern capitalist business is calculation. They have concrete political goals. too 'progress’ towards the bureaucratic state which adjudicates in accordance with rationally established law and administers according to rationally devised regulations stands in the closest relation to the development of modern capitalism.by all these formations its existence and function being inseparably linked. Failure to understand this fact underlies the ideas of litterateurs who would like there to be only organisations created by state regulation. both as cause and effect. The existence of parties is acknowledged by no constitution and by no law (at least here in Germany). parties are essentially voluntarily created organisations directed at free recruitment which is necessarily continuous. However many devices they employ to bind their clientele permanently to them. ‘the citizens of the state’ (Staatsburger). parties can be mainly parties of a particular Weltanschauung. for parties to be a mixture of both types. are only capable of slow modification. the Centre Party in the 1870s and the Social Democratic Party before it became thoroughly bureaucratised are fairly pure examples of this type of party. In order to exist. function in a rationally calculable manner according to stable. however. in contrast to all corporations which are firmly delimited by law or by contract. Nowadays their goal is always the canvassing of votes for elections to political positions or to an electoral corporation. however. Finally. general norms just as one calculates the predictable performance of a machine. Historically.(152) . in which case their aim is to achieve victory for substantive political ideals. not the 'voluntary' formations which have grown up on the battlefield of today's social order. It is normal.
parties still cling to the system of administration by local notables which once dominated all kinds of association in the Middle Ages and is still predominant in small and medium-sized municipalities today. but not as bearers of decisive. 'leading scholars' and whatever else they are called as an advertising device.above all . This is increasingly the case. The same is true of the parties. and its ‘discipline' is an absolute prerequisite of success. on the electoral battlefield or on the military battlefield). and only as such. everyday work. as in France (where the whole parliamentary misere stems from the absence of bureaucratised parties). and .in China. what would it mean in practice? Would it perhaps mean that the steel housing (staalhartes Gehause) of modern industrial work would break open? No! It would mean rather that the management of businesses taken into state ownership or into some form of ‘communal . who are unfamiliar with it imagine it to be. History records no instance of it having disappeared again once it had achieved complete and sole dominance . and it will quite certainly not be a consequence of this war. technical specialisation and training. Nowadays the parties consider using such 'respected citizens’. In theory one could probably conceive of the progressive elimination of private capitalism . distinguished from other historical bearers of the modern.the more its existence is determined by power (whether in the shape of power struggles in the market place. specialised. modern bureaucracy is distinguished by a characteristic which makes its inescapability much more absolute than theirs. namely rational. however. The future belongs to bureaucratization… Bureaucracy is. because the entire organisation of providing even the most basic needs in life then depends on his performance of his duties.The only thing that matters here is the fact that in the administration of mass associations the permanently appointed officials with specialised training always form the core of the apparatus. rational way of ordering life by the fact of its far greater inescapability. the larger the association becomes. Egypt.although this is certainly not the trivial matter some litterateurs. But assuming this were to be achieved at some point. modern official has once begun to rule. and partly here too. (154) Bureaucracy is certainly far from being the only modern form of organisation. just as the factory is far from being the only form in which manufacture can be conducted. In party politics the situation is doomed to disappear whereby. his power is absolutely unbreakable. (156) But wherever the trained. or in a less consistent form in the later Roman Empire and Byzantium) except when the whole culture supporting it also disappeared completely…. the more complicated its tasks are. Compared with all these older forms. But these are the two forms which have put their stamp on the present age and the foreseeable future.
as in those states in the past where enforced labour existed. Is there any appreciable difference between the lives of the workers and clerks in the Prussian state-run mines and railways and those of people working in large private capitalist enterprises? They are less free. at least potentially. This housing. its delimitation of areas of responsibility. as in fact happens in factories. in the social area. Assuming that precisely this possibility were to be an inescapable fate who could help smiling at the anxiety of our litterateurs lest future social and political developments might bestow on us too much 'individualism' or ‘democracy' or . The situation would resemble that of ancient Egypt. will be augmented by shackles chaining each individual to his firm (the beginnings of this are to be found in so-called 'welfare arrangements') to his class (by an increasingly rigid structure of ownership) and perhaps at some time in the future to his occupation (by state provision for needs on a 'liturgical' principle. A lifeless machine is congealed spirit. thus keeping one 157 another in check. so praised by our naive litterateurs. its regulations and its graduated hierarchy of relations of obedience. Combined with the dead machine. however. against one another. state bureaucracy would rule alone. whereas they now operate alongside and. perhaps. if they consider that the ultimate and only value by which the conduct of their affairs is to be decided is good administration and provision for their needs by officials (that is ‘good’ in the ‘pure' technical sense of rational administration). after all. Bureaucracy achieves this. This same congealed spirit is. Private and public bureaucracies would then be merged into a single hierarchy. an organisation of the ruled based on their social and occupational status were to be attached (which in truth means subordinated) to the bureaucracy. just like the slaves in the ancient state of Egypt. incomparably better than any other structure of rule. men may have to submit powerlessly. also embodied in that living machine which is represented by bureaucratic organisation with its specialisation of trained. it is in the process of manufacturing the housing of that future serfdom to which. technical work. but in an incomparably more rational and hence more inescapable form. If private capitalism were eliminated.economy' would also become bureaucratised. because there is no hope of winning any battle against the state bureaucracy and because no help can be summoned from any authority with an interest in opposing that bureaucracy and its power whereas this is possible in relation to private capitalism. whereby associations structured along occupational lines carry a burden of state responsibilities). It is only this fact that gives the machine the power to force men to serve it and thus to rule and determine their daily working lives. That would be the entire difference. This housing would become even more indestructible if.
