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← 23. Durkheim's Theory of Anomie

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  1. Prof: Okay,
    so today is about the notion of
  2. anomie.
  3. And anomie seems to be a very
    simple notion.
  4. Anomie means the state of
  5. and therefore it's very easy to
    interpret--it looks like it is
  6. very easy to interpret anomie.
  7. I will show that's far from the
  8. In fact, Durkheim has a pretty
    complex notion about
  9. abnormalities in the transition
    to a market economy,
  10. in the transition to modernity.
  11. But before I do so,
    let me come back to the issue
  12. of the division of labor in
  13. Though he stages the book with
    the idea of collective
  14. conscience,
    and goes long lengths
  15. explaining why he's using law as
    an indicator of collective
  16. conscience--
    and we discussed that at great
  17. lengths--
    when it comes to describing the
  18. crucial differences between
    mechanical and organic
  19. solidarity,
    he doesn't make much out of it
  20. really.
  21. >
  22. What drives the analysis of
    this distinction,
  23. right, pre-modern and modern
  24. to put it in other words--the
    crucial criteria is actually the
  25. division of labor.
  26. What drives the story is the
    division of labor.
  27. So in this sense,
    in fact, I think Durkheim can
  28. be understood as being greatly
    inspired by Adam Smith,
  29. right, who also saw evolution
    of human societies,
  30. as you'll recall,
    as a gradual evolution of the
  31. division of labor.
  32. Durkheim just does not offer
    such complex or sophisticated
  33. periodicization of societies,
    like hunting/gathering,
  34. and animal husbandry,
    and agricultural and commercial.
  35. He just makes this bipolar
    distinction between mechanical
  36. and organic.
  37. But if you ask,
    well yes there is a difference
  38. in the legal system.
  39. But what is fundamentally
    different is the division of
  40. labor.
  41. Mechanical solidarity has
    little division of labor,
  42. Right?
  43. based on similarity of the
    actors in the society.
  44. Organic solidarity has a great
    deal of division of labor,
  45. and a great deal of
    dissimilarity of the action.
  46. And this is puzzling,
    because the question is,
  47. if it is such a high level of
    division of labor,
  48. and such a great diversity,
    where on earth solidarity will
  49. come from,
    how we hang together?
  50. So that's, I think--we should
    appreciate how important the
  51. division of labor for Smith from
    Durkheim was.
  52. By the way, in some ways,
    even the early Marx,
  53. in The German Ideology,
    also tried his periodicization
  54. of society with the division of
  55. So I think this is also the
    influence of Adam Smith.
  56. So I think there is a clear
    Adam Smith impact on the work of
  57. Durkheim, on the types of
  58. There is also another issue I
    would like to mention.
  59. I pointed out how important,
    right, Montesquieu was for
  60. Durkheim.
  61. And it's obvious.
  62. He acknowledges his debt to
  63. starts the book with collective
    conscience and the notion of--
  64. and law as the best empirically
    observable indicator of this
  65. collective conscience comes,
    of course, directly to
  66. Montesquieu.
  67. But there is another less
    frequently noticed impact of
  68. Montesquieu on Durkheim,
    and that makes actually
  69. Durkheim a very interesting
    author for us today.
  70. As I mentioned,
    he primarily has an impact
  71. today with his later work as the
    cultural analyst.
  72. But in his early work,
    he responded to another
  73. stimulating idea of Montesquieu,
    and that is the interaction
  74. between social system and the
  75. and the ecological system.
  76. I went at some lengths in the
    lecture on Montesquieu to show
  77. how important it was,
    and how unique Montesquieu's
  78. contribution was--
    how important it is for us
  79. today, though he made it in a
    very naïve way.
  80. Durkheim actually has a much
    more sophisticated and complex
  81. understanding of the
    relationship between environment
  82. and society,
    and the type of solidarity,
  83. and the division of labor in
  84. Unfortunately,
    this is sort of a neglected
  85. element in Durkheim.
