Total Gesellschaft: Towards an AltRight Sociology Part 1

“The contrast here was between an ‘organic’ Community (Gemeinschaft), bound together by ties of kinship, fellowship, custom, history and communal ownership over primary goods; and a ‘mechanical’ Society (Gesellschaft), where free-standing individuals interacted with each other through self-interest, commercial contracts, a ‘spatial’ rather than ‘historical’ sense of mutual awareness, and the external constraints of formally enacted laws. In Community individuals developed their identities within the wider, co-existing, whole, whereas in civil and commercial Society individual identity was ontologically prior to that of the wider group, attachment to which was merely secondary and instrumental.”

Sociology has long been considered a leftist or Jewish social discourse. “In the post-World War II period, sociology ‘became populated by Jews to such a degree that jokes abounded: one did not need the synagogue, the minyan [i.e. the minimum number of Jews required for a communal religious service] was to be found in sociology departments; or, one did not need a sociology of Jewish life, since the two had become synonymous.”[i] Indeed, within the field is a predominance of both progressive and Jewish perspectives often combined in that unholy combination of a Trotskyist professor, very often a racial minority and/or a sexual non-conformist. Amongst the early sociologists, “According to Ronald Fernandez’s study Mappers of Society: The Lives, Times, and Legacies of the Great Sociologists,1 Durkheim, Marx, and Simmel constitute three of the four individuals ‘indisputably at the core of sociology’s birth and growth.’  (The fourth of these individuals, according to Fernandez, was Max Weber.)”[ii] Set against these ‘big Jewish three’; concerned with alienation, communism, and fragmentation, are their lesser known and lesser studied non-Jewish counterparts, Ferdinand Tonnies, Werner Sombart, and Robert Michels. As Jung discerned a vast difference between Jewish and gentile psychology, one is herein tempted to do likewise with the field of sociology and a limited comparative analysis would be beneficial. Superficially one could say that psychologically the Jewish concern in these fields was always one of a marginal perspective looking to better its own sense of placement while ignoring the very conditions of its marginality – was an acute sense or even subconscious Jewishness responsible for ‘alienation,’ ‘fragmentation’ and the radical overturning of the social order through communism? Versus a gentile approach of critique which was more concerned with ‘togetherness,’ ‘material-metaphysical typology,’ and ‘hierarchy.’

Unlike psychology, which has tended to focus narrowly on the individual without reference to the wider society, sociology from its formation was always concerned with the grander picture: the individual placed within the communal as a part and product and participant of the social order — man as a social being inside of a community, and how that community shapes man, why that community functions, and how it came to exist.

It is interesting to note that the relative disappearance of Tonnies, Sombart, and Michels and their collective ideas, from both the social as well as disciplinary discourse, ultimately marks the eradication of a whole mode of thought. An entire Weltanschauung was expunged given that their theories were intricately connected and formed a part of the patchwork of a volksgeist.

Briefly and superficially then let us plot out the major contribution of these three theorists.

  • Ferdinand Tonnies essentially lamented the death of community (Gemeinschaft) as a result of the emergence of society (Gesellschaft). The National Socialists appeals to the restoration of a Volksgemeinschaft (“people’s community”) was a direct descendent of this line of thought, which sought to base society on a model of organic community through bloodlines and birth.
  • Werner Sombart’s theories, especially those outlined in Heroes and Merchants (Händler und Helden, 1915), provided another piece of fabric which would become part of the ideological patchwork of the Third Reich. Sombart’s main contention was that World War I was being fought by two conflicting worldviews rather than just nations vying for dominance. Western Europe, England in particular, was ruled by commercial values and produced a nation of merchants; Sombart identified the corresponding spiritual element as the Jewish spirit, contrasted to the ‘heroic’ culture of Germany that was ruled by the Prussian spirit.
  • The least well-known among these three, Robert Michels developed a truly remarkable postulate. Simply stated, Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy affirms the inevitable rule of an elite within the very fabric of the principles of organization: “who says organization says oligarchy.” Michels essentially affirmed that democracy is a lie and every form of government rests on the organization of the masses by a vanguard that essentially forms an oligarchic class. Disenchantment with Weimar Germany led Michels to abandon Germany in 1924 and join the fascist movement in Italy.

