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Rationalizing Resistance: Congruent trajectories of Gramsci, Weber, and social movement theory

Enku MC Ide

Classical Social Movement Theory SOC 651 Dr. Patrick H. Mooney The University of Kentucky January 13, 2012

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Acts of resistance are moral acts. They should be carried out not because they are effective, but because they are right. Those who begin these acts are always few. They are dismissed by those in the liberal class, who hide their cowardice behind their cynicism. Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class One must speak of a struggle for a new culture, that is, for a new moral lifeuntil it becomes a new way of feeling and seeing reality. Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks

Antonio Gramsci and Max Weber were contemporaries, although from opposed traditions. Regardless, each was deeply concerned with social dynamics and undertook analyses that grounded them in taking on similar questions. Many of their particular concerns are relevant in dialogue with new social movement theory, as their analyses of the roles of cultural elements and the relations between the subjective and objective aspects of social life have been explored more recently in the movement literature. For example, an organizational leader, Gramscis organizational theory shows remarkable congruence with Webers, and each was concerned with interactions between leadership and the rank-and-file. Webers theme of rationalization, as well, will be used to illuminate many processes recognized by Gramsci. A key concern of social movement theory is the place and character of organization within a social movement, with some scholars equating movements with the organizations that arise within them. While avoiding this reductionism, this essay explores aspects of organizational and movement dynamics as they relate to social movements, particularly framing and movement ideologies, organizational leadership, and political opportunity structures. Social movement theory: According to Habermas, social movements exist in the social space at the seam between system and life-world, or between an economic and administrative system which rules by power and money and the lived experiences and values of individuals and communities, respectively (Habermas 1981: 36). Such movements defend popular interests and create
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autonomous and democratic spaces for marginalized communities (Buechler 1995: 433). Zald defines social movements broadly as purposive and collective attempt[s] of a number of people to change individuals or societal institutions and structures (1966: 329). We could add to this definition that social movements at times try to also influence national and community cultures, particularly collective representations in the durkheimian sense (Meyer and Whittier 1994: 277). Further, Steggenborg notes that many scholars have focused on the social movement organization (SMO) as a manageable unit of analysis (1998: 181), but recognizes that this excludes the fluidity of social movement communities and sentiment pools that can influence mobilization within and across social movements, times, and spaces New social movement theory purposively sought to bring culture back into social movement analysis after periods of analyses dominated by collective behavior and rational choice theories. One avenue for exploring movement cultures has been to analyze how movements frame their concerns and the processes by which this framing is formulated and disseminated. Snow et al. outline specific frame alignment processes and tasks of social movements, whereby possible social movement actors come to see personal misfortunes as both unjust and mutable (1986: 466). In seeing social conditions as mutable, possible social movement constituents are able to recognize themselves, collectively, as change-agents. Frames can exist at multiple levels, from localized issue-based frames to trans-movement master frames with temporally lasting impacts throughout cycles of movement activity. In line with framing, social movement constituents must build a collective identity, described as both a major prerequisite and a major accomplishment of social movement organizing (Buechler 1995: 466). Further, although movements arise in the context of increased political opportunities, the framing and collective identities generated and sustained by these movements can provide a

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spin off effect, with other movements emerging in response to the culture of a protest cycle, rather than to political opportunities (Staggenborg 1998: 180). Movement culture is expressed both through framing and movement ideologies, as well as organizational structures. For example, Buechler notes, the use of informal, egalitarian forms of organization is best understood not as the result of a strategic calculus but as the expression of some of the core values of a given movement constituency (1993: 230). From a political opportunity perspective, social movements arise in concert with long term social dynamics. According to McAdam, changes in social organization and relations can simultaneously improve the bargaining position of subaltern groups while hindering elites abilities to suppress mobilization (McAdam 1982: 42-43). When such objective conditions manifest, however, mobilization will only occur if oppressed groups have organization (either formal organization or an informal community) to serve as a relation of communication, and if cognitive liberation is undergone through framing processes (McAdam 1982: 50). Social movements are based in social networks that can take the form of an organization or community. Although Lo sees community as based in geographic proximity, we can extend this conceptualization, particularly in the current age of digital communication, to goal- and identity-based communities (e.g. the Black community, the queer community), including associative movements with proactive goals (Lo 1992: 239). The formation of a collective identity, then, may extend beyond a physical locale in similar ways as Saids nation-based imagined communities as people are connected by networks, culture, identity, and participation in social movement activities (Staggenborg 1998: 182). In this vein, Staggenborg recognizes that movements may lack formal organization and exist as socially submerged networks. Springing from such communities, social movement organizations (SMOs) may

