The Sociology of Conflict: I[1]

Georg Simmel

THAT conflict has sociological significance, inasmuch as it either produces or modifies communities of interest, unifications, organizations, is in principle never contested. On the other hand, it must appear paradoxical to the ordinary mode of thinking to ask whether conflict itself, without reference to its consequences or its accompaniments, is not a form of socialization. This seems, at first glance, to be merely a verbal question. If every reaction among men is a socialization, of course conflict must count as such, since it is one of the most intense reactions, and is logically impossible if restricted to a single element. The actually dissociating elements are the causes of the conflict —hatred and envy, want and desire. If, however, from these impulses conflict has once broken out, it is in reality the way to remove the dualism and to arrive at some form of unity, even if through annihilation of one of the parties. The case is, in a way, illustrated by the most violent symptoms of disease. They frequently represent the efforts of the organism to free itself from disorders and injuries. This is by no means equivalent merely to the triviality, si vis pacem pares bellum, but it is the wide generalization of which that special case is a particular. Conflict itself is the resolution of the tension between the contraries. That it eventuates in peace is only a single, specially obvious and evident, expression of the fact that it is a conjunction of elements, an opposition, which belongs with the combination under one higher conception, "This conception is characterized by the common contrast between both forms of relationship and the mere reciprocal indifference between elements. Repudiation and dissolution of social relation are also negatives, but conflict shows itself to be the positive factor in this very contrast with them; viz., shows negative factors in a unity which, in idea only, not at all in reality, is disjunctive. It is 

(491) practically more correct to say, however, that every historically actual unification contains, along with the factors that are unifying in the narrower sense, others which primarily make against unity.

As the individual achieves the unity of his personality not in such fashion that its contents invariably harmonize according to logical or material, religious or ethical, standards, but rather as contradiction and strife not merely precede that unity, but are operative in it at every moment of life; so it is hardly to be expected that there should be any social unity in which the converging tendencies of the elements are not incessantly shot through with elements of divergence. A group which was entirely centripetal and harmonious—that is, "unification" merely—is not only impossible empirically, but it would also display no essential life-process and no stable structure. As the cosmos requires "Liebe and Hass," attraction and repulsion, in order to have a form, society likewise requires some quantitative relation of harmony and disharmony, association and dissociation, liking and disliking, in order to attain to a definite formation. Moreover, these enmities are by no means mere sociological passivities, negative factors, in the sense that actual society comes into existence only through the working of the other and positive social forces, and this, too, only in so far as the negative forces are powerless to hinder the process. This ordinary conception is entirely superficial. Society, as it is given in fact, is the result of both categories of reactions, and in so far both act in a completely positive way. The misconception that the one factor tears down what the other builds up, and that what at last remains is the result of subtracting the one from the other (while in reality it is much rather to be regarded as the addition of one to the other , doubtless springs from the equivocal sense of the concept of unity. We describe as unity the agreement and the conjunction of social elements in contrast with their distinctions, separations, disharmonies. We also use the term unity, however, for the total synthesis of the persons, energies, and forms in a group, in which the final wholeness is made up, not merely of those factors which are

(492) unifying in the narrower sense, but also of those which are, in the narrower sense, dualistic. We associate a corresponding double meaning with disunity or opposition. Since the latter displays its nullifying or destructive sense between the individual elements, the conclusion is hastily drawn that it must work in the same manner upon the total relationship. In reality, however, it by no means follows that the factor which is something negative and diminutive in its action between individuals, considered in a given direction and separately, has the same working throughout the totality of its relationships. In this larger circle of relationships the perspective may be quite different. That which was negative and dualistic may, after deduction of its destructive action in particular relationships, on the whole, play an entirely positive role. This visibly appears especially in those instances where the social structure is characterized by exactness and carefully conserved purity of social divisions and gradations, For instance, the social system of India rests not only upon the hierarchy of the castes, but also directly upon their reciprocal repulsion. Enmities not merely prevent gradual disappearance of the boundaries within the society—and for this reason these enmities may be consciously promoted, as guarantee of the existing social constitution—but more than this the enmities are directly productive sociologically. They give classes and personalities their position toward each other, which they would not have found if these objective causes of hostility had been present and effective in precisely the same way, but had not been accompanied by the feeling of enmity. It is by no means certain that a secure and complete community life would always result if these energies should disappear which, looked at in detail, seem repulsive and destructive, just as a qualitatively unchanged and richer property results when unproductive elements disappear; but there would ensue rather a condition as changed and often as unrealizable, as after the elimination of the forces of co-operation —sympathy, assistance, harmony of interests.

This applies not only in the large to that sort of competition which merely as a formal relation of tension, and entirely apart

( 493) from its actual results, determines the form of the group, the reciprocal position, and the distance of the elements; but it applies also where the unification rests upon the agreement of the individual minds. For example, the opposition of one individual element to another in the same association is by no means merely a negative social factor, but it is in many ways the only means through which coexistence with individuals intolerable in themselves could be possible. If we had not power and right to oppose tyranny and obstinacy, caprice and tactlessness, we could not endure relations with people who betray such characteristics. We should be driven to deeds of desperation which would put the relationships to an end. This follows not alone for the self-evident reason—which, however, is not here essential—that such disagreeable circumstances tend to become intensified if they are endured quietly and without protest; but, more than this, opposition affords us a subjective .e satisfaction, diversion, relief, just as under other psychological conditions, whose variations need not here be discussed, the same results are brought about by humility and patience. 'Our opposition gives us the feeling that we are not completely crushed in the relationship. It permits us to preserve a consciousness of energy, and thus lends a vitality and a reciprocity to relationships from which, without this corrective, we should have extricated ourselves at any price. Moreover, opposition does this not alone when it does not lead to considerable consequences, but also when it does not even come to visible manifestation, when it remains purely subjective; also when it does not give itself a practical expression. Even in such cases it can often produce a balance in the case of both factors in the relationship, and it may thus bring about a quieting which may save relationships, the continuance of which is often incomprehensible to observers from the outside. ' In such case opposition is an integrating component of the relationship itself; it is entitled to quite equal rights with the other grounds of its existence. Opposition is not merely a means of conserving the total relationship, but it is one of the concrete functions in which the relationship in reality consists. In case the relationships are purely external, and consequently do not reach deeply

(494) into the practical, the latent form of conflict discharges this service: i. e., aversion, the feeling of reciprocal alienation and repulsion, which in the moment of a more intimate contact of any sort is at once transformed into positive hatred and conflict. Without this aversion life in a great city, which daily brings each into contact with countless others, would have no thinkable form. The whole internal organization of this commerce rests on an extremely complicated gradation of sympathies, indifferences, and aversions of the most transient or most permanent sort. The sphere of indifference is in all this relatively restricted. The activity of our minds responds to almost every impression s received from other people in some sort of a definite feeling, all the unconsciousness, transience, and variability of which seems to remain only in the form of a certain indifference. In fact, this latter would be as unnatural for us as it would be intolerable to be swamped under a multitude of suggestions among which we have no choice. Antipathy protects us against these two typical dangers of the great city. It is the initial stage of practical antagonism. It produces the distances and the buffers without which this kind of life could not be led at all. The mass and the mixtures of this life, the forms in which it is carried on, the rhythm of its rise and fall—these unite with the unifying motives, in the narrower sense, to give to a great city the character of an indissoluble whole. Whatever in this whole seems to be an element of division is thus in reality only one of its elementary forms of socialization.