  86. Too bad because,
    in fact, the problem of
  87. environment and studying
    environment should be a central
  88. issue in economics,
    political science,
  89. sociology and anthropology.
  90. And it is not quite as central
    as it should be,
  91. especially I think in political
    science and sociology and
  92. anthropology.
  93. The study of environment is too
    narrowly focused on
  94. environmental social movements.
  95. Well Durkheim has a different
    interesting take,
  96. which I think should inspire
    social researchers;
  97. be they economists,
    political scientists,
  98. sociologists or
  99. What is it?
  100. Durkheim, in The Division of
    Labor, has a core of an idea
  101. what one can call the ecosystem.
  102. Right?
  103. He sees an inter-relationship
    between the physical
  104. environment,
    the size of population which
  105. lives in this physical
  106. the technology which is used in
    this environment and the
  107. division of labor,
    and the type of social
  108. organization what we have,
    what kind of social solidarity
  109. you have.
  110. Let me just put this on the
  111. I think this is rarely noticed.
  112. You will rarely hear in
    Durkheim's lectures,
  113. or rarely read about this when
    you read about Durkheim.
  114. So the idea is that you have
    the environment,
  115. you have the population,
    you have technology,
  116. and you have social
  117. and these constitute a system,
    right, which interacts with
  118. each other;
    and what ought to be studied is
  119. really this whole system.
  120. And, of course,
    technology has a lot to do with
  121. division of labor.
  122. Right?
  123. And that's what can be called
    the ecosystem.
  124. He doesn't call it this way,
    but environmental researchers
  125. would call it today as the
  126. And I think this is an
    extremely productive way for
  127. social scientists to think about
    the problems of the environment.
  128. Right?
  129. And let me give you an example.
  130. Why don't you think about
    Southern California?
  131. Right?
  132. Southern California,
    before the Europeans appeared
  133. on the scene,
    right, was a very dry
  134. climate--suffered from the lack
    of water resources.
  135. So the Los Angeles Basin
    probably could accommodate a
  136. livelihood for something like
    20,000 people.
  137. Right?
  138. These 20,000 people,
    right, lived in this very arid
  139. environment, used very
    elementary technologies,
  140. and had a very limited division
    of labor.
  141. So the population size was
    greatly affected with the
  142. technology and the environment.
  143. And they had mechanical
  144. Right?
  145. That was the way how society
    was organized.
  146. Now today we've figured out how
    to solve the hydraulic problems
  147. for the Los Angeles Basin,
    for the time being.
  148. Don't hold your breath because
    in no time we may have a major
  149. crisis.
  150. So in the same basin where
    20,000 people lived,
  151. now twenty million people live.
  152. But they live at a very high
    level of technology,
  153. where we successfully pollute
    the air,
  154. which is, right,
    hard to breathe in downtown Los
  155. Angeles during a hot summer day.
  156. Right?
  157. And we have,
    of course, organic solidarity
  158. operating.
  159. Right?
  160. And we managed to screw the
    environment, thank you,
  161. quite nicely.
  162. And we keep doing it,
    in no time the LA Basin will be
  163. uninhabitable.
  164. Right?
  165. That's why I think it is
    interesting to think about this
  166. Durkheimian idea of ecosystem,
    how it interacts.
  167. As I said, it would offer you a
    very rigorous,
  168. right, scientific framework to
    study the interaction,
  169. right, between social
  170. the demographic problem,
    the technological issues,
  171. right, and its relationship;
    how we can live,
  172. if we can, peacefully with the
  173. Anyway, just a backdrop
    because, to show again the
  174. centrality of the division of
    labor for Durkheim.
  175. Now today I will talk about
  176. And anomie is one of the
    abnormal consequences of the
  177. division of labor.
  178. And well this is one of the
    troubling aspects of Durkheim's
  179. work--the whole idea of
    abnormality or social
  180. pathologies.
  181. And he has been criticized
    about this a great deal.
