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Liberal Democratic Theory and Its Critics

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liberal Ilemni:ratIi:_ Theory and Its l:rltII:s



CROOM HELM London Sydney


Dover, New Hampshire

©1983 N, Wintrop Choom Helm Ltd, Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenhaln, Kent BRO l A T Croom Helm Australia Pty Ltd, Suite 4, 6th Floor , 64-76 Kippax Street, Surry Hills, NSW 20] U, Australia Choom Helm, 51 Washington Street , Dover, New Hampshire 03820, USA Reprinted 1985 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Liberal democratic theory and its critics. 1- Liberalism I. Wintrop, Norman 320.5'1 JC571 ISBN ()-7099_2'i66-5

Frighted in Great Britain by Biddles Ltd, Guildford, Surrey



vli 1x


INTRODUCTION Norman Winthrop T












VARIETIES OF CONSERVATIVE THEORY Norman Wlntrop and David w. Lovell








CENTURY MARXISM Bill Bragger and Belinda Probert



Bill Brugger

7 8









SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC THEORY Ron Slee and G e o f f Stokes





1 'I











FEMINISM AND POLITICAL THEORY Suzanne Brugger and Geoff Stokes





Bill Brugger is the Professor o f Politics at the Flinders University of South Australia, He is the author of Democracy and Organization in the Chinese Industrial Enterprise, 19M5-1953, Cambridge University Press, 19T6, China: Liberation and Transformation, 1942-1962 and China: Radicalism and Revisionism, 1962-1979, Croon Helm, London, and

Barnes and Noble, Totowa, New Jersey, 1981. He has also edited two recent collections of articles on

China. Suzanne Brugger is Director of the Constitutional Museum, South Australia. She is the author o f Australians and Egypt 1 9 1 u - 1 9 1 9 , Melbourne University Press, 1980. D o n DeBats is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Politics at Flinders University. Rodney Popp is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Education at the South Australian College of Advanced Education, Adelaide.

David Lovell is reading for a doctorate at the History of Ideas Unit of the Australian National University. He is a Former M.A. student and part-tlme Tutor in Politics at Flinders University. Belinda Probert is a Lecturer in Sociology at Monash University, Melbourne, and a former Research Fellow in the School of social Sciences at Flinders University. She $s the author of Beyond. Orange and Green, Zed Press, London, 1978. Steve Regular is a Tutor in Politics at Flinders University. He edits the Flinders Journal of History and .polltics. Ron see $s a Be sear Assistant with the Flinders University Politics Discipline. . Geoff Stokes $s a Tutor § no Political Theory at Murdoch University, Western Australia. He was formerly a Tutor in Politics at Flinders University. He is the editor of Guidelines for Energy Management, Australian Commission for UNESCO, Canberra, forthcoming, and a joint editor of Labor Forum, Adelaide. Norman Wirt row HQ purer in Political


Theory at Flinders


Graham Young Contemporary China University, and a

Fellow of the former



qustralian National in



Flinders University.




the authors' criticisms of one d the many p e o p l e robers Adelaide vepgit/y and who made helpful comments chapters chard Dehngelis and An copious . and comments on most o f Isa :esisted with the siting , Brugger's inexhaustible and advice were some of appreciated by the edit mm, ofi his suggestions and admonitions were not acted upon. Marie Baker, Anne Garb, Linda Kelly and other members o f the Flinders University School of Social Sciences secretarial s t a f f typed the original draf is. The ito' editor is par ticularly grateful iKelly who organised this typing under difficult conditions. Jayne Allison 5 lion, to which Ron Slee also i major lion. Rae Korotcoff also assisted.


addition work Flinders .. . .

. . .. .. . . .






Norman Winthrop

Political theory "`




difficult to define, apart general s as 8 branch o f philosophy dealing with politics. But whatever given to it, it is usually seen reference to norms (principles, stan-

an-was "regulating O F governmental nm . activity aNd pol-it-oal life. On the basis o f the political distihotlon between facts and values, theory may b e regarded as the attempt to confront, OI" at least to clarif y , value rather than factual quessons. This is a distinction which in n o way denies n ueetlons, with value *1 polithat, in their e n c~""*@r° coc tical theorists may confront factual ones. Sometimes political theory is seen as a direct confrontation d a rd S


with normative


l o c

But i t can also b e seen as


higher level of analysis) which criticases and adjudicates between normative theories. In to this book the term political theory is being used mean both: 1) the attempt by political thinkers t o propose and justify y norms for the guidance o f governand 2) merits and states, politicians and citlzens, the critical study, o f ten conducted within un lversities, o f such work. Whether t h e S t ud y and criticism o f normative and metatheory ( a

evaluative theory is itself normative (prescriptive and recommendato1"y} is a controversial question. One answer is that it is hypocritical to claim the absence of political motivation and bias, or to maln~ thin that one's work has no implications for political practice. A n alternative proposition is that i t is possible to check one's biases and motivations, and genuinely to seek clarification and understand ding. Not t o d o so is to act irresponsibly. One re~ spouse m a y ,his issue is that these two positions are toncilable as they first a p p e a r . A t the

- _

tfmie for the appropriate purpose, it is necessary for teachers and students to be detached and open-minded. This is o f ten s necessary step towards understanding the theories which compete for

our support.



our initial bias for or


against them, the more we should *my to restrain it. But teachers and students should not only be scholars concerned with understanding theorists and their theories, the validity of the empirical claims of the theories, their logic and coherence, but also their ethics and the political consequences which would he likely to follow from their widespread adoption. The problems of political theory are not abstract puzzles. It is naive to think that the study of major political thinkers can be restricted to


ciating the

finer nuances and subtleties of their speculations. Political theory has, and has always been intended to have, social implications of the most serious klnd. "'" activity I political theory should encode empathy and sympathy towards the object of study ulility to detach and distance one It _should encourage both critical skills kind and an awareness of the in object and work. A personal and virtue oN political theory encourages though


easily become a paralysis vice

criticism -I . No one is likely to understand rthwhile features and the defi henries, and to be able to over problems and difficulties, who has not own assumptions to a close seru detachment and the U'iticism mudtical +heory becomes mere pro ideology , in appeal to the emotions and paganda without a commitment o the discovery or our societies political rises he best it including unders pointless and sterile of aca becomes demic exercises

theory poll

propagandist nor




in some other way censure o f the skills, -vr players comedy drama and as- timesl I tea et! which we all play a p



implementing o f the e beings to live toge benefit. Among the principles

____ farce ,...":..,-

means which ideally

human mutual



publlc»splrited or exploitative wh ic h mould institutions and corrupt shape policies o f governments. We may choose to be as active and passive as we like, but our inactivity mains a par t of politics, and we are affected by






activity and inactivity o f others. Whether we engage in formal politics to achieve a corporal's chevrons,


the power and prestige of a field marshal, simply to further our legitimate interests or, more altruistically, promote the welfare of others, or whether we wish to be left alone to cultivate our gardens and concentrate on what we regard as more enjoyable and rewarding occupations,


theory is the key.

Political theory is the activity of judging the politics of our societies, of deciding which features to promote and which to resist; and it is the activity of doing all this rationally, that is to say $n a self conscious manner and one for which defensible reasons though not necessarily certain and unchallengeable proofs can be offered. According to sceptics, however, so-called political theory is nothing but personal oplnlons, beliefs, brasses and prejuduces dressed up as something superior. Their argument is that in order to judge governments, politicians and parties, intelligent people, with an intelligent understanding of their interests and aspirations, do not require e knowledge of normative theory but simply a knowledge of the relevant political facts. One defense of normative theory is that people who despise and who try to dispense with it are frequently the victims and purveyors of some long discredited one. A second answer



is that for anyone who wishes conscientiously to examine normative issues, it makes sense to begin with the two millenia of systematic thinking about these

issues, or at least with some of the main contributors to the tradition, rather than try to begin afresh. A third answer is that nations where pol1t1cal principles, institutions and processes are not based on explicit traditions of political theorising, but are the products of accident and compromises between interests, are likely to fall into the hands of irresponsible and self-seeking coalitions of cians and





four th answer is that

university politics and related departments which lgnore normative theory are likely to become havens for the most mindless and esoteric kinds of data collection and empirical research, and easy prey for either vested interests or committed ideologues, These pragmatic defences of normative theory, however, do

not directly confront what is for normative political theory and political philosophy the crucial contemporary question: to what extent can reason, either in the form of philosophy or science, arbitrate be-

tween ultimate norms, standards, principles and ends" For their immediate purposes, the authors of this hook have regarded the pragmatic defenee as sufficient. The book does not attempt to provide a philosophical (methodological) answer to this ques-


Instead, it tries to introduce students to the


ways in which major political thinkers of the past two hundred years have tried to apply reason to quest1ons about ends and standards.(1) Political theory has many facets, in § approached by introductory textbooks tertiary courses from many directions. One viii;lf approach is the history of Western political philosophy, in which about twelve major political philosophers, usually from Plato i m p ;U7 B.C.) and Socrates ($70?-399 8.c.) to Hegel ?17T0-1831), John Stuart $111 (1806-1873) or some more recent thinker are studied in depth. Political philosophy, in this approach, means the most systematic and thorough lyses of government, politics and the so should be their purposes and ends, v . .. w = : : achieved by human m1nds.(2) Another start is the history of political theory ,,. politic8 thought. The terms theory and thought refer modest and less comprehensive theorlsl a-_ the term philosophy, and are for that reason less exclusive. A Course or book on the history of polltl~ cal theory or thought will include not only major political philosophers but less systematic thinkers. The emphasis is on the political influence of ideas rather than on their profundity or comprehensive'These history-of-ldeas approaches may cover


i limited



time, have a particular national

focus, serve d1f5lflerent teaching and other * L poses.(H. A third , nonhistorieal. approach ms begin with problems and issues, often those Hof pre~ sent day political debate, and to try we how the work of political philosophers and theorists assists their clarification and resolution. When this is done, the dilemmas of liberal democratic governments frequently become the criterion for the selection of 1ssues.(5) A fourth approach is the self examination :

of the subject:

what are the precise goals of



tical theory and how should they be achleved?(6) A fifth approach, dominated though not



linguistic philosophy, is the examination of pollt1~ cal concepts.(7) In view of the present political and intellectual crises of Western nations, it is likely that there will soon be a sixth approach, the probing of the adequacy of Western political theory.(8) This book , in various degrees, uses all the Though its organisation is theabove approaches. magic rather than chronological, it is an lNtrodue~ dion to the history of modern (nineteenth and twen-

teeth century) political theory. It also encourages a more extensive study of political philosophy and its history in that the importance of political philosophy, including


century philo-

sophy, for the understanding of contemporary 14


cal theory

and practice, is emphasised. The main purposes of the book, however, are philosophical (crltieal and creative) rather than historical. It is trying to encourage the informed and rational critlcism and development of ideas, Basic historical biographical information is included, but only would make ideas unnecessarily abit is necessary for the understanding book also shares objectives and methods the third approach, in that there is a focus on problems and issues particularly those relating to liberal democracy. For specific purposes, the goals and procedures of the remaining approaches are also adopted. All these approaches are regarded as legitimate branches of political theory. The book is the product of joint teaching experiences in a f i s h i n h u m a nity politics course, for all politics students nly those proposing to specialise political eory. The course and the book were - use: an even stronger emphasis on liberal democracy and its critics, and on post-second World her controversies In practice, however, it was found that a necessary preliminary for work of this kind was to introduce students to earlier theorists who had confronted the problems of large, industrialised liberal-democratic nations. It was the earlier theorists who had created the frameworks for later debates, and who had made classical statements on them, which it was neither possible nor educationally sound to ignore. The book and the course which prompted it - therefore, moved from contemporary debates on liberalism and democracy to a wider range of controversies. It became a more general introduction to modern political theory. There is a logic to thls move from liberal democratic issues to more general ones. . . . . . . .




Liberal democratic theory is not




its advocates


self-consistent, attractive and






It may, among other things, be that. But liberal democratic theory is also the attempt to understand and widen liberal-democratic possibilities in a particularly complex civilisation, in a historical period of unprecedented change, conflict and peril. For these reasons, serious proponents and opponents of liberal democracy discuss much more than the character, and of inherent attractiveness or unattractiveness, liberal democracy. The book's authors, therefore, in trying to use modern (nineteenth and twentieth centurn) political theory to clarify recent controversees about liberal democracy, have written a general introduction to modern polltleal thought. The result is a more wlderanglng book than most which deal with



any, and a more compact book than most o modern political thought. The dual book, and its co-operative nature, may

purpose iE also have yielded liberal democratic _


some Fresh insights into both the project and modern political

theory .

operative ref tor t by people who of whom teach the same first politics university course and who have reguIchapters. These fas coherence than most glveI'l







' coherence is not the agreement on politics, philoter diary education or political theory. On all

matters disagreements. ran url l any Collaboration has been possible because of a consensus on the most appropriate introductory book and

course on political theory for tertiary students reading politics and political theory for the first time. There has also been agreement traditions of modern political thought which dents and readers should be introduced material should be organised an I am phasis has been on exposition, ideas in clear and strong term If introduction to ideas and their advocates tempered by the explicit posing _ criticisms within chapters and the implied found in other chapters. A noteworthy feature of the book is that around its central topic, liberal democracy, a number o f subtopics have been regularly discussed, thus fur then facilitating comparisons between theorists and theories. These subtopics include industrialisation, science and technology, freedom, rights, relations

a n



and citizens, culture, and




of the capitalism-versus-socialism debates, including individualism versus community, and economic organisation. Another pattern consists of discussions o f apparently discrete traditions of modern political thought revealing the influence of the same thinker.

Three examples are Machiavelli (1u69-152?), Hobbes (1588-1679) and Hegel.(9) An organizational principle for the book was provided by a determination to avoid the vague, misleading and simplistic generalizations which result from portraying modern p Dolitical thought 8 S between exampleh.conservatism r:

sidering the




ecohomic structure of society,

great political thinkers production

and most


were also economists.

lions of the suffrage were inevitably mixed

questions of







And so

period, One's enthusiasm for this somewhat by the transformation which occurred in the thinking about human rights. with a Adam Smith, we have seen, still operated political psychological model which mitigated his ought they

to be.

however, is









Scottish philosopher David Hume (1?11-76), however, had argued that a theory of human dual.

His fellow

rights needed

no notion of natural l a w . l H 3 l

I t might

b e deduced from questions of utility. This was to result ~in that most characteristic doctrine of early nineteenth century English political thought* utilitarianism.




English The most f amous advocate utilitarianism was Jeremy Bentham (1?M8a tinguished proponent of the reform of * antiquated EentharW English legal an system. Most ".§. irnpo r tent WI"itiri the last; t: of the eighteent h i t was until the heyday of political economy in the post-Napoleonic Ni ideas achieved wide §mi,&115 currency. The general outline of his utilitarianism was laid down in A Fragment on Goernment ( 1 7 7 6 ) and developed in An Introduction to the Principles o f Morals and Legislation (1789 and 1823). Starting with a criticism of the position of the English ! _ * William Blackstone (1723-80) who, he maintained,l merely


the law



gevaluate it, Bentham offered his yardstick 'greatest happiness principle' or of the greatest number'.(MU) At sight duction of human rights to queshuman ed would seem to be most salutary considers that the whole argument rested simply _-; broad principles of pleasure and pain. Was this not just a new version of the secularised natural la w theme? Hobbes' natural law

was based on a very pessimistic psychology of brutish passions. Locke's natural law introduced elements o f co~operation,

whilst Rousseau's early view eliminated ss appetising aspects. Smith's natural ion the psychological

formula Bentham

predisposition to Be L • rding such a predis~ ice Bentham offered, dominant ursuit of pleasure and w his thinking so very ,,........_..._....__ . . . . . . . . .

original thinking may




~tainly his elaboration was. imagined himself as the 'Newton of the Bentham moral Hobbes before him, had rather tensions. He believed that a might constructed enumerating the pleasure and pain calculated according ¥ duration, the certainty it . would follow a given course of action, and the remoteness of the time at which its effects would be felt. Added to the calculation was a consideration _ . , .



that each pleasure and each pain might give rise to other different pleasures and pains which affected different numbers o f people.(M5) Having constructed the calculus, i t was then possible t o detect what Bentham called fictions. These were concepts like

common law, abstract powers and rights. These had no meaning outside concrete situations and the interests


of various groups. At root, there was nothing but individual human beings pursuing their own pleasure and avoiding pain. What appeared, therefore, was a timeless theory of human nature in which history was denied or





in which cultural

determinants were not considered. Such was to be a dominant feature of the early nineteenth century liberalism: a denial of history and a reduction of psychology iilii predispositions of an ideal English eu- perhaps one street corner grocer. problem Elity is that i t has to be measured against end. Utility for what? It .






various groups



Utility for whom? Starvation, for example, was a pain, the avoidance of which was held to he a great spur to productivity. But in modern society it was a p a i n felt




par ticular class in a

particular property relationship.(M6) The desire to produce, i t was Felt, was maintained by the pleasure people received by the corresponding personal re wards, but so long as the 'iron law of wages' reduced workers to the level of mere subsistence, what did productivity matter to ~em? For all its puzzl &= however, n did imply the need for reform.; example a the implications of diminishing This held that for e a c h ¢ wealth . amount m a smaller increase i g . s Thus, optimum pleasure go society I demanded 1 w


, .


equitable distributions



principles of utility demanded *is punishment __ not greatly exceed the benefit of getting away with a particular crime.(H8) Thus, i t was possible to remove a number of barbarous penalties from the English legal system. Above all, Bentham gradually realised that the



utility led

for a universal Franchise.

to the proposal

It took Bentham some time

was helped in this to come to this view and he transition by the other great advocate of utilitarianism, James mill ( 1 7 7 3 - 1 8 3 6 ) . ( M 9 ) mill, in his Essay on Government, took the view that the middle class would show the working class what was in its best interest, and that, i f people perceived their interests and were able to promote them, they would certainly vice and act for the common (50) Such nsequence of the psychology max irising dual, which may have been aE but, in the context of the certainly lessive. e democraEy"aH?6E€ted by the utilitarians was ..




of liberalism pursued since Locke.

The function of the state was to safeguard ests of the individual.



the interwere



by a static ahistorical psychology. Nowhere in u utilitarian liberalism was there " " i of the function of democracy as helping; realize their' potential as human beings. wzerzv far from Rousseau and still within the context of a II


liberaliism which sought to




from the erosion of pre~social human rights (51) This was quite distinct from the developmental ideas pioneered by Rousseau and introduced later into English liberalism. What had changed in the period f i h t i o n of democracy bu t the'nl1~ psychological motivation rich l e g i t irised it. A

mm L:




utilitarianism, was

max irising


longer on theories of Burke his supper tens, on the other hand, appealed much more to a mythical tradition. But Burke himself, and some o tuln.m.n' . n teenth century conservatives, could avoid force of ideas which legit irised the theory o f the dominant and most successful romy. That economy was eventually!_,_, , , afford H. greater and greater extension of the franchise a m m mored eventually just as much by conservative administrations as by liberals.

THE TURNING POINT OF BRITISH LIBERALISM: JOHN STUART MILL John Stuart Mill, the son of Jam am Mill something of a childhood prodigy, whose #Il1u1B q were cultivated in the spirit of his father Bentham's utilitarianism. Throughout his life, he remained loyal to utilitarianism, yet became more and more aware of the problems to which the doctrine gave rise. In the end, not much of the original utilitarianism was lett. I suggested earlier that the


strength of


utilitarianism of Bentham and James

Mill was its ideological purpose of promoting social reform and not its philosophical coherence. By John Stuart Mill's day, many reforms had already been achieved and, as Lindsay points out, the problem was to make coherent the new liberal philosophy rather than rely on its ideological function to remove the repressive institutions of the past.(52l In many ways, therefore, Mill's position was like that of Locke whose critical success in demolishing the





Filmer Ill not matched by the development system. Yet both Locke and Mill are unllsnna I "" development of I



secularisation break







'"'" ahis


___raj I





centered on the

ll's role was to





nineteenth cen4-ury and pave the way for the new historically conscious liberalism o f the late nineteenth century. He was *o bridge the gap between the excessive concentration on the negative conception or liberty and the attempt to reconcile both post+ive and negative conceptions in the works o f T.H, Green (1836-82) and his followers. In departing from the protective liberalism o f the Utilitarians, Mill was the forerunner of the developmental liberalism which constituted the high-point of liberal doctrine. Mill's transi4-ional role and his reluctance to renounce his f other and Bentham inevitably l e t t him open to quite trenchant criticism, yet Mill remains as the most Famous o f all the British liberals. Mill's writings were voluminous. as well as editing his f other's and Bentham's works, he wrote numerous books and essays, the most famous o f which were A System of Logic,(53) Principles o f Political


'dH"""Li6er ty,(56T Governmentl5T) and these works, the




The Subjection o f


essay which




marked Mill's transitional

role was Utilitarianism Here, he attempted to de~ fend the utilitarian doctrine and finished up by qualifying it out o f existence. The first assumption o f that doctrine was that pleasure was the object of in practice, what people dehuman desire, whereas, sire is n o t pleasure but objects which give pleasure.

mill did not face squarely up to that problem but was quite aware that one might realise pleasure by developing the conscious ability to d o without it. This suggested that any consideration o f pleasure was to specific obmeaningless unless it was related Second, Mill explicitly rejected the sects. Benthamite notion that all pleasures should b e seen as qualitatively the same .(59) But once pleasures are

seen as




pleasure cannot b e

used as the criterion to assess utility and one must seek an alternative standard. But Mill did not provide +~hau standard. It seems, therefore, that Mill's defense o f utilitarianism constituted its demolition. Mill's mos? f a m o k s essay is On .I,1her*ty. This has become something of a catechism of negative fiberTy. Amongst many arguments in supper t o f that view , mill made the distinction between 'self-regarding' and 'other regarding' acts.(60) The state had n o right, according to Mill, to interfere what

the exclusively private sphere. But is a thing as an exclusively private sphere? _ commit suicide, I must surely affect other people who are deprived o f my company For g o o d o r ill; I will also perhaps inconvenience a hospital or a coroner. If I make myself ill, I might help to re~ _-H


duce the general productivity of society and


tie down scarce resources necessary for my recovery. It seems, therefore, that there is really no such thing as a self-regarding act and Mill's error stemmed from the old liberal notion that the individual was prior to society. The problem Mill tried to solve was that liberal theory needed some means to prevent a paternalist state enforcing its own view of morals. We are all too aware of the arguments about, it not self-regarding, at least couple-regarding acts in recent discussions of sexual freedom. The way out of this problem is twofold. subscribes to a theory of collecti we which Mill would be abhorrent because it might u's tyranny of the majority, or one has it on A theory of natural law, based on human psychology or human needs. In any case, it is ver doubtful if Mill's project to deduce a theory of liberty from considerations of utility is possible. Why should not a maximum of pleasure and a minimum of pain be achieved by a maximum of state interference? why, moreover, should freedom of thought, to which Mill devoted most of his attention, necessarily make for the maximisetion of individual utilities?(61) A sociologist might argue that freedom of thought and the promotion of a market place .of ideas would accelerate the sum total of human knowledge and so contribute towards some view of progress. But that is not the same as saying that such a market place of ideas would make for the maximisation of pleasure and the minimisation of




defence nr negative naw. l " \ A i l l


for most of his life, of the interference o f o his writings very

profoundly elements

liberty was, however, and, I think, one o f

positive given

lber _


The individual

of egotistical impullan thought. The indi-

possessed potentialities

which the


democracy, therefore,

protective. It had an

It did not just provide important educative role in

developing la tent capacities.(62) One of these capa- l l a m - 5;hat of co-operation, and Mill, deploring den society of` his time, looked Forward ' to the development of industrial co-operatives i n


which the citizen developed that capacity for sociability which we noted in the work of Adam Smith. to Here Mill was to restore a sense of history liberal thought. The grasping egotistical individuals, which he saw around him, were not manifesta-

sons of


an invariant psychological condition.


were products of history and that history could be changed. Yet he believed that the out-throat nature o f capitalism and the inverse relationship between lun! reward They were a proUs t systemic. heritage iolenee and conflict which had brought system being. Mill looked forward,


nary state where fierce compeThe role did! 1 positive #een the promotion "ding of negative reduced element

an balance





, and that mill became a socialist. The problem for Mill was how the transition from a society of possessive individualism (Macpherson's term) to a co-operative society might come about. His father had been an advocate of universal franchise on the grounds that once people perceived their best interests they would use their vote wisely. But, Mill thought that, given the current state of people's consciousness, universal franchise would result in the tyranny of the 'most numerous classes' and a denial of minority rights. I t would, moreover, oppose the real interests of those classes. The solution to this problem was ingenious. Mill advocated the plural vote. There are at least two versions of this, the most famous being in Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform (1859).

If every ordinary vote, a quires as or" the lam two. A foreman, whose general

_ __



labourer had one whose occupation rean d a knowledge of some Inuse, ought to have or superintendent of lab our,'l.s.a of . something more e moral as well as hould perhaps have __.._,

farmer manufacturer, or trader who larger nge of ideas and know~


power E iding and attending to various operations at once should have three or four. A member of any pro-




fession requiring a long, aoourate, and systems


lifli--==-*ion a lawyer, a physician man of any denomination, a aslist, a public functionary events a member of every intellecthe threshold of which there satisfactory BE xamination test) ought to graduate of any university, or a person freely elected a member of any learned society, is entitled to at least as many.(63)

mental surgeon literary




As Macpherson points out, it is strange that the of Women did not feminist author of The Subjection . discuss how such plural voting might relate to the problem of wives.(6M) Nor did mill consider the likelihood that his ascribed status differences might become hereditary and not bring about the developmental transformation he advocated. Throughout Mill's life, there remained a tension in his thought between the demands of positive and negative liberty. There was also a tension between his defence of liberty, his fear of anarchy and his hatred of mediocrity. These latter considerations led him to advocate plural voting not simply as a _ .

means to protect the 'less numerous classes' but to justify it in its own right. The more gifted and more intelligent should carry greater weight and the only test of this was one's occupation. Mill, for all his modern stress on developmental liberalism and the role of democracy in realising the latent capaci-

ties or the individual, was, in may ways, quite old fashioned. Or was he? In the twentieth century, a theory of democratic elitism was to appear which echoed M11l's belief in differential worth but which, in contrast, made other parts of Mlll's thought seem extremely progressive. Mlll's fears about the tyranny of the working party system developed which class >;°esul'd,,,__, gog1c` and power-hungry politicians, adventurers seeking their fortunes in foreign climes, large lndustrlal companies seeking markets for their goods, investors seeking high rates of profits, and the professional slsssss seeking lucrative overseas posts, all playing on the patriotic sentiments of the masses to acquire and use the military and other support of their states $n the service of their private interests. Hobson used a large part of his book to argue that these private interests though easily dressed me in/iisl_ impious, ' so patriotic and other propaganda as public interest and the inevitable destiny of the operated against the economic and political _ _ _ o f the nation and the bulk of its citizens. According to Hobson, imperialism does not stimulate economic development but diverts resources from it; and that far from providing additional wealth which can be used to finance social reform within the nalion, it. draws both attention and finance away from orthodox, monetary social reform. Using both cost-benefit analyses and those of his own humanist


... . . . .







economics, he claimed that the costs

outweighed the




Ordinary citizens gained


nothing from imperialism; they. were the dupes of the sectional interests which did, Eels analysis' tlclsms of imperialism were ~T' ., . . sumptionlst thesis that the g problem the maldlstribution of wealth, were by proposition that the mE internal demand support iuansrdsmjerial policies €;;§;m;' in clarles maldistributionr L. in income foreign markets for the savings production which, because power ers could not












view that imperialism Jart of modern capithat like |-he mal distribution of

Though Hobson rejected was a necessary and r

talism, maintaining 120

wealth i t was a policy that could b e reversed, he was' disturbed by the strength o f the imperialist parties and their success in persuading the electorate that imperialism was in the national interest. In common

w1 th

Ho bh on S e


anti-imperialists, compatible with liberal-democracy and ,pa threat to it. Anion unavoidable spread at home as . . .. . . . . . .. ..

Lib e 1°al was 1na

serious the


. . .

administrative and



minister and sub du for ?mTa2" rea__ _ the axeou ii Ive sons, the strengths weakening of the legislative branches o f government, 3) the extolling of military and authoritarian values resulting from the natlon's dependence on its armed Forces; M) sections o f the population becoming either effete parasites, or their servile retainers, obtaining their incomes from foreign investment, and euphemisms such as 51 the debasement of language spheres o f influence, protectorates, rectification o f frontler§'and the like being usedlto hide policies 5? national aggrandisement. Hobson, like Hob house, was . . ... .. . .

also alarmed by what h e believed was

cline in




the standards applied to foreign relations.

Thous conduct g one commonly determined short sigh timasi by selfish t1on§1 conscious this an intercourse nat ' tiala human -*Bo the retrograde fraught with grave cause;


As Hobson saw it, justice could not we TE the cho n m confronting home and injustice abroad; citizens and electors in the twentle'd century ¥§E

application of reason and moral l principle off airs, or the politics m selfishness, force and vi olence.

either the

to home and international

[The] analysis of Imperialism, with its


supports, militarism, oligarchy, bureaucracy, protection, concentration of capital and violent trade Fluctuations, has marked it out as the supreme danger of modern national States.(67) The adoption of Imperial1sm...serves the double purpose of securing private material benefits

for favoured classes of investors and traders at the public cost, while sustaining the general cause of conservatism by diverting public energy and interest from domestic agitation to external 121


The ability of a




off this dangerous usurpation of its power, and to employ the national resources in the national interest, depends upon the education of a na-

tional intelligence and a national will, which shall make democracy a political and economic

reality.(68) whether



build or not to build empires Perturb model may now be dead; so too are the general issues what he thought was the funda-


CONCLUSION I t the New Liberalism and its !:1Inl111 principal UI' .ln1,,..nnml-.nwIir spokesman are regarded as an imper to par t of the liberal tradition, and the margins, then a number of frequently generalisations about liberalism F Several these are the charges regularly rope critics: 1) liberalism is charac _ atomistic-individualist way of seeing society and does not realise the extent to which the individual is always par t of a structured and limiting set o f social relations; 2) liberalism is tied to narrow T selfish concepts of fiber t y , rights and freedom, derived from a psychological theory which sees people as passive consumers rather than as active producers and citizens; 3) liberalism is limited by its necessary attachment to the private ownership of economic the property resources, a competitive market, and rights and privileges of wealthy investors and large companies. In other words, liberalism is the idea-~ logy of modern capitalism and opposed to socialism.(69) The New Liberals also make suspect a number'

of standard conservative





According to most radical branches of liberalism. ` in conservatives, such liberals are irresponsible their criticisms of longstanding institutions, social reand political hierarchies, compromises and straights; they thus open the gates to the even more reckless demands of the politically uneducated, im* l ' i 1 = " " * i b e d by Burke as the 'swinish multiThis undermine political leadership. listed society and political order deS servatives lleee, from T) what is For l"lV€S and lure of rationalism views Lltopiani in i II social conflicts, ten~ reduced to solvable problems social ction and perpetual peace and 2) the liberal sof tress toward




revolutionary and


groups, related to the

illusion that revolutionary change can be avoided by conceding to the revolutionaries everything they want by constitutional means.(70) To the extent that conservatives point to the dangers to which lett liberalism can be drawn, there are insights in this but these dangers were recognised lin e of criticism, by the New Liberals, who were cautious in both the content and expression of t1 **"*" criticism is difficult to see how any than to recognise and tr avoid dangers conservative the social critics can ret _ political that the alternative is the abandonment theory, critical standards The New Liberals tried me between status quo and revolution, _ which bine those features of both past and the revolutionar alternatives which could

stand up to critical exam i f


able forms. Not surprising_ w common liberal tradition as a whole, they were regarded by let t critics as cunningly concealed conservatives, without even the backbone of the genuine article, who tried to dilute, render harmless and absorb into existing structures the policies and demands of genuine radicals, For conservatives, they were an insidious threat to the nation and Western civilisation. New Liberal theory and practice suggest that another widely propagated view about liberalism is also a myth. This is that liberals have a permissive attitude to moral beliefs and leisure activity, regarding belief as a private matter and granting adults the fullest possible choice on how to spend The New Liberals are evidence of their leisure time. at least one more puritanical exception to this generalisation. Though agreeing that legislation

could not

enforce morality, as it did not affect in-

tention and motive, they never theless saw i t as a weapon to restrain immoral behaviour. They believed that law, example and a moderate social pressure



- - 5 - ' * - | - -

'*~ moral and cultural stanpersonal and social ills

criticism ,| suggested by this Puritanism, which acidity, is that the New exaggerated


capacity and desire

al principle. In comWorld War and post-Second

parison with post-First World War political thought, . with the greater promiNance given to the human inclinations toward greed, self-deception, illogical thinking, unscrupulousness,

violence and destructiveness, it

is certainly





times ardis

heyday optimism

Hob house




The new Liberal

human affairs

faith in reason and



was always moderated by a recognition and fear of the irrational and the violent, displayed, for example, in their opposition to imperalism and the Boer War. Shorn of the occasional neglect of unpleasant facts and possibilities, and exaggerated emphases on past they were trying to and possible future progress, understand, appeal to and encourage the rational and moral factors in the individual and society. There was a°logic to this appeal and, as liberal democrats, their instincts were sound * Without some Faith in the human ability to exer . l morally i t is difficult to Mai modest commitments to liberal democracy polit issue raised by this ob history-of~ideas problem r whether philosophical or socio log formulation debate, they exaggerated t human affairs; it is whether twentieth century a similar, though faith in reason can be liberal democracy becomes lrnera immorality eroded or over thrown by and violence. Two final questions will b e extent did the New Liberal project and, second, to what extent d o New and objectives remain as current political Who, i f anyone, remains attached toe ways the new Liberals have been perceptive



and successful social engineers. practically all



to regulate

govern men



assumed motify public particle

property rights in accordance (welfare). Under the influence, L farly at the end of the 19MOs, moves toward a redistribution oH income advocated by Hobson. But he New Liberals would have interpreted the public way as recent governments an& whether Hobson would have regard scale redistribution as sufficient, doubtful. public good, whereas Western governments have interpreted i t as economic growth and material prosperity, the original New Liberal meaning was citizenship and moral development. In other respects Western politi4




practice favoured by so cer taint they won

has diverged from the directions New Liberals. The New Liberals would uneasy about the permissive society pressure politics community organising governor

defensive re in fragile means During

would democracy

ievement towards blouse Hobson


witnessed response

World governments* ncreased

Communist World events this defensive attitude visions and the increasing permanent-crisis __ racier of Western politics, the alarm ma hysteria as one international and economic crisis follows another. The New Liberals would not have liked this subsuming of politics by economics and international conflict, a trend they had spotted in imperialism and fought against.

On the international changes of the post-Second World War years, though no doubt pleased by the establishment of the United Nations Organisation, decolonisation, and the regional economic co-operation between nations, the New Liberals would be horrified by the Cold-War division of the world into armed blocs, nuclear stockpiling, the class-war language which they loathed in national politics now being applied internationally, the many brutal local wars Korea, Algeria, Biafra, Vietnam third-world poverty, the waste of mineral, energy and other resources, and the helplessness of the United Nations. But, having overcome their initial shock, they would look for the movements, groups, and individuals who have remained loyal to liberal-democratic political and



internationalist principles as they understood them. Who would they have regarded as the principal exponents of this tradition, Keynesian welfare-state liberals and democratic socialists, Lab our Party letts, the remnants of the New Let t, the Euro communists? who would they have seen as meeting their criteria

and standards?

At least in political

and social thought there are some obvious candidates. Though, in recent decades, most academics and other intellectuals calling themselves liberal have followed the classical Lockean rather than the New Liberal part of the tradition, there have been any number of university and other radical critics of Western political and intellectual life who have

developed ideas remarkably similar to those of the New Liberals. Among the more conspicuous are 1) some 125

of the





participatory democpacy;(71) 2) gists with their rejection of value

their call for rational chitLam. the reform of We

no litics

unconsciously follow similarly regarding

etary income


as meriting

human forms unequal wealth


oligopolistic ldistributlons

bowe M




with Practically _ where an critics of Western *»5'@!'!'0""w11111ll=unll.IHlthen loud echoes IQ! of Liberalism Much at is described and proclaims itself as neo-Marxist is closer to the New Liberal tradition than to Marx and the Marxist tradi lion. Much in current thought could aptly, though not elegantly, he called neo-New Liberalism. I t can be said that New Liberal ideas survive because they are the most natural liberal-democratic response to present-day political problems, difficulbecause, to ties, dilemmas and challenges. This is use an overworked but apt allusion, on New Liberal terms, current Western intellectual, political and economic crises are not the result of liberal democrack having been tried and uni " " v " '"" ""'" having been tried. Y e t ther major problem New Liberalism, or social an

'Ula rmony.


as it was once called. Its problem

final and revived forms, is :mud coherence, or a sufficiently phical clarity and i t s social criticisms thorough empirical basis for fin din| political and analyses, but agency able to implement principles gramme. This problem is nu- now than Hobbouse past. In the days of Greet extent Hobson, i t was a re I objective forged t o strive for an alliance ' promote freedom by intellectuals, between upper, middle and working;


day, social divisions have mains of the common cult they appealed.

vived, New


Though N e w



which _

Liberalism as a project no longer appears

to be a realistic




have become increasingly divided



into interest groups

and classes,

and in which politics has been increasingly subordinated to economics. The New Liberals "HUH" so have been vanquished by the forces they Appearances, however, are sometimes ill s

'I 27


C.B . Macpherson, The L i f e .and .Times of Liberal Democracy, 1. O x f o r d Univ. P r . , Oxford, 1977, pp.23-432. I. Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford Un iv. Pr., Oxford, 1969. " 3. Some i n t e r e s t i n g discussions of and a t t e m p t s t o revive the neglected classical liberalism of Antiquity, plus some comments on liberal education, a r e included i n L. Strauss, Liberalism: Ancient and Modern, Basic Books, New York, 1968. For ccxnparisons of ancient and modern democracy, M . I . Finley, Danocracy: Ancient and Modern, Rutgers Univ. P r . , new Brunsvdck, 1973. A. The i n t e l l e c t u a l o r i g i n s and p o l i t i c a l context of New Liberalism a r e discussed by S. Collini, Liberalism and Sociology: L.T. Hobhouse and Political Argument i n England, Univ. Pr., Cambridge, 1979; H.V. Emmy, .1880-l19.14, Cambridge Liberals, Radicals and Social P o l i t i c s , 1892-191 Cambridge Univ. or., Cambridge, 1973; and m. Freede"E in Liberalism, Oxford Univ. Pr., Oxford, 1978. For al textbook accouB'!'E~Ill Nun more a t t e n t i o n t o the i m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s by J on Stuart Mill and Herber t Spencer t o t h e new emphases ._ l a t e nineteenth un f u r y liberalism than does the present d i s cussion, Lil: I: b i n e , A H i s t o r y of P o l i t i c a l Theory; h l l l l l i l n Harrap, London, Sh. 32, Liberalism Modernised. In A concise i n t r o d u c t i o n t o G r e e n ' s l i f e and work i s provided by n u m eduction to J.R. Rodman ( e d . ) , The P o l i t i c a l .Theory of T.H. Green, Appleton-Century-Crof i s , New York, 1964. The most; detailed and comprehensive biography i s M. Richter, The P o l i t i c s of Conscience: T.H. Green and H i s Age, W e i d e n f e l d , LondOn, 196&. The most thorough assessment by a contemporary is R.L. N e t t l e s h i p ' s 'Memoir', i n the Works of T.H. Green, ed. R.L. Nettleship, Vol.3, Longmans, London, 1891. For a h e l p f u l i n t r o d u c t i o n to Green's philosophical writings, F. Copleston, Modern Philosophy (A H i s t o r y of philosophy, Vol.8), 2nd e d u . , Doubleday-Image, Garden City, 1967, Ch.7, The Development of Idealism. For an analysis of his political thought, A.R.





Cacoullos, Thomas H i l l G r e e n ' York, 1974.

Philosopher of

R i g h t s , Twrayne, New

6 . T.H. Green, Lectures on t h e Principles of Political Obligation, Longmans, London, 19l»1, pp5.68-9. 7. i b i d . , p . 6 9 . 8. i b i d . , p . 7 0 . 9 . Rodman, o p . c i t , p p . 5 l ~ 2 , from G r e e n ' s Lecture on Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract. For Green's c r i t i c i s m of t h e i n f l u e n t i a l Benthamite and 10. legal-positivist jurist, John Austin (1790-1859), Political O b l i g a t i o n , o p . c i t . , pp.93-120. 11. The idea of c i t i z e n s h i p theory i s developed Thompson,






Green, in

D.F. Pr.,

Cambridge, 1970, where par t of the argument i s t h a t democratic t h e o r i s t s d i v i d e over whether i t i s e l i t e s or c i t i z e n s who should be stressed. Fried 12. Convenient sources f o r s o c i a l i s t arguments a r e A.


and R. Sanders ( e d . ) , Socialist Thought: Doubleday-Anchor, Camden C i t y , 196&; Essential Works


Socialism, Yale Univ.

A Documentary H i s t o r y , and I. Howe ( e d . ) , P r . , New Haven, 1976.

For Socialism in Britain, H. Polling ( e d . ) , The Challenge of Socialism, Black, London, 1954. The ant i-socialist argument is stated vigorously and a t length in L. von Mises, Socialism, 2nd

edu., Yale Univ.

P r . , New Haven, 1951.