for there is (3) a third question. there is only one possible set of questions to be asked about future forms of political organisation: (1) how is it at all possible to salvage any remnants of 'individual' freedom of movement in any sense given this all-powerful trend towards bureaucratisation? It is. the most important of all. a piece of cruel self-deception to think that even the most conservative amongst us could carry on living at all today without these achievements from the age of the 'Rights of Man'. according to all known constitutions. In the sphere of the state the same applies to the leading politician. The leading spirit. The army commander is an officer and thus formally no differ159 ent from all other officers. If the general manager of a large enterprise is the hired official of a limited company. but certainly in substance. which arises from any consideration of what is not performed by bureaucracy as such. Or to be more accurate. crushing power of this constantly growing stratum of society and control it effectively? How is democracy even in this restricted sense to be at all possible? Yet this too is not the only question of concern to us here. after all. how can there be any guarantee that forces exist which can impose limits on the enormous. which is our concern here. The entrepreneur. It is clear that its effectiveness has strict internal limits. political affairs and in the private economic sphere. he and he alone is not required to demonstrate any kind of qualification based on training. is something different from an ‘official’. sits in an 'office'. However. This fact indicates that the meaning and purpose (Sinn) of his position differs from that of other officials in the same way as the position of the entrepreneur and managing director in a private firm is a special one. The fact that. Yet much more striking is the fact that. unlike other officials. for there is another which is directly relevant to our present concerns: (2) In view of the growing indispensability and hence increasing power of state officialdom. the ‘entrepreneur’ in the one case. his legal position is also no different in principle from that of other officials.the like or that 'true freedom’ would not emerge until the present ‘anarchy' in our economic production and the ‘party machinations' in our parliaments had been eliminated in favour of ‘social order’ and an ‘organic structure’ . he can be dismissed at any time and can demand to be discharged distinguishes his position outwardly from that of many. Not necessarily in form. the politician in the other. that of the bureaucracy in the state and the economy? In view of the fundamental fact that the advance of bureaucratisation is unstoppable.which means in favor of the pacifism of social impotence under the wing of the one quite definitely inescapable power. but not all other officials. And . both in the management of public. he is meant to be something different. The leading minister is formally an official with a pensionable salary. too. An army commander does the same. let us put this question to one side for now.
The official should stand above the parties. This is what is demanded by the spirit of office. a condition of the duration of any rule. Unfortunately we in Germany have seen the proof of this in our own political life. Like 'leaders' officials too are expected to make independent decisions and show organisational ability and initiative. If a man in a leading position performs his leadership function in the spirit of an 'official’. that it should enjoy a certain measure of inner assent from . The struggle for personal power and the acceptance of full personal responsibility for one’s cause (Sache) which is the consequence of such power . It is. A political leader who behaved like this would deserve our contempt. The difference lies. If his superior then insists on the instruction it is not merely the duty of the official it is also a point of honour for him to carry out that instruction as if it corresponded to his own innermost conviction.this is the very element in which the politician and the entrepreneur live and breathe.this is how it is in fact. whether this be a monarch or the demos. which in truth means that he must remain outside the struggle for power of his own.raise objections. however. thereby demonstrating that his sense of duty to his office overrides his individual wilfulness. Only in part does the difference lie in the kind of achievement expected of this type of person. which means sacrificing something of lesser importance to something of greater importance. is wrong can . ‘Either you give me this instruction or I resign'. if he is a man accustomed to performing his work dutifully and honourably in accordance with regulations and orders then he is useless.and should . even the best organized. and this is largely what determines the demands made on their particular abilities. rather. even a most able one. Let us now turn to parliament. It is irrelevant 160 whether his superior is a 'public authority' or a 'corporation' or an 'assembly’ from which he has an imperative mandate. He will often be obliged to make compromises. If. after all. This is not so. not only in countless individual cases but also on larger issues. in his view. It is typical of litterateurs and of a country lacking any insight into the conduct of its own affairs or into the achievements of its officials. in the kind of responsibility borne by each of them. while the leader alone is elected to carry out the 'interesting' tasks which make special intellectual demands. An official who receives an order which. even to imagine that the work of an official amounts to no more than the subaltern performance of routine duties. he is incapable of saying to his master. First and foremost modern parliaments are assemblies representing the people who are ruled by the means of bureaucracy. whether he is at the head of a private firm or a state. he is not a leader but merely what Bismarck called a miserable ‘clinger’ to office.