  182. How do we know what is
    abnormal, and how on earth can
  183. we tell what is the normal state
    of society?
  184. Pathology does assume,
    right, that social researchers
  185. have some way how to judge what
    is the healthy condition for
  186. society.
  187. And this comes from Durkheim's
    early functionalism,
  188. as I said.
  189. Right?
  190. He was greatly influenced by
  191. He was not a biologist by any
  192. But as I pointed out,
    the whole metaphor of organic
  193. solidarity uses the human body,
    right, as the example.
  194. Right?
  195. How in the human body diverse
    organs depend on each other to
  196. reproduce each other.
  197. And therefore the word
    pathology is also borrowed from
  198. medical sciences.
  199. Society will have pathological
    features as well,
  200. and there are abnormalities in
  201. and somehow believes that
    social researchers will be able
  202. to establish what abnormality is
    and what pathologies are.
  203. This is, I think,
    troubling for most social
  204. scientists,
    right, because we seem to have
  205. some commitment to at least
    value neutral type of analysis,
  206. right, in which we do not label
    necessarily phenomena out.
  207. Right?
  208. We know labeling theory;
    you may have heard about it.
  209. You label something as criminal
    or abnormal, simply because it's
  210. probably unusual in society.
  211. But what was abnormal in one
    society may become absolutely
  212. normal in another society.
  213. So you have to be extremely
    careful, right,
  214. with the notion of normal and
  215. Let's say being gay,
    until fairly recently,
  216. was seen--I mean,
    except antiquity,
  217. but for most human societies
    and most cultures,
  218. being gay is seen as a kind of
    abnormal behavior.
  219. Today very few people will
    think about this,
  220. at least in a country like the
    United States,
  221. that somebody gay is abnormal.
  222. Right?
  223. So what sexual behavior is
    normal or abnormal depends on
  224. the times.
  225. Right?
  226. It's really not the job of the
    social scientist to be able to
  227. decide what kind of sexual
    behavior should be called normal
  228. or abnormal.
  229. The best we can do,
    why on earth some people call
  230. some sexual practices abnormal
    and others normal?
  231. Why is there differences in a
    society, accepting some kind of
  232. sexual behaviors and not others?
  233. Right?
  234. That is a question what social
    scientists could study.
  235. Anyway, this is I think clearly
    a problem for contemporary
  236. social scientists with
    Durkheim's work.
  237. But anyway he did believe that
    he is capable to show that some
  238. abnormal developments do take
  239. He was especially,
    as I pointed already in last
  240. lecture out,
    on the transition from
  241. mechanical to organic
  242. and when that happened,
    then pathologies could emerge.
  243. And again, put it into the
    social context.
  244. Durkheim is writing in the
    1890s and early 1900s.
  245. He's in Bordeaux,
    and then he's moving to Paris,
  246. the city of the sin,
    right, and he sees all the
  247. signs of social pathologies.
  248. Right?
  249. Alcoholism and homelessness and
    prostitution and theft and
  250. crime, which was inexistent or
    much rarer in rural France,
  251. just a couple of decades ago.
  252. So he's confronted,
    right, with massive phenomena,
  253. which is being seen as abnormal
    or pathological,
  254. and he identifies them as the
    results of the transition from
  255. mechanical to organic
  256. Well pathologies can have two
    different roots.
  257. And what we normally understand
    from Durkheim,
  258. that he identifies pathologies
    from the absence of rules.
  259. That's what the term anomie
    refers to.
  260. But interestingly enough--I
    have the citations for you,
  261. and if you have read the text
    carefully you found the
  262. citations as well--
    he actually also does consider
  263. that pathologies can also result
    from the overregulation,
  264. right, of too forced division
    of labor.
  265. I think it's very intriguing to
    see this.
  266. Because we normally counterpose
    Marx's theory of alienation and
  267. Durkheim's theory of anomie as
    Durkheim is complaining there is
  268. not enough regulation in
  269. while Marx is arguing there is
    too much regulation in society.