See also t h e chapters on

the s o c i a l i s t tradition in this volume. 13. Green, P o l i t i c a l Obligation, o p . c i t . , p p . 2 l l - 2 9 . 14. i b i d . , 'P.2l5. 15. ibid., pp.2l6-7. 16. The details of the s p e c i f i c reforms f avoured 'by Green, shortly b e f o r e his death, are contained in h i s Lecture on Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract, reprinted in f u l l with help-" f u l notes in R o g a n , o p . c i t . We Green 17. One re U imistie about overcoming pover t y without radical Chan capitalism h a t he did not think the impoverish~ ~en suffering labouring classes a t the nineteenth century resulted from 11 beginning l' the e s t r e p r e n e period contracting_not -independent and o rganised era f tsmen but with serf-like products of f a u l t y for - landownership and publi al relief f the Poor L a w ) . __. PP-




.,g'... m.


19. i b i d - , p.176. 20. ' A Memoir', in J . A . Hobson and M. Ginsberg ( e d s . ) , L.T. Hobhouse: His L i f e and work w i t h Selected Essays and A r t i c l e s , Allen and Unwire, London, 1931, p . 3 4 .


ibid., p.38.

22. ibid., p.61. 23. For example, L . T . Hobhouse, Sociology and Philosophy: A Centenary Collection of Essays and A r t i c l e s , e d . , M. Ginsberg, a London School of Economics, and Bell, London, 1966, comprehensive introduction t o Hobhouse's work, The World in C o n f l i c t , Fisher Unwire, London, 1915, originally a series o f the Manchester Guardian; and the essays and a r t i c l e s

a t t i c l e s in

by Hobhouse in Hobson and Ginsberg, o p . c i t . 24.

The p e r eminence

logical dilemmas


Hobhouse ' s work t o

and controversies


is argued by J.E.



Owen, LT.

Hobhouse° Sociologist, Nelson, London, 1974. A more s c e p t i c a l view i s that of Cellini, o p . c i t . 25. The concept of mind, sometimes spelt Mind, i s basic to Hobhouse's sociological works. See Mind in Evolution, Macmillan, London, 1901, Development and purpose, Macmillan, London, 1913;

and Social Development, briefer statements






I-Iobhouse's understanding of



s o c i o l o g y , and

the role of mind, see his Sociology and Philosophy, o p . c i t . , for 'The Roots of Modern Sociology', 'Sociology', ' A r e Physical, Biological and Psychological Categories Irreducible'?', 'The Philosophy of Development', and, f o r his views on animal psycho~ l o g y , 'Comparative Fsycholo8y'. There a r e extensive discussions of what Hobhouse meant by mind in M. Ginsberg, 'The Work o f L.T. I-Io'bhouse', in Hobson and gi ns be rg , op.c:it. See also Collini,


and Owen, op.cit.


26. Hobhouse, Sociology and Philosophy, op.cit., pp.18"9Hobhouse's main discussions of ethics are in his Morals Evolution, Chap~ ~an and Hall, London, 1906; and The Rational Good, Allen and Unwire, London, 1921. For CO noise introductions by Hobhouse, Elements of Social Justice, Allen and Unpin, London, 1922, Ch. 1, Ethics and Social Philosophy, and Sociology and Philosophy, op.cit., 'Comparative Ethics'. 27. L.T. Hobhouse, The Lab our Movement, 3rd edu., Ma Ami1.Lan, London, 1912, p.2028. ibid., p.22.


29. ibid., p.38. 30. ibid., p.59. 31. ibid., pp.127-8. 32. Hobhouse, Democracy and Reaction,

Fisher Unpin, London, revisions and s new Introduction by the author, was published in 1909. References are to the 3rd edu., Harvester Pr., Brighton, 1972, which con190&.






sists of the original 1904 text, Hobhouse's 1909 Introduction, and a further Introduction by P.F. Clarke. 33. ibid., p.5. The general argument is to be found in Chs. 1 and 8, The School of Cobden, and International Right.

34. ibid., 35. Hobson, Imperialism was originall written . 3 gr"_"_"


A Study, Fisher Allen, London, 1902,

articles for the Speaker, was followed by Hothouse's series on the same subject, subsequently reorganised and published as Democracy and Reaction, op.cit. 36. Hothouse, Democracy and Reaction, op.cit., p.77. which, in



. o f


37. ibid., p.55. 38. ibid., p.l60. 39. Brugger and Prober t in this volume for the Erfurt Programme, printed in full in T. Kirkup, A History of Socialism, 5th edu., Black, London, 1920, pp.223-229. 40. Hobhouse, Democracy and Reaction, op.cit., p.229. 41. ibid., p.237.

42. ibid., pp.2lO-1. 43.

Hobhouse, Liberalism 2nd edu., Oxford Univ.



196-41, p.l0. M. ibid., p.ll. 45. ibid., p.89. 46. ibid-, p.90. For Che full discussion of Ma rxi sm and 'official socialism', Ch. 8, Economic Liberalism. A7. Hobhouse, World in Conflict, op.cit.; The Me taphysical Theory of the State, Allen and Unpin, London, 1918, Elements of Social Justice, op.cit., and, for 'The Problem", Hobson and Ginsberg, op.cit., reprinted in full as 'Industry and the State' in Hobhouse, Sociology and Philosophy, op.cit. 48. Hobson, Confessions of an Economic Heretic, 2nd edu., Harvester Pr., Brighton, 1976, p.15. This brief autobiography co~bines memoirs with a review of Hobson's economic and political thought.Jllns additional biographical information see the Introduction by M. Freeden, and H.N. Brailsford, The Life~Work .


Hobson (L.T.





Trust Lecture, 17),

Cumberlege and Oxford Univ. Pr. 9 London, l9&8. 49. Hobson, Confessions 9 o p . c i t . 13.26. An a n a l y s i s and c r i t i c i s m of Hobson's underconsumption50. ism' i s the subject of the monograph by E.E. Nemmers, Hobson and Underconsumption, Nor th-Holland Co., Amsterdam, 1956. }


51. Freeden, New Liberalism, o p . c i t . 1 I n t r o d u c t i o n , op.cit:. and ' J . A . Hobson a s a New Liberal T h e o r i s t ' 7 Journal of t h e H i s t o r y of Ideas, 3-4, 1973, pp.Z+21-43. 52. A complete -Est of Hobson's books, and many of h i s economics ar t i c l e s , i s included i n the Bibliography t o Nemmers, op.cit. 53. Hobson, Work and Wealth, Macmillan, New York, 1914, p. 15. 54. Hobson, Confessions, o p . c i t . , p p . l 7 7 - 8 . 55. i b i d . s pT212. " 56. i b i d . 9 p . l 3 9 . 57. Hobson, Work and Wealth, o p . c i t . a p . l 0 7 .







59. i b i d . , p.350. The reconstruction of economicsy proposed i n Work and Wealth, was a project Hobson had worked on f o r decade. The argument i s foreshadowed, f example, .-i n John Social Ruskin: Social Reformer, Nisbet, London, 183' Problem, N§§Eet, London, 1902. 60. For an o u t l i n e of M a r x ' s theory of s u r p l u s value D see


Brugger and Prober t i n

t h i s volume.

61 * Hobson, Work and Wealth, o p . e i t . 9 p . 9 . 62. Hobson, Confessions, o p . c i t . , pp.171~4In Hobson's earl i e r d i s c u s s i o n s and a p p l i c a t i o n s of the d i s t i n c t i o n , t h e terms used were r o u t i n e and non-routine, f o r example, Social Problem, o p . c i t . , Ch. 8, Public a n d P r i v a t e I n d u s t r y . 63. Hobson, Work and Wealth, o p . c i t . > p.2&1. 64. Hobson, Imperialism, o p . c i t . References a r e EO the 3rd edit. s Allen and Unwire, London, 1938. 65. Clear and concise but o v e r s i m p l i f i e d and occasionally misleading accounts of rival t h e o r i e s a r e included i n Nemmers, o p . c i t . , p.54-9. More thorough accounts a r e provided by T.


Kemp, Theories of a noticeable

I m p e r i a l i s m , Dobson,

Leninist b i a s .


London, 1 9 6 7 ,

t h e d e b a t e s of

a work

cades, 41 Mack e t . in Ills@ ) , Imperialism, Intervention Development, Ill llilul., Choom Helm, London, 1979. l


.'g..""-.-. 68-

Imperialism, IJp . c i t .





t h e p a s t two de-



sopliti sticatzed criticisms of

liberalism from

op.cit., and Democratic: positions t o i t s l e f t are Macpherson, in Retrieval, Oxford Univ. P r . , Oxford, 1973; Theory: Essays 'The Et Marcuse, Negations, Xflen Lane, London, 1968, esp. in the T o t a l i t a r i a n View of the Struggle Against Liberalism

Paten an, The Problem of P o l i t i c a l Obligation, Wiley, State', C. and R.P. W o l f f , The Poverty of Liberalism, Chi chester, 1979; Beacon P r . ,

Boston, 1968.

A few

years ago an informed discussion

the New Liberalism, from a more and comprehensive criticism of was written a s an Hof ours Thesis, G.R. radical standpoint,










Flinders U n i v e r s i t y of South Australia, 1974. Oakeshott, Rationalism Y0. For example, the t i t l e essay to M 19625 and E. in P o l i t i c s and Other Essays, Methuen, - London, Voegelin, 'Liberalism and I t s H i s t o r Y » Review of P o l i t i c s , 36, 197a, pp.50&-19. 71. A good example Thompson, The Democratic C i t i z e n , o p . c i t . , arguablr the best s t u d y of liberal-democratic theory and practice t o have Been en during t h e 1970s, where the i n f l u ence of Hobhouse as strong and acknowledged72. ium i n t r o d u c t i o n s t o ' c r i t i c a l sociology' are the books which, inspired s e t t i n g standards which have yet t o be repeated__ Wright Mills, he Power E l i t e , Oxford Univ. Pr., New York, H956; and The Sociological Imagination, O x f o r d Univ. t

. . . . . . .


P r . , New York, 1959. 73. S. Holland, The S_ocialis.t Challenge, Quartet Books, London, 1975; D. Mermelstein ( e d . ) , Economics: Mainstream Readings and Radical C r i t i q u e s , Random House, New York, 1970, E.H.

Mis fan,



London, 1977; and E . F . Briggs, London, 1973. 74. Mack, o p . c i t .















Conservatism is a notoriously difficult term to define and conservatives are notoriously elusive political animals. The main reason is that conserve tism is largely a reaction against ideas, movements and trends rather than a positive doctrine. A clue to understanding conservatism and conservative political theory is the root word, conserve. Whatever else they may be, conservatives are always the conservers and protectors of a cherished value or object which is believed to be threatened. Practically everything else can and does




times and in different places conservatives see different enemies and rally to different causes. Not only liberalism and socialism but all the forces which have brought about the changes of the past two hundred years secularism, science, technology, industry, capitalism, bureaucratisation, feminism



have had to overcome the resistance of conservatives. struggles have come the positive commit.l..'m\:lu-unnnllulul-.a1n


by conservatives. Conservatives have uper and discipline; rule by the to govern (the aristocratic for







hierarchies, and ways of

one's peers



Lities to inferiors.


Most con-

servatives stress the presence of evil in human societies and the limits to what can be achieved by government. Such attitudes are usually accompanied by a distrust of reason, though this is often modihied by the reason being preferred to the release of base instincts and passions. Depending upon which conservatives are studied, it is possible to construct reasonably neat packages out of such commitmerits and assumptions, and to refer to the conservafive political philosophy, ideology or tradition, and

thus to see not varieties of conservatism but one conservatism. But such an approach, of ten used by both conservatives


historical record.

It conceals


critics, dis torts the






sedative thought and insight and aberrations. here have been conservative features to go polit cal communities, forms of government, and ideas =il-n1% about politics and government; conservative


dudes, in fact, ape prlor' to formal politics? government. Even the most primitive of tribes have had their conservers of tradition and opponents of change. It is also worth noting that the first political philosophical analysis of politics and .ia§umeuaulnis_ rent, Plato's Republic, written at the close a 9~ ~ fourth century B.C., despite its inclusion of some utopian and communist projects, was a defence and elaboration of the conservative principles of hierarchy and order. Not only were conservative emphases dominant in early political thought, but one of the main inspirers of the break from the political assumptions of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), had conservative motives. Reacting against the disorders of the mid-seventeenth century English civil wars, in his Leviathan (1651), he tried to place on new but unshakeable theoretical foundations that paragon of rightwing conservative virtues, obedience to authority. In periods of political stability in books which establish the foundations of po11t1Q phy, including those by Aristotle 1383 Aquinas (1225-127u) and Hegel (1T70_1831) conservatlve principles and objectives coalesce with potentially more subversive ones such as justice, freedom and the good society. But in periods o f instability , and as a reaction against Ideas which foster wadioal political and social changes, conservative beliefs are asset red as independent and rival doctrines. Thus, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were conservative responses to the Puritans and Protestant sects; $n the eighteenth and nineteenth





centuries there were strong conservative reactions against the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; during the past hundred years there have been similar

conservative counters to Marxism and Leninism. The Following analysis of conservative political thought will begin with Edmund Burke, who gave lt its First post~French Revolution and possibly its best systematic statement. Burke will be given further prominence in that other varieties of conservatism will be regarded as developments, offshoots or alternatives to his, Other links and relations among the eight varieties of conservatism to be discussed will be noted. Our main objectives, however, are to dls~ close the range of modern conservative thought, and to demonstrate the ways in which conservative political theorists have assisted the understanding of llberalisrn, democracy and socialism, 'by drawing 13rd

attention to the dangers of these positions, dangers which their adherents have preferred to disregard.(1) TRADITIONALIST CONSERVATISM When Rousseau but was


became '; political was t h e








human oppression,l society

innunnulll conservatism


the chat


the poll political







Edmund Burke Ibf



duate o f Trinity Ireland and sensi ding most of his

Burke Dublin,'remained loyal sufferings


s a representative

House of commons He avowed that he was firml religious due about the precise character religious First elected as an MP in became the leading Whigs, one of whose leaders, Marquess of Rockingham, he served as se II1I11'I"1'l m~ma1~m°e a coalition o f groups, rather than a par t y , opposed t o the Tories in their desire to extend the powers o f


parliament a t the expense of the monarch. In his early years in parliament, Burke developed the ideas that a political par ty consisted of men united on public principle, and that a member of parliament was a representative who must promote the general good rather than be a delegate of (mandated by) a par ticular group of electors. Burke also defended the legal and customary rights o f the American colonies against

encroachments by


matters o f taxation.

outing the impeachment

British Crown, particularly in Hp

smiwnnl u1111m1

oN Warren



accused of corruption while Ha c Bengal l_ nvinced i remained _ admin . These threads suffered became significant as his greatest Burke' challenge loomed ~l n 1789. to specific all devoted in Burke' writings, issues, the most become the influential has Reflections on the Revolution in France. Before examining the central argument o f this seminal work o f I


modern conservatism, we should First n o t e published in 1 7 9 0 , before the death of

that it was the French

King and Queen, Robespierre's Terror, and the rise of

1 35

Napoleon by conservatism suspicious

of which foreshadowed style Burke Bdopts, seem already remarkak





ed accou

traditionalist conservatives of systematic poll __._,, Burke's Reflections, in fact, has survived what i t reveals of traditionalist conservatism rather than for its analysis of French o f f airs. The French Revolution was a t first enthusiastically received in England. After some consideration, Burke opposed this attitude. He wrote in his letter to a Frenchman, which became the Reflections, that he was attached to fiber ty, a 'manly, moral, regulated fiber ty',(2) properly combined with government, obedience, and morality. Without such combination, 'liberty is not a benefit while i t lasts, and is not ..

likely to continue long'.(3) He did not think that the Revolution satisfied these Burke is-a Meg coiled from abstractions, typifie@ by be slogan Libel t y , Equality, and Fraternity Liberty I without proper foundations and restraints licence. In contrasting the methods French Revolution to the air tues of stitution, however, Burke confront;

The fiber to Burke itself made secure through u

problem .

spouse to this problem was _ tutional changes of the 1681

gator re g



__ _foodless Revolution which deposed James In were not innovatory. They were not an attempt to e p . s a s . The principle of inherited monarchy was while the principles of liver to which w e r e ¢ . were longstanding ones advanced soberly. Again Sag air he stressed the continuity of English political life. The English Revolution 'was made to preserve our antient indisputable laws and liberties, and that o f government which is our only antien t constitution security For law and fiber ty'.(M) Neither Burke nor any traditionalist conservative is opposed to all change. 'A state without the means of some change is without the means o f its conservation',(5} h e declar Burke :ax go.. a Quixotic Figure, attempting to Ste E ial, econoaw mic and political change; believed that change must be used to conserve so valuable. lsniunllnl

policy profound me following election, '" generally

spears ition;

to me to be or rather the

lture, which is w i s c above it. A spirit the result of a self views. People will not lc




temper' Forward

posterlty,. niiale never look backward We their l




Besides ide






England well furnishes a

a sure priniall excluding laves acquisi-

transmission: without improvement

cqu1res.(6) From Burke we may derive a distinc and innovation, the former allow in prnovement while








'"" attempt Inno vati on, however, is to transform institutions. It is . misguided trusion of reason into politics t which Burke red . Reason, according to Burke, can never be paramount in governing. Ruling and reforming were part o f an experimental science:


it is with infen In

to venture upon pulling has answered 1m any tolerable

the common






for the 'ffallible and

r e a s we-nn





edifice which



feeble contrivance of


l ny man ought Ree for ages for on building


it up again, with o f approved utility

Society is



to a fulfillment of to the application o f reason to t government may well baekflre. testis ying



was e natural order of society, uppermos+, he wrote that 'those

never equal1ze'.(9) Such ratlol feared, were the offspring of rid e hence who had to property -

ironically fitted Burke himself.

pro jects 7

description which

Property would only

be safe 'from the invasions of ability' if it were, 'out of all proportion, predominant in the representatlon'.(10) Eecause social differences were natural, Burke emphasised the nation as a necessary bond between citizens which overcame such differences. He also thought it natural that generations co-operate,

l partnership

general gag,



§t....As the ends of' obtained in many law ownership n o t only bu t between those Sara dead, and those


The idea of a unified political community, M i a state which expressed the common ! n l 1 § - _ bound with Burke 1's conception oF natural harmony political ways Burke was a Christi Although he seldom appealed, faith in political discus EJIL.IIlL, h _. ___ nature, by which he meant a natural order in the uni-


verse and society, and no ' , , l . . " ¢ l ; ¢ Natural harmony, change, created by God. society was a part, was as

H' which

Whether or not this beliefs 3.1

nature means that Burke w8h11 natural .of matter conjecture interpreters sopher.(12) Against

1 iew that Burke was a natural

must be weighed the evidence theorising, and that he rights o f man' proclaimed by French I revolutionaries, maintaining that liberprescriptive I o f natural. This contrasts with natural which 5 mies to provide an ahistoriby which nations and institujudged 1 atural law Burke was ambiva-

lent. Burke met the challenge of the French Revolution, theoretically, by defending tradition and custom) His influence was considerable in turning English opinion against the Revolution. In the longer term, he execred an enormous influence on politics in Britain, particularly the politics of the leaders of its Conservative Party. Most Western con~

servatives proudly claim him as their own. Burke was not confident, however, about the future of his causes, On his death in 1797 his body was placed in an unmarked grave. His bodily remains are lost forever, not only to the detested Jacobins, who, he feared, would disturb his rest and his grave if England fell to them, but to his admirers as well. ARISTOCRATIC CONSERVATISM:




One of Burke's main fears was that the des truelion of the traditional European aristocracy would mean the end of worthwhile social leadership. This was logical for in defending aristocratic rule his ultimate concern was not the privileges of an heredi-

tary landowning caste but rule by the politically best. Burke thought that rule should be exercised by a compact, airtuous and wise minority, sensitive towards issues

of justice, and knowledgeable about government and circumstances. Though a shrewd observer and aware that many British and other nobles were


somewhat lacking in moral quali competence, Burke believed that, in. and land were the most likely i f means to ensure that government would b e d the best qualified. This was because a traditional aristocracy, in addition to training some people from birth into the responsibilities o f political leadership, encouraged and provided political opportunities for outstanding men from other classes. This was done by means o f patronage, marriage and other forms


o f recruitment. As a resul* o f the subsequent loss o f power by most hereditary aristocracies, post-Burkean conservatives nav e had

to locate the politically best in strata, and to seek new safeguards for

other social them.

With regard

best, various








have pinned their hopes

on nineteenth century entrepreneurs and civil ser~ wants, and twentieth century administrators, business

executives, industrial managers, university-trained humanist intellectuals, natural and/or social scientists, parliamentarians, and the leaders of poli4-ical parties and other associations. The decline o f


aristocracies has also




problem of social leadership being posed in new ways.




o f an elite has been sub-


for that o f an aristocracy. The substituexplained by the lntluenee o f sociotion is partly logy on recent language and thought. It should also b e noted that conservatism and conservative concerns have influenced sociology a discipline notorious for dressing up old problems in new terminology and other social sciences. During the past century, the problem of maintaining stable and responsible social leadership, in a period of unprecedented rapid social change, has been confronted by both conservatives and social scientists from opposite angles: 1) under-



standing and moderating the social changes which


danger political leadership, and 2) maintaining and imp-oving the independence and quality o f ..,.a...,r.;§....aa. leaders. The first view o f the problem rise to mass-society theory, the second mm theory. Neither set o f theories, however, a an agreed collection of findings, explanations or.recommendations. The terms masses and mass society have been used to refer to many different FeatureS o f industrialised and democratised societies, while the . . lpdicate .fervent icating factor E eh rethat Mosca usually as bei 1? l V i f r te hd eo OUHd€F rarely used Pareto der one class E


1 39

and political class. Though both mass-society and elite theory can be traced *o Burke, they were more directly





Tocqueville ana-

(1805-1859), t h e French statesman and political

lyst. Mass society theory, in fact, can be dated from the publication o f his two-volume Democracy in America (1835 and 18M0), a classical statement o f the European cones*vative view that the United States is the mass society par excellence, the face o f the Future, warning Europeans of the dreadful things that will happen to their nations unless is taken.(13)

1) Mass-Society Theory Writing a ceNtury later from point to de Tocqueville's, but



a similar responding

stand~ to the

democratlsation o f Europe as well as to that o f Nor th America, Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was even more worried and pessimistic about the effe €lhli.\'..EI-Lw JU"

cracy and the possibilities

o f controlling

paradigmatic, twentieth century conserver The Revolt o f the Masses (1930), used t h e *

the MaSseS-and mass society to make a more analysis o f parliamentary democracy.

or to_



Tocqueville, was o f noble birth. He was a university professor, member o f the Spanish parliament, philosopher, art and li4-erary critic, and a brillaot and prolific essayist and political journalist. He is widely recognised as Spain's most eminent twentieth de century philosopher and literateur. Like -al Tocqueville, as both politician and poll ' sophie", he was a moderate and liberal* or toga's analysis of" modern democr intlu-» l

enced by some philosophical assumptions o f an ex1~ stentlalist kind. In common with Kierkegaard (1813-1855), nietzsche (18uu-1900), Heidegger ( 1 8 9 9 - 1 9 7 6 ) and q 1 9 0 5 - 1 9 8 0 ) , he urged that philosophy begin unprovable premises, abstract concepts Ur forma systems, but with the life nilnmiliilllilll

o f the individual human existence. most existentialists he emphasized

for commitments

In common with the possibility

to be made and self-discipline


cised in the pursuit o f political and other projects. But, in contrast to most existentialists, Ortega put considerable emphasis o n reason. By reason, Ortega meant trying I- understand the world, the opportunities ummm it provided, and choosing between them informed and aware marine". Reasoning, for Ortega, was an unavoidable par t o f being human. But though reasoning was unavoidable, i t could b e conducted in different ways, including many which were shallow and dishonest. How a person responded t o the necessity to reason and to act was Ortega's standard

1 140

for classifying him Of" her' as a member* of the mass.(Tll) two Ortega believed that there were always different types of human beings, a division produced largely by choice and which had little to do with biological or social determinism, In all societies there were people, usually the minority, who disciplined themselves to follow rationally-defensible standards, and there were the remainder who were unwilling to make such an error t. Civilisation was created by and rested on the erroris of the rational and disciplined




rity to lead fully civi for most societies, be the values and accept civilised minorities. the nineteenth century twentieth, something t


matter majority deferred Ni opening

occurred in Western soc their deference, and their demands and act



formed opinions. The Ortega revolt of the masses. The term masses was used by Ortega to refer to a cerrain type of individual who, lacking independent thought and judge rent, and consequently beset by fears and anxieties, sought security in numbers. To be part of the masses was not to belong to an economic or social class, or to be part of the poor in general, or to the dopantmum groups " I he margins of society; it was to haH of mind, to suffer from a cerrain 1111111111ition, and to behave in cer rain mass minds It was were to be f`ou among possible to professional training, and material success while still possessing the; mentality He cited could be highly specialists aslexamples skilled in toI performance asks but who lacked a 'gene l'nlii. __ _ _ _ _ of their occupation lacked knowledge and discipline. Such "









people were derided as 'learned ignoramuses'.

The r§vQl; of the w.. 1 - n _._








earned the right to hold political nevertheless, Forced their beliefs This dominance In to governments. ignorant lla d irresponsible was a corruption of

Western democracy. ortega believed that democracy, liberalism, as the creation not of the masses as cultured and generous minorities. As long as the majority accepted the authority of the cultured and politically responsible groups, democracy was a viable and noble system. Problems arose, and

in ' tl



liberalism and


masses rejected




were thr'ea*ened, when the guidance! - s m i r k ordinated


occurred, liberal 1° became

soclety's natural leaders eith democracy, abandoned pclifics the captives of the masses.

The analysis is profoundly pessimistic, Though Ortega was occasionally more constructive and hopeful (for example in The Mission of the University, 1930,(15) he proposed that--UniVy?§-Lfty edUC-ation be opened to all members o f an age group) in The Revolt of the Masses he offered few remedies. One reason for his pessimism was that not only did he think that liberal democracy was being destroyed from within but so also was what he regarded as the other foundation o f modern civilisation' technicism. By technicism be meant science and technology, which he thought were also dependent upon c"eatlve, cultured mlnor1~ ties. In common with political and cultural institutions, they were also failing into the hands o f narrow specialists and being subjected to the demands o f the masses, who took them for granted without understanding them. According to Ortega, throughout society people expected to draw increasing benefits from a political and technical civilisation they neither understood non advanced. Another reason tor Or toga's pessimism was his view that intellectuals, who had a responsibility to counter the revolt o f the masses, were themselves becoming increasingly irresponsible. Intellectual life itself was approximating to that o f the masses. It consisted o f mere passing moods, with no attempt sys+-ematically to understand and to build upon the achievements o f past cultures, Crucial to any society, Ortega contended, was the question o f who commanded and who obeyed. It was the task



minorities to provide

sive, realistic and worthwhile times for








objet to set them-

selves such goals. Consequently l t was a serious matter when there was doubt about who leads and who follows. This confused oond1+1on was that of mass


Such a society, Ortega concluded,

new civilisation;

was n o t a

it was a 'mere negatlon'.(T6)

The concept of the masses

an =;%.=





lives to example mass soc lends itself to arlstocFatic Qecause et analyse§__L_.._1'lt1is

You"mity stricke social

responsibilities sirnllarE

by U42

arm has 'jam Mass



theory social

political and mu masses

ple, US

to peke





liberal democracy these able to


emprise modern



tend to


z xtremi




man dominant

by masses

by manner positive contributions



to the made by by no








,The_Byling Class {the English vised edition of Elementi ii scienza politics 1st published in 1896), though by similar fears to or toga's, is more akin study in that it prescribes remedemocracy. Mosca ( 1 8 5 8 - 1 9 u 1 > , ;ht as well as his upbringing and :Style similar to those of de Tocqueville Italian noble, e university proI and politics, and a parliamen, _ _ . tical o f Mussolini's fassist r e .-. time but accommodated himself to i t and continued to live in Italy, in contrast t o Or tega who went into exile during Spain's Rivera and Franco dictatorships.

whose political



The Ruling Class placed little emphasis



concept of the masses, Instead, the.concepts o f a political class and a ruling class were used by Mosca of moto analyze political life, par ticularlv that dern liberal democracy. The political class, in Mosca's analysis, is a larger sector of society than the ruling class. I t includes n o t only those people who hold government posts or who significantly influence those who do (the ruling class), but the leaders o f opposition groups and revolutonary movements, The political class, therefore, is ° a broad category which does not imply unity, i t refers to all sections of society from which rulers do or could emerge. The ruling class refers to the more unified and integrared groups of people who direct society, i t is dein an fined by Mosca, o f t quoted statement, as o


follows [all societies have] a class that rules and a class that is ruled. The first class, always the less numerous, performs all political Funetions, monopolises power and enjoys the advantages that power brings, whereas the directed and controlled by the first, in a manner that is now more or less legal, now more less arbitrary and violent....(19)

This definition laid the basis for Mosca's views on the character and purposes of st; . . Though rising that states could b e def legal ministrstive terms, he emphasise§ they consisted of the ruling cl purposes of rule, and that they comprised informal auamnuzuuaaainane!!

well as formal procedures. The state is nothing more than the organization of all social forces that have a political is the sum total of all the elements in a society that are suited to exercise

sing political functions and have the ability and the will to participate in them.(20)

These statements





state, which Tosca regarded as self-evi challenge to both socialist and demo cy WO 1"l{lI'1g He denied both the socialist claim that class could rule and the democratic claim dinars citizens could rule, he tried t . demonstrate . _' that all societies, including purpor t"`€Ta * . and democratic ones, would be directed . s. by minorities. Mosca believed that both the socialist and democratic ideals were the products of the unsound i§.¢




and dangerous view of





Rousseau and his followers, that man had been born good but had been corrupted by institutions. Mosca's view was the Burke an one that the continual criticising and abolishing of institutions would lead not to a flowering of human nature but to the unleashing o f anti~social passions. People






flowed blandly and smoothly on for centuries, like an impetuous river confined within sturdy dikes, the dikes have become superfluous and can readily be dispensed with, now that the river has learned i t s lesson.(21}

Whereas Hill









and aristocracies were merely !

Ha..,,.J.,an;.is.sz_ .§.-§i

.Ina £3 1-=

5 emoted soot







and external threats could become more con private interests

corned about their privileges

than their exploitative their rule the respect

public responsibilities, sums thus become -l=ra°"= E . But ii. argued w occurred was ii g Would lose they would o f the people . "s from the be challenged and Hz political class. It followed- that the political health of a society depended n o t upon the duality o f i t s rulers b u t upon


class, its potential






In order t o assess the merits o f ruling classes,

Mosca used ideology




used by sociologists

his political


held ideas, beliefs





and Marxists:

which similarly doctrines.



this was

meant widely denied


political formulae were simply the rationalisations or the instruments of ruling classes, Ideas, he argued, were to a considerable extent independent o f governmental power. For example, the great religions had become powerful forces in society because they satisfied fundamental needs; if they were fur then eroded by secularism they would be replaced by more dangerous and harmful doctrines. For Mosoa, the best ruling classes and the best political formulae, and

the only ones that could make




viable, were those which promoted juridicial defence.

.By this




such liberal

principles and

rights as separation o f church and state, a separation o f powers and functions within government, asso-

ciations that are independent of the state, and freepublication and assembly. Mosca's dems of speech, understanding of politics, therefore, Burke, de Tocqueville and Or t o g a , was as aristocratic and conservative. apply i t to diagnose the democracy" Mosca argued that





!nuslelsus E


. .

of moder8 parliamentary




the result of the bourgeoisie (urban commercial and professional classes), i n the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, displacing absolute monarchs while retaining and strengthening their bureaucratic




the nineteenth century, as a re-

sponse to the pressure of excluded groups, bureaucra-

tic states were combined with representative institu-

tions and








developments meant which Mosca

and the confined These

@Na t





principle (by

office) (appointment principle (posts


numberr changes

sts ial too


First mage -Quaigovernments organised minor it themselves was that the new political class would willing the masses, and oonsequentl more I success electoral politi i n statesmen Mauior ood and who to of patriots, among Cave up! Bismarck (1815-1898) were! politicians an"m 1 auld whose only skill was the acquiring o f power, Second, style o f politics devoted to satisfying the a material demands o f the masses would lead to a mas~ sive expansion o f the size and power of the bureaucracy (public service); instead o f checking one another, as Montesquieu (1689-17551 and other early modern liberal theorists had expected, government and bureauc"acy would move close" together and be mutually corrupting, Further, a giant governmental bureaucracy would absorb the independent and educated middle classes, the only possible check to 1*s power, and the necessary social base for an energetic and creative political class. A third foreboding was that modern democracies would become increasingly conformist. Majorities would org arise themselves around myths, encapsulated in political formulae, and be contemptuous of minorities. In this way, parlla~ mentary democracy would promote no? j u r i d i c a l de~ fence but the role of irresponsible intellectuals and demagogues. A fourth danger was plutocracy (rule by II llilnlulmill

the wealthy).

Plutocracy was compatible with parlia-

ments and universal voting because the rich could rule indirectly. Mosca's view was that a plutocracy had already triumphed in the United States, where there was no hereditary aristocracy able to withstand it. F i g th, Mosca was concerned about the growth o f mass political parties, the origin of which he ex~ plained largely in psychological Le"ms. ties as



o f herd instincts, *



o f people to quarrel , struggle and fight on that political their particular group . He thought parties should be powerful instruments h.llL*Fence and extension o f juridicial defense it was more likely that there would political exaggerations...{and] mass 11lus1ons'.(22) parties would thus further the tendency to1-r1-1



b e exercised by opp o r twists and adventurers,

and for

the nouveaux riches to become the dominant social class; par ties would force people of moral principle to withdraw from politics and corrupt those who remained. Other warnings were that, sixth, parliaments would nullity and destroy themselves with too much legislation, much of it silly; seventh, the specialisation upon which industrial societies were depend dent would lead to small strategically placed groups holding society to ransom, and that, eighth, the eroding of religious and moral restraints would inflame the hatreds of nations, classes and indivi~ duals. Mosca was pessimistic but not f atalistic. He recommended that action be taken to overcome these dangers and to maintain j u r i d i c a l defence, responsi,II hle ruling and political classes = vigorous public debate. His mai; proposal strict and divide the functions governments while extending those o f independent " :a

ding the



ultimate objective was the preservation pendent area o f society, indepen§. independent middle classes. MOS himself let testament the aristocrat, therefore, of middle-class, pluralist and par ticipatory version

i _


aristocratic conservatism.(23) Uilfredo Pareto ( 1 8 u 8 - 1 9 2 3 ) , too of ten regarded as a co-thinker o f Mosca, constructed a rather diffe-

rent version of aristocratic conservatism from those dis cus sed , Pareto, Marche se Di which have been Parigi, the son of an exiled Genoese nobleman and his French bride, was an Italian born in Paris who lived a large par t of his life in Switzerland where he was a professor of political economy at the University of Lausanne.


inheriting a for tune from an

became a recluse,


uncle, h e

his l i f e to study.


developing the political use of the term elite, earning a reputation (twentieth century)


as one o f the founders of modern political science and sociology,

had a h e had studied mathematics and physics, a railway engineer, and earned successful career as . mi need an international reputation as a mathematical economist


~much if

fur they

claiming de his political


worst offender with Eth his per-

dielikes K much fur they democracy Mainly because of parliamentary democracy, of 1922-19m5 whose


abolished both parliamentary democracy and- liberal norms in Italy, was an admirer o f Pareto whom he made derived a senator. Mussolini's admiration, however, Though Pareto disliked from a misunderstanding. . kg, in several senses parliaments " universal liberal of the term As an econoithe laissez f airs premist he was firmly cent that to interfere with the individual oGil intervene economy he was a firm supper t 'reed oms, .4





believing t





ways political

emphasis discipline

cruelty manipulative





cynical towards religious

acts his of extreme rightwing and political thought, W nd what will later in M described as Machiavellian conserva-


Wheres Burke, M eville, Ortega and Mosca stressed the moral qualities of the people they conside red best qualified to rule, Pareto defined his elites solely in terms of observable, material success. His starting point was that in any occupation from law to prostitution, to give two of his examples, it was possible to grade people on a one-to-ten scale, on which the most successful scored highest and the fallures the lowest. The political or governing elite, the centre of his political analyses, consisted of elite individuals who constituted or influenced governments. For Pareto, the basic tact of political life is the division between 'a governing elite, comprising individuals who directly or indirectly play some considerable part in govern-

ment, and .mm is



non-government elite comprising the abrading and dividing of political basis

of their rewards and influence

distinction made by


between the




statesmen and responsible hand,




the other. Pareto, however, discards traditional evaluative criteria, replacing them with a more amoral variety. But, as we shall see, he deparis from his avowal that his work is concerned only with observed facts and what can be deduced from them in order to adjudicate between elite qualities. The originality of Pareto's work, and the new depart tubes i t provided for conservatives and others, derive from the distinctions he made between 'derivabetween 'lcgieal' and sons' and 'residues', and _



'non logical' conduct. These distinctions, his elite theory, his understanding o f poll""" w " political science, and



o o apr l i a m e n t a r y

craey are all to be found in his monumental di Soqiologia _generate ( 1 9 1 6 ) _¢f By

Pareto meant what is now more USL

or an ideology, the alleged Rea lions for an action which hide pa

motives which prompted it. intentional or otherwise.



A derivation is the way people try to dissemble, change, explain, the real character o f this or that mode of eonduet....The reasonings with which people try to make conduct that is non-logical appear logical.(26)

Residues, with which derivations are contrasted, are conduct. the psychological forces which motivate They include 'sentiments or instincts, appetites and interests'.(27) These (psychological)



first given a sixfold classification, by Pareto, and then reordered into a twofold one. In this latter classification people have a tendency towards either 1) being attracted to novelty, the combining and changing of ideas, manipulating others, and being speculative and cunning, or 2) being suspicious of and resistant to change, being loyal to the groups in which they found themselves, and to the ideas and as well customs of their groups. Borrowing terms as much else from Machiavelli, people_who possessed the first group of residues foxes, and those among whom the second grou@ predominated were





More simply, for both Machiavelli

Pareto's distinction between


.. on

Pareto, Foxes are rulers and guile; lions are leaders who a willing to use force.




are non-

logical behaviour can be explained in terms of ends and means. Pareto's view was that ends had nothing `A were also the means to to do with well unless was logical or nonfurther ends, Whether \2';.

1l *F

logical depend

whether means were appropriate

to and helped @nds. Irrespective of the effects of a person's ends or means on themselves or others, provided their means helped them to achieve their ends they were acting logically. Logical behaviour for Pareto, the former economist, meant the activity of an economic person who was calculating in the pursuit of his or her interests. In contrast, nor logical behaviour was motivated by religious or moral sentiment, innocence and spontaneity, or anything else which did not lead to consistent


behaviour in the pursuit o f clear goals. Scientific activity was, tor


purest example o f logical behaviour. to explain nonloglcal behaviour that his theory of derivations and residues. This is all very different from the conservatism of Burke, de Tocqueville,

Mosca. Pareto's elite theory posits a aristocracy who, to be fully effective, logically and scientifically, and use


think guile and force, in the torques*, maintenance and extension of power , Such a conception of political rule destroys the original Greek distinction between aristocracy """"""'°"'"" be f o r t y in the public interest) and oliupy a minority in their own interest) , Q. ` rulers from moral restraints. Theories an ordered society, the public or common good, or "the integrity and responsibility of rulers cease *o b e explanations o f behaviour or guiding principles; they are downgraded into myths or derivations. They are the prejudices of others which a scientific ruler utilities tor personal advantags. To the extent that Pareto j e offering advice he rulers who are striving to preserve m l 1 1 I power relations, he offers a genuine form 0 const vatlsm, ' by but 1* is also a doctrine which can be 1 ' individuals and groups who are Sa ll e revolupower "elations, and who favow" radical tlona"y change. Pareto's own use o f the theory was similarly ambivalent, but with the main thrust being conservative. He wished to defend society against further democratisation, and he was even more firmly opposed to socialism, He t"led to undermine both democracy and sociallsm with the claim that: "




All governments use force

they are

a FW!

founded on reason.

mpisimusnumlu ,uauulsuem

nnlnrzs ..II»-. n o t ,


i ,

whether univ

, finding

'will few u






I t followed that such statements as Llncoln's 'government o f the people, by the people, For the people', and socialist talk about equality and class-

less societies were so much rhetoric and cant. Professeoly democratic or socialist societies will be controlled by self-motivated elites, distinguished only by



to which they are scientific or

confused, and bY the ratio o f foxes to lions. A serious political science, Pareto believed, would

face this brute tact about

1 50





abandon vague, humanitarian illusions and language for the study of past, present and possible forms of

elite rule.