If accordingly the hostile relationships do not of themselves alone produce a social structure, but only in correlation with unifying energies, so that only by the co-working of the two can the concrete life-unity of the group arise, yet the former are to the above extent scarcely to be distinguished from the other forms of relationship which sociology abstracts from the manifoldness of actual existence. Neither love nor division of labor, neither good fellowship with a third person nor hostility to him, neither adhesion to a party nor organization into superiority and inferiority, could alone produce a historical unification or permanently support it; and wherever this result has come about,

(495) the process has contained a multiplicity of distinguishable forms of relationship. It is once for all the nature of the human mind not to be bound to other minds by a single thread. Scientific analysis must busy itself with the elementary unities, and their specific combining energies, but in fact they do not work in isolation. On the other hand, however, there are many, apparently composite, relationships between individuals, which in reality are probably quite unitary structures, although we may not directly designate them as such. We make them, consequently, in accordance with all sorts of analogies, because of anterior motives or subsequent external consequences, into a concert of manifold psychic elements. The distance, for example, between two related individuals—which distance gives character to their relation—often appears to us as the product of an inclination which should properly have produced a much closer intimacy, and of a disinclination which must have thrust them much farther from each other. Since these two forces act as reciprocal limitation, the resultant is the degree of distance which we observe. This may, however, be an entire error. The relationship is destined from within to this particular degree of distance. It has, so to speak, from the beginning a certain temperature, which does not arise merely through the accommodation of an essentially warmer and an essentially cooler condition. The degree of superiority and suggestion which establishes itself between certain persons is often interpreted by us as though it were produced by the strength of the one party, which is crossed by a contemporary weakness on the other side. This strength and weakness may be present, but its duality frequently plays no part in the relationship as it actually exists ; but this relationship is determined by the total nature of the elements; and only as a subsequent matter do we analyze its immediate character into these factors.

Erotic relationships furnish the most frequent examples. How often do they seem to us to be woven together out of love and respect, or even of contempt; out of love and conscious harmony of natures, or again out of the consciousness of complementing each other through complete contrast of nature ; out of

( 496) love and the instinct of dominance, or a clinging disposition. What the observer, or even the subject himself, analyzes thus as two commingling streams is in reality often only a single current. In the relationship, as it finally exists, the total personality of the one party works upon that of the other, and its reality is independent of the consideration that, if this particular relationship did not exist, the persons concerned would still be at least moved to respect or sympathy, or the opposite. We very often characterize such a combination as a mixed feeling or a mixed relationship, because we construe the consequences which the qualities of the one party would produce upon the other, if they operated separately; which, however, is not the case. It should also be remembered that this mixture of feelings and relationships, even when we may be most justified in using the expression, always remains a problematical phrase. In the expression we transfer an occurrence visible in space, by the use of somewhat thoughtless symbolism, to quite heterogeneous mental relationships.

In many respects the like is the case with the so-called commingling of converging and diverging currents in a society. The relationship is in such cases either entirely sui generis; that is, its motive and form is in itself quite unitary, and only in order to describe and classify it do we subsequently construct it out of a monistic and an antagonistic current; or these two factors are present from the beginning indeed, but so to speak before the relationship came into being at all. In this relationship itself they have grown into an organic unity, in which the separate factor with its specific energy is no longer observable at all. In saying this we, of course, do not overlook the enormous number of relationships in which the antithetical partial relationships actually persist side by side, and are constantly to be recognized within the total situation. It is a special shade of the historical development of relationships that the same frequently in an early stadium show undifferentiated tendencies which only later separate into complete difference. As late as the thirteenth century there were at the courts of central Europe permanent assemblages of noblemen who constituted a kind of council of the prince. They

( 497) lived as his guests, and yet at the same time they were a semi class representation of the nobility. They championed the interests of the nobility against the prince. The community of interests with the king, the administration of which they incidentally served, and the action as a sort of opposition guarding the peculiar rights of their rank, took place in this social structure, not merely in an undifferentiated way side by side, but involved with each other. The position was surely felt to be a unity, however incompatible its elements may appear to us to have been. In England, at this time, the parliament of the barons can still hardly be distinguished from an extended royal council. Membership in it and critical or partisan opposition are here still combined in embryonic unity. So long as the real process in hand is the working out of institutions which have the task of adjusting the increasingly complex relationships involved in the internal equilibrium of the group, so long will it often be undetermined whether concurrence for the good of the whole shall take place in the form of opposition, competition, criticism, or in that of immediate unity and harmony. Accordingly, an original condition of indifference may exist, which, judged from the standpoint of the later differentiated condition, may seem logically contradictory, yet may quite harmonize with the undeveloped character of the organism.

The subjective attitudes of persons toward each other develop, in many ways, in the opposite direction. The decisiveness of attachment or opposition is likely to be relatively great in relatively primitive culture-epochs. Indefinite relationships between persons, made possible by a sort of dawning condition of the sensibilities, the final word of which may mean almost as well love as hate; the indifference of which, indeed, often betrays itself in a sort of oscillation between the two sorts of feeling—such relationships are much more characteristic of mature or of over ripe than of youthful periods. For instance, it is merely a reflection of these forms of feeling when uncultured persons and belated art rim see only angelic virtue or devilish malignity ill men. Theoretical judgment, like aesthetic taste, overcomes, as it advances, this entanglement between the alternative of love or hate. The

(498) change does not mean that men come to be judged as mixtures of good and evil, or of worth and worthlessness, but as in themselves beyond either judgment. The individual has in himself, to be sure, the germs of both characters, which develop according to historical circumstances, stimuli, and judgments in many and various ways. He is originally, and he also remains to a certain degree, the undifferentiated unity of those antitheses. If in many objective social structures the unlimited opposition or unity distinguishes precisely the later stage of development, this is only one of the frequent cases in which the last stage of an evolution reproduces the form of its earliest stage, only in a maturer, more conscious, and more voluntary fashion; and so they exhibit more clearly, in the similarity of the external phenomena, the progress of the essential meaning.

Although antagonism in itself alone does not constitute socialization, no more is it likely to be lacking as a sociological element in the formation of societies (marginal cases being neglected); and its function may be extended indefinitely; that is, up to the exclusion of all unifying factors. The scale of relationships thus resulting is also one that may be described from the standpoint of ethical catagories. The latter, however, furnish in general no sufficient point of attachment from which to exhibit completely and without prejudice the sociological element in the phenomena. The judgments of value with which we accompany the voluntary actions of individuals produce series which have only a purely accidental relationship to the arrangement of their forms in accordance with real criteria. To represent ethics as a species of sociology would deprive it of its profoundest and purest content: the attitude of the soul in and toward itself, which does not at all enter into its external relationships; its religious exercises, which affect only its own weal or woe; its devotion to the objective values of knowledge, of beauty, of significance of things, which are entirely outside of all alliances with other men. The combination of harmonious and hostile relationships, however, allows the sociological and the ethical series to coincide. It begins here with the action of A to the advantage of B ; continues in the action of A for private

( 499) advantage, but by means of the utility to B ; then to private advantage by means of B without any advantage to him, but also without inflicting upon him any injury; and ends at last in egoistic action at the expense of B. Since this now is reciprocated from the side of B, but scarcely ever in precisely the same manner and in equal measure, there result the countless mixtures of convergence and divergence in human relationships.