  270. And I will give you a number of
    citations now from Durkheim
  271. which actually will show that
    the difference between Marx and
  272. Weber is not such gigantic as we
    initially may have thought,
  273. or generally would assume.
  274. Durkheim is quite sensitive to
    some of the Marxian analysis,
  275. even to the Marxian notion of
  276. He doesn't use the term,
    but he gets very close to it.
  277. So let me just move on further
    and talk about pathologies which
  278. are coming from the absence of
  279. Well, and I will briefly say
    this interesting idea that in
  280. fact division of labor can be
    the source of solidarity.
  281. As I said, this is
  282. We did believe that solidarity
    comes from relatively
  283. small-sized communities where
    people are relatively similar,
  284. share the same values and the
    same system,
  285. same norms, and then they will
    have solidaristic feelings
  286. towards each other.
  287. When people are very different,
    they are competing on the
  288. marketplace,
    they are strangers in the
  289. cities, they don't know each
  290. they subscribe to different
  291. or they even don't know what
    values they should obey because
  292. they are confused.
  293. They just left the village and
    ended in the big and sinful
  294. city, and they don't really
    quite know can I do here
  295. anything?
  296. Is there any control over me,
    or none?
  297. It's all up to me what to do?
  298. Even stealing is alright;
    selling my body is alright.
  299. I see other people who do that.
  300. Why don't I do it?
  301. They are not being caught.
  302. I probably will not be caught
  303. So that is a kind of,
    right, under these
  304. circumstances,
    when there are no similarities,
  305. why on earth-- we will be
  306. We don't know other people.
  307. And we have these stereotypes
    that in urban industrial society
  308. we are not solidaristic.
  309. Right?
  310. There are the usual stereotypes.
  311. You say you go to New York
    City, right, and there is
  312. somebody who is dying on the
    streets, and other people are
  313. just stepping over that person.
  314. Right?
  315. Who cares?
  316. You can die on the street and
    there will be hundreds of
  317. passengers going by and let you
  318. It's actually not true. Right?
  319. If you ever have seen anybody
    feeling ill in Times Square,
  320. there are usually a lot of
    people who rush over,
  321. that say, "Are you all
  322. or this kind of stuff.
  323. But anyway.
  324. But you know the stereotype.
  325. It's a usual stereotype about
  326. Right?
  327. Anyway, so it's puzzling why a
    society which is so different,
  328. anonymous, and such a high
    division of labor,
  329. can be solidaristic.
  330. Then he defines various
  331. And interestingly,
    pathology one sounds very
  332. similar, very close to Marx.
  333. Well there is crisis in the
    system, and there is increasing
  334. class conflict,
    and this class conflict is
  335. pathological.
  336. And the second one,
    well--and again something which
  337. is not all that different from
    old Karl Marx--
  338. division of labor can be too
  339. and too much division of labor
    can lead to pathological
  340. consequences.
  341. And finally his unique
  342. that pathology can come from
    the lack of regulation,
  343. and that's what he calls
  344. Now let me work on this,
    and also the concept of anomie
  345. a little more.
  346. So here it is:
    the division of labor as a
  347. source of solidarity.
  348. Right?
  349. He said, well normally the
    division of labor produces
  350. social solidarity.
  351. Well but it can happen that
    there are the opposite results.
  352. Right?
  353. So therefore,
    he said, "When we know
  354. when division of labor creates
    social solidarity,
  355. then we will be better equipped
    to figure out when actually
  356. social solidarity has
    pathological consequences."
  357. And as you can see from the
    citation, he directly cites the
  358. medical metaphor.
  359. Right?
  360. "Here, as elsewhere,
    pathology is a precious
  361. ancillary to physiology."
  362. So you start with the
    physiology of society.
  363. You identify when it works
    normally, and then you will be
  364. able to show when it is
  365. Right?
  366. That's the fundamental idea.
  367. And this is,
    in a way, how he tries to get
  368. off the hook of the problem that
    he's actually capable to tell
  369. what is pathological.