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emerge. When this is the case, movements may increase in efficiency but also risk the emergence of bureaucratic structures, with SMO leaders and staff increasingly focusing on organizational continuity rather than on movement goals, fatalistically described by Michels as the iron law of oligarchy (Zald 1966: 327). Gramsci: Gramscian theory provides particular challenges and opportunities for analyzing contemporary social movements. Gramsci, like Marx and other revolutionary theorists, was concerned with macro-level revolutionary social change, and his discussion of reformist conjectural movements is only in relation to such an overthrow. Gramsci, therefore, may have dismissed current reformist social movements as bourgeoisie projects, particularly those which demand increased government regulation or protections for minorities. Regardless, Gramscian analysis shows significant affinity with social movement theory and research through a reformulation of classical, orthodox Marxism. Specifically, Gramsci has been seen as a primary Marxist of the superstructure(s), taking culture and politics as central, not only as reflections of characteristics of the relations and means of production, but as having relative autonomy in a dialectical relationship both among superstructural elements and with the economic base. The movement toward socialism, then, for Gramsci, is not an automatic function of economic development, but rather an active political project (Burawoy 2003: 213). This viewpoint allows us to apply his theories of social change (toward socialism) to both radical and reformist strategies for justice within the advanced capitalist nations even when radical elements are latent or absent from social movement demands and perspectives. Gramscis drew heavily on Marxs earlier writings, particularly The Theses on Feuerbach and The Paris Manuscripts. However, economic-reductionist views (which find support, particularly

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in Marxs later works) gained predominance in the Second International (1889-1916) which dominated Marxist discourse during Gramscis formative engagement with socialist thought. Political movements in Gramscis time, specifically the rise of Fascism in his native Italy and the rise of Soviet Communism, caused Gramsci to take political movements themselves more seriously in his analyses. Why, for example, had many Italian workers who had previously supported the workers movement fallen into line with the rise of Fascism, and how did a communist revolution succeed in underdeveloped Russia, an event which Gramsci termed the revolution against [Marxs] Capital? In grappling with such questions, Gramsci was one of the first Marxist theorists to incorporate a certain amount of idealism into his analyses, although always highlighting links between ideas, intellectuals, and their relations to social classes and the economic structure. Intellectuals are not fully autonomous, for Gramsci, from the primary classes of workers and owners in the relations of production. Rather, intellectuals are organically tied to such classes, and thus the ideologies they help to spread can serve the function of conservatism, in the case of bourgeoise organic intellectuals, or revolution, in the case of proletarian organic intellectuals (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 309). This move anticipates standpoint theory in contemporary sociological theory if broadened to incorporate status into his class-based model. In a statement clearly in-line with later New Social Movement Theory, Gramsci writes: One must speak of a struggle for a new culture, that is, for a new moral lifeuntil it becomes a new way of feeling and seeing reality (Gramsci in Markels 2003: 85 emphasis added). These struggles for a new culture can be seen in many contemporary social movements, as workers and oppressed peoples build their organizing experiences and social power through an ongoing war of position in conjectural political struggles. Gramsci distinguishes between conjectural politics and a war of position as opposed to a war of

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maneuver related to organic politics. The former relate to social issues that do not address the central power relation of ownership of the means of production and social movements related to such concerns, while the latter involve political questions which challenge such relations and a revolutionary movement (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 222-224). Gramscis writings are sociological in that he presents a clear theoretical model for understanding society, expanding the Marxist base/superstructure model to incorporate dialectical multicausality among the economic base and superstructural elements, including the government and spheres of civil society. According to Burawoy, this reformulation places Gramsci as one of the founders of Sociological Marxism (2003: 213). For Gramsci, advanced capitalism is stabilized by the flowering of a civil society, including voluntary organizations, the media, and public education, through which the ruling class disperses conservative ideologies as socially-held common sense, thus containing class struggle (Burawoy 2003: 198; Forgacs 2000: 420). These ideological elements are called hegemony, and function through an internalization of social assumptions among the masses which lead to spontaneous consent to power holders (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 301; Markels 2003: 85). Hegemony is formed and nurtured by intellectuals, those individuals whose primary social function is social organization and the elaboration of ideas, serving as political and cultural intermediaries in social reproduction (Forgacs 2000: 300; Markels 2003: 85). Most intellectuals in advanced capitalism, including those in the press, business and government leaders, and many union leaders, are organic leaders of the bourgeoisie. When functioning as organic intellectuals of the working class, intellectuals help in giving form to a counterhegemony based in the experiences and perspectives of that class (King and Szelenyi 2004: 39). For Gramsci, counterhegemony is formed in the dialectical relationship between the