To be sure, there are struggles which appear to exclude every other element, e. g., between the robber or the thug and his victim. When a struggle of this sort goes to the extreme of annihilation, it is surely the marginal case in which the share of the unifying element has become a nullity; in which, however the concept of reciprocal action really no longer finds any application, because this extreme case really assumes the nonexistence of the other party to a reaction. So soon, on the other hand, as any sort of consideration, any limitation of violence, is present, there comes into play by virtue of that fact a socializing factor, if it is only in the form of a restraint. Kant declares that every war in which the parties do not lay upon themselves any reservations in the use of possible means must, on psychological grounds, become a war of extermination; since when men do not at least restrain themselves from assassination, from treachery, from instigation of treason, they thereby destroy that confidence in the mental processes of the enemy which is the one necessary condition to make possible a. conclusion of peace.

Almost unavoidably an element of community weaves itself into the hostility where the stage of open violence has given place to some other relation, which perhaps shows a completely undiminished aggregate of enmity between the parties. When the Lombards in the sixth century had conquered northern Italy, they imposed upon the conquered a tribute of one-third the product of the soil. They did it in such a manner that each individual among the conquerors had assigned to him the tribute of defined individuals In the population. In the case of the type thus distinguished it is possible that the hatred of the conquered toward their oppressors may grow to such a degree that it may even be

( 500) stronger than during the struggle itself, and that it may even be reciprocated not less intensively by the oppressors, because hatred toward him who hates us is a sort of instinctive means of protection, perhaps because we are accustomed to hate him whom we have injured. Nevertheless, there was still in the relationship a certain community, namely, that which begot the hostility. The common property assumed by the Lombards in the products of the previous inhabitants was at the same time an indisputable parallelism of interests. Inasmuch as divergence and harmony intertwined inextricably with each other at this point, the content of the former developed itself actually as the germ of later community. This form-type realized itself most generally in the enslavement of the captured enemy, in place of his destruction. In this slavery resides, to be sure, in countless instances, the marginal case of that absolute hostility of temper the occasion for which, however, brings about a sociological relation, and therewith frequently enough its own amelioration. The sharpening of the antithesis can, therefore, be directly provoked for the sake of its own removal. This not merely as heroic treatment, in confidence that the antagonism beyond a certain degree will be modified either by exhaustion or by insight into its foolishness; but in monarchies sometimes a prince is given to the opposition as a leader. For example, this was done by Gustav Vasa. The opposition is strengthened thereby indeed; this new center of gravity attracts elements which would otherwise have held themselves apart; at the same time, however, the opposition is by this very means held in certain check. While the government apparently gives the opposition intentional reinforcement, the force of the opposition is, nevertheless, by this means, actually broken.

Another marginal case appears to be given when the conflict is stimulated exclusively by love of fighting. The moment any stimulus prompts the struggle—a desire to possess or to control, some contempt or revenge—limitations arise not only from the object itself, or from the condition that is to be attained, to impress upon the struggle common norms or reciprocal restrictions; but this struggle, in which the stake is something exterior to

(501) struggle itself, will on general principles be colored by the fact that every end is to be reached by various means. The desire for a given possession, as well as for the subjugation, or even the annihilation, of an enemy, may be satisfied by other combinations and through other occurrences than fighting. Where struggle is merely a means determined by its terminus ad quen, there exists no ground for not limiting or omitting it, if with equal success another means can be used. To be sure, the, most effective presupposition for preventing struggle, the exact knowledge of the comparative strength of the two parties, is very often only to be attained by the actual fighting out of the conflict. In case, however, the conflict is determined exclusively by the subjective terminus a quo, where inner energies are present which can be satisfied only by struggle as such, there is no possible alternative. Struggle is in that case its own end and purpose, and consequently is utterly free from admixture of any other form. Such a struggle for struggle's sake seems to have its natural basis in a certain formal impulse of hostility, which forces itself sometimes upon psychological observation, and in various forms. In the first place, it appears as that natural enmity between man and man which is often emphasized by skeptical moralists. The argument is: Since there is something not wholly displeasing to us in the misfortune of our best friends, and, since the presupposition excludes, in this instance, conflict of material interests, the phenomenon must be traced back to an a priori hostility, to that homo homini lupus, as the frequently veiled, but perhaps never inoperative, basis of all our relationships. The completely contrasted tendency in moral philosophy which derives ethical altruism from the transcendental foundations of our nature does not thereby, however, separate itself so very far from the former pessimism. It admits that within the circuit of our experience and our knowledge of volitions devotion to the alter is not to be discovered. Empirically, so far as our knowledge goes, man is accordingly a simple egoist, and every variation from this natural fact must occur, not by virtue of nature itself, but only because of a metaphysical reality which somehow or other breaks through the rationally conceivable. That we are inclined, however, to oppose to this radical egoism,

( 502) which is at the outset merely a negation, a refusal to take any interest in a non-ego, the counterpoise of altruism, indicates that the former, considered with reference to its significance and its expressions in practical life, instigates radical enmity between men; indeed, is such enmity. Since men, however, live in society, the function of absolute egoism is nothing else than absolute hostility, which, through the necessity of calling into existence a transcendency to be the deus ex machina for its conversion to altruism, betrays itself as the natural basis of empirical human relationships. As such basis this hostility seems at least to take its place by the side of the other factor, the a priori sympathy between them. The notably strong interest, for example, which men take even in the sufferings of others, is merely a phenomenon to be explained as a mixture of the two motives. The not infrequent phenomena of the spirit of contradiction point also toward this a priori antipathy. We refer by no means merely to the conduct of those chronic objectors who in friendly and family circles, committees, or theater audiences, for instance, are the despair of their neighbors. What we have in mind by no means celebrates its most characteristic triumphs upon the political field, in the ranks of the opposition, whose classical type Macaulay describes in the case of Robert Ferguson: " His hostility was not to popery or to Protestantism, to monarchical government or to republican government, to the house of Stuart or to the house of Nassau, but to whatever was, at the time, established." All such cases, usually held to be types of pure opposition, need not necessarily be this. Such obstructors usually give themselves out as champions of threatened rights, protectors of the objectively ethical, knightly defenders of the minority as such. Much less striking occurrences appear to me to betray even more clearly an abstract impulse of opposition: the gentle, often scarcely conscious, and even immediately vanishing inclination to answer with a negation an assertion or an appeal, especially when it is addressed to us in categorical form. Even in quite harmonious relationships, in the case of many altogether yielding natures, this impulse of opposition betrays itself with the inevitableness of reflex action, and it mingles, even if without very much effect,

( 503) in the total situation. Even if we should characterize this as in reality an instinct of protection—as many animals, upon mere touch, bring their protective or defensive apparatus automatically into action—yet this would still tend to prove the primary, fundamental character of opposition; for it shows that the personality, even in case it is not at all attacked, but merely encountering purely objective manifestations of a third party, cannot assert itself otherwise than through opposition; in other words, that the first instinct with which it affirms itself is negation of the other party.