  370. All right, now the first
    pathology is actually about
  371. class conflict.
  372. He said, well--and I think Marx
    would not have been particularly
  373. unhappy with this citation,
  374. "As labor becomes
    increasingly divided,
  375. there are commercial crises,
    there are bankruptcies,
  376. there is hostility between
    labor and capital,
  377. and then all these conflicts
    become more frequent."
  378. Right?
  379. "Well in traditional
    societies, in mechanical
  380. solidarities,
    well these class conflicts were
  381. rare and unusual."
  382. Well today they are not all
    that unusual.
  383. And he uses the term working
  384. Right?
  385. He said, "Part of the
    working class do not really
  386. desire the status assigned to
    them." Right?
  387. Well not quite the theory of
  388. but certainly an expression
    that too high level of division
  389. of labor,
    in absence of other,
  390. can create intense class
  391. which is a pathological
    consequence of high division of
  392. labor.
  393. Then he goes on and he writes
    about "excessive division
  394. of labor."
  395. Well he has not read the
    Paris Manuscripts;
  396. which was not published,
    of course, for fourteen more
  397. years after he died.
  398. But, yes, you have read the
    Paris Manuscripts,
  399. and you can see these
    interesting parallels.
  400. "The individual will
    isolate himself in his own
  401. activity.
  402. He will no longer be aware of
    the collaborator who worked at
  403. his side on the same task.
  404. He has even not longer any idea
    at all what the common task
  405. consists."
  406. Well is not this miraculous?
  407. He could not have the faintest
    idea that a work called the
  408. Paris Manuscripts exists.
  409. Right?
  410. And here what is being
    described is getting very,
  411. very close to the idea of
    alienation, right?
  412. And in fact comes very close to
    the Marxian notion of
  413. alienation--not the Hegelian
    one, the Marian notion.
  414. Because he roots it into
    excessive division of labor.
  415. Too much market,
    right, too much competition,
  416. creates this situation.
  417. So I think this is miraculous.
  418. And very often these sentences
    are kind of skipped over as a
  419. kind of throwaway line,
    by Durkheim.
  420. It isn't.
  421. It is very important to
    identify what his unique
  422. contribution is.
  423. And this is indeed the emphasis
    that a pathology can occur out
  424. of the lack of regulation,
    and lack of regulation means
  425. anomie.
  426. Well he said,
    "Well it is not necessary
  427. for social life to be without
  428. Struggle in itself is not that
    bad at all.
  429. "The role of organic
    solidarity is not to abolish
  430. competition, but to moderate
    it." Right?
  431. Well I just want to remind you,
    this in a way reminds us to
  432. Adam Smith, right?
  433. His sympathetic theory of human
  434. Right?
  435. Well, unlimited competition is
    not right.
  436. Right?
  437. Unlimited egoistic behavior is
    not right.
  438. We have to be sympathetic to
    the other person.
  439. Right?
  440. We are struggling for
    recognition by others.
  441. That is the idea where there is
    a similarity in Durkheim's and
  442. Right?
  443. Adam Smith's analysis.
  444. But then he continues.
  445. "But in some cases",
    and this is crucial,
  446. "the regulatory process
    which moderates competition
  447. either does not exist at all,
    or not related to the degree of
  448. development of the division of
  449. It is insufficient.
  450. There are either no
    regulations, or not enough
  451. regulations.
  452. "If then division of labor
    does not produce solidarity,
  453. it is because the relationship
    between organs are not
  454. regulated.
  455. And this is what I call
  456. Right?
  457. And again you see the social
  458. This is exactly coming from the
    empirical reference point:
  459. Rural young people get on the
    train and then get off the train
  460. in Gare Lazare,
    Saint Lazare,
  461. and then they walk into the
    street in wild Paris,
  462. the sinful city of Paris,
    and they are lost.