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masses and intellectuals, mediated through the working class political party (Markels 2002: 101). Whereas hegemonic ideology upholds the dominant class prestige and right to power, counterhegemony undermines the legitimacy of the dominant class (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 307). In the formation of organic working class intellectuals and their elaboration of counterhegemony, subaltern groups (for Gramsci, the working class) comes to recognize themselves as distinct as a historic agent of social change through the formation of a critical selfconsciousness (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 265). Weber: Webers concepts of social action, rationalization and legitimation are rich sources for illuminating certain aspects of social movements. Webers theory of social change, particularly in his analyses of social status and power, has been described as a nascent conflict theory (Collins 1990a.: 4). Weber sought to understand social action, or those behaviors oriented toward the other, thereby incorporating subjective and objective elements of social experiences (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 218). One of Webers central concepts, rationalization, takes on multiple meanings in the authors work, but generally indicates the shifting relations between individuals motivations and the actions they pursue (Collins 1990: 62). Most important for an analysis of social movements are value- and instrumental-rationality, indicating those actions that are determined by a conscious belief in the value [of an action] for its own sakeindependently of its prospects of success and those actions based in a choice between alternative and conflicting ends, respectively (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 227, 226). Affective actions, based on emotions and traditional social action, based on culture and habit, are also important but garnered less attention by Weber, as he saw these as withering in relation to the growth of instrumental-rationality, based in calculability and consistency. Different forms of

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social action may predominate in any given time or arena of social life, but when taken to excess at the expense of other forms of social action, any one can lead to a substantive irrationality. For example, bureaucratic components may increase organizational efficiency, but an excess of bureaucratic policies can, ironically, become difficult to navigate and impede organizational objectives. In conjunction with social action, Weber concerned himself with social power, or the ability to overcome opposition and achieve ones objectives. Key to Webers views of social power are legitimacy and status. Legitimacy, for Weber is the willingness of followers to accept orders given to them as properly to be obeyed, (Collins 1990b.: 155). However, legitimacy is not an internalized consent but an emotional feeling that arises from assessing the prestige of the state at any given moment and thereby the revolutionary downfall of a state is due [partially] to its loss of legitimacy. (Collins 1990b.: 155, 164). While Weber spoke of the legitimacy of state leaders, the concept may be applied to organizational and community leadership as well. Unlike Marx, for whom class is the pivotal (social) relation, for Weber, class is one of a menu of relations and processes around which social analysis is organized (Olin Wright 2009). Weber focused more attention on status groups, or those groups based in particular lifestyles that exert normative pressure on their members (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 222). Further, status groups carry honor in relation to one another which causes stratification via a monopolization of ideal and material goods or opportunities (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 222, 252, 253). For example, women historically have collectively carried less social power than men and as such women were excluded from owning certain kinds of property or having powerful occupations. Congruent Trajectories: Gramsci and Weber applied to social movement theory:
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Webers sociology and Gramscis social theory show remarkable congruence, even though it is unlikely that the two writers were aware of one anothers work. (King and Szelenyi 2004: 39) Both writers can be seen as having an ongoing conversation with Marx, both revising and expanding Marxs writings in light of new political and social events (Gramsci) and newly available historical scholarship (Weber). Gramsci himself was hostile to sociology, seeing the discipline as unscientific in its claim to political neutrality, in contradiction of Webers ideal of value-free science and objectivity (See Gramsci 2003: 243-245). Further, although Gramsci has been called one of the founders of sociological Marxism through his incorporation of idealist elements into his Marxist theory, he may have discounted much of Webers work as overly idealistic, associating idealism with a social utopia by which the intellectuals think of themselves as independent, autonomous, [and] endowed with a character of their own as opposed to being organically connected to classes and their political struggles (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 303). As contemporaries, but from opposed traditions, the two theorists addressed many of the same themes, particularly bureaucracy and legitimacy of leaders. Both writers also developed a theory of Western politics. For Weber, the political situation was dominated by the states ability to successfully undergo conflict with external enemies and for Gramsci the state was stabilized to the extent that internal elites were able to dominate their domestic working class through hegemonic or despotic means (Olin Wright 2010: 288-289). Both writers, however, developed multicausal theories of social development, with Gramsci allowing capitalism to develop in multiple directions, assuming diverse configurations of state, society, and economy and Weber focusing on continuous efforts to achieve consistency among balances and tensions between opposing elements in the rational development of capitalism (Burawoy 2003:

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206; Collins 1990a.: 74; Collins 1990b.: 36). In approaching similar topics from different vantages and with different underlying assumptions, the writings of Gramsci and Weber, taken together, can highlight nuances that theories based on one author alone might overlook. As such, this project reflects what Erik Olin Wright describes as pragmatic realism in recognizing that different ways of analyzingcan all potentially contribute to a fuller understanding by identifying different causal processes at work in shapingcapitalist society (2009: 101). In a Gramscian analysis, social movements exist within civil society, incorporating organized communities, voluntary organizations, minority political parties and the press, reflecting Habermas structural location of social movements as existing between the lifeworld of communities and systems of power. A social formation moves from the lifeworld into civil society through organization. As such, a community with no organization, based in status and value-rationality may only harbor a latent social movement. When perspectives and objectives are actively formulated within the community, we can see an ascendence of instrumental rationality and the beginnings of a social movement. Given Gramscis focus on working class revolutionary organizing, he may have been ambivalent about many contemporary social movements as organs of civil society may either resist or embrace the are dominant hegemony. For example, while radical social movements may confront the dominant hegemony, many liberal social movements may fight for greater inclusion into the power structure or may argue for increased government and corporate responsibility toward their community. While the former scenario has counterhegemonic potential, the latter two situations may help to strengthen hegemonic discourse among excluded populations and increase the influence of systems of power over these communities. For example, the New Left of the late 1960s to 1970s had several radical elements fighting for a new

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cultural paradigm, based in a general view of political criticism calling for participatory democracy in all aspects of social life, particularly the economy (See: Mills 1960 Letter to the New Left and SDS 1962 Port Huron Statement). However, the inability of radicals in this movement to incorporate heterogeneous demands relevant to specific oppressed communities helped to precipitate a fracturing of the movement, leading to the spinning off of the more radical wings of the feminist and civil rights movements. Eventually, liberal organizations took centrality of these movements, and we have seen a subsequent diversification of elites, particularly in government, and an incorporation of movement demands into the platform and program of the Democratic Party, thus strengthening the hegemonic influence of the system (in a habermasian sense) within these populations. Perhaps the clearest example of hegemonic reproduction among social movements are lifestylist and consumer vote with your dollar movements. While ostensibly trying to create social change, such movements strengthen central aspects of capitalist hegemony: we primarily exist as consumers; consumption is an act of speech, self-expression, and self-fulfillment. Weber described protest movements as being dominated by value-rationality and charismatic leadership, contrasted to the instrumentally-rational action of institutional political action (Collins 1990a.: 42-43). Weber recognized one of the key questions of contemporary social movement theory: institutionalization. According to Weber, movements must take on a sort of political or hierarcratic organization if they are not to remain a purely transitory phenomenon (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 262). For Weber, movements were centered on charismatic personalities. Whereas Gramsci and Weber take different views of charismatic leadership, both recognize that it is an unstable system in relation to other kinds of leadership legitimation (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 262).

