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Figures of Romantic Anti-Capitalism Author(s): Robert Sayre and Michael Lwy Source: New German Critique, No.

32 (Spring - Summer, 1984), pp. 42-92 Published by: New German Critique Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/488156 . Accessed: 27/05/2013 17:30
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Figures ofRomantic Anti-Capitalism


by RobertSayreand Michael Ldwy
in Europe and theUSA There has recently been a renewedinterest forRomanticism and Romanticideas. This tendency has been parin evident of advanced, West case a ticularly Germany, paradigmatic Several recent deal and collections withthe essays capitalistsociety. of Romanticism and withtypically Romanticsubjectsof inhistory terestlike mythology, political theology, literary utopia, dionysian etc.,' and thesepbulicationshave aroused considerabledisreligion, cussion among Germancritics and historians. But the phenomenon goes well beyond thelimitsof academia. A inmuchofcontemporary neo-romantic dimensionis present German artistic to cinema. A novel by Michael production,fromliterature Geschichte Ende,Dieunendliche (K.Thienemanns Verlag; Stuttgart, 1979)- has a kindofneo-Romantic tale,a magical fairy journeyofinitiation sold more thanone millioncopies in the FRG and has recently been made into a film.The author,who is the son of a surrealist painter, does not hide his affinity withthe Romantictradition, and his confor modern and industrial tempt capitalism society. is also a very there essential RomanticcomponentincerMoreover, tainlarge-scale social movements likeecology,pacifism and theantinuclearcoalitions, whichhave changedthepoliticalmap ofthecounbetween try.The Romanticlongingfora harmoniousrelationship man and natureis one ofthemain driving forces ofsuch movements, and one of themain tenetsof theircounter-culture. intensein West Althoughthesedevelopments maybe particularly are not a As trend. can easilybe German Germany, they specifically seen, theyare to be found in most contempory industrial/capitalist societies.One cannot therefore avoid facingthe hypothesis that,far a purely isan essential Romanticism combeing from 19th-century phenomenon, and its importanceis in factgrowingas we culture, ponent ofmodern
1. See, forexample: Mythos undModemrne: undBild einer Rekonstruktion,Karl Begriff Heinz Bohrer,ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp,1983); ManfredFrank, Derkommende Gott: dieneueMythologie am Main: Suhrkamp,1982); (Frankfurt Vorlesungen iiber Religionstheorie undpolitische Theologie, JacobTaubes, ed. (Munich: WilhelmFink Verlag, - utopische Gisela Dischnerand RichardFaber,eds. Romantik, 1983);Romantische Utopie (Gerstenberg Verlag,1979), etc. 42

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andLwy 43 Sayre We musttherefore go beyond approach theend of the20thcentury. thetraditional viewofRomanticism as a purely trend locatedat literary the beginningof the 1800s. But what exactlyis Romanticism?An undecipherableenigma, a with no exit, theRomantic scienlabyrinth phenomenonseemstodefy tific not because its rich all resists analysis, only diversity apparently efforts to reduce itto a common denominator, but also and above all because of itsextraordinarily because it is a character, contradictory coincidentia at the same time oppositorum: (or alternately) revolutionary and counter-revolutionary, realist and cosmopolitanand nationalist, restorationist and utopian,democraticand aristocratic, refanciful, red and and and white, monarchist, sensual... mystical publican whichinhabitnotonlytheRomanticmoveThese are contradictions also thelifeand workofa singleauthor, mentas a whole,butoften and sometimeseven a singletext. The apparently easiestwayout ofthisdifficulty is to solvetheprobor by reducingit to a nominalist lem by eliminating the termitself, vocis. The best knownrepresentative ofthisattitude (whichgoes flatus is Arthur back to the 19thcentury) O. Lovejoy,who proposed that whichlends itself should abstainfrom to so much critics usinga term "The wordromantic has come tomean so manythings confusion: that, itmeans nothing. It has ceased to perform thefunction ofa by itself, verbal sign... The one reallyradical remedy- namely,thatwe - is,I fear, about Romanticism certain notto should all cease talking be adopted."2 However,such efforts to cure the Romanticfeverby thermometer remainrelatively marginal. breakingitsterminological fromthe more reasonable hypothesis Most of the investigators start fire.But what kind of fireis it? thattherecannot be smoke without Whatfuelsit?And whydoes it extendin all directions? Another ridofthecontradictions of expeditiousmethodforgetting is to explainthemawaybyreference Romanticism to theincoherence and frivolity ofRomanticwriters. The mosteminentrepresentative of thisschool of interpretation is Carl Schmitt, authorof a well-known book on politicalRomanticism. "the tumulAccordingto Schmitt, tuousmultiplicity ofcolor(tumultuarische in Romanticism disBuntheit) solvesitself intothesimpleprinciple ofsubjectivist and occasionalism, themysterious contradiction between thevariouspolitical orientations of so-called political Romanticismcan be explained by the moral forwhichanycontent whatsoever can be the inadequacyofa lyricism occasion foran aesthetic interest. FortheessenceofRomanticism, itis
2. A.O. Lovejoy,"On theDiscriminations ofRomanticism," inRomanticism: Problems Civilization ofEuropean (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1965), p. 39.

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44 Romantic Anti-Capitalism whetherthe ideas which are being romanticizedare unimportant areonly ordemocratic, conservative orrevolutionary; monarchist they for of the occasionalstarting the Romantic creative points productivity insists on the the "lack of and Schmitt also virility" "passivity," ego." of authors like the"feminine exaltation" Novalis, (feminine Schwiirmerei) but thiswould-be"moralinadequacy"can Schlegelor Adam Mtiller, ofthephenomenon.3 hardly replacea socialand historical explanation the"femininity" ofRomanticism. This is the Otherauthorsalso stress withBenedettoCroce,who attempts to accountfor case, forinstance, to the"feminine, some ofthecontradictions byreference impressionincoherent and voluble" natureof the Romantic able, sentimental, and sexismofsuch soul.4 Thereis no need todwellon thesuperficiality with remarks,in the contextof which "feminine"is synonymous or intellectual which and claims that coherinferiority, degradation male attribute. ence is an exclusively As a matter fora largepart(ifnotthemajority) offact, ofthecritics who deal withRomanticism, the problem of the antinomiesof the movement does notariseat all,insofar as forthemthephenomenonis its of entire and political stripped philosophicaldimensionand reduced to a simpleliterary ofwhichare school, themostvisibletraits thendescribedina moreorlesssuperficial and way.In itsmostshallow mediocreform, thisapproachopposes Romanticism to "Classicism." Forinstance, to thewell-known French Larousse according encyclopedia, duXXeSiecle, "one designates as Romantics thewriters who,atthebeginfromtheclassical ningof the 19thcentury, emancipatedthemselves rules of compositionand style.In France,Romanticism was a profound reactionagainstthe nationalclassicalliterature, whilein England and Germany itexpressestheprimitive foundations oftheindigenous spirit."For some authorsit is a basic psychological attitude whichbelongs to all ages, whileforothersit correspondsto the "inborn dispositions"of thisor thatnation.5 that examinethepolitical hand,mostoftheworks On theother aspect of Romanticism its cultural dimensionand try and to neglect literary solvethecontradictions the reacbystressing exclusively conservative,
3. Carl Schmitt, Politische Romantik (Munichand Leipzig:Verlagvon Dunckerund add that Schmitt converted to Humbolt,2nd ed., 1925),pp. 162, 176,227. We might Nazism in 1933 and in 1934 published an essay entitled "Der Fiihrerschiitztdas Recht." 4. B. Croce, "Historyof Europe in the 19th Century"(1934), in Romanticism, p. 54. 5. See, for Deutsche und Romantik Strich, Klassik example,Fritz (Bern:Francke, 1962), edition 1922),forwhom Romanticism is theexpressionof the"deepest inborn (first tendenciesof the Germansoul."

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andLdwy45 Sayre and counter-revolutionary tionary bypurely aspectofthemovement, and simplyignoring the revolutionary Romanticcurrents and thinkers. In its most extremeforms,these interpretations perceive the of Nazism. In a Romantic politicalthinkers mainlyas forerunners toHitler, Luther WilliamMcGovernextitled book significantly From more plains in all seriousnessthatCarlyle'sworks"appear to be little thana preludeto Nazism and Hitler."How does one includeRousseau in suchnarrow toMcGovernthefasframework? According analytical cist doctrineof absolutism"is littlemore than an expansion of the ideas first laid downbyRouseau."6In a moreseriouswork, devotedto in theanalysis ofpre-fascist (stricto senso) Germany Lagarde, thought links Langbehnand Moellervan der Bruck- FritzSternnevertheless tradition": Rouseau and theseauthorsto whathe calls a "formidable in Germany, who criticized the Enlightenhis followers, particularly form ofthought. He also and mechanistic rationalist mentas a naively Nietzsche and Dosmentions here, pell-mell,Carlyle,Burkhardt, - likeJohn Bowle - limit The most discerning historians toevsky.7 thatthe"Romanticreaction"is to taking themselves noticeofthefact - Rousseau - and born simultaneously underthesignofrevolution - Burke- but they what are unable to identify ofcounter-revolution is commontotheseantinomic except poles oftheRomanticspectrum, a vague "awareness of community" and a talent for "phrasemaking."8 - mainly aretheworks German- whichconsider More interesting essence tograspthespiritual Romanticism as a Weltanschauung and try whichis common to literary, artistic, religiousand politicalRomantics.MostofthemdefinetheRomanticworldview byitsoppositionto of the the AuJkliirung, i.e., by its refusalof the abstractrationalism Romanauthors can But these hardly explainwhy Englightenment.9 ticismappeared at a certainhistorical moment,whatitssocial signiforms. ficanceis, and whyit takessuch contradictory common to mostof thenon-Marxist A characteristic essayson the their historiographical, philologicaland subject(however respectable
6. WilliamMcGovern,From Luther toHitler (Cambridge:RiversidePress, 1941), pp. 200, 582. 7. FritzStern, The Politics A Study inthe Riseof the Germanic Despair: ofCultural Ideology of Calif.Press,1961), p. xvii. (University 8. J. Bowle, Western PoliticalThought (London: University Paperbacks, 1961), pp. 422, 434. 9. See, forexample, Anna Tumarkin, Die romantische Weltanschauung (Bern: Paul rather hostileto Romanticism; see also Haupt, 1920),althoughitis a rationalist study theessaysofH.A. Korff, G. Hubner,W. Linden,M. Honeckerand others, collectedby Helmut Prang in Begriffsbestimmung der Romantik (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1968).

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46 Romantic Anti-Capitalism contribution analytical maybe) is therefusalto situatethe phenomenon in relationto social and economic reality - whichmakesitdifif not impossible,to produce a real understanding or explaficult, nation of the Romantic enigma. Some authorspurelyand simply and consideronlytheabstract ignoretheconcretesocial conditions, of or philosophical ideas styles (Classic Romantic) sequence literary link in others Romanticism a (rationalism irrationalism); superficial and external wayto thisor thathistorical, politicalor economic fact: the FrenchRevolution, theRestoration, theIndustrial Revolution. A of a author book with the title, typical example:A.J.George, promising The The Industrial Revolution Romanticism: Development ofthe Impact ofFrench inLiterature, as a wayof"adjusting Romanticism to theeffects presents oftheIndustrial Revolution." to the Revohim, Industrial According lution simply"functionedas one of the prime sources of Romanticism"by furnishing it with"an imagerycloser to reality and presentationalformstailored for modern conditions"; it helped also "focusattention on prose,thereby from theromanceto aidingtheshift the novel... To both prose and poetryit gave new and striking itwas a major factor in the development of French images. In short, Romanticism."'0 Far from relationgraspingthe deeplyantagonistic to industrial thisincredibly ship of Romanticism society, superficial does notconceivetheir otherwise thanin terms of analysis relationship a "modernization"of literature and a renewalof itsimagery. Ofcourse,thenon-Marxist hasmade some remarkcritical literature able contributions toknowledge in theform ofthis ofliterary hisfield, detailedstudiesofspecific and in some cases theanalysis writers, tory, of Weltanschauung. It has identified some important whichare to traits be foundin most,ifnotall Romantic authors.Butone searchesinvain fora global approach whichmightrevealthe internal coherenceof these elements,the underlying disiecta and its unityof thesemembra socio-cultural meaning. The meritof the Marxiststudies- whatever theirlimitations and are sometimes and onesimplifications (they extremely arbitrary sided) - is thatmost of them have been able to grasp the essential dimensionofthephenomena,bydesignating thecommonthrust, the element of the Romantic in movement its manifesunifying principal tationsthroughout the keyEuropean countries (Germany, England, tocapitalism in the name values. France,Russia): opposition ofpre-capitalist The concept of "Romantic anti-capitalism" firstappears with in Marx and Engels'writings Lukics, but one can finditsantecedents
10. A.J. George, TheDevelopment TheImpact Industrial Romanticism: ofFrench ofthe Revolution inLiterature Press,1955), pp. xi, 192. (SyracuseUniversity

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andL'wy 47 Sayre on Balzac, Carlyle, reveal(in spiteofthe Sismondi,etc.These writings in of the Communist authors the esteem which the criticism) veryhigh authors laudatores held those acti,were who, Manifesto although tempis able to strike theircriticism." at the heartof capitalismthrough Unlike Marx and Engels, most of the Marxistauthorsof the 20th century (or those influencedby Marx) considered Romanticismand the German strand- as an essentially reactionary particularly is In this orientation exemFrance counter-revolutionary tendency. on politiworks plified bythehistorian Jacques Droz. His remarkable cal Romanticismin Germanyshow veryaccurately thegeneralcharand itsantiacterof the phenomenon (itsunityas a Weltanschauung) dimension.However,he sees themovement as being,in the capitalist last analysis,the reactionof the German intelligentsia towardsthe "principles of the French Revolutionand of the Napoleonic conof medievalcivilizaquest," a reactionthatlongs forthe restoration tion,and whichis locatedwithout anydoubt "in thecamp of counterin short, a movementthatexpressed"the consciousness revolution"; of the old rulingclasses of the dangerwhichthreatened them."This Romantics and other that the position implies H6lderlin, Btichner theframework who favored theFrenchRevolutionare excluded from of analysis,and that the Jacobin and pro-revolutionary period of is beyondany numerouswriters and poetswhose Romanticcharacter to Friedrich an inexplicable accident. doubt,remains Schlegel, Referring fromrepublican his Droz that transformation acknowledges Jacques it intoconservative is "difficult to explain,"and he ends byattributing in his elsewhere he Carl thesis which criticizes Schmitt's (following book as wrong)to the "occasionalistdilettantism" of the poet.12 Lukics himself is also one of those Marxistauthorswho consider Romantic anti-capitalism current, mainlyas a reactionary tending towardsthe Rightand fascism.He has, however, the meritof having
et romantisme 11. On this subject see M. L6wy, Marxisme rFvolutionnaire (Paris: thetitle Romanticism" to a sectionofhis collecSycomore,1979). Bygiving "Against tionoftexts and art, takesa completely byMarxand Engelson literature JeanFreville onesided position thatdoes not correspondto the textsand which illustrates the ofMarxismbytheStalinist Surla littirature etl'art impoverishment perspective: (Paris: EditionsSociales Internationales, 1936). 12. Jacques Droz, Le Romantisme et l'Etat,Resistance en allemand et collaboration en Allemagne (Paris:Payot,1966),pp. 50, 295; and Le Romantismepolitique napolionienne Allemagne (Paris:A. Colin, 1963),pp. 25, 27, 36, etc.The opposite position,asserting the essentially of Romanticism, is presented(in a perspective character revolutionary close to Marxism)in theinteresting and originalstudy by Paul Rozenberg:Le Romantisme also seemsonesided,since anglais (Paris:Larousse, 1973). However,thisanalysis itappears to exclude fromRomanticism of counter-revolutionary all forms thought (e.g., Burke).