the power to determine the manner in which the state procures its finances has been parliament's decisive instrument of power.at least those sections of the ruled who carry weight in society. whose role in helping to shape policy is not based on the formal prerogatives of the crown (or at least not mainly or exclusively on such rights). In this case. (165-6) . which will be very great in any case but will vary according to his political astuteness and his determination to reach his goals. Then parliament is a positive political factor alongside the monarch. For certain acts. the leaders of the decisive parties in parliament at any given moment necessarily share positive responsibility for the power of the state. so long as parliament’s only means of lending weight to the population’s complaints about the administration is to deny the government finances. The situation is different in countries where parliament has established the principle that the leaders of the administration must either be drawn directly from its own ranks (a 'parliamentary system' in the true sense). but on his influence. whether one loves or hates the whole parliamentary business it is not to be got rid of. parliament is excluded from participating positively in political leadership. Admittedly. and ever since the time when the prerogatives of the estates were first created. and hence being fobbed off by them with the irreducible minimum of information and being regarded as a mere hindrance. whereas a parliament of the ruled confronting a ruling body of officials with negative politics is a variety of authoritarian state (Obrigkeitsstaat) . the public powers are obliged to use the form of an agreement in law after prior consultation with parliament. For this reason they must give an account of themselves. and subject to verification by parliament or its committees (parliamentary accountability of the leaders») and they must lead the administration in accordance with guidelines approved by parliament (parliamentary control of the administration). Today. On the other hand. It can and will then engage only in 'negative politics’ confronting the leaders of the administration like some hostile power. or that such leaders require the expressly stated confidence of a majority in parliament if they are to remain in office. exhaustively. the bureaucracy in turn tends to be regarded by parliament and the voters as a caste of careerists and bailiffs ranged against the people who are the object of its tiresome and largely superfluous arts. the most important of these is the budget. or that they (166) must at least yield to an expression of no confidence (parliamentary selection of the leaders). to refuse its assent to legislative proposals and to put forward motions of its own which lack binding force. the right to control the budget. this is what is called a popular democracy (Volksstaat). Rightly or wrongly. what interests us here is the practical significance of the position of parliament. an assembly of impotent grumblers and know-alls. Today parliaments are the means whereby this minimum of assent is made manifest.
A party could never permit itself such an attitude if the aim of its existence were to share power and responsibility in the state. powerful figures at local and party level. This element of 'Caesarism' is ineradicable in mass states. The entire broad mass of the deputies functions only as a following for the 'leader' . The 'principle of the small number' (that is the superior political manoeuverability of small leading groups) always rules political action. but genuinely political qualities of leadership can grow and work their way up through a process of selection. Only a working. (176-7) . as opposed to a merely talking parliament can be the soil in which not merely demagogic. parliament must be transformed into a working parliament. A working parliament is one which continuously shares in the work of government and the control of the administration. This did not exist here before the war. There is no question of this anywhere in the world. often all-too-human interests do not at least have the effect of actually preventing the selection of men with talents for leadership. for this would mean that every party member throughout the country would know that the survival of the party and all the interests tying him to it depended on the party subordinating itself to whichever of its people possessed leadership qualities. not even in England.or the small group of leaders who form the cabinet. After the war is over. This is particularly evident in true democracy. That is how things should be. as indeed happens in all guilds. our parliament today is completely directed towards merely negative politics. for in such a place only the instincts of the guild prevail. But it is also this element alone which guarantees that responsibility towards the public rests with particular individuals whereas it would be completely dissipated within a many-headed governing assembly. (174) The only thing that matters is that these universally human. This is only possible within a party if its leaders have the prospect of power and responsibility in the state as the reward for success. But this alone certainly does not guarantee that this will be the result. Only then is it possible. however. Otherwise we shall be left with the same old malaise. It goes without saying that this will happen in a powerless parliament restricted to negative politics. For it is not the many-headed assembly of parliament as such that can 'govern' and 'make’ policy. and they obey them blindly as long as the leaders are successful.Down to the smallest procedural details and conventions in both the Reichstag and the parties. I know of several cases of young talents with leadership qualities within the parties simply being held down by old long-serving.
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