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Taken together, Gramscis and Webers views indicate a cyclical pattern in which charismatic leadership may arise and dissolve in relation to the political context. For both theorists, charismatic leaders emerge when there is a disconnect between leaders and the masses. For example, the feminist and civil rights movements emerged, in large part, to challenge the male- and white-dominated states and the cultures hostilities to the incorporation of women and Black Americans in powerful positions. Public and private leaders were not in an organic, dialogic relationships with these communities, and therefore could not incorporate their specific interests into national development or ruling class hegemony. Through organization, these movements precipitated a crisis of hegemony, or crisis of authority within their communities in regard to the government (Gramsci 2003: 210). When a crisis of authority arises, charismatic leaders or men of destiny arise, around which a social movement can consolidate (Gramsci 2003: 210). Such leadership can result in a radical alteration of group members worldviews (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 262). However, such leadership must be transformed into either rationalized or traditionalized authority to remain stable (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 262). If leadership is stabilized through rationalization and organization, then the need for charismatic leadership diminishes. When leadership within an organization, however, becomes remote from the rank-and-file through bureaucratization, this can generate a crisis of authority within the social movement organization itself, thus leading to subsequent rises in charismatic leadership or the dissolution of the movement. Such dissolution can take the form of defeat or co-optation, as movements become entangled in the realities of power politics themselves (Collins 1990a.: 77). For Gramsci, who conceived of the Party as the central form or organizing, mass democratic organization can be combined with clear leadership through a dialectical movement between membership and leadership (Forgacas 2000: 112) through which hegemony

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is formed and nurtured (Markels 2003: 85). Whether a leader is connected to their base in this way is a question of ones social network, as leaders must have active participation in [the] practical life of the rank-and-file (Markels 2003: 86). Collective identity formation and movement framing are central components of New Social Movement Theory, and both Weber and Gramsci took up the question of the subjective aspects of group formation. Although Marx discussed the need for the working class people to become aware of their shared identity and interests, transforming itself from a class in itself to a class for itself, Weber diversified this scheme to include groups based on conventional styles of life, such as ethnicities and sexes, or status groups (Collins 1990b.: 6; Weber in Calhoun 2007: 252). When group designations based on status or prestige come to the fore, this encourages social interaction among group members, with the subsequent formation of group norms around which a collective identity is demarcated (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 222, 252). It is possible that organizations will emerge from status groups as a rational means toward furthering the general interests of group members, with Weber providing the example of the trade union growing out of the class situation. This is not inevitable, however, and for organization to occur the situation must be distinctly recognizable and give rise to social action (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 249250). Such a task is clearly central in the framing literature, with Snow et al. noting that movements must render events or occurrences [as] meaningful in order to organize experience and guide action (1986: 464). The formation of counterhegemonic movement frame takes place in a process of rationalization. Such framing may begin with a base in emotional or traditional concerns. For example, Deborah Gould has outlined in Moving Politics, anger and shame related to the AIDS epidemic were central in the early gay liberation movement, although emotion has often been

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overlooked in the movement literature. Many commentators have noted the overwhelming anger of the Tea Party protests, demanding to Take the country back. It may be that righteous indignation may serve as a catalyst for movement organizing, both at the organizational and individual level. This emotional energy is often tied to traditionalist concerns, reflected in the framing literature as frame resonance. For example, the claims and demands of a movement will have more support in the general public if they are able to tap into previously-held values and traditions. As such, the Tea Party revives the Gadson Dont Tread on Me Flag, and the feminist movement has called up liberal notions of equality. Radical movements, as well, draw on traditions within historic anarchist or socialist movements. Marx recognized this in the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, noting that, in the early stage of revolutionary movements, activists anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past or the dead of world historyto their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. Emotion- and tradition-based social action may continue throughout the lifecourse of a movement, being drawn up again in particular situations. Specifically, highly-charged protests may revive the emotional impetus for action. However, when these forms of social action predominate a community or organizational culture, this may be unsustainable for generating further action. In the first phase of rationalization, framing takes the form of an ethical field, according to Gramsci (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 264), dominated by value-rational social action. Growing out of ethical framing, communities can begin to form political consciousness or progressive self-consciousness as their formation of a counterhegemonic discourse moves into that [field] of politics proper (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 264). Although for Lenin, such consciousness had to come from the outside, via intellectuals, Gramsci notes that movement