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48 Romantic Anti-Capitalism thewholerangeofforms of theconceptitself, to designate formulated of bourgeois societyis inspiredby thoughtin which the criticism reference to thepre-capitalist past.He was also able to grasptheconofthephenomenon,even thoughhe insisted character that tradictory Romanticism leads more easilyto reactionthanto theLeftand revoone can findin at leastsome of hisworks, such as his lution.'3Finally, much on the a writings Balzac during years1939-41, deeperand more subtle analysis (precisely inspired by Marx and Engels' abovethehatred mentioned wherehe stresses that oftheauthorof writings), his theComrdie for and rebellion Romantic Humaine capitalism, against the power of money, are the main sources of his realist clearBalzac is indeed at thecenterof thedebate among Marxists on the in in his of Romanticism. hailed famous letBalzac Engels problem tertoMiss Harkness- the"triumph ofrealism"overhisownpolitical literature has loyalties."A vast critical prejudices,i.e., his legitimist this the scant and and followed indication, devotedly dogmatically of realism" has the become commonmysterious principle "triumph studieson Balzac. Otherauthors havetried place ofnumerousMarxist in in framework to show that toplace this order the analytical question, writer's withhis worldview. criticalrealism is not in contradiction in arguing solutionconsists thatBalzac's political their Unfortunately charac"democratic,"or even "leftist" ideologyhas a "progressive," ter. For instance,the Czech historian Jan 0. Fischer,author of an inexcellentbook on Romanticrealismwhichhas manyinteresting sightsinto the double nature(sometimesturnedtowardsthe past, of Romanticanti-capitalism, triesin sometimestowardsthe future) was "objectively vain to prove thatBalzac's legitimism democratic" The and thatthe "truecontent"of his monarchism was democracy. he putsforward are notvery Balzac aimed for convincing: arguments ofthepeople" and ofthenation;he "sympathized with the"well-being the common people" and theirsocial needs - these are all in fact tendenciestypicalof monarchist which philanthropic paternalism, whatsoever to do withdemocracy.'6 have nothing One finds a similar
13. See his article on Dostoevskyin 1931, where the term "Romantic antitime: "Uber den DostojewskiNachlass,"Moskauer capitalism"appears forthe first ofGermanliterature Rundschau, toconsider March,1931. In hishistory Lukics refuses as a Romantic cf.BrveHistoire writer: dela litterature allemande (Paris:Nagel, H61derlin 1949), p. 57. 14. G. Lukacs,Ecrits de Moscou (Paris:EditionsSociales, 1974),p. 159. 15. Marx-Engels, Uber Kunst undLiteratur (Berlin:VerlagBruno Henschel, 1948), p. 104. r-alisme: 16. JanO. Fischer, Problkmes Romantique"et (Prague: mithodologiques "Epoque Univerzita Karlova, 1977), pp. 254-55, 258, 260, 266-67.

sightedness.14

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andLdwy49 Sayre ofPiereBarb6ris, one ofthebestconapproachin some ofthewritings Marxist critics. In one of French his that temporary essayshe suggests one can findin Balzac - particularly in hisyouthful "a leftwritings istRomanticism" whichis "Promethean"and inspired by the"cultof himself also claims that a "greatproBalzac was Lukics progress."'7 buthe recognizesthat theauthorofIllusionsperdues was artist," gressive a realist, not in spiteof but because ofhis Romanticand "pessimistic" 1 anti-captialism. In our view thislast remarkopens thewayforthe most adequate of Balzac anc of manyotherRomanticanti-capitalist interpretation authors.Theircritical is notat all contradicted "reaclucidity bytheir or Toryideology.It isvain(and usepast-oriented, legitimist tionary," "democratic" and "proless) to dress them up with non-existant It is because turntheir thepastthat virtues. gressive" they gaze towards are able to criticize thepresent withsuchacumenand realism.Of they can be made (and better thestandpoint course,thiscriticism so!) from of the as the with and the revolutionaries. But it is a future, utopians inherited from the that social prejudice Enlightenment existing can be criticized from a reality only "progressive" perspective. of "realism"is too itself Moreover,it seems to us thatthe category narrowto embrace the richnessof the Romanticanti-capitalist contribution. Too many Marxistworkshave as theironly criterion the of a literary character or artistic "realist"or "non-realist" work,and some rather debateshaveopposed "socialistrealism," "critbyzantine ical realism" and "realismwithoutfrontiers." and Romantic Many neo-Romantic non-realistic: are fantastic, productions deliberately fairyand morerecently, Yetthisdoes notat surrealist. like,magical,oniric, all reducetheir relevance and importance, ofcapitalbothas critiques ism and as dreamsofanother world, quintessentially opposed to bourIt useful to a newconceptwould be introduce geois society. perhaps unrealism"- todesignate thecreation ofan imaginary, "critical ideal, or universe the to radically utopian fantasy grey, prosaicand opposed inhumanreality itapparentofindustrial Even when capitalist society. from ofa"flight this "critical unrealism" lytakestheform may reality," containa powerful load of(explicit or implicit) negative against protest theestablished order.It is because oftheir charac"critical unrealist" terthatnotonlypoetsand writers likeNovalisand E.T.A. Hoffmann, butalso utopiansand revolutionaries likeFourier and WilliamMorris have broughtto Romanticanti-capitalism an essentialdimension,as
17. PierreBarb6ris, "Mal du siIcle, ou d'un romantisme de droitea un romanet politique, 1815-1851 (Paris: A. Colin,1969), tisme de gauche," in Romantisme p. 177. de Moscou, 18. Lukics, Ecrits p. 150.

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50 Romantic Anti-Capitalism as the ruthlessly froma Marxiststandpoint realistclearinteresting of a or a Dickens. Balzac sightedness Some Marxist studiesdo exist, whichembrace,in a dialechowever, ticalway,both the contradictions and the essentialunity of Romanand which do not its ticism, neglect revolutionary potential.Ernst forinstance, ofprotest defines Romanticism as "a movement Fischer, - of passionateand contradictory the against bourgeoiscapprotest italist world,the world of 'lost illusions',againstthe harsh prose of business and profit... Again and again, at each turning-point of events, the movement split up into progesssiveand reactionary trends... Whatall theRomantics had incommonwasan antipathy to it from an aristocratic others a from capitalism(some viewing angle, plebeian) .. ."9 One can findsimilaranalysesin certainwritings of Luk~cs, of his Hungarian disciples (Ferenc Feher, Gy6rgyMarcus) and of other critics influenced by the Lukaicsian approach (Norman Rudich, Paul AndrewArato, AdolfoSanchezVazquez), as wellas in several Breines, ofHerbert Marcuse'sworks and thoseofAmericans influenced byhim Germancultural itis tradition, (Jack Zipes). Outsideofthisspecifically studiesof among English Marxiststhatwe findthe most insightful Romantic anti-capitalism: E.P. Thompson and Raymond Williams (forthe Anglo-Saxonculturalsphere)and Eric Hobsbawm (forthe Romanticmovementin thefirst halfof the 19thcentury). contribution is particularly His Raymond Williams' significant. remarkable and Culture critical assessbook, Society (1958), is the first a socialist ofthewholeEnglishRomantic antiment,from standpoint, from and Burke Cobbett to from Blake capitalisttradition, Carlyle, and Shelleyto Dickens,from Ruskinand WilliamMorristoT.S. Eliot. Whilerecognizing theshortcomings oftheRomanticattitude towards modern society, he vindicates thepositiveaspectsof itsdefenseofart and cultureas theembodimentof"certainhuman values,capacities, energies,which the developmentof societytowardsan industrial civilizationwas feltto be threatening or even destroying," of the for "a mode of human and which the struggle experience activity progressof society seemed increasingly to deny."The possibility ofmobiforsocialismis illustrated who lizingthistradition byWilliamMorris, was able to linkthe culturalvalues of Romanticism to theorganized movementof theworking class.20
19. ErsntFischer, The A Marxist Necessity ofArt: (London: Penguin,1963), Approach pp. 52, 55. 20. RaymondWilliams,Culture and Society, 1780-1950 (London: Penguin,1976), withNewLeft Williamsmakes a critical Review, pp. 53, 56, 153. In a recentinterview

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andL'wy 51 Sayre In EasternEurope thereis no lack of studieson Romanticism, but a few of them the official framework and only dogmatic escape develop a fruitful as in thecase ofJan0. Fischerin Pragueand Claus analysis, in the GDR. Finally,in France Pierre Barb6risis the most Tratger importantcriticexaminingRomanticismfroman "open" Marxist viewpoint. Mostoftheabove-mentioned in scope: arelimited studies, however, to a restrict themselves or a or one author, they single singlecountry, historical the of 19th the century); period (generally beginning they considermainlythe literary and artistic aspect of the phenomenon; and finally, have little to sayabout itssocial basis. Thereseems to they be a gap thatneeds to be filled; fornowherehas there been attempted, as faras we know,an overallanalysis, froma Marxistperspective, of Romanticism in itsfullhistorical as a Weltanschauung, extension and in termsof itssociologicalfoundations. In whatfollows we willattempt ofall todefine first Romanticism as a or worldview,i.e., as a collectivemental structure Westanschauung, characteristic of certainsocial groups.Such a mentalstructure can be concretizedin many,diverseareas of culture:in literature and the in philosophy in political, other and theology, economicand legal arts, in sociologyand history, etc. Consequently,the definition thought, thatwe willpropose hereis limitedneither to literature and artalone nor to the historical movementstermed period in whichthe artistic "Romantic"developed.We consideras Romatics- or at leastas havor a Novalisin a Vigny inga Romanticdimension- notonlya Byron, for in but Sismondi economic Schleierliterature, also, example, theory, in macher theology, Edmund Burke,Proudhonand Marcusein political philosophy, Simmel,Thnnies and Max Weber in sociology.' The modern conceptionof worldviewhas been elaborated most Lucien Goldmann,who has thoroughly by the sociologistofculture, in Gerdeveloped and carriedto a higherlevel- a long tradition man thought W. in of the fact that However, spite (especially Dilthey). he took intoconsideration theworldviews of themodern principally he exploredin detaila numberofthemostsignificant period,and that is notone ofthosetreated Romanticism them, among byGoldman.If we enumeratein historical ordertheworldviews analyzed by him thetragic in itsJansenist worldview and Kantianforms, therationalist
from a Marxist ofthelimitations reassessment, andshortcomings ofthis standpoint, book(first in 1958):Politics andLetters: Interviews with New Review published Left (London:Verso, 1981), chap.II, 1. 21. Fora descriptive which a similar extension totheRomantic presentation gives seePaulHonigsheim, "Romantik undneuromantische phenomenon, Bewegungen," inHandwdrterbuch der Sozialwissenschaften (Stuttgart, 1953).

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52 Romantic Anti-Capitalism in Cartesian and Enlightenment worldworldview guise,thedialectical and finally existentialism and strucviewin itsvariedmanifestations, - we cannotfailtonoticea gap, mainly in the 19thcentury; turalism22 be claimedthat dialectical foritcan hardly (and thepositivism thought the thatcontinuesthe rationalist trend)represent onlypredominant oftheperiod.One ofthemissing at least,is preworldviews elements, of of Romantic the which we will worldview anti-capitalism, cisely a analysis. attempt preliminary Since whatis involvedis an historical worldview - one localized in timerather thana universal of the human mind- we must tendency first definetheboundariesofthehistorical fieldin whichitmanifests As regardsthe origin, itself. or genesisof thephenomenon,we must as restrictive the reject overly accordingto whichRomanhypothesis ticismis "the fruit ofdisillusionment withtheunfulfilled promisesof the bourgeoisrevolution of 1789," or "a seriesof questionsand answersdirected at post-revolutionary to thisconAccording society."23 Romanticism a as mental structure does not exist beforethe ception, FrenchRevolution, been the disillusionment that having generated by follows thefullcomingtopowerofthebourgeoisie.In thisperspective itis a transformation on thepolitical levelthat becomesthecatalyst for In our view,however, theRomanticgroundswell. thephenomenonis to be understoodas a response to thatslowerand more profound transformation that takesplace on thesocio-economic level:theriseof This hypothesis would lead us to expectmanifestations of capitalism. Romanticism ofcapitalist 1789,sinceofcoursethedevelopment before economic structures well precedes restructuration on the political level. In factwe do finda certainnumber of culturalphenomena well beforethe Revolutionthatcorrespondto our conceptionof Romanticism. Barb6ris has demonstrated a filiation Indeed, Pierre leadingto Romanticismfromthe social criticism of La Bruyere, F6nelon and 24 Here, however, Saint-Simon at theend of the 17thcentury. we can of the for above writers are far from onlyspeak precursors, articulating a fullsetof Romanticattitudes. The real beginnings of Romanticism are rather tobe foundin thelatter half ofthe18thcentury, as a reaction
22. For a typology and discussionof theworldviews studiedby Goldmann,see S. Nai'rand M L6wy, Lucien Goldmann oula dialectique dela totalit6 (Paris:Seghers,1973); and R. Sayre, "Lucien Goldmann and the Sociology of Culture," in Praxis,1, 2 (1976). 23. Claus Triiger, "Des LumieresA 1830: H6ritageet innovation dans le romantismeallemand,"inRomantisme 28-29 (1980), 90; H.P. Lund, "Le Romantisme et son in Romantisme 7 (1974), 113. histoire," 24. See P. Barberis, Auxsources aristocrates durialisme: etbourgeois (Paris:10/18, 1978), pp. 330-40.

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andLUwy53 Sayre on theone hand,butalso often bound theEnlightenment upwith against itina complex the most manifestations of of nasway.Many important - especiallyRousseau in Franceand theSturm und centRomanticism in the Enno movement means negate Drang totally Germany by rather thansimply On thecontrary, turning lightenment perspective. ina rationalist cultural thefar-reaching undertaken awayfrom critique Romanveinbythephilosophers oftheAujkldrung, many18th-century - widening it thiscritique and developing ticscan be seen as extending in a new register. further Thus, forinstance,to the Enlightenment's ofReason -is indictment ofaristocratic -judged inthelight privilege added a revulsionof thewhole affective being againstthe bourgeois and the capitalist social relationsthatare increasingly prementality ofclassic finda subtleadmixture In thisperiodwe often dominating. attitudes, Enlightenment along withsomethingquite new and difcases and in certain ferent thatlatercomes to be called Romanticism; the two elementsdo not coexistin contradictory juxtaposition,but within the a kindof radicalization from rather the second represents Romanticism characteristic of nucleus. This early Enlightenment makes it abundantlyclear thatas a whole Romanticismcannot be As we willsee, at leastone definedas theantithesis ofEnlightenment. others and several is thedirect heirofthelatter, strand ofRomanticism ties in have forms significant (the revolutionary/utopian general) withit.25 none of thedates Concerningthe alleged "end " of Romanticism, in terms are ofour its termination viable as often forward marking put witness its turn of the neither the 1848 nor disapcentury conception; Whatis trueoftheRomanticantipearanceor even marginalization. in general,holds also foritsartistic worldview expressions capitalist are genartistic movements more specifically. 20th-century Although as Exas trends nonetheless not termed Romantic, important erally the with are and Surrealism impregnated profoundly pressionism worldview the Romantic that If our Romantic rephypothesis spirit. in essence a reactionagainsttheconditionsoflifein capitalist resents - isjustified, itwould followthattheRomanticstanceshould society And as long as capitalismitself continueto retainitsvitality persists. modifications has undergoneconsiderable indeed,althoughthelatter the same it has keptitsessentialcharacteristics, since itsbeginnings,
25. Werner Krausshas developedtheidea - whichgoes a stepfurther thanwe do - that inour viewrepresents an exaggeration as a whole Romanticism can bestbe seen as an extensionof the Aukliirung: see his "Franz6sischeAufklirung und deutsche in Wissenschaftliche der Karl-Marx Universitdt No. 12 (1963); Romantik," Zeitschrift Leipzig, for a discussion ofhisthesis, seeLiteraturwissenschaft und 8: Zur Modernitdt Sozialwissenschaften der Dieter Baiusch, ed. (Stuttgart: Romantik, Metzler,1977), pp. 12ff.