  463. Suddenly their value system,
    what they were told back home
  464. in the village,
  465. Right?
  466. Back in the village they knew
    exactly what they are supposed
  467. Everybody knew them,
    and they also knew if they are
  468. to do.
  469. breaking the laws,
    right, of the community,
  470. they will be immediately
  471. Because there will be gossip
    spreading around,
  472. and get back to home,
    and mom and dad will exactly
  473. hear what you have done on the
  474. what you were not supposed to
  475. Now you are in Paris.
  476. Nobody has the faintest idea
    who you are.
  477. And even you don't know what
    other people expect from you.
  478. Right?
  479. It looks like this is the realm
    of freedom;
  480. you can do anything. Right?
  481. Well back home in the village,
    if you were engaged you better
  482. do not hold hands with another
    partner on the street.
  483. Right?
  484. Because then the gossip will go
    back to your fiancée,
  485. and to her parents or his
    parents, and your parents
  486. immediately,
    and there will be a scandal.
  487. Well if you are walking on
  488. you can do anything.
  489. You can hold the hand of
  490. You can kiss anybody. Right?
  491. Nobody knows who you are. Right?
  492. So that's it.
  493. That is the problem, right?
  494. Of anomie, that people enter in
    a society in which they are
  495. lost.
  496. Well let me just labor a little
    longer on the idea.
  497. And here again see that even
    the notion of anomie,
  498. it's probably--I don't know
  499. how much he's making his
    argument too complex,
  500. or Marx's idea of alienation
    was too complex.
  501. But you can see here again some
  502. even between anomie and the
    Marxian notion of alienation.
  503. He said, "The division of
    labor may reduce the worker to
  504. the role of a machine.
  505. He's not aware of where the
    operations required of him are
  506. leading, and he does not link
    them to any aim."
  507. Whoa.
  508. "Every day he repeats the
    same movements,
  509. with monotonous regularity,
    but without having any
  510. understanding--
    interest in understanding of
  511. them."
  512. Well, how interesting. Right?
  513. That's where,
    in Durkheim's thinking,
  514. the lack of norms or values,
    the collapse of the value
  515. system, leading to.
  516. And for him--of course,
    that's a big difference--
  517. the solution is to fix the
    system of values,
  518. right, to fix the system of
    norms, and then you solve the
  519. problem of anomie.
  520. But he also said that,
    "Look, anomie is not an
  521. inevitable consequence of the
    division of labor."
  522. Right?
  523. Well he has a conception that
    division of labor can be forced,
  524. and can be excessive.
  525. Right?
  526. There must be elements in the
    collective conscience which
  527. moderate, right?
  528. The competitive elements of the
    division of labor.
  529. But if those
  530. legal, moral,
    ethical institutions--are in
  531. place, then in fact the division
    of labor will not produce
  532. anomie;
    it only will produce such if
  533. there is no such systems.
  534. But then he said,
    "Do not read me as a
  535. romantic.
  536. I don't want to idealize the
    village community,
  537. where these boys and girls,
    in Gare Lazare,
  538. are coming out of the
    train." Right?
  539. "I don't want to send them
    back to the rural village.
  540. I'm not advocating a return
    from organic solidarity to
  541. mechanical solidarity.
  542. All what I am showing,
    under what circumstances there
  543. are pathological consequences,
    right, in organic solidarity.
  544. And therefore we have to find
    the proper medication,
  545. the proper cocktail of drugs,
    by which we can cure this
  546. disease."
  547. Right?
  548. That is the key idea.
  549. Well now another very
    interesting argument;
  550. which is usually neglected in
    reading Durkheim.
  551. He said, "Look,
    there are pathologies in
  552. society which are coming from
    overregulation and forced
  553. division of labor."
  554. Well this is already in The
    Division of Labor.
  555. But a crucial text is in fact
    the so-called "Second
  556. Introduction into The
    Division of Labor."