One can distinctly understand how each of these major theories provided an ideological current into the far-right ocean of ideas. For Tonnies the emphasis on anti-capitalistic and strong communitarian trust of the organic community meant a shift away from the purely utilitarian and positivist schools of Anglo-American liberalism. For Sombart the values of a warrior ethic versus the values of merchant capitalism meant a contention of metaphysical forces struggling over the soul of mankind and the social order itself. For Michels it was about honest rule – authoritas versus the pandering democratic lies spun by elites to control the masses.

Arthur Mitzman, a noted Jewish sociologist and biographer of Max Weber, provides us with a study of these three thinkers in Sociology and Estrangement which outlines the evolution of their thinking while providing philosophical and historical context.

Mitzman places these three sociologists in a particular position within the complex social hierarchy of Wilhemian Germany. Each theorist bore the mantle of a maverick, an intellectual pariah, neither wholly identifying with the orthodox mandarins of the Prussian academy who sided with the Second Reich as a bulwark against ‘modernity’ nor with the liberal bourgeois who attempted to ‘Manchesterize’ Prussian Germany, nor even with the extra-university volkish ideologists. That being said Tonnies’ sympathies ultimately lie with socialism and morph into volkish thought.

Considering and understanding the social complexity of Wilhemian Germany in which these theorists operated is paramount to understanding their perspectives. Broadly each class contained a corresponding ideological component:

Social Class Characteristics and Composition Representation
Aristocracy Feudal, Militaristic, Bureaucratic, established state power Orthodox social scientists — Conservatism
Prussian Junkers (academic insiders: Gierke, Schmoller, Wagner)
Liberal Bourgeois New Upper Middle class property owners, Social Democrats — “Jewish-Socialism”
bankers and professionals, Jews and Lutherans (Ferdinand Lassalle, August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht)
Mittelstand Old Middle Class of artisans, shopkeepers Volkish Ideologists — Volk-Socialism
and free peasants, ethnic Germans, Catholics and proto-neopagans (Lagarde, Meyer, Stocker)


The ‘mittelstand’ group herein represents both the proletariat and the remnants of the old peasant and artisan status and social groups, which might all be lumped together as the mass of the ‘volk.’ There is considerable overlap in this rough outline of the class and group struggles of the time, thus members of the aristocracy may have volkish or socialist sympathies for example. Tonnies, Sombart and Michels, each operated as pariah in-betweens — they were not part of the academic establishment upholding the Prussian state, nor were they part of the liberal politicians or mittelstand volkish ideologists. However, progressively each of these rogue theorists gravitated to one or the other of the broader social zeitgeists that they had once warned or warred against, but the initial creative burst of their intellectual criticisms occurred primarily from a marginalized position of the outsider; “Tonnies lacking any stake in things as they were, used his intellectual arsenal to equip his personal experiences with a shattering firepower of radical critique.”[iii]

It is extremely revealing that these three theorists each correspond to Gramsci’s notion of the ‘organic intellectual.’ That is, they existed on the outside, on the fringes and the periphery of the official academic institutions; this allowed their theorizing to be especially and radically critical of the status quo and other areas of acceptable dissent. Each theorist can be said to encompass an ‘antimodernist and anti-progressive’ perspective referred to as ‘cultural pessimism’ – that is approximately defined by the belief that the rationalization of life leads towards cultural and social decline. These were men of upper bourgeois backgrounds that often sacrificed their privilege and the possibility for advancement through their commitment to their ideas and beliefs; these were men who governed themselves according to their own will, intellectual investigation, passion and law.

Basic Concepts of Tonnies’ Theory

“Protect our people from the godless servants of Mammon who want to rule it, and to rescue it from the dirt and dishonor of the proletarian life on the one side and the oriental luxurious life on the other, in which it sinks deeper and deeper, and, as we fear, without hope of rescue.”[iv]


The quote above points to a kind of Aristotelian golden mean between two poles of extremity which Tonnies hoped to achieve theoretically first then to be later applied in praxis. The notion of community (Gemeinschaft) for Tonnies originates in primitive human groupings based on kinship ties and motivated by a pattern of action driven by natural impulse (wesenwille) regulated by customary law rather than the calculation of advantage regulated by positive law as contrasted in society (Gesellschaft). Traces of Gemeinschaft survive in the modern world – generally within the bond of affection and interaction of the immediate family.