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54 Romantic Anti-Capitalism

characteristics thatstimulated theearliest Romanticrevolt. According Romantic wavecontinues to havesomething to Max Milnerthefirst to us of associated with the to because "the crisis civilization say genesis and developmentof industrialcapitalismis farfromhavingbeen a numberofthemostcrucial resolved."26 And, as alreadymentioned, socio-cultural of recent times are impossibleto underphenomena stand adequately withoutreference to the Romanticanti-capitalist worldview.27 In whatfollows tosketch an analytic wewillattempt definition ofthat it of as a series related and forworldview, themes, logically presenting toallowus toincludeall ofthe mulatedata levelofgenerality sufficient ofthephenomenonthroughout diversemanifestations thehistorical that we have indicated. The first element is the source ofall just span the others,and theyare whollydependent on it. At the root of the Romantic is a hostility worldview towards of a rejection reality, present thepresent thatis often and with emotion. heavily charged quasi-total This severely critical attitude towards thehereand nowdetermines the otherelementsof the Romanticthematics. In the past Romanticism ofthemes has often been defined in bywayofan enumeration presented an abstractand atemporal manner,withoutany awarenessthatits most spiritual or intellectual seemingly aspectsare closelybound up withtemporality. Romanticism issuesfrom a revolt a concrete, against historical In thedictionary ofthebrothers romantisch Grimm, present. is defined(in part)as "belongingto theworldofpoetry ... in opposition to prosaic reality"; and Chateaubriandand Musset contrast the of the the heart with overflowing plenitude dismaying "emptiness"of the real world around it.28 Accordingto Lukaics'formulation in the the the "Romanticism of is disillusionment" characTheory of Novel, terizedby a lack of correspondancebetweenreality and the soul, in which"thesoul is broaderand morevastthananydestiny lifecan that offer it."29 Balzac grouped together a numberofworkspublishedin 1830 (among themStendhal'sLe Rouge etle noir), and called themthe thistermcould in fact be applied to the "school ofdisenchantment"; whole of the Romanticworldview. Referred to in Franceas "le siecle" in England and Germany as "civ(cf.the expression"maldu siecle"), ilization"(in oppositionto "culture"),modern reality produces dis26. M. Milner,Le Romantisme I (1820-1843) (Paris:Arthaud,1973),p. 242. 27. Cf. H. Kals,Die soziale inderRomantik Frage (Cologne and Bonn: P. Hanstein, 1974), pp. 7-15. 28. Deutsches Wdrterbuch Grimm undWilhelm Grimm (Leipzig, 1893),Vol. 8, vonJacob La Confession d'unenfant II, iii,9; Musset, Gbnie p. 1156; Chateaubriand, du Christianisme, Ch. 2. du sizcle, 29. Lukacs,LaThiorie du roman (Paris:Gonthier,1963), p. 109.

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andLdwy55 Sayre enchantment.For Max Weber capitalism representsthe "disenderWelt), and conversely Tieck oftheworld"(Entzauberung chantment as "the enchantednightin theglow of the has definedRomanticism An important moon" (diemondbegliinzte Zaubernacht). aspectofRomanof theworldthrough then,is there-enchantment ticism, imagination. Moreoverthe Romanticsensibility perceivesin presentreality - essentialcharacteristics of more or less consciouslyand explicitly in other Whatis rejected, moderncapitalism. words,is notthepresent conceivedofin terms in theabstract buta specifically present capitalist thereis sometimes ofitsmostimportant defining qualities.Although ofone classbyanother(as, forexaman awarenessoftheexploitation Bell inVigny's oftheindustrialistJohn Chatterton), ple, in theportrayal in Romanticism. Allofthe is byno meansalways this awareness present on the otherhand, in diversecurrents of Romanticanti-capitalism, characteristics one way or anotherpoint to and protestagainstthose of the social and the are which classes, throughout negative effects felt of capitalism What incaptialist as misery whichare experienced society. everywhere ofexchangevalue in thissociety is involvedis theall-powerfulness - i.e., thephenomenonofreification. relations ofmoneyand market and socialfragmentation of as a And, corollary generalizedreification, based on Fora society theradicalisolationoftheindividualin society. monads intoegotistical separatesindividuals moneyand competition toeach other."? antiRomantic hostile or indifferent are essentially that the traits these most revolts deepest against particularly capitalism the social fabric. principlesof oppressionat workthroughout in themodernworld The experienceofa loss is linkedto thisrevolt; both of the individual on the level been has lost, something precious as a whole. The Romanticvisionis characterized and of humanity by lacks certainessentialhuthatpresentreality the painfulconviction man values,values whichhave been "alienated."This sharpsense of the In defining as an exile. is often alienationin thepresent experienced A.W. Schlegel speaks of the soul "under the Romantic sensibility The derVerbannung).s" denTrauerweiden weepingwillowsofexile" (unter soul, whichis theseat ofthehuman qualitiesin man,livesin thehere and now farfromitstruehome and truefatherland indeed, (Heimat); and of homelessness(Heimatlosigkeit) forArnold Hauser "the feeling isolation became the fundamentalexperience" of the early 19this Romantics.32AndWalter Benjamin- whoseownsensibility century
30. See R. Sayre, Solitude inSociety: A Sociological inFrench Literature Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978). 31. European Romanticism: ed. L. Furst(London: Methuen, 1980), Self-Definition, p. 36. 32. A. Hauser, Sozialgeschichte derKunstund Literatur (Munich: Beck, 1953), II, p. 182.

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56 Romantic Anti-Capitalism withthe Romanticworldview - sees in the thoroughly impregnated German Romantics'fascination withdream an indication of theobreturns to thesoul's materstacleslaid out in reallifeon the"road that derSeeleinsMutterland).33 nal home" (der Heimweg The Romantic soul longsardently toreturn home,and itis precisely thenostalgia forwhathas been lostthatis at thecenter oftheRomantic vision.Whatthepresent has lostexisted ina once before, anti-capitalist moreor less distant characteristic ofthispastis past.The determining itsdifference the itis theperiodwhen thealienationsof the from present; did notyetexist.Since thesealienations stemfrom present capitalism such as the Romanticsperceiveit,thenostalgiais fora pre-capitalist one inwhichthecapitalist was lessdeveloped past,oratleastfor system than at present.Thereforethis nostalgiaforthe past is - as Marx to theEnglishRomantics- "closelylinked"to pointsout in relation thecriticism ofcapitalism."4 The pastthat is theobjectofnostalgia can be entirely or as in the case of Eden, the legendary mythological, Golden Age,or thelostAtlantis. Butevenin themanycases inwhichit is quite real,thepast is alwaysidealized. The Romanticvisiontakesa momentoftherealpastinwhichnegative traits ofcapitalism werelackor were and in which human values crushed under attenuated, ing existed and it into a it an incarstill, capitalism transforms making utopia, nationofRomanticaspirations. It is thiswhichexplainstheapparent orientation towards thepastcan be - and paradox thattheRomantic is ingeneralin a certain sense- a look intothefuture; for theimageof a dreamed-of future is in inscribed the beyond capitalism nostalgic visionof a pre-capitalist era. In theterm "Romantic,"suchas itwas undertoodin thebeginnings ofthemovement to one bythatname,thereis a reference designated For Friedrich the Middle what is inAges. Schlegel past: particular volved is the"period of theknight, oflove and ofthefairy-tale, from whichthephenomenonand theworditself of One the prinderive.""5 romance. ofthewordis themedievalcourtly ButRomantic cipal origins as we conceiveitlooks backwards towards anti-capitalism manyother than Primitive the Middle ancient the societies, Greece, pasts Ages. ancien and the French have all served as Renaissance, regime, English vehiclesforthisworldview. The choice- butevenmoretheinterpreta- ofthepastis made according tion to thedifferent Romantic tendencies (ofwhichwe will attempt to outlinea typology in the following section).
33. W. Benjamin,Gesammelte III (Frankfurt: Schriften, Suhrkamp,1978),p. 560. 34. Marx-Engels, Surla littirature etl'art,p. 287. 35. European Romanticism, p. 9.

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andLwy 57 Sayre The nostalgiaforparadiselostis mostoften accompaniedbya quest what been lost. that has It has often been noticed attheheart ofRomanfor forms: ticismlies an active restlessness, quesprincipletakingmany In general, the then, tioning, struggle. becoming,searching, perpetual second momentof the phenomenoninvolvesan activeresponse,an or recreatethe lost paradise (therealso exists, to rediscover attempt whichwe willdiscussin thenext however, a"resigned"Romanticism For the the Romantics' Golden Age is notonly young section). Luktics ofeach personis toreachit.It is ofthepast:"It is thegoal,and theduty the'blue flower'!..."36 in severaldifferent The quest maybe undertaken, however, ways:in in in the for or and presimagination reality, aiming accomplishment ent or in the future. An important orientation of Romanticismaton thelevelofimagination, to recreate tempts paradisein thepresent the For Novalis,forexample, or aesthetizing present. by poeticizing a "heightening" "the world must be romanticized"through (PotenRomanticartistic of banal, habitualreality.37 More generally, zierung) realizedin the as a utopianprojection creation can be seen in this light, presentthroughimagination.A second tendencyconsistsin redisbutin thiscase on thelevelofthereal. covering paradisein thepresent, thatis, countries Whatis involvedhereis flight to "exotic" countries, to an "elsewhere"thatpreoutsidethepale of capitalist reality, flight is The strategy of exoticism a moreprimitive serves pastin thepresent. a simple movementin thus to seek the past in the presentthrough space. thatconsiderstheothertwoto be But thereexistsa third tendency or at least only partial solutions,and which orientsitself illusory In thisperspective towards therebuilding ofparadisein a realfuture. whichwas sharedbyBenjaminand Marcuse,forexample - memory A wellforthe future. of the past servesas a weapon in the struggle The knownpoem byBlakeexpressesthenotionwith poet great power. in itself first wonderswhetherthe divine presenceonce manifested "these with covered hills were "in her ancient before time," England to him,and darkSatanicmills";thenhe asksthat weapons bybrought Nor shallmySwordsleep MentalFight/ declares:"I willnotcease from in my hand / Till we have builtJerusalem/ In England's greenand thequestisaimed atthe form ofRomanticism pleasantLand."3"In this
36. Lukics, "La Philosophieromantiquede la vie," in L'Ameetlesformes (Paris: Gallimard,1974), p. 84. 37. European Romanticism, conceptionof poetry:pp. I1p. 3; cf.Wordsworth's 12. and Prophecies 38. W. Blake,Poems (London: Dent, 1975), pp. 109-110.

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58 Romantic Anti-Capitalism creationof a newJerusalemin thefuture. forwhathas present, nostalgia Experienceofa loss in thecapitalist and for what has been been lost,localized ina pre-capitalist past, quest lost in presentor future:such are the principalcomponentsof the we are exploringhere.Butwhat has been lost?The worldview exactly of content of the of the the alienation, nostalgiaand of the question values words,are thepositive quest,remainstobe raised.What,in other ofRomantic ofqualitative values anti-capitalism? Theyare an aggregate - ethical,social, and cultural- in opposition to the mercantile of exchange value. In our view theyare concentrated rationality of these around two opposing but not contradictory poles. The first values, althoughoftenexperiencedin termsof loss, in fact primary a newacquisitionhistorically, or at thevery leasta developrepresents in themoderncontext. mentthat can onlycome tofullfruition We are individual inall to the to the of the self subjectivity, development referring and complexity and also in thefree ofitsaffectivity, thedepth,breadth capacities. play of itsimaginative ofthisindividualsubjectis in fact linked The development directly tothehistory ofcapitalism: the"isolated"individual and "pre-history" develops with and because of it. This phenomenon is the source, ofa significant incapitalist for contradiction this however, very society; individual created the latter cannot frustrated within itsconbut live by and is eventually led to revolt straints, againstit.Capitalismcallsforth theindependent individual tofulfill certain socio-economic functions; transforms itself intoa full-fledged butwhenthisindividual subjectiviand beginsto exploretheinternal ofitsparticular constellauniverse ty, it entersinto contradiction tion of feeling, witha systembased on calculationand standardization. And when it begins to quantitative want to freely exerciseits powersof fantasy it comes up againstthe and platitude oftheworldcreated extreme mechanization bycapitalist relations.Romanticismrepresents the revoltof the repressed,maand of the"magic" of imaginanipulatedand deformed subjectivity, tion banished from.the world. capitalist The other,dialectically is unity, or opposed value oftheworldview, - the unitotality: unityof the selfwithtwo encompassingtotalities verseof nature,on theone hand, and on the otherthe human com- even Whilethefirst Romantic valueconstitutes itsindividual munity. - moment,thesecond is trans-individual individualistic or collective. And whilethefirst is in fact moderndespiteitsbeingexperienced as a thesecond represents a truereturn nostalgia, (inthecase ofRomantics orientedtowards thefuture, to whatis involvedis nota simplereturn thepast but a recreation of past unity on a higherlevel). The twoforms ofnostalgic for aredefined yearning unity specifically

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andLh'wy 59 Sayre in opposition to the capitaliststatusquo. Hauser rightly comments enthusiasm fornatureis "unthinkable thattheRomantics' without the isolationofthetownfromthecountryside.""9 The capitalist principle of dominationand exploitation of natureis absolutelyantithetical to for in theRomantic the and of mankind the quest integration harmony universe.And the impulse to recreatethe human community (conceived of in various ways: as authenticcommunicationwithother in theorganicwhole ofa people, Volk, and in its selves,as participation collective as folklore, etc., imagination expressedthrough mythology, as social harmony or a future classlesssociety, etc.)is thecounterpoint to therefusal ofsocialfragmentation and theisolationoftheindividual under capitalism.Thus Brentanodescribeshis reactionson visiting Parisin 1827: "All the people I saw werewalkingin the same street, his own beside each other,and yeteach one seemed to be following course;no one greeted solitary anyoneelse,and each pursuedhisperAll these comingsand goings seemed to me the very sonal interest. emblem of egoism. Each person is thinking onlyof his own interest, likethenumberofthehouse towards whichhe is hurrying."40 Protest and thepositive Romanticvaluesare thustwosides againstcapitalism is theexactantithesis of ofthesame coin: whatis rejectedin capitalism thevalues thatare soughtbecause theyhave been lost. thatwe have verybriefly The worldview outlinedabove is, in our a kindoflostcontinent on themap ofthehumansciences, estimation, since it entirely escapes notice in the contextof theirhabitual catestudiesgenerally and and artistic frames of reference. Literary gories and a far more limited extension to Romanticism, do notrelateit give And as faras theotherdisciplines are concerned- like to capitalism. - Romanticism is etc. history, sociology, politicalscience,economics, structure mentalities that can not as a usually recognized perspective in theirareas of competence.Since it doesn't fitinto the usual cateidealism,etc.; in hisgories(in philosophy:rationalism, empiricism, and conservative/liberal, progressive/ tory politics: Left/Right, their etc.),itslipsthrough reactionary, conceptualgridand mostoften in remainsinvisiblein their analyses.Yet,as we hope to demonstrate
39. A. Hauser, TheSocialHistory ofArt (New York:Vintage,1951), III, 208. - on 40. CitedbyTrdiger inop.cit., resembles another p. 99. This passagestrikingly London - byEngelsin TheCondition the in 1844 (New York: ClassinEngland of Working J.W.Lovell Co., 1887): "The hundredsofthousandsofall classesand rankscrowding are they notall humanbeingswith thesame qualitiesand powers, and pasteach other, withthe same interest in being happy?... And stilltheycrowd by one anotheras had nothing in common,nothing to do withone another... The brutal thoughthey theunfeeling isolationofeach in his private interest becomes themore indifference, the more these individualsare crowded together withina repellentand offensive, limitedspace." (p. 17).