Finally, it seems to me that the suggestibili'ty of the hostile temper, which is often so faint that it is uncanny, points to a primary need of hostility. It is much more difficult to influence the average man in general to take an interest in, or to feel an inclination of sympathy for, a third person previously indifferent, than to develop in him mistrust and antipathy. It seems to be particularly decisive that this difference is relatively crass in cases of the lower grades of either sentiment, of the first betrayals of feeling or judgment for or against a person. Over the higher grades of feeling, which approach precision, these fugitive impulses, betraying, nevertheless, the fundamental instinct, are not so decisive, but they are rather more conscious antipathies. The same fundamental reality is exhibited, only in another phase, in the fact that those indefinite prejudices with reference to another, which cross our minds sometimes like a shadow, may ' often be suggested by quite indifferent persons, while a favorable prejudice requires a source in some person of authority or one whose relation to us is that of agreeable confidence. Perhaps this aliquid haeret would not win its tragic truthfulness without this facility or frivolity with which the average man reacts precisely upon suggestions of an unfavorable sort. Observation of many antipathies and partisanships, alienations and open quarrels, might surely cause hostility to be classified among those primary human energies which are not set free by the external reality of their objects, but which spontaneously create their object. Thus it has been said that man does not have religion because he believes in God, but because he has religion as an attitude of the soul, con-

( 504) -sequently he believes in God. In the case of love, it is very generally recognized that, especially in earlier years, it is not the mere reaction of our soul which proceeds directly from the influence of its object, as the sensation of color arises in our optical apparatus. On the contrary, the soul' has an amatory impulse, and selects for itself an object which satisfies this need, although the soul itself under certain circumstances first clothes that object with the qualities which apparently evoke the love. With the modification to be introduced presently, nothing can be shown to disprove the assertion that the like is the case with hate: that the soul possesses also an autochthonous need of hating and of fighting, which often on its side projects their offensive qualities upon the objects which it selects. The reason why this case does not emerge so evidently as that of love may be that the love impulse, in connection with its intense physiological stimulation in youth, gives unmistakable evidence of its spontaneity, its impulse from the terminus a quo. The impulse to hate has in itself only in exceptional cases such acute stages, through which its subjective-spontaneous character would be equally evident. All relationships of one human being to others are in their ultimate ground to be distinguished by this question—although in countless variations between absolute affirmation and negation—namely, whether their psychical basis is an impulse of the subject, which develops itself as an impulse without any external stimulus, and then of itself seeks an adequate object, whether this object be originally presented as adequate, or by the phantasy of the subject reconstructed into adequacy; or, on the other hand, whether the psychical basis consists in the reaction which the being or the acting of a personality produces in us. Of course, the possibility of such reaction must be present in our mind, but such possibilities would in themselves have remained latent, and would never of themselves have taken the form of impulses. All relationships to human beings present themselves in terms of this antithesis, whether they are intellectual or aesthetic, sympathetic or antipathetic. It is often only from this basis that they may be formulated as to their intensity and their content.


If now there exists in men a formal impulse of hostility as the counterpart of the sympathetic impulse, it seems to me that historically it springs from one of those processes of distillation in the soul by which subjective motions, evoked by definite and manifold contents, finally leave behind in the soul the form common to them all, as an independent impulse. Interests of every sort impel so often to conflict over goods, to opposition against persons, that as a residuum of them a condition of irritability, impelling spontaneously toward antagonistic demonstrations, may quite easily have passed over into the inventory of the transmissible traits of our species. The reciprocal relationship of primitive groups is notoriously, and for reasons frequently discussed, almost invariably, one of hostility. The decisive illustration is furnished perhaps by the Indians, among whom every tribe on general principles was supposed to be on a war footing toward every other tribe with which it had no express treaty of peace. It is, however, not to be forgotten that in early stages of culture war constitutes almost the only form in which contact with an alien group occurs. So long as inter-territorial trade was undeveloped, individual journeys unknown, and intellectual community did not extend beyond the group boundaries, there was, outside of war, no sociological relationship whatever between the various groups. In this case the relationship of the elements of the group to each other and that of the primitive groups to each other present completely contrasted forms. Within the closed circle hostility signifies, as a rule, the severing of relationships, voluntary isolation, and the avoidance of contact. Along with these negative phenomena there will also appear the phenomena of the passionate reaction of open struggle. On the other hand, the characteristic group as a whole remains indifferently side by side with similar groups so long as peace exists, and these groups become significant for each other only when war breaks out. On this account the very same impulse of expansion and enterprise which within the group promotes absolute peace, as the condition Qf the interaction and unhindered reciprocity of interests, may in its operation between groups operate as an instigator of war. That the impulse of hostility, considered also

( 506) from this point of view, may attain an independent life in the soul, is the less to be doubted since it represents here, as in many another easily observable combination, the embodiment of an impulse which is in the first place quite general, but which also occurs in quite peculiar forms, namely, the impulse to act in relationships with others.

In spite of this independence in the soul, which we may thus attribute to the antagonistic impulse, there still remains the question whether it suffices to account for the total phenomena of hostility. This question must be answered in the negative. In the first place, the spontaneous impulse restrains its sovereignty to the extent that it does not exercise itself toward every object whatsoever but only upon those that are in some way promising. Hunger, for example, springs from the subject. It does not have its origin in the object. Nevertheless, it will not attempt to satisfy itself with wood or stone, but it will select only edible objects. In the same way, love and hatred, however little their impulses may depend upon external stimuli, will yet need some sort of opposing structure or object, and only with such co-operation will the complete phenomena appear. On the other hand, it seems to me probable that the hostile impulse, on account of its formal character, in general only intervenes as a reinforcement of conflicts stimulated by material interest, and at the same time furnishes a foundation for the conflict. And where a struggle springs up from sheer formal love of fighting, which is also entirely impersonal, and indifferent both to the material at issue and to the personal opponent, hatred and fury against the opponent as a person unavoidably increase in the course of the conflict, and probably also the interest in the stake at issue, because these affections stimulate and feed the psychical energy of the struggle. It is useful to hate the opponent with whom one is for any reason struggling, as it is useful to love him with whom one's lot is united and with whom one must co-operate. The reciprocal attitude of men is often intelligible only on the basis of the perception that intimate adaptation teaches us those feelings which are appropriate to the given situation; feelings which are the most appropriate to the employment or the overcoming of the circum-

(507) -stances of the situation ; feelings which bring us, through psychical association, the energies necessary for discharging the momentary task and for defeating the opposing impulses. Accordingly, no serious struggle can long continue without being supported by a complex of psychic impulses. These may, to be sure, gradually develop into effectiveness in the course of the struggle. The purity of conflict merely for conflict's sake, accordingly, undergoes adulteration, partly through the admixture of objective interests, partly by the introduction of impulses which may be satisfied otherwise than by struggle, and which, in practice, form a bridge between struggle and other forms of reciprocal relationship. I know in fact only a single case in which the stimulus of struggle and of victory in itself constitutes the exclusive motive, namely, the war game, and only in the case that no further gain is to arise than is included in the outcome of the game itself. In this case the pure sociological attraction of self-assertion and predominance over another in a struggle of skill is combined with purely individual pleasure in the exercise of purposeful and successful activity, together with the excitement of taking risks with the hazard of fortune which stimulates us with a sense of mystic harmony of relationship to powers beyond the individual as well as the social occurrences. At all events, the war game, in its sociological motivation, contains absolutely nothing but struggle itself. The worthless markers, for the sake of which men often play with the same earnestness with which they play for gold pieces, indicate the formalism of this impulse which, even in the play for gold pieces, often far out weighs the material interest. The thing to be noticed, however, is that, in order that the foregoing situations may occur, certain sociological forms—in the narrower sense, unifications—are presupposed. There must be agreement in order to struggle, and the struggle occurs under reciprocal recognition of norms and rules. In the motivation of the whole procedure these unifications, as said above, do not appear, but the whole transaction shapes itself under the form which these explicit or implicit agreements furnish. They create the technique. Without this, such a conflict, excluding all heterogeneous or objective factors,

(508) would not be possible. Indeed, the conduct of the war game is often so rigorous, so impersonal, and observed on both sides with such nice sense of honor, that unities of a corporate order can seldom in these respects compare with it.