These ideas were applied to the analysis

of liberal democracy. Taking the idea of supply and demand from economics and applying it to politics, Pareto suggested that the supply of elite individuals should balance the demand. I f the demand were greater than the supply then there would be 'an accumulation of superior elements i n the lower classes',(29) which would foster discontent, and oppositional and revolu-

tionary groups. An implication of this latter idea is that higher education should be confined to the small minority for whom there are elite opp or tuni» ties. Pareto believed that there should also b e a balance within the political elite between lions and foxes, but that this balance was rarely achieved. Whereas in pre modern elites there was a preponderance o f lions over foxes, in modern parliamentary democracies there was a preponderance of foxes over lions. The latter development resulted from the unusual awamlwm amount of emphasis that therE sent a t the expense of force acquiring power, in other words, their ions, The exclusion of 1 positions " '

H 3 3 5






wageg§ I1not but worse. way """'""'" Fits


of a















nd socially the


the bC&

tendency wages


Manufacturers had discovered a """""" wages e compat people elation __ nt and t has _ general explanation about _





decay, Whereas elites by recruiting people

should sir themselves with diffe.___ qualities

themselves, most members of elites preferred

the result like themselves; This was one of the of mere imitators. power, in which elites, once they achieved attract foxes rather than lions. The solu-

e r u p t people

oruitment many ways tended to lion would find ways elites or




that democratic societies

of inculcating lionlike qualities in


that society's lions learn from Pareto how to be more forceful or cunning in asset ting themselves. Whether or not Pareto desired to encourage a greater asset liveness on the part of potentially licnlike leaders, this was what at least one pupil, Mussolini, learned from him. Pareto himself was neither politically active nor optimistic about the effects of his teachings. According to Pareto, democratic societies were miser151

able frauds. Like all societies they were dominated by elites, the problem was that their parliamentary were inferior systems generated cowardly elites who to earlier ones, As he did not think it possible or to return to predesirable for economic reasons I '"'"""'"~ ; as he does not appear to have faith if ascism or other extreme rightmovements the anti-democratic and was ultimately a Cassandra. He thought that there would be a decline El political, economic and intellectual life before which .Raman.Burial Le helpless.(30) Political theorists adver rise H conservatism rarely refer analysis or his criticisms democracy claim or acknowledge him a own lion i s that Pareto lets the not only are many o f Pareto lions conservative. but th theory approach political science which he Mosca fostered generally had a conservative taken C O D S Q F V Q 1 five directions In addition political, cultural and military couraged which power powerful '_ citizens ug r V






i dem


plural-5 competition

World War

theory became I lea means liberal-democratic theory and pr Q-lllrlr conservative push. Liberal democracy was transformed jest about the self-government of II ILL; the preserving of competition among elites. Pareto


would have approved; after all, liberal democrats from ideals

study of elites, and the means to

this was a move by (derivations) to the




prove their quality.(3T) Most conservatives who adver rise themselves as such, however, object to the amoral ism of both Pareto and post-Second World War

political a loyalty

science. They have more usually professed to older conceptions of political study and Jun: »lnllllL purposes theorising: a focus iN values rulers, and principles which sh What Pareto dismissed .ii derivations Is, they

have made the basis to# 'Muniz

each to

____ ophical politics and political science conservatism will be par t of the next variety of conservatism to be examined.


CULTURAL CONSERVATISM Culture for* civilisation

to narrower It







"be Qoterminous human example Western Chinese lb f M small I con mu


scientists value manner refer' customs :astracts irrespective I emits u whether they constructive or destructivein By every lush." Everyone human group possesses culture Aztec I rulers and Ne gangs footbaw lives

vandals among





conserver employ

rent remi culture comes from the Latin culture who means cultivation Their argument against the Yalu usage no individual or group possesses II culture unless personal abilities and group activities which are cultivated improve the quality of life. The argument is sometimes expressed by meansof an analogy: it is said that though there are many ways to cultivate a garden, a garden which is lett to the weeds, and which becomes littered with beer bottles and other rubbish, is not an example of her ticulture.(32) Cultural conservatives, and others who insist that the term culture is judge rental as well as descriptive, umm: accept the general apptU n a Matthew I II (1822-1888), the Victorian mln.- al In" rare critic, who combined a pessimism about Victorian II



society with political and religious liberalism. lawns. Arnold, culture was a quest for perfection. Cultured persons were knowledgeable about everything mm

everTed a significant influence on the lives of individuals and their communities. They were Familiar

with great works of literature and other outstanding books; and they used their knowledge and sensibilities to benefit others as well as themselves.(33) But this is only the beginning of the many controversies over definition. Even when it is agreed that culture means perfecting worthwhile qualities, there are disagreements about -u's precise character of what is to be perfeete11 Cultural ervatives may agree that culture me . culture"a but what I precisely is its substa quality? )o culture and high culture describe =sting or acquiring of habits) or M products cess (the habits themselves, ideas understanding ks, works ll



of ar t)? A thornier problem is deciding the standard for determining which processes, qualities or artefacts are to count as examples of culture. Cultural conservatives are agreed that there are Features o f traditional culture which are threatened by and which ""-""* . oded against the Forces of modernity. But there the agreement ends. The features of culture perceived as threatened may be communal, reli. . . philosophical or a t fistic. Cultural also appraise differently the valuable features community life, religion, morality, philosophy and a t t. The remainder of this section will indicate some of the more influential and perceptive branches of cultural conservatism and, by means of a discussion of T.S. Eliot, one general argument. For some conservatives, cultural conservatism of moral »w¢ is the very hear t of their creed. To extent What they are aristocratic conservatives concerned >ut social and political leadership, it they view the main task of leadership as "eservation and development of moral they see it, without an underlying moral consensus no society can survive. These moral foundations may be seen as either the unique creation of a par ticular civilisation (for example Graeco-Roman or modern European), as in the philosophies of history o f Oswald Spangler ( 1 8 8 0 - 1 9 3 6 ) and Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975),(3u) or, though equally precarious, as having been transmitted from one civilisation to another. The latter is the view of Rober t Kirk, who sees the defence of universal moral standards as the essence of conservatism, regarding the core of conservatism as the 'preservation of the ancient moral traditions of humanity'.(35) The moral conservative view, that there are for~ ces in the modern world which sap the moral roots of






Western society,


takes a religious form


the Machiavellian form of using or alternatively religion for political purposes. Christianity or the is presented as a recess Judaeo-Christian tradition values which sustain Western sary supper t for the Another branch of cultural @1vilisation.(36l conservatism is educational conservatism. An educat o n a l conservative may be either a political consedative with an interest in education or a educathough not necessarily a political tionalist who, conservative, is also opposed to trends in modern sometimes deeducation. Educational conservatives



religious leatures of education against secularW--mmm M iso advocate historical, literary and Attached to the principles of a Qral education, they are dismayed by

the excessive utilitarianism o f , I by the reducing o f education to they mgstudent for future employment, and by the moral anarchy of contemporary educational trends (the assumption that religious, moral and aesthetic judgment can b e developed without guidance). Modern education is for fostering cultural decay. condemned It is alleged that even university graduates (item ~_laclg a grounding in the history and liters* lions and Western civilisation. They unaware the moral, political, scientific and ideas ° in that have produced and which are necessary renewal of the world they lnher1t.(37) Philosophical conservatives may 'n those cultural and moral conservatives their attack at modern philosophy teaching o f philosophy and related subjects philosophical or quasi-philosophicali assumptions _ _






by the elites and citizens of modern democratic societies. More precisely, philosophical conservatives can be defined as the conservers o f traditional philosophy, usually Graeco-Roman or Medieval, against the value seeptlcism which has come to frui the twentieth centu"y. Against the assumpti value judgements are private matters and the are no rational and objective standards for I



ting between them, philosophical conservatives defend the natural law view that philosophy provides such s andards. Philosophical conservatives reject the view that philosophy can do







to clarify language.




issues. This means that they relhll positivism view that only the empirical sciences . - ledge, and historicism, the vie i n llells, including claims about permanent achieve-»

*~.=_q-*-- F,Q; positivism g_hlstorieism, al..

merits o f philosophy, are n o t h i n g . : _ H Q duets o f a historical time and. place. Against

value scepticism of


logical and pragmatic offensive

argument is tory;


; : ~ : »

m y



that value scepticism

if its epistemolo

there would


the truth

epistemology now ledge) Varna tic which argument is tic ism will pbilo According sophieal conservatives value scepticism a w .hat then~ _ "H an~ jective criteria for choosing between political ends, for example, between different conceptions o f the good society, justice and freedom, or even between the good society and a concentration camp, justice and injustice, or freedom and servitude. Furthermore, if reason cannot arbitrate between social and

__ __








politic actual Social fore, arms

l social and political ends, Si s t simply be someone's choice. the ends they serve, therepreferences o f the multitudes, simply classes victuals with the strength to impose persuade if mi cleverness others eiety and I follows politic s never anything inhabited Machiavelli d Pareto. by the foxes and lions losophical The alternative views, maintained ;




conservatives, are that reason can be used to arbitrate between ultimate ends, and that i t is possible political authorit o base the powers of social and ties on objective standards. Society does not always have to be a jungle, reason can replace force and prcpaganda.(38) But, as with educational conservatism, there is a problem in regarding philosophical conservatism as a form of political conservatism. Not all political conservatives are philosophical conservatives. Philosophical conservatism is compati b l e with liberalism and socialism, and i t has exerted an influence on neo-Marxism.(32Q Among cultural conservatives, been poets, from Samuel Cole rid

Rober t Southey ($774-18u3) too (l8?M-1963) and John Betjeman (.| whose servatism has expressed itself is solitude, sensibility and imagination, and a veneration for the natural, the traditional and the beauti-



ful, against the competitiveness,

hustle and


and pursuit of material plenty of the past two centuries. It is from this branch of cultural conservatism that has come one of its clearest and most thoughtful statements: T.S. Eliot's modestly titled Notes towards the Definition of Culture (19u8), Thomas Stearns Eliot ( 1 8 8 8 - 1 9 6 5 ) falls into all the above categories of cultural conservatism. As well as being one of the century's most probing poets and critics, and a political conservative, he was a religious, moral, educational and philosophical conservative. His study of culture also included an argument

about the


and privileged class. close.

for hierarchy,





reflected which civilisations





m m




Burke that

are which

He remarked that when we remains of illew worth while But .(oJ which generated cultures


classes, nations and groupi tums


and for a ruling

The affinities

II regarded as having the potential clive culture. These culture$ might low. Higher cu Imam ;?p@al; they were mm unified diversified . lower cultures, encouragement o the all-round development . collectivity combined individualism and community .l warned . i -5.f ~ community being too close we should l"efrain 'from setting before the groups, what can be the aim only of the individual; and before society as a whole, what can b e the aim only of a group'.(M1) Few anthropologists or sociologists would quarrel with Eliot's use o f . iI'l.l. these terms, more contr c u n m n i *'*='-- *J ":potion of the relations beta culture Lgion. Whereas most anthropologi simply one of the many faccts religion as the moulder of a religion consisted of the fundamental bf a people, it was these fundamental beliefs which inunique, and spired a culture, made its civilisation held together i t s many subcultures. The principal question confronted by Eliot's study was a sociological one' what are the social conditions which sustain a culture? Par t of his answer was social hierarchy, the principal components of which were economic classes and related networks an l~ ~ll provide o f famities. Classes were required stable economic conditions - though where there was no mixing be twee movement in and out of them, and no As i t was the presence of elites, comprising trained and competent individuals necessary effective management of specialist which introduced movement and development society and culture, ideally classe 1.



lanced by




mull. .L_

inn LllM

powerful and they must be absorbed




tional upper classes. This was be i n threat to culture. They fostered 1.atomistie,_____-. petitive





which ambition,

drive and specialised knowledge became dominant. Onl y economic classes could preserve 1- transmit values of a culture; only to tins; carried out this cultural functioN.all privileges o f an upper class more important for the transmission of t



B u t » ~







the family. by which Eliot meant a several-generation rather than the family the Roots type of family young mother, father and two children doted over by the adver rising industry. It is because he believed that the ideal of equality, urged upon us by socialists, would destroy the classes and f amities neces~



sary For the transmission of a stable and worthwhile culture that he defended social inequalities, a...-.w..a.,..m


for culture, accorShould be a unity and and religious kind. diversity within a nation, and variations cause, were regarded conflicts friction united but tolerant owed dissenters and his Church mfluenee on religion, 1 that a united naculture should co-operate, while insisting not mean uniformity. He also advocated etween nations and between world

paid t o government. Though government depar tments assisbranches of culture, warnings were made against seeing culture as a branch of government or as something which could be planned. Eliot reminded his readers that politics and planning always occurred within a cultural framework, and that political actors and planners were motivated more opposed ting ar fistic or other M .

than they realised values. . the comm can

by a par ticular »PA*\




the Unum



W&HII1» jam...


on the we

because public de public rd

upper cl

likely m


wrote: In


o f f airs

b 01"n e :

mainly ' performed by H manner reminiscent h ea l th i l y

;~»;~i vi


would b e a a g r'e a t e r'




only just Should take m no partly quality of that inreed ) e r s of the Burke, be

_.__!i e t y ,


merited by those w

and its w ardians of

p ub1 i c






w O ul d b e i n


tages, and in whom HMMH__"_. , and interest for the sake of their Families ( 'a stake in the country') should cohere with public spirit.(M2) w

This aloofness was mo there would be regt tartans and other eli between

assumption between parliament genuine twoway eon mu

oppo ducat-

transmission comprehensiv


taught step-ed



ture. l Culture


education transmission


education had to be supper Ted by and other institutioniIi iniIsswiniI that culture was disseminated planners and educatora au ""' these educators.

famities -uiralnm



m it


Culture can never be wholly consl&mnlla 1 always more to i n than we are conscious II l..i i t cannot be planned because unconscious background of all onr planning.(H3) [T]he culture of which we are wholly conscious is never the whole culture: the ...Q-l§am-l= sure is that which is directing aetivizy those who are manipulating that which culture.(MM) 1llll.l....i.

Eliot thought that the concentrated lm lives, human d

which mechanical


world study pursuit continual

importance education


I astutely predicted



cppcr Muni


of culture pointed which i t was alleged were ern culture, without re .I comparable substitute. placing One such trend was secularisation. Though Eliot did not rule






culture, and even a

a materialist and sceptical





argued that a post-Christian culture would require centuries to develop and that the immediate result o f the destruction o f what for two thousand years had annum mau Qbasis of Western culture and




new age of barbarism. The llasslessness was another threatisf actors substitute for classes impermanent and each elite


of values. Without the respect system of recognised class priiilities upheld, society and culwould fragment. Domination by one elite or coalition o f elites would mean a political tyranny, which



and a

totalitarian and stultify ying culture;

tive ly, a



of elites would mean a confusion


o f discordant cultures. Because he thought that a hierarchy of classes protected variety and diversity, Eliot thought that the destruction of class would be accompanied by a d i f t into social and cultural uniformity, including the erosion of regional, local and occupational differences. He did not see education as an adequate protection against these trends; if anything, modern education furthered them. He was particularly worried by the doctrine of equality of opportunity. This doctrine, he believed, would corrupt both education and society. educational system aiming a t a complete adjustment between education and society will tend 'let education to what will lead to world, and restrict success in ..._-,-,,,,_.


world 'those persons who have been good pupils of the system.(M5)

But what he mainly against, was what

feared, and directed his book he considered the glib and inane

assumption made by liberals and socialists that social reforms intended to promote freedom, justice

or equality, even i f effective for these purposes, would inevitably bring cultural benefits. Eliot thought otherwise. I t was easier to disrupt and dismantle a culture than i t was to improve or create one. Radical social changes might well create new eivilisations and new cultures but they were unlikely to be better.(M6)



conservatism is in some similar . hers very different from to servatism The fallibility of reason, par ticularly as -I apprehension of and attempts UI improve dndenun human .......|action, was a fundamental component .... Burke' ought. Yet Burke's appeal to tradition and experience was not an attack upon reason itself, merely upon the exaggerated elaimq an :of .hmmm` Philosophical scepticism directs mum concentrated advocates doubt towards reason. Some of drawn to conservative political conclusions Scot, David Hume (1Y1 T-1776) an -.._



Michael Oakeshott

exemplifyy the


scepticism for conservative politics. Long before Burke's oratory rang out in the Commons, Hume had established himself as a man of letters. By the age of twenty-six, he had produced his greatest work, A Treatise of Human Nature.(M7) His Essays, Moral and Political (1741-17u2§ were joined by An Enquiry concerning__Human understanding 160

(1751) a reworking of part of the poorly-received Treatise. His subsequent several-volume History of England (1762), although it added substantially to his fame and prosperity, is now rarely read. Hume is chiefly remembered for his empiricism and his scepticism. In opposing the rationalism predominant on the Continent, he developed modern empiricism's affirmation that it was experience and not reason which was the ultimate source and test of knowledge. Hume asset red that reality had no logical structure and that there were no necessary connections within experience. He identified causality as regularly observed conjunctions, rather than as necessary conjunctions. Hume was not a consistent sceptic, however, who lived his philosophy. He believed that in everyday life one acted and should act on epistemologically dubious beliefs, acquired through habit and custom


Hume inq overnment





govern men





tempted by longterm

Habit soon consolidates what other principles of =& founded, and human men, accustomed w never think of de~ his they and their and to which they Egerit and visible moby ,.,`





This conservative custom in government limited to]

government its role w

emphasis ..

on convention and

2 3 5 5 . 3 -.§£§.


allullnlli~ ~.ll.!-ll-n





1 n


M33 own;

advance Philosophers

subjects. sieve that and desired by

purposes of its to beenjoyed

enjoyed mE

D o they not see the vest variety of inclinations and pursuits among our species, where each man seems fully satisfied with his own course of life and would esteem i t the greatest unhappiness to










Government should simply Ensure the survival of dicommitted to grandiose versify, rather theE social objectives. Hume did not deny that government could be made more efficient and more effective. John Plamenatz remarks that while Hume was undoubtedly conservative, 'he did not stand in awe of what is established, he did not see the mark ct God upon 1t'.(51) Hume, in fact, was an atheist. He also contemplated what the ideal form of government should be, reasoning that it was of advantage to be clear so that the existing constitution could be brought closer to it, 'by such gentle alterations and innovations as may not give too great disturbance to soc1ety'.(52) Improvements must be adjusted to fit in with the ancient fabric, not destroy it. Michael oak eshott is a who sharply separates theory argues that philosophy has no implications aotical and that scepticism $s the a attitude position politics. He has reformulated bets noir# modern nationalist. The rationalist', he explains, is a slave to reason, much of his political activity conslsting 'in bringing the social, political, legal and institutional inheritance of his society before the tribunal of his lntellect....To the nationalist nothing is of value merely because it ex1sts'.(535 Like Burke, Oakeshott makes .a distinction between change and 'self-consciously induced change' (innovation), and claims that the nationalist recognises only the latter as he is unable to accept that custom and tradition change. Rationalist political projects clutter recent history, he continues, from the schemes g o , Bert Owen and the Declaration of the Rights in. Rationalists aim not only at perfecFormlty but believe politics to be the

F _ B


answer --ll evils. Rationalism 'has become the stylistic Teflon of all respectable pol1tlcs',(5M)


for which is the emergence of ideoto have a doctrine now appears to be frivolous. Oakeshott explains the dominance of U n a tlonallst' politics partly by the else of 'polltlcal~ ly inexperienced social classes' to the exercise of political initiative. 'None of these classes had


time to





acquire a political education before it came

to power; each needed a crib, a political doctrine, to take the place of a habit of political behav1our.'(55) Locke, Bentham and Go farly Marx and Engels, are accuse cribs. One feels that is is not so 4:

tionalist as the system which has allowed

to prominence (liberal-democracyl 3 162

whit dakeshott

disapproves. 'So long as the circumstances which promoted the emergence of rationalist politics remain, so long must we expect cur politics to be rationalist in disposition.'(56) Oakeshott's conservative response highlights the limitations of reason in political and social change,

and advocates a limited role for politics. Governing is a specific namely the provision an


rules of conduct, which blind people to pursue own choice with the mini11 observes



humans which






compulsory Oakeshott

manner maintained







In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither star ting-place nor appointed destination. on an The enterprise is to keep afloat even keel....(59)

Skeptical conservative of reason, the limitations. ToF are convinced thin fer able to the as

claims we


ever, on modern liberal-democracy

change familiar


a s #

reason is that rages the positi

Ei systematic


SITUATIONAL CONSERVATISM Conservatism _ beginning reactive



Las generally been regarded and at this chapter was introduced as a Qot necessarily a reactionary


Faced with a challenge, conpolitical servatives respond in order to protect the values and § " , , u = E , prize. They appeal to history, to ind to traditional and hierarchical culture Situational



fo? it is developed simply to de1 63

fend the status quo, irrespective of the content of the status quo, usually by those who benefit most from it. The concept of situational conservatism comes from Samuel HuntingtOn, who proposes the following definition: the ideology arising out of a distiQQ§ but recurving type of historical Si which : Fundamental challenge is direc established institutions and in which t those institutions employ the conservative logy in their defense.(60) __--........-..-

Situational conservatism allows us to situation in which even astalin or a Mao can as conservatives, defending the systems thu* to orI over which they rule. ThII their power revolutionary' ends, but, to the ex~ tent are concerned with retaining their power system, they have no choice but to resp IN language and methods of conservatism. Here enters problem of content. To be a conservative in this situational use of the term is to behave in a conservative manner rather than be guided by conservative principles. It is part of the activity which is conservative, not the purposes which justify the activity. The situational conservative, whether professes to be a revolutionary, radical, anything else, defends yesterday's gains. dox in most western nations since the 19UolEE: that the political establishment, and to conven-n tional wisdom for the running of society, liberal and democratic socialist in name ways in content rather than conservative. illnnmlw




resulted in liberals and socialists speaki to

1 lull

g a g e of moderation and restraint, with self proclaimed conservatives feverishly demanding radical changes.(61) In economic controversies, For example, the Keynesians, yesterday's mavericks, are today's defenders of economic or thodoxy; advocates of a less regulated market economy, yesterday's conservatives, are today's radicals. The concept of situational conservatism explains the puzzle. Apart from the use the necessity to o? similar arguments and metaphors proceed slowly and the desirability of keeping boats afloat the affinities between various situational conservatives are often slight. The similarities in attitude and language cannot be said to constitute a tradition. Situational conservatism, at least in its post-Second World War Western context, has been politically moderate. In this respect it resembles






possible exception of Pareto's elite theory § jam previous varieties of conservatism we have examined t respect, at least, it 15 ' Burke an F"



urn to non-Burkean, .






ROMANTICISM AND MACHIAVELLIANISM The terms Let t aNi Right up than most political from their context.


the French Revolution which a person within the "=4.,m s Assemblies resisted revolution. They were cide seating. The extreme Revolution most fervent suppose extreme . right bitterest opponents. . Revolution, the European Lett have been associated with demands for freedom, equality, justice and popular sovereignty; the Right have emphasised law,






order, social hierarchy, the depravity of human nature, and the need for discipline. In the political conflicts of the past two centuries, right wing positions have been largely synonymous with conservative ones. The politics of the Lett, however, have been more complex: liberals have Followed Jacobins, socialists have followed liberals and communists have followed socialists as the Right's principal adversaries. The terms right and lett have also been used to discriminate between sections of these traditions. Conservative, liberal, socialist and other movements and sections of them have all had their rightwings though not necessarily permaand their lettwings nent ones. Individuals and groups who are on the right on some issues may be on the lett on others. What then is meant by right wing conservatism? Right wing conservatives are more strident and


ruthless than their more liberal minded brethren. They are more willing to use violence against oppoWhereas leftwing or moderate conservatives accept parliamentary democracy, right wing conservatives have turned to alternatives, from monarchist and clerical counterrevolutionary movements in the nineteenth century to military and other dictator~ ships in the twentieth. Partly because, in the de-


fence of their conservative values, they are prepared

to overturn existing institutions and conventions, the conservative right is sometimes known as the Radical Right. In right wing conservative thought and practice, radical projects for returning to a pre-democratic society or For constructing a post-democratic hierarchical and disciplined society 165

coalesce with more usual conservative objectives. In the nineteenth century little separated right wing conservatism from reactionary forms of loyalism and clericalism; in the twentieth century right wing conservatives have edged towards fascism, that is to say the politics associated with Italian Fascism, and German National Socialism. Fascism and National

Socialism, however, were distinct and



ments, i t is not being argued that they were examples o f right wing conservatism. Nevertheless, i t is being suggested that, whatever their other characteristics, they did make use of and take to extreme lengths the politics of a t least some varieties of right wing conservatism. Right wing conservative movements, though of ten abhorrent to liberal conservatives, share their language of tradition, leadership, social hierarchy and culture. But their use and misvnu-- uifemgmg use of` this language wilT gain discussion. Instead, the discussion i lrigh twins . conservative thought will focus in in and cepts: Machiavellianism ,l Romantieism Nationalism. .. " Nationalism , the giving of the I of a person's or group's loyalty to to Q nation state, has taken liberal and democr forms s well


It )eCOM€S as conservative and authoritarian ones. illiberal when it replaces the classical liberal subordination of the state to the individual, or the new Liberal conception of a community of free individuals, with the subordination of the individual t o the nation state. Conservative nationalists uphold an organic view of the nation. Against what they reGard as the exaggerated individualism o f liberalism and utilitarianism, they asset t the traditions, unity and strength of the nation. Liberals and socialists ° Tig ii. are accused of propagating falso lions of society, a spinelesSlcosmoplitanism in :


utopian internationalism.





conservative tended `"" capitalism another raver devour regarded in the twenty century it ha more tare able These tional and hatreds L many conservatives their support to apparently sir military leaders and dictators, who app ideals and who promise to defe inigoam nation.




The most successful

post~Second world



servative nationalist movement, and possibly the most attractive and successful rightwing conservative n 1 is Gaullism, the movement movement and ideas -





Charles' de Gaulle ( 1 8 9 0 - 1 9 7 0 ) , the president (1958-1969) of the Fifth

French Republic. Gaullism contrasts with the interwar Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolph Hitler's National Socialist Third Reich in Germany, with which so many right wing conservatives compromised. Whereas de Gaulle retained and worked with a restricted parliamentary democracy, the Fascist and National Socialist dictatorships, under the guise of the nation's traditions and interests, used a one-par to monopoly of the coercion, economic controls and propaganda available to a modern state *9E.E impose §§i§iI1@i11= Q a t a r iii]

These features


Socialism Right wing conserver treatment

mmsw ineffectual times




East Europe. To more fully understand rightwing conservative nationalism, and right wing conservatism in general, i t is helpful to turn to Romanticism.(62) The terms Romantic and Romanticism were widely used in the first halt of the nineteenth century t o

describe a European trend in ast and literature J'


the personal and political behaviour which accompanied it. The Romantics saw themselves as opposed to the rigid structures of a stultify Ying c`lassioism in art and literature, and to a conventional morality and politics. Movement can be dated The Romantic

from around








revolutions o f TSMS. But Romanticism is n o t confined t o a par ticular time and place. Romanticism exists wherever there is an enthusiasm for the emotions, intuition, imagination, spontaneity, originality and uniqueness, heroes and creative genuises, and a suspicion and hostility towards analytical reason, logic and restraint.


To use a distinction








than the Apollonian

and culture. Byron ($T92-1822) were the



(1788-182M) great poetic





aspects of life and Shelley genuises of

Romanticism; Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) provided the precedent For what could b e achieved in politics by a person of courage and genius. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1770), who exalted both the individual and the community, was the great prophet of romantic politics. The Romantic view is that political thought and practice should be shaped n o t by the detached analysis o f the facts but by subjective yearnings. Romantic political attitudes more easily attach themselves

t o revolutionary and utopian poli-

tics than to conservatism





be 16?



usually assume e parade extreme which of ten conservative """" conservatism forceful in its against age or when its....

conservative liberalism. Romantic

Romantics become revolution



provide a bold....

ernative to the triumph and the dreg Romantics over individuali community or, paradoxically, both. outrageous



In the nineteenth century, the dislike, by many Romantics, of the atomistic conception of society which they associated with liberalism, the crudeness of liberalism's rationalism and utilitarianism, the ugliness of industrialism and the acquisitiveness encouraged by the profit motive, which was linked to their desire for an organic community, led many romantics into idealising the past. William Blake (1157-1827), Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Samuel Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle (1T95-1881), Benjamin Disraeli Such crises, make capitalism into a g lumm. .£'system.iodically, profits >neralised the decline i n the demand At slump and a further f all same time it gave a new impetus liibentration The threat t red c o m p e d o f capital. titian between ineffiLu lowing larger and more client firms i n ' .

. . . . . .. . .







purchase their capital stock at

successful firms

so augment their productive capabankrupt price so boom. Thus the few successful city for the n e x t bigger with every boom which followed the firms g o t sometimes called a overproduction crises. This is tendency towards oligopoly or monopoly. As a result, to become even more concentrated and lab our tended The dynamic of the capable of self-organisation. capitalist system, therefore, provided the conditions for a lab our movement which could bring about the transcendence of that system. t o describe We have used the term overproduction situations of inadequate demand in order to distinguish Marx's tionists.(36)

theory from that of the underconsumpThe theory o f underconsumption, which

focused largely


the distribution



20 3

that deficient WOPKQFS



produc therefore



workers Early such as William Thompson theory to argue that lab our rewarded with the full value J.; the constant Cipitém minus depreciation ownsms.. limited :payment could I production Favoun




see are

caused by and pointed pared by precisely generally and the working ger share of that p an


intended for consume _


demand resolved tautology effective :nonsump always pre wages rise

actually annual


_ -




Since the purprw :F exa II' mine the political aspects of Marx's theory of cri~ see, we shall say no more about the falling rat e o f profit and overproduction, but return to the question o f how the working class might respond to capitalist ~IHIIln ii!! did not simply see workers' wages being and fur then down beneath subsistence . ~ly the poor have-nots (the original meaning or proletariat) rose up to over throw the sys-




In other parts of his work he deduced



what different picture from his emphasis on the tendency for the 'iron law of wages' to be maintained

over the long-term. Thus, according to the operation of supply and demand, wages would never rise much above subsistence level, but neither would they fall much below it. Thus the successive crises would n o t produce progressively greater misery amongst the em






but i t

would largely b e felt by the unemployed, whom Marx saw as a disorgenised lumpenproletariet, unlikely t o take revolutionary e c t i o n I ( 3 8 ) IN times o f high unem-


which characterised

the overproduction cri~

sis, revolutionary action would be taken by the relatively advantaged . capitalisI digging i t provid


through 1;

` This


argument, therefore, saw in he sense that own .1n..1n1l... .


working workers


Iorganisation, ever growing

use that i t units of spontaneous of the most brought about n promote an organiseoppressed working consciousness lion of 1; o f revolutionary possibilities because he was sceptical about spontaneous working class action.(39) This I



_ 1'~--am; .*

skepticism was later to become a cardinal element the thought o f Lenin.


Whether one accepts the supply and demand E-1T'gLlmenu (concerning overproduction) or the argument about value, one cannot deny that important consequences o f the crises o f capitalism, in Marx'5 view, were the driving o f the old petty bourgeoisie out of business and the unmasking of the conflict o f interest between the two m a j. o r classes i n the capitalist mode.



only in a condition o f such polarisa-

lion that the proletariat might change from a 'class in itself' (an objectively constituted class, independent o f consciousness) to a 'class for itself' ia class conscious of and com rited to the realisation o f . a own sts).(l40) It 1 3 o f ten argued nowadays 'g class has not become a 'class for because o f the growth of different kinds of intermediate -mg81='rata which Marx did not foresee, For example non-shareholding managers and professional people. Some commentators argue that the growth o f ..:r;.-

these strata


made Marx' S analysis o b e o l e t e . ( M 1 )

Others however, have analysed a current tendency for intermediate strata to disintegrate and For continued class polarisation. One example that is cited is the proletarianisation o f technical workers.

MARX AND THE STATE Our discussion of Marx so Far has concentrated on his theory of the internal contradictions of the capitalist mode of production and the tendencies leading to its transcendence. We may now move on to consider how Marx viewed the role of the state and politics in the transition to soc1allsm.(M2) Though

Marx followed

Feuerbach in inverting Hegel's concep-

tion of the relationship between Mind and the h e st11l



elements of the Hegelian view of

the state. Hegel, it will be remembered, saw the state standing above civil society as the embodiment of the rational Mind. Marx also saw the state standing above civil society, but not in terms of the rational Mind. It was precisely the separation of the state from civil society which negated its potent-ial for universality



Thus the French

and American Revolutions might claim to have achieved political emancipation, but they lett the class relay sons of exploitation and inequality of civil society


Indeed, as Marx came to see it, the state vehicle for class domination. The role of that state might be interpreted in three different ways. The crudest view put forward by Marx was that since the state came into

$n class-divided societies was a

existence to


the interests of the dominant 20 5




cer thin cir in degree of

who developed


dal estates class forces happened in

view was that lways mitt bureaucracy




of that bureaucracy.(M6) strength of military an lions as inhibiting the working to control the state through parliaments sign in Marx's writing iven rise to an inter between mentalists and those who maintain a 'relative autonomy'.(U7) Under communism Marx clearly believed state would disappear Marx' views n capitalism



Marx saw as being ofrich was defined terms m oil society. The H~ to exist i n a which would communist form would, we believe, still be concerned with the politics of who gets what, when and how. It would still possess what Weber called 'imperatively What would be different co-ordinated associations'. was that the attainment of the good life would he the business o f every citizen and not be consigned to some separate entity called the state. As Marx saw i t , capitalism had separated the state from civil society. The end of capitalism would reunite s t a t e and civil society by transcending the bourgeois state: raising political life to a higher l e v e l by preserving what was positive, including laws which benefitted all citizens, and suppressing what was negative, the instruments of oppression. Fur thermore, i t was n o t just capitalism and the state which Liberal thought would underwere to be transcended. g o a similar transformation. Liberals +-bought ii.; n nineteenth century form, aimed at! universal and the par ticular. Unee a the proletariat had become univer through abolition of classes, there was no n EH Hegelian



For Marx, democracy



dis tor red


With the abolition of classes,


par ticipation


in a class-divided society.




crack became synonymous. But what was the role of democracy before communism could be attained" Here Marx was less than clearIn his political journalism of the early 18HOs, Marx seemed to adopt a posilion which might be described as liberal democratic, though his advocacy of universal . should not be confused with a concern for parliamentary éemoEl atselrGan: in 1 m



the the des method which the working one t o it. d o r n capitalism Throughout his his cal use $L 'th a One way of reconciling th ten~ between Wwe strands of thought is to claim that Marx . term dictatorship in the strict se Qnd that i t was merely a so . rnonym for revolution(LL9) r simply rule.(50l Evidence for such

clear pas




meant much more.

are very that he Yet Marx was not talking about what Marx'E

found, but there ork which indicate

contemporary political

commentators mean be dictatorship. The term was taken from the Roman dictatura signifying a temporary state o f o f f airs adopted at times of national emergency when the governing body was given extraordinary powers to preserve order but was not allowed to initiate new laws.(5T) So long as the capitalist class was capable of staging a comeback, such a dictatorship might be necessary to protect the revolution. This view, which later Soviet . built upon, derived from the instrumentalof the state, the assumption that the . could .titilised to serve the interests of



whichever' were dominant. I f , however, we look at the other strand in Marx's thought, which stressed the relative autonomy of the state, the dictatorship

Qt the proletariat appears in a rather different wi-1

to Brumaire of Louis




suggested that the existence o f a state § bureaucracy could Tate against the effective use power

dominant class (bourgeoisie or bureaucracy had its own From this i t is possible t o the dictatorship of the notion






use the state to restrict destroy the power of the





Jed therefore, according to the ureaucracy- Marx certainly thought, that in England, America and the bureaucracy seemed relatively proletariat might achieve and maintain


# 2 ~

E "i~i=~~ was the origin power- through the perk extravagant nfidence in the of Marx's value of universal suffrage I those countries. We do not prob which of the above views represents i,_ _ _ . _ Suffice to say 'i


that Marx's treatment of the dictatorship of the proletariat is ambiguous. For that reason, much has been made of his comments about the Paris Commune o f 18?O. In T871 Marx wrote that the precondition for 'every people's revolution on the continent' was 'no longer, as before, to transfer the bureaucratic-military machine from one hand to another * smash " "" . . Ethe Commune as breaking power modern its (5M) Unfortunately negative comments about the Commune ultimately 1sed about what really meant century has been a amongst I Western Marxists between emphasise monism will b e through an d those who, followings seizure of state power by = the argument between reformists >volutionaries' focussed as emergence of Euro communism and l Communist Par ty's explicit disavowal of the dictatorship of the proletariat in its strategy. iliiiisiinhi


I t is





that Marx con-

sidered both parliamentary and non-parliamentary strategies to be potentially revolutionary. The possibility of different paths reflected the diversity of state forms and class forces which confronted working class movements. the in Marx's views on the role of the state first period of transition to communism are what distinguish him from, on t h e one h a n d , the followers of the most important leader of the German workers movement, Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-6u) and, on the other,

from the various kinds of anarchists.

The Lassallean

position was that the Prussian state could b e uti~ used in the service of the proletariat and trans§§u!au nm!~ formed Proud within * H the period before it took po might supper t measures designed by? the bourgeoisie. *in aden the hands of Bismarck, played This Marx the German Seas prepared to grant working

11 Q--_1.°€lt




t h e c o n s e r v a t iv e russian government.l56) Manhood ranted an ` level errand successfully in 1 8 7 0 supper t one of the most regimes Europe. reactionary Hence, in Germany, the

which whole




owning elements made working class with the state a retrograde step. It ~til 'sounds that Marx opposed Lassalle an plans ~otion o f state-funded co-operative organisations; Marx in sisted that co-operatives were 'only valuable i f they [were] the independent creations of the workers themselves'.(5T) Marx was predisposed to support the liberal bourgeoisie in its struggle against the




autocracy, and




for political action to motif y the existing state. The anarchists, however, objected most vehemently to this conclusion, as well as to Lassalle an views of the state. They felt, moreover, that Marx's discussions of the dictatorship of the -i I ii ~=M.lliv.lll" statism which masked I would contribute M



dom.(58) It Bakunin (181M-76)

showdown attempt

so' anarchist

merits Germany

towards position advocated by Ferdinand Lassalle Although union of the Marxist and Lassalle an ~__ _Illman socialist movement at Gotha in 1875 resulted in a formal adherence to Marxism, in reality the new German social Democratic Party moved fur the and further towards embracing the existing state form. In his Critione of the Gotha Programme (18751 Marx warned against this development, but his comments were not published until long of ter his death. Bismarck's anti-socialist legislation (1878) did ostensibly unite the Party behind the Marxist banner in opposition to Bismarck. This is illustra_





1 1 \


Erfur t programme(60) which was published

in 1891, aster the fall of Bismarck and the removal o f the bans in 1890. However, it was n o t long before the German social Democrats were once again openly advocating a statist policy. By that time, socialists in many other countries had abandoned revolutionary politics i 4 favour _I HS ing the existing state apparatus to promote gradual reform. We ay"9 now in . .' l l1 ¢ ' l l $ ! u ' 0 mpare Marx's views Jple discussed in with those of some clear that Marx was earlier chapters. no notion of no classical Locke m h ad star ting point was pre-social human rights. His This did not socially-determined human interests. mean, however, that he believed that human nature was infinitely plastic, waiting to be moulded by society. The whole of Marx's theory rested on a view of human beings as potentially productive and co-operative.



from which human beings ha. 'premise

:t was, in Marx's words, a

one rejects Marx's discussion of 'Hegelian survival', one might still no motive to exploit others, and produce and co~operate, were what . sat the 'universal class' . The no"lluhnal ..,'i»"'4





intend to indict science and the name of humanity. The aim is sim-

ply to criticise certain approaches which, in the claim &§awgm 1 only legitimate ways


understanding world technology




Hicular- approaches * o mored by groups o f



goals nature I or human knowledge


dependent of science interests views. In show t, E neutral and neither technical efficiency, hading to the stock o f Qsed to promote par-

Q# examine the

~= se of others. In a world or widespread poverty and f amine, the continued extravagant pursuit of space research is but one example. Furthermore, the groups which promote particular interpretations of science and particular technologies are themselves conditioned to think in a way which often excludes any consideration of the consequences of their actions and which regards certain human goals es 'non-sclentiflc'. There is a tendency among scientists to regard such ideas as freedom, equality or human dignity as metaphysical speculations to be avoided by the hard-nosed researcher of the real physical world. Such an approach is immensely productive in enhancing the ability of some people to control their environment. Yet it is also V"'»



immensely destructive of human values once the scien-

tific way of


social sciences.



the realm



aim in this chapter is not to

provide a cost~beneflt analysis o f science and technology. Indeed the very concept cost-benefit analysis is a symptom of the problem, for the aSseSsment of costs and benefits cannot be conducted in an Sufi-°"'" " ~ - i " is to explore what has been

call ledge



§ ~duction of all



methods ,gi "the natural sciences. democrat; theory of Rousseau,


modern tremendous mood of` ontirnism

which accompanied the eighteenth century Enlightenment Such e mood iS exemplified most words of the French mathematician and Simon de Laplace ( 1 Y 4 9 ~ 1 8 2 T ) .


One must




universe as the effect of it S and as the cause of that which intelligence that could know, start, all








world, and the respective positi'

ties which compose it, i f great enough to analyze all

in a§Hition i t was this information,

would be able to embrace in a single formula the movements of the largest bodies in the universe

and those of the lightest atomnothing would be uncertain for it, and the future, like the past, would be directly present to i t s observations.( 1 )

Such an image of science was powerful in its claims to provide the foundation not only for accurate knowledge but also for predicting and engineering the Future condition of humankind. Central to this conception was the search for 'natural laws' which would 'fit all known facts and explain how they are causally related to each othep'.(2) Indeed, the image was so powerful that i t was appropriated by many philosophers and social theorists. Herbert Marcuse aptly summarises the trend. human objective

world presented as governed by analagoue or even identical with society forth

e or less 0oals. Me " to resu]

an objective subjective


the neoes to for. their private existence to this


In such a view there

tary actions oF humsI






, .1--

am economic problems

and social conflicts which stemmed


trial revolution we i K scientifically loulable and the limits human intervention could be precisely ascertained ~V~ 5 this 'superior understanding' of the world.(H) #

. . . . .. . . . .