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60 Romantic Anti-Capitalism thetypology ofRomanticism this ofvarieties that little-studied follows, and ill-understood in has an fact crucial worldview played absolutely role in many different on a and worldwide scale over the respects, course of two centuries. It would seem thata typology of the figuresof Romantic antiboth to account forthe rich as a useful serve tool, capitalismmight of within a matrix and to explicommon diversity specific trajectories cate more preciselythe universeof concreteworks.There are obwhichcould be used in making a classification: viouslyseveralcriteria or national culture style(realist non-realist), (German,French,etc.), intellectualfield (politics,literature, historical etc.), period ("prelateRomanticism, Romanticism," neo-Romanticism, etc.).However, having definedRomanticismas a reactiontowardscapitalismand itseemstous morelogicaltodefine interms thetypes bourgeoissociety, relation tocapitalism, mannerinwhich oftheir accordingto theparticular This does notmean a political they envisagetherelationship. typology in thelimitedsense,but rather a framework thatbringstogether the The different economic,thesocial and thepolitical. are,of categories in theWeberiansense,and they to be are generally course,idealtypes foundcombined,juxtaposed or blended in theworkof a particular author. We willsaythat a givenauthorbelongstoa giventype whenthe latter constitutes thedominant elementin his writings. is a listofwhatwe considertobe some oftheprinciple Whatfollows typesof Romanticanti-capitalism: aimstore-establish whichexplicitly Romanticism, 1) "Restitutionist" socio-cultural formations thathave disappeared (most pre-capitalist a oftenmedieval).This concept is not identicalwith"reactionary," is not which term refers tocounter-revolutionary that reaction, directly whichwe have borRomantic(the term"restitutionist," necessarily to of from rowed thesociologist religion JeanSeguy,seemspreferable the pejorative terms "retrograde"and "passliste"that one of us, Michael Ld*wy has used in severalearlierworks). a more Conservative which does notwishtore-establish Romanticism, 2) or less distant maintain as but to State and the theyexist past society in countries untouchedby theFrenchRevolution (Englandand Gerof at end of 19th and to rethe the the 18th, many beginning century), is is ante of what involved storetheFrench status 1788. In both cases quo a particular and ofcapitalist pre-capitalistformations. juxtaposition a non-Romantic Therealso exists, conservatism however, thatjustifies itbe in thecapitalist orderand defendsitagainstall criticism, whether the name of the past or the future.One may speak of conservative

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and Sayre Lwy

61

ofcapitalism, Romanticism from onlywhen some measureofcriticism inthediscourse. valuesofthepast,ispresent thepointofviewoforganic This obviouslyholds true also for the other typeswe will discuss further on: liberaland socialistRomanticism, etc. Fascist a modern formin whichneoRomanticism, very 3) specific Romanticism transforms itself into Nazi or fascist ideologywiththe rise of those movements betweenthe twowars.There are doubtless elementsof the fascist or even hostileto ideologies thatare foreign - one need onlythink Romanticism ofItalianFuturism, forexample - but nonetheless one of their is themes hatred of the. predominant modernworldand nostalgiaforan organiccommunity of thepast. which realizes thatthe re-establishRomanticism, 4) "Resigned" ment of pre-capitalist structure is impossibleand which considers, that theadventofindustrial is it, althoughdeeplyregretting capitalism an irreversible fact towhichone can onlyresign oneself.In some cases thistype ofRomanticism can giveriseto a tragic worldview (theinsurin othercases it betweenvaluesand reality); mountablecontradiction produces a reformist point of viewthataims to remedysome of the mostglaring evilsofbourgeoissociety, withpre-capitalist institutions a role. playing regulative in terms, whichseemstobe a contradiction Romanticism, 5) Liberal since classical liberalismand anti-capitalist Romanticrevoltwould exclusive.But one is obliged to recognizethe appear to be mutually in theearly19thcentury existence ofsucha phenomenon- especially - inwhichRomanticism and itsoppositeare an unstablecompound, on thepointofnegating theformer The typeis essentially based itself. on a misunderstanding, since forliberal Romanticism the paradise lost is not entirely incompatiblewiththe capitalist present;all that would be to cure the most flagrant would be necessary ills of that orderby social and moral reform. in whichthenostalgia and/or Romanticism, 6) Revolutionary Utopian into fora pre-capitalist is the past projected hope fora post-capitalist future.Rejectingboth the illusion of a pure and simple returnto ofthepastand resigned organiccommunities acceptanceofthebourit more or and explicitly, less degeois present, aspires radically on the case to see the abolition of and the capitalism pending creationof a utopian future or of some traits values possessing presocieties. capitalist Within Romanticism thereare a numberof currents revolutionary thatconstitute distinct should consequentlybe which quite types, examined in theirspecificity: I - Jacobin-democratic whichadopts a critical stance Romanticism, in thename bothfeudalism ofwealth, towards and thenewaristocracy

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62 Romantic Anti-Capitalism of theegalitarian values of theradicalwingof theFrenchRevolution. Most oftenitspre-capitalist reference pointsare the GreekPolis and the Roman Republic. II - Populist whichopposes industrial Romanticism, capitalismas and and which aims to salvage,re-establish or serfdom, monarchy in some as a the social alternative forms of and develop way production lifeof thepre-capitalist of peasant and artisancommunity "people." III - Utopian-humanist Socialism: we designateby thistermthose socialist currentsand thinkers who aspire to a collectivist (postbut not who do see theindustrial as the utopia, capitalist) proletariat historical isaddressedtohumanity Theirdiscourse agentofthis project. as a whole (or to suffering in also be humanity particular). Theymight the term but this would be amsocialists," designatedby "utopian since most forms of Romanticism are biguous revolutionary utopian in the etymological sense of the word: the aspirationfora not-yet(utopia: in no place). society existing IV - Libertarian, or Anarchistic whichdrawson the Romanticism, collectivist traditions of peasants,artisansand skilled pre-capitalist, workers in itsrevolutionary and themodstruggle againstcapitalism ern Statein all itsforms. What distinguishes thiscurrent fromother similarones is its irreconcilable oppositionto the centralizedState, of perceivedas the quintessenceof all the oppressivecharacteristics and itsintention tocreatea decentralized federacapitalist modernity, tionof local communities. V - Marxist Romanticism: one can finda Romanticanti-capitalist dimensionin theworksofMarx,but itis far from beingthedominant one. However,itbecomes dominant ofcertain in thethought authors, the nostalgiafora pre-capitalist Gemeinschaft (or foritsvalues,itsculfor force thecritique ture, role,bothas a motivating etc.)playsa central ofindustrial and as a crucialelementin thesocialist capitalism utopia of thefuture. This typology is to be used withcaution,notonlybecause thework ofan authorgenerally does notcorrespondexactly to anyoftheideal but also because of the disavowalsand shifts, transformations, types, reversals of positionthatare so common to Romanticism, themovementsofa singleauthorfrom one positionto another within thespectrumofRomanticanti-capitalism. We haveonlyto recall, just to citea fewexamples,theitinerary of Friedrich and of Schlegel G6rresfrom to themostconservative thatof monarchism, Jacobinrepublicanism Sorel from Action to the Georges syndicalism revolutionary Frangaise to (and vice versa),thatof Luktcsfromtragic, resignedRomanticism ofWilliamMorris that from Romantic nosBolshevism, revolutionary socialism,thatofRobertMichels talgiafortheMiddle Ages to Marxist

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andL'wy 63 Sayre to fascism, and ArturoLabriola fromrevolutionary etc. syndicalism leads to a breakwith In some scases thiskindof changeeventually and reconciliation withthe bourgeoisorder.But those Romanticism cases are exceptional.For the most partwhatoccurs are changes of thesame the sameintellectualfield, within developments positionwithin It is preciselythe socio-culturalmatrix,Romantic anti-capitalism. homogeneity oftheideological spacethatallows us to comprehendthese metamorphosesthatare seeminglyso bizarre. The fundamentally and as itwere"hermaphroditic" character ambiguous,contradictory, of solutions, allows forthemostmultifarious ofthisWeltanschauung theauthorhaving broken one toanother without and thepassagefrom This unity-inof his earlierproblematics. withthe basic framework movecultural ofcertain also in theexistence itself manifests diversity whichtraverse Surrealism and Expressionism, mentslikeSymbolism, the different typesand cannot be pinned down to any one of the The same holds forcertainsocial movements mentioned. categories atthebeginning of so likethejugendbewegung for a return nature, calling the ecological movement. thiscentury, or more recently to examine in more detail In the following pages we will attempt each of the typesof Romanticanti-capitalism. through principally coherenceofitsbasic authors whosework- in theinternal exemplary - mostnearly characteristics of structure approachestheideal-typical each figure. Romanticism 1) "Restitutionist" the "resWithinthe constellationof Romantic anti-capitalisms and visionoccupies a privileged titutionist" consequentlyconplace, a logical point of departurein discussingthe types.For this stitutes and quantitatively is both qualitatively of the worldview articulation On theone hand,itis clearthatbyfarthelargest themostsignificant. are to be situated and thinkers Romantic writers numberofimportant we in On the other this hand, might saythatthe category. principally essence the of all the to is of the closest "restitutionist" types perspective we theoverallphenomenon.Forat theheartofthegeneralworldview forthepre-capitalist havefounda nostalgia past;and therestitutionist sucha past or recreate restore desire to the is defined by precisely type to thedegraded is neither Restitutionism statein thepresent. resigned towards thefuture, nororiented out ofdisenchanted realism, present an callsfor butrather ofbothpastand present, towards transcendance Thispastis someis theobjectofnostalgia. tothepastthat actualreturn for theRussianSlavophiles, a traditional times (as with agrarian society example, or the Southern"AgrarianSchool" in the U.S betweenthe lookstotheMiddleAges.This restitutionism twowars),butmostoften

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64 Romantic Anti-Capitalism concentration oftherestitutionist ideal in themedievalpast,especially in itsfeudalform, might perhapsbe explainedon theone hand bythe in timeoftheMiddleAges(comparedwithantiquirelative proximity timesetc.),and on the otherby its radical difference ty,prehistoric from inthepresent: itisclose enoughfor whatis rejected itsrestoration tobe conceivable, and initsstructures to yettotally opposed initsspirit the capitalist system. Another oftherestitutionist characteristic trendis thatitsmostnoarein themajority one also finds itin tableexponents literary. Although philosophy (Schelling)and in political theory(Adam Miiller),for artists who havediscovered an affinity forit.It example,itis especially seems plausible thatthe predominanceof artists can be explained - or even by the growingawarenessof the unrealistic principally unrealizable of the character to recreate a entirely project periodofthe is forever. And the that dream of a return to theMiddle past gone yet an continues to have Ages (or agrarian society) greatsuggestive power forthe imagination, and lends itself to visionary Conseprojections. attractsenquently it stands to reason that it should particularly sibilities orientedtowardsthe symbolic and esthetic dimension. Ifone passes inreview themajorwriters who sharethis italso vision, becomes clear that one of its principalfocuses is Germany.Restitutionism appeared veryearlythere- in thelastyearsof the 18th and an intellectual milieuofartists and thinkers century grew up in which it was developed. Yet at the outset the GermanFriihromantik tooksideswiththeFrenchRevolution and thevalues enthusiastically and hopes itincarnated, a fact thatdemonstrates thatresvery clearly titutionism or Rightbyno means alwayshas itsrootsin a reactionary takenby the wingideology.However,disillusionedby the direction Revolutionin its lateryears,and even more so by the Napoleonic turned towards theidealof it,theGermanRomantics periodfollowing a medievalrestoration, itsprimary valuesbeingthehierarchical order oftheStiinde, feudalbonds,and thecommunionof person-to-person the whole social body in religiousfaithand love forthe monarch. Elaborated in the realm of politico-economic thoughtagainst the liberalism ofAdam Smith and Adam Miiller, and in byBaader,G6rres therealm oftheological and philosophical Schleierspeculation byRitter, macherand the Schlegelbrothers, thisvisionofan idealized Middle first found in Wackenroder and Novalis. Ages literary expression Tieck, The latter the classic formulation in his provided essay "Europe, or Christendom"(1800) - in which he contrasts not only the sterile rationalism oftheAufklirung with thelostreligious senseofmarvel, but also the"commerciallife"(Geschiiftsleben) characterized by"egotistical and "man avid forpossessions" preoccupations"(eigenniitzige Sorgen) with medievalculture unitedin thespiritual Mensch), (habsiichtiger cornm-

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Sayre andL'wy 65 oftheChurch.41Laterwe find therestitutionist visioninE.T.A. munity and Kleist,and in the operas of Wagner;it Eichendorff Hoffmann, at the end of the 19th currents reappearsagain in the neo-Romantic afriend for and beginning ofthe20thcenturies, exampleinPaul Ernst, in theViennesetheoretician ofLukhcs'in hisyouth,42 OthmarSpann, and in StefanGeorge and his circle. occurredin thefirst Romantic In Englandthesame reversal generafortheFrenchRevolution and itsvalues, an initialpartipris tion:after and turned- espeand Coleridgebecame disillusioned Wordsworth The to medieval restitutionism. latter Coleridge perspective cially was soon articulated again in thenovelsofWalterScottand theessays laterin the century in Ruskinand the Preof Carlyle;it resurfaced Raphaelites.As forFrance,the ideological reversalwithinRoman- moreorless ticism was exactly theopposite:theoriginal perspective - ofChateaubriand, Lamarwithrestitutionism Vigny, impregnated tine,Lamennaisand Hugo, gave wayunderthepressureofeventsto more liberal and democraticpositions,and ones more orientedto thefuture. the20th,although and throughout At theend of the 19thcentury tends to a certainextentto be replaced by resigned, restitutionism a curit remainsnonetheless or fascist Romanticism, revolutionary, at To givean idea ofitspersistence ofthefirst rent orderofimportance. on Barres and itsinfluence mention leastup toWorldWarII, we might Kulturthe French Right,on Oswald Spengler and the right-wing in K. in on Eliot and G. Chesterton and Yeats,T.S. pessimistenGermany, illustrious the most in survived to has fact the It England. up present, recentcase of it being thatof Solzhenitsyn. wewilltake in the20thcentury To demonstrate itscontinued vitality from novelist a French as an example oftherestitutionist perspective theperiod betweenthetwowars:GeorgesBernanos.His case is parvoice to the because he appears to give literary interesting ticularly of sectorof Frenchyouthin thebeginning of a significant worldview For in his youthbeforeWorldWar I, Bernanoswas the20thcentury. name ofwhich thevery student activein a farRight-wing organization the the"Camelotsdu Roi." Between itsrestitutionist character: reveals members of the with other twowars, Camelots, Bernanosjoined along the Action Frangaise;but, whereasa large portionof the latterorganization,and of the FrenchRightin general,moved progressively ideal: the to his original Bernanosremainedfaithful closerto fascism,
41. Novalis,Werke (Hidecke Verlag,1924), pp. 313-14. 42. See M. L6wy,Pourunesociologie des intellectuels revolutionnaires (Paris: P.U.F., 1976), pp. 52-54.

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66 Romantic Anti-Capitalism medieval Christianmonarchy.Consequently,in spite of the antisome of his earlierworks,his vision differs Semitismthatdisfigures from whowereattracted that oftheRomantic totally anti-capitalists by fascistideology,and he remainsa particularly pure case of restitution. - LesGrands ofone ofBernanos'works The title Cimetitres sous la lune his (The GreatCemeteriesin Moonlight)- conveysmetaphorically is stricken withspiritual conceptionof modern society:everything deathina worldilluminated onlybythevalueofmoney(themoon). In thissame workhe cries out against"the extremesolitudeto which that knows hardly [modernman]is abandoned bya society anylonger otherrelations betweenhumanbeingsthanthosebased on money."43 His best-known decampagne d'uncure novel,Journal (Diaryofa Country same the of thesocial Priest), develops conceptionthrough portrayal microcosm the As one of the characters represented by priest's parish. "The who the modern we know who are! says: gods protect polis, they in dine and are called bankers." The of true town, They representatives values in thenoveloppose to thisthoroughly debased world spiritual theideal ofmedievalChristendom; ifithad survived intothepresent, "we would have torn the feelingof solitude from the heart of Adam."44 The spiritual adventure embarkedupon by the priest- a kindof modernsaint- is to attempt to awakenhis parishto thetruevalues and thereby to createa favorable fortherestoration terrain ofthelost Christendom. His vocationis surprisingly mutatis to mutandis, similar, thatoftheGermanrestitutionists, as definedby Friedrich Schlegelin 1805: "It is theexpresspurpose of thenew philosophyto restore the ancientGermanconstitution, that is tosay,thesystem based on honor, freedom and loyalty, to bringintobeingthestateofmind byworking on whichthetrue, free ofmindthat... [is] monarchy depends,thestate theonlyone havinga saintly character.""4 One could not better summarize the restitutionist fromearlyGerman project,in itscontinuity Romanticism totheperiodbetween thetwowarsin France.ButinBerThe modernmalady nanos' noveltheprojectis condemnedto failure. is too deep, and the priest'sstruggle to save the soul of his parishis totally hopeless. The relative optimismof the GermanRomanticsis replacedby a radicalpessimismin Bernanos.And yetin spiteof that Bernanos neverbecomes "resigned." In his novelistic universethe
43. G. Bernanos,Lesgrands Cimetilres sousla lune(Paris:Plon, 1938), p. 27. 44. Bernanos,Journald'un cure'de (Paris:Plon, 1936),pp. 21, 212. On the campagne in Society. subject,see thechapteron Bernanosin R. Sayre,Solitude 45. In Philosophical cited byJ. Droz, Le Romantisme enAllemagne, Lectures, politique p. 19.

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andLwy 67 Sayre ofan absurd remainsto acceptthenecessity onlyvalidattitude struggle islostfrom the outset - torestore thelostparadise.Such is the - one that in late capitalism. despair thattendsto takehold of restitutionism Romanticism 2) Conservative Conservative Romanticism in thestrict sensemanifests itself mainly in theworkofpolitical who legitimate theestablished orderby thinkers, itas a"natural" result ofhistorical evolution interpreting (for example, the "Historical School of Law" of Hugo and Savigny,the positive oftheStateofFriedrichJulius Stahl,and theToryideology philosophy ofDisraeli).Amongtheimportant Romanticphilosophers is Schelling in and probablyclosestto theconservative position, politicaleconomy Malthusis not without some affinities withit. Its borderlinewith restitutionist Romanticismis fluid and imand Louis de precise:authorsliketheFrenchultras Josephde Maistre Bonald seem to be situatedsomewherein a transitional area. One of the characteristics thatallows us nonethelessto distinguish between the twotypesis theacceptanceor non-acceptance of elementsof the order.The totalrejection of modern industry and of bourcapitalist is essentialto therestitutionist whereasfullacceptgeois society type, ance of themimpliesa non-Romantic formof thought the (whatever authoritarianism, importancegivento tradition, religion, etc.),as in the case ofAugusteComte's positivism. It is rather the intermediate which to the combinationof feudalismand position, corresponds characteristic ofthat capitalism periodin Europe (end ofthe 18thcenfirst of half the tury, 19th), that is typical of conservativeRomanticism. A concrete is thethought thesetraits mayhelptoclarify examplethat of Edmund Burke.His workbelongs without doubt to Romanany ticism: hostile to the passionately Enlightenment ("thisliterary cabal"), - Reflections in hisfamouspamphletagainstthe1789 Revolution onthe Revolution in France(1790) - Burke opposes the "old feudal and chivalrousspirit to thenew age of"sophists,economists and offealty" calculators."He opposes wise and ancientprejudices,productof a "gothicand monkisheducation,"to the barbarousphilosophyproduced by "cold hearts,"and venerablelanded property, of heritage our ancestors, to thesordidspeculations and is This ofJews jobbers.46 thereason whyhis book made such an impactin Germany, whereit helped to develop the themesof politicalRomanticism.
46. Edmund Burke,Reflections on theRevolution in France(London: University TutorialPress), comments arefrequent in pp. 56, 78-81,90, 104, 109,etc.Anti-Semitic Burke,as theyare in manyotherRomanticanti-capitalist authors- socialists(e.g., Proudhon)as well as conservatives.

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68 Romantic Anti-Capitalism RomanticsBurkeis not a truly However, unlikethe restitutionist forhisdoctrine also has a "liberal"dimension thinker; anti-bourgeois typicalof theWhigpartyto whichhe belonged. His earlierpolitical in favorof conciliationwiththe rebelliousAmerican interventions colonies and of parliamentarianprinciples against George III's to an extent ofliberalism that won hima reputation royalabsolutism, he wouldjoin thecamp oftheEnglishparThomas Painebelievedthat tisansof the 1789 Revolution. Burke'spoliticaland social ideologyis in factan expressionof the whichhad ruled compromisebetweenbourgeoisieand landowners the politicallifeof England eversince the "Glorious Revolution"of 1688 (ofwhichhe was a fervent In a very admirer). revealing passageof on the Revolution in Burke in that France, France,unlike Reflections regrets the mutual of land into England, convertibility moneyand ofmoney as wellas thegreat This tradition, intoland has alwaysbeen difficult. mass oflanded property held bytheFrenchcrownand Church,"kept more separatedin France,less misthelanded and monied interests notso well cible,and theownersofthetwodistinct speciesofproperty to in each other as this are disposed they country."47 In spiteofhisadmiration forthehereditary and thegreat aristocracy Burkedid notat all intendto reserve themthemonopoly landowners, of power. Politicalpower must be given to all property owners,or rather to whathe calls the "naturalaristocracy," whichincludesnot but also magistrates, and "richtraders," onlythe nobility professors who "possess the virtuesof diligence,order,constancy, and regularity."48 The dimensionofnostalgia forthe"chivalrous"MiddleAges is not in Burke's but lacking writings, thepastdoes notplaythesame roleas therestitutionist with itserves muchmoreas a legitimation Romantics; of the (English)presentthan as a criticism of it. The laws,customs, institutions and social hierarchies of England in 1790 arejustified as boththenatural and theprovidential ofan organic result as an growth, ancestral transmitted overthecenturies as heritage byeachgeneration, a partofwhathe calls "the whole chain and continuity of the Commonwealth."49 The influence ofBurkeis notlimited to theGermanRomantics; his his from time adoptionbyanti-revolutionary bourgeoisliberalism, up to today,is an indicator of the specific character of conservative Romanticism.It is revealingthata contemporary Americanpolitical
47. Ibid.,p. 114. 48. Cited by R. Kirk,TheConservative Mind(1954), p. 55. 49. Burke,Reflections onthe Revolution inFrance,p. 99.

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Sayreand Ldwy 69

WilliamMcGovern, for whomRousseau, Carlyle, and all the scientist, GermanRomantics ofthetotalitarian are forerunners doctrines ofthe insists on theotherhand that "thepolitical 20thcentury, of philosophy Burkewas truly liberal"and that"Burkewas anti-despotic, and to this extenta believerin democracy"(sic).50 Romanticism 3) Fascist In dealing with the fascisttypeof Romanticanti-capitalism it is in to at the outset that our view is what involved important emphasize isone type isfar and one that from themostimportant or amongmany, essentialvis-at-vis theoverallphenomenon.In thisrespect we wishto ourselvesvery from those- both anti-fascists and distinguish clearly - who have seen the entire fascists of Romanticism as a prehistory lude to fascism, and Romanticism as indissolubly linkedwithfascist ideology.As the discussion of the other elementsof the typology shouldunambiguously thisis byno meansthecase. The demonstrate, in many diverse Romanticanti-capitalist worldview manifests itself that is are to doubtless also true It totally foreign fascism. perspectives that starting with the first Romantic movementone already finds elementsofwhatwillbecome fascist ideologymuch later.In his Distothe course German of1808,Fichte Nation theGerdevelopstheidea that man people is superior because itisancient and itsduty that (an Urvolk), is toguarditsracialpurity; one also finds of anti-semitism expressions in von Arnim.It is equallyundeniablethatfascism drewquite extenon the of certain those of Wagner, neo-Romantics: thematics sively Gobineau and Moeller den for van Nietzsche, Bruck, example. Butin elements all thesecases onlypartial are involved;theseare reintegrated intoand reinterpreted thefascist without their within ideology, being an overall correspondence between the worldviewsof the neoRomanticauthorsand thatof fascism. One mayonlycharacterize an authoras a fascist Romanticifhe has is a the is involved of the fascist Since what totality adopted perspective. has this that the author movement, very specific socio-political implies manifested his approval of thatmovement.Consequently explicitly thistype ofRomanticism comesintobeingonlywiththeriseoffascism movements betweenthetwoWorldWars.To theextent that fascist - continueto appear up to thepresent or ones with a fascist tendency
50. W. McGovern, toHitler, From Luther "Burke pp. 111-112.See also C.W. Parkin, and the Conservative Ideas (London: Tradition,"in David Thomson, ed., Political Burke'spolemicagainst the Marxism, Penguin,1969),p. 128: "In theera ofworldwide revolutionary idea.., .has not lost its relevanceor cogency." ConcerningBurke's "belief in democracy"(McGoverndixit), let us simplyrecall thatfor thisdeclared "a perfect is themostshamelessthing in the enemyofpopularsovereignty democracy world" (Reflections, p. 97).

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70 Romantic Anti-Capitalism ofRomanticism also continues tosubsist day,thistype today.Forthere to be a truecase offascist two conditions mustin fact be Romanticism, fulfilled: not onlymusttherebe expressionofapprovalof themoveThe second condiment,but also adoption of thefascist perspective. tion eliminatesseveralwriters - such as Paul Ernst,ErnstJiinger and Montherlant, for instance- who on the one hand have neoRomantic and on theother collaborated orcompromised sensibilities, withfascism. For their visionis much closerto restitutionism thanto and remain bodies when attached to the latter. fascism, they foreign in of all the on above limitations the of However, spite concept fascistRomanticism, one is obliged to recognizethatitexists, and even thatit represents a relatively On the one hand important tendency. therehavd been numerous - and some notable - cases of neoRomanticwriters both supporting fascism and embracingitsworldview;on theotherhand Romanticthemesplayan absolutely essential role in fascistideologyas it is expressed in the cultureof the mass movements themselves. Thisjoining of Romanticism withfascism is For while noticeable in of Nazism. the the case particularly nostalgic reference to Roman antiquity Romanticdimension givesa definitely - the to Italianfascism, a contradictory themetendsto predominate one thatis articulated of urban,indusby the Futurists: glorification trial and technological and thecall to go further stillin thedireclife, tionofmodernity. Nazi ideoogy, on theother hand,ismorethoroughly fortheold tribal and feudalGermany, fortraditional nostalgic: peasantlifein oppositiontothefrenzied fortheancient pace ofthebigcity, in contrastwith today's Gesellschaft. These nostalgias Gemeinschaften in thearchitecture, theplasticartsand thecinema of the Nazi figure period,as well as in itsliterature.51 Whatis specific to Romantic in itsfascist form? First anti-capitalism ofall, therejection ofcapitalism is blendedwitha violentcondemnationof parliamentary as well as of Communism.In addidemocracy if often colored with thecapitalists, tion,anti-capitalism anti-Semitism; therich,and thosewho incarnate thespirit ofthecity and ofmodern theRomantic valuationof life, appear in theguiseoftheJew. Thirdly, is to carried its furthest of limits, subjectivity becomingglorification theirrational in itspure form, of bruteinstinct in itsmostaggressive manifestations. Thus theRomanticcultof love becomes itsopposite - praise of forceand cruelty. Finally,in its fascistversionthe individualistic is greatly attenuated or entirely pole ofRomanticism supmovement and Statethesuffering Romantic"I" pressed;in thefascist
51. SeeJean-Michel comme rvolte Palmier, L'Expressionnisme (Paris:Payot,1978) on the subjectof Nazi artand culture.

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andLwy 71 Sayre is obliterated. The periodsofthepastthat are mostoften thesubjectof a with instinctive are: and barbarous, peopled nostalgia prehistory in itselitist, violentsavages,Greco-Romanantiquity and slaveowning Hitlersometimes martial aspects,theMiddle Ages (in Nazi paintings and the rural Volksgemeinschafi already appears as a medieval knight) mentioned. In additionto therather substantial numberofmediocreor worthlessneo-Romantic authors whobecome theofficial bardsofNazism or of fascism,(the expressionist Hanns Johst,for example), a certain number of writers of qualityjoined the movementas well. Among thosewhose workexhibits, in one wayor another,thefusionof Romantic anti-capitalism with fascism,one mightmention: Drieu la Rochelleand Brasillach in France,Malaparteand d'Annunzioin Italy, Ezra Pound,WyndhamLewisand Lovecraft in England(and theUS), KnutHamsun in Norway, and H.H. Eversin Germany. Butthecase we willfocuson especially is that ofGottfied in a Benn,sincehe illustrates Romantictype. striking waythe natureof thefascist particularly of GermanexpresBenn, one of the most notable representatives sionism,publiclysupportedtheHitlerian regimefromthemomentit took power. Unlike many others,though,he veryrapidlygrewdisillusioned. Benn actively gave his supportto Nazism only duringa of two from 1933 to 35. Thereis,however, an essential period years over of the his whole one and finds the same themes work, continuity - withtheexceptionof theexplicitreference - beforehe to fascism workshe expresseshishatredofthe espouses thatcause. In his earlier modernworld- in itsbourgeoisand capitalist, urban and scientific, but also democratic and socialist and ofa primitive, dreams aspects instinctual for "Primal Vision", 1929). Duringhis past (see, example, short within the Nazi orbit Benn wrote some tenprosetexts that period reflect of in fascist In them the. two unambiguously ideology. particular Romanticanti-capitalist elementof his visionappears mostclearly. The first, and least important, is a favorablereviewof a workby anotherfascist wider diemodentitled Romantic, Evola, Erhebung Julius - and summarizes emeWelt Benn Modern the World). (Revolt Against and accepts - the main theme of the book, which is a definition ofwhatEvola calls the Traditionswelt: theworldof primiglorification tivesocietiesduringtheperiod fromHomer to Greektragedy, in the Orientand theNordiccountries as wellas in Greece.Whatfollows this and theriseof thedegeneratemodernworld. period is decay (Verfall) to Evola (and Bennagrees),fascism thefirst and Nazism for According timeallow modernpeoples to reestablish contactwiththelost Traditionswelt. For Benn,however- and thisholds forfascist Romanticism ingeneral- itisnota questionofsimply totheTraditionswelt. returning

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72 Romantic Anti-Capitalism from hisfascist in hisview"only In another text periodhe declaresthat his his the of man, danger, tragedy,"52 todaybegins history suggesting therebythatman is soon to reach a higherstage of development. is oriented thefuture towards as wellas Indeed, thefascist perspective thepast,as is indicatedby some ofitsslogans,such as "New Order," "New Europe," etc. The past ofwhichBenn dreamsis amplydevelopedin a long essay entitled "Dorische Welt."The Doric world,i.e., the Greekstatesup In thepicture untilthe5thcentury B.C., is Benn'schosenTraditionswelt. are considered to be essentialand he sketchesof it the following necessarytraits:war, sport that prepares for war, slaverywithout racismand xenophobia,elitism and pow"anti-feminism," scruples, erfulState.The image Benn givesof the Doric worldin factmakes it resemble National-Socialist societyquite closely. But he also emoftheDoric as he interprets is it:there phasizes anothercharacteristic in the modern sense, since land in inalienable. no privateproperty kindof is notreally Moreoverthere ineffective anymoney,onlya very is not ironcoin. Consequently but rather sacred desired, "gold things, antimagic weapons...53"" Benn's ideal past is thus specifically In thiscontext itis interesting to notethatin thefirst textin capitalist. whichBenndeclareshisdisillusionment with theNazis - "Art and the in 1941 - he accuses themofwanting to enrich ThirdReich,"written not of a true alternative to the and therefore themselves, providing of This reveals the essential the Romantic world. continuity bourgeois - likea considerable ofBenn,who thought of number anti-capitalism in the of that he had found fascism realization others, unfortunately his hopes. Romanticism 4) "Resigned" Romanticism from thesecond halfofthe Resigned emerges mainly 19thcentury whencapitalist industrialization onwards, appears more and more as an irreversible and the for restoration of a process, hope social still at the relations the of pre-capitalist strong beginning - tendsto disappear. Its grudging century acceptanceof capitalism of Romanticism close to theconservative but bringsthisvariety type, itssocialcriticism ofindustrial civilization is muchmoresignificant and intense. consider One might whoseworks manyofthewriters belongto whatLukicscalls"critical tobelongtoit:for realism," instance, Dickens, Flaubert,and Thomas Mann (Balzac would probablyfallin the no and resigned Butitis man'sland betweenrestitutionist Romanticism). in Germanyat the turnof the 19thcentury thatone findsthe most
52. Cited by Palmier, corume rivolte, L'Expressionnisme p. 373. 53. G. Benn,Essays. Reden. (Wiesbaden:Limes Verlag,1959), p. 280. Vortriige

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andL'wy 73 Sayre characteristic ofthiscurrent, mainly among theacademic expressions mandarinateand the first scientists. German social Its major great nucleus was the founded ideological Vereinflir Sozialpolitik, by Gustav and and later Schmoller, Brentano, Adolph Wagner Lujo joined by FerdinandT6nnies and Max Weber;itssocial philosophy was thesocalledKathedersozialismus. OtherGermanacademicsofthisperiodcan WernerSomalso be consideredas close to resignedRomanticism: Max Scheler,GeorgSimmel,KarlMannheim, bart,Alfred Troeltsch, common to manyof etc. Max Weber probablyexpressedan attitude themwhen he wrote,in an articlein 1904 forthejournal Archiv fir thatwe mustaccept capitalism"not undSozialpolitik, Sozialwissenschaft but ofsocial structure, because itseemsto us better thantheold forms because it is practically inevitable."54 Some of theseauthorswererather traditionalist (AdolphWagner), while otherswere more modernizing(Lujo Brentano,Max Weber), as to supportthetradeunionsand social democracy some goingso far has a profoundly bent,thiscurrent (Tinnies). In spiteofitsreformist as itspre-capitalist social and cultural values dimension,insofar tragic Simmel'sworkis appear as condemned to decline and extinction.55 inthemostsystematic dimensionmanifests itself wherethistragic way, und die Trag6dieder in essay"Der Begriff particularly theimportant des Geldes Kultur"(Logos, Bd. II, 1911-12) and in his Philosophie (The of of 1900. Philosophy Money) withinreof the contradictions The most typicalrepresentative considered who is is Ferdinand signedRomanticism probably T6nnies, father of Germansociology.In his famouswork, to be thefounding und Gesellschaft and Society;1887), he conGemeinschaft (Community on theone handthe"community" twokindsofsociability: trasts (famigovernedbyharmony, town),itsuniverse ly,village,smalltraditional on theotherhand "society" mutualhelp,and Kultur; custom,religion, itsworldruledbycalculathe national the State, factory), (thelargecity, as technical Zivilisation and of each thestruggle tion,profit, againstall, to an is be intended Thnnies' book and industrial objective progress. but his and "value-free" comparisonbetweenthese two structures, is evident: for the rural, "Community "organic"Gemeinschafi nostalgia and superis onlytransitory commonlife;society is thetrue and lasting as a living understand ficial.One can, to a certain extent, community artificial mechanical as an and and aggregate." society organism, thepleasure Whiledomesticeconomy"relieson pleasure,particularly
zur Wissenschaftslehre 54. Weber, Gesammelte (Tiibingen: Mohr, 1922), Aufsiitze p. 159. 55. Cf. KurtLenk,"Das tragische in der DeutschenSoziologie," in Bewusstsein undSozialpsychologie Kiilner Soziologie Zeitschriftftir (1964).

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74 Romantic Anti-Capitalism and love of production, creationand conservation," thebig cityand the Gesellschaft in general"represents thecorruption and deathof the ofcourse,refers to pre-capitalist communities Gemeinschaft, people.""56 and forms oflife(notnecessarily while embodies medieval), Gesellschaft all the traits of industrial/capitalist society.The opposition between - became twoforms - or thecontrast between Kultur and Zivilisation one ofthemainthemesofRomantic in atthe anti-capitalism Germany turnof the century. Whatcharacterizes T6nnies as a "resigned"Romanticauthoris the conviction thatreturn to theGemeinschaft is an illusion,and that tragic social decadence is inevitable, likethedeclineofa living that organism cannntreturn to itsyouthful looked with on sympathy days."5 T6nnies thetradeunionsand consumers'cooperatives an neo-communitarian organismsthatcorrectedthe excesses of modern industrial society, but he did not believe in the possibility of restoring the authentic of thepast. Gemeinschaft Romanticism 5) Liberal The first to deal withthe problem one encountersin attempting is thatat the beginning of the phenomenon of liberalRomanticism, - theperiod in whichthemost 19thcentury cases ofthe noteworthy - there existeda considerable confusion in tertypeare concentrated minology.The term"liberal" - as well as "democratic,""republiforexample- was givenvagueand multifarious can," and "socialist," between the different terms meanings; moreover,the distinctions were farfrombeing precise.Thus VictorHugo definedhis political 1830 as atthe same time socialist and democratic."5 positionafter liberal, At thattimetheterm"liberal" possessed at leasttwodifferent meanlinkedtoa party thatreflecings:on theone hand a politicaltendency ted the interests of the risingbourgeoisieagainstecclesiasticaland aristocratic broadermovement reaction;on theothera considerably of opinion and ideas, thattodaywould be called "progressive" in the towardschangeand thefuture. largestsense of orientation This terminological confusion meansthat itisimpossibletoarrive at a coherentdefinition of the phenomenon if one relieson what the authorsoftheperiodsaidabout their ownpolitics. evenifwe However, admitthat, and evenifwe also admitthat in manyconcrete instances a is extremely difficult to make,itdoes nonetheprecisecategorization
56. F. T6nnies, Communaute etsociet6 (Paris: P.U.F., 1944), pp. 5, 236-37. 57. T6nnies responded to young discipleswho favoredthe reestablishment of community by sayingthatone cannot combat the process of aging. Cf.J. Leif,La de Tdnnies Sociologie (Paris:P.U.F., 1946), p. 71. 58. See D.O. Evans,Le Socialisme Pierre Leroux etsescontemporains romantique: (Paris: Marcel Rivibre, 174. 1948), p.

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and Ldwy 75 Sayre

less seem clearthata liberalRomanticism existsand more specifically thata meaningful distinction can be made betweenit and "Jacobinas the democratic"Romanticism. We willdefineliberalRomanticism does not ofthemodernbourgeois whilecritical world, that, perspective and is condrawtheradicalconclusionsfollowing from thiscriticism, rather thanmore fundamental tentto simply call forreforms change. These Romantics, maketheir thestatus then, peace with quo, atleastto of some degree,and theyback offwhen faced withthe perspective liketheJacobin-democrats, takeas their social upheaval. While they, and itsvalues,they look toits theFrenchRevolution pointofreference mostmoderateelements- theGirondins rather thantheJacobins ardor is expressed in fortheirideal. Most oftentheirrevolutionary and mythical and they tendtoleaveaside the terms, vague,sentimental of class exploitation. question The liberalRomanticsare not to be confused,however, withpure - for The latter Victor and Pauland simpleliberals. Cousin example, in England Louis Courierin France, and Bentham and theUtilitarians - are totally in thecritical forthe dimensionand thenostalgia lacking vision. them find that characterize the Romantic In we simplya past celebration ofthenewbourgeoisorderand ofitsvictory overtheforces of the past. The Romanticanti-capitalist liberals,on the otherhand, fortheyare at one and the an astonishing constitute contradiction, and non-critical vis-a-vis thepresent. In ourviewthis same timecritical one be two factors, historically contingent paradoxmight explainedby and the otheressentialto Romanticism.In the first place, thisconsituationof the early19th tradictory typearises out of the historical in France. In that of Restoration most that the century, particularly contextit quite easilycould appear thatthe source of the evilsof the theprincipalenemyto be combated present- and consequently reactionand all that was not the bourgeois order but aristocratic theredid notyetexista clear remainedoftheOld Regime.Moreover, awarenessof the new social forcesat work,of the splitting up of the classes.An beyondthehorizonsof Third Estateintotwoantagonistic tertium datur was notyetvisthepossibility ofa future pastand present seem to be thefollowing: ible. Undertheseconditions thechoicecould the to keep thepurity ofone's revolt by optingforthe against present case in point); an excellent for Balzac is, restitutionism, being past(that it to a the while with or, accept compromise hopingto reform present, - to eliminateor diminishitsmost flagrant wrongs. in the is foundmainly However,althoughthistypeofRomanticism it nonethelessrepresents a possible perabove historicalsituation, at anymomentin itsdevelopmutationof Romanticanti-capitalism nature.Forwe haveclaimedthat ofan aspectofitsvery ment,byvirtue

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76 Romantic Anti-Capitalism

is the subjectiveself. one of the two poles of value forRomanticism in is a there the final And, although analysis profoundand explosive in the socioconflict betweenthissubjectiveselfand individualism oftenremainslatentand hidden.This economic realm,thisconflict betweenthe cult of the Romanticinallows fora possible affinity dividualand theindividualism ofbourgeoisliberalism; itis at thispreits cise point thatRomanticism and runs the riskof joins opposite, its transformed into being opposite. - probably in relative These twofactors withdifferent importance to make of Michelet,Lamartine,Sainteeach case - contributed liberal Beuve and Hugo the hybridphenomenon we are terming Romanticism. The lattertwo are instructive to compare, since they twomodalities state ofbeing.It is Pierre illustrate ofthiscontradictory Barb6ris who has providedus with themostincisive ofFrench analyses liberalRomanticism in general, and morespecifically ofSainte-Beuve and Hugo. In an excellentstudyofJoseph Barb6risdemonDelorme, inSainte-Beuve and Romantic strates that thecoexistence ofliberalism revolttakes the formof a split betweentwo kinds of writings: the works.In theformer - "on thelevelof clear and theliterary articles consciousness and abstract to showshimself analysis"- Sainte-Beuve be a classicliberal, whereasonlyin literary creation does hisunhappy, This may problematicand rebellious consciousness express itself. condemnation Delorme and, explaintheviolent bytheliberals; ofJoseph as Barb6rispointsout, the factthe Sainte-Beuve chose to reissuethe book after 1830 would indicatethatitsrealsubjectis nottheRestorationbut thebourgeoisorder.59 is internal In thecase ofHugo, on theotherhand,thecontradiction of In a the to theliterary detailed "ChAtiments", analysis production. Barb6risrevealsa bourgeoisideologyat workthatis critical onlyof of science and in the and that sees progress oppression" "pre-liberal in whereas ills of the the for the future solution the present, technology s nostalgia fortheold Franceofcountryside same poem one also finc "withHugo ... thejuxtaposiconcludesthat Barb6ris and handicraft. ... and a granworldview tionremainsunresolved ofa non-capitalist at but the diose visionofthenewindustrial priceofrefusing society ofindustrial is set to see whatkind society being up."60The date ofthe "Chitiments"(1853) indicatesthatliberalRomanticism byno means in illusion of harcases the certain after the Restoration; disappears subsists and liberalism monybetweenRomanticism long afterwards. in LesMisIn otherworksby Hugo, of course,and mostparticularly
59. "Signification Delorme en 1830," in P. Barb6ris, Lectures du riel(Paris: deJoseph EditionsSociales, 1973). 60. Ibid.,p. 182.

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andLDwy 77 Sayre

thereis a more pronouncedanti-bourgeois dimension.Yet in grables, spiteof thefactthathe was a politicalchameleon,and thatin certain he might seem tobe close to the"Jacobin-democrats" or even respects ingeneral, an early after montohumanitarian socialism, Hugo's work the to to archist seems correspond paradoxicalphenomenon period, roleis togivefull ofliberalRomanticism: whomthewriter's Hugo, for in his fact both to its sides epoch, expressed contradictory expression its but also its revolt not integration. only Romanticism 6) I Jacobin-democratic thatcan be ofa typeofRomanticanti-capitalism existence The very is eloquent proofagainstthe affirmatermed"Jacobin-democratic" and tion thatthereis an absolute oppositionbetweenRomanticism and a contradiction there from Far being necessary Enlightenment. of an important betweenthetwomovements, conflict component the mostoften thefiliation heirofthelatter, is thespiritual former passing Rousseau, who is to be located at thejunction betweenthe through thistypeof Romanticism- and what distwo.What characterizes itmountsa radicalcritique the liberal it from type- is that tinguishes thearistocthepast- themonarchy, from ofoppressionbyforces both This of new and the the Church and oppression. bourgeois racy - paris made (exceptofcoursein thecase ofwriters double critique Rousseau - who preceded it) in the name of the French ticularly Revolutionand of the values represented by its most radical wing, is sometimes The accompanied by allegiance Jacobin Jacobinism. and to the extentthatNapoleon is seen as an effective Bonapartism, often for the admiration Bonaparte heroicextensionofJacobinism; stops, however,at the 18th Brumaire.In contrastto liberals, the do not call forslow evolution,compromiseand Jacobin-democrats moderate solutions,but for revolutionary points and proturning foundupheavals. first Romanticism We are placingJacobin-democratic among the first it comes because chronologically. types "revolutionary/utopian" rationalthepurely from whichis clearly This current, distinguishable all the in be found is to ofradicalism istform principal (e.g., Godwin) itmanifests And naturally wave ofRomanticism. ofthefirst countries itselfin the countryof the Revolution. Following Rousseau the may by included in the Frenchline of developJacobinsthemselves a ment,since theirimpassionedidealizationof antiquity represents most the that is be to Romantic however, noted, It nostalgia. clearly radical versionofJacobinism- thatof Buonarrotiand Babeuf comes close to communismand thustendsto falloutsidethebounds theRevolution, In theyearsfollowing underconsideration. ofthetype menwe might and were who those Bonapartists bothJacobins among

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78 Romantic Anti-Capitalism to ConfestionStendhaland Musset- theMussetof theintroduction siond'unenfant du sitcle. In Germany, wherethe first Romanticswere before becoming restitutionists, several briefly Jacobin-democrats - H6lderlin,Biichnerand Heine - neverabanwriters important doned theiroriginalperspective. who finally admittedto being at hearta Heine, an anti-Romantic as theagentfortheredemption saw the French Revolution Romantic, of humanity: "Freedom is a new religion, the religionof our age ... The French... are thechosen people ... Parisis thenewJerusalem, and the Rhine is theJordanwhich divides the consecratedland of theland ofthePhilistines."''Attheend ofhis life, after from a liberty numberof shifts to the Leftand to the Rightof thisposition,Heine "an unchanging as the unifying reaffirmed principleof his thought to the democraticideas of the devotion to the cause of humanity, Revolution."62 withreThe case of Heine is particularly interesting he In his de to the for which is "aveux l'auteur" nostalgic. spect past whichconclude De l'Allemagne, he revealsthat, (author'sconfessions) he has a most once although philhellene(like Jacobin-democrats), that turned to his and he affirms the back antecedents; recently Judaic trueprefiguration oftheFrenchRevolutionis neither ancientGreece with its slavery, nor Rome with its legalisticchicanery, but rather Mosaic law and thecustomsof ancientJudaism. In Englandalso there is a significant tradition ofJacobin-democrats. Revolution The first to be mentionedis Blake,whose poem, The French from (1790-91), is written aJacobin pointofview,and who continued in laterpoems to represent in mythical form thestruggle oftheprincibroughtto ple of liberationwhichthe Revolutionhad momentarily life.Subsequentlytherewas theJacobinepisode of Coleridgeand of - to whichwe have alreadyalluded - and lastlythe Wordsworth moredurableradicalism ofEnglishRomanofthesecond generation that of and tics,notably Byron Shelley. Romanticism,then, is rathernarrowlycirJacobin-democratic intime:beginningwith cumscribed mainRousseau,itisconcentrated in the and its Its immediate aftermath. last ly Revolutionary period is is limThis of Heine. current greatrepresentative perhaps thought itedin timebyitsvery whichis to makea radicalindictment of nature, inthename ofthevaluesoftheFrenchRevolution; thepresent for with itstransformation intoa founding ofthevictorious bourgeoisie, myth theRevolution can no longerserveas sole reference pointfora radical
61. In Englische citedinW. Rose, "Heine's Political and Social Attitude," Fragmente, in Heinrich Heine: Two Studies and Feeling ofhis Thought Press, (Oxford University 1956), p. 16. 62. In the prefaceto the Frencheditionof Lutezia, citedin ibid., p. 86.

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andJLwy79 Sayre thatis,towards the (and ofthepast - oriented, critiqueofthepresent is remain if the to radical. With the birth of the socialist future) critique mustchangeifitis notto theauthentic and labor movements critique Heine, who - especiallyduring the period of his negate itself.63 and tempted associationwithMarx - was fascinated bycommunism himself to it,and also Shelley, without evercommitting the represent which it extremelimitsofJacobin-democratic Romanticism, beyond intoother"revolutionary/utopian" becomes transformed With types. is at thepointofmutation, and this Heine and Shelleytheworldview of the differentiates themfromearlierrepresentatives characteristic and notes between this difference and Shelley, type.Lukaics H61derlin not follow who did of later affirms a time that "a (rightly) H6lderlin the path of Shelley,would not have been a Hdlderlin,but rathera liberal."64 narrow, classicist The difference is so striking thatsome havegone so faras to portray as a In socialist. Marx'sdaughter and son-in-law Shelley particular, Eleanor Marx Avelingand Edward Aveling- attempted to demonthatin an essayentitled stratejust "Shelley'sSocialism.""6 In thistext claim that there a is fundamental difference betweenthe essenthey of radicalism and that of who speaksin tially bourgeois Byron, Shelley, thename oftheproletariat. Butwhilethedissimilarity betweenByron and Shelleyis real enough,in our opinion whatis involvedis a variathe same and theidentification ofShelley withSocialism tionwithin type, is untenable.For in spiteofthefact that in severalpoems - especially "The Mask of Anarchy"(1819) - he makes himself the advocate of rebelliousworkers and violently condemnstheconditionoftheworknevergoes so far as toplace private ingclassas a kindofslavery, Shelley in question, and his ideological reference property point alwaysremainsJacobin-democratic radicalism. His politicalperspective is unaltered, in fact, fromthe earlypoem "Queen Mab" (1812) to "Ode to Liberty" (1820) and "Hellas" (1821), written theyearbeforehisdeath.Shelley'shistorical, social and political vision is perhaps most fullyexpressed in these last two works. UnlikeRousseau, Shelleyexperiences no nostalgia forprimitive man; foraccordingto him,althoughliberty was inscribed in theworlditself forthe first itself by God at the creation,it succeeds in manifesting
63. The only exception. would appear to be the Third World, where retarded Romansocio-economicdevelopmenthas allowed an authentic Jacobin-democratic ticism topersist untilrecently, forexamplein thecase ofJos6 FidelCastroin his Marti, first period, etc. 64. Luklics,Werke, Vol. 7, p. 182. 65. Firstlimited edition, 1888; republicationby JourneymanPress, London, 1975.

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80 Romantic Anti-Capitalism a long initial time,after onlyin ancientGreece: period of barbarism, . . ./Athens "Let there be light! said Liberty a brief After conarose!"''66 ofitsreignin Rome, liberty suffers a longeclipse,at first tinuation due and later tothetyrannies and altar, tothegreedfor ofthrone money.In is to to return but themoderneraofrevolution earth, liberty preparing and thistimeat a higher For "The level, definitively. Shelley, coming As on a glass,"and "The world'sgreat age age is shadowedon thePast/ The golden yearsreturn."But in ancientGreece only beginsanew,/ dim melody,"and theworldto come willbe echoes flung "Prophetic "A brighter Hellas." Itwillconstitute a return, butthereturn willbe to themythical and utopianage ofSaturnrather thantoan actualstate of Greece in antiquity:"Saturn and Love their long repose! Shall burst.. ./Notgold,notblood, their Butvotive alterdowers,/ tears and For the future will not be the recreasymbolflowers."''67 Shelley simple thecomingtofull flower ofall itsqualities, tionofa realpast,butrather willthusreprewereonlyinbud inthepastera;thefuture qualitiesthat senta total suchas never fulfillment a utopiaofloveand existed before, beauty. Romanticism 6) II - Populist but Sismondi's workinaugurates populismas an economicdoctrine, itis in Russia thatthistrend- forreasonswhichhave to do bothwith thesocial structure ofthecountry and thesituation ofitsintellectuals - is mostfully ofthe19th duringthesecondhalf century developedas a social philosophy Economistssuch as and as a politicalmovement. B. Efroussi, V. Vorontsov for N. Danieland Nicolai- on (pseudonym who and for with Marx son, many years corresponded Engels),all more or less influenced likeMikhailovsky, by Sismondi,sociologists and above all "nihilist"revolutionary philosopherslike Herzen, are the main representatives of Romantic populism. They saw in the traditional Russian ruralcommunity fora thefoundation (obchtchina) road to Russian and both tzarist autocsocialism, specifically rejected civilization. The political manifestation of racyand Western capitalist was the movement Will of the Volya Narodnaya populism (The People), whichwantedto "go thethepeople" and winthepeasantry to thenew ideas. Of all great Russianwriters the revolutionary Tolstoyis certainly one withthegreatest for the of cult the affinity populist peasantry. but J.C. Sismondede Sismondiwas farfrom beinga revolutionary, hisrigorous and radicalcriticism ofcapitalism elicitedtheadmiration ofMarx,who consideredhim in certain superiorto Ricardo. respects
66. Shelley, Selected Poetry (OxfordUniversity Press,1968), p. 292. 67. The quotation:"Prophetic echoes flung dim melody"is from "Ode to Liberty,"and all theothersare from"Hellas."

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andLUwy81 Sayre In oppositionto classicaleconomy,his analysisofeconomic reality is theindus"I willalwaysstruggle against inspired bya moralprinciple: trialsystem whichhas made cheap ofhuman life."68 Sismondirejects - whathe calls "Chrematistics" - and the wealthas an end in itself ofmen tothecondition reduction ofmachines.Marx,in theCommunist Sismondi forbeing a utopian and a Manifesto, althoughcriticizing socialist,"pays him hommageforhavingprovided "petty-bourgeois an irrefutable demonstration ofthedeadlyconsequencesof machinof division ism, labor, over-production, crises,etc. is sinceitrefers conThis criticism ofthecapitalist Romantic, system to a to Golden the Italian Restantly Age especially pre-capitalist of the Middle and dreams of a of publics Ages society patriarchal smallartisans and smallpeasantlandowners, associatedin corporatist or communitarian structures. In a characteristic passage fromhis The New "In work, Political Economy major of (1819), he writes: Principles the countries is owner,and wherethe fruits of the wherethe farmer earthbelong entirely to the people who do all thelabor - countries ofexploitation whoseform as patriarchal [oftheland]wewilldesignate - one sees everywhere of the cultivator's for thehouse he love signs livesin and theland he takescare of."''69 Sismondirefuses, to however, be consideredas "an enemyof social progress"and insiststhathis desireis notto restore better whatused tobe, buttocreate"something whichis now" through of thanthat socialreforms: certain thepartition and of enterprises, etc. largelanded properties The continuity betweentheseeconomicideas and thoseoftheRussianpopulists almosta hundredyearslateris undeniable,eventhough the latter gave a much more revolutionary coloringto the same proA Characterization gram. In 1887 Lenin wrotea pamphletentitled of inwhichhe Economic Romanticism andOurNational (Sismondi Sismondists), attacked thePopulistsand totally condemnedtheworkofSissharply mondi as reactionary. Rosa Luxemburg,however,in her book The Accumulation ofCapital (1911), defendsSismondiagainstLenin's critiofcapisalism cism and praiseshiscriticism as wellas his havingraised some essentialquestions for the developmentof Marxistpolitical economy. Socialism 6) III - Utopian-Humanist The Romanticauthorsrelatedto thiscurrent modbuild imaginary els fora socialist alternative to industrial/bourgeois civilization, using
68. Sismondi, Etudessur l'conomie (Trenttelet Wurtz, 1837), Vol. 1, politique p. 209. 69. Sismondi,Nouveaux de l'iconomie (Paris:2nd Edition, 1827), politique Principes Vol. 1, pp. 165-66.

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82 Romantic Anti-Capitalism social paradigmsand certain as reference pre-capitalist pointscertain of capitalismis not forethical or religiousvalues. Their criticism - butin thename mulatedin thename ofone class - theproletariat as a whole,and itisaddressedtoall menofgood will.Those ofhumanity who are usually designatedas "utopian socialists"are not always forinstance, are above all men of Romantics.Owen and Saint-Simon, and theEnlightenment, favoring industry progress. Amongthosewho do belong to the Romanticsocialisttypewe mightmentionFrench authors like Fourier, Cabet, Enfantin(and most of the SaintSimonians),Leroux and (to a certainextent)George Sand. In 19thcentury Germanythereis the so-called"true socialism" (Karl Grfin) writers and Moses Hess; and, in the 20th century, like expressionist like Erich etc. ErnstToller,Marxist-humanist Fromm, philosophers A very illuminating example ofthiskindof socialismis theworkof his youthful Moses Hess - in particular writings (1837-45). His first is theone inwhich Sacred book,The History ofHumanity (1837), probably thepresenceof theRomanticWeltanschauung goes deepest.In itHess a of and looksback develops political-messianic interpretation history, to antiquity as an era ofsocial harmony based on thecommonownerthisoriginalequilibrium, destroyed ship of goods. Privateproperty the rise of and commerce, permitting industry accompanied by ineand The messianic taskofthefuture is social egoism injustice. quality, to suppressinheritance "in and private order that the property primitiveequalityamong men maybe re-established," openingthewayfor theadventofa NewJerusalem, a New Eden, theestablishment ofthe on influenced Fourier of whose God Strongly by Kingdom earth.7" conceptof social harmonyis the centralthemeof the book - Hess of outlines a radical critiqueof capitalism,of the new aristocracy and industry, wealth whichisonlyincreasing ofthefew atthe theriches of the majority."1 expense of themisery Whilethisworkevokedlittle response,thenextbook publishedby Hess, TheEuropean Triarchy (1841), had a considerableimpacton the criticalintelligentsia the neo-Hegelians) in Germany. (particularly Hess proposes the constitution of Europe as a unified"organism," based on a spiritual alliancebetweenFrance,Germany and England, which willbring theKingdomofGod on earth.In a typically Romantic shortcut betweenthepast and thefuture, he writes: "WhattheHoly or the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle JewishStatein antiquity, used to Roman-German the be, Ages Europe will be in the future:
70. Moses Hess, Die heilige Geschichte der von Menschheit, Spinozas (StutteinemJiinger gart:1837), p. 249. Cf. also pp. 235-37, 249, 257, etc. 71. Ibid.Cf.also A. Cornu,KarlMarxetFriedrich Engels (Paris:P.U.F., 1955),Vol. I, pp. 237-38.

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andLwy 83 Sayre pupil in the eyes of God, the centralpoint fromwhich the world is led."72 The socialist ideas implicitin these books become progessively clearerin a seriesofessaysand articles by Hess duringtheyears1842theDeutsch-Franz theNeue Zeitung, 45, in theRheinische isischeJahrbiicher, and theRheinischeJahrbiicher. Anekdoten These pieces oppose the communist ofHumanity to theprinciple ofEgoism,theSpirit of principle ofthefuture to theegotistical, Mammon,and thesocialist community The most important of "inorganic"individualof bourgeois society. theseessaysis probably"The Essence ofMoney,"written in 1843 and influence on the published in 1845, whichexerteda verysignificant criticizes the alienation, youngMarx.This text passionately monetary dominationof thegod-moneyover people, the system of sellinghuman freedomthatcharacterizes our society.For Hess, the modern mercantile world(moderne ofwhichmoneyis theessence, Schacherwelt), isworsethanancientslavery because itis "unnatural and inhumanthat sell themselves The task of communism is to people voluntarily." abolishmoneyand itsmalefic and to an establish compower, organic of authentically human life. (organische munity Gemeinschaft) 7 IV Libertarian Romanticism 6) Libertarianor anarchist (or anarcho-syndicalist) Romanticism, whichopposes to industrial capitalismand the centralizedStatethe of small communities(consisting utopia of a federation mainlyof and and which claim traditions to values or of artisans), lays peasants its 19th the pre-capitalist reached zenith at the end of the "people," and beginningof the 20th centuries.One also findsin anarchisma thatis rather to Romanticism. rationalist, tendency foreign AuJkliirer Butmostofthe"classic" libertarian thinkers likeProudhon,Bakunin, Kropotkin,Elisee Reclus, etc., are withoutdoubt Romantic antiThis applies equally to the revolutionary circle capitalists. syndicalist in France (Georges connectedwith the journal Mouvement Socialiste Sorel,HubertLagardelle,Edouard Berth), toJeanGraveand his symbolistfriends, and to theJewish anarchist BernardLazare (a friend of one might mentionGustavLandauer,his CharlesPeguy).In Germany thepoet ErichMiihsam,and to a certain friend extent MartinBuber. Some writers also can be associatedwiththisworldview: Strindberg,
72. M. Hess, Die europdische Triarchie (1841), in Ausgewdhlte Schriften (K61n:Melzer Verlag,1962), p. 91. 73. M. Hess, "iUberdas Geldwesen"(1845), in Sozialistische 1841-47,ed. Aufsitze Theodor Zlocisti(Berlin: to notethat Welt-Verlag, 1921),pp. 168, 185. It is interesting Hess appends tohisessaya longquotationfrom Mab,inwhichShelley Queen expresses horror at the modern idolatry of money.

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84 Romantic Anti-Capitalism Oscar Wilde,and Kafka. oflibertarian Romanticism representative Perhapsthemosttypical is GustavLandauer.Writer, socialphilosopher, leaderof critic, literary theMunichCommuneof 1919 (hewas killed bythecounter-revolution afterthe defeatof the BavarianCouncils Republic), Landauer was in his youthbyWagnerand Nietzsche,beforehe became influenced an anarchist. he distinguished However,fromthebeginning himself from theauthorofZarathustra notonlybyhisrevolutionary orientation butalso byhisinterest in religious (in 1903 he publisheda sprirituality translation ofthemystical of Master Landauershares writings Eckart). with"classical" GermanRomanticism a deep nostalgiaformedieval Christianity:"Christianity,with its gothic towers and batand fraternities, was a Volk in the dements,... withits corporations mostpowerful and elevatedsenseoftheword:an intimate fusion ofthe economic and culturalcommunity withthe spiritualbond (Geistesbund)."74 On thecontrary, modern,capitalist indusEngland"withitssterile trial itsdesolationoftheland,itsuniformization ofthemasses system, and ofmisery, with itsproduction fortheworldmarket insteadoftrue of needs," is forhimthesinister civilization. He image contemporary Marx,"thatson ofthesteamengine,"for bitterly reproaches admiring thetechnical ofcapitalism. achievements Forhimthetask ofsocialism is not to perfectthe industrialsystembut to help mankindrediscover freedomand community.75 culture,Geist, Landauer exRadicallyhostileto the Stateand bourgeoissociety, horted thesocialists towithdraw from thisdecadentand corrupt social and to establish autonomousruralcommunities universe, unitedin a freefederation. Ratherthana generalstrike or insurrection, theroad thatleads to libertarian socialismis theabandonmentofthecapitalist hicetnunc, in the economyand thebuildingofa socialistGemeinschaft, ruralareas of Germany.76 Landaueras a partisan However,itwould be wrongtopresent ofthe ofpastsocial and cultural forms. He ackpure and simplerestoration and value ofcertain achievements ofcivilnowledgestheimportance ization:theAufkliirung, theabolitionofsuperstitions, thedevelopment ofscience.He aspiresto createa new withbothmodernZivilisasociety tion and pre-capitalist Kultur as itsbasis,a society that would be authenfree and communitarian, tically egalitarian,with State or social
74. GustavLandauer,"Volkund Land: Thesen" (1907), in Dreissigsozialistische iiber Sozialismus Beginnen: (K61n:Marcon-Block-Verlag, Aufsidtze 1924), pp. 8-9. 75. Landauer,Aufrufzum Sozialismus (Berlin:Paul Cassirer,1919), pp. 47-48. 76. Landauer, "Der Bund," in Beginnen, 91-140. pp.

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andLYwy85 Sayre

classes.77

Romanticism 6) V - Marxist in theworks The Romanticelementthatis unquestionably present withthe of Marx and Engels - one need onlyrecalltheirsympathy rural district Russian populists and theirhope thatthe traditional socialistRussia - has would serveas thegermofa future (obchtchina) Marxism influenced been deniedbyofficial byevolutionism, (strongly and Fordism)and bytheSecond and ThirdInternationals. positivism - notto mention Plekhanov and Bukharin In thewritings ofKautsky, The Stalin- one looks in vainforanytraceoftheRomanticheritage. at a neo-Romantic of Marxism first reinterpretation important attempt is .thatof William Morris at the end of the 19th century. Morris' has been taken and recently up again developed by the perspective E.P. Thompson and RaymondWilliams.But it is historians British to in thearea ofGermanculture- and entirely unrelated principally the English developments- thatone findsauthorswho consider but at thesame timeare strongly markedby the themselves Marxists constitutes ofcapitalism. The work oftheseauthors Romanticcritique of Marxist the summit the philosophy:the 20th-century perhaps and School Ernst the Frankfurt Bloch, Lukics, (particularly young ThirdWorldcounBenjaminand Marcuse).One also findsin certain in - especially movement ofthecommunist tries amongthefounders in social traditions who look to pre-capitalist the 1920s - thinkers as a possible socio-cultural basis fortherevolutionary their countries movement:Jose Carlos Mariategui in Peru, and Li-Ta-Chao in China. thistrendfromothersocialistor revolutionary Whatdistinguishes is the centralpreoccupaa Romanticsensibility, currents exhibiting social revolutionwithessentialproblemsofMarxism:class struggle, as universalclass and agentof emantion,the role of the proletariat in a socialforces thepossibility ofusingmodernproductive cipation, if drawn not identhe conclusions are isteconomy even necessarily ticalwithMarx and Engels'. are probablythemostimportant ErnstBloch'swritings example of inthe20thcentury. He has been calleda"MarxMarxist Romanticism he ist Schelling" - and indeed, in an autobiographicalinterview der und volumesofSchelling's thefour recalledthat Philosophie Mythologie awe books he readwith wereamongthefirst philosophical Offenbarung A student ofGeorgSimmel- at whose seminarhe and fascination.78
77. Landauer,Aufruf, pp. 100-102. ed. Arno 78. See Tagtriiume vomaufrechten mitErnst Bloch, Gang:SechsInterviews am Main: Suhrkamp,1978), pp. 27-28. Miinster (Frankfurt

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86 Romantic Anti-Capitalism - and a memberofMax Weber'scircleinHeidelberg, first metLukaics hismasters Blochbrokewith because oftheir for the"German support in 1914,but he nonetheless Fatherland" some elements incorporated of theircriticism of modern bureaucratic Zivilisation into his worldview. derUtopie Written duringthewar,Geist (1918-23) owes much of its fusionof power of attraction up to the presentday to itsremarkable Romanticism and apocalyptic, Marxism. anti-capitalist revolutionary forinstance, is itsrapturous Romantic, Typically paean to Gothicart, fire" containsboththe"deepestorganicand thedeepwhose "central estspiritual being,"and whose"alchemicalmeasure"was notthesun, or astrology, but"Man, Man in his deepestinteriority, as Christ."79In editionofthebook he goes so far a utopiansociety thefirst as tocall for withoutserfsand composed only of peasants,artisans,"a nobility without and "a whichis "a spiritual war," aristocracy" i.e., humanity and once more."80 this formularitterlich pious Explaining astonishing authors in tion,Bloch toldone ofthepresent (M. L6wy)inan interview 1974: "The newaristocracy I was talking aboutwas,therefore, notprofitableeconomically, that buton theconis,notfoundedon exploitation, ithad asceticand chivalrous and he added thatMarx's virtues"; trary owncriticism ofcapitalism isbased on a standard as an "unfair" system of values that"goes back to the Code of the Knights, to the Code of Arthur's Round In the second edition of the book Table."81 King this and is a Marxist definition (1923) passage disappears replacedby ofsocial utopia:from each accordingto hiscapacities, to each accordthe"Romanticism ofthenewreacingto his needs. He now criticizes and unchristian und tion,"whichis "without spirit (geistlos unchristlich)," but clingsto the"truly Christian" medievalidea of Humanity.82 The Romanticreference to pre-capitalist values is stillessentialto his Welbetweentwo different traditanschauung, althoughhe distinguishes to Thomas Miinzerand to hisenemies, tions,goingback respectively the "heraldicrobbers." theTheologian In Thomas Revolution Miinzer, of (1921), he sees the Bolsheviks as theinheritors ofthefirst whichhe traces back - as tradition, - totheCatharsand the the"underground oftheRevolution" history Meister Eckardt and Sebastian Russites, Miinzerand theAnabaptists,
79. ErnstBloch, Geist derUtopie, 2nd edition: 1923 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp,1973) pp. 37, 39. 80. Bloch,Geist derUtopie, am Main: Suhrkamp, 1stedition:1918 (Frankfurt 1971), p. 410. 81. See M. L6wy,"Interview withErnstBloch," in New German 9 (Fall, Critique, 1976), 42. 82. Bloch, Geist derUtopie (1923), pp. 294-95.