The foregoing illustration exhibits the struggle principle and the unifying principle which bind antithetical elements into a unity with almost the clearness of abstract conceptions. It thus shows how each arrives at its complete sociological significance in co-operation with the other. The same form dominates, although not with the same distinctness and freedom from mixture of the elements, the struggle for legal victory. In this case, to be sure, an object of contention is present. Voluntary concession of this object might satisfactorily end the contention. This is not the case with struggle for struggle's sake. Moreover, what we are accustomed to call the joy and passion of conflict in the case of a legal process is probably, in most cases, something quite different, namely, the energetic sense of justice, the impossibility of tolerating an actual or supposed invasion of the sphere of right with which the ego feels a sense of solidarity. The whole obstinacy and uncompromising persistence with which parties in such struggles often maintain the controversy to their own hurt has, even in the case of the aggressive party, scarcely the character of an attack in the proper sense, but rather that of a defense in a deeper significance. The point at issue is the self-preservation of the personality which so identifies itself with its possessions and its rights that any invasion of them seems to be a destruction of the personality ; and the struggle to protect them at the risk of the whole existence is thoroughly consistent. This individualistic impulse, and not the sociological motive of struggle, will consequently characterize such cases. With respect to the form of the struggle itself, however, judicial conflict is, to be sure, of an absolute sort; that is, the reciprocal claims are asserted with a relentless objectivity and with employment of all available means, without being diverted or modified by personal or other extraneous considerations. The judicial conflict is, therefore, absolute conflict, in so far as nothing enters the whole action which does not properly belong in the conflict and which

(509) does not serve the ends of conflict ; whereas, otherwise, even in the most savage struggles, something subjective, some pure freak of fortune, some sort of interposition from a third side, is at least possible. In the legal struggle everything of the kind is excluded by the matter-of-factness with which the contention, and absolutely nothing outside the contention is kept in view. This exclusion from the judicial controversy of everything which is not material to the conflict may, to be sure, lead to a formalism of the struggle which may come to have an independent character in contrast with the content itself. This occurs, on the one hand, in the legal cabalistic, in which real elements are not weighed against each other at all, but only quite abstract notions maintain controversy with each other. On the other hand, the controversy is often shifted to elements which have no relation whatever to the subject which is to be decided by the struggle. In case legal controversies, accordingly, in higher civilizations, are fought out by attorneys, the device serves to abstract the controversy from all personal associations which are essentially irrelevant. If, on the other hand, Otto the Great ordains that a legal controversy shall be settled by judicial duel between professional fighters, there remains of the whole struggle of interests only the bare form, namely, that there shall be struggle and victory. This alone is, in the latter case, common between the struggle which is to be decided and the fighter who is to decide it. This latter case portrays, in the exaggeration of caricature, the reduction and limitation, here in question, of the judicial conflict to the mere struggle element. But precisely through its pure objectivity, because it stands quite beyond the subjective antitheses of pity and cruelty, this unpitying type of struggle, as a whole, rests on the presupposition of a unity and a community of the parties never elsewhere so severely and constantly maintained. The common subordination to the law, the reciprocal recognition that the decision can be made only according to the objective weight of the evidence, the observance of forms which are held to be inviolable by both parties, the consciousness throughout the whole procedure of being encompassed by a social power and order which are the means of giving to the procedure its signifi-

( 510) -cance and security—all this makes the legal controversy rest upon a broad basis of community and consensus between the opponents. It is really a unity of a lesser degree which is constituted by the parties to a compact or to a commercial transaction, a presupposition of which is the recognition, along with the antithesis of interests, that they are subject to certain common, constraining, and obligatory rules. The common presuppositions, which exclude everything that is merely personal from the legal controversy, have that character of pure objectivity to which, on its side, the sharpness, the inexorableness, and the absoluteness of the species of struggle correspond. The reciprocity between the dualism and the unity of the sociological relationship is accordingly shown by the judicial struggle not less than by the war game. Precisely the most extreme and unlimited phases of struggle occur in both cases, since the struggle is surrounded and maintained by the severe unity of common norms and limitations.

Finally, this emerges on all hands where the parties are moved by an objective interest; that is, where the struggle interest, and consequently the struggle itself, is differentiated from the personality. Under such circumstances two alternatives are possible: the struggle may turn about purely objective decisions and may leave everything personal undisturbed; or it may draw in the persons from their subjective side without thereby affecting the contemporary objective interests common to the parties. The latter type is illustrated by the saying of Leibnitz, that he would become a follower of his deadly enemy if he could learn something from him. That this situation may compose and modify enmity is so evident that at present only the opposite consequence can be in question. It is certainly true that the hostility which runs its course in an objective sphere under definite terms of obligation and understanding has, so to speak, a definiteness of outline and a security of its right. The knowledge of such delimitation assures us that personal antipathy will not cross the boundaries thus drawn. The assurance which we derive only from such differentiation may, under certain circumstances, lead to an intensification of the enmity; for where the enmity thus confines

( 511) itself to its own bounds—in this case the subjectivity of the personality—we may give ourselves over to it very often more absolutely than if its impulse had to carry a ballast of secondary animosities into territories which really are assailed only by those central motives. Where such differentiation leaves room, on the other hand, for struggle only on the side of impersonal interests, the minutest intensifications and embitterments usual when personal considerations enter into quarrels will also fall away. On the other hand, however, the consciousness of being merely the representative of superindividual claims—that is, of fighting, not for self, but only for the thing itself—may lend to the struggle a radicalism and mercilessness which have their analogy in the total conduct of many very unselfish and high-minded men. Because they grant themselves no consideration, they likewise have none for others, and hold themselves entirely justified in sacrificing everybody else to the idea to which they are themselves a sacrifice. Such a struggle, into which all the powers of the person are thrown, while victory accrues only to the cause, carries the character of respectability, for the reputable man is the wholly personal, who, however, understands how to hold his personality entirely in check. Hence objectivity operates as noblesse. When, however, this differentiation is accomplished, and struggle is objectified, it is not subjected to a further reserve, which would be quite inconsistent; indeed, that would be a sin against the content of the interest itself upon which the struggle had been localized. On the basis of this common element between the parties—namely, that each defends merely the issue and its right, and excludes from consideration everything selfishly personal—the struggle is fought out without the sharpness, but also without the mollifyings, which come from intermingling of the personal element. Merely the imminent logic of the situation is obeyed with absolute precision. This form of antithesis between unity and antagonism intensifies conflict perhaps most perceptibly in cases where both parties actually pursue one and the same purpose ; for example, in the case of scientific controversies, in which the issue is the establishment of the truth. In such a case every concession, every polite consent to stop short

(512) of exposing the errors of the opponent in the most unpitying fashion, every conclusion of peace previous to decisive victory, would be treason against that reality for the sake of which the personal element is excluded from the conflict.