The general demystification of the world which eighteenth century Enlightenment was

followed the

usually associated with the doctrine of rationalism which was mentioned in Chapter 1. The term rationalism covered of ten quite diverse approaches to was common, It the new foundations of knowledgehowever, for nationalists to praise reason, as opposed to faith, superstition or a belief in traditional



rationalist attitudes with the growth

philosophy were closely linked

in of


skientifio knowledge and, as with this eventuated in the claim by some lists that the rational methods of eclenoe quite not only to comprehend but all change nature and soviet je t . . -AA they sew x 1" of in;S fo run e. l i tip ' * majo I" reason *ii 55 in cam e e pr'ed of ii r1 ent fig ' * » eéiteria for rational determining $ tar :i to to Di e it lu e ion knowledge , -1












1 . ,









strange, end had seen. in Paesmore'e



connexion Oetw demystification

weieh 'necessary oonneotione' beyond the



attempt phenomena _




stripping away

of illueio was basic to providing try Thus, in p ursoing its go! science often proposed the

outward knowledge explanationJ unobservable Q

entities. _ A reluctance t examine unobservable entities, however, resulted '. vershadowed by another approach in . positivism. Whilst sharing the realist concept' a_' objective, rational and explanatory science, positivists --Minot 3*II°l 4 to get behind phenomena to reveal essences, necessary mechanisms or connectio searched for regularities which represented as universal laws. Such laws posing and testing hypotheses " b i confirmed' made the laws valid for all scientists to engage in the other? lion. All this was part of a mu. broader programme possible which held that, since science 1-1 II


kind of knowledge, philosophy



methods. Thus, as part of science


philosophy was to

which might discover general scientific pro serve as a guide for social and political same principles of explanation as prediction govern both the natural and soc; In order to survive we must, modest to predict, but we should be I

positivists in our predictions, tween freedom and necessity is a complex









science started out as an at temp nom era and to examine the essenc positivistic development, howeveV.



surf ace regularities. Freedom was constrained not so much by essential limita-

the mapping of

seen as





lions on human action but by the surface phenomena of world... 5 ed as though what was had to be. original revolutionary mood of rationalism became

conservative positivism diI conservative dash~ine There harking he contrary positivistic reinforced eral A n n e . century progress. Theorists p forward I views I about evolution of history uggested means ganising society, Sinet schemes claimed to have been disproveii by empirical . search and were thereby! '1'»rn.P-.* " as politically neutral. Thus, they tended to confuse the relationship (found in classical Greek philosophy) between telos and techno, or ends and means. By pursuing certain means they implicitly favoured particular ends or goals. In fact, they of ten explicitly advocated an elitist, managerial or bureaucratic socijgé.





~ _

- L


following pages we shall






Weber 1920) was earned politicians would it) cowed by inistrators .un wuunau democracy would 1k-In reaucratically dominaMannheim __-93-19M7), on the other -in world, hand, felt that a planned society could, in fact, be democratic and that one should plan for democracy. In contrast to Mannheim's optimistic view, James Burnham, the ex-Trotskyist, moved from a belief in proletarian revolution to a managerial revolution. Managers, he felt, were forming a new ruling class. Burnham's work was the forerunner of a body of literature which examined critically the class nature of intellectual power. We shall comment briefly on

this. The chapter will then conclude with a discussion of two major critics of modern technological society, Jacques Ellul and Herbert Marcuse. These latter writers point to a situation where the nineteenth century version of technological progress has undermined democratic thought and practice. Far from being the unambiguous bearers of reason and enlightenment, the Siamese twins science and technology are seen to have developed into a new religion.

AUGUSTE COMTE Comte, the one-time secretary of Saint-simon, new discipline of sociology upon what he saw as the principles and certainties of empirical

founded his






who locate the 365

origins of the modern discipline of thinkers of the Enlightenment we that Comte was, in fact, the founds pline.(7) Sociology weE product the Enlightenment as thi product its voluntaristie hopeRae Although human beings their own history, as M make it in the way they writers history-making | potential Enlightenment stressed of people. Sociology, however human cerned to investigate t lion - the determinants Comte's determinism, however, was very different from that of Marx. Human life was constrained not by the operation of modes of production but by something akin to the Hegelian Mind. Human life inevitably passed through three epochs. The first of these, the theological epoch, was characterised by human beings explaining nature in terms of forces, such as gods or am spin which similar f""*ans themselves. metaphor occurred when The _. sought hums and metaphysithird epoch, natural cal "' whiea of positivism, . . . . . . .

observation which demanded external world and positivism con'ast discovery a s of nature, so matu human knowledge might be assessed in terms . discipline mm reached in that a regard. Thus, mathematics was more advanced than physics and physics was more advanced than chemistry _____.

or biology. After the natural sciences came sociology which, Comte considered, would eventually yield to the same method. The ultimate goal was a unified science. Maturity was also marked by the extent to which each discipline saw the phenomena it studied as par t of an organic entity.

to realise

Biologists were beginning

that one could not study each part of an

organism separately. Similarly, the social sciences could not start from isolated individuals or institutions. Humankind was socially determined and could only be understood as a whole.(8) Comte's stress on the social determination of individuality was the antithesis of the classical liberalism discussed in Chapter 1 which operated mes human Comte humankind human nature ohological disco

achier which



however demanded






towards dogmatism appealed tE 8 old religi

fistic rel:m


the past, religion had Now, Comte thought, the e replaced by a new positiat did that The 1m ply?

liberal belief in rationality had been rejected because o f the human tendency towards dogmatism. Yet positivistic thought itself required a rationality which could only be achieved i f a new kind o f dogmatism was pressed into its service. Herein lay the fundamental paradox o f most contemporary scientific thinking - the dogmatic faith in anti-dogmatism. At least Comte was honest enough to realise that he wanted people to worship science. Nowadays many scientists are somewhat more sophisticated and somewhat more dishonest. Comte" ! inion was ni simply worse

of science

was concerne' counter he re Iona la by of his jected faire economics, nu- eomp11 nm economy becl rational management__ moral trialisrn

which info


amenable ____ __ ___ __ company with them

parted lblltlcal in his lbbconomie economy abstractions as metaphysical past.(10) The harmony which would %he economy under positiesult not of the free Imi market . Lassical liberalism) F nor . of state intervention in the interests of developing human personality (New Liberalism), nor of the socialisation of the means of production (socialism), nor of the restructuring of the economy according to traditional values (old-style conservatism). It would be the consequence of implementing a philosophy determined by the self-evident dictates Of science.


Thus it did

not matter in the least whether the


economy was publicly or private personal authority was purge character. It was manifestly




l1OHg as britrary the new progress i slogans

scientific order should be and should take. Order and progresl o f the new posftfYistio age . Comte's views were not only profoundly anti-liberal and anti-socialist, they were also anti~demooratio. It was this aspect more than any which earned 'him the scorn of John Stuart Mill, . . supported many o f his early theories and who perhaps derived in own faith in technocratic values ., Comte seemed to support contemnu- Comte. gl -r. porary forms '5- autocratic rule. He rejected ann.-nIll--tdated manifestation o f the theo-





logical and

military age (tor the new scientific age

was making war archaic). Yet he also rejected parliamentarianism on the grounds that it was an English system which justified the rule of an outdated feudal aristocracy. He welcomed, however, the coup d'etat of Louis Bonaparte because the new dictator opposed feudal monarchy, rejected English parliamentarianism and promised a new managerial state. France, it seemed, would eventually stand at the head of a Western confederation o f states, much smaller than those

of the nineteenth century,

and each governed

a scientifically-trained elite. There is, we believe,E.§ anti-democratic

philosophy that

as an organism. managed to conce'

which was seen


democracy within



ntrinsically Lews society *rent Greeks city state is salutary

to examine democracy within _ context of a social whole. What was dangerous about Comte'- positivistic (un-Aristotelian) reduction of method was his the

values which should self-evident dictates This led to his seeing

inform society to the of scientific rationality, the par is of the social organism purely in terms of their function in maintaining the whole. Functionalism, of which Comte was the progenitor, has been subjected to withering criticism in recent years. It leads to a spurious attribution o f equality to various groups. For example, the 'rich man in his castle' and the 'poor man at his gate' each perform equal functions in the heavenly scheme. Similarly, for Comte, men and women were equal. They each had their respective function and iI££lQM§,l 1.151 the sense that men were capable of` rationality whilst women were The 'equal' balance between morally health of the social M





in terms ~T §oienoe°

women could

be degraded


morality was

Did it not imply

in the world of

on a pedestal outside? Indeed, the retie tional equality entailed social inequality. Secondl y , function only had meaning in terms of particular sets of values. When those values derived from biological analogy there was always the danger that a:."1ssnr

functional equivalents

of biological organs might be `

would deny attributed to social institutions, Who an the appendix? that the brain is moved important But is the government my ~n= ~ i m p o r tent than a team of road sweepers° Comte would : " . argued that the by Functional equality social inequality generated should always


tempered by a religious injunction

In reply, one beings. of what value is love when each person is

t o love one's fellow human

might ask,


assigned to a place determined by imperatives more important than love? A third criticism of fund tionalist positivism would, from Comte's perspective, be the most damning. His whole endeavour concile order and progress within societ notion of function meant that Comte could only understand the operation of a social whole in a static sense. How, for example, may one tell the dif ference _





between a disfunction and a creative adaptation to changed circumstances? Ascer faining the difference requires some further ethical judge rent as to what is good or bad. As many people see i t , order and pro_ Ra

example, Thomas Kuhn orderly 1 .

amen tally contradictory concepts. For lodgment in science, the philosopher ells us, occurs not so muon by the 4







trevolutionsd which o f ten draw their inspiration from sources outside the framework of 'normal' scientific m e t h o d . ( 1 T ) Even further, Paul Feyerabend maintains, science is anarchic.(12) Or if one pre fers the view . v , progress depends For its existence o n



Qemporary and relaorder and progress has been u su $ it still remains what would all '"""'" dominant paradigm of 'normal' science a n d , more seriousl_.y,; 'Paormal' social science,



iden * on all sides

MAX WEBEH (186u-1920)

m sitivistic sociology was only one kind _ the failure; Ein mluntaristic hopes 01"""'" Enlightenment, Its; weakness lay in submerging Comte' of reaction

history beneath the broad sweep of general historical laws and its reluctance to study the particular his~ tory of different peoples. This had been the criticism of the Enlightenment by




Burke who were concerned with the historically deter-

mined rights of

particular nations rather than the

abstract rights of humankind. A similar position was Instead of adopted by some German historicists. searching primarily for scientifically determined laws, these scholars aimed to understand the meanings which people gave to their lives. Discovering the meaning which people held for their historical aclions was the essential ingredient in historical ex• the natural planation that had no equivalent in sciences. Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), for example, or intuitive underproposed the method of Verstehen . standing as the best way of conducting historical analysis.(1Ml This also became the starting point of the German sociologist Max Weber who insisted that understanding should precede the discovery of histori cal laws. Accordingly, his method for social


science consisted in uncovering the meanings which people gave tor their behaviour and the underlying rationale of that behaviour, followed by the sketching out of typologies or 'ideal types' of social action. Weber wished to avoid at all costs what be~ came known as reductionism the explanation of

social action






a single set of

determinants. Explaining history either in terms of the universal Mind, as Hegel had done, or in terms of the forces of production (as Weber thought Marx bad done) were clear examples of such reductionism. Weber's method represented a response to both the overly philosophical and abstract forms of historical explanation and to the scientific over-emphasis upon empirical facts. To be scientific, one had to combine theoretical analysis, understanding and the search For statistical laws Such was the way to avoid simple-minded reductionism. As has been noted, one of Weber's main contributions to social scientific thought was his conception of ideal t y p e s (ideal models of social action and authority. Such ideal types did not represent reality but merely served as reference points against which the real world might be measured.(15) He proposed four basic ideal models of social action. First there was rational action in the sense of specitying the relationship between means and ends (zweckrational). A second form of rational action (wertrational was action oriented towards absolute or transcendental values. Third, there was affective or emotional action and, finally, traditional action. Weber also indicated three different models or types of authority: traditional, legal-rational and charismatic. Charismatic authority was that oriented towards a leader with extraordinarily personal powers of persuasion. Weber, moreover, defined politics in terms of domination (Herrechaft) over human beings

and the state as an institution which had a


of the legitimate use of force within a given Terri» t.0py_('t6) in Using the above scheme, Weber concluded than, ` Western society, the basic form in1 . _ legal-rational and exemplified by modern bureaucracy. Bureauoratio organisation was se. ' designating and held together by official rule relationship between particular emotional than by affective give structures rather a situation . toE politician ties. In such be at they mercy HI

Marx, be ' from the means she was ala 5 son. Sme 3?0

might production



means of admlnlstpa4 modern society bureaucratisation é€'1§&~B1E

inevitable form, Weber, like Comte, thought that matter much whether ownership of the means in public or private hands. If anything socialism would facilitate bureauoratlsa~pitallsm which still maintained eeranarohL§ .LE ixia o f organisation. Unlike Comte, Weber did not think highly of *he society which he saw developing around him He was too much of a historian to take the claims of classi"""~""'"*allsm seriously, yet he was emotionally drawn kind of.liberallsm. He knew that the liberalism to create the conditions for human ant would be very difficult to realise in a bureaueratlsed society and yet he always wanted to find human development. When he was at his most% reallsti_=nlIE iaware perhaps that liberalism was uto; the glory and power o f the German ;. . founded am its own historical values Never tieless he poured scorn o n the arbitrariness o f the vain 'dllletante', Kaiser Wilhelm II.(1?) He wan~ Ted to defend parliamentarianism and yet, seeing its ineffectiveness, he could only claim that its virtue was not in securing freedom but in helping to recruit better leaders into government. Above all, Weber was torn between an admiration o f bureaucratic efficiency and profound dismay at the consequent decline in of







But was there no way out of the world which Weber described? In 1918, he offered just a ray c t hope . Increasingly politicians weave becoming powerless in the face of a huge bureaucratic machine. But

perhaps, from time to time, e charismatic leader might appear who could rescue society from greybess and even preserve some freedom. He never lived to see Adolf Hitler who initially did help rescue Germany from psychological despondency and economic depression whilst doing more to set back the cause o f

freedom than any single person in modern times.


would Weber' have thought o f the German people suing the new affluent greyness o f the ? technological E miracle' (Wirtschaftswunder), convinced! alienation from the means o f administration was infinitely better than their last dose of charismatic leadership? Weber provided a number of explanations for the evolution of modern society but did not solve any o f the major questions or contemporary politics. He did, however, point to a crucial question. I s democracy just a utopian dream, the temporary achievement of which will depend upon the right kind o f charismatic leader in the future? Since, moreover, charismatic leadership inevitably tended to become routinlsed, could one conclude that an affirmation o f . . . . . . . .



the principles of democracy was to fly in the face of history?

In terms of this chapter, weber's achievements lay in showing how the pursuit of technical efficiency in social organisations could lead to the overbearing oppression of modern bureaucracies, Although such bureaucracies might originally be intended to further democratic goals, they often came to subvert them by serving their own internal pur.





governed creativity Weber important history social problems apparent methods study E society


work environment

=d rules, effectively supork satisfaction. Secondly, tempting to reconcile socio. suggesting an innovative method. In short, his work e found in introducing the aural science into both the practical transformation. I


THE AGE OF RECONSTRUCTION OR THE MANAGERIAL REVOLUTION ThrongQui II has ¥ia§tieth century, there appeared literature on the advent of' a new §§§aucrat:ic and not all the comE§§ . m Qloclety, mentators essimistic Weber. for example, one of the most influential sociologists of an r~1 the period prior to toE Mannheim convinced (1893-19M?), planning could co-exist an I enhanced democracy.(18) Old style liberals this score had failed to understand of democracy changed according stages the evolution of society of chance discovery and tg| error u society as totalitarian in the sense that community pressures shaped all aspects of interpersonal relations. Yet ,-

it was also democratic an law was


of In the;


Ehat customary

modified by all the people


affected by its. stage H hat of invention - consensus broke at giving T;;.ai;;5i§, to formal rationalised law designed. facilitate arbitration be- growth competition tween competing parties* produced laissez-faire economies and the legitimation of arbitration facilitated the development of liberal democracy. In the third stage, planned society or the age of reconstruction lt was seen that laissez-»f'a1r'e economicE my_ my-ml-§



and the growth



par ticipation?

challenged the basis of the limited s The task, therefore, was to create a




government which restored the consensui of the stage, and retained the parliamentary institutions of _





the second



society that such

(such .




Hayek) who felt


impossible were merely applying nd superseded stage to the new problems o f the age of reconstruc-

$hlll 1

There is democrat a plant?


. . . .

.. .


theory no reason why a form of should in be transferred to which in h a d ly we;


hat of

teenth century hand mo re social ultimately each them, aal subjected state contr¢,, few con!il.l!i.l1E parliamenII llheck b tary sovereignty, so can many. It 151 I wllllilliidllll of recasting the machinery, lathein placing it altogether. For Instance_ eiple of the separation of powers - functional lines can more easily be applied t¢ i planned society than a liberal democratic o'In ETh n l l f l l n z that in a planned society the varlo mu planning are interdependent does this principle. In other words there is no necessity why, in a planned society, sovereignty should take the form o f a dlctatorshlp.(19)






The possibility o f reconciling planning with democracy was also a cardinal tenet o f Marxism. But developments in the soviet Union did not seem to be pointing in a democratic direction. A Weberian might point out that the bureaucratic monster which had appeared in that country was an inevitable consequence of planned industrialism. The Marxist Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), however, argued `" ' " site. As he saw lt, bureaucratisatlon quench of

the underdevelopment o f the

ces and could be brought to an development.(20)

In Trotsky's



eyes, t


which had promised so much for the ca m m ' socialist revolution, had degenerated into Stalinist bureaucratism because o f the mistaken policy o f 'socialism in one country'.(21) Because the Russian proletariat had not been able to join forces with the proletariat o f the more advanced countries in a process o f permanent world revolution, the Soviet workers' state had be. .

. . .

. .


come deformed by the growth of a bureaucratic caste. Proletarian democracy, therefore, had been stamped out. Since the major part of th e economy had been soclalised, the Soviet Union was clearly no longer capitalist, but neither was it socialist. This was because socialist transition implied the

elimination of classes.


But how else, from a Marxist


standpoint, could the Soviet Union be characterised? The notion of a deformed workers state might say something about the state structure but it said little about the economic system. Towards the end of his life, under the influence o f Bruno Rlzzi's La Bureaucratisation du Monde, Trotsky enter fained the

idea that the Soviet Union might actually represent a

completely new kind of political-economic structure known as bureaucratic collectivism.(22) This strand of thought was developed by Trotsky's one-time colleague Max Shachtman.(23) Others pointed out, how~ ever, that the term bureaucrat ism was to o loose to be of very much use since the modern bureaucrats, both East and West, were Far from the comic tea-drinking carriers of briefcases which we normally associate with t '"'" bureaucrat. a bureaucrats were,


in f ac; ted no tural







were recruiassimilation of a culBritish civiL service) technical revolution " managerial |

~reaucratlc revolution.


maj or Kas the argument of another' ex-Trotskyist, James Burnham, whose book The Managerial Revolution was published in the United States, in 19U1, just before the United States went to war. Burnham's argument, it must be stressed, was n o t a return to the position of Comte who operated within the framework of industrialism rather than capitalism. Burnham's star ting point was indeed the contradictory tendencies in capitalism, and he shared Marx's view that the capitalist system was in the process of self-destruction.(2M) The demise o f past societies had always been characterised by massive unemployment and the growth of autocracies and dictaof the tcrehips. This had been the case a t the end

feudal era


unemployment found solut

absolutist regimes. Those regimes were t gets of capitalism. similarly, in Burnham§ the problems of the depression had found eflfleotiye solution in what he felt to be dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler. were the harbingers of the new managerial

only in own m

But why had socialism been swept from; e .I Again Burnham had recourse ii E

of history? topical





regimes agenda *¥*"*



triumph because? ` F Idell op within the ancient cities). AbQ S & womb of feudal, society. solute monarch given power -J the middle class in their civils order to smash aristocratic centrex of


tutlonal basis




however, no


Lture in the womb of

capitalist society. The social democratic parties bourgeois parties and the trade unions had ena§ail.§1: a the institutions of the ruling ______ " e did exist institutions which might foster the Q managerial class and those institutions g centre of the producd$rLua: a educational capitalist society. It . wonder ' ! E .» ~the modern equivalents absolute monarchs 5 eliminating capitalist centres of power by using managerial institutions? Hitler and Stalin, therefore, were merely pursuing different routes to the same end. In the Soviet Union, the capitalists had been eliminated as a class. In Germany, they had been reduced to a subordlnate position. Even in the United States capitalism was in full scale retreat before President Roosevelt's New Deal policies which gave the American state unprecedented power. Though Roosevelt was no Hitler or Stalin, one could see in the United States the decline of specifically capitalist institutions and the rise of those which might more properly be called managerial Perhaps the most important of the declining institutions was Congress which, along with all parliamentary institutions had no place in the new scheme. Greatly inereasei 1 executive power mass the prime characteristic of transitional period, Significantly, those~ countries I which bornly maintained outdated parliamentary | sons, such as England, were about to be engulfed by the German war machine. ` War was the method by which the new institutional arrangements would he achieved. The logic of the new universalistic managerlalism ultimately de-











manded a world state. _l,rL_the meantime, there would probably develop three major economic communities under the leadership of m managers mf the most advanced industries in the world. These would be centred on Europe, East Asia and America and, though Burnham was careful to say that such states did not necessarily imply the hegemony of Germ o 2 m s the United States, the implication was quite In the meantime, the Soviet union which "'"°' managerial revolution would reve ¥ an industrial power to compete. I would tually =¥* in two with the East gravitating and the st to Europe. noted that Burnham felt that the initial transition E nagerialism would be undertaken under aegis Fong central government. This had necessary in the soviet Union in order to crush capitalists and in Germany to subordinate them. United States, however, the role of the state was currently to regulate the outcome of a battle be~








tween four different types oilers of the st the managers These means of production in the strict sense o noed their post dion to a knowledge society cold came the financed executives as governed by technological imper providing the arena for profits. Thai group were often still dominant, though under New Deal Han z 'i policies were being subordinated to 1 " financiers, third group -. mm banking system, stock market sites on the~ industrial system. - Fourth came the shareholders g m owners and QE . under capitalism. were not of major significance For most of fourth group economy was a mysterious system which handed out presents in the form of dividends. Most of this group failed to see that real ownership was in fact synonymous with actual control. Eventually only the first group would hold power. That power was in fact class power, since the characteristic of a ruling class was its ability to shape the means of production to ensure that lt resigma: .iii ceived a dispropor titanate sans duct. The new ruling class would unlike capitalist class where the ownership me ans production was private. It H ruling because it owned the means production in sense, but because it owned Once the new ruling cl triumphed pletely over' the forces capitalisms might possible for the coercive poiga . Cline. This was what had happened to absolutist monarchical power after eapltalism was fully established. At one point Burnham even entertained the idea that a limited form of democracy might coexist with manageriallsm.(25) Such democracy, however, 1


1\l{j I






. u .





would probably only have force at lower levels of ad-

mlnistratlon. It would not affect the interests of a new ruling class which owed its position to a knowledge which could not be arrived at by majority decision. Burnham felt that managerial ism, like liberalism, was merely an ideology. The ideology which legit irised the interests of the new ruling class would be presented as the common good. But it was much more powerful than any bourgeois ideology. Ordinary people might dispute the workings of the 'iron laws of political economy'. They would have little basis to dispute the laws of science. But perhaps people would come to challenge the new ideology and perhaps attempts would be made by the new ruling class to placate them by appeals to the old ideological symbols of socialism, individualism or human

rights. 376

In the form presented by Burnham, the managerial-revolution thesis was open to serious challenge. Much might be made of + failure E his predictions, especially the fact t capitalism revived and thrived For a time under precisely u.'.... Same kind of policies promoted during; New Many would argue that, Deal. Germany 1 the collapse of Hitler led to one of the most spectacular developments of capitalism ever seen. One might; argue also that developments in the Soviet Union in recent years could be interpreted as a partial revival of capitalism, and certainly no one would claim nowadays that the Soviet Union is too weak to survive as a major industrial centre. As Burnham himself admitted in 1959, there were by that time two rather than three managerial poles in the contemporary world.(26) But perhaps the most important failures in prediction were his underestimation of what is now known as the Third World and the growing ecological crises. We have yet to see whether worldwide problems will give rise to new and harsh forms of managerialism, utter disaster or even perhaps a new form of socialist democracy.(27) But it is unfair to condemn Burnham for the failure of his predictions. His work has generated a mass of literature on the new industrial state(28) which has led to fruitful d e _ bate. In our view the dichotomy between capitalism and socialism should still remain at the centre of attention, but we cannot but respect Burnham for his original explorations into the ideology of mane_ gerialism which pervades contemporary social science.

JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH Though the ideology of managerial ism has been extremely influential in writing on modern society, ' there 13 a tendency nowadays to regard the term managers as too restricted. A contemporary writer on managerial ism, John Kenneth Galbraith, for example, prefers to stress the rise of technocrats and spec1alists rather than managers. His book The New Industrial state (196?) sketches a new mode of economic evolution and assigns the key posltloa n power to what he calls the tecbnostrueture. economic system is considered to be divided betwe


. »

hundred 'technically



umm highly organised corporations' and the

thousands radltional per~opr'letor's'. That major' :"""'" . y dominated by the large corporations Galbraith _rolls the industrial state gggl lhe industrial system follows brfnciples differr promoted an economies textbooks. Marksi forces min irised, End increasing .government intervention Vsmall

4 - ,




encouraged so that growth supply demand development ordered and stable. dust rial state and ii planned economy guided lmpEpH by conventional econo by organic five of technology an lmpor tint, formal power in ... system owners o f capital OI"§B.Hj_SSd

a . . . . .


Since modern corporations depend heavily upon sophisticated technology and organised knowledge, the consequences of these developments have assumed the character of driving forces or imperatives. For example, large scale or complex technology requires increasingly long? 1 times, great amounts of capital, inflexible commitment of resources, specialised manpower, complex organization and planning, Techno. logy itself, however, d6es` hot provide the only impemake the tus. O f greater importance are those who decisions about its implementationBecause of both its size and the variety o f specialised asks performed within lt, the large corporation of be adequately directed by a single or ent ;..>*i?" ;;t>'i"' 1 of power §§ $2 business >='5"'5"'5 i? i passed to the "association owl edge, experience .5 which l

modern industrial





entrepreneur ' minimal quire'.(32) The rol § # = The decisive power we capital E we garlisations and the industrial bureaucrats m tool them. This edifice of power and its controllers is what Galbraith means by the word techno structure. It comprises 'all who bring specialized knowledge,


experiences to group decision-making'.(33)

talent or

whose Key decisions are made by groups of e x p e l t o , accumulated knowledge resides in committees of specialists in

different fields.

The techno structure has goals


from the traditional entrepreneur; Q? Its policies are not simply pecunsg~p


its aim the maximisation of profit;

tube works


for its owri'E?___-___-,-_ survival freedom ii~n~ , by maintaining

and this requires preserving its decisions. I t can gain auto no II satisfactory level of earnings, t make 'accustomed payments to provide a supply of savings for

To avoid




-inve stme nt'§ _

threatstwo ms company situate

lions, risk-taking is also kept t:oF$" minimum.

its position is secure, the techno structure attempts to expand the growth of the firm in order to avoid contraction and limit criticism of its actions. It also remains committed to the goal of technological



v;1r~tuosit_y, Technical innovation means em-f ploy rent and further promotion for technologists, H I 'i ` and accordingly is 'solidly enshrined . good'.(35) By pursuing such g techno structure become an autonomous -.....; independent `" direction I or ceptible to outside criticism Galbraith, however, pr controlling . i


Since the industrial . system places technically~trained individuals control , m m production process, i t needs a sophisticated education system to supply it with such personnel. The hope then lies in the difficult task of keeping the educational system largely independent of the industrial system. This policy might enable such institulions as universities to remain 'the necessary force for scepticism, emancipation and pluralism'.(36) Despite their financial links with large corporations, universities are urged to continue to support liberal education for its own sake and thereby temper techno cal or vocational training. Continuing aesthetic and C

of the industrial system is vital to Galbraith's path to emancipation. Maintaining a pluralist society also requires enlightened leadership from intellectuals in the 'educational and scientific estate' within the uni-

intellectual scrutiny

versities.(37) Galbraith


that they are

handicapped by their traditional passivity and con° tho ugh t rather than aetion, but encourages corn For them to take cohesive political action for broader social and humanitarian goals. In this way the techno structure may come to reflect different values a plural society and even be redirected to serve rather than its

own interests.

Galbraith.retainS faith in a liberal democracy, and its supposed pl urality of competing groups and interests, while den ouncing the techno structure

seeks to


analysis example



it. Critics have questioned his


levels. Langdon Winner, for the corporate stockholders and mlnot" role in the exercise of corporate power. . Robert Heilbroner suggests that, although firms for act to maxi rise their profits the goals of security, autonomy i n idnuae short an with . , growth . not incompatible Given profit-maximiSétlé-n 8.ln the long term .(39) all-pervasive Galbraith's description of the influence of the teehnostructure in be and education, it is as'" difficult h is ternatlve elite could question of countervailing poweis, Finally we


. . .. . . . . .




whether' the

. . . . . . .

appeal TM an enlightened i

as a solution, merely






tendencies it wishes to avoid. The same democratic questions arise about how one is to make this new elite accountable to government or popular control. To use Mannhelm's words, 'who plans the planners'? IDEOLOGY AND THE ROLE: OF INTELLECTUALS


Both Burnham and Galbraith focus upon the role o f elites in controlling modern industrial society. el it es Galbraith, in particular, regards enlightened as a liberating force. These points raise the queses or even their critics might escape influence of the prevailing menagerie in technocratic l rldview or ideology. I t ideologies lre so powerful, ho Burnham, lalbralth or* other through them to propose alternatives? *Q . lie . Marx En in twentieth nut try the followers dominant and weber proposed methods of esc a.Q_;l__n_g_ r



ideology. Marx's heirs debased hi l men terising Marxism as simply the se


social laws. their search


Similarly. latter Wenerlans for value-freedom, prised legacy apart from history and lerMwns model of social science. Both of these approaches served to create ideologies assisting the ends of those in power, be they in the East or west, Both of them assigned social scientists an elitist position i s the interpreters of that value-free social science. The professional codes of such people, like those of the natural selentlsts, insulated them from popular criticism and justified their privileges. But how can one escape ideological thinking? Marx cer mainly believed that the attempt should be one was made. As he saw lt, in capitalist society Not only were caught in a double ideological bind. blinded by their own people's perceptions they were also conditioned by the self-interest bu t

ideology of the ruling n'lass. revoluA socialist ses, could get rid of the seson, by - ideology, but how would it be possible cord form Mannheim, the Founder o f to get r ii ' of the the sociology of knowledge, believed that the recognitlon of the screen of self interest, through which the world, could lead to the very dangerous position known as relativism. Reistivism disposition which rendered i t imwas a behavioural l t involved an possible to choose between values. aodieatlon of any powers of judgement - the very raison d'etre of political theory. Instead Mannheim offered relatlonism which was the study of' how ideas one interpreted



material 1nterests,(Mo) This study was

be conducted




a relatively disinterested stratum,

the intelligentsia. Clearly the intelligentsia containin different social classes, but the . people comm participation in a an at 1cation and common educational heritage tended to suppress differences of birth, status and wealth and to unite that stratum in the search for a greater approximation to truth. But here lay the problem. Was the intelligentsia really unattached or did it mask the interests of a dominant class? The Italian Marxist Antonio Gram sci (1891-1937) believed that a ruling class always employed an intelligentsia to legitimise its interests and thus the working class should develop its own stratum of intellectuals which might organically fuse with iu.(u1) But the problem remains: what happens when the intelligentsia tends to form a class for itself? As we have seen in the case of Trotsky, many Marxists consider such a situation unthinkable since class has meaning primarily in terms of ownership of the means of production. Yet it is argue §flz°om Burnham's managerialist not difficult position that, in the Soviet Union, the intelligentsia actually dE means of production. A straw tum defined in terms or status and power has indeed become . point of the recent £zelenyi.(U2) Their position Koran Burnham Elat they are not about phenomena but limit their Soviet and Eastern Europe. Their study moreover,I t based on a rejeetion of a position alternative indeed of Marxism. Rather star ting sit ion of Burnham or people the Yugoslav an Silas (who argues that Communist Party constitutes a class)(H3), owe Austrian Karl Polanyi (18l3f5a-_-m Polanyi argued that there were basical-



. . . . . . . . .

ly four ways of integrating an eccnomy.(MM) The first two of these 'house folding' and 'reciprocity' need not detain us here, The third type 'market integration' characterised the pattern of integration in a capitalist economy in which those who controlled the means of production achieve dominance by virtue of their superior market capacity. The fourth type








developed by Konrad and Szelenyi.





existence because of its power to redistribute social surplus. Such redistributive systems I been known since time immemorial, bu; signi ficant about the new redistributers Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is that they'

by a claim to scientific knowledge, the end of history (the telos).



claim to know rational


teleological unwilling l Wxtend yond Europe, basing themselves tirmlw~ history . region. One might speculate,l however as whether our own society growth of a meritocracy might cause a which rests on the division between those who possess scientific knowledge and those who lack it. There are, of course, profound difficulties with any notion or class which is constituted by the pattern which legitimates it, especially when, like Konrad and Szelenyi, one wishes to reconcile such a notion with the Marxian position. Nevertheless the questions remain. Is science becoming the new r e l y gion as Comte supposed and present day scientists and



social scientists attemnt to h i d e ?

case, has M






any role to play at ell?



~5 Jany predetermined end of society


_ E E by democratic decision i f only one of society understands the different means. If predetermined, then any democratic !s=n$ determination E the to end presumes the ability separate means and ends which does not seem to exist outside certain philosophy textbooks. Finally, if , _ _

democracy is seen as a means to create the self-developing individual, then will not the despotism of science determine the yardstick against which that self-development is measured?

JACQUES ELLUL Whereas the critics discussed earlier in this on a managerial or technocratic elite, the work of philosopher Jacques Ellul deals directly with what was referred to earlier as the separation of telos and techno. Indeed, Ellul sees modern in-

chapter focus

dustrial society "as





which is not the rule of an elite but of a set of methods or processes. Technique, moreover, is not defined simply as machines or technology or as the means or procedures for attaining an g 'technique is the totality of methods ratio fall arrived at having absolute eT"f' every human activity'.{H5l Eilul considers that* reached a new stage of development where has intruded upon and utterly transfer rsuaeai political and economic life. capitalism No 1 of but the machine is regarded as the major force society. `

It [technique] constructs the kind of world the

machine introduces order where the incoherent banging of machinery heaped up ruins.


It classifies, arranges, an - rationalizes; it does in the domain of the abstract the . . machine did am the domain of -.lx. _.effisent and brings efficiency to everything (146) I

a social force that has n o t only physiour society and its politics and econo-

redeflned the way in which we think about them. In the technologic societ technique has eroded conventional moral values replaced them with a technical morality values quest means for greater efficiency or For W toward which The machine exemplifies the idea

technique aims. Even science by technical activity. Sines we ca no __._._,..__ me science without its technical outcome, science has become an instrument o f technique. The new technical values i standardisation and rationalisation mic and administrative life. This, ~: ii$1? iluwunll i inuua requires



both anticipating and attempting to resolve ties in advance. In addition, to avoid l'arbltrary and subjective' personal, ethical or judgements, all that is important must expressed


quantifiable terms, for 'only that it. knowable which is expressed...1n numbers'.(M7) Ellul argues against the view that our f e a r s o f technology are basically instinctual and irrational, pointing out that the growth o f technique is a new phenomenon. Until the eighteenth century, the place o f technique was confined to a narrow range o f social

activities, primarily in production, war, hunting, consumption and magic. In contrast to our present society, Ellul writes, 'the time given to the use o f techniques was shot t, compared with the leisure tlme devoted to sleep, conversation, games, or best o f all, to medltatlon'.(M8) Traditionally, societies did

not create

new tools when confronted with new needs,

uawmn * the old methods and tools. extended . tool was crude no imperfect, its deficiency was compensated by the Qndividual skills, talents and is, attention was paid to the l rather than the tool itself. annlnmuii




ntury the world o f a par tlcu~

and the spread and evolution Of ten there existed a dlver~ inehieving the same purpose in area. Finally, Ellul praises I xisted for exercising human

possibilities choice ld of civilisation desired and range techniques to be used. The choice o f a I E hmmm variety o f reasons, o f which efficiency was only one. Despite their virtues,


Ellul claims that these four main characteristics of the relationship between traditional techniques, 1ndlviduals and society, had disappeared by the eighteenth century. Since then, society has come to exhiblt seven other crucial features, those of rationality, artificiality, technical automation, as self-augmentation, monism, universalism . .§s autonomy. Ellul briefly outlines the Mori commonly be knowledged features of technique, rationality artificiality. Rationality refers to a 'systematization, division of lab our, creatioN standards, I production norms', present in the technical operations and the consequent negatld~ ;_ spontaneity and creativity. The concept points to m . particular 'discourse' in technleak operations also the 'reduction of method to its logical dimensions alone'.(M9) The notion of artificiality denotes the fact that technique creates an at tiflelal world that is basically opposed to nature. As Ellul port trays it, technique

Is L


_ m

destroys, _§§1mlnates, or subordinates natural world, and does not allow this world restore 1'*1'"~*" or even ents* M-=*='"" * obey different relation . it. The two wor imperatives, different dlrectl_ different f laws which have nothing in common. H

hydroelectric installations take waterfalls and so the technical milieu

lead them into conduits absorbs the natural.(50

The attributes of rationality and artificiality are, however, only two of technlque's many characteristics. Once a method has been rationally and logically assessed, is shown to be efficient in practice, and becomes self-directing,







The choice between methods is also

largely automatic and involves no human or personal judgements. Ellul suggests that the human being has become merely a recording device for the results of techniques. Accordingly, Ellul writes, he 'can deolde only in favour of the teehnlque that gives maximum efficiency. But this is not a choice. A machine could effect the same operat1on'.(51) Automatism of technical choice ultimately eliminates any spontaneous non-technical activity or else transforms it into technical activity. Self-augmentation denotes the process whereby technique evolved ais grows 'almost without decisive occurs There intervention by 3h Of technique self-augmenting or automatic The first of which Ellul formulates into two ,


these holds that every invention encourages or produces further technical inventions G Q law-ees. Second, there is such interdependence among techniques that technical grows I according to geometric progressio Technologi opment merely poses more tech problems which only be d by t those in it Technique also bears tHl lonlsm the techniques lore how comprise I part who unity g the apparently diffe reno phenomena This unity is maintained in promulgation of an independent techni ultlmat he relevance II call l-.-


the attitude towards unemployment Such unemployment is mega in inevitable cost which will eventuall are reabsorbed elsewhere economy lively. workers must be. skills. As such, the worker becomes a mere package -

to be shunted and remoulded






__ _____ ___



to the


o f technology. Ellul catalogues many of the harmful social and environmental effects of modern technology. He argues, however, that it is virtually impossible to break down technical phenomena into their constituent parts in order to retain the good and reject the harmful consequences. 'They constitute a

co-ordinated phenomena,



of which can be

detached from the others'.(53) Technical universalism is a feature of the technological society which describes the process whereby all civillsations and people now follow the same technical imperatives and use similar technical procedures. Social and economic change has taken place along lines guided by technique in such a way that even national and re-

gional cultural differences are eliminated. Bringing about the collapse of these civllisations is technical civilisation which treats human

merely as

objeeli II II manipulated

of` technique. created between


They share


I olla



a new beings

benefit bonds


similar towards we shared technica cel unlversalis serves communication and understanding. A Final characteristic of society is that of autonomy.






No longer guided by human intervention or morality, technique has become the prime mover of social. economic and political


change; it has become independent of human control. In essence it has become self-sufficient, even characterised by its own internal laws. This means that whenever technique does have to confront natural human impediments to its progress, it tends to either no place them with a machine or modify them so m a y organic response is nullified. reaches its pinnacle in the replacement go = modification of human beings. Ellul portrays the brutal sequencer n must have nothing decisi m.. perform course of technical operations; ofter all he source of epror....Eliminate the individual and excellent results ensue.'(5H) Where the individual is still required, as in space exploration, the biological weaknesses of space pilots have to be eliminated, and a new 'man' created, one adapted to the technical requirements of travel beyond the earth's atmosphere. The autonomy of technique is also peFlected in changes in language where the unfamiliar and inhuman are given humanness. The first atomic bomb, for example, was called 'Hilda' and the giant cyclotron at Los Alamos was called 'Clementine', so promoting a double distortion of their nature.; these technical structures given their female names because they were like the traditional male stereotypes, complex and difficult understand and control? Ellul explores these themes with reference to three important spheres of modern society: the economy, the state and the individual. He argues that the increasing use of technique in economic production requires suppression of the anarchic tendencies of the capitalist market, The resultant trends towards mechanisation, concentration and centralisation intervention and also require increasing state iliiiilliirThese trends also give """""` 1% aristoIxlnlz


' M '

cracy which alone comprehends tyg

nique 1




' his defies populai control. "No demo-

economic crack is possible in the Face 0ff§ even of technique. The decision of the voters the elected, are oversimplified, incoherent and technically inadmissable.'(55) The liberal market economy although originally founded upon technique has in practice been unable to absorb or utilise modern techniques. Despite the apparent social benefits gained from increased production, standardization and improved organisational techniques, thanes economic §ltechnique is profoundly anti-democratic. according to Ellul, reduced individual chop though asking numbers of human beings m cipating Ag the economy, they par ticipaté . as things, as the mebaphorical~ machine. 7





This transformation





also reflected in the relentless corruption of the governmental processes that are intended to guide





been replaced


where administration




politicians count








ments of all persuasions, it is argued, cannot avoid technical necessities and are becoming more alike. In short, techniques have subverted democracy and established a new aristocracy that understands some but necessary Ill lliues t`or administering an :tal c1vllisat1on'.(56) ultimate I result inevitable processes is and the private social the - H I * technological society of ltia~

nm uma. un




in-1 gical

among humsI

__ been our 'deepest instincts , analysed, exploited and gratified we have everything that we have ever desired. Ellul concludes that the 'supreme luxury' o f the technological society will Oe the granting of 'the bonus of useless revolt and of an acquiescent sm1le '.(57 ) He sketches the desolation o f modern life, where human beings and their consciousness have been reshaped totally. .



replaced ,_





Technique shock and

to it.