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intellectuals, to the extent that they are legitimate, serve only to systematize and articulate the theoretical and practical knowledge of the community, subsuming the linguistic skills necessary for intellectual work to the movement community (King and Szelenyi 2004: 41). Webers analysis of group formation provides a strong foundation for Gramscis concept of collective identity, described as a critical self-consciousness that begins in the ethical field and is translated into politics proper (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 264). Similarly in the New Social Movement literature, the first key to framing of a grievance is to label a condition unjust (ethical) and mutable (political) through a processes labeled cognitive liberation (Snow et al. 1986: 466). Once this framing is accepted by a group, the shared belief can unite activists and, as Gramsci described the function of hegemonies influence moral conduct and the direction of will (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 264). For Gramsci, a Socialist (and later Communist) Party leader, the working class must have a critical self-consciousness in order to distinguish itself within society (Gramsci in Lemert 2010: 265). The common sense of society, hegemony for Gramsci, was formulated, universalized, and disseminated in the interest of the dominant class. However, with organization, subaltern classes were also able to create an ideology based in their own lived realities which challenged capitalist hegemony. The formation of a counterhegemony could be described as a holistic and amplified view of collective identity formation and movement framing, similar to the creation of a master protest frame. Counterhegemonic ideologies do not spontaneously arise from lived experiences, but rather are formed in a dialectic between the intellectuals and the masses (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 334). Organizational and community leaders are cast by Grasmci to be intellectuals, specialized in conceptual and philosophical elaboration of ideas (Gramsci in Lemert 2010:

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265). To the extent that these leaders do function in dialogue with and by the consent of organizational membership, they are seen by Gramsci to be organic intellectuals with a stake to legitimacy. Both Weber and Gramsci took seriously the question of legitimacy, with Gramsci serving as the first in the Marxist tradition to do so (King and Szelenyi 2004: 39). For Weber, types of legitimacy were related to his typology of social action, with rational-legal legitimacy through democratic elections serving as the basis of legitimate leadership in a system marked by instrumental-rationality. However, for both theorists, bureaucratic tendencies endangered this legitimacy. Weber notes that bureaucracy and democracy are at odds, and that under an overlybureaucratic system, a formal election may hide an appointment or may serve only as the mere acclamation of a candidate designated by the party chief[or] for the election of one of two designated candidates (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 267). For Gramsci, The bureaucracy is the most dangerouslyconservative force with bureaucratic leadership risking becoming anachronistic if it feels itself independent of the mass of members (Gramsci 2003: 211). Democracy, therefore inevitably comes into conflict with the bureaucratic tendencies (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 272). Both Weber and Gramsci recognized that internal organizational dynamics may favor bureaucratization, with organizational necessities and the material interests of followers taking precedence over movement ideals (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 191; Weber in Calhoun 2007: 262). However, each also retained the possibility of democratic functioning staving off or fighting back against such a tendency, in contrast to Michels iron law that organizational growth is always accompanied by the formation of a bureaucratic oligarchy.

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According to the theory of political opportunity structures, shifts in social relations make rebellion more likely if objective power relations grow to favor subaltern groups which have some form of extant organization and relations of communication. Gramsci spoke to this as the relations of force which emerge from the economic structure and the political ability to mobilize militarily or despotically (Burawoy 2003: 224). For Weber, a regimes legitimacy depends in large part on external military force, but he does not speak to military mobilization against internal rebellions except to note that bureaucratic governments and centralized militaries were necessary to pacify a territory (Collins 1990b.: 30-31). The strategic choice between engaging in wars of position or maneuver (reformist or revolutionary) is related to the relations of force, and therefore the legitimacy of state leaders, as well as the economic situation. In societies with strong civil society, a prolonged war of position was possible in which activists could build an effective counter-hegemony (Olin Wright 2010: 332). Feminist struggles have been offered as one form of war of position (Burawoy 2003: 250) while terrorist networks have been described as one form of war of maneuver (Burawoy 2003: 241). From Weberian theory, we can posit that successes in the conjectural arenas could lead to increased confidence and legitimacy for movement leadership (Collins 1990b.: 145-147). Particularly during an economic and political crisis, movements may see an opportunity to move from the conjectural war of position to the organic politics of a war of maneuver (Markels 2003: 103). While Weber did not write in such terms, he did note that status is favored, thereby leading to conjectural politics, when the bases of the acquisition and distribution of goods are relatively stable. However, economic transformation or crisis pushes the class situation into the foreground (Weber in Calhoun 2007: 254). While Weber may not have given economic