These notions are not to be understood purely as an historical phases – that is locked forever in the present or the past, but instead as ideal types, “against which the individual phenomena of any society might be measured for the purpose of determining to what extent Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft relations prevailed.”[v] Tonnies’ theory then is similar to that of Otto Weininger’s later notion of sex as archetypal poles, ‘ideal types,’ rather than actually existing rigid social realities in so far as degrees of each pole are said to be present in every existing embodiment. Furthermore, “Max Weber’s term the ideal type was a fiction… from which hypothetical consequences could be deduced which could then be compared with actual outcomes.”[vi]

However, Tonnies arrived at opposing conclusions from Weininger in regard to the value judgments based on sex in this polarity. For Tonnies men are driven by calculation and effort, women by conscience and sentiment. Tonnies’ sympathies lie with the feminine delineation “woman is the natural human being”;[vii] thus he concluded that it was necessary for men to become more ‘feminine’ in order to create new, ethical communities. This notion is, however, is vastly different from the modern world in which women have become more like men producing less ‘ethical’ societies, thus it could be said in modernity that women replicate the male qualities of Gesellschaft within themselves — no doubt to the disastrous end of failed reproduction.

Tonnies returned to the theme of women and ethical concerns in the small volume Die Sitte (1909). After Tonnies had read Swiss anthropologist Johann Jacob Bachofen’s Mutterrecht (1861) he made a connection between Gemeinschaft and matriarchy which, according to Bachofen, represented an early phase of human culture. Friedrich Engles’ On the Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884) was also influenced by Bachofen.  Engles argued that women’s subordination is not a result of her biological disposition but of social relations, and that men’s efforts to achieve their demands for control of women’s labor and sexual faculties gradually became institutionalized in the nuclear family. Tonnies in contrast however lionizes the patriarchal nuclear family. And one major critique made of his work by Leftists, is that the division of labor culminates in inequality of the sexes, “In this community, the charge continues, the men are strong and the women are weak: the men take part in the operation of the community, while the women remain at home.”[viii]

The influences of Bachofen and Engles are hardly surprising given that the first edition of Tonnies book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft had the subtitle “An essay on Communism and Socialism as Historical Social Systems” (1887). But communism herein refers to the primitive variety – that is archaic tribalism, not the Marxian variant. However, the second and subsequent editions held the subtitle “Fundamental Concepts in Pure Sociology.” This change in title signified the evolution of Tonnies’ thinking from one of historical consideration to a more nuanced and complex one, based upon the relationships between the wills comprising social aggregates, which were no longer dependent on a rigid historiography. The historical and communistic interpretation of the first edition rested on the innocence of Gemeinschaft and the fall of Gesellschaft somewhat analogous to Marx’s early writings also perpetrating the Judeo-Christian ‘fall’ motif. But in the later editions the possibility, if ever so slight, was open to overcoming reason by reason. “Finally and above all, the theory of Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft reconciled and brought to a synthesis the rationalistic natural law theory and the historic-organic theory of society.”[ix] Since rationalism, the industrial revolution, and centralized bureaucracy had captured Germany, Tonnies remained largely pessimistic that Gesellschaft could be out rightly overcome and it is suggested that it may not have been entirely positive even if it could be – more on this evolution of thought and ultimate synthesis later.

In Gesellschaft, a way of life characterized by modern commercial society, “no ties exist between individuals except those consciously created for the attainment of agreed goals, including such fundamental ones as the maximization of pleasure and profit. … [T]he volitional pattern, then, is one of ceaseless calculation of advantage.” While Gemeinschaft ordering of life is based on the organic family, Gesellschaft is based on the artificial construction of “vulgar liberalism, the Manchester school, and the doctrine of laissez-faire.”[x]

Tonnies’ largely held an anti-progressive view of society, feeling that better forms of human interaction were locked in the past. He viewed the modern state as an aspect of the atomization of a bourgeois competitive society, of individualistic utilitarianism, and the split between the classes creating the basis for the Hobbesian war of all against all. The main problem for Tonnies is the spiritual isolation of the individual from the local community and the breakdown of a mode of charitable good will. His findings anticipated the tendencies which the deracinating alienation of globalization and multiculturalism would deepen while giving a viable philosophical framework for a more Traditionalist critique, useful even now.