With endless varieties otherwise, the social struggles since Marx have developed themselves in the above form. Since it is recognized that the situation of laborers is determined by the objective organization and formulas of the productive system, independent of the will and power of individual persons, the personal embitterment incident to the struggle in general, and to local conflicts exemplifying the general conflict, necessarily diminishes. The entrepreneur is no longer, as such, a bloodsucker and damnable egotist; the laborer is no longer universally assumed to act from sinful greed ; both parties begin, at least, to abandon the program of charging the other with demands and tactics inspired by personal malevolence. This literalizing of the conflict has come about in Germany rather along the lines of theory ; in England, through the operation of the trade unions, in the course of which the individually personal element of the antagonism has been overcome. In Germany this was effected largely through the more abstract generalization of the historical and class movement. In England it came about through the severe superindividual unity in the actions of the unions and of the combinations of employers. The intensity of the struggle, however, has not on that account diminished. On the contrary, it has become much more conscious of its purpose, more concentrated, and at the same time more aggressive, through the consciousness of the individual that he is struggling, not merely, and often not at all, for himself, but rather for a vast superpersonal end.

A most interesting symptom of this correlation was presented by the boycotting of the Berlin breweries by the labor body in the year 1894. This was one of the most intense local struggles of the last decade. It was carried on by both sides with extraordinary energy, yet without any personal offensiveness on either side toward the other, although the stimulus was close at hand. Indeed, two of the party leaders, in the midst of the struggle,

( 513) published their opinions about it in the same journal. They agreed in their formulation of the objective facts, and disagreed in a partisan spirit only in the practical conclusions drawn from the facts. Inasmuch as the struggle eliminated everything irrelevantly personal, and thereby restricted antagonism quantitatively, facilitating an understanding about everything personal, producing a recognition of being impelled on both sides by historical necessities, this common basis did not reduce, but rather increased, the intensity, the irreconcilability, and the obstinate consistency of the struggle.

Altogether, this logical relationship, so to speak, between the monism and the antagonism of social reactions operates as a means of organizing the latter. The struggle interests are the primary elements, and unity is a co-ordinating, and consequently modifying, addition. The synthesis of these two has the quite opposite consequence if the unity is the point of departure of the relationship, and conflict arises on that basis. Such a conflict is usually more passionate and more radical than in cases where no previous interdependence of the parties or other coherence exists. History is full of examples, from which I select a few to emphasize the similarity of the sociological form, along with the greatest differences of the motives which either unify or dissociate. In permitting bigamy the old Hebrew law nevertheless forbids marrying two sisters (although one might, after the death of the one, marry the other). The animus of the prohibition was that the forbidden relationship would be especially liable to stimulate jealousy. That is, the assumption is made, as matter of experience, that sharper antagonism arises on the foundation of community of relationship than between strangers. The reciprocal hatred of petty neighboring states, whose whole world, whose local concerns and interests, are unavoidably closely similar, and indeed often identical, is frequently much more passionate and irreconcilable than that between great nations which, geographically and actually, are completely alien to each other. This was at one time the misfortune of Greece and of post-Roman Italy, and an outbreak of the same convulsed England after the Norman conquest before the amalgamation of the races

( 514) occurred. The hatred of the two races, living in the same territory, united to each other by persistent, actual life-interests, and held together by a common civic idea, yet internally quite alien to each other, in their entire character lacking reciprocal understanding, in their power-interests absolutely hostile to each other-hatred in this case, as has been rightly emphasized, was more bitter than could occur between races externally and internally distinct. Ecclesiastical relationships furnish the strongest illustrations, because in them the smallest divergence over fixing of dogma at once involves a logical irreconcilability. If any variation whatever occurs, it is conceptually indifferent whether it is great or small. Thus, in the confessional controversies between the Lutheran and the " Reformed " communions, particularly in the seventeenth century : scarcely had the great schism between Catholics and Protestants occurred when all Protestantism split into parties over the most trivial question. With reference to these the saying was often heard: "It is easier to hold with the Papists than with the members of the other confession." And when, in 1875, in Bern, a difficulty occurred with reference to the place for holding the Catholic service, the pope did not permit it in the church used. by the Old Catholics, but sanctioned the service in a Reformed church.

It is of wide sociological interest to examine the two species of community which come into view, according to these and countless other examples, as bases of especially intense antagonism.. Questions are presented as to the grounds of this consequence, and especially as to the operation of the forces concerned within the realm of everyday personal relationships. These two species are, namely, the community of qualities, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, community through subsumption under one and the same social interdependence. The former runs back exclusively to the fact that we are creatures of diversity (Unterschiedswesen). An enmity must excite consciousness the more deeply and energetically the greater the similarity between the parties among whom it originates. In case of peaceful or affectionate attitude, this is an excellent protective device within the association. It is analogous with the warning func-

( 515) -tion of pain within the organism. For precisely the energetic consciousness with which the dissonance makes itself felt, where there is otherwise thorough harmony of the relationships, prescribes at the same time removal of the ground of difference, so that it may not half-unconsciously eat farther and farther, even to the foundation of the relationship. In case, however, this fundamental intention of holding together under all circumstances is lacking, that consciousness of antagonism which is otherwise made precise and pointed by similarity in other respects will sharpen the antagonism. People who have much in common often do each other worse and more unjust wrong than total strangers; in many cases because the large common territory between them has become matter of course, and consequently not this common factor, but that which is momentarily different, defines their reciprocal attitude; principally, however, simply because but very little is different between them, so that every most petty antagonism has a quite different relative significance from that between strangers who, of course, calculate upon all sorts of differences. Hence come the family quarrels over the most pitiful trifles. Hence the tragedy of the trifles, over which people who are in full agreement sometimes come to disruption. This by no means always proves that the harmonizing forces were already in decay. It can arise from such a degree of likeness of qualities, inclinations, and convictions that incompatibility at a quite insignificant point makes itself perceptibly intolerable on account of the very refinement of the antithesis. The foregoing may be further expressed in this way. With reference to the stranger with whom one shares neither qualities nor other interests, one stands in objective contrast, and one reserves the proper personality. On that account a difference in a single particular does not so easily carry the whole person with it. In the case of a person quite unlike ourselves, we come into contact only at the point of a single transaction or coincidence of interests. The accommodation of a conflict will consequently limit itself to this single issue. The more we have, however, as total personalities in common with another, the easier will our whole personality become involved in each separate contact with

( 516) him. Hence the quite disproportionate intensity with which otherwise quite self-contained persons frequently allow themselves to become moved in their conduct toward their most intimate associates. The whole happiness and the whole depth in the relationship to a person with whom we feel ourselves, so to speak, identical; the condition in which no single reaction, no single word, no single common doing or withholding remains actually single, but each is an affair of the whole soul which manifests itself and is perceived without subtraction in it—all these make between such persons any outbreaking difference often so portentous. The persons in such a case are too much accustomed to put into the phase of their action which they present to each otherthe totality of their being and feeling, not to equip conflict also with emphasis, and at the same time with ulterior bearings, through which it extends far beyond its provocation and its objective significance, and betrays the whole of the two personalities into disunion. On the highest psychical plane of development this may be avoided, for on this level it is characteristic to combine loyalty of soul to a person with reciprocal discrimination of the elements of the soul. While undifferentiated passion fuses the totality of a man with the excitement of a portion or an element, higher culture restrains one such portion or element from exerting an influence beyond its proper, definitely limited right. Culture consequently secures to the relationships of harmoniously developed personalities that, precisely in the midst of conflict, they are aware how insignificant conflict is in comparison with the unifying forces. Apart from this, however, in the case of the deeper natures, refined susceptibility of differences will make attractions and repulsions the more intense when they arise from past tendencies in opposite directions. This will appear in the case of irrevocable determinations of their relationship, entirely distinguished from the above-discussed oscillations within the everyday experience of a common condition, which on the whole is settled beyond question. Between husbands and wives a quite elemental aversion, or even more energetic repulsion, not traceable to specific grounds, but as the reciprocal reaction of the total personalities, is sometimes

(517) the first stadium of relationships of which the second is passionate love. We might, indeed, arrive at the paradoxical supposition that in the case of natures which are destined to the closest community of feeling this phenomenon is produced by an instinctive utility, that is, in order to give to the definitive feeling the most passionate refinement and consciousness of what has been achieved, by means of a contrasted prelude, as through an assault and retreat. The contrasted phenomenon presents a like form. The deepest hatred grows out of terminated love. In this case the decisive factor is not merely the susceptibility of difference, but principally the repudiation of one's own past, which is involved in such a revulsion of feeling. A profound love—one which is not merely sexual—recognized as a mistake and a misdirection of instinct, constitutes such an exposure of ourselves to ourselves, such a break in the security and unity of our self-consciousness, that we unavoidably make the object of this incompatibility the scapegoat of the error. It is a very convenient way to cover up the secret feeling of our own fault in the transaction, by the hatred which makes it easy for us to charge the whole responsibility upon the other party.

