Aspects of Sociology by Frankfurt Institute for Social Research

By Frankfurt Institute for Social Research

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Therefore it is a certain sign of a civilization which either has not yet ripened or is overripe, a sign of unhealthy social or sick political conditions when the state police undertake to dominate social life or even to place it under constant surveillance. . Only when society in some manner attacks the legal order or threatens the public welfare, may the authority of the state intervene, just as it may against private persons whose actions are criminal or constitute misdemeanors that violate the law" (J.

However, as soon as thought concerning the social loses sight of the tension between that which is institutional and that which is living, as soon as, for instance, it seeks to reduce society to the purely natural, it no longer aids in the liberation from the compulsion of the institutions, but only furthers a new mythology, the glorification of illusory-primal qualities, to which is attributed what in fact only arises by virtue of Sjocirty'G institutions. The extreme model of rendering society "natural" in such a false and ideological fashion is the racist insanity of National Socialism.

6 Under the influence of liberalism, of its doctrine of free competition, we have become fully accustomed to thinking of the Monad as an absolute, existing for and by itself. Therefore the achievement of sociology and, prior to that, of speculative social philosophy, in shaking this faith and in showing that the individual is itself socially constituted, cannot be evaluated too highly. 7 But the dynamics of the inner composition of the individual were taken up only at the end of the theory. Human life is essentially, and not merely accidentally, social life.

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