Tonnies modeled his social aggregates on the relationship between the wills composing them. This model can be illustrated in the relationship between peasants and landowners. Very simply stated, Gemeinschaft is more closely related to friendship, whereas Gesellschaft is more closely related to hostility. Tonnies condenses his argument down to a function of Wesenwille (organic or essential will) vs. Willkur (arbitrariness or capricious will). Arbitrary will is defined as “A group or relationship can be willed either because it is desired to attain through it a definite end (with complete indifference toward or even antipathy against the partners e.g. a business co-operation) … or from sympathy with the partners… [in which] the relationship is valuable in itself (e.g. friendship).”[xi] Furthermore organic will:

“The friendly basis of social interaction means that ‘inside a group of men, abstention from (certain) hostilities and carrying out of (certain) services occur for the sake of particular lasting relationships which prevail between the wills of men in such a ways that, as a result of this carrying out and that abstention, they have a permanent even course. … And it approaches community to the extent that custom of similarly disposed wills [in gleicher Willensrichtung] and the feeling of mutual obligation enter into the motivation.”[xii]

Willkur is close to the goal-rational type of Max Weber; the individual who can steer himself in the mists of bureaucratic regimentation and base emotional impulses – a compartmentalized, atomistic, last man. It is interesting to note that the modern type that Weber identifies with as the leader of tomorrow’s social order has what can be termed ‘Asiatic qualities’ – that is a kind of servility and passivity without depth – essentially English – “highly tasteless prescriptions for cult and manners.”[xiii] In societies expressing willkur relationships of a purely rational type “established on the basis of rational calculation of use and convenience,”[xiv] the underlying relationship remains one of hostility – in other words the world of the market is inauthentic and disfiguring to the nobility of the human will and spirit and the pursuit of authenticity that liberty relies upon to be meaningful.

Wesenwille —(Gemeinschaft) Willkur (Kurwille) — (Gesellschaft)
Nationality (Volkstum) Statehood (Staatstum)
Organic Structures Mechanical Structures
Family Spirit, Morality, Religion Economic-Political-Scientific
Rousseau’s Amour de soi Weber’s Zweckrationale

Tonnies “retained the fundamental concepts of Gemeinschaft/Wesenwille and Gesellschaft/Kirwille[xv] as the basis of his dichotomy.

The psychological distinction between Wesenwille; the ‘essential will’ to act on behalf of other members of one’s community) and Willkur; ‘arbitrary will’ or free choice — the unencumbered and essentially dispossessed self of liberal theory, which “provides no essential basis for the exercise of moral deliberations is central to Tonnies’ theory. The dichotomy of wills is the central axis around which the rest of his dichotomized intellectual gyroscope rotates: “To which I shall attach that of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, of nationality [volksstum] and statehood [staatstum], of organic and mechanical structures of family spirit, morality and religion on the one hand and the economic-political-scientific powers that dissolve them on the other.”[xvi] For Tonnies the increasing collectivization of production and the increasing individualization of consumption were producing an asocial character type that was antithetical to community, by being both anti-volk and anti-nation the modern world was fashioning an essentially soulless social order. This dichotomy of thought is echoed in the distinction of Culture and Civilization made by Spengler, in which culture has a soul, whereas Civilization is “the most external and artificial state of which humanity is capable.”[xvii]


Role of the State

Because the commercial classes were less powerfully ‘developed’ in Germany compared to France and England, Germany retained a strong centralized state, while almost contradictory, maintaining local traditions even after unification under the Prussian Monarchy. “In Germany, in particular, the tradition of state regulation and intervention was a powerful one, going back to the days of eighteenth-century Enlightened Absolutism…”[xviii] Thus the merchant class had a better base in both England and France in which to ferment their ideas and spread the ‘the economic-political-scientific powers that dissolve’ Gemeinschaft relations by dictating and shaping the state. Germany maintained a position of critical distance from the new modes of life being fostered upon it from aboard. The Young Romantic movement can be viewed as such a reaction against the ‘formula of Anglo-Franco capitalism:’