IU changes

world so that man

very thing. It avoids Man is not adap; technique adapts him H ran gerent of this blind la part of it without ough edges, without the anuD to the inhuman. fits,


a model;

it specifies

valid once and for all.



lan by the turbulence of the machine

soothed by the





unified Drawing Rllul's work _ critique of trends society. It describes




biological and philosophical

wentieth century industrial essence of the technologiimpact upon human beings,

cal evil and . but does not specify general causal mechanisms. The complex argument contained in the difficult prose has been called a 'phenomenology of the technical state of m1nd'.(59) It draws attention to the negative social and environmental byproducts of technology, its technocratic elites and »its impact upon both politics and human beings. The conclusions are


pessimistic Technology







technique Elias become autonomous and

• human no longer subject Ellul there there is simply resignation takes issu ultimate impotence politics an


or guidance. For these problems; Meynaud, however, the vitality of of tectonics.

There is, of necessity, a place for an office which directs the points where tectonics can be applied, remembering the scale of values and eelection of criteria in the general interest and to compensate for the lacunae and shortcomings of expertise like disagreement between technicians, and their possible inability to take a firm and unequivocal stand.(60) The variety g public skillsl# politifound machine = = ¢ ~ cal could one question remains however, does; prirlci-I . ples£

- _



gently overwhelming forces?


HERBERT MARCUSE (1898-1979) Much of Marcuse's work(61) was a systematic cri~ tique of the impact of science and technology upon society and its ideology. From an avowedly Marxist position, Marcuse identified the many tendencies for oppression in mid-twentieth century socialist and capitalist industrial societies. Drawing largely from evidence about the United States, he argued that modern industrial society was a sophisticated and highly developed form of totalitarianism which suppressed all opp or munities, democratic or revolutionary, for significant social change. On the sur-

face, this society appeared



for all our

needs and wants but its affluence really constituted a new form of domination. Beneath the veneer of comFort and satisfaction, Marcuse considered that the society was basically irrational. Rather than providing opp or unities for people to develop fully their physical and mental abilities, it cur tailed them. Human instincts were repressed and human needs unfulfilled. This process, Marcuse argued, differed greatly from all previous forms of oppression because

of the power of technology.

The capabilities (intellectual and material) of


contemporary society are immeasurably greater than ever before which means that the scope of

society's domination


over the individual is im-

measuraETy greater before. our society distinguishes ha f by conquering 5~ centrifuge forces technology rather than basis overwhelming efficiency Ne increasing of E standard Iiuiil~ali


Where, in the 1930s, totalitarian states used terror to manipulate and coerce people, in the present this is no longer required. More subtle, pleasant and effective technological means are available which appear to satisfy many basic needs. Where capitalism and its exploitation of lab our provided the initial framework for his critique, Marcuse considered that technology had become the main instrument of this oppression. The productive apparatus and its technology had not only determined 'the socially needed occupations, skills, and attitudes, but also individual needs and aspirations'.(63) There appeared to be no possibility of a private individual social life separate from the demands of public and productive life. People were seen to realise themselves through their consumption of commodities. people

ognize themselves in their commogo1nd their soul in their automo. . . . . . . . . .

equipment individual

set, split-level home, kitchen very mechanism which ties the his society has changed, and

social control is anchored which it has produced.{6M)





Technology was crucial in this process and could no longer be regarded as neutral or non-political for it supported a 'system of domination' which served the Ii . . political purposes of maintains society,(65) Technical progress had

traditional liberal and socialist values for purposes. It appeared to have opposing the system by at ticulating

own forces


life free from toil and oppression. Marcuse saw these tendencies ultimately producing a society in which there was no opportunity for achieving qualitative social change either by means of socialising the productive process or by evolving new liberating forms of human existence. Where,in the past, Marxism had identified the proletariat as the key agent for social change, in the present the working class appeared to have been absorbed and to be no longer capable of revolutionary action. Accordingly, Marcuse saw both a decline of liberal democracy and a lack of


prospect for achieving socialism,


cratic or otherwise.


Marcuse intruded so


m1 itique stressed that the state had into people's lives that they now

lived under

stem of total administration in which merely a formality. Even culture and to have been absorbed by technology. Although, at one level, high culture remained the preserve of the rich divorced from the social reality of work, at another level mass culture, democratically available to all at the touch of a switch, functioned to preserve capitalist domination. Where in the past, art often operated as a criticism of . .ula culture had simply become another commodity 'Television, for example, continually conveyed images of violence, war, poverty and corruption which were irreconcilable with the liberal ideal of the present society. Alithese could be presented and digested with no recognition of their critical nature. That is, the images provoked people neither to conscious awareness about the problems of their society nor to political action. Even the liberating political potential of releasing sexual repression was nullified, for the easing of sexual mores and repression merely served to make people more contented and thereby less critical. The process of absorption was also reflected in the use of contradictory or irreconcilable compound words . §'»clean bomb', #.._'i '' or Nam Eshelter'.(66) ETE constructions ser critical con~ . words bf" p points raise crucial questions about Marcuse's pessimistic view of human beings mm about the malleability of human no """¥ , s _ human lugs be infinitely remoulded to suit whatever social forces are dominant? Do they retain any identity or personal integrity OI" power" in the face of such forces? Marcuse's work remains am` bivalent on these issues, hovering between pessimism l








_ . _ . _ . _ . -


and optimism





social forces of the time.




In summary, . Marcuse saw modern capitalism as providing sufficient consumer goods and services for people not to wish for anything different. Their private lives largely consisted of the simple gratification of material needs, and reflected ease and contentment. To use Weber's term, not only public life but private life had become rationalised. Increasing areas of social life had become characterised by 'instrumental action' and subjected to the 'criteria of rational decision'.(6T}

Purposive~rational action, and organising the bee~

concerned with selecting means the appropriate

ends or purposes, had become life. Marcuse were also evident in

and economic


feature of social that these trends societies of the

. . . . . . .

Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.(68) To complement his social analysis Marcuse depicted the way in which science and technology had also become an ideology which justified and legit irised this social rationalisation. The strength of this ideology lay in its claim to superior knowledge, a superior form of rationality. The social process of rationalisation was accompanied by a change in our intellectual notion of rationality, that is, in the way in which we understand such processes. Marcuse perceived a link between the rationalisation of society and the growth of the power and prestige of science and technology. No longer confined to natural schema or strictly technical and engineering problems, the methods and values of science and technology had come to permeate our wider social institutions and threaten older and 'less rational' cultural norms. This formal concept of rationality had substantial philosophical, social and political implications. In essence it had produced a one-dimensional society dominated by one-dimensional thought. Based upon a narrow, instrumental, technical rationality, this one-dimensional ideology excluded concern about the more abstract, subjective or emotional human goals such as freedom. ith the work of Hegel and Marx, Marcuse argued, become a social theory concerned with _ of society as well as those of the philosophical world.(69) As social theory, philosophy attempted i i only to explain society but also to in terms of an unrealitied ideal. It Qistorical Forces or tendencies within the society that had the promise of radically changing society and ultimately realising the goals of freedom. The explicitly political manifestation of this social theory was consciously developed by !¢1!¢_


the Frankfurt


of Marxist intellectuals under

the influence of Max Horkheimer.

Called the critical

the original` notheory of society, it dion of Marxism as critique Of political econo~ . theory was distinmy.(T0) Put crudely guished from traditional theory simply by the appraiJ'

sal of

whether the theory assisted or was subversive

of the process of domination or oppression. Critical theory was conceived as a critique of capitalism and =i"iusonwas 'dominated at every turn by a able conditions of life' (71) reshould attempt ' again affirmed that human beings control of a social world that themselves had madeIn line with the Frankfurt School Marcuse gonsidered reason to be the fundamental category of Western philosophical thought,(72) one which f' ld 1



not be equated with formal logic or reduced to technical rationality. The concept of reason recognised the existence of basic dualisms, tensions or antagonisms such as those between 'subject and object, fact and value, actuality and potentiality, existence and essence'.(73) Prior to Hegel and Marx these antagonisms were regarded as conditions of human existence, the resolution of which possible thought and not by social change in history Marcuse argued, however, that contemporary should modern be to reconcile these aN epoch could E ""ought under sovereignty et Reason a through knowledge appearances theo Formal logic so if _ freedom _ me based dissoluble etween epistemology and ethics. In shot t, no judges analysis could as free of a judge rent of ought !m 'E Reason was two-dimensionaldialectical xi . it was both analytical and problem remains of assessing how one comes to truth about society. Marcuse argued For a concept of objective historical truth that seems to make truth relative to a particular society. Different historical projects had different truth values, dependent upon whether they had the potential for realising human possibilities. Believing that one could ascerrain whether a project provided the opp or tunities for improving civilisation, and for the 'free development of human needs and facuities', Marcuse proposed these criteria as part of a view of objective historical truth.(?M) Truth could be formulated in terms of a broader concept of rationality which combined both empirical and "



- .





ethical judgements. Mar-cuse considered that sis and






_ between


the evolution of modern scien technology. fluenced by the trend that equated science g o


ledge itself, philosophy also became i -dimensional. philosophical reason became modelled ; 5 narrow . a w form of empirical-scientific rationality which fained clear distinctions universal, table, objective thought and subjective forms of thinking. M

The quantification of nature, which led to its explication in terms of mathematical structures, separated reality from all inherent ends and, consequently separated the true from the good,

science from ethics.(75) Values were




subjective, unquantifiable

and matters of individual preference not amenable to Accordingly, one of the key rational arbitration. traditional notions of political thinking was removed from the concept of rational thought. The supposed value neutrality of scientific rationality, however, disguised par ticular instrumentalist values which maintained social control and domination. No longer the very model of free and independent inquiry, science had become the servant of technology. Marcuse described the process whereby the scientific method, 'which led to the ever-more-effective domination of nature thus came to provide the pure concepts for the ever-more-effective domination of man by man through the domination of nature'.(76) Finally, this one-dimensional ideology was reflected in the linguistic and analytical philo sophey of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. No longer concerned about the ends of human life, philosophers confined themselves to the analysis of meaning and ordinary language. Marcuse saw philosophy assuming a therapeutic function and becoming simply a means for correcting errors and defects in language. It had become an instrument that had no concern for universals such as ming, consciousness, will, soul, self, or good. Such concepts werecCn fined to poetry and literature because of their vagueness. Marcuse concluded that scientific rationality transformed into political power was decisive in both generating these processes of social and cultural change and in suppressing 'historical alternatives'.(77) Marcuse's critique of science and technology was also a critique of liberal democrat; Ethe one-dimensional society the liberating ired into their opposites. Freedom was = a 'powerful instrument

of domination'

choice lost its content and



freedom of




sham. Free election


masters or the variety these goods 0 Vamp 1


slaves. -'



among freedom






sustain alienation.~ to 11!!us



iilEIl'1 his

context Marcuse tercel

social control

~ H ~

g ~ u i ~


rights continued

which effectiveness'= Freedom mechanisms



people. This process intruded upon the innermost dimansions of freedom, into 'the private space in which man may become and remain "himself"' That is, domination became manifest within both the conscious and unconscious minds of people, 'apart from public opinion and behaviour'.(80) In brief, the processes of mass production and distribution claimed the entire person.





differing views

elimination i




among humane assembly would throw

democratic system


son In the ad ver. Marcuse claimed tired as ole ranee

proclaimed today

otive manifestations cause democratic

served repressive

oppression'.(81) Under modern &llsm Marcuse considered pursuit ole ranee had two major draw pursuit of non-partisan or meant If hat we tolerated the intoler tolerated poverty ! violence we r war and such tolerance has ent society more cohesive and

The toleration of the systematic motorization of ala alike by ublicity and propaganda estructiveness in aggressive quitrent for and training QS



impotent and

tolerance toward a utright deception merchandising, waste, and planned obso-


distortions or aberrations, Hence of a system which fosters is for perpetuating the strugexistence and suppressing alterna-

Second, by tolerating

radical movements,

a repressive

society effectively absorbed and defused their protest. By accepting the liberal democratic rules of

the game,








E into their opposite', that is, strengthen legitimise the ongoing polit.ica1,i_-__ economic SYSt€MJ

Marcuse called for people to become 'prevailing policies, attitudes pink opinions

extend a partisan and liberalis


which are presently suppressed.(83)






Such conclusi pressed Marcuse the creation Of and counter-strategies outside political prorules of the gam is. _ test and political struggle we fete and even dangerous "~,.»=,=~ ;~~1 __,. _,ilusion that popular sovereignty was still effective. In 196m he considered that the opp or munities for a new form of politics lay with forces outside the l

mainstream of groups and classes in society: with the 'substratum of outcasts and outsiders, the ex-

ploited, and the persecuted o f other races and other col ours, the unemployed and the unemployable'. (SM) Marcuse eventually recognised the exploitation of women and came to see women's liberation as potentially a most radical political movement.(85) In general Marcuse was pessimistic about the and !l1u1s possibility for a.»»nail»a »=,.al=~-, social Mud wanted. He did, however, consider mu for change exis thought viciousness and i domain al lture. =l=mm freedom ld ex 'aesthetic dimerI mum


press ion', he considered


think more clearly and critic in society.(86) Marcuse saw imagination, to free i t from indoctrination paganda. movement to a ne l society would quire new men and women and new historical The question remained, howelllL _ lull. could people or subjects be created? For Marcuse the paradox was clear:


how can the administered individuals who have made their mutilation into their own liberties

and satisfactions, and thus reproduced it on an . n o t "-" ...liberate themselves from them-


as from their masters?

thinkable that the vicious circle 1

How is it be




The quos+ion points to salvation by aware tree intellectuals, and marginal individuals through the mass deceptions and bring in I implications lightened consciousness. So the o f radical thought recurs! Impressed by the rebellion of French students and workers in 1 9 6 8 , Marcuse became a little more opHHHIHII H H " the possibility For the emergence len with 'new sensibilities' and ensuing 'imaginations'L Just as imper tint, the CODworldwide protests over university regulations, . - » n l @ m ¢ Mln: war in Vietnam seemed to reinvigoal of utopia as an ultimate borate 11-111111~llllll-l"'ll .IH




Students, blacks, workers, both men and women, appeared to be achieving the impossible, namely making effective protests against the previously impenetrable totalitarian system. In the Third. Maid also revolutionaries were effectively Hill! United States imperialism and beginning to overthrow colonial regimes, in a new form of g u e r r i l l h i i that integrated armed resistance into daily life and ' later works, became culture. Marcuse, however, in increasingly ambivalent about the opportunities tor* radical social ehange.(88) He also advocated the 'laborious and slow' educational work needed to awaken political consciousness in poor districts(89) and suggested that such educational and organisational work. par ticipatory and democratic Increased par ticipation in work and community might Wing science and technology to raaw Hemocratic ial goals rather than their own .___ .r-atives. Critics have raised many problems concerning Marcuse's work. They have charged him with incoherenee, distorting the history of philosophy, having a confused concept of truth,(90) being elitist,(91) betraying Marxism(92} and being a romantic. His ideas have incensed both radicals and conservatives. Despite the criticisms, Mareuse is important for a number of reasons.(93) First, he has drawn our attention to the overwhelming social and ideological power of" science and technology. Second, his cr'i reinvigorated the traditional concerns of Third theory with sooial g o a l s and human purposes he has reaffirmed that the repressed and human beings of technological society do nl sent the full range of human capabilities an tialities. Finally, for all his critique oppressive tendencies of liberal-democracy, to par ticipatory forms of radical action hang _.._




potential for over throwing domination.





Technological politics as portrayed by Ellul, Marcuse and others constitute a severe challenge to democracy because they threaten the values of freedom, equality, popular par ticipation and representation. The critics of these trends have emphasized the immense influence of science, technology and their practitioners over both the formal institutions and the social structure in liberal democracies. In addition they have sketched how not only people's ideology and social understanding but also their work

and everyday life have been drastically altered to follow technological imperatives. Initially, the ad~


§§s1s1'=§in1eracy and technical rationality promodemocratic tendencies in their attack upon feudal the modern technological society, hown o HIM 'al institutions which deliver many of the public and private goods and services have become so large, complex and centralised that only technical bureaucratic or managerial elites have the skills and . to operate them. According to the critics, political power has passed into the hands of these away from both liberal democratic and socialist governments. Their knowledge, secrecy and privileged position have given them a position of inLeaves them virtually unfluence in government that ` accountable. technocratic """"" elites have been by a new ideology that legit irises both their position and their mode of operation. The underlying umption of the ideology is that science technology are politically neutral. They propose no values social goals of their own and are only the means for achieving particular pre-defined ends. Critics of this view argue, however, that such a stance is both wrong and anti-democratic. They maintain that the alleged value-free or neutral technical stance simply disguises a number of critical values and assumptions about the ends of social life and the nature of human beings. Values about objectivity, for example, imply that we should reduce the scope for subjective (arbitrary and irrational) impulses and avoid ethical speculation about human purposes. The pursuit of truth, for example, is regarded as purely a technical matter. This leads to a diminished role for human beings in any area that can be designated as Such an attitude leads inevitably to the devaluing low social goals and political ideals ani !mr of democracy in promoting them. From the technical point of view political action needs to _:__ at is practically possible as assessed in empirical scientific investigate argued IR your' ideas will dion. consequently, have to change according to; lg scientifically assessed evidence about the potential For their implementation. Since scientific method was concerned to discover law-like regularities in the natural World, its accompanying technical rationality required the removal of irregularities and disorder in nature and, by implication, also in humans. The assumption was that nature was to be controlled and subdued (dominated) and this required that it be transformed. predietability and quantifiability were also key values

__ privilege.















within scientific method.

These values demanded that

the natural world be made predictable and




was best done by focus sing upon quantifiable phenomena and not upon the unquantifiable. Finally, the ideology assumed that only those trained in scientific rationality could adequately interpret nature. Accordingly, special institutions needed to be established to promote training in this particular form of rationality. Many of these values, however, came to be applied to the understanding and transformation or rationalisation of society. The critics have shown the devastating effects of this process upon daily life and work. ' i ions maninfestation of this is seen in production H1dustry. Here, the worker ham of ten become simply an appendage of the machine. "*~ mas., merely technical activity adapted the demands of technology. In the Q' Marx' is. theory of alienation,(9M) workers u o n n v or their work for it has At) orly all levels, work has mamma# J d u e i n g the diversity of a become specialised nl'!9 of making workers more worker as of ten been their diminished ing to new work situations.(95) Des killed __flexible, workers are components. Such are hmmm . "un the social costs of technology. Despite the goal of predictability, each new technical innovation brings a range of unforseeabie secondary social and environmental side effects, often more disastrous than the lack of predictability in the first place.

w . . -==-5-.sun---






Bureaucracies represent the other face of the raticnalised society, Charaeterised by a specialised division of lab our and hierarchy of roles, their pyramid p structure is the epitome of rationalised

humanity. Ideally, in impersonal pursuit of efficiency, bureaucracies do not operate with people but with the followers of pre-determined rules and proce-

dures. A fundamental assumption underlying


processes is that humans are basically prone to error and are imperfect creatures who need to be remoulded to suit the dictates of technological rationality and technical efficiency. The resulting transformation of both public and private life has impaired spontaneity and restricted the opp or tunities for self-fulfilment in work and personal life, except in

the most routine or standardised ways. According to the critics, the prospect for achieving human autono-

my and freedom are indeed dismal. In short, technology has ceased being a means. It has become an end in itself that has either suppressed or reformulated other human nun. m'critics of technology paint a desolate pict um of modern twentieth century society; dominar u n n e r


son is total. The proponents o f technology, however, argue that the increase in technology can only bring an increased material standard of living and thereby an improved quality of life. Some human beings are still in control even if they do comprise an elite. Inequality. lt is argued, is natural and necessary for such goals. The more orthodox Marxist critics of technology maintain that technology is still primarily the servant of cap1tal1sm.(96} They usually suggest that changing the mode of production from a capitalist to a socialist one would release social forces which would use technology for social use. The process of transformation. they argue. is already under way. To almost inevitable substitu'1lllsl11. for lab our would protion of capital and duce further I' Fed class conflict, bringing thl eventual overthrow of capitalism. point , however, tends to ignore the anti-democratic iinegalltarian tendencies withing I regimes which call themselves '

THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE The optimistic humanist critics claim that human beings are not infinitely malleable and that their protests can easily disrupt fragile technological complexes or communication systems, The optimists

o f ten see a role For 'approprlate', 'sof t' or 'small' technology. E.F. Schumacher, for example, advocated the development of small scale, decentralised 'appropriate' technology which has a minimal environmental cost.(97) S o powerful is the prevailing ideology. however. that to propose such policies is taken es a

sign of madness, comments Langdon W1nner.(98) Within this tradition of criticism, Ivan Illicit argues for which serve the creation of tools for conviviality the interests of 'politically interrelated duels rather than managers'.(99) Conviviality refers t o 'autonomous' and 'creative intercourse' among people and with their environment.(100) Such convivlality can be more easily achieved with hand tools over which a person has substantial control and which

d o not require sophisticated and lengthy training. Similarly, Murray Book chin calls for a liberating technology which is both ecologically sound and which can be controlled by a small commun1ty.(101) more recently, others 8 genuine Inssnl=!=!ivacated

self-management of

workers themselves.


by the producers, the

This is seen as a



social responsibility in work and technology.(102)

These critics have all suggested ways of return~

ing the control over technology to human beings, also


implying that the communities in which they live would have to be changed to reflect participatory democratic values. Other critics advocate the establishment ~m a range of formal democratic institutions regain co[ § 1 s.uamuaini INCHelude the pracaqun§l tice of 1'technology both governments , and the wider soeietyg Technology assessment may also be achieved by legislating no impact assessment statements, public enquiries, national assessment agencies and regulatory and advisory bodies.(103) Such advocates are motivated by the faith that, since human beings have designed and created technologies, *Ill-éultimately control them. Whatever our beliefs, is clear that science and technology pose immensely difficult problems for both liberal demolunacy all socialism; and that the threat to freedom, human autonomy and democratic control, posed by an a encroaching technological universe, has become threat to human existence itself. l








NOTES 1. P. Simon de Laplace, c i t e d in B e r n s t e i n , Einstein, J. Fontana/Collins, London, 19?3, p . 3 3 . 2. B. Magee, Popper, Fontana/Collins, London, 1973, p . l 9 . 3. H. Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, 2nd €dln.,' Routledge, London, 1955, p.256» 4. R. Kean and J. Urry, Social Theory as Science, Routledge, London, 1975, p . 7 1 . ` of Philosopll, 2nd edu. s 5. J. Pas snore, A Hundred Y e a r s Penguin, Hrmondsworrh, 196 8, p.321. *



and U r r y , o p . c i t . , p . 4 .

iawexample, R. Aron, Main Currents in Sociological Thought, Vol. 1, Penguin, Harmondswor to, 1963, p . l 7 . 8. A. Comte, Cours de Philosophie P o s i t i v e , Vol. l, Ist lecture ( 1 8 2 9 ) , in S. Andre ski ( e d . ) , The Essential Comte, Croom Helm, London, 1974, pp.19-41. 9. A. Comte, System of Positive P o l i t y or Treatise on Sociology ( l 8 5 l - 5 A ) , Bur t Franklin, New York, reprint o f l 8 ? 5 edu., Vol. 1, Pp»540~95. . . Comte's most severe c r i t i c i s m of p o l i t i c a l economy 10 . Comte, Cours de Philosophic P o s i t i v e , Bechelie Paris, a Vol. 43 pp.26i|-80See J . S . miles c r i t i c i s m in Auguste e Comte and Positivism, Collected Works, Vol. Essays on . . Ethics, Religion and Society, Univ. of Toro in is pp.305-06. Kuhn, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c I I . T.S.. Revolutions, 2nd enlarged edu., Univ. of Chicago p r . 1970 an Anarchist 12. P. Feyerabend, Against MethodOutline of Theory of Knowledge, New L e f t Books, London, 1975. 21 13. Mao Zedong ( 1 9 February 1 9 5 8 ) , Current Background 8 9 2 , October 1969, p . 7 . 14. H.p. Rickman ( e d . ) , Meaning in History: w. Dilthey's Thoughts on History and S o c i e t y , Allen and Unpin, London, 1961. For D i l t h e y ' s views on Comte, p p . 1 ? and 161. 15. M. Weber, "'Objectivity" in Social Science and Social P o l i c y ' ( 1 9 0 4 ) , The Methodology of the Social Sciences, Free P r . , New York, 1949, p - 9 0 . _..

. -





Weber's definition of

the s t a t e may be found in M.

' P o l i t i c s a s a Vocation' ( 1 9 1 8 ) , H. (eds.} From Max Weber' Essays in


Ger t h and C. Wright Mills Sociology, Routledge, London,

19&8, p.78. 17.

Marianne Weber, Max Weber:

A Biography, Wiley, New

1975, pp.404-5. 18. K. Mannheim, Man and S o c i e t y in Routledge, London, 1940,


an Age of




ibid., p.3AO.

20. For a concise summary of T r o t s k y ' s changing views on the Soviet 'bureaucracy', M. Krygier, "'Bureaucracy" in T r o t s k y ' s Analysis of Stalinism', M. Sawer ( e d . ) , Socialism and the New Class: Towards the Analysis of Structural Inequality Within S o c i a l i s t S o c i e t i e s , Australasian political Studies Association,

Adelaide, 1978, pp.&6-67, especially p . 5 5 .





New York

(1937), Pathfinder

The Revolution Betrayed esp. pp.291-308.

22. §&§ 'The USSR in War' September 1939), In Defence of Marxism, Pathfinder Pr., NQWE .9 (in which possibility entertained), and 1ic:h Rizzi's is ideas sinlisenea rejected nd the alternative posed >cialism or barbarism').m



23. M. Shachtman, 'Is Russia a Worker's State'F" (3 December l95s0), The Bureaucratic Revolution: The Rise of the Stalinist State, Donald Pr., New York, 1962, pp.37-60. A recent variant of thesis is A. Carlo, 'The the bureaucratic-collectivist Socio-Economic Nature of the USSR', Telos, 21, Fall 1974, pp.286After the 1965 reforms, however, Carlo came to the view that, under the weight of the internal contradictions, the system was rever ting to capitalism. As an alternative resolution of the contradictions, Carlo looked to China. 26; J. Burnham, The Managerial Revolution (1941), Univ. Pr., Midland Books, Bloomington, 1973, pp.29-37.




ibid., pp.l6U-71. 26. ibid., p.vii. 27. For interesting speculation on these problems, H. Stratton, Capitalism, Socialism and the Environment, Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1976. 28. For example, J.K. Galbraith, The New Industrial State, 2nd edit., Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 197129. 30. 31. 32.

ibid., ibid., ibid., ibid.,

pp.9-10. pp.6-7. p.56. p.58.

33. 34.

ibid., p.71 ibid., p.l6?-8.

35. ibid., pp.172-5. 36. ibid., p.3?2. 37. ibid., pp.382-3. TechonologY» 38. L. Winner, Autonomous Cambridge, Mass., 1977, p.169. Heilbroner, Between Capitalism 39. R.L.






Vintage, New York, 1970, p.232. &0. K- Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (1936§ Routledge London, 1960. eds. 41. A. Gran sci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Smith, Lawrence and Wis fart, London, 1971, Q. Hoare and G.N. pp.5-23.



Konrad and I.

Szelenyi, The intellectuals on_ .the Road

to Class Power, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 43.


Djilas, The New Class:

New York, 1979.

An Analysis of



System, Unwire Books, London, 1966. 44.


Polanyi, The Great Transformation:

Economic Origins





The Political



and 1957,

pp.&3-76. 45.


Ellul, The Technological Society

York, 1967, p.xxv. I16. ibid., p.5-





47. ibid., pp.18-9é8. ibid., p-66. 49. ibid., P¢7go 50.


51. ibid., p.80. 5253. 514. 55. 56.

ibid., p.85. ibid., p.1l1. ibid., p.l36.

ibid., p.l62. ibid., pp-271-Q and p.3l8.

57. ibid., p.&2758_ ibid., p.6. 59. J. Wilkinson, Translator's Introduction, Ellul, op.cit;. s p.xiii 60. J. Meynaud 3 Technocracy (1964) , Faber, London, 1960,

p.232. 61. Here








Ideology of Industrial Society Znd edu. , Sphere Books, London, 1968, and 'Repressive Tolerance', in R.P. Wolff, Barrington Moore Jr. and Herbert Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance,

Cape, London, 1969, pp.93~l37. 62. H. Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, op.eit., p.9. 63. ibid., p.13. 64- ibid., p.2£l. 65. ibid., p.14. 66. 67.

ibid., pp.80-1. J. Habermas, 'Technology





Toward a Rational Society, Beacon Pr., Boston, 1970, p.8l.

68. H. Marcuse, Soviet Marxism: A Critical Analysis (1958), Penguin, Hanmondswor th, 1971, pl7. 69. Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, op.cit., p.262. 70. G. Therborn, 'The Frankfurt School', New Left Review, N 0. 63, September-October, 1970, p.67.


H. p.199. 72. H. Essays in





N.Y. 3


Marcuse, 'Philosophy and Critical Theory', Negations: Critical Theory, 2nd edu. , Penguin, Harmondswor th,

1968, p.135.






Clerk, "radical Paradoxes, Dilemmas




1 9 4 5 - 1 9 7 0 , r p e r and Row, New York, 1974s, p,-l85Marcuse,One Dimensional Man, op.cit., pp.l74-5-


Exe .



ibid., p.l30.


ibid., P»121» ibid., p.23. Marcuse, 'Repressive

78_ 79_


op.cit., p.98.

80. 81.

Marcuse, One Dimensional man, op.cit., p.25.

83. 84. 85.

ibid., p.95. Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, op.oit., p.200.

Marcuse, 'Repressive Tolerance', op.cit.


82. ibid., p.97. H.

Marcuse, 'The Failure of the

Criti que, No.






Lef t',



and Margaret Cerullo,


'Marcuse and Feminism', New German Critique, No. pp.2l-3.

18, Fall


86. H. Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, op.cit., p.196. See also An Essay on Liberation, 2nd edu. Penguin, Harmondswor th,



87 . 88.

~ Dimensional Man, § . c i t . , p . l 9 6 . ~_ M a r c u s e.,_~ Mercuse, ..--.. Lectures, Allen Lane, Harmondsworch l


, a t









pp.1?-8. 91. M. Cranston, ' M a r c u s e ' , M. Cranston ( e d . ) , The New L e f t , Bodley Head, London, 1 9 7 0 , p.116. a Lost 92. L J . W i a t t , 'Herbert Marcuse' Philosopher of Science and Society, 3-4, Fall 1970, pp.319-30. Radicalism' 93. For more Sympatzlmetic, but not uncritical treatments, see J. Cohen, ' C r i t i c a l Theory: The Philosophy of Marcuse', New L e f t Review, No. 57, Sept--Oct. 1969, pp.35-51; and G. Kaleb, 'The Political Thought of Herbert Marcuse', J-V. Downtown, Jr. and D.K. Hart ( e d s . ) , Perspectives on Political Philosophy, Vol. 3 , Marx Through Marcuse, Dryden P r . , Hinsdale, I l l . , 1973, pp.4ll-37. See also, P. Breines ( e d . ) , Critical Interruptions,


New Let t; P e r s p e c t i v e s on Herbert Marcuse, Herder, New Y o r k , 1 9 7 2 . 9£». K. Marx, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, ed. D.J. Struik, International Publishers, New Y o r . ,

1964, pp.106-19. 95. See H. Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capitalism: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, Monthly Review Pr. New York, 1974. 96. H. Thompson, 'The Social Significance of Technical Change', The Journal of Australian Political Economy, No. 8, July 1980, pp.57-68, and R. Eccleshall, 'Technology and Liberation', Radical Philosophy, I t , Summer 1975, pp.9-14. 9 7 . E.F. Schumacher, Small i s eautiful, A Study of Economics as if People Mattzered, 2nd edit. Abacus, London, l97£4. 98. L. Winner, o p . c i t . , p . 1 8 2 . New 99. I. TIllich, Tools For Conviviality, Harper and Row York, 1 9 7 3 , p.xxiv.





ibid., p.11.

101. M. Bookchin, 'Towards a Liberators Technology', C.G. Benello and D. Roussopoulos ( e d s . ) , The Case f o r Par ticipatory Democracy, Viking P r . , New York, 1972, pp.95-139. 102. A. Roberts, 'How Can We Cure the Machines? Harmful Technology, i t s Reasons and Remedies', M. Diesendorf ( e d . ) , Energy and People, Society f o r Social Responsibility in Science, Canberra, 1979, pp.90~6. See also D. Elliott, The Lucas Aerospace Workers' Campaign, Young Fabian Pamphlet, No. -36, London, November 197?. 103. Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Technological 1, Change in Australia, Technological Change in Australia, Vo l. Canberra, 1980, Australian Government Publishing ervice, pp.158-163. For an overall survey and criticism, J. Ronayne, ' A Critical Appraisal of Technology Assessment Methodology' 9


Technological Change i n Australia, Vol.






Economic theory is inextricably linked with politics. This Fact is often camouflaged by the practice in modern economics textbooks of distingulshing between positive economics, or the study of f acts, and normative economics which considers values and moral op1nlons.(2) Textbook writers often defend the study of normative economics and the significance of value judge rents, but they claim, piously, that they will always warn their readers when a value judge rent is being made, as distinct from a scientific statement of economic analysis. This may seem eminently laudable. as it seems to place all the cards on the table. The problem which is concealed by this move is, however, an important one in understanding the political slgnific alum l'~llllllilul theory. Values are contained wlthir methodology end framework of economic analyst the distinction between a 'scientlfLl mies' and a 'value-laden normative economics __ false one. This should come as no surprise to readers of earlier chapters in this book. Stokes and Bragger, in the previous chapter. demonstrated the


_ . M

political significance of positivism and the non-neutrality of science and technology. Earlier

contributions by

Brugger, and

Wintrop, showed also

how the economic thought of Classical Liberals such as Smith, Ricardo, Bentham and J.S. Mill. and of new Liberals such as Hobson, formed a vital Dart of their political analyses and program res. The centrality of Marx's economic analysis to his socialism has also been noted. The dlstinetion between positive and normative economics arises out of a division in economic thought itself, that between classical economies and neo-classical economics. Classical economists included Francois """""'nay (16911-1?7113, Adam Smith. Ricardo M1ll.(3) Neo-classical half of the nineteenth century ldi Y! llrks H W.S. Jevons Austrian Carl Mender England, French agrarian socialist Leon 1406

Walras (183u-192u) and the Cambridge professor Alfred Marshall (18M2-1924). Later contributors to neo-classical theory included Knut Wick sell (1851-1926), who developed the ideas of the Austrian school, and Wallas' successor as profsawnI econo-» mies at Lausanne, Alfredo Pareto, whose political science has already been discussed an Chapter "H However, the education of economists 3 Britain um eentred on the ideas of Marshall, until economic establishment was rocked by the KeynesE Revolution of the 1930s.(M) In the United States, Wallas' ideas were popularised through the work of Irving Fischer who had an impact of equal imports d In $.teachings of Marshall. It was the neo-classicists who attempted to make economics akin to a natural science. They differed from the classical economists in other respects too. They replaced the classicists' concept of a dynamic model of economic behaviour, focussed on accumulation, with a static notion of an equilibrium of supply and demand. The~ concentrated exclusively on the individual in society rather -mu the social classes of the classical economists Their attention moved :lion al ia dynamic son id I static led to a concentration an the exchange price Ugods, in place an I theory of value based on labor. Exchange for the neo-classicist is governed by utility. Human beings are supposed to exhibit a universal and timeless rationality which is expressed 1 Ere to Hence, the conce ity is maxi rise utility. central to neo-classical theory. But utility is a metaphysical concept; it is defined in terms of itself (utility is the characteristic II" eommoditles which make individuals want to buy them, and ind1viduals buy commodities to enjoy utility in consuming






in used in the e sense

that the statement does not convey any


information or give any precise instructions. However, it is calculated to affect the conduct of others.(5) Keynes sought to transform economic theory. His challenge which built on certain aspects of Marshall's theory, nonetheless attacked the basic philosophical premises of neo-classical theory and its political programme. Keynes' major undertaking was to explain the mass






Neo-classical economists essentially had two ways of explaining the depression and mass unemployment. The first was. to employ a very old theory, which stemmed

from John Locke and David Theory of Money.(6) tIii

prices in

Ill lm:_ I

known as the Quantity that the level of an economy was governed by the quantity of


money a government

allows into eiroulation.


ments also had to regulate the velocity o f the circulation of money, that is the number of times that an individual piece of money enters into transactions in a year. Keynes, himself, accepted a version o f this theory until 1931. A Cambridge colleague o f Keynes, economist D.H. Robertson, was a prime exponent of this theory. He did not,llke most monetarists, however, stress conservative financial management. Robertson, like Keynes, called for increased government expenditure to overcome mass unemployment.(T) But Keynes attacked the Quantity Theory or Money in his major work, T_h.e General Theory o f Employment., Interest and Money. The second measure to be advocated by

neo-classical economists ment was to out wages. came from


to The

overcome mass unemployreasoning behind this


Marshall believed that

the price of a commodity tended toward an equilibrium point fixed by the intersection of curves on a graph denoting the



suppliers and consumers.

Their behaviour would tend to be

mutua1"*"` opposite.

Suppliers (all other things being equal would to increase the quantity of a particular " " " its prices increased and to reduce.the amount M price decreased. Consumers would seek maximise the utility of their purchasing powers. that they would want to buy more goods as the price decreased and less when it increased. When this was represented graphically, it produced a graph which resembled in shape the blades o f an open pair of scissors, QEm2 pivot point of the blades being the equilibrium price. Marshall thought that the price or lab our old correspond to this Formulation. If the price go? lab our were too high, employers would employ additional lab our and there would be unemployment," nit" the price were too low, workers would not seek employment, eventually causing the price o f lab our use as employers sought to augment profitability by increasing production. The equilibrium price of lab our would in general occur when the value of the additional product an employer could expect, i f an additional worker was employed (all other things being equal}equalled the price me labourE concmists who held this view argued 5 Ees to reduce unemployment, as they thought wages re in excess of the equilibrium rate. e put 1.


forcibly by





The Great Depression ( 1 9 3 5 ) . Keynes thought that ' unemployment prosuch a policy could exacerbate " blem in a closed economy. of` historical But Keynes' work is not simply interest. His theories have contributed to a fundam


mental change in the functioning of the modern liberal democratic state. Since the Second World War the liberal democratic state has assumed an lncrea~ sing role in managing the economic affairs of society. This new function has, since the ending of the post-war economic boom in the 1970s, come under increasing attack. These attacks on Keynesian theory on conservative political interests as socialists. I shall examine than £qg&well as he last two sections of the chapter, ticlsms I 1 Keynesian economic theory &. Maui., :my the economic theuuumsuw Keynes,

because many o f Keynes' insights kings o f capitalism have been governmental and textbook appropriations of his I

" a




thoughts. It has been political propagandists and the purveyors of textbook Keynesianism who, in the years of plenty, assumed that the great problems o f economies had been solved. The dilemma facing economists today, and the core of the problem faced by Keynes, is perhaps best illustrated by examining one explanation o f the contemporary crisis

capitalism whleh dates from the the degree to which eecnomlsts have avoided endogenous explanations o f crisis in favour o f exogenous explanations.

mid 1970s.


Such an explanation highlights

This is the sun-spot theory of crisis, which is not a new theory but has its modern adherents. In one version, in 1972 the cold Humboldt current who from the Antarctic along the Pacific coast South America shitred. This was apparently the esult sunspot activity which is said to occur eveN...nun eleve n years= This led to the disappe m "



anchovies and subsequently the demise of the Peruvian fishing industry which relied on this resource. since anehovles, when processed into fishmeal

But and

combined with cereal and soya bean products, form the

basic proteins fed to animals in the developed world, not to mention agricultural fer tillsers, the problem became more widespread. There Followed a leap in the prices of primary proteins and Hill~ ~I increase in the price of food generally. This factor exacerbated

the inflationary spiral which developed throughout T9T3- The slump which followed was far worse than anything experienced since the Second World War.(8) This evidence would seem to suggest that economic fluctuations are caused by sunspots. This is not a novel idea. Sunspots have long been considered as a cause o f the periodic booms and slumps which Hnluwen been a feature of capitalist development. m famous neo-clasical economist w.s. Jevons note& mum

ness cycles between 1721 and duration, between the peaks

1878 had an of each boom,





years. This coincided with the periodicity of sunspots every 10.35 years. This correlation convinced Jevons that a causal relationship existed. He developed his theory in Commercial Crisis and Sunspots (1879) and his earlier The Solar Period and the Price of Corn (1875). Later empirical evidence however, destroyed this 'neat correspondence between celestial mechanics and the vagaries of business 1 as the period of sunspot cycles was calculated as eleven years (9) While not many economists explain the current world crisis in terms of sunspots, it is not uncommon for extra-systemic causes to be put forward. Examples of a search For extra systemic causation can be Found in the belief that the fourfold increase in the price of oil brought about by the activities of OPEC sparked off the recession. The evidence for the sunspot theory is every bit as convincing as the ex~ planations which seek to vilify the combined acts of sheiks, ayatollas and colonels. Indeed, it has been argued that the shortage of cerrain commodities contributes to an increase in economic activity. There are historical examples where the restriction of goods has preceded economic growth, such as in wartime economiesThis may be the result of new production techniques being employed to open the way for I

substitute goods.