  557. Durkheim received a lot of
    criticism of the First Edition
  558. of The Division of
    Labor--was criticized of
  559. being too conservative
  560. And that's when he wrote the
    "Second Introduction to
  561. The Division of
  562. And if you are interested at
    all in Durkheim,
  563. you have to read the
    "Second Introduction"-
  564. the introduction to the Second
    Edition of The Division of
  565. Labor.
  566. Because here he tries to offer
  567. quote/unquote,
    progressive solution to the
  568. problems of anomie,
    and the nature of solidarity in
  569. organic societies--
    how to overcome the problem of
  570. class conflicts in modern
  571. And there his idea is that
    really these solidarities--
  572. this is the idea he develops in
    the introduction to the Second
  573. Edition--
    that we are becoming
  574. solidaristic within our
  575. These are the professional
    organizations in which we will
  576. find our identities and
  577. So he actually sees the good
    society as evolving into a
  578. multiplicity of professional
  579. in which people fit into these
    professional environments,
  580. and do have a strong
    professional identity and
  581. solidaristic attitudes towards
    the profession.
  582. This is, right,
    a radically different idea,
  583. right, from the--it's not
    dealing with markets,
  584. not messing up with the
    markets, or not messing up too
  585. much with the markets,
    to put it this way. Right?
  586. Professional organizations,
    if they are effective,
  587. they do mess up with the
  588. Right?
  589. American Medical Association
    does mess up,
  590. because it's a kind of trade
  591. right, which makes sure that
    the doctors' interests are being
  592. particularly represented.
  593. Anyway, this is the
    "Second Introduction."
  594. But what is interesting in this
    citation is that he said,
  595. "Well, pathology can
    emerge actually from an
  596. excessive level of regulation,
    or forced division of
  597. labor."
  598. And he introduces another
    notion here, and this is
  599. fatalism.
  600. So there are these two
    different pathologies of modern
  601. societies.
  602. One is emerging in the
    transition from mechanical to
  603. organic solidarity,
    given the absence of commonly
  604. shared values,
    and that's anomie.
  605. And there is another
    possible--on the other end of
  606. the scale you have too excessive
  607. and then people become
    fatalistic because then they
  608. think there is nothing what they
    can do.
  609. Right?
  610. Anomie is when you can say,
    "Anything goes;
  611. I can get away with anything.
  612. Right?
  613. Or you are desperate,
    because you don't know what on
  614. earth you want to do with
  615. Fatalism is when you think well
    I have no control over my life.
  616. I am over-regulated. Right?
  617. And then you become fatalistic.
  618. It doesn't matter.
  619. Nothing matters because it's
  620. Okay.
  621. Now let me just very briefly
    compare these three ideas of
  622. Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
  623. Well I hope I did not confuse
    you too much with some of the
  624. citations, which are quite
  625. But it's important to see the
    sophistication of the analysis.
  626. The bottom line,
    after all, is he said,
  627. "Look, my unique
    contribution to the study of
  628. pathologies of modern society is
    the theory of anomie,
  629. which says that temporarily,
    in this transition,
  630. we have a problem of absence of
  631. This will be overcome,
    because there is no reason why
  632. a properly moderated competition
    and division of labor could not
  633. create actually very high levels
    of solidarity."
  634. And the mechanism,
    he suggests in the "Second
  635. Introduction,"
    is creation of professional
  636. organizations and slotting
    people into professional
  637. communities, as such.
  638. They are not going back to the
  639. but they will be sort of
    belonging to professional
  640. communities and having
    solidaristic ideas and
  641. identities there.
  642. So this is kind of the bottom
  643. He is sensitive to the problems
    what Marx is talking about.
  644. He understands that yes,
    modern society does create
  645. class conflicts,
    and this is a problem because
  646. the working class very often
    feels ill-treated--
  647. doesn't use the term exploited,
    but is unhappy with the
  648. position assigned to it.
  649. So he sees this is a problem.
  650. He also sees the problem that
    excessive division of labor may
  651. create a sense of--he doesn't
    use the term,
  652. but really what he
  653. Right?
  654. And he also is quite aware that
    too much regulation also can
  655. create a pathological state of
    mind: fatalism.
