chapter  3
7 Pages

Illusion and Reality in Human Progress

Sorel'santi-historicalposturehasominoussocialconsequences. Mannheimaptlyexpressedtheseconsequences,nodoubtunforeseen bySorel.'Historicaleventsappearasaprocessonlyaslongasthe classwhichviewstheseeventsstillexpectssomethingfromit.Only suchexpectationscangiverisetoutopiasontheonehand,andconceptsofprocessontheother.Successintheclassstruggle,however, doesawaywiththeutopianelements,andforceslongrangeviews intothebackgroundthebettertodevoteitspowerstoitsimmediate tasks.Theconsequenceisthatinplaceofaviewofthewholewhich formerlytookaccountoftendenciesandtotalstructures,thereappearsapictureoftheworldcomposedofmereimmediateeventsand discretefacts.Theideaofa"process"andofthestructuralintelligibilityofhistorybecomesameremyth.' 1Thecriticalfactorishere perceived:aphilosophyofhistorywhichsteadilyfocusesontheimmediatepresentandthegeneralizedpasttendstoisolateitselffrom thesourceswhichinitiallyinspirearevoltagainstreason,namely,the needforprogressivechangeinthesocialstructure.Indrowningthe rationaldirectionofchangeintheimmediatefeltneedforchange, goalsbecomeseparatedfrominstrumentalities;endsbecomemyths andmeansbecomehypostatized.