[DEBATE] :A Samir Amin article

Patrick Bond pbond at sn.apc.org
Thu May 1 00:23:49 MDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
> Samir Amin:
> "The Nation: An Enlightened or Fog-Shrouded Concept?" at:
> http://iupjournals.org/ral/ral28-4.html
>... German
> sociologists of the nineteenth century even coined a term for this
> barbaric communal "reality" (or myth): Gemeinschaft.

Yes, my greatgrandfather Ferdinand Toennies. Though it also had a somewhat
more progressive edge to it, in describing some of the tensions surrounding
capitalist commodification, industrialisation and urbanisation
(Gesellschaft) in late 19th c northern Germany, which he described as the:

"artificial construction of an aggregate of human beings which superficially
resembles the Gemeinschaft in so far as the individuals live and dwell
together peacefully. However, in the Gemeinschaft they remain essentially
united in spite of all separating factors, whereas in the Gesellschaft they
are essentially separated in spite of all the uniting factors ... Everybody
is by himself and isolated and there exists a condition of tension against
all others ... Nobody wants to grant and produce anything for another
individual, nor will he be inclined to give ungrudgingly to another
individual if it not be in exchange for a gift of labour equivalent that he
considers at least equal to what he has given."

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