Such a probability led contemporaries of Jevons to argue that sunspot activity contributed to booms rather than slumps.(10) My intention in introducing the sunspot theory is not to deny the effect of external shocks on the capitalist economic system, but to emphasise that the effect of such shocks can only be determined by examining the internal mech_anis_g_1s__of the s_y§Lem. The sunspot theory is meant as at parable to highlight ' predecessors *I problems faced by Keynes ato mg se


biers which

also confront contemporary - - c l a s s i c a l

economists. I shall argue

Keynes proposed

explanation of one aspect a i m namely prolonged unemploymq which only to his contemporaries sign which swears obeisance



a theory of inflation. His . fully deserving the expression the Keynesian Revolution.



avided reasons depression ofE impression which conventional economists ~ght could@ not happen.(11) argument to dispel known as .Say_.'§ According ess of creating commodities




resulted in the creation of just enough purchasing power to buy all such commodities. In Say's view all people produced either to consume or to sell, and all sell in order to buy some other commodity which they

would either


further commodities. that supply creates mists added



use in the creation of yet

Put simply, Say's Law claimed its own demand.(12) Later econo-

idea that the pricing mechanism would

mean that i f too many commodities of a particular type were made the price would fall or, conversely, i f too few were made its price would rise. Hence there was a self-adjusting equilibrium which needed only to be l e t t alone to ensure that the most economical and rational allocation and distribution o f commodities was maintained

But these theories assumed money was only a medium of exch I'_"' what really took place in the market exchange oddities. People sell or produ commodities rder to buy other commodities. a longheld non of economic doctrine, put forward clearly by n Stuart Mill. -




What constitutes the means of payment for commodltles is simply commodities. Each person's means of paying for the production of other people eooslsts o f those which he himself possesses. All sellers are inevitably, and by the meaning of the word, buyers. Could we suddenly double the produetlve powers of the country, we should double the supply of commodities in every market; but we should, by the the purchasing power. same stroke, double Everybody would bring a double demand as well as suppl y; everybody would be able to buy twice as much, because everyone would have twice as much to offer in exchange.(13)

An earlier statement by J.B. Say completes the picture.

'In reality we do not buy articles of eon~ sumpflon with money, the circulating medium with which we pay for them. We must in the first instance have bought this money itself by the sale of our pro» between duoe.'lT&) Keynes rejected this dichotomy w »' . .. " H - " g § § i l l § l " 1 b m V , He set out to solve the unemployment. It was a problem which problem economics throughout the 1920s, where i t fluctuated between 9 1929.(15) In 192nd ._, ,,,_ cent between 1921 and . Lloyd George mies .. forward a programme o f public His works combat this HE rgeonlng unemployment. by economists and the voting programme was rejected conservative programme public alike, and a fiscally This, among o f economic management was instituted. 1




Lu 1


other things, placed t British monetary system on the gold standard t l s currency policy had a severely deflationary





tary stability would 1 E sary adjustments. Thl


ruptcy of economic thol

Although | continued

elation might prove harmful those who lived off investor ferred to deflationars 'in an impoverished world

which would



the choice, Keynes would


tiers than create more misery menu. Ref tiers, living ___ _ __ . ...__._yes merits, were an inactive and non-productive class. Keynes thought that government policy should prevent


a transfer



from the 'active classes into

the spending control of the inactlve'. It was not good enough to hope the* in tlme the economy might right itself. u

the long


all dead.

Economists set useless a task if in key can only tell us that



past the






. Lloyd George was again prepared to fight urnQnnhdino public on employment thro"°h bi en urn 1*e"mmcrni'v works._ Treasury; sought to prove that such :-1 programme could Ill-sensibly work. They argued that the total ....._ savings was static, i f more money was ,x

\nI"l_4 t:l.IJ.1




u u u u A L 4 Q


'"' ~ni; investment, foreign lending the exr umunug-sauna port surplus must suffer. Hence tag Unum u be no better off. The velocity whole would t r y circulation could not be alters by governme $12





directly challenge this dogma.

creased government








argued not



create a

drain on reserves,

as additional credit would be used for internal purposes and not for Foreign lending. Hence credit evoension for works, as proposed by ""r""" u

Lloy d George, would be safe.

It was




General Theory o f Employment, Money and Interest that

com5inéd §Epport"fbr increased government activity in the economy with a revolutionary economic theory. § meantime economists .mi unable to .in-L-me § satisfactory E'=\y» Some explain sought explain unemployment by suggesting _ ___ human wagtg ~-5 "." . causing a lower demand , lab our; Others the de~z; 11152: pg 5 ult ed enterprise . @P':;* gerent or KQYHGS


II 12

____ 1




was a 'punishment' inflicted o n individuals and firms for past 'sins o f speculatlon'.(1T) But despite these meagre attempts i t is not correct to infer, as Harry Johnson had, that Keynesian measures only won sway because inadequate micro-economic explanations drew attention away from available macro explanations which could have produced remedies adequate


theories in Johnson's view being those which concentrated on the quantity and velocity of circulation of money.(18) Keynes' General Theory challenged the assumptions s monetarist theories as clearly as i t challenged those f other neo-classical theories. Keynes thought that the prices of commodities were determined by their costs (wages, raw materials and depreciation) not by the volume or velocity o f the circulation of money in the eeonomys HIP/l'=iEHH -that since wages were the main element o f followed that change in money wages would bring about a corresponding change in the level of prlces.l go the ratio of costs to prices remained the _







or 1-






fact de

due to the falling level o f demand bY having less to spend. ThusI unemploymen would remain static or increase if wages asks many of his contemporaries were recommenKeynes rejected, therefore, the notion that Determined by the marginal disutility o f wages . is that the real wage o f an employed Ehat which was just sufficient to eneou~ number of employed people actually in e t ployment to be forthcoming. The degree of utility o f a given wage was determined subjectively by employed - w $ w m



people. This theory was at the core of neo-classical belief. For Keynes, the central problem in understanding the depression was that effective demand for the pro-

ducts of society was too low. The problem arose DBcause the psychology of the community was such that the proportion of income spent by an individual on the consumption of goods declined as that person's wages increased.

A t the time, Keynes had little sta-

tistical evidence to support this claim. Subsequent research, however, has confirmed the broad accuracy o f his argument, though this research has suggested mu~ relationship between income and consumption

~complex than he thought.(19) ~ly increased investment employers g~ when either their order books were full or there was a reasonable * " *H* expect an increase in demand, employment could Abe increased i f effective demand Hence

a significant degree o f

unemployment could H ccur for long periods of time. There was no mechanism which would automatically keep

MY 3

investment a t a level sufficient to maintain full et ploy rent.-fig propensity o f people to save more as "






"unocked the economic establishment which had single-mindedly preached a gospel that savings _ c l a i m

and thrift neo-classi not indent'F

were virtues. Keynes argued, contrary to dogma, t savings and investment were

_ rejected the view of his contemporary monetarist opponents that there could be saving without investment or alternatively investment without saving. Their error was the assumption that an increase in an individual's savings would necessarlly increase aggregate investment' amount. For Keynes, while some inaivl might II




crease their wealth,

i t did not folio l

wealth would necessarily increase. individuals expense of


A to

level o f wealth might b e another's. Furthermore,


involve a decrease in consumption,


inCreased this would

lead to a falling level o f investment as demand

falPut simply his argument was that investment causes saving. Keynes, therefore, pointed to the fallacy o f composition which underlay much o f the neo~classlcal teachings. There was an extrapolation from individual cases to the aggregate level which in his mind was unjustified. His analysis started with . concepts o f aggregate demand, s'dyings and investment I t also regarded capitalism as a system, and a as phase in historical development, not as a model o f economic behaviour governed by timeless equilibrium and comfortable assumptions about individual wants being in the general 1nterests.(20) As well as challenging these articles o f faith, Keynes destroyed the neo-classical justification o f profit and of inequality. Capital, in his view, yielded a return simply because it was scarce not because it was productive; i t was kept scarce by the tered.

use of interest payments and by individuals


cash.(21) Similarly, his argument that saving is a cause of unemployment undermined *he elaborate metaphysics which the economics profession used to justif y continued income inequality as a source o f aecumulation. Moreover, he envisaged the capitalist economy as an undetermined system. Complete information

about the past, the present, not to mention the future, was a chimera. Economic a f f a i r s were dominated by a lack of knowledge 1.m which human capriciousness was more prevalent than His~ll!~lll. especially in the longer


Keynes likened

ideclslon making

process to

a game of Snap, of Old Maid, o f Musical Chairs a past~tlme in which he is victor who says




neither too soon no Old Maid to his neigh


who passed

before chair* for lhimself OVEI", played music 51 players zest and enjoyment though which that: it; that who music s p1.ayet"s me will find themselves L-

Thus, it was impossible to predict the Future in investment markets. The mass psychology of a large number of ignorant investors was likely to change the valuation of stock violently, as the 'result of a sudden fluctuation of opinion due to factors which do not really make muoN difference to the prospective yield'.(23) This was due to the precarious state of knowledge investors had to work with. The basis of knowledge for estimating the yield of 'a railway, a copper mine, a textile factors, the goodwill of a patent medicine, an Atlantic liner, a buildi_Q.g ;_r.;._ the city of London' in ten or even Five ye 'amounts "" little and sometimes to nothing'. Individuals seriously attempted to estimate such a yield much in the minority that their behave m ~ or no influence on the market.(2M) FlaE Keynes rate of change in money wages depended on pectations of the future. There was 1 tionship between short run market phenomena changes, nor could the level of wages terms of a lag from previous practice, §-s 'I§.'E&l~ neo-classical economists have claimed Similarly, the rate of interest did not tend toward a natural rate that would bring about an equilibrium between savings and investment in terms of full employment. These claims were totally alien to economists who ' ii¢uninil:ua§ it treat economics as a geometry in the complete and self-sufficient generating as many propositions as axiom-system 1


summary on concept


the Keynesian revolution attacked grounds. It replaced the mechanical Librium with an analysis based on his-

Henying that economic decisions were based on rational choice, it stressed that such decisions were the result of guesswork or convention. The Keynesian revolution reached fruitionwith the publication of The General Theory. As one of Keynes' most famous students, Prof. E.A.G. Robinson, has remarked,'if Maynard Keynes had died in 1925 it would have been difficult for those who know intimately the power and originality of his mind, to have convinced those

who had never known him, of the full

measure of Keynes' ability'.(26)

u 15

Keynes reforged a classical political economy. He expressed _ enthusiasm for the efficacy of monetary policy. This was because he Felt that in the long run expected profits, or the i


marginal efficiency of capital in his terminology, must decl1ne.(27) But his theory of a long term deoline in profit differed from those of his classical predecessors Marx and Ricardo. Keynes' pessimism stemmed from his view that capitalist societies could maintain an equilibrium between aggregate demand and aggregate supply at considerably less than full employment, It was, in Lekachman's view, a theory of

secular stagnat1on.(28) Keynes put forward a programme which he thought could offset this malais led for the state to assume a far greater to operation of the l economy. The state was, words, 'to prime the pump' by spending more money. Most importantly lt could increase effective demand by ordering more commodities itself. This would have a multiplier effect, which meant that as enterprises received orders for their goods they would in turn order more goods and raw materials from other enterprises, and so on, so that increased demand would Flow through the economy as a whole. This increased demand would lead to increased employment and in turn to a further increase in aggregate demand. The nature of the state's expenditure, therefore, did not matter. Keynes thought that 'pyramid building, earthquakes, even wars may serve to increase wealth, if the educaE bu? statesmen on the principles of classical economics [Keynes' term for neo-classlcal economics] stands in the way of anything better'.(29) Needless u m m, he preferred that the state spend its money on socially useful items such as housing.


The other major way the state could help was by directly employing people. He made the half humorous

sugest10n that



ho es in the ground' providing

was increased



be employed to 'dig the



savings were reduced.


followed from his stipulations on the propensity of individuals to consume that, i f the state was to pay people money i t should pay i t to those who were poor

as they would sbend it. Making payments to the wealthy was not very effective as these people would

save any increase. Keynes also allowed that the state mould use monetary policy, It should reduce interest! rates and expand the supply of money. This would allow : w increased nesses to expand production in the face demand. Expanded fiscal activity should randed by increased taxation; however, public spending was to remain fixed, taxation shI as re




duced. For the most part he was unenthusiastic about the effects of monetary policy in stimulating effective demand. Banking policy, through manipulation of interest rates, would not lead to the optimum rate o f investment. He argued that full employment could only be brought about through the 'sociallsatlon o f 1nvestment'.(30) Private investment would only lncrease i f businesses had the expectation o f profits, or i f they had no excess productive capacity, both o f which depended on strong effective demand. This was unlikely i f consumers continued to hold money and foreg o consumption due to low expectations o f the future. Hence, state stimulation of investment contlnued to he the most reliable policy.(31) Politically, Keynes thought that the state should function as an arbiter of the common good o f society. The liberal-demoeratie state was not seen .. primarily *";v;, Q " . ve body whose powers should be . . While E`§£»i estate should act as an umpire, it should provide the basic necessities for people conditions in which human pocould fulfilled Hence the state maintain and extend social justice and It should encourage education and social ..




Q § § ; n e n t intellectual


state should promote uh argument Mas that this would Similarly the state allow women greater freedom reform make divorce more readily attainable,l especially for working women. argued state should pay a family , ~ s o that women could be paid for presently ~u

unpaid domestic work. the use %readment




position E existing


matte: and of orthodoxy




out civilized practic of

o f contraceptives, d u a l offences

He argued that concern with




famply, in 1te o f *he law

-opinion altogether and




only the preserve o f a small educated class, but also the concern of working women generally. Attention to

these issues

would mean that women could be 'emanci£§§% ` ` ..

pated from the most intolerable W* Keynes' thinking reflected again st Victorian morality and

thinking. academia.








- ' ~ v ~




Victorian Keynes, 111".'

written influential works on philosophy and political economy. Among such works were a book on formal logic and one entitled The Scope and Method of Political Economy. His mother was one of the earliest graduates of Newnham College, Cambridge. She was active in local politics and was the first women city councillor in Cambridge, and later its mayor. John Maynard Keynes won a scholarship to Eton and an open scholarship to Klng's College, Cambridge. His interests were classics and mathematics. His early life was dominated "" """ values aspirations of wealthy Victorian protestants parents' values were those of an by fusion of Evangelical, Quaker and Unitarian . to fight against slavery. Late* this group turned n g to other liberal and philanthropy3 i .





group it was dominated by puritan ethics. Life was a constant battle against sin. In such an endeavour there was little time for enjoyment. The pursuit of

art, literature and beauty was too frivolous; recreation was a period in which to prepare for future efforts.(3U) Keynes rejected Victorian morality as he rejected its economics. In his own words he was an immoralist. The influences which led him to reject his background stemmed from his association with a group of artists and writers known as the Bloomsbury group, which Keynes joined in 1903. This group, named after the London suburb, included such influen-

tial people and Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and Clive and Vanessa Bell as well as E.M. Forster. The group was heavily influenced by the writings of the philosopher G.E. Moore, who had published his Principia Ethics in 1903.(35) In 1938, Keynes recollected that Moore's philosophy had profoundly influenced his outlook on the world. Moore m argued that Good could a Those ;

attempts to define it in terms it natural however rested



claimed that attempts or progressive or naturalistic fallacy. goods, 'those good in


naturalistic fallacy identify willed by Moore thought

pleasant rested was Ennis highest

of consciousness, which may be roughly described as the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objeets'.(36l As Keynes later remarked, his enthusiasm for Moore's philosophy was selective. He neglected Moore's teachings on conduct. Here Moore had adopted the classical utilitarian position that an action must be judged by its consequences, particularly on others. Moore's philosophy -was an odd faith for an economist at any time, especially for one who contra 14 18

buted p i n wealthy through

public affairs private finance 1nflui=='@= considerable . oetrlrle amassing great fortunes


M ~


_ sea

speculation rejected isclpline

become -r

glory could

to think

made more enjoyable and bearab all people, not just a chosen It Keynes away from the Berth_. doctrine ... utilitarianism which had so influenced neo-classical ,



rejected . Mlll's conception of economy. This meant that 1m _ import of "§1s General Theory was that he had broken his contemporary economists and his predecessors.


a stationary Keynes' view



[They were] still dealing with a system $n which the amount of the factors employed was given and other relevant facts were known more or less for certain. This does not mean that they were dealing with a system in which change was ruled out. But, at any given time, facts and expectations were assumed to be given in a definite and calculable form, and risks, of which, though admitted, not much notice was taken, were supposed to be capable of exact actuarial computation. The calculus of probability, though kept in the background, was supposed to be capable of reduclng uncertainty to the same calculable status as that of certainty itself; just as in the Benthamite calculus o f pains aas pleasures *~ . advantage and disadvantage, by which

Benthamite philosophy assumed m m E influenced in their general ethical behav1our.(37)

introduction of a dynamic concept of philosophy and the contemplation of an economy governed by uncertainty a a m v -~ly challenged contemporary econo~ W



me m


grew him way from classical


ism. -hence, l t was 'not a correct deduction from the




self-interest always operates in est'. Thus, be pronounced

that the




the death of laissez-fa1re.(38) The introduction of uncertainty meant that the utilitarianism of Bentham, James Mill and J.S. Mill was no longer valid. This was because utilitarianism was either a static doctrine, or one that assumed individuals have eorreet foresight such that they can make rational judgements. argument These reasons strengthened Keynes an increased role for the state. In ideal E he thought the state should set up autonomous l.




bodies within itself, whose criteasEn.ume within their jurisdiction was the public These bodies would mediate between the the """" proper. 3 : 1 would, in to"in class group interests to be overcome. Keynes' belief in the overcoming of class u 'product of 8 view of industrialism antagonisms ans inherent u n i tight. WI anis joint; stock companies, on reaching cerrain 11ize, came to approximate public rather : I EI private corporations. J

As such they tended to become more socialist in nature. The separation of ownership and control would mean that managers would be more inclined to consider the social

responsibility of the enterprise than the

wishes of shareholders to maintain profit.


would, therefore, tend to come about through peaceful



This facet of industrialism can be found in other parts of Keynes' work. He tried to encourage

those elements o f society he saw as productive, proposing strict measures which would eliminate those groups who lived o f f the fruits or productive lab our. His policy toward the rentlers has already been mentloned. He maintained the determination of Ricardo, Hobson and others in the industrialist and liberal traditions to bring about the 'euthanasia' o f the rentler class. In congruence with his views on joint stock companies, Keynes thought that the existence of the rentier aspect of capitalism was merely a transitional phase which would disappear. The state should merely speed up this phase by socialising


and setting

very low interest rates. Keynes felt that in exploding the justifications o f inequality, of neo-classical economics and Victorian ethics,




But nonetheless

psychological and



case for greater

he felt there


social justifications for


still .


of inequality in society. related to his cussed below.

These justifications were views on property which will be dis-

His other great target of attack was the law of inheritance. This reflected both his concern that wealth should be justified meritocratic ally, by productive contributions to society and his rejection o f







philosophy held that wealth had real advantages which should be enjoyed, such wealth needed to be earned. Furthermore, the hereditary principle, as he called

it, was a remnant of feudalism and as such would wither away. He saw it as one of the seeds of the intellectual decay so prevalent in his time.

[In] the transmission of wealth and the control u20

o f business is the reason why the leadership of the Capitalist Cause; ii weak and . It is too? Annan'- dominated; by en. NotEm il1 cause . social institution ~1ay with more bertalnty than its attachment the hereditary pr1nc1ple.(39} Ne

While Keynes objected to many F @ ¥;:= of' capitalism, he maintained a consistent defense E~ the institution of private property. He saw property as the protector of individual liberty. But his defense in his later works was in many respects a negative one. Private ownership and the money motive were necessary forms of inducement for production. Moreover, he argued, dangerous terms o f human behaviour could be directed into relatively her npgmala pursuits. If this opportunity were to be de human beings, 'they may find their outlet Cruelty n o reckless pursuit of personal power and 1 ' other forms of self-aggrandlsement'. after all 'better that a man should tyrannise .._-=w balance than over his fellow e1t1zens'.(U0) For these . ;és;,8;.8},. reasons Keynes can perhaps best be social liberal. Although he once r e f e r r e d to himself as a liberal socialist, his deface of the individual and his deface o f property were not compromised. He saw his liberal- Analist society as one in which 1













choose, to select Qhoughts, to engage




proper T y , were ma1nta1ned.(l41,




community organised toward common i - = be attained whilst freedoms


poses . ____ s a~ Who individual, faith, " * express



Victorian morality was also Personal life. He was bisexual,

practising within the Bloomsbury group what one writer has termed an 'ideological homosexuallty'.(H2)

This followed



of Moore's

philosophy. Strachey argued that homosexuality was a passion which had no utilitarian purpose. Hetero-

sexuality at least had a biological purpose in procreation. As a passion which had no purpose outside the enjoyment of those involved, homosexuality repre-

sented a savage assault on Victorian principles o f life. It particularly challenged the Victorian obsession with saving and accumulation as it offered a childless future. Later, Keynes was to marry the famous ballerina Lydia Lopokova. But 'to ignore' as one writer has argued, the possible influence of homosexuality and its childless perspective on Keynes attitude to life and his work 'would be biographical ph1l1stin1sm'.(M3) Aesthetic considerations


the way Keynes asserted his individualism in other ways as well. He enjoyed and .appreciated works of






was knowledgeable in

and pursuits. He wrote maintained _ . i ct with tas philosophers Russell and 5~ ~Ques Wittgenstein t was his attachment as Tina educate bourgeoisie and aesthetic Btandards HE which led him reject cl Seal When lt eemee to the e l s e struggle as such my loeel and- personal patriotism, l k e those of .a.,§_ ex C et t c:er- taiE : ; - ; e verye Ne .a >=.; ,ous * H U H * ~" sum to my own surroundings* can in influenced =that seems EE; PE 'the Clase NEE mE slee of Ehe edueated b ou





; "5


and on

He also rejected the cultural backwardness and roughness of what he Once referred to as 'the boorish proletariat'.(M5) Keynes thought that he had destroyed Marxism with his analysis. In fact he reproduced many of the criticisms made by Marx of classical political economy.(M6) But Keynes had read very little of Marx. In a letter to George Bernard Shaw, in 1935, he wrote that he had again attempted to read Marx and Engels. Selected This time it was Marx and Engels' Correspondence. Keynes preferred Engels of the two, while he deprecated their style of writing and argument. He concluded, 'l can discover nothing but out of date eontroversialising'.(H?) But in fact many of the important discoveries of the General Theory had been made previously by Marxi(M8l The ideas put Forward by Keynes were also discovered independently by the great Polish economist Michal Kale oki from the theories of Marx. Similarly, soviet economists in the 1920s had developed a form of analysis which led logically to similar conclusions.(M9) In many ways Kalecki's theories are now

much more useful in developing concepts in what is known as post-Keynesian economics developed by Keynes' successors at Cambridge University, par ticularly Piero Sraffa and Joan Robinson.(50) Kaiecki argued that Keynes' ideas on economic management would bring about new difficulties through

the workings of the political system. He saw that full employment would lead to a new series of problems. In place of the economic trade cycle there would be a political trade cycle.(51) As a result of high levels of employment, trade union action could become more militant and wages would rise which, in turn, would lead to rising prices. This would lead to discomfort on the part of the heftier class as their income declined and they would seek alternative economic policies. As full employment meant that 1122

sackings were no longer a sanction lab our, employers would seek economic cies. Kalecki foresaw that quls economists would be Found to sanction such Chang government would then seek increase interest rates and thereby - " Llnemploymentn as un employment we electorally -.,m,pop ular, min strategy wool again #a~~*#" toward ""'""'* employment as loomed. This would be or Y achieved by the ~» M budgets and the lifting of restrictions on credit which in turn would contribute to increasing inflation. After the election, whichever party was in government would then be faced with having to use deflationary policies to control the astificially created inflation. And thus the cycle would repeat itself. As Joan Robinson has remarked, Kalecki's forecast was accurate in predict ting economic policy t in the postwar period, in Britain and the United States.(52) It has also been an apt description of Australian economic policy, H it l u n til years ngth was that he reintroduced a Kalecki'm ._









He saw that conflict

rise to forms of class antagoneconomic policy. He also raised actions between a representative and a complex neo~Keynesian econo-

which questions about democratic system my.

by Thes e questions have indeed also been posed writers who are more conservative than Kalecki or Keynes. Samuel Brittan,(53) for example, has argued that Keynesian economic management falters because of the makeup of the political system. But this argumenu is vastly different from Kalecki's as it is developed from Joseph Schumpeter's analysis of demoerotic systems.

had likened

remembered, be systems to the market place, with

Schumpeter, i t will


each party offering policies which would attract


most votes, The problem, in Brittan's ' view, for for' Keynesian management, is that it is much easier political par ties to cater for the immediate per'ceived self~interest

of the voting public



state expenditure than to act responuntackle issues which may b e electorally

sing increased sibley and

popular. Thus increased state activity tended ` to be financed by printing money rather than increasing taxation, And political parties would rather complerent the offerings of another party than risk losing

support from a significant

group in




matching an opponent's offer. To escape from these predicaments, 'we need not another revolution in ecocomic theory, but a revolution in constitutional and



which will save us from the snare of $23

unlimited democracy before we nd ourselves with no democracy freedom left'.(5M) The ii ¥"1ttan's problem is compounded view, by Schumpeter's@ continuation of liberal demo . (limiting = scope o f political deelsion maki o f a well trained " bureaucracy ' political restraint) no longer existing in modern British and similar societies, Further, as in Brlttan's view the bureaucracy is the major beneficiary o f Keynesian policies, it is no longer a group above sectional interests. He sees implicit in Keynes' writings the need for Schumpeterian preconditions for the continued existence of liberal democracy.





TEXTBOOK KEYNESIANISM One of the major problems of analysis the impact of Keynes on the functioning of liberal demo~ cratlc governments has been the extent to which his writings have been absorbed into neo-classical theory. This is mostly due to the impact of textbook writers and popularisers of Keynes. The extent of the divergence is now so great that a distinction should be made between Keynesian economies and the economies of Keynes. After' all Ke t a Keynesian. A number* of dlI"flerlng ich all claim to be the legitimate heirs o K I Keynes. l'- rather I shall show how shell not enter this the textbook Keynes differs a.he Keynes aw the General Theory. -. "Bas'tardlsed Keynesianism' 1 : to as Roblnson's words, or glue 'neo-classical syntheslsra§ general notion to use Samuelson's, recreates ight to destroy. It equilibrium which Keynes of an equilibrium does this by seeing! )njunctlon with mass between supply and: demand


,. .-, -.



unemployment the condition . Keynes sought to which is only a correct as a special edition or general short-term divergeam eases conventional equilibrium. re n? Hen(la neo-classical doctrine can be still employed, The primary focus of neo-classiclsm is the behaviour of individuals in society. This view neglects history and assumes a stationary state. Individual actions in this state are supposed to correspond to 8 universal and timeless rationality. This rationality is thought to conform to the strictures of utilitarianism. Neo-classical synthesisers concentrate on the process of distribution rather than productlon.

. . . .




.. .

Hence they concentrate on exchange, and governed For them by utility. Thus, the assumed to be sovereign in the economy.


To normal is assumed in whi produced consumed. son o um on the work Walras, view the market acts as an which regulatel !ree is at an I production a give commodities the means produ endowed with cing t . capacity to work or ownership of machinery, raw materials or cultivable land. The production method for each commodity is known. Everyone meets via the market place, and through a process of auctioneering the outputs of each commodity and their prices are arrived at. Similarly, a bargain is struck such that no person can do better individually by altering the amount of any commodity bought or changing the pattern of usage of any lab our, raw material or machinery. In Walras' conception, the market for one commodity affects the markets of other commodities. The economy is supposed to reach this position of equilibrium rather like a pendulum which, while swinging backwards and forwards, is said to be approaching a position of rest. Robinson has argued that the analogy is False; the passage of history is unit-directional, from the past to the future.(55) It can be seen that this conception of equilibrium is incommensurable with Keynes' ideas from the General Theory which stressed oncertaints and unpredictability in human relationships. To make general equilibrium theory commensurate with a dynamic or histori~'m.. would cal approach have to be argued that all people in Cha market ses perfect knowledge and foresight. Me cepted that human beings are


. "

m m m _ w _ _




analysis breaks down, as the fallible, utilitarian individual can no longer act as a utility max irising agent. For these reasons textbook Keynesians maintain a static form of analysis. The notion






based on many of the basic assumptions which underlay classical liberalism.

Not only do such theories deny history, focus on the individual and employ utile tartan analysis, but they also seek to minimize the role of the state. The doctrine of general equilibrium assumes that the normal condition of society is

for the state to play as little a role in

life as possible, because the market is the most efficient form of economic organisation. The theory, therefore, has an ideological function which tends to legitimise the status quo. General equilieconomic

brium theory also denies the historical par ticularity of capitalism and hides alternative Forms of economic organisation, as economic rationality is by define dion best served in market capitalism. But this ideological function is a two edged sword, since eco1425

nomi theorists are forced to explain the increasingly central role played by the state in the second half of this century. In seeking guiding principles for the role of the state in modern society, textbook Keynesians have fallen back o n the flawed distinction between positive economics and normative economics. But the positive principles which are put forward have e First, it is argued strong ideological component. that the state should produce goods whose consumption is 'non-rlval'. This refers to goods known es social . goods where the addition o f one consumer . pair the ability of other consumers to . particular good. This in economlc~jargoni situs son of 'zero marginal social cost'. Exa . w ly quoted are roads, bridges, museums, public gardens, radio and television transmissions. It is admitted that normative problems can arise with such












government revenue to broadcast program res of esoteric interest. However, in such cases, textbook authors claim that a political or normative judgement is required, rather than the use of 'pure loglc'. oF major reasons why social goods should be produced by he state is that i t is dlf'f'loult to reto those consumers who are prepared to pay for them. It is possible (but not always profitable or desirable) to arrange toll gates on bridges and roads, but some goods are claimed to be impossible to charge tor. Examples o f such goods and services are lighthouses, street lighting, police patrols, national defence, open spaces in cities and traffic control systems. As all people are supposed to benefit equally from these goods, the state should provide them. This presumes that economists are cor. . ,as people d o benefit equally from such rect .goods- which ___, itself a political assumption, of






dubious veracity.






state serve Omron interests o f their society, again a position which derives from liberalism. Second, in the textbook Keynesian view, i t is legitimate For the state to act when the private sct1ons of a person might disadvantage another. Examples o f these negative external effects are pollution, uncivil behaviour and excessive use o f scarce n.



will readily recognise that this

principle derives directly from J.S. M1l=lJ'E writings on liberty discussed in Chapter T by Bil Brugger. Third, the state may produce goods

otherwise be

produced privately.

Quasi Public Goods.


These an known

This constitutes a

or defence for neo-elassicists in that empirical vestlgation shows that public or social



" -->

tuts only a small compo: rationale behind the Sta involvement duction of such goods monopo exists. The technology involved would get the goods chem supplied the goods rather than s number producers principle has even less two. Economies of sea prime quislte for a good to cd ownership but this does not exp petro-chemical producted widespread. Allied to ._ son that the possessloH_-,_ private . , certain type of monopoly might be used against eertain groups or individuals. The example usually given is the postal service, where a private monopoly might allow an individual to gain unf air advantage over others by restricting the service. The ideological function of these principles is that they legitimate a minimal role for the state. They preserve a particular view of the role of the state as a neutral arbiter in society. What is more interesting, in contrast to Keynes' view of the state, is _


what is missing: his intervene in society to


belief that the state should further human potentiality

and creativity. While Keynes thought he had undermined the argu-

merits of the neo-classical economists which justified inequality, textbook Keynesians have reinvoked such arguments. This is attempted is two ways. The first is to restate the neo-classicist justification of interest payments, the second is to use utilitarian arguments to justify existing inequality. The neo-classicist justification o f interest, which was the work o f Alfred attacked by Keynes, stems from Marshall. Marshall r~ejecte£ they mists' notion of surplus h i

of value stemming from labour§ For Marshall, the 1 real' human sacrifice and

error t.



-mu surplus

rent which was essentially Q gif t of nature. Wages were a recompense for the disutility `f?'i=,;?, Ludwig Edler von Mises IH*'iIi1i~'H'W lao the Swede, Knut Wioksell (1851-1926). Hayek II bntemporary o f Keynes who put forward an opposing . Uses o f the crisis o f the 1930s. His those of _.__ the principal rivals o f Keynes. Students o f economics in the 19305 were forced to make a decision on whether Hayek or Keynes was correct, despite the lines o f contention between the two theories not always being made clear. Indeed in his 1930 work, A Treatise on Money, Keynes sought support from Hayek and other Austrians tor some o f


his ideas.

Prices and






(1931) 7



it became clear that

little common ground existed. The major reason for this was that Hayek developed his economics within a model laid down by Bohm-Bawerk.(63) Bohm-Bawerk and other Austrians adhered to a version of the Quantity Theory of Money, which saw a direct causal relationship between



and velocity o f monetary


in the economy and the level

produced in

the future.

of producprices. tion activity and Bohr-Bawerk formulated a a theory o f the rate of interest 1 economy which rested on three propositions. F thought individuals would expect to b e I __ tune. Second, that consumers won produced goods more highly than g o o which might

him to









consumerI we


purer goods today pay for them by borrowing more# against Future M rniugs, Third, he argued that it w Ag preferable i ave producer goods immediately mathdo# 1h the future. This was because; goods could produce items for consumption in tam More complex methods of production would H preferable IL simple forms as more productivity would .. crest rates should be allowed to bQ 'u ___.__rket S O that when a stage of equilibrium was reached productivity could be equated to the rates o f interest.(6m) The Austrian school defended the r e n t e r class, whom they categorise as entrepreneurs, as *hey saw the activity of this class as crucial to increased production. For this reason their works were attacked by the Bolshevik economist Nicola; Bukharin as an economic theory which justified the existence o f a leisure class.(65) B ecause th e Aus 13r 4a n s were interested in the process of capital Formation, they were less centrally concerned with theories o f general equilibrium than other neo-classical economists. They also pointed to deficiencies in neo-classical theory in such assumptions as the nature of competition and the reliance on aggregate concepts. Furthermore, they disputed the idea of perfect knowledge and rational expectations. All these assumptions they sew as underscoring the role of the entrep Fe near in contributing to productivity 1ncreeses.(6 6) idea that Von Mises and Hayek put forbeard the . can be identified changes in i n anil" our of capital goods with changes relative (producer go ods. They argued and consumption



that the ratI


price of new ccnsumpt The rate of a f all in th

the level

good prices



the ratio of the capital goods.

of interest. A s kely to increase










against capita

crease investment.

prices would

This was o

that investment would 1ncrease` if consumption _B prices increased 'and the rate profit increased. ,reached Von Mlannum Hayek argue vidual save vestment. would lead



and increase


umptiorl go od s ,I demand unction goods resulting from rapidly 'apltal goods. would Fall u price and capital Hence, the ratio between would interest rate. goods would mum would lead ____ an increase in According to Hayek, This theory was the complete opposite of investment. - - - _ _


Keynes' theory that increased investment causes saving not the converse. Keynes argued that Hayek and Mises had not shown why the rate an interest ni-- be equal to the ratio kg prices o capital good prices. also a I #uni gross oversimplificatlon to see ii 1 m profit as given by the ratio -°_1o assumption good prices to those of capital goods. ~_ak's theory naturally led to policy recommendations opposite to those of Keynes. Indeed, Joan Robinson has remarked at the astonishment she and her Cambridge colleagues felt when Hayek agreed to the proposition that his theories meant that consumer purchases could lead (indirectly) to increased unem~ ployment.(67) :

Hayek attacked the

assumptions of analysis. He argued that statistical aggregates were being treated as tangible things. This was not correct as many aggregates were merely arithmetical averages which concealed a deeper reality. For instance, considerations or changes in the aggregate wage level might mask the fact that the structure of relative wages was causing problems even though the average wage level may be considered correct. He also argued that human behaviour was far too complex to be encapsulated in quantitative functional relationships. Hence, there is no fixed relationship between consumption and income as Keynes had claimed. The third assumption which Hayek attacked was Keynes' view that interest rates m p h his lowered, leading to the euthanasia of the ref tiers In Hayek's view the interest rate should an allowed to respond to the market, as should prices. .ii o , because interest and prices served to availability of resources. In Hayek's view, Keynes tended to treat capital as a homogeneous factor, al-

the Keynesian







reading of the General .Theory shows the con-

trary.(68) In reality, Hayek argued, umm

complex interlocking structure; if one


d a is

1 removed a series of components become For example, 1f` a steel works is removed, i n iroal mines and engineering plants might all become useless. Because of the interlocking nature of capital, he thought that Keynes' calls for low interest rates might cause a disaster. Low interest rates, in HayeK's view, indicate a cheap and plentiful supply of savings. Entrepreneurs will react by starting on long-term mutually interlocking projects which will need e lot of money to complete. Increased investment will cause an increase in employment, and wages

and consumption will increase. This, according to his theory, will take away funds from investment and the supply of credit will falter, thus etalllng pro-


jects in a half finished state. Even if some plants are finished their value will be impaired as complementary plants are not complete. This leads to a recession and business failure. Thus, in Hayek's view, Keynes' policy recommend dations would lead to a series of booms followed by recessions. Indeed, in his view, the Great Depression was the result o f a massive credit expension which had taken place in the 1920s. This was compounded by attempts to rescue various capital pro~ jects which were badly co~ordinated,(69) Frledman's attack on Keynes is based on a more empirical approach. But there is a strong ideological bias in his work. His concern is to reduce the level o f state intervention in the economy. The eco-

nomic theory which he employs in this programme is a virtual restatement o f the Quantity Theory o f Money

which Keynes attacked in the General Theory. Friedman claims that state intervention has been the cause o f rather than the solution to economic crisis. The modern interventionist state has created problems by its control and regulation o f the quantity o f money in the economy. He claims that the establlsh~ meet by the United States government o f the Federal Reserve System has been responsible For destabilising the money supply and prices. The evidence who co is given for this is that monetary stability was more

notable in the period from the Civil War to l91H than since. He does allow that the two world wars in the later period were responsible for some of the lnstability, but be claims that major contractions o f the money supply in 1920-21- m m m u u m =», '»law== the regulatory agencies, weH deed, he argues that the Greg created money by the regulatory bodies reducing by one third. The Wall Strewas crash mayor effect and proximate cause of the an

more indirect in that



aence.(70) Friedman also challenges Keynes on other grounds. While his empirical observations have

forced him to accept Keynes' claim that wealthy people save a greater proportion o f their income than do the poor, he rejects the conclusion, which he argues should follow from this, that savings should increase as a proportion of" national income as society as a whole became rich SP"I have already shown that Keynes recognised izhe fallacy o f such "urding ext1~apolatlol However, to studies carried out

by Friedman'-.f


have been a constant proportion come .









a volatile income (for example,

Kuznets, savings

bi the



that people who have ilmstars, and stock-

$3 3

brokers) save while their incomes are high and draw on their savings when their current income is low.

This is said to explain the increased propensity o f people m u m income increases.

in Friedman'; view, the implementation of __-Keynesian omic management has created the problem Q inflation which he claims since Roman times ms m =ccompanied by an expansion o f the money supply . »as& . has occurred in recent times because governments ve attempted to maintain full employment Friedman sorts that there is a natural rate of unemployment, and that attempts to offset this by state expenditure only create conditions for inflation. Keynes argued against the Quantlty_ Theory o f Money theorists that effective demand would 1 ncrease in exact proportion to the quantity o f money.









of many


Meso-economies 15 a lev'll- which Iflrrfl) sign between micro-economics Theo and macro-economics (thi study of the my). Keynes' anally1 focussed on on macro~economlcs, the nI economist micro-economics.