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relations primacy over status in the upholding of regimes, he did recognize, along with Gramsci, that class-based struggles were dependent upon changing economic situations. Gramsci and Weber both note that legitimacy of leaders is closely tied to prestige (Collins 1990b.: 155; Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 307). For Gramsci, this is due to the position and function held by the dominant class in the world of production while for Weber this is related to geopolitical dominance (Gramsci in Forgacs 2000: 307; Collins 1990b.: 165-166). Gramsci does recognize, however, that the military are a political force mobilized when hegemonic domination fails (Gramsci 2003: 215). He notes that hegemony is protected by the armor of coercion (Olin Wright 2010: 288). Movements may only successfully undergo a war of maneuver given a political crisis, and are most likely to succeed when they have already been involved in conjectural political struggles (Markels 2003: 103). As Weber notes, if movements are successful they inevitably become entangled in the realities of power politics themselves through either cooptation by the power structure or by replacing the power structure (Collins 1990a.: 77). In Weberian terms, the conversion of a war of position into a war of maneuver may be seen as a choice to move from value-rationality to instrumental-rationality, with such movements focusing on the means-ends calculation of power politics while becoming something active, a force that masters the world rather than passively adapting to it (Collins 1990a.: 62-63). While movement actors may display various forms of social action, the predominance of instrumental-rationality may be central in moving from conjectural to organic, revolutionary politics. The writings of Gramsci and Weber have been used to illustrate how movements arise and rationalize through forming organizations and interacting with powerholders, either to create counterhegemonic discourses or to reformulate and broaden the dominant hegemony. As a

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movement community coalesces around a status group, organizations are able to form within which layers of intellectuals, in concert with the rank-and-file formulate messages and demands. If this hierarchical relationship remains robust through democratic participation, the rationalization can strengthen and sustain the movement. Although Weber was a supporter of institutionalized politics and Gramsci advocated for revolutionary change, their analyses show remarkable congruence with social movement theory, highlighting important aspects and processes of movement framing, organization, and reactions to political and economic realities, particularly in the transformation of a movement from a war of position to a war of maneuver.

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References: Buechler, Steven. 1993. Beyond Resource Mobilization? Emerging Trends in Social Movement Theory. The Sociological Quarterly. 34(2): 217-235 Buechler, Steven. 1995. New Social Movement Theories. Sociological Quarterly 36(3): 441464. Burawoy, Michael. 2003. For a Sociological Marxism: The Complementary Convergence of Antonio Gramsci and Karl Polanyi. Politics & Society 31(193): 193-261 Calhoun, Craig et al. 2007. Classical Sociological Theory. 2nd Ed. Maldan, MA: Blackwell Publishing Collins, Randall. 1990a. Max Weber: A Skeleton Key. Newberry Park, CA: SAGE Publications Collins, Randall. 1990b. Weberian Sociological Theory. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press Forgacs, David (ed.). 2000. The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935. New York, NY: New York University Press. Gramsci, Antonio. 2003. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. New York, NY: International Publishers. King, Lawrence and Ivn Szeleny. 2004. Theories of the New Class. Intellectuals and Power. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press Lemert, Charls (ed.). 2010. Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings 4th Ed. London: Westview Press Lo, Clarence. 1992. Communities of Challengers in Social Movement Theory. In Aldon D. Morris and Carol Mueller (eds.) Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Habermas, Jurgen. 1981. New Social Movements. Telos 49: 33-37. Markels, Julian. 2003. The Marxian Imagination: Representing Class in Literature. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press. McAdam, Doug. 1982. Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Meyer, David and Nancy Whittier. 1994. Social Movement Spillover. Social Problems 41(2): 277-298 Mills, C. Wright 1960. Letter to the New Left. New Left Review 5: 18-23 Olin Wright, Erik. 2001. An interview with Erik Olin Wright. The Global Site. www.theglobalsite.ac.uk/press/105wright.htm. Accessed on 12/10/2011 Olin Wright, Erik. 2009. Understanding Class. New Left Review 60: 101-115 Olin Wright, Erik. 2010. Envisioning Real Utopias. New York, NY: Verso Snow, David et al. 1986. Frame-Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation. American Sociological Review 51 (4): 464-481. Staggenborg Suzanne. 1998. Social Movement Communities and Cycles of Protest: The Emergence and Maintenance of a Local Womens Movement. Social Problems. 45(2): 180-204. Zald, Mayer and Roberta Ash. 1966. Social Movement Organization: Growth, Decay and Change. Social Forces. 44(3): 327-341

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