“desired the construction of a new German state that would respect, encourage and revive the earlier corporate forms of German life. The general thesis was that the new forms of economic life, based on the rational pursuit of profit, would, if no expression of the common national will were able to bridle them, lead to a continuation of the destruction… [T]he new German state must create a new spiritual-political Gemeinschaft … . [It  must] cherish and protect the old folkways and put a sharp brake on socially disruptive economic practices.”[xix]

The notion of a powerfully centralized state acting against the interests of the capitalist class as a particularly German modern phenomenon was accompanied by a socialism of thought that tended to view “poverty and intensifying class conflict as pathologies calling for scientific assessment and application of policy, not just as inevitable consequences of market laws.”[xx] The German mode of thinking is to be held in sharp contrast to the laissez faire doctrines of England and France, that is to say that it is fair to speak of an intellectual tradition of German distinctiveness that shaped the contours of political thought through philosophy, sociology and even anthropology, what Herder “spoke of the informing spirit embodied in a people and expressed in its culture as Kraft, best translated here as ‘vital force’.”[xxi] It can be argued that German distinctiveness was especially pronounced in the notion of community and a social consciousness. Such that Hegelian idealism “offered itself as the synthesis of both modernity and community, of the universal, rational will to the highest good, as in Kant’s ethics, with the concrete, historical community cherished by the Romantics and also, it may be added, with what Hegel calls ‘the system of needs’: the world of production and private property.”[xxii] Thus Germany uniquely found an Aristotelian balance between Tonnies’ dichotomies in its intellectual traditions that was largely missing from many other modernizing states of Europe at the time and even now from the prevailing contemporary ‘total gesellschaft’ conditions affected by globalization and postmodernism.

However, initially for Tonnies the state was indissolubly connected with Gesellschaft. He did not give in to the neo-romantic notion of the ‘state community’ what might be called the Hegelian dialectic of German idealism. Up until 1914, Tonnies’ viewpoint was separated from the folk ideologists’ belief that some kind of “tribal nationalism” merger with the state was possible. For Tonnies, “The state is a capitalist’s institution, and remains so when it declares its identity with society,”[xxiii] this view of the state is as a simple and rational abstract structure that replaces and violates the complicated living concrete relationships of the organic community in which it imposes its own will and ends.[xxiv]

For Tonnies, the Prussian state of Bismarck, was viewed as neither moral nor approaching the spirit of Gemeinschaft – “political unification had not brought with it that national self-awareness which many Germans had always desired. Instead the newly unified people engaged in material pursuits – money making and building up cities – and thus were destroying those ancient German traditions which to many minds had been the real driving force behind the movement for unification.”[xxv] Herein a parallel may be drawn with the contemporary state of the European Union, conceived in terms primarily of an economic neoliberalism; it has however and despite itself fostered a sense of European unity (brotherhood) for various pan-European and Identitarian movements.

Following World War I however Tonnies accepted “[Paul] Lagarde’s notion that the state, though like a machine, could receive, in Stern’s words, ‘the guidance of a spiritual entity that could give it purpose and direction … It was here that Tonnies reread Lagarde volkish thought with ‘the greatest sympathy.’” Tonnies began to accept Lagarde’s cultural criticism that directly confronted the competition as being among vying groups at war within the new Germany, “discovering in turn that the Jews, the liberals, the academicians, were the cause, and a new religion, a new body politic, a new nobility, and a new education system the cure.”[xxvi] Herein could be drawn out a parallel with the Alt-Right, whereby the spiritual reality of a heterogeneous European population comprising White-American identity never self-actualized due to the materialism of Anglo liberal capitalism that both fueled the need for the ‘melting pot’ and also simultaneously undermined it. The Alt-Right like the Volkish pan-Germans before them desire the spiritual unity of brotherhood for Pan-Europeans that American identity historically could only superficially and materially awarded them with because it is imbued with the Gesellschaft qualities of the Anglosphere. Likewise, the Volkish movement was able to penetrate “one important wing of conservatism” and then come to become the conservative position itself ‘we the GOP now,’[xxvii] – “the strength of their position was reflected in the eventual character of conservative thought, which, by 1933, was far more Volkish in nation than it was classical Wilhelmine.”[xxviii]

During World War I, Tonnies wrote comparative studies of the German and English state. He came to view the German state, of Lorenz von Stein, as the bearer of Gemeinschaft – Stein also influenced Marx “the concepts of the ‘proletariat’ and of ‘class’ – and the historical role assigned to them in the development of capitalism – were originally Stein’s contribution.”[xxix]  For Stein, “The essential function of both state and society is to further the individual’s interest in his self-fulfillment.”[xxx] For Tonnies, Stein’s self-fulfillment was conflated with the notion of wesenwille connected to conditions of Gemeinschaft. Community and the modern state — once seen as irreconcilable — became possible; a change from an historical to a conceptual opposition opened this possibility of reconciliation. Tonnies began to theorize that the state could ascend from its Hobbesian contractual status of the English liberal capitalist system, as merely a representative of the sellers of goods — the “night watchman state” dedicated to neutrality – whose function was to performing the social role of administering the nation’s economy:

“Also, because the artificial foundation of Gesellschaft is commerce, Tonnies quotes Adam Smith’s comment that everyone is a merchant. In keeping with his socialistic leanings, he decries the impact of capitalism on society: because it fosters competition, it cuts us off from each other, from the community, and even from nature. Because of the ruthless competition in the Gesellschaft, Tonnies believes that this state of commerce resembles Hobbes’ state of war… Tonnies also believes that the notion of Kirwille resembles the arbitrary will of Hobbes’ Sovereign; the difference is that because modern man lacks the Sovereign’s power, he cannot choose arbitrarily but must be calculating in making his decisions… Again he follows Hobbes, who believes that people strive after power and want other people to envy them. Thus self-interest and vanity are the prime movers in the search for individual happiness.”[xxxi]

For Tonnies the English state failed to “fulfill its promise,” found within the lie of voluntary labour because of “the great inequality of means” between owners and workers culminated in misery, displacement and inevitable class conflict. Tonnies saw an overcoming of this in the various working class movements, namely syndicalism — the revolutionary wing of which was expressed by George Sorrel and later amalgamated into Italian Fascism.

Syndicalism, Fascism and National Socialism in general represented political movements towards “community” and away from “society,” regardless of ‘reactionary’ degree, that generally corresponded to Tonnies’ social aims. Tonnies’ “concept of socialism represented a synthesis of community and society, while modern capitalism represented the cultural pattern of society in its purest form. Socialism, in Tonnies’ sense is society-like because it has to be a planned, purposive order; the community-like element in socialism consists in the basic conception of the nature and function of its economy which is seen not as a system of competitive enterprises but as one large household.”[xxxii] These social movements combined with a sense of growing nationalism could but only increase the Gemeinschaft qualities of the coming regimes. This marriage of the nationalist state and syndicalism was wedded to fascist doctrine and aims: “Nationalism, going beyond the economic conceptions of a now superseded liberalism, has pinned its colours firmly to the mast of syndicalism… nationalism believes that the syndicate must become the basis of economic life and wants to bring this about…”[xxxiii] An opposition between the state and Geselleschaft appeared to open the possibility of a reconciliation of the state and Gemeinschaft — only if the state took an active role in the national economy and recognized the historic-organic conception of its peoples – that is if Culture was placed over Civilization in Spengerlian terms life would flourish. Herein again Tonnies aligned himself with Volkish thought whereby the purely material socialist-Marxist and Left radicals could not reconcile the dilemma. “The socialist conception of Fritz Stern or Rudolf Gneist stripped of all qualities of gemeinschaftliche qualities”[xxxiv] remained essentially soulless for Tonnies and fragmented the state along pluralist lines.

Like Sombart, Tonnies located the dislocation of the modern world with the ascendancy of the merchant caste and their spirit although he expressed it differently, “The Gesellschaft originated in the trading practices of the medieval merchants, who took calculated risks to secure profit. These men lived rationally but arbitrarily.”[xxxv]