In Holland's view



structure 1435

(gian t corporations) via . grown in power to such an invalid the economic policy goals a n.lunai§lll.HllI = r e n t s . Hence, ~t§. E required. macro-economic policy ""'" l Large corpora ;___£s for man . eommodlt' .iII!n& §~HWWl¥!I:& taxation. to avoid paying an equitable lev Their ability to transfer large sums money 1 one country to another can also wreak havoc on a nat o n a l government's attempts to control fiscal and These monetary policy. e activities place an intolerable burden o n small firms and increase the taxation burden which falls on individuals. Large corporations contribute to inflation through their ability to set prices and because they tend to trade amongst themselves. This ability to set prices is, of course, a two-edged sword, as increased prices have .--»-a-~..'



led to consumer resistance,

sales volumes

which in turn reduces The result of this is thatt unemploy-

ment is created and the state is faced with an 1ncreased burden of social security payments, forgoing attempts to provide much needed increases in public health, education and environmental protection. To protect the profitability of the mesa-economic struck tune, the state has had to increase its level o f direct subsidies and, through ""'utilities, provide goods and I price. Mesa-economic power

public educed

spiralllng economic problem f11modern is also so powerful that i t represents i national sovereignty 1tself.(y6) For these reasons and others, such as the increasing problem in Britain of regional disparities, Holland suggests that a new policy must b e adopted by the BrltlsN Lab our The policy of W rty. macroeeconomi- regulation and the state subsidies proposed by Crosland num b longer adequate. Crosland and Keynes wmlsuissls

capitalism aI

_ . - . r e c t in



being more benign a force than private

capitalism. The growth it managerial capitalism has created a co:annum which recognises and acts in its own interests against the best interests of others. To combat these trends, Holland has called for the selective nationalisatlon of the major large, profitable corporations and the checking of managerial power by instituting workers' democracy along the lines he sees working in Yugoslavia. In many ways the programme outlined by Holland resembles that of the Eurocommunist parties. It is also reminiscent o f many o f the programmers o f the New Liberals, especially Hobson. 0'COnnor(77) attempts to analyse the new _:mm which the state plays in contemporary capitalism. This analysis is conceived within ~tillIi neo-marxist


framework. It builds on previous work in the United States by the late Paul Boron and Paul Sweezy,(78) in combination with the insights of the German scholar, Claus 0ffe.(79) The capitalist state, according to 0'Connor, has to fulfill two basic and o f ten mutually contradictory functions. The first is accumulation, meaning that the state must maintain and o f ten create the conditions under which capitalist accumulation can take place. The second is legitimation, referring to the need for the state to try and provide for a degree of social harmony so that its authority is not seriously challenged. O'Connor argues that the state cannot successfully fulfil its accumulation function through the use of coercion as it will meet with resistance from organised lab our. In opposition

to modern libertarian thought, which state penditure growing at the expense of private lndustry, he argues that the growth o f th&p.__J indispensable to the growth o f prima QQ industry, tieularly the monopoly sector. In O'Connor's view, government expendiggggg care not ecntrolled by the market but outcome o f social and economic conflicts betwe he particular forms these class strugg1%

existing Marxist analysis as well as other analyses no longer adequate. The state is one of three basic sectors of the United States economy: the monopoly sector, the competitive sector, and the state sector, or state capitalist sector in 0'Connor's terms. The growth of the State sector functions to assist the private and the monopoly sectors, but mostly the monopoly sector. State expenditures are basically divided between social capital social capital and social expenses. involves the indirectly productive expenditures, 1ncluding state-financed transport, communication, and research and


It also includes products

and services which lower the cost of lab our, hence increasing profits. An example of this is social lnsurance which expands the reproductive powers of the workforce while at the same time lowering lab our costs.l Social expenses are those incurred by the state

_ -

its legitimation function;

these ex-

pven indirectly productive, The best welfare system which functions to

_ __

example pacify unemployed workers. The growth of state socialising of`




production._ makes

private accumulation of we of course, growth possible. State social cap expenditure particularly demanded by the monopoly sector. pays the


of production

and the continued growth of



monopoly sector,

sector demands H~ ~es U37

and more



by the state. causes greater state expenditure o n social expenses because it is environmentally destructive, causes unemployment in formerly lab our intensive industries and causes These crises o f periodic crises of overproduction. overproduction are annum "'""="'"*WH" of ineffective figure on social demand. Hence, th me lifts expenses to create effective _W_Jud. This means that a epirelling process takes place' the more the state spends o n 1 oeial expenses, in the Future. the more it will b H What develops is chasm between Peasing expenses pocketing of profits being be ml by by the private importantly the monopoly tendency for state expendisector. tubes to Hi"apldly than the means o f finarcing *_m__ _ _ _ seal crisis Monopoly lnteresa and the trade unions, w n a i l United States are concentrated in the monopoly $ slst the imposition o f new tax Increases


The growth of













existing taxes,

is aggravated,



especially as the





Q in



»* ,,



grapple with many conflicting interests. mln". plexity o f the political system which attempts to meet these problems contributes to inefficient and wasteful administration. On top of all this, the less profitable monopolies seek more assistance from th e state to help them out of immediate difficulties, examples being Chrysler and Lockheed Aircraft. The state's attempts to meet these speelal requests only compound the problem, 0'Connor doubts whether limited reforms can achieve much. He does not put forward a programme other than seeing the necessity for basic structural changes brought about by mass political action. If

he and Holland


advanced capitalism crisis, then we Keynesian era.




is confronted






by a new form of





This would necessitate a considerable rethinking


program res which political parties put forward

further Undo aims. There are a number o f choices which correspond to the economic Ana}"ses covered in chapter socialist party



capitalism has entered a new t o be prepared to make major structural tional changes. These wool involve

tionalisation, a more par tieipatory


placing mm democracy

nam ~: co

and increased egalitarianism on the agenda. I f Friedman and Hayek are correct x un FE UPH party taking laissez-faire liberalism is in order.


this option


would seek to reduce the


state. It would also promote which would lead to the numunnim 15 Hayek' qualites and greater negative liberty. advice ' followed, the interests finance also be fur themed. For parties which accept the economic analysis of textbook Keynesianism, the essential mess be a continuation of the interventionist stat cues of the past decades. This would involve a programme which sought few (if any) institutional and structural changes, and which did not alter the File; tionship between capital and lab our or the current levels of inequality. lt would follow policie which sought to regulate economic behaviour through of a combination of fiscal and monetary polici'au. which extensions of state activity would be the resuit of external pressure rather than conscious action. In contradistinction, it has been argued that the economic ideas of Keynes would require a con5raj-democratic


_ ,

scious l g * of




l l

tre state






greater? emphasis on social justice and =111|111LIt would m m ramme which sought a middle tween lett and right extremes while seq of human fulfillment. Whether such a way possible is a matter For political and economic judge rent; it requires Politics students to study and criticise economics, and Economics students to study politics. The contemporary crisis of economic theory is reflected in a crisis of political theory; for too long political theorists have accepted the precepts of General Equilibrium or textbook Keynesian theory and incorporated them, unquestioningly, into their own work. _._



l. The author wishes t o acknowledge the a d v i c e and criticism' of B i l l Brugger, Belinda Prober t , and Geoff Harcourt of the U n i v e r s i t y of Adelaide. 2. For a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s i s s u e , F. Green, 'The Myth of Ohjectivitjr i n P o s i t i v e Economics', F. Green and P. Nore ( e d s . ) , Economics, An A n t i Text, Macmillan, London, 1977, pp.3-20. 3. For a d i s c u s s i o n which develops some of the ideas

expressed below on these authors, R.L. Meek, Studies i n the Labour Theory of Value, 2nd edit. , Monthly Review P r . , New York, 1956; and C. Napoleoni, Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Blackwell, O x f o r d , 1975. 41. J. Robinson and J. Eatwell, An I n t r o d u c t i o n to Modern Economics ., McGraw Hill, Maidenhead, 1973, pp.34-44. 5. For the metaphysics i n neo-classical economics, J. Robinson, Economic

- 2nd edit., Penguin, Harmondswor t h , Philosophy,

1964. 6. Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i t . , pp.6-7. See also J.M. W r i t i n g s of John Maynard Keynes, Volume 7 , Keynes, The Collected . The General Theory of Employment I n t e r e s t and Money* ( h e r e a f t e r The General Theory) , Macmillan, London, 197?, pp.3&3-4. . 7 . M. Stewart, Keynes and A f t e r , Penguin, I-Iarmondswor to,

1967, p.66. 8. R. Sutcliff, 'Keynesianism and the S t a b i l i s a t i o n of C a p i t a l i s t Economies' 9 Green and Note, o p . c i t . , pp.163-164. The Lives, 9. R. H e i l b r o n e r , The Worldly Philosophers: Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, 3rd edu. , Simon and S c h u s t e r , 'New York, 1969, pp.239-24010. S u t c l i f f e , o p . c i t . , p . l 6 5 . London, Keynes, Allen Lane, II. R. Lekachman, The Age of A f t e r Keynes, 1967, pp.68-70. See also J. Robinson ( e d - ) I Blackwell, O x f o r d , 1973, p . 2 . 12. On S a y ' s Law, F. Mat t i c k , and Keynes' The L i m i t s I t h e Mixed Economy, Merlin F r . , London, op.eit., p.44, and W. B a r b e r , A H i s t o r y of


Stewart, Econa~ ~ic The h t


2nd edit., Penguin, Harmondswor t h , p.231 and passim. Mann: General Theory, 13. J . S . M i l l , quoted i n J.M. Keynes, o p . c i t . , 13.18. " -.-.. 14 . J.B . Say, quoted i n Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i L . , p.24. the 15. K . J . Hancock, 'Unemployment and the Economists i n 1 9 2 0 ' s ' , Econonnica, 27, November 1962, New Series, $.305. 16. Keynes, A 'era on Monetary Reform, quoted i n Lekachman, o p . c i t . , p.55. Johnson and H. Johnson, The shadow of Keynes: 1 7. E. Economics, Keynesian Understanding Keynes, Cambridge and ' Blackwell, Oxford, 1978, p.187. ' 18. ibid. 19. Lekachman, o p . c i t . , 13.80. 20. Keynes, Essays i n Persuasion, o p . c i t . , ' t h e End of Laissez -."»=»»-_a.


F a l r e ' , pp.312-13-




Keynes, General Theory, o p . c i t . , p . 2 l 3 .

22. i b i d . , p.156. 23. i b i d . , p.l54. 2A. i b i d . , pp.l&9-50. 25. G.L.S. Shackle, 'Keynes and Today's Establishment in Economic Theory: A View', Journal of Economic L i t e r a t u r e , I I , June 1973, p . 5 l 7 . ---. 2 6 . Lekachman, o p . c i t . , pp.56-7. 27. Keynes, General Theory, o p . c i t . , 11.164 and pp.l35-146. See also R. Lekachman, ' T h e Radical Keynes' ; R. Skidelsky' ( e d . ) , The End of t h e Keynesian Era, Macmillan, London, 1977, p.60, J. Robinson, Collected Economic Papers, Vol. 1+- , Blackwell, Oxford, 1973, p.103; and R. Lekachman, 'How Useful i s Keynes Today'?', R. Lekachman ( e d . ) , Keynes and t h e Classics, Heath, Boston, 1965. 28. Lekaehman, 'How Useful i s Keynes T o d a y ? ' , o p . c i t . , p . l 0 7 . 29. Keynes, General Theory, o p . c i t . , p.129. 30. i b i d . , p.378. 31. D.E. Moggridge, Keynes, Macmillan, London, l9?6, p.127. 32. J.M. Keynes, 'Am I a Liberal?' 9 Essays i n Persuasion, o p . c : i t . , p.332. '

33. 3!+.

ibid. R. Skidelsky,


' T h e Revolt Against t h e Victorians : Skiddeslsky, o p . c i t . , p . 3 . 3 5 . Mog8r id8e, o p . c i t . , p . l 2 . The f o l l o w i n g i n f o r m a t i o n comes

from Moggridge;


Lekachman' s The Age of Keynes;


Heilbroner. A discussion of Moore'.s contribution t o Ethical Philosophy and excerpts f r o m P r i n c i p i a E t h i c s c a n be found i n J. M a r g o l i s ( e d . ) , Contemporary E t h i c a l Theory: A Book of Readings,

Random 36. 37. 38.

House, New York, 1966. ' ' ' Skidelsky, o p . c i t . , p . & . Quoted i n Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i t . , pp.l»8-9. Keynes, 'The End of L a i s s e z - F a i r e ' ( 1 9 2 6 ) , Essays

Persuasion, o p . c i t . ,

39. Keynes, 40. Keynes, L i b e r a l ? ' and 41. Keynes'

matters i s



'Am I a L i b e r a l ? ' , o p . c i t . , p . 3 2 7 . mu .ml. n General Theory, op.ei W E 4. 'The End of' Lai'ssez Fa 1939 a r t i c l e i n t h I S t a t e s m a n , _ on these


quoted in M.

Cranston, 'Keynesz

His Political Ideas

and Their I n f l u e n c e ' , A.P. Thirlwal stria. Keynes g. Laissez '"`"" " Faire, Macmillan, London, 1978. 4 2 . Moggridge, o p . c i t . , p . 1 6 . 43. Skidelsky, o p . c i t . , p . 7 . 'Am I a L i b e r a l ? ' o p . c i t . , p.324. Essays i n Short f Russia' ( 1 9 2 5 ) , 45: Keynes w



- 1mu

Cambridge 1nl



Kenway. Keynes Journal of Economics > Holland I 'Keynes


Robinson, _,,_m_

Modern Economics,

lr Robinson, 'Michal o p . c i t . § pp.87-91. -

H ! U ' ' -


nd the P o s s i b i l i t y of



March 1980. the




K e y n e s ' , D. Horowitz (ed.), odern Reader, New York, 1968, p.11o.

Kalecki ' , C_olle_cted Economic Papers, v i e t economists of the 1920s, N. 441

Spulber ( e d . ) , .Foundations of the S o v i e t S t r a t e g y f o r Economic 196&; and N. Jasny, Soviet Growth, I n d i a n a Univ. Pr., E c o n o m i s t s of

Univ. 50.



Names t o be Remembered, Cambridge

P r . , 1972. The most accessable accounts






analysis are Robinson a n d E a t w e l l , o p . c i t . , and G . C . Harcourt, ' T h e T h e o r e t i c a l and Social S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Cambridge Controversies i n the Theory of Capital: An E v a l u a t i o n ' , J . Schwartz ( e d . ) , The S u b t l e Anatomy of C a p i t a l i s m , Goodyear Pub., S a n t a Monica, 1 9 7 7 , pp.285-303. E.K. 51. M. Kalecki, ' P o l i t i c a l Aspects of. Full Employment', .. Et dei: Schwartz ( e d s . ) , A Critique of Economic Theory:


Selected Readings, Robinson,




i n , Harmondsworlrhl,l1972, pp.420-430. he C r i s i s of the C a p i t a l i s t System', E.L.


S t i l l w e l l ( e d s . ) , Readings i n P o l i t i c a l

Economy, . . [L 53. S. Brittan, .4

Book Co., Sydney, 1978, p.l»0. 'Can Democracy Manage an

Economyi" s Skidlesky, o p . c i t . , pp.4l-49. 54. i b i d . , p . 4 9 . 55. Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i t . , p.48. For a recent statement of Walrasian e q u i l i b r i u m see P.A. Samuelson, K. Hancock and R. Wallace, Economics A u s t r a l i a n E d i t i o n Introductory Analysis, MCG Sydney W




Perish a n d ,

Culler, Bentham


General I n t r o d u c t i o n , 9 t h = lllll-I Pitmans,l London and Samuelson, Hancock and Wallace pp.636-637




For a

and Eatwell



C a r t e r , 'To Abstain Schwartz, pp.36-69.



For a more d e t a i l e d discussion,

Foundations of


See Perish and

"mm t h e o r y , "Mu That t h e Q u e s t i o n ) ? ' ,





E c o n o m i c s ' , S c h w a r t z , o p . c i t . , pp.22-35,

and J. O'Connor, ' S c i e n t i f i c and Economic Theory of Cover mnent o p . c i t . , pp.367-396. 60-


or Not t o Abstain ( I s

Ideological Elements i n the P o l i c y ' , Hunt and Schwartz,

Culler, o p . c i t . ,

Hancock and Wallace, o p . c i t . ,




pp.52 and 864-71.

61. A. Marshall, Principles of Economics, quoted i n 'Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i t . , p-36; and K. Wicksell, L e c t u r e s on Political Economy~y, Routledge, London, 193&, also quoted in Robinson and Eatwell, o p . c i t . , p . 3 6 . 62. F . Y . Edgewood t h (1845-1926). Mathematical Psychics ( 1 9 3 2 ) , quoted i n

Robinson and E a t w e l l ,



J. Hicks, C r i t i c a l Essays i n Monetary P r . , Oxford, 1979, pp.203-4.



These concepts a r e




Theory 1






Bannock, R.E. Baxter and R.Rees, The Penguin D i c t i o n a r y of Economics, 2nd edit., Penguin, Harmondswor t h , 1979, pp.5l-52, 2 4 2 , 210, 308 and 462. the 65. N. Bukharin, The Economic Theory of L e i s u r e Class, Monthly Review P r .




New York, 1 9 7 2 .

Kirchner, 'The "Austrian"

Perspective on the C r i s i s '

The Public I n t e r e s t , special issue 1980, pp.l11-22.




Robinson, Collected Economic Papers, Vol.l+, o p . c i t .


Keynes, General Theory, o1:'.cit.






L i l l e y , 'Two C r i t i c s of op.cit.,





Friedman and

Hayek '


Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago Univ.

Chicago, 1962, pp.35-55. 71.




Hicks, Causality in

Economics, Australian Nat.



P r . , Canberra, 1980, p . 8 . 72. B. Hughes, Exit Full Employment, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1980, pp.l77-86. 73. E.L. Wheelwright, 'Thorstein Veblen -II: American Institute;ionalists', Wheelwright and Stillwell, o p . c i t .


Y/J.. R.A. Gordon, 'Schu:rnpet et Inscirutionalisfg n Wheelwright and Stillwell, o p . c i t pp .LI r 75. Indeed one of the works n-nu I H land i s t h a t of Keynes' colleague a Robinson, The Economics of Imperfect Competition, Macmillan, London, 1933. Robinson, h e r s e l f , has



Keynes' lack of

Keynes was himself


i n t e r e s t in

monopolies (although

for the publisher Macmillan).



rather scorns oil of the way the ideas discussed above book have been appropriated by neo-classical economists. See h m Pref ace t o the Second Edition, Macmillan, London, 1976. 76. S. Holland, The Socialist Challenge, Quartet Books,

London, 1976, pp.44-93.

77 .


0'Connor, The F i s c a l C r i s i s of

the S t a t e ,


Mar t i n s

P r . , New York, 1973, esp. the Introduction, pp.l-12. 78. For 0'connor ' s relationship t o Boron and Sweezy, see the review of his book by H. Mosley, 'Monopoly Capital and the State: Some C r i t i c a l R e f l e c t i o n s on 0'Connor ' s Fiscal C r i s i s o f the S ! a t e ' , in The Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol.2, No. 1, pp.52-61, and O'Connor's reply 'Some Reflective Cjriticisnas on Mosley's Critical Reflections on The Fiscal Crisis o f the S t a t e ' , i b i d . , Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.60-65. 79. A relevant a r t i c l e by c. O f f e i s 'Advanced Capitalism and the Welfare S t a f f ' , P o l i t i c s and S o c i e t y , 2, Summer 1972, -pp.479-88.




The New Left expressed a deep revulsion against the hypocrisy o f both liberal democracy and cratic forms of socialism, AN impatience

nary routines

and a contempt

its activists in their quest f poll power side the traditional, plural and influence. The diverse as tellectuals motivated by these views emerged Ly in America, Great Britain, France and the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their provocative attacks on the cumbersome procedures o f universities title of' and governments earned them the derogatory the 'New Barharians'.(1) However, the less dispararing term, the New Let t, gave a superficial coherence developed from to a political movement that non-violent reformist action over civil rights and free speech to engage ultimately in sporadic 'r-evolu-» tionary r confrontations with the liberal democratic state. In the late 1960s, the New L e f t gained inter~ national strength from opposition to American ins £ = = ,ra j volvement 3-lié1n Vietnam War, a part o f cited States imperialism. A t More personal Mowever, it roused a cultural radi-



calism l which




emancipate their senses in a continual




awareness " m self-fulfilment. Participation in anti-establishment communities was one o f the vehicles for pursuing these tasks, Parts o f the movement were characterised by their suspicion o f theoretical discourse and their affirmation o f

the virtues o f ac-

tion and experience. The new Let t's commitment to novel social and political relations was expressed in

the popular slogan, 'Be realistic, demand the impossible?'.(2) But the movement did not divorce itself from all intellectual analysis or tradition. It drew at least lightly from the works of leftwing aeademics, including C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse and Norman 0. Brown. The psychological insights o f Wilhelm Reich and H,D. Laing and the literature and philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus also


provided some critical These more sophlstlcat

o f modern developed

the New Let t Review and


social and political thought variety o f sources, they majority

the United tive.(3)

States wh 9 imauan»s movement was The main themes, however, were either _




flected or developed indigenously in other western industrialised countries over the latter 1960s. During the late 1950s, not only politicians but intellectuals widely believed that political ideas and ideals were superfluous. Influential academics such as Daniel Bell and S.M. Lip set claimed that since liberal-democratic capitalism catered sufficiently for

both the basic and higher material human

needs, ideological

debate over how to achieve



and humane society was no longer of political importance,(M) Increasing atfluenee among whites and the the United intimidation of political radicals in States, by mccarthylsm and the House Un-American Activities Committee, fostered widespread apathy towards politics. One o f the few dissenting academics, C. Wright Mills, described its political ramifica-

tions, as follows. Most o f us now live as spectators without political interlude: anent war stops our kind o f morally w,. j politics. Our spectatorship .

active experience of ten less and even unreal.(5)





., ,.

seems politically

Many critics saw political participation in two-party politics as a futile ritual. Dissent came to be expressed in the art, poetry and outrageous lifestyles o f the Beat Generation,





Paul Goodman, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac assailed American conformity and depicted an experience lived under the threat o f total annihilation by nuclear war. abundance of Despite the apparent material American society, the problems of poverty and racial discrimination remalned.(6) But until the 1960s there observable appeared to be no significant or readily for agents o f change. Most American lab our I1nir"xr'»51 , _ - s , and example, had long extinguished their radicalism settled For the cautious pursuit of economic gains. With little warning, in February 1960, the veneer o f apathy broke apart under widespread action for civil rights in the south, Sparked off by a spontaneous cafeteria slt~ln by four black college students in Greensborough, North Carolina, mass protests against segregation initiated the first phase o f New Left


politics. Later, in May o f that year, students San Francisco packeted the proceedings Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) followed in June by the formation in New ¥ was to become the core organisation of American stu-

Society dent dissent, Students for a Democratic (SDS). Within the space o f a year a new political movement had emerged seeking significant social and political reforms, while 'at the same time socialising


thought.(7) -Ra

$=l-sa J>.:.9,».


Left tlusionl the Soviet



University Thought, first




increasing numbers o f students 1i 'morally oriented polltlcs'. Two on. the Left, founded in January

Stud Jes


outlet at

grown bureaucratic

soolallsm traditi social Party. _ _ e e l lf _ influence o f Soviet Communism . & . by the heated controversy that emanated from reports o f Khpushehev' s 1956 'secret speech' to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party o f the Soviet Union. Khrushchev's policies and his denunciation of Stalin unsettled the prevailing Communist dogma in the Soviet bloc countries and eventually contributed tO

in 1956.


in both Poland and Hungary

In Great Britain the desire for more debate

on these issues moved dissident members o f the Communist Party to relinquish their membership and estab-

lish the



which later co-operated with Let t Review. heir amalgamation into the New Left Review, -~&~~=.hwm H provided an intellectual forum for en extra-parliamentary opposition that had previously d and Cambridge based Universities and


eoaleseed around the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) .(8)

To e political challenge to Soviet socialism


accompanied by a theoretical reorientation among Marxist intellectuals and academics. The years 1955 and 1956 had also produced the publication o f the first accessible and accurate German edition, and significant fragments in English, from the early

Marx's The .Economic . and writings of Karl Marx.(9) Philosophic Manuscripts o f 18HM provided evidence for a humanist"land ethical reinterpretation o f Marx. In the writings o f the young Marx could be found a eonceotion o f a communist society based upon the fullest development of human capacities and the widest satlsf action of human needs. These notions enunciated a vision _

o f local communities and

o f the work place drew strength from New Left thought

and practice.

The New Left also provoked dissenting academies to formalise their criticisms not only of liberal democratic thought and prac+1ce but also o f their own disciplines, particularly politics, history and sociology. It was e catalyst that made many lntellectuals outside o f New Left organisations aware o f a conflict between the liberal ideals and social reality o f Western nations, and of the ways the eonflict was disguised in the name o f objectivity and value freedom.(50)

While the BriE

theory its over-emphasis weaknesses o f the which I meant rarely anti-intellectuallsm developed thoroughly implications concepts of authe . I I participatory democracy Few eonvlncing answers regularly posed b Where Fight self-realisation

decide whether

one's idea of self-fulfilment __ Henry Pachter points out the dilemma. not escape The radical individualist can responsibility for the maniac or f fanatic; he cannot grant liberty to those whom he chooses to call authentic and deny i t to those whom he conside's sick or cp1m1nal.(51)


ww.F m

search for personal small

easily assert

so how we n authenticity communi






(':on*:r"ac*' views These



traditional simply problems

are raised liberalism

oboe by acid While acknowledge moral

vitality o they have provided sons for democratic The cramped to b

to t


city . .



.. .



.. . . . .


closed house o f community needs ad


to b e made



actual selves and to con-


flicts of interest, belief and. value. That means taking account of the liberties, the rule o f law and the eontractualism which remain the achievements of the liberal state, however defeetive even these may be in pract1ce.(52) In show t, the concepts of authenticity and par ticipatlon are not enough. They need to be supplemented by a wider theory or social or community needs and by notions of political obligation and duty. Only in this way is there any guarantee against one person's self-realisation being another's oppression. The experiences of the New Left have reminded us that gaiety, playfulness and a sense of irony have a critical role to play in unmasking the rhetoric, routines and insidious intrigues of ten characteristic of current political life. Instinctual fears of spontaneity and disorder need not suppress the fact that politics has been and can be concerned with the search for the good life and the good society. The New Left revived these concerns and demanded that our formal democratic institutions be supplemented with a cultural politics aimed at both overthrowing domination and enriching the experience of everyday life.



I- D.J. B o o r s t e i n , The Decline of Radicalism, Random House, New York, 1969, p . 1 2 3 . 2. H. Marcuse, 'The F a i l u r e of t h e New L e f t ? ' ) New German C r i t i q u e , No. 18, Fall 1 9 7 9 , p./1. The C r i s i s and Decline 3. N. Young, An i n f a n t i l e D i s o r d e r ? o f the New L e f t , Routledge, London, 1977; M. Teodori ( e d . ) , The New L e f t , Cape, London, 1970; and Jack N e w f i e l d , .A Prophetic M i n o r i t y ' The American New L e f t , Anthony Blond, London, 1963. 5. c. W r i g h t m i l l s , ' L i b e r a l Values i n t h e Modern W o r l d ' , L L . Horowitz (ed.), Power, P o l i t i c s and People, The C o l l e c t e d Essays of C. Wright Mills, Oxford Univ. Pr., London, 1967,


America ( 1 9 6 2 ) , Harrington, The O t h e r 6. M. 2nd edu. , Penguin, B a l t i m o r e , 1971. Y. I. Unger, The Movement: A H i s t o r y of the American New L e f t 1959-1972, Dodd Mead, New Y o r k , 1975, pp.ls7-50; and Young, o p . c i t . , pp. 1-38 and 433. 8. P. Anderson, 'The L e f t i n t h e F i g t i e s ' , New L e f t Ravi et , No. 29, January-February 1965, p.3-18. 9.-T.B.. Bottomore and M. Rubel ( e d s - D ; Karl Marx, Selected upn W r i t i n g s i n Sociology and Social philosophy, W a t t s , London, For d e t a i l s of the r e c e n t German t e x t s , is. l m Econdmi Philosophic Manuscripts of 1 8 4 4 , e d . D . J . S t r u i k , International Publishers, new York, 1964, p . 5 . 10. See E. Kamenka, The Ethical Foundations of Marxism ( 1 9 6 2 ) , 2nd e d u . , Routledge, London, 1972, f o r an e x p o s i t i o n and "



c r i t i c i s m of Marx's e t h i c s . II. For i l l u s t r a t i o n , t h e novels, Saul Bellow's, Dangling Man, A l b e r t Camus', The O u t s i d e r , o r Samuel B e c k e t t ' s play, Waiting f o r Godot. 12. C. Wright M i l l s , o p . e i t . , p . 1 8 9 . A 13. P. Jacobs and S. Landau ( e d s . ) , The New Radicals, Report with Documents, Penguin, 1-Iarmondswor t h , 1967, p . l 4 . P o l i t i c s and Culture 14. D. Altman, Rehearsals f o r Change: i n A u s t r a l i a , F o n t a n a / C o l l i n s , Melbourne, 1980, p. 18. 15. P s y c h o l o g i s t s , p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t s and s o c i a l t h e o r i s t s have produced a number of works t h a t a t t e m p t e d t o show the p o l i t i c a l |

r a m i f i c a t i o n s of

example, H. Books, London,

psychological and

Marcuse, 1969,

Psychoanalytic Meaning





psychoanalytic t h e o r i e s .




C i v i l i s a t i o n , 2nd edu. , Sphere Life




Sphere Books, London, 1968;

and Erich Fromm, The Sane Society, 2nd edu., R i n e h a r t , New York, 1962. A useful overview and c r i t i q u e of several of these w r i t e r s and t h e i r main themes may b e f o u n d i n R. King, The P a r t y of E r o s , Radical Social Thought and the Realm of Freedom, Delta, New York, 1973. 16. See, f o r example, R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and t h e Bird of Paradise, Penguin, Harmondswor t h , 1 9 6 7 ; The Divided S e l f , 2nd e d i t . , P e n g u i n , Harmondswor th, 1 9 6 5 ; and R.D. Laing and A. E s t e r son, S a n i t y Madness and the F a m i l y , 2nd edit. ,


Harrnondsworrh, 1970.



17. Laing, The P o l i t i c s of Experience, o p . c i t . , p . l 1 . 18. ibid., p.30. 19. i b i d . , 11.31. 20. Laing, The Divided S e l f , o p . c i t . , Pref ace t o the Penguin edition. . 21. D. Cooper, 'Beyond N o r d s ' , D. Cooper (ed.), The D i a l e c t i c s of

L i b e r a t i o n , Penguin, Harmondewor th, 1968, p . 2 0 1 .

22. Criticisms of Laing's broader social theory may be found in P. Sedgwick, 'R.T). Laing: S e l f , Symptom and S o c i e t y ' , R. Bowers and R. Or r i l l ( d e . ) , Laing, and Anti-Psychiatry, Penguin, Harmondswor to, 1972, pp.11-A7. A broader c r i t i c a l treatment of modern humanist psychotherapies may be found in R. Jacoby, Social Amnesia: A Critique of Conformist Psychology from Adler t o Laing, Beacon P r . , Boston, 1975. 23. SDS, 'The P o r t Huron S t a t e m e n t ' , Jacobs and Landau, o p . c i t . , p.159. 24. M. Berman, The Politics of Authenticity, Radical Individualism and the Emergence of Modern S o c i e t y , Allen and

Unpin, London, 1971, p . v i i . 25. R. Dutschke, The Students and the Revolution ( 1 9 6 8 ) , Spokesman Pamphlet No. 15, 1971, p p . 8 - 9 ; and A. Cockburn and R. Blackburn ( e d s . ) , StUN-ent Power, Penguin, Harrnondswor th, 1969, esp. the Introduction. 26. Jacobs and Landau, o p . c i t . , p - l é . 27. A. Gorz, 'What a r e the Lessons of the May E v e n t s ? ' , C. Posner ( e d . ) , Reflections on the Revolution in France: 1968, Penguin, Harmondswor t h , 1970, pp.251-65. 28. For a survey of the use and relevance f o r p o l i t i c s of new drama forms ~="'.ll demonstrations, s t r e e t t h e a t r e and guerannul t h e a t r e , nuwnlqpe c i a l issue ' P o l i t i c s and Performance', Drama Revi mer 1969. 1p.46-7. s= 2 9 . " Young,






m m

New York Theory Austral



Counter Culture, Morrow,

. . .

obs and Landau, o p . c i t .


32. 33.


o P. Cock, 'Alternative P r a c t i c e ' , II.. !Edgar ( e d . ) , Social Cheshire. Melbourne 1974, pp.630-AZ. . ...

and au

Jacobs '



Lifestyles: Change in p.&3.

t . , p.ff+6. oussopolos,




Case f o r Par t i c i p a t o r y Democracy, Viking P r . , New York, 1 9 7 2 , pp.3-10. See also T.E. Cook and F.M. Morgan (eds.), Par t i c i p a t o r y Democracy, Caulfield P r . , San Francisco, 1 9 7 1 . 34. Weathermen, 'Communique No. 1 From the Weatherman Underground', D. Horowitz, M Lerner and C. Pyes ( e d s . ) , Counter Culture and Revolution, Random House, New York, 1972, pp.6&-5. i Seal, Seize the Time, The Story of the Black 35. See B. Panther P a r t y and Huey P. Newton, Hutchinson, London, 1970, f o r the author's personal account of the events. For a conventional Marxist c r i t i q u e of the armed self-defence p o l i c y , H. Winston, 'The C r i s i s of the Black Panther Par t y ' , in his S t r a t e g y f o r a Black Agenda, International Publishers, New York, 1973, U



36. This r e f e r s t o Aldous Huxley's book on drug-taking, The Doors of Perception, the t i t l e o f which was taken from William T3-lake, ' I f the d o o r s of p e r c e p t i o n were cleansed everything would appear t o man a s i t i s , i n f i n i t e ' , Blake: Complete Writings, ed. G.

Keynes, Oxford Univ. P r . , London, 1966, p . l 5 4 . 37. H. Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation, 2nd edit.,

Penguin, important argument these I-Iarmondswor th, 1969, provides an conceptions of liberation. Also T. Roszak' s seminal May of a Counter Culture, Doubleday, Garden C i t y , 38. C.A. Reich, The Greening of America, __ ?ergun_ Harmondswor to, 1971, p . l 2 . For s b r i e f summary end c r i t i q u e of Reich, R. King, o p . c i t . , pp.l?3-914. 39. J. P a s snore, The P e r f e c t i b i l i t y of Man, Scribner's, Net York, 1970, pp.30Z+-327. More recently, C Lasch has w r i t t e n a sustained c r i t i q u e of such trends in American social l i f e , The Culture of Narcissism, Nor ton, New York, 1978. Tom p l e 140. N. Cohn, the Pursuit of the Millennium, 2nd edit. 3 Smith, London, 1970, p . 2 8 6 . Society, Heinanann, Sl. J. Habermas, Towards a Rational. 1



London, 1971, pp.39-40. 412. R. Morgan ( e d . } , Sisterhood i s Powerful, An Anthology of W r i t i n g s From the Women's L i b e r a t i o n Movement, Vintage, New York,

1970, pp.xxxvii-xxxviii. 43. For a powerful indictment of

the sexism and male chauvinism o f the New L e f t , R. Morgan, 'Goodbye t o All T h a t ' , D. H o r o w i t z , e t . a l . , o p . c i t . , pp.90-5. QAYoung, o p . c i t . , p . 3 6 8 . 45. Cited in R. Morgan ( e d - ) 9 Pole if ul 3 Sisterhood is D

op.oit., p.37.

46. See J. M i t c h e l l , Woman's E s t a t e , Penguin, Haranondswor th, 1971, pp.&3-54, for a b r i e f survey of the origins o f the movement. 47. P e t e r C l e r k sees all strands g the American New L e f t caught in the traditional p a r a d o x or powerlessness characteristic II , o f most American radical thought and Recognising neither the complexities of h i s t o r y nor the resilience prevailing s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l establishment, re New Let t doomed

was -an

par ticipating in



ritualistic battles




Radical Paradoxes, utopian goals unattained. P. Cl ec ak ,r Dilemmas of the American Let t : 1945-1970, Harper and Row, York, 1974, pp.233-72. 48. For the relevance of direct action t o democracy, A. C a r t e r , Direct Action and Liberal Democ racy, Routledge, London, 1973. see 49. For a brief analysis of t h i s ' p l u r a l i s t h e t e r o d o x y ' , a S t r a t e g y f o r t h e New Lef t ' , R . R. Summa, 'Prolegomenon t o Heinemann, Melbourne, Gordon ( e d . ) , The Australian New L e £ t , "

1970, pp.235-62. 50. W.EConnolly ( e d . ) , The Bias of Pluralism, Atherton P r . , New York, 1969; B I . Bernstein ( e d . ) , Towards a New P a s t : Dissenting Essays in American H i s t o r y , Vintage, New York, 1969; T. Roszak ( e d . ) , The Dissenting Academy, Penguin, Hannondswor to,











Politics: A Critique o f Behavioral ism, Crowell, New * 51. Henry M. Pachter, 'A PhilosophyF' ?the 1

Salmagundi, 17, Fall 1971, pp.lI4-24. Duncan, 'Comments on

Some Radical Critiques


Democratic T h e o r y ' , P. Birnbaum, J. Li ( e d s . ) , Democracy, Consensus and Social Contract

1978, p . 7 0 .



- o r



Li b or al Parry London


FEMINISM AND POLITICAL THEORY Suzanne Brugger and Geoff Stckes(1)

While it would be wholly misleading to imply that there was opposition to the inclusion in this book o f a discussion o f feminism, the Following chap-

ter is nevertheless in some ways 3 late addition.


differs from the essays o n liberalism, conservatism, Marxism and other traditions in that it was included 1h response to a direct request that feminist thought be represented. There was, o f course e§1== cessity to solicit e place to those* That this should lively well-dispo Ltncomfo authors, highlight form of 1 ntellect§ women likely regarded Such undertakings the second rank,

women themselves secondary imports seen es e relst§ thought. We peripheral, femln§ the development will become lnore Gordon, Bugle an




however political ly ,




theory m


which wrote lives




women, all women, a t the center o f efforts to compress

heed and



structures,' (2)



T,ssaplly reappraises all other theories challenges basic assumptions. Frequently distursubversive , fomlnist thought may b e deliberately pushed aside and underrated by those with "



a vested interest in the status quo. Consider the past two decades which have seen the growth within tertiary institutions o f women's studies and a greater tendency for established cour-

ses in the social sciences to include some investigation o f Female experience. Set against previous long years o f neglect, this seems to indicate considerable progress. Claims that the 'balance is being restored' and that half o f humanity is et last being rescued from the obscurity and invisibility to which

the other half has always consigned

it are




justified, Anything is, after all, better than nothing. On closer examination, however, the situation is not so encouraging, bearing as it often does all the marks of repressive tolerance. Despite the .i honourable exceptions cow units which ' " be concern d with feminist thought women tory, example, frequently teaching appearala tacked llh programme forest minimum which number but what about women°' without: conventional subject nventional treatment Women' -. H * in the overwhelmingly male-dominated environment of the university. It may become not so much a beachhead from which the theoretical bases of that domination are challenged, as a kind of intellectual bantustan within which potentially disruptive elements may be safely confined to pursue their peculiar preoccupations, and where unsettling ideas may be so contained as to have the least possible effect on those established academic disciplines, the complacency of which they might otherwise threaten. It is obviously more conducive to a quiet life if all the bad eggs are safely out of the way where they can make a stink without turning the house out of doors. The attitude which would insulate feminist thoughEt# "'""' ""' """"""""""""'--' To urge a widening and terms questions apply § W€1"S rigorous analysis thought undeniably -lH.UIII~!lE

a useful lead to



Thai is


number identify

at4¢;eInD's§ lop



opted various

cog nisi



up in society








Western Political Thought, Susan Muller Olin states x that by investigating previously unst many branches o f scholarship (history,f sociology, thropology, literary criticism and legal studies_)_ $66

the contemporary feminist movement has already made many significant eontrlbutlons to their development. The focus sing of attention upon women is reshaping the appearance of whole fields of study. A similar exercise in political theory, designed to reappraise the works of the classical thinkers, she writes, 'is not an arcane academic pursuit, but an important means of comprehending and laying bare the assumptlons behind the deeply rooted modes of thought that continue to affect people's lives in major ways'. Though women throughout most of the Western world have achieved political equality with men, socially and economically they still remain second-class citizens. Even in the political sphere, whatever their apparent legal status, in practice they are largely confined to the lowest levels of participation. Viewed against this continuing problem of women's manifestly subordinate position in societies supposedly committed to equality of opportunity and rights, one question is clearly of prime importance. What assumptions about and justifications for the basic inequality of the sexes underlie the work o f past political thinkers and continue to shape contemporary ideas about women?(3) For many of the classic political theorists, women seem simply not to exist. If 'the proper study o f mankind is man', i t is the narrower interpretation of the term that has usually prevailed. General statements about mankind upon examination prove to be about men alone and discussions of human nature to be concerned solely with the masculine. Assertions about the needs of human beings, their righ4-s and their highest good are frequently tacitly concerned with the needs, rights and good only of males. Women are sometimes specifically excluded from such assertions, as they are, for example, by both Aristotle Liberal thinkers, unable to divorce themand Kant.

selves entirely from the conviction




fundamentally inferior, compromise the universal applicability of their theories by refusing to carry them to their logical conclusion. To illustrate how

an investigation of their treatment of women may open new perspectives on their work, we shall consider a number of thinkers who have already been discussed, more conventionally, in earlier chapters. Thomas Hobbes:


belows were

no ordered straints, no


From Equality to Invisibility

Thomas Hobbes' 'state of seen





free to obtain the

equally endowed



a s equal, regardless o f s e x .





human With


each individual was




with the necessary physical and men-


achieve this end. Equality rested of each person_..1;o kill the other in . There was natural dominion sex over the nature inequality in; natural forces _ a t the man e t over the woman without war 1 There could -natural justification, then, for the subordination o f women to men, no reason why women who were not inhe.





rently inferior or incapable should seek the protection o f men or place themselves under their authoso

rity. Moreover, since $n 'the state of mere nature' as defined, men could not b e regard~ F the more excellent sex', there Deli so little 'difference o f strength, or prudence" between them and women, it followed that fathers do is automate . cally have the right o f dominion over as Indeed, since there were 'no laws o f matrimony . regulate relationships, the right o f dominion I ,

the child rested with the mother, who Clare the identity o f its father and o





could whose initial

lt or expose it

its very existence depended. Accordln§ mental principle o f Hobbes' political theory


_befunda"sri -

all authority derives initially from consent the child, as it received nourishment from the mother and continued existence at her will, 'voluntarily' submitted itself to her dominion in return for life. 'Every woman that bears ehlldren,l ones both e mother and a lopd'(6) in children are obliged to obey her in the their preservation. Only i f she herself came , , the dominion o f another by falling captive, for example, or i f she consented or contracted to another for the transfer o f the authority over her children, did she cease to v

be 'lord'. state of

In direct contrast to this was the actual o f f airs

within commonwealths where fathers

usually ruled over their f amities. satisfactory

Hobbes offered no


explanation o f how women might so uni= t the sovereignty of their children statement that 'commonwealths', within issue was decided by civil law, 'have for 1 erected by the fathers, not by the


f amllles'.(T) Why

~ .

n ; " i " 5







not explained.

fact Hobbes varies according Qontext _ o f nature abstract theory £1 thc1'~1ty


Free' individuals




argument. i n , %tate designed support the initially m - . l sent

and convention, and not a stated, upon a natural hierarchy



such commonwealths in the



traditional view

and na-

tune were essentially pre~social beings, so atomised relationships that their sex irrelevant ii was still necessary for Hobbes H i l l equality between individual men and wore between man and man, to confirm the basis individualism As long as the discussion of' the role and status of women was confined to the state of nature, their freedom and equality were not questioned. When, however, he went on to consider women in society and particularly within the famity, his assumptions about male superiority took over. Hobbes saw authority relationships as being the same throughout society. Within the commonwealth, the most effective government was achieved when the authority consented to was vested in a single person or monarch who could not be removed. Within the family, which like the state was 'grounded in the consent of its individual members',(8) though theoretically both parents had the right of dominion over the children, it was the father w a s should govern within the household alone. Though origins H* the father's authority, according to from the patriarchal tradition, to family scribed by Hobbes was essentially a stitution. It consisted, he said, Of" of a children; or of a man and his servants; man, and his children, and servants together: wherein the father or master is the sovereign.. ~ ' ( 9 l The mother, the free and equal woman and 'lord' o f her children in the state of nature, became invisible. There was no indication of whether her position was to be regarded as that of a servant or a child but it was clearly that of a subordinate, while the father of the family was 'the absolute Lord o f his Wife and Children'.(T0) Clearly the .~ b e twQ e n women | by Thomas equality theoretically accords :, 1,


. . . . . . ..