This peculiar bitterness of conflict in relationships in which from their very nature it is supposed that peace should reign, appears to be a positive confirmation of the matter of course that relationships show their intimacy and strength by the absence of differences. This matter of course, however, is by no means without its exceptions.

That in very intimate relationships, which control, or at least affect, the whole content of life—such, for example, as marriage —no occasions for conflicts emerge, is unthinkable. Never to yield to them, but to anticipate them from a distance, to insure against them in advance by reciprocal concession, is by no means always an affair of the most genuine and profound affinity, but it occurs rather in the case of sentiments which are affectionate to be sure, virtuous, and loyal, in which, however, the ultimate unlimited devotion of feeling is lacking. The individual in such instances may be conscious of inability to offer such devotion, and may be all the more anxious to preserve the relationship

( 518) free from every shadow. He may consequently manifest the most extreme kindness, self-control, consideration, in order to compensate the other for any lack. All this may also be necessary, in particular, to quiet his own conscience because of slight or serious infidelity in his own attitude. Not even the most upright, or even the most passionate will is always able to escape such affections. This is because the whole is a matter of feelings, which as such are not amenable to the will, but come or go as forces of destiny. The perceived insecurity in the basis of such relationships frequently influences us, because of our wish to preserve the relationships at all costs, to exercise quite exaggerated unselfishness, and even to use mechanical guarantees of the situation, through avoidance on principle of every threatening conflict. In case one is certain of the immovability and unreserve of his own feeling, this absolute assurance of peace is by no means necessary. One knows that no shock could penetrate to the foundation of the relationship upon which there would not always be a revival of the attachment. The strongest love can best endure a blow, and the fear which troubles lesser affections, that they will not be able to endure the consequences of such a blow, and that it must consequently be avoided at all hazards, does not suggest itself to the stronger affection. In spite of the fact, therefore, that a feud between intimate friends may have more tragic consequences than between strangers, it appears from the foregoing analysis that the most deeply rooted relationship may come much easier to such a conflict, while many another which is good and moral, but rooted in inferior depths of feeling, may to all appearances run a course that is much more harmonious and free from conflict.

A special gradation of sociological distinction, and of emphasis of conflict upon the basis of equality, is given where the sundering of originally homogeneous elements is a conscious purpose, where the disunion is not properly the consequence of conflict, but the conflict arises from the disunion. The type in this instance is furnished by the hatred of apostates and against the heretical. The thought of the former consensus operates here so forcibly that the present antithesis is immeasurably

( 519) sharper and more bitter than if no connection had ever existed. It is to be added that both parties have an interest in asserting their differences in contrast with the persisting tradition of similarity. It is of extreme importance for them to assert the unequivocal character of this difference. They are able to bring this about only by emphasizing the difference beyond its original importance. For this end of assuring the position, theoretical or religious dissent leads to a reciprocal accusing of heresy in every ethical, personal, subjective, or objective respect, which would not be at all necessary if precisely similar differences occurred between strangers. Indeed, that a difference of convictions should at all run into hatred and struggle, occurs as a rule only in case of essential and original equality of the parties. The sociologically very significant phenomenon of "respect for the enemy" is usually absent when hostility has arisen where there was earlier community. Where so much similarity still exists that mistakes of identity and obliteration of boundaries are possible, the points of difference must be emphasized to an extent which is often not at all justified by the matter itself, but only by this danger. This was the case, for example, in the instance, cited above, of Catholicism in Berne. Roman Catholicism has no occasion to fear that its peculiarity is threatened by an external contact with a church so completely differentiated as the Reformed body. It could, however, be compromised by association with a body which is still so closely related with it as the Old Catholic church.

This illustration brings to view also the second type here in question, which in practice, to be sure, falls more or less into identity with the other. This is the case of that hostility, the intensity of which is based upon association and unity which is by no means always likeness. The occasion for separate discussion of this type is that here, instead of the consciousness of difference, an entirely new motive emerges—the peculiar phenomenon of social hatred, that is, of hatred toward a member of a group, not from personal motives, but because he threatens the existence of the group. In so far as such a danger threatens through feud within the group, the one party hates the other

(520) not alone on the material ground which instigated the quarrel, but also on the sociological ground, namely, that we hate the enemy of the group, as such; that is, the one from whom danger to its unity threatens. Inasmuch as this is a reciprocal matter, and each attributes the fault of endangering the whole to the other, the antagonism acquires a severity which does not occur when membership in a group-unity is not a factor in the situation. Most characteristic in this connection are the cases in which an actual dismemberment of the group has not yet occurred. If this dismemberment has already taken place, it signifies a certain termination of the conflict. The individual difference has found its sociological termination, and the stimulus to constantly renewed friction is removed. To this result the tension between antagonism and still persisting unity must directly work. As it is fearful to be at enmity with a person to whom one is nevertheless bound, from whom one cannot be freed, whether externally or subjectively, even if one will, so there is increased bitterness if one will not detach himself from the community because he is not willing to give up the value of membership in the containing unity, or because he feels this unity as an objective good, the threatening of which deserves conflict and hatred. From such a correlation as this springs the embittering with which, for example, quarrels are fought out within a political faction, or a trade union, or a family. The individual soul offers an analogy. The feeling that a conflict between sensuous and ascetic feelings, or selfish and moral impulses, or practical and intellectual ambitions, within us, not merely lowers the claims of one or both parties, and permits neither to come to quite free self-realization, but also threatens the unity, the equilibrium, and the total energy of the soul as a whole—this feeling may in many cases repress conflict from the beginning. In case the feeling cannot avail to that extent, it, on the contrary, impresses upon the conflict a character of bitterness and desperation, an emphasis as though a struggle were really taking place for something much more essential than the immediate issue of the controversy. The energy with which each of these tendencies seeks to subdue the others is nourished,

(521) not only by their egoistic interest, so to speak, but by the interest which goes much farther than that and attaches itself to the unity of the ego, for which this struggle means dismemberment and destruction, if it does not end with a victory for unity. Accordingly, struggle within a closely integrated group often enough grows beyond the measure which its object and its immediate interest for the parties could justify. The feeling accumulates that this struggle is an affair, not merely of the party, but of the group as a whole ; that each party must hate in its opponent, not its opponent merely, but at the same time the enemy of its higher sociological unity.

Finally there is an apparently quite individual fact, which in reality is sociologically very significant, and which may unite the most extreme intensity of antagonistic excitement to closeness of personal association. This fact is jealousy, the universal significance of which it is now worth while to formulate. Our ordinary use of language is not unequivocal in dealing with this conception. We frequently fail to distinguish jealousy from envy. Both sentiments are undoubtedly of the widest significance for the molding of human relationships. With both there comes into question an object of value which a third party either actually or symbolically hinders us in attaining or controlling. When it is a case of attaining, we may more properly speak of envy; if it is a matter of retaining, jealousy is the passion involved. 'In this case, of course, the definitive division of the goods is quite insignificant, and only the discrimination of the psycho-sociological procedures is of importance. It is peculiar to the passion called jealousy that the subject claims to have a claim to the possession in question, while envy is concerned, not with the claim, but simply with the desirability of the withheld object. In the case of envy it is a matter of indifference whether the object is withheld because the third party possesses it, or whether even loss or renunciation of the object on the part of this third party world still fail to put the envious person in possession of it. jealousy, on the contrary, is directly determined in its subjective direction and shading by the fact that the possession is withheld from it, because it is in the hands of a third party, and with the

(522) removal of this situation the desired object would at once come into our possession. The susceptibility of the envious turns rather upon the thing to be possessed, that of the jealous upon the possessor. One may envy another his fame, even when there is not the slightest claim to fame on the part of the envier. We are jealous of another when we are of the opinion that he enjoys a fame which we deserve as much or more than he. Jealousy is a feeling of a type and strength so specific that it may arise out of any sort of exceptional psychic combination. That which embitters and gnaws the jealous is a certain fiction of feeling, however unreasonable it may be, that the object of the jealousy has, so to speak, robbed him of the fame. In a certain degree midway between the phenomena of envy and of jealousy stands a third feeling, belonging in the same scale, which we may call disfavor—the envious desire for the object, not because it is in itself especially desirable for the subject, but only because the other possesses it. The passionate form of this feeling prefers rather to forego the object, or even to destroy it, rather than to have it in the possession of the other person. These variously specialized forms of disfavor run through the reciprocal attitudes of people in countless ways. The vast problem area, throughout which the relationships of people to things appear as the causes or the effects of their relationships to each other, is in very large measure covered by this type of affections. In the case of these factors the issue is not merely that money or power, love or social position, is desired, so that competition, or any other surpassing or eliminating of a person, is a mere technique in its essential meaning, not other than the surmounting of a physical difficulty. Rather do the accompanying feelings which attach themselves to such a merely external and secondary relationship of persons grow in these modifications of disfavor to independent sociological forms which merely have their content in the desire for the objects. This is confirmed by the circumstance that—the last-mentioned steps of the series have completely canceled the interest for the objective content in question, and have retained it merely as material in and of itself quite indifferent, with reference to which the personal relationship is crystallized.


On this general basis is to be found the significance which jealousy has for our particular problem, that is, especially when the content of the jealousy is a person or the relationship of a subject to a person. It appears to me, furthermore, as though verbal usage does not recognize jealousy on account of a purely impersonal object. What we are now concerned with is the relationship between the jealous person and the person on whose account the jealousy is aroused toward a third person. The relationship to this third person has quite another, much less peculiar and complicated, sociological form. For toward this third person there arise scorn and hatred, contempt and cruelty, on the stimulus of the presupposition of reciprocal relationship, that is, of an external or internal, actual or supposed, claim to love, friendship, recognition, or consensus of some sort or other. In this case the tension of antagonism, whether reciprocal or one-sided, becomes the stronger and more comprehensive, the more unlimited the unity is from which it proceeds, and the more passionately its conquest is sought. If the consciousness of the jealous person often seems to vibrate between love and hate, this means that these two strata, of which the second is built upon the first over its whole extension, in turn gain the preponderance in consciousness. Very important is the limitation suggested above; namely, the right which one claims to the psychical or physical possession, to the love or the respect, of the person who is the object of the jealousy. A man may envy another the possession of a woman ; he only is jealous, however, who has some sort of a claim to the possession of her. This claim may, to be sure, consist in the mere passion of the desire. From this to derive a claim is a very general touch of human nature. The child excuses himself for disobeying a command with the formula with reference to the forbidden thing, " I wanted it so much." The adulterer, supposing him to possess any trace of conscience at all, could not claim the right of meeting the aggrieved husband in a duel, if he did not see in his love for the wife a right which he might so defend against the mere legal right of the husband. Since everywhere mere possession counts as right to the possession, so

(524) even the approach, desire, grows into the character of such a right, and the equivocal sense of the term " claim," namely, as simple desire and as rightfully founded desire, points to the fact that will is strongly inclined to attribute to the right of its might the might of a right. To be sure, jealousy often comes to the most pitiable tragedy on account of this assumption. To justify rights on the basis of feelings like love and friendship is an attempt with quite inappropriate means. The level on which one may reach out from the basis of a right in no way coincides with the plane in which these feelings lie. To imagine that one can conquer them with a bare right, however deep and well won this may be in other directions, is senseless. It is as though one would order back into its cage the flown bird that is long since beyond sight and hearing. This inconsequence of the right to love produces the phenomena which so characterize jealousy. It insists finally on the external evidences of the desired feeling. These may be constrained, to be sure, by appeal to the sense of duty. Such pitiful satisfaction and self-deception preserve the body of the relationship as though there still remained in it something of its spirit.

The claim which belongs with jealousy is as such often enough recognized from the other side. It signifies or it produces, like every right between persons, a sort of unity. It is the ideal or legal existence of an obligation, of a positive relationship of some sort or other, at least of the subjective anticipation of such relationship. Upon the so existing and further operating unity, there arises now at the same time its negation, which creates the situation for jealousy. In this case it is not the fact, as with many other reactions between unity and antagonism, that the two have their reference to different territories, and are only held together or in opposition by the total compass of the personalities. On the contrary, precisely that unity which consists in some real or ideal form, or which at least is on the one side thought of as so existing, is denied. The feeling of jealousy interposes its quite unique, blinding, uncompromising embitterment between the persons, because the separating factor between them has taken possession of precisely the point of their unification. Conse-

( 525) -quently the tension between them lends to the negative factor the utmost possible intensity and force. From this fact, that this formal sociological relationship dominates entirely the inner situation, we may explain the further fact, namely, the remarkable and really altogether unlimited extent of the motives by which jealousy may be nourished, and the frequent senselessness of its manifestations. In case the structure of the relationship is either from the beginning built upon such a synthesis of synthesis and antithesis, or in case the soul of the one party presents this structure within its own disposition, every occasion whatsoever will produce the consequences of the situation, and the easier the oftener this previous disposition has been in actual operation, because in this case, in the relationship of the individuals, common destiny and antagonism revolve around one and the same point; consciousness of the tension seems to be reciprocally aroused upon the most inadequate material stimulus so soon as the fatal relationship is once joined. That every human act and word is susceptible of various interpretations, as to its purpose and motive, gives to jealousy which will see everywhere only one interpretation a perfectly complacent tool. Inasmuch as jealousy can associate the most passionate hatred with the contemporary persistence of the most passionate love, and can demand the continuance of the most intimate common destiny at the cost of the annihilation of both parties (for the relationship destroys the jealous person just as it stimulates him to the destruction of his rival, jealousy is perhaps that sociological phenomenon in which the erection of antagonism above unity reaches subjectively its most radical form.


[To be concluded.]


  1. Translated by A. W. SMALL.

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