  656. So but the major contribution
    is, as I've said,
  657. anomie is insufficient
    regulation in society.
  658. This is his unique contribution.
  659. Well alienation,
    as we have seen,
  660. is more like fatalism,
    right, in Durkheim.
  661. It comes from too much
  662. And then we have Weber's notion
    of disenchantment,
  663. right, the loss of the
    enchanted garden.
  664. This is all coming--the kind of
    mood or feel,
  665. the human condition under
  666. Right?
  667. These are three different takes.
  668. For Weber, it is the loss of
    magic, right,
  669. and in a way the conversion of
    the dance and all-sided human
  670. relationships into instrumental
  671. I think I briefly mentioned in
    the lecture on alienation,
  672. and probably also lecture on
  673. that this is actually very
    similar to the ideas of Georg
  674. Lukács,
    who was a Marxist philosopher
  675. and who developed the theory of
  676. Weber is developing the theory
    of disenchantment,
  677. what is the problem of
  678. That we lost the enchanted
  679. that we are too rationalistic,
    too cold,
  680. too instrumental--at a time
    when Lukács is shifting
  681. from Hegel to Marx,
    and invents the idea of
  682. reification.
  683. And they happen to both live at
    that time in Heidelberg,
  684. and Georg Lukács,
    who was a young man at that
  685. time,
    in his twenties,
  686. was a frequent guest in the
    Weber house,
  687. in the salon run by Marianne
  688. So there is clearly a mutual
    influence on Lukács'
  689. unique interpretation of Marx's
    theory of alienation--
  690. that human relationships are
    becoming reified--
  691. and Weber's notion of
    instrumentalization of life,
  692. which is I think distinctly
    different both from the theory
  693. of anomie and alienation.
  694. Okay, a final note on
    Durkheim's theory of human
  695. nature;
    what was his theory of human
  696. nature?
  697. And here we can see a sharp
    distinction between Marx and
  698. Weber.
  699. Marx, mainly following
    Rousseau's line,
  700. basically believed that--he did
    not have the notion of state of
  701. nature any longer;
    by the mid-nineteenth century
  702. people got tired and got rid of
  703. But he used the term species
    being--what is the essence,
  704. human essence?
  705. Well he said essentially humans
    are fine.
  706. It is the society which is the
    problem, not the individual.
  707. So this is exactly the
    Rousseauian inspiration in Marx.
  708. Society corrupts.
  709. In the state of nature we were
    good--and Marx even adds--I
  710. think I already made this point,
    but let me underline one more
  711. He goes beyond Rousseau.
  712. time.
  713. Because Rousseau saw the noble
    savage as a savage,
  714. as an individual who has to be
    brought into society.
  715. At that point Marx disagrees
    with Rousseau.
  716. He sees we were born in society;
    we are social by nature. Right?
  717. So we are not only good,
    but we are also social.
  718. And it is society which
    corrupts us, which creates us
  719. egoistic individuals who will
    compete with each other and will
  720. kill each other.
  721. Right?
  722. This is exactly the opposite,
    right, of Hobbes,
  723. and a big step beyond
    Rousseau's theory of human
  724. nature.
  725. Now Durkheim is actually much
    closer to Hobbes in his notion
  726. of human nature,
    because he believes,
  727. right, that social pathologies
    emerge when there is a vacuum of
  728. control over people.
  729. That's when you have crime and
    suicide and prostitution and
  730. whatever.
  731. And therefore he had a
    skeptical view of human nature.
  732. Unless we are controlled,
    then we can be evil.
  733. Right?
  734. That is the fundamental issue.
  735. What you have to fix is making
    sure that individuals develop
  736. Right?
  737. the proper value system.
  738. Thank you very much,
    and have a wonderful
  739. Thanksgiving's break.
  740. Yes, see you the last week of
    the semester.