__ _

Hobbes, when




political argument,

and the unequal status he gave



their role within th family as ivil contemporary EX-: as society, can be par all perience of women. Patriarchal | assumptions cloud the thinking of t h e _ hare d the position of married wome-rights till unresolved and beset wFIE ambiguities, Returning to the original debate maF ~>>~ I" e so l ve




John Locke: Patriarchallsm in a New Guise Writers like G.J. Schoohet and R. . by concentrating




Locke's arguments against


lute monarchy and upon the distinctions 2 tween political and paternal power,'have been able to present him


an anti-patriarchalist.(11) In f act,

although he was prepared to




of $6 9

women with men when 1* suited his purposes in the wider poli4-ical sphere, as in his atta Filmer'§ justification of patriarchal governor which based on the equal title of both parer of their children,(12) he elsewhere wives were naturally subordinate to s husbands and that the husband as the 'abler "" """ e ul*1mate right of maki which Eoncern family property. siomen and their right to enter political called into question as the father and head of the patriarchal family was seen as its sole representative in society. Despite the frequently muddled nature of his reasoning, Locke's ideas about women are particularly relevant today. As Brennan and Paten an note, 'the claim that 1,,







women are



raiment' 1 a g g s ; e , 'freedom

strongest want





of human nature'(2M) Women should be

able to enter any career open to men, to marry because they wished it and not because it was the only


and they should be able also to Option open to them, dissolve that marriage, provided that any children for.(25) Within could be satisfactorily cared marriage t their rights and responsibilities must be equal to those o f their husbands, Only in that way could they find that self improvement which would contribute to the progress of the whole human race,

The inequality of treatment women had met with in the past was unjust and rested upon convention. It was still the prevailing custom because it was socially expedient. Like the institution of slavery $n classical times, its injustice would be recognised once it was perceived to be inexpedient, Society


would benefit in many ways if women were treated lmpartially. Women would cease to use their influence in illegitimate ways. If, for example, they were enfranehlsed, they would gain in public spiritedness and cease to pressure their husbands to act only in the narrow interests of their immediate famity. Moreover, if the family itself were reconstituted so that the relationship between parents became one of sympathy and love between equals, 'without power on

one side and obedience on the other', it would provide a better milieu for the mo development of the children, and -contribute to the ultimate moral advancement of_ _b__umanlt_y .I who based their opposition to emancipation women on claims that the female I inherently inferior, in Mlll's view, had an unsub in

start lated theory behind them. pointed conceptions of woman's nature differed society to another, depending ori she was expected to play, and that environment " s tal influences operating upon young girls exaggerate parts of their characters ;_ _ - .._ of others, for the benefit of m §.. Women should neither be condemned out of hand for their general failure to develop their intellectual facuities, nor praised extravagantly for those moral qualities such as unselfishness which they also acquired through the force of circumstances. Furthermore, that women had the potential to acquit themselves creditably in many






fields not usually open to them had been demonstrated

by their successes in the past. Mill cited, as examples, Queen Elizabeth in politics and Georges Sand in literature,


On the Face of it, then, M111 seems to be much the 'saint of feminism' as he is the 'saint ratlonallsm', but closer study reveals that even is open to criticism. It has been suggested that

as of he he

advances progressive positions only to retreat from them and



he is an apologist for a

properTy-owning patriarchal soc1ety.(26) Taking Mlll's work as a whole, however, his inconsistencies may largely be explained as indicating the problems of collaboration between his comparatively cautious temperament and the more radical Harriet Taylor,

rather than a deliberate refusal to follow the implications of an argument. Caution in dealing with highly controversial matters such as birth-control 'and divorce was certainly, as mill made clear in his correspondence, dictated by the needs of political strategy he did not wish to alienate too many rather than by people from the cause he Sim; urging a refusal to ass issues. Yet, finally, he must be condemned for H# Failure as cope with that 'perma-




went embarrassment and problem for liberal political theorists married women'.(27) Although he rejected the legal inequalities within the family in his own day and argued For perfect equality between marriage partners, Mill regarded the family itself as an


'essential' institution. He continued to favour the traditional sexual division of lab our within the Family, assuming that marriage for a woman was equip talent to a career. He argued that the qualities of motherhood, unlike any other difference between the sexes, were 'natural' and not the result of social conditioning. Housework similarly remained 'naturally' the affair of the wife. Although he argued in favour of equal property rights for the married woman, it was only her right to the property she had inherited or earned herself that was recognised. The husband's disposal of the income he earned ofter his marriage remained his decision, while the unpaid

lab our of the wife within the family home gave her no claims.



arguing that financial that they should be able to supper t themselves, Mill effectively rejected the possibility of their engaging in outside work, since it would lead to the neglect 'ly responsibilities. There was our" suggestion the time-consuming trivia of domestic which he acknowledged as restricting l women' achievements in many areas, might be shared between sexes or that some alternative lnstituhich might liberate wives and mothers. newing attachme niulnsu particular run of family organisation led in practice idnnnn ams, HE noun In al opportunity in married women Mill so earnestly supported in' independence is desirable for married women and

-I-..=1l&1 un.



The feminist apolitical movement that evolved followin 2 philosophy demanded an N. equality options, was an equality .

of middle-class women with middle-class men. Giving women access to property ownership and voting, it was hoped, would set in motion the social mechanisms for encouraging the full flowering of liberal individualism. Women as more complete individuals, exercising their freedom of choice in work and politics, would contribute more to their marriages and family as well as to the wider societyy . were seen The obstacles to women's development to lie

primarily in the political and legal institu-

tions which refused married and single women rights to own property, equal grounds for divorce

the right 1478

to vote.


and While recognising the tyranny of

custom and prejudice, the liberal feminists believed these would diminish as women employed their political rights and were able to compete on equal terms in the market place. Accordingly, their strategies consisted in campaigning for women's suffrage in order to persuade male dominated legislatures to concede constitutional reform. J.S. Mill's attempt to amend the T867 Reform Act by inserting the word person in-

stead of man was soundly defeated, as were all simi4 jar proposals in Britain until 1918. The only substantial concession came in 188E women _ ; _ granted the right to independent ownership nun




ty. The lack of reform compelled women activists hold their own conventions ani lun m m suffrage organisations. Women were first vote in Wyoming in 1869, which se lion for similar measures at the s in the United States .as-nnr»lam"h in!, s 'in National association Women' Suffrage formed United N N followed l* Great Britain by foundation -l''m . Women Franchise League 5. Conflic h ' whether "oh single :al lega rights ought women was finally resolved -avour demanding complete equality for all women. Disillusioned with the constant fallure to obtain reform by peaceful means, more radical liberal and socialist feminists in Great Britain formed the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903.


. . _ _











Under the leadership of Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, the suffragettes, as they were called, despaired of early constitutional change and turned to more militant and violent action. They disrupted political meetings with their heckling, broke windows




letterboxes and buildings.

'There were no sacred male preserves umm-slaauheir

annum, Sheila Rowbotham

appeared burned in militancy no suffragettes suffered $1 their demonstrations and,


"votes for Women" courses i{28) The in




These tactics were aimed at gaining maximum publlc awareness for their cause and forcing the male ruling class into conceding the vote. The spectacle of women being arrested, tried and gaoled by men, under laws which women had no say in making, made for striking publicity. However, when the vote was finally awarded in 1918 in Great Britain to women over thirty, lt was thought to have resulted as much from public recognition of women's service during the First world War as from militant agitation and sabotage. For many liberal feminists, obtaining the vote


was only the initial step towards broader legislative reforms to secure women's social and economic equality. liberal feminists' _ , _ Th e early equality and liberty within the boundaries prevailing capitalist society . TheF demanded full social or economic equalityn equality but not They rarely questioned other areel. .l personal family and wer| ambivalent about oppression pa the the role of sexuality, preferring t& _Ill 3 single ID standard of' morality rather than ." 3 _ m" bill ties for uninhibited sexual pleasure. Many liberal feminists retained a cult of domesticity and motherhood that maintained key aspects of male domination. With its main goals won, the women's movement went into decline as the political crises of depression, unemployment and fascism attracted greater attention and absorbed the energies of politically active women and men.





~' -:

EARLY MARXIST FEMINISM Although feminist values and demands featured among the ideas of many early radial and utopian socialists, including those of Fourier, Owen and the libertarian socialists, the main socialist contribution to feminist thought in the nineteenth century came from the Marxist tradition. Spurning the liberal emphasis on morality, Friedrich Engels, August Bevel and Clara Zetkin, for example, sought to explain the


and origins of women's social in-

equality. They argued that women were oppressed in two main ways. First, because of their economic debject to male domination in the domestic .and, they experienced a more general economic exploitation in common with the male .1




wife in marriage




Engels saw the

univalent to the proletariat

husband contemporary prostltutio



urgeoisle, deed, he regarded monogamous marriage as a H an economic relagiven =""range for money or


Like the llberais,~ the Marxists were keen to stress that women's subordination was neither natural, biologically determined nor unchangeable.

The leader Bebel,




Social Democrats,

brought women's issues






socialist struggle in his famous book Women under Socialism (1879). He believed that identifyiNg the Specific cultural and economic constraints upon women and tempting them with a glimpse of their possible liberated condition under socialism would make women 1480

conscious o f



historical change.



of collective

The Marxistsh


forces determining

women '£ subjugaproductive ideological

as a can

dion but as a symptom or





superstructure o f society. Sin ciently dealt with in Marx's w the materialist view of histo in the following way:



The determining factor in hist the production an material life. But this Itself

lsst res ow t , ebsracter.




ex+ended ism


reproduction Yu twofold

one hand,



the means o f subsistence, o N shelter and the tools requisite therefore the other the production of" hum beings selves, the propagation o f the social institutions under whlcn _ _ . finite historical epoch and of a definite country live are conditioned by both kinds o f production: by the stage of development of lab our, o n the one hand, and o f the Family, o n the other.(29) l


If the position of women varied according to the particular stage of economic development, then it was possible to envisage and promote further changes. Basing his arguments upon the now dated anthropologi-

cal research of L.H. Morgan, Engels' analysis stressed the existence o f 'mother right', that is, the determination of kinship and inheritance exclusively through the females, and he argued that it preceded ' f other rlght'. Society dominated by mother characterised by a harmonious sexual divilabour, where women controlled the means of production within the home and

outside. H n ; phere





work was accorded roughly

equal importance in a more or less communistic house-


Conflict arose and women's subordination began when the productivity o f work outside the home, that

is of male lab our, increased, due to improved agricultural and industrial techniques. This gave men access to a greater economic surplus and the means to wield greater power over women.

Although the precise

way in which men instituted monogamy and over threw 'mother right' was not known, Engels was adamant about both the existence and precedence of mother right. lt was clear, however, that the demise o f mother right and the resulting secondary status o f women were directly attributable to the accumulation o f private property.


The domestic sphere reduced W subor dif ate economic role and housework regarded nificant. Engels saw to institutiwwl. Unequal _ social division o f lab our* ma having inaugurated first form of class oppression, E=H'==='»'l=I o f males Females. I t also coincided with the emergence o f the political state which was required to regulate the conflicting economic interests generated by the new



classes o f exploiters and





iression to


o f the state, PnmnWm n n v m w r l m n u ~""~~ Iation o f private and public life as complex temporary era o f I antagonisms and capitalism had o n l made women's lo umficult

As Engels


resulted from exclusion rom the male do~ main o f lab our __ confinement to the domestic sphere, women's emancipation required that these conditions be reversed. By working for wages in commodity production, women would cease to be economically dependent upon their husbands. This could only come about, however, If alternative arrangements could be made for performing women's traditional domestic tasks. Engels envisaged that both conditions would be met under socialism when 'women's work' would beco mum public responsibility and thereby the province


of public


u___; Marxist Geminisis ihhaIllup

guided by condi ff er en t geer has __,.. than the removal o f legal discrimination against women, it required 'freedom from the coercion o f economic necess1ty'.(30) This entailed a concept o f equality which aimed at the equal satisfaction o f material needs and not simply equality o f opportunity for individuals to compete against each other. Individual liberation U* was not thought possible www Mn ewwlv" 'no

cepts o f freedom and equality from those of the liberals noted, freedom for the Marxist~ meant H

successful, it would merely



and help enlarge inequaliti The principles o f Freed M






proper to.

equality capitalism realmsed only by the over throw elimination o f class divisiodlg ' begun ...,,_, conceive teenth century, Marxists h $


socialism in terms of a revolutionary process that freed both men and women from their particular forms o f bondage. As Bebel had declared, 'there can be no

emancipation o f humanity without the §Eci§T independence and"equallty of sexes'."l31) This ana1y'sis did not imply waiting for the inevitable onset o f socialism; it required political strategies designed to take advantage o f the perceived tendencies for historical change and to work for legal and industrial reform for women. Capitalism would automati-


cally draw


exacerbate leading





early existing mineteenth cent


_ _ _





Marxist feminists


Germa$'*uu- Democratic



. .._


worked at a number of levels: educating women For their revolutionary role in class struggle, opposing the predominant sexism and anti-feminism of working class men fearful of losing their jobs to women, attempting to win protective legislation to overcome the abuse of Female lab our, and campaigning for political and legal rights. Marxist feminists strongly dissociated themselves from those they considered to be bourgeois feminists, who only wanted to achieve women's suffrage. The Marxist women's movement was not conceived in terms of a struggle against men but against a capitalist system of private property which divided those with mutual interests from each other.(32) The Bolsheviks Marxist h1llnl11lli feminism and




promise the speedy

realisation of women emancipation by toclaiming the full equality women. the USSR became the first na*. .___ up lenient measures aimed at overcoming women'I. subordination. ,.


involve¢ al. simple quest 'uI unregistered marriage oil



ilaunl. d




equal status

declared women mu._ gpontraceptlves were made readily available. Abortion was permitted, and the setting up o f children's creches en-




couraged.(33) w a I l - ' 1 1 however, the ideals of feminism had crushed beneath the requirements of 'socialist'


construction and the forced industrialisation of the Five Year Plans. Most of the early reforms were either withdrawn or cur tailed and, in 1930, the Women's Committees of the Communist Party were summarily dissolved because they were said to have outlived their usefulness. Family and domestic life were altered only to suit the demands of economic planning. The new communal arrangements for housework merely facilitated the fullest exploitation of women's lab our. Such policies resulted in a reinforcement of the traditional notions of family and motherhood, while extinguishing the ideals of personal liberation. Thonnessen concludes her survey of these developments by noting that while many male privileges had



this led 'to the total

subordination of women as workers and as


to 1183

the purposes of production in a manner that capltal» ism had long ago abandoned'.(3M) These events suggested the possibility of theoretical weaknesses in the work of Engels and the mainstream Marxist feminists. Feminists, within the early Marxist movement and those writing in the 1970s, developed their own analyses in

opposition to mainstream Marxism.

The cri-

ties considered that the major weakness lay in making private properto the sole source of women's oppression.(35) This preoccupation effectively prevented the search for other impediments to the achievement of equality. ~I links between capitalism The preci~ and patriarchy also rems Engels others falsely assumed psychological cultural manifestations lu!IIlllnluh would matically transformed in successful struggle and the establishment of letariat. Later, Marxist feminists u s- - found neglect of the powerful inner emotional life of family all fluence upon psychic identity Stl"LlC-I tune. Engels' conception of human was argued, led him to gloss sexuality and the important sexual differences ween men and women.(36) This ensured .wan: maintained heterosexuality as! dominant norm. Because of these limitsHmm Marxism num duced an inadequate political programme women' emancipation. n sexual Engels is also reprimanded liar division of lab our all natural In oppressive




when contaminated





Rowbotham has drawn by regarding women u n


Though swept





Despite wide women have re

discrimination llg-.nun work, home and in




with tQ- exception formidable n1151. cised Marxism


had erred also in

n evolved.l

capitalism reduction

become men,


i n n



one de Beauvoir's ( 19M9), which criti-

I traditional



spectlve, little was dice from H written on women oppression it the emergence of the Women's Liberation Movement in the mid 19605. This second wave of feminism was the result of a range of economic and social changes that brought °


women to an increased awareness of their secondary position in affluent societies. While not denying the role of working class women in this process, it *""'* politics and the upsurge of the civil rights ice movements which provided the major though the dates for the establishment of' women is _aeration groups in different countries


vary, the motivation was consistent. Women began to recognise the vast discrepancies between the New Left rhetoric about freedom and equality, and the barriers to their full participation that they found l4§inn»=l»l1s=wi tice. With their demands all formal g ridiculed or rejected, womSo began 1 tasks organising their supporters anallyso-#mr ..

dion in society,(37) Initially united by the




their oppression, many women left the radical political and




worked with a broader women's liberation groups. Their early work involved mobilising and educating women. Central. to this task was the process or 'consciousness-raising' an which women m. shared their experiences with other womens served several purposes. It helped break barriers isolating women within family As individuals they had often learrni more with general problems than with t lemmas. In addition, it encouraged some of the pent-up anger and hostility women rarely dared to articulate previously. a sense of sisterhood to develop whereby women came to terms with their deepest feelings and collectively worked for practical solutions. Women also deliberately developed less formal and less hierarchic cal structures of organisation and decision making,

spectrum of women to form their own separate

known as collectives, that enabled them to he cipatory


and democratic.

These procedures entailed working and organising

in small groups t those explicitly

initially sympathetic Id



their cause.


It was

thought that male domination was so powerful that the presence of males would intimidate women and severely inhibit 'consciousness-ralsing'. Small groups also engendered a valuable sense of solidarity and community that helped show that women's problems were not unique, individual experlenees but that they were a more widespread and hence political concern. The mutualism of women's fiber Anna groups und I expression within voluntary which ahlished and operated Women's Women ;lth ;not Care Cert res and rape-crisis counsellings 1

uncommon for women to resow t

spouse to



out mum! manifestations of 1185

male chauvinism. Feminism, however, needed more than heightened awareness and radical action. I t required a new analysis and social theory about women. The following pages trace a number o f the key strands in such recent feminist thought.

THE LATER LIBERAL AND MARXIST FEMINISTS The feminist movement overflowed the pragmatic boundaries of women's liberation groups. Several distinct traditions emerged. Liberal feminism and Marxist feminism rearticulated, for the most par t, analyses, ideals and programmers similar to those propounded in the First phase. Liberal Feminists drew attention to the discrepancy between the self-developing individual and the personal desolate lion educated middle class women experienced when confined solely to domestic duties. Betty Friedan discovered 'the problem that has no name', an almost imperceptible but underlying sense of dissatisfaction with the role of mother and homemaker. Friedan attributed this to the cultural domination of the 'feminine mystique' which required 'that the highest value and only commitment for women is the fulfillment of their own femininity'.(38) This unique and mysterious set of female character traits required women to accept 'sexual passivity, male domination and nurturing maternal love' as their standards for behav1our.(39) Friedan's solution wa: basically individualistic one, to enoour married women think of themselves as whole h L # beings simply as mothers with time their should plan their lives so that integrate their commitment as wives and mothers self-chosen professional work means to greater fulfillment liberal panacea, education, first; prepare women Iii!

for new vocations and

then to



image of femininity.

Aware, however, that education alone could not change social attitudes, the liberal feminists also worked for further constitutional reform in order to overcome the more obvious discrimination evident in promotion, and in divorce and rape _ Since not thought desirable for the law intrude l * into private life, personal rela. marriage ,um exuality were to be governed . . between the partners. The by informal . assumption was that such agreements would , ,___, choice of individuals and that 2 m- cnleved within the prevailing economic . cultural §ystem.(540)




lm; assumptions

ref err-ing



repudiated erlying _ ogrammes by -Jinsists gels lam an#ina affirming.or =-the ,


wetom& oppression. Their contribution 11 feminism lay in their clarificand role of domestic lab our and relations Oman's wage lab our under capital1sm.(M1) The nventional Marxists, tor example Bens tor d Evelyn Reed, considered that women rated from private production and material conditions of socialism instituted, the other runs of inequality, discrimination and sexism would soon recede. Accordingly, women as a group needed to unite with the other main agencies, national and international, for socialist revolution.(ll2) Both the recycled liberal and Marxist approaches to feminism have come under strong attack. Contemporary feminists, we shall term radical and socialist, have argued that neither the attainment of formal democratic rights nor the integration of women into social production has been or can be sufficient for securing women's equality. Major areas of d1scrimination, exploitation and oppression remain. For example, occupational segregation by sex, sexual objectification and the low representation of women in positions of political leadership give striking 1nd1~Histence of substantial sexual incation of the in~ equalities liberal, capitalist and socialist







evldenca 1111111 feminists to invest1iological,I cultural and even instinctual origins women'l oppression. They have m»|nnm"l- focus II pon the relations Ii authority and domination is 1e more ob-



vious exploitation, ,___ found ___r-k and public life. Radical feminists are those who maintain that women's inequality is the first problem for analysis and the highest priority for change. A second group has ventured to integrate the insights of radical Feminism with Marxism and Freudian psychoanalysis in

order to articulate a genuine socialist feminism. HADICAL FEMINISM

The diverse array of writers collected under the title of radical feminism is united on at least one central issue, that all past and present societies are patriarchies, that is, societies where older males dominate and oppress both women and children. From this perspective the position of women constitutes the original, most pervasive form of human oppression. The liberation of women, therefore, 1187

should be the first task of any movement for radical change. Women's place in society is not seen to be determined by their class relationship to the mode of production but by the patriarchal values controlling the relations of reproduction. Although patriarchy is also maintained by political and economic means, its source of power lies in its exploitation of

women's biological nature and in the deformed patterns of socialisatlon built upon it. Male supremacy is not simply preserved by superior physical strength or the economic dependence of women, but by the powerful sociallsing forces which inculcate personal attitudes and allocate social status according to preconceived sexual stereotypes. Some radical feminlsts attribute the power of patriarchy to a particular form of sexual violence: rape. Susan Brownmiller summarises this attitude. Man's discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one of the most impertent discoveries of prehistoric times....From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.(HH)

Radical feminists have usually rejected any Freudian emphasis upon unconscious factors in their social theory. Censuring the practical uses to which psychoanalysis has been put, in reinforcing women's sexual inequality and absorbing women's dissent, the radical Feminists focussed upon the more conscious and noticeable influences upon child soclalisation and sexual intimidation. Their observations have

added a

new dimension to the understanding of sexual

power in the oppression of women. Kate Millett has drawn out the link between sex and power in her theory of patriarchy. She contends that 'sex is a status category with political implicat1ons'.(H5)






domination and subordination they are inherently political. Sexual domination constitutes, for Millett, 'perhaps the most pervasive ideology of our culture and provides its more fundamental concept of power'.(M6) This analysis requires a clear dlstinction to be made between sex and gender. While sex denotes individual biological differences, the term gender designates the separate, learned psychological and cultural traits that are often regarded as innate or physical in origin. Millett's main point is that the area of gender is a political domain because it


promotes, among other things, aggressiveness in males and docility in females, attitudes essential for the continuation of patriarchy. The 'private' sphere of family life fulfils, therefore, an expressly political function in educating its members into bearing unequal social and political roles. This results in men and women experiencing two quite different life-experiences or cultures, preparing them for either subject or dominant castes in society. 'So deeply embedded is patrlarchy', Millet remarks, 'that the character structure it creates in both sexes is perhaps even more a habit of mind and a way of life than a politleal system.'(M7) *"' .s this state of affairs, Millett recommends a sexual grlgevolution to overthrow the traditional sexual inhibitions and




that maintain the institution of monogamous marriage. The negative connotations should also be removed from such categories as 'homosexuality "illegltimaey", adolescent, pre- and extra~marltal sexual1ty'.(M8) Similarly, the conventional notions of 'femininity' and 'masculinity' need to be re-evaluated and new socialisation and family structures established. Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex represents the most complete expression of radical feminism. She has attempted to 'develop a materiallst view of history based on sex 1tself'.(49) In her view, women's biology is the prime source of women's inferior social position and ensures the development of an unequal sex-class system. The different reproductive functions have led to an unequal power distribution in the family. Whatever the form of social organisation, women have been at the mercy of their reproductive functions, which have determined the mother-child interdependency characteristic of the socialisatlon process






lab our. Firestone is not just criticising the struck tune and framework of culture but the very organisation of nature itself. Women's emancipation requires, %wherefore, changing the biological constraints on women as well as overturning the cut which arises from it: The end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not I E E E elimination of male privilege but o f Hts elf' genital differences k would no longer matter culbetween

turally.(50) Within the domain o f culture, Firestone cites love as

the 'pivot


women's oppression

today'.(5I) To re-

appraise the concept of love is to threaten the



foundations of culture. Male supremacy is maintained and strengthened by men manipulating women into giving them emotional supper t without

For Firestone,




is not the problem, but

its corrupted function in a political context o f unequal power. Since women were the first oppressed group, Firestone argues that their liberation should take priority and thereby become the precondition for radical social change and cultural revolution. The feminist revolution should follow four main principles. First, women should be freed from the tyranny o f their reproductive functions. This necessitates not only the establishment II twentyhour child


care centres EM: H radically, transformatiOf women'_roduction


chnologlcal perhaps by

means of arts reprodue outside un woman'.m body. Secc it w re self-determir eeono women and, ultimately, children, payment housework not eonsldered appropriate because _ would petuate the sexual division o f lab our. Third,



mist revolution


total I

integrate women children into all aspects wider soeletyu Finally, lt is paramount for women and children to do whatever they want to do sexually. That 15, in the new society, 'humanity could finally revert to its natural polymorphous sexuality - all terms o f sexual-


ity would be allowed and 1ndulged'.(52) Firestone sees the feminist movement as having no less a mission than the creation of the 'cultural acceptance o f the new ecological balance necessary for the survival o f the human race in the twentieth century'.(53)

group of radical feminists has taken its critique IL patriarchy !to its ultimate conclusion. are the agents of oppression, it is argued, women should sever iII personal and sexual rela-

analysis leads to the heart of .~.».-.m;.£

tions with them.

#sexual politics'




terosexual intercourse helps

to pres eve male domination. Not only does lt mean that women continue to sleep with and gratify their oppressor, it also causes women to define their sexuality in terms of pleasing men. Furthermore, it encourages women to have conflicting allegiances which separate them From other women. To become a lesbian, or to refrain from sexual relations, is to make an explicit political decision that challenges the emotional core, the 'under belly', of patriarchy and its ideology of heterosexuality. 'To be a lesbian' Charlotte Bunch comments, 'is to love


woman, in a culture that denigrates and despises women.'(54) A further extension of these ideas may be 1190

found in minority sects like (Society for #F Cutting Up Men), which violent Overthrow of capitalism and " ulti o§` the male sex. SCUM's polltiil would 'in at dominance rather than liberation. It represents, however, only one strand of radical lesbian feminism, SOCIALIST FEMINISM

The socialist critics of radical feminism see its major shortcoming as failing to provide a satisfactory causal analysis of women's oppress1on.(55) They acknowledge its indispensable pioneering role in understanding patriarchy- but contend that a woman's biology, family role and sexuality are not the sole determinants of her position in society. While women's biological nature has remained constant, the institutions of family, economic production and politics have varied greatly over time and place. Without an explanation for these variations, radical Feminists are not able to devise adequate strategies for overcoming women's subordination. For example, their focus upon sexism as the principal enemy has tended to ignore the more complex causes of discrimination in women's work outside the home. Its stress upon individual and personal liberation has obscured the possibility of broader collective action with other women or other oppressed groups. Regarding women as a caste also conceals the problem of class relations between middle class and working class women. To what extent, lt may be asked, are upper class women part of an oppressing class as well as it of the oppressed? In an age of technologioal blems, socialist feminists also doubt that .~ scan be the main instrument of women's

Similarly, they

question whether


abolition of childbirth would overcome the powerful cultural and economic constraints upon women. Socialist feminists seek to discover the "°"""'"'" between women's biology, women's economic and the cultural factors which legiti. oppression. Consequently, they wish to ascertain how women in both the family and outside work


contribute to maintaining both capitalism and patriarchy. This requires not only an analysis of womeN's subordinate but crucial role in the prevailing mode or production, but also an appraisal of how biological differences acquire social significanoe. These tasks, according to socialist feminists, require both the insights of historical materialism and Freudian psychoanalysis.

The first major attempt to sketch such a critlque was Juliet Mitchell's Women's Estate. Taking a $91

structualist approach, derived from both Freudian psychoanalysis and Althusserlan Marxism, Mitchell classified the role o f women and the family into four categories, or structures: production, reproduction, sexuality and the socialisatlon o f ehlldren. Each structure was regarded as having its own autonomy and history, but also as operating in complex interaction with the others. None of the structures on its own was sufficient to explain either women's oppression

or its link with other forces o f domination. Subsequent socialist feminist research has been under taken to demonstrate how these different structures operate and interact to maintain both capitalism and patriarchy.

In developing tures', economic begun from the trade and primarily

of Mitchell's 'strucSocialist feminists have Marxist

standpoint to challenge family is universally private world o f love, care and intimacy, where -men and women gain refuge from the outside world of competition, exploitation and toll. They portray the family as a workplace, an economic unit, in which women do unpaid work for both their

husbands and for capital.

Zaretsky explains.

Child rearing,

cleaning, laundry, an;l=nalls!,. tHE" . . Nance . daily health reproduction,

mute a perpetual cycle maintain life the family under capitalism

labor society "


ne mainteof` food, . consti-

:essary to this sense $e economy

The emphasis upon commodity production and surplus value in traditional Marxist thought has hitherto clouded the crucial role of domestic lab our in

helping to maintain capitalism. To require adequate payment, either from husbands or the state, for the performance of domestic duties would cause tremendous economic stresses under capitalism. suppressing such claims thereby aids the maintenance of an economic system which does not provide adequate remuneration for the services it demands. As industrial capitalism evolved so also did the role of women in both domestic and commodity production. When more lab our was required, women were drawn upon as a reserve. Ignoring their Own myths about the physical inferiority of women, capitalists did not shrink from allocating women heavy physical w0_1;k_ _-in coal mines . and factories. In the twentieth century women . been segregated into particular low? status work and denied equal pay with men.(57) Women -I entry into the sphere of commodity production simultaneous .. .


. .. . . .

ly provided cheaper lab our and maintained male supremacy. with the increase in mass production, however, the family became an indispensable unit of consumption as well. Mass advertising reinforced the 'feminine' virtues of domesticity and good housekeeping, and cultivated a consumer outlook and ideology that served capitalism and patr1archy.(58) Socialist feminists suggest, however, forces ,have oppressed women emancipatig~ »m. Entry into the male wor'kf`orc e., example, % fglven women some econorn1§ §









cial conflict when women

mended equal and promotion.

d equal treatment in jo The socialists have also demanded a variety of changes, ranging from the payment of wages for housework to its performance within public production, and from equal pay for equal work to the abolition of job segregation. The reproduction of children has been a decisive 'structure' in women's subordination, not only because it has restricted their entry into the ranks of wage labourers but also because it has denied them access to many of the other resources and symbols of Mitchell portrays the status and power in society. causal chain as maternity, leading to f family, loading public life, and to absence from production and Socialist feminists thereby to sexual inequality. to become argue that although biology allows women mothers, it does not dictate that human institutions as to limit their participation should be so $ n other endeavours It is culture which ensures Since they that bio subordination.(59) are producers of domestic la brawns ='1¥' '?LaboLlr'er's 9 Qp politiand unable to challenge men Q I reinforcally, women's reproductive patriarcing the institutions of both .......s........,... chy . The development and cultural

effective and







has to be among the necessary preoondi ling women to break the cycle of oppr

imposed by their biology. Socialist feminists have maintained that material preconditions are insufficient unless accompanied by cultural transforms t § ! § » § i l possibilities na;-=..§ ~~ for this transformation res x # s assumptions of the dominant ideology heterosexuality and its myths about feral sexual1ty.(60) Regar'Iv ded as passive sexual objects "m possessed by


women treated I pr'lvat" monogamous marriage `nd outsold commodity or agreement monogamous marriage through


property 3a




withlri becomes .in by private the market

$9 3

In the past, fear of




misconceptions about women's sexual needs h e l p e d be deny women equal fulfillment of their sexuality. Sexual pleasure was reserved for the male. It was a means for him to obtain some release from the stresses and tension of work. Such release has been rarely available to women. 'Love and orgasmic explo-

slon', Sheila Rowbotham writes, 'have no proper place in a society in which the end of life is the production of goods, in which work discipline as a thing in itself becomes the guardian of morality.'[61) An uninhibited male and female sexuality, either homosexual or heterosexual, with its emphasis upon affection, excitement, fantasy and tenderness, is seen by socialist feminists as a threat to both capitalism and patriarchy. Only with effective contraception, and access to aborlion, can women's sexual fulfillment be pursued apart from the biological reproduction.

Socialist Temin1 ity that these liberq ineffectual. If IF



however, the possibilmay bo rendered sexuality H mains simply another faSt;QQ commodity consumed with little cone Q i if it is the prerogative =§'h *QE ~verwhelmed by *Q* puritanical overreaction, it may not realise its full . "Et snEB Ycompatible with capitalism. potential. m. -Tb elated sexuality lies the potential for Within ~ther exploitation or personal revolt against fatalism and patriarchy. The -BUrth main 'structure' within which bio. _ _




g E

logical destiny becomes a cultural vocation maingaining capitalism and patriarchy is that of the socialisation of children. Although conscious and

deliberate socialisatlon is the





planations of women's position, Nancy Chodcrow argues

that on their own they are 'insufficient to account for the extent to which psychological and value commitments to sex differences are SO emotionally and tenaciously maintained, for the way gender identity and expectations about sex roles and gender consistency are so deeply central to a person's coherent sense of self'.(62) Contrary to the radical feminists, many of the socialists consider Freudian psychoanalysis as crucial for understanding how males and females come to assume their distinctive gender (that is, culturally prescribed) identities. However lt may have been used, Mitchell remarks, 'psychoanalysis is not a recommendation for a patriarchal

society but an analysis of one'.(63l Many socialist feminists see women themselves as the crucial agents in determining both consciously

and unconsciously the nature of their chlldren's per#914

sonality, identity and values. Allocated the primary parental role by their patriarchal culture, women are central in reproducing their own oppression. Women's 'mothering', as Chodorow terms it, contributes not only to general childhood development but also to establishiog gender identity and sexual inequality. The socialisatlon of girls by women ensures the development of 'feminine' personalities characterised by passivity, dependence and insecurity. Thus woman's mothering role and position as primary parent in the family, and the maternal qualities and behaviors which derive from i t , are central to the daily and generational reproduction o f capitalism. Women resuscitate adult workers, both physically and emotionally, and rear children who have particular psychological capacities which capitalist workers and con-

somers require.(6M) The solution 11es






parenthood so that daughters and sons can develop a personal identification with more than one adult. This requires that parents exhibit qualities diffe-

rent from those in the past. Men need to take a greater role in child care, women need to have 'a valued role and recognized spheres of legitimate control'.(65) The socialist feminists have presented a sophis-

floated analysis of women's oppression, but one which still contains problems. It is not clear, for example, how the four structures that maintain oppression could be effectively transformed. Is, as the Marxists suggest, the mode o f production ultimately the deciding factor?(66) Other writers have ques-

still tinned whether the focus upon patriarchy is consider that the traditional patriaruseful, They

chat family is in decline and that sex roles are changing from their conventional stereotypes. Furthen, they draw attention to the neglect o f men in feminist research. They argue that analyses o f the forces operating to maintain the traditional male attitudes towards domination, emotion, sexuality and masculinity are vital for developing an adequate feminist social theory.(67) It is clear that much work still needs to be done to understand more precomplex links between the various f aetors unequal condition of" men and women in society. wisely the

or structures influencing the


CONCLUSION The semi .1 necessarily requires a fundamental reassessment of political theory. It hIn proved u pin not merely a reworking of old material but ah' essentially new enterprise which has led to radically different ideals and new accounts of society. This in turn has led to the at ticulation of fresh political alms and feminist political programmers. Ideals of human liberation and equality lie at the heart of mainstream feminist thought. Allegiance to these ideals has motivated an attack on the continuing discrepancies between the claims of liberal and socialist rhetoric and the enduring oppression of everyday life. Feminists have encouraged a change of emphasis from the formal political and legal guarantees of freedom and equality to a revitallsed concept of personal liberation. The undermining of sex-role stereotypes has enabled both

men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to perceive extended possibilities for expressing their individual characters and personalities. Feminist thought has also exposed the functionalist character of past analyses of women's nature. It has revealed the double standard implicit in askiIll-_ .nu *"" HUH hand, 'What is man's potentlal?' but, o 'What are women for?'(68) Feminists hav not only randed that a common ethical standard


both sexes, they have also shown



militate against its implementation. Feminist social theory has sought to dispel the dominant myths concerning human nature. No longer can the traditional male stereotype be held as the ideal model towards which all should aspire. The feminists have shown how commonly accepted conceptions of universal human nature were simply reflections of culturally ascribed roles within the pre-

vailing social framework. Even in the most abstract of their discussions, political theorists have.reproduced the sexual exploitations of existing societies. The search for new explanations of women's oppression has brought about a reinterpretation of the historical record. The focus upon women and, to a lesser extent, children, has not only uncovered new information but also raised doubts about the previous historical preoccupation with formal agencies of` political po e ec nordic and class structure. Femi\

n1sts have g g _ l historical accounts,

a n Hn inna

about soc M

women to .4




social me Ann*


change. Femur given _ ala dimension possiblllt . social Qhan""§ by making demands areas not previously Emma political importance.





Areas formerly considered the province of private morality and religion. ` Q evated to the status of public issues Feminists bserve that prlvate life is characteri . ans of authority and domination and in political. Since the family is the mayo for soclallsatlon and effectively reprod thority relations, it is justifiably the province of political and social thought and action. Accordingly, sharp distinctions between public and private life can no longer be re-

tained. Women's liberation, in practice, demands women's reproductive freedom by safe contraception and abortion. It requires the eradication of male domination and the seeing of women as sexual objects within un famity, media and wider culture. Women's . domestic lab our should be regarded more highly, and be accompanied by the sharing of such work




women. Where necessary, domestic work should be undertaken by public agencies outside the home. For some feminists this also presupposes a demand for increased democratic control over both public commodity and private domestic work. Since even in its mildest form, feminism clearly threatens the established formal and informal institutions of politics, economics and culture, it has inevitably provoked reactions. These have ranged from a patronising tolerance to the violent emotional response of men who feel personally threatened by feminist ideas. Some women have also Found these notions and the style of their protagonists unacceptable and articulate conservatives of various kinds have exploited these fears. New patriarchalists have revived theories reaffirming women's subordinate role in society.(69) They have selectively invoked religious values, innate drives, hormonal differences, pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis and popular prejudice to uphold the traditional mores.

Despite these coun-

ters, however, feminism has established itself as a vital tradition of political thought. Its conclusions so fas have indicated that no social or political theory can be regarded as satisfactory which does not account for women's oppression.


NOTES 1. We would like to acknowledge both the helpful comments and provision of essential source material by Gayle Sansakda, Gay

Walsh and many others who have read this chapter. They are, of course, not responsible for the final interpretation or any of its deficiencies. 2. Ann D. Gordon, 'The Problem of Women's History', B.A. Carroll (ed.), Liberating Women' s History' Theoretical and Critical Essays, Univ. of Illinois Pr. , Urbana, 1976, p.8!+. 3. S.M. Okin, Women in Western Political Thought, Princeton Univ. Pr., N.J., 1979, pp.3-é. lr- T. Hobbes, De Give, ed. Gent, Anchor, N ew Yoto, B.

19?2, p.213. 5. T. Hobbes, Leviathan,. ed. Oxford, 1957, p.13l.




62 Hobbes, De Give, op.cit., p.2l3. F. Hobbes, Leviathan, op.cit., p.l3I. 8. T. Brennan and C. Paten an, "Mere Auxiliaries of the Commonwealth": Women and the Origins of Liberalism', Political Studies, 27, June 1979, p.l89. 9. HoT1-bes, Leviathan, op.cit., p.133. 10-


Hobbes, A Dialogue Between a Philosopher and a Student

of the Common Laws of England, ed. J. Ctopsey, Univ. of Chicago Pr., Chicago, 1971, p.159. II. G.J. Schoehet, Patriarchalism in Political Thought, Blackwell, Oxford, 1975, and R.w.1