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Cornelius Bickel Lars Clausen Tonnies in Toronto C.A.U.S.A.26 Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel Soziologische
Cornelius Bickel Lars Clausen Tonnies in Toronto C.A.U.S.A.26 Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel Soziologische

Cornelius Bickel

Lars Clausen

Tonnies in Toronto


Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel Soziologische Arbeitsberichte Institut fUr Soziologie


C.A.U.S.A.26 Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel Soziologische Arbeitsberichte Institut fUr Soziologie Kiel1998

© by the Authors 1998

Institut fur Soziologie Christian-Albrechts-UniversitiH zu Kiel Olshausenstr. 40, D-24098 Kiel Federal Republic ofGennany Tel (0431 )880-2167 FAX (0431) 880-3467

ISSN 0939-5253





Two members ofthe Institute of Sociology, Cornelius Bickel and Lars Clausen, attended the nnd

Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Toronto,

to the Regular Session "Tonnies in East and West" on August 13 th and 14 th , 1997. Lars Clausen

(p. 1-16) resumes "The European Revival ofTonnies" since 1980, concentrating on the role of

Kiel and Hamburg; the paper includes quite a lot of references for research, and is giving an

outlook on future development Cornelius Bickel (p. 17-30) contributes on "Ferdinand Tonnies

and Charles Taylor: The Sociologist and the Philosopher about the Images of Man and Society",

and takes up the correspondence between "Gemeinschaft" as coined by Tonnies and recent

communitarian concepts; concentrating especially on the famous Canadian, Charles Taylor, he

compares Taylor's "History of Development of the Modern Subject" with Tonnies' approach.

Canada, and contributed


Zwei Mitglieder des Instituts fur Soziologie, Cornelius Bickel und Lars Clausen, nahmen an der

92. Jahrestagung der American Sociological Association in Toronto (Kanada) teil und gaben

dabei Beitrage in der Sektion "Tonnies in East and West" am 13. und 14. August 1997. Lars

Clausen fasst "Tonnies' europaische Wiederbelebung" seit 1980 zusammen, unter besonderer

Rticksicht auf die Arbeit in Kiel und Hamburg; sein Beitrag enthalt eine Anzahl Hinweise fur die

Forschung und wirft einen Blick in die Zukunft. Cornelius Bickel gibt einen Beitrag tiber

"Ferdinand Tonnies und Charles Taylor (Der Soziologe und der Philosoph zum Bild von Mensch

und Gesellschaft) und greift zunachst den Zusammenhang zwischen dem Konzept der

"Gemeinschaft" nach Tonnies und jtingeren kommunitarischen Ansatze auf; er konzentriert sich

auf den bedeutenden Kanadier Charles Taylor und vergleicht dessen Geschichte

des modernen Subjektes mit Tonnies' Ansatz.

der Entwicklung


Lars Clausen

The European Revival of Tonnies


I. Why a Revival, Today?

II. The Ebb- Tide of Half a Century

III. The Kiel Bonanza IV. Institutional Approach V. Globalized Social Change, or, Gesellschaft vs. Gemeinschaft




I. Why a Revival, Today?

The most distinguished honour bestowed in the field of European sociology is the Premio

Europeo Amalfi, and in 1996 a Special Prize went to our Swiss colleague Peter-Ulrich Merz­

Benz for a study entitled "Tiefsinn und Scharfsinn" (i.e. "Profundity and Acuity", 1995) on the

epistemological foundation ofFeldinand TOllnies' sociology. Every now and then a serious study

on one of the founding fathers of sociology is bound to be published and acclaimed by colleagues

in the field. So why mention it at all? Because the event must be seen against a background of

half a century of virtual silence surrounding TOIl/lies.

One could, of course, object that many of the early heroes of sociology, such as Gumplo­

vicz or Pareto, have been even more neglected. Call it Progress: Founders ought to be mentioned

but not be read. They are, after all, passe. Nevertheless, the decline of this Nestor in his own

country, a hollow entered in 1933, demands some further explanation, as indeed does TOllllies'

recent reinstatement which began in 1980 .



, I I I J





I am concerned here with the dual phenomena of decline and revival.

Why should Ferdinand Ttjnnies (born 1855 under Danish rule in the Duchy of Slesvick,

who died 1936 an octogenarian in Nazi Germany) have faded into oblivion in his native country

but continue to enjoy recognition elsewhere such as in the States (cj Eubank 1936, Cahnman

1981 b)? Although the first edition of his work "Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft" published in

April 1887 went largely unnoticed in Germany, the second edition (1912) was a major success.

Why therefore, did it all come to such an abrupt end? Up to 1933, Tonnies'widely-celebrated dual sociology of "community" and "society"

fuelled international sociological discussion. (Think of Comte's ordre as against progres, or

Durkheim's "mechanical solidarity" as against his "organic" one, or of Redfield's "folk" as against

"urban society".) The concept was largely influenced by Sir Henry Sumner Maine's "status" and

"contract" (which he duly praised) and was subsequently taken up by Talcott Parsons in his

"pattern variables", "particUlarism", and "universalism". Parsons, incidentally, somewhat

hesitated to acknowledge his profound indebtedness to Tonnies. Moreover, the terms

"gemeinschaft" and "gesellschaft" extended far beyond academic circles to become key terms in

intellectual discourses attempting to grasp and explain the social world as a whole (in harmony

with Tonnies' intentions). However, contrary to his intentions, the success of his dichtomy was due to those critics

who adopted a nostalgic, even aggressive interpretation of "community" as an excuse to rail

against capitalism, urbanism, democracy, and modernism proper. "Back to the folkways of the

olden days" was a key concept of the German youth movement which had been on the rise since

1900 and was rapidly gaining ground in many intellectual and, indeed, thoroughