chapter  11
33 Pages

Conclusions

No doubt Freud and Durkheim, as well as Veblen, followed Schopenhauer even in this regard. Neither thinker is content to depict social order as based merely on Kantian duty and its Parsonian derivative, normative consensus. These modernist views of social order reduce society to the role of a policeman, and everyone knows that police tactics cannot maintain genuine, peaceful social order, day in and day out. Society must be cemented by habits pertaining to goodwill. And, thinkers from the previous fin de siecle saw the individual will as more

than just the enemy of civilization. Rather, and as everyone knows, Freud posited an erotic component to social relations. But the problem is that even this insight has been distorted into an almost exclusive focus on romantic love or in general, the love of an ego for another ego or itself (see Restivo 1991). Freud's Durkheimian claim that the group is held together by love has been relatively neglected. Similarly, heaven knows that Durkheim and Veblen claim over and over again that society is held together by all sorts of love, sympathy, compassion, affection, attachment, devotion, and other derivatives of the heart as opposed to the mind. And yet, mainstream sociology makes no use of these obvious and strong aspects ofDurkheim's sociology. Instead, Lukes, Giddens, Habermas, and other mainstream sociologists follow Parsons, who followed Kant, in positing that social order is maintained by the mind more than the heart, and by cognitive, normative consensus. The only major twentieth-century sociologist to challenge Parsons was Pitirim Sorokin (1963), who hired Parsons at Harvard University in the first place. Sorokin (1948) claimed that humanity should turn to Christ's Sermon on the Mount to offset its barbaric tendencies. Yet Sorokin's legacy was eclipsed almost completely by Parsons and his disciples. The only major twentieth-century sociological tradition to challenge Parsonian assumptions was the Frankfurt School, but we have seen that its legacy has been ambiguous at best. Jiirgen Habermas sees himself as the heir to the Frankfurt School tradition, but he ignores Horkheimer's Schopenhauerian bent, and seeks to complete the Enlightenment project. Yet the Enlightenment project may not be up to the task of containing barbarism.