Scholar-Priest Caste/Brahmans
Warrior Caste/Kshatriya
Merchant Caste/Vaisyas

Tonnies came to accept the state as necessary and capable of being a bearer of Gemeinschaft: “The Volksgemeinschaft is a fact. It is bound together by speech, custom, and law, by art and science, by tradition and history, but also by the life of the state.”[xxxvi] Tonnies mused, “Perhaps only the Reich — much though it is conditioned by capitalism, indeed, like every state is dependent on it — can after long struggling become stronger than capitalism, and separate from it,”[xxxvii] as he moved politically Rightward and closer to Otto von Gierke’s stated goal of “the reconciliation of the cooperative basis and the authoritarian top in the contemporary state.”[xxxviii] Gierke’s major work, The German Law of Association (1868-81) was an explication and exhalation of the medieval guild, which Tonnies spoke of as “the last and highest expression of which the idea of Gemeinschaft is capable,”[xxxix] the guild was a great inspiration and foundation to syndicalism and the Fascist state:

“The Fascist State is not a night watchman, solicitous only of the personal safety of the citizens; not is it organized exclusively for the purpose of guarantying a certain degree of material prosperity and relatively peaceful conditions of life, a board of directors would do as much. Neither is it exclusively political, divorced from practical realities and holding itself aloof from the multifarious activities of the citizens and the nation. The State, as conceived and realized by Fascism, is a spiritual and ethical entity for securing the political, juridical, and economic organization of the nation, an organization which in its origin and growth is a manifestation of the spirit. The State guarantees the internal and external safety of the country, but it also safeguards and transmits the spirit of the people, elaborated down the ages in its language, its customs, its faith.”



[i] MacDonald, Kevin B. The culture of critique : an evolutionary analysis of Jewish involvement in twentieth-century intellectual and political movements. Bloomington, IN: 1stBooks, 2002. Print. 20.


[iii] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 61.


[iv] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973,  88.


[v] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 83.


[vi] Burrow, J. W. The crisis of reason : European thought, 1848-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print. 63.

[vii] Ferdinand Tonnies: Utopian Visionary Author(s): Christopher Adair-Toteff Source: Sociological Theory, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 58-65 Published by: American Sociological Association

[viii] Adair-Toteff, Christopher. “Ferdinand Tonnies: Utopian Visionary.” Sociological Theory, vol. 13, no. 1, 1995, pp. 58–65.

[ix] Rudolf Heberle. “Ferdinand Tonnies’ Contributions to the Sociology of Political Parties”. American Journal of Sociology 61.3 (1955): 213—220. Web…


[x] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 46.

[xi] Heberle, Rudolf. “The Sociology of Ferdinand Tönnies.” American Sociological Review 2.1 (1937): 9-25. Web.

[xii] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 77.


[xiii] Kim, Young Kun. “Hegel’s Criticism of Chinese Philosophy.” Philosophy East and West 28.2 (1978): 173-80. Web.


[xiv] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 77.


[xv] Adair-Toteff, Christopher. “Ferdinand Tonnies: Utopian Visionary.” Sociological Theory, vol. 13, no. 1, 1995, pp. 58–65

[xvi] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 67.


[xvii] Spengler, Oswald. The Decline of the West. New York, 1926, Vol. I, 356.


[xviii] Burrow, J. W. The crisis of reason : European thought, 1848-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print. 124.


[xix] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 22.


[xx] Burrow, J. W. The crisis of reason : European thought, 1848-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print. 125.

[xxi] Burrow, J. W. The crisis of reason : European thought, 1848-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print. 88.

[xxii] Burrow, J. W. The crisis of reason : European thought, 1848-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print. 130.

[xxiii] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 113.


[xxiv] Mitzman Arthur. Sociology and Estrangment: Three Sociologists of Imperial Germany. Alfred A Knopf, New York. 1973, 103.


[xxv] Mosse, L. George. The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich. Grosset and Dunlap. New York. 1964. 3.


[xxvi] Stern Fritz, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology. 33.



[xxviii] Mosse, L. George. The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich. Grosset and Dunlap. New York. 1964. 7.

[xxix] Mengelberg, Kaethe. “Lorenz Von Stein and His Contribution to Historical Sociology.” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 22, no. 2, 1961, pp. 267–274

[xxx] Mengelberg, Kaethe. “Lorenz Von Stein and His Contribution to Historical Sociology.” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 22, no. 2, 1961, pp. 267–274

[xxxi] Adair-Toteff, Christopher. “Ferdinand Tonnies: Utopian Visionary.” Sociological Theory, vol. 13, no. 1, 1995, pp. 58–65

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