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Sayreand L6wy 87

forthe 1960 Frank,Rousseau and Tolstoy.Bloch wrotean afterword refers to its spiritas republicationof the book, in whichhe himself to noticethatamong the "Romantic revolutionary." It is interesting which appear as the most positivemoGemeinschaften pre-capitalist mentsofthepast,thereis precisely theperiod thattheAujkldrung and to barbarism modernhistoriography considerto be a regression and a the fall of the Roman Dark Age of decline: the centuriesfollowing Bloch hails the the Low Middle Ages. falling apartoftheancient Empire, abstract-bureaucratic formof State,and of themoneyeconomy,and their ofagrarian communism, by theGermanicvestiges replacement a on tradition based i.e., by society fidelity (Treue), (Herkommen), piety warmth and patriarcal simplicity.8" (Pietdit), Romanticanti-capitalism remainsa crucialcomponentof Bloch's laterMarxist aesthetics and politics.It is at therootofhis philosophy, in the1930s,as well ofexpressionism defense Lukaics' criticism against Times as of his politicalanalysis- in Heritage Our of (1935) - of the the classes rebellionagainstcapitalist rationality by "non-synchronic" of Germany.84 Das The same applies to his magnum Hoffopus, Prinzip nung(1953-59), in which he calls forthe unitingof rationalMarxist - withthewarmspirit Detektiv' of theMairchen kdlteste analysis- 'der and withthedreamoftheGoldenAge.85 forthe Nostalgia past,imaginare a better future, world,and hope for ofa different aryrepresentation of main Bloch's historical linked intimately peculiarunderstanding and revolutionary terialism praxis. Marxismis the One ofthecharacteristic aspectsofBloch'sRomantic and to religious traditions and heretical reference Christian, --Jewish mystical,from the Biblical prophets to the Kabbalah and from or religion," Joachimdi Fioreto KarlBarth.Ofcourseitis an "atheistic a uniqueofsocialist revolution a secularized one,butitgiveshistheory ly millenarian quality.86
* * *

am Main: Suhrkamp, der Revolution als Theologe Miinzer 83. Bloch,Thomas (Frankfurt 1972), pp. 156, 228, 230. 84. For Bloch "the factthatitwas the Nazis and not the Leftwho gave political oftheGerformto theutopiansubstanceembedded in theRomanticanti-capitalism does not reduce the authenticimpulses to be disman peasantryand Mittelstand, and theTheory Anson Rabinbach,"ErnstBloch'sHeritage coveredthere." OurTimes of 11. of Fascism,"in New German 11 1977), Critique, (Spring, am Main: Suhrkamp,1973),Vol. III, 85. Bloch, Das Prinzip (Frankfurt Hoffnung 1621. p. and apocalyptic 86. On themystical aspectsofhis earlywork,see ArnoMfinster, Bloch(Frankfurt vonErnst in Friihwerk am Main: Messianismus undApokalypse Utopie, Suhrkamp,1982).

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88 Romantic Anti-Capitalism to defineRomanticanti-capitalism as a whole Having attempted ofitsprincipal out a typology itremains and thento sketch to variants, ofthephenomenon. raisethequestionofthesociologicalexplanation What are the social bases of Romanticism? Is it possible to linkthat to one or severalsocial groups?Although worldview Marxist analyses do not,generally offer on very speaking, well-developed hypotheses thispoint,one does find a certain numberofsociologicalexplanations in them,albeit schematicand limitedin scope. On the whole these explanationsseem inadequate to fully comprehendRomanticism. the the one thatin our viewis the Among explanationsproposed, most erroneoussees in Romanticism an essentially bourgeois phenomenon.Thus, forLeo L6wenthalRomanticism is a form of"bourand to Arnold Hauser the fact that its geois consciousness," according is of members of that class the reveals public composed "essentially of the movement"and of its ideology."7 This bourgeois [character] reduction ofRomanticism to a bourgeoisideology- illustrated here critics whose work in other is of in is fact the by respects highquality of those who the affinities bedogmaticcommonplace violently deny tween theMarxist and theRomantic worldviews. ofthis The error positionis to ignoretheessence oftheRomanticphenomenon.Forin spite of the factthata partof its authorsand public belong to the boura deep-seatedrevolt geoisie,Romanticism represents againstthisclass and the societythatit rules. If Romanticismis in its essence antiit is the antithesis of a bourgeois ideology.Doubtless,we capitalist, ourselveshave pointed out possible rapprochements witha bourgeois stateofmindand a bourgeoisstatus in thecases of quo - particularly and "liberal" Romanticism. "conservative" But in our viewtheseare extreme casesinwhichRomanticism is in dangerofnegating precisely itself and of becomingitsopposite. SometimesMarxistanalysesassociateRomanticism withothersocial classes,however,in particular withthe aristocracy and thepetite to most German RoDroz, bourgeoisie. According Jacques although mantics the oftheforclass,they belong to thelatter ideology express "in fact mer:they oftheold ruling classes,i.e., onlyservedtheinterests thecorporations and theChurches";their workwas "the thenobility, expressionof theold rulingclasses' consciousnessof thedangerthat awaitedthem."88 forthe East Germancritic G. Heinrich Conversely, thevery same GermanRomanticism of articulates "theclass interests ofthepetite more certain strata and Ernst finds Fischer that, bourgeoisie,"
87. L. L6wenthal, undGesellschaft (Luchterhand, Erziihlkunst 1971); Hauser,SozialVol. II, p. 185. geschichte, 88. Droz, Le Romantisme allemand etl'Etat, en p. 295; see also Le Romantismepolitique Allemagne, pp. 28-29.

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andLtwy 89 Sayre could not be otherthanconfused, "the Romanticattitude generally, forthepetty was the embodiment ofsocialcontradicbourgeoisie very tion.. ."" In our opinion,however, bothoftheseinterpretations are is but a one each neither false, one-sided; entirely givesonly partial into a more complete exexplanationand needs to be integrated framework. planatory a mulBarb6ris'workon Romanticismhas the meritof offering He sees at the sources of tidimensional French Romanexplanation. ticisman historicalconjunctionof the aspirationsand interests of in severaldifferent social groupsmarginalized by Capital: particular, "aristocrats dispossessed" by the bourgeoisieand the youngergenerationsofbourgeois"without whichranup againstthe endowment, ofmoneyand foundno wayofemploying barrier . .."90 In themselves of its this more merits, however, spite complex sociologicalanalysis remainstoo limited.In thefirst to stopat place, it seems insufficient mentionof thearistocracy and petite alone (or youngbourbourgeoisie geois who have not yet"arrived"),at least ifone wishesto takeinto account the overallphenomenonof Romanticanti-capitalism as we conceiveit.In addition,althoughBarb6ris is wellawarethattheflood tideofRomanticism victims with diverse ofthebourgeoisieand its swells social order,mostoftenhe conceivesof theoppressionas operating onlyat theeconomiclevel.Thus, he seems to see theRomanticrevolt ofyoungpetty ambition bourgeoismainlyas a reactionto frustrated and insufficient Butalthoughthismotive employment opportunities. itcannot doubtlessly playedsome rolein thegenesisofRomanticism, itself the It cannot for latter. account the force by explain adequately and depthofthecritiqueofa whole socio-economicorder.Far more in our view,is theexperience and reification, and important, ofalienation in must the terms of differential sociologicalanalysis pose problem to thisexperiencewithin In conclusion, the social totality. sensitivity we will forward a number of then, put propositionsthattake that direction. Firstof all, most of the usual analysesof the social framework of Romanticism failto takeintoconsideration for an essentialcategory theunderstanding ofthephenomenon:theintelligentsia, a groupmade of from individuals social but which varied up coming backgrounds a and due to its possesses unity (relative) autonomy positionin the of the of of the culture. One process production exceptionsis Karl in his remarkable Mannheim,who demonstrates essayon conservain tive that the movethose who thought Germany represent Romantic
89. GerdaH einrich, Positionen der deutschen Geschichtsphilosophische (BerFriihromantik lin: Akademie-Verlag, TheNecessity 1976), p. 60; E. Fischer, ofArt, p. 53. 90. Barbnris, "Mal du si'cle," op.cit., pp. 165, 171.

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90 Romantic Anti-Capitalism mentare essentiallyfreischwebende it Generally speaking, Intellektuelle.9' is clear thattheproducers oftheRomanticanti-capitalist worldview are certain traditional sectors whose cultureand wayof life intelligentsia, ofthe are hostileto bourgeois industrial civilization: independentwriters, ecclesiasticsor theologians(many Romanticsare ministers'sons), etc.Whatis thesocial basis for academic mandarins, poetsand artists, thishositility? The traditionalintelligentsia (we mightrecall the "Cenacle" in Balzac's Illusions inhabits a mentaluniverse perdues) governedbyqualitative or political cultural values. values,byethical, esthetic, religious, All oftheir social activity of"spiritual is used by (theterm production" Marxin The German is inspired, oriented and moldmotivated, Ideology) ed by thesevalues,whichconstitute their raison d'tre as intellectuals. But the centralcharacteristic of capitalismis thatits functioning is determined values: entirely byquantitative exchangevalue,price,profit.Thereis a fundamental betweenthesetwoworlds, opposition,then, an opposition thatcreatescontradictions and conflicts.92 Naturally, the intelligentsia of the old typecannotescape certainconstraints of the marketas industrial its the need to sell capitalismdevelops products,"forexample.A partofthissocial groupends up "spiritual thehegemony ofexchangevalue,yielding accepting internally (sometimeseven withenthusiasmand fervor) to its demands. Others,reto their universe ofqualitative cultural mainingfaithful pre-capitalist whatBalzac's Cenacle called "the decision to do busivalues, refuse ness withone's soul, one's mind,one's thought";thesebecome the seed-bed for the productionof the Romanticanti-capitalist worldview. Whilethecreators ofthevariousfigures ofRomanticanti-capitalism, and the "carriers"of Romanticmovements, issue fromthe"classic" as distinct from the modern techintelligentsia type - scientists, media personnel, etc. nicians,engineers, economists, administrators, - the audience of theworldview, itssocialbasein the fullsense, is far morevast.It is potentially ofclasses composed ofall classes,fractions or social categoriesforwhich the rise of industrial capitalismspells decline or createsa crisisin theireconomic, social or politicalstatus effects theirway of lifeand the culturalvalues to and/ornegatively whichtheyare attached.For example, dependingon circumstances and thehistorical can includegroupslikethearisperiodinvolved they the landowners,the "old" urban and rural tocracy, bourgeoisie, petite
91. K. Mannheim,"Das konservative Denken" (1927), in Wissenssoziologie (Luchterhand,1964), pp. 452-54. 92. On this subject see Lucien Goldmann, Pour une sociologie du roman (Paris: Gallimard,1964), pp. 31ff.

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andLwy 91 Sayre the clergy, etc.Whatis involved, of course,is students, intelligentsia, a probable behavioras Max Weber would only an objective possibility, say,theactual realizationofwhichdepends on a whole seriesofconcretesocio-historical conditions. In thissense,theanalysesthat theold ruling classes,or the designate or the as the social base of aristocracy, petty bourgeoisie pre-capitalist are not false but rather too themRomanticism, limited;restricting selvesto a singleclass or fraction ofa class,they are unable to account forthevastextensionand complexity oftheaggregate ofsocial forces that identify themselveswith this worldviewat different historical moments. Is it possible also to definethe social bases specificto eachofthe of Romantic anti-capitalism? types Generallyspeaking,one might advance the hypothesis thatthe utopian-revolutionary formsdraw theiraudience mainlyfromamong non-dominant social strata;but at a more precisedetermination seems problematicany attempt as we have a since, seen, particularly single individual frequently from one to another within the Romanticspectrum. passes position The attempt ata sociologicalanalysis that we haveoutlinedherehas, a limitation: ittendsto reducetheaudience ofRomantic nonetheless, social its anti-capitalism public- to certainarchaic,pre-capitalist of or marginal resistance," "pockets groupsthatare tradition-bound Ifthis to modernsociety. weretrue, worldview would be theRomantic a phenomenon in decline,one condemned to disappearby thevery But thatis farfrombeing the civilization. developmentof industrial and literary cultural case. A significant producpartofcontemporary Tolkiento Borgesand from tionis deeplyinfluenced Agnon byit,from includes to Michael Ende. Even the movie industryincreasingly initsideologicalmake-up:The Romanticand critical Return ingredients and E. T.are typical examples.Moreover,severalofthemost oftheJedi recentsocial movements- ecology,feminism, pacifism, important - expressfeelings ofliberation and aspirations thetheology strongly whichare Pacifism and ecology, colored byRomanticanti-capitalism. are the most massive ones, and also the most convergent, partially themostdiverse forms ofRomanticism, include They heterogeneous. fromconservative or restitutionist to the most radical revolutionary to different kindsof pre-capitalist values: utopianism,and theyrefer Nuclear natural religiousethics, grassroots Gemeinschaft, equilibrium. the most advanced point of modern weapons and nuclear energy, of industrial Zivilisation, eyesto be theworst expression appear in their a kind of technologicalprogressthathas grownout of controland humankind. to destroy threatens tendtowardstheLeftof the On thewhole thesesocial movements

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92 Romantic Anti-Capitalism but theissuesthey raisecutthrough thetraditional spectrum, political lines. The German for is divided between a SPD, instance, deeply party and neo-liberal wing (Helmut modernist, rational/pragmatist and a moralist/Romantic one, religiously Schmidt), inspired, readyto the and support pacifist ecologicalcampaigns(ErhardEppler). Utorather than is their dominantnote,althoughitis difpia, regression, ficult to identify one particular kind of Romanticanti-capitalism as the Humanist socialism Christian being hegemonic tendency. (of and neo-populismare probablyamong the best repreinspiration) sentedamongtheactivists and rankand fileto bothpacifism and ecology,but it would be wrongto reduce the latterto thispoliticaldimension. In any case it is significant thattheyhave achieved their successesprecisly in the(technologically) mostadvancedsocigreatest etiesof liketheUSA and Western It would Germany. Sphitkapitalismus, seem as if industrial has reached a stagein its capitalistcivilization whereitsdestructive effects on thetissueofsociety and development on thenaturalenvironment have attainedsuch proportions thatcertain themesof Romanticanti-capitalism (and certainformsof nosinfluence farbeyondthe talgiafora pre-capitalist past)exerta diffuse classes and social categories traditionallyassociated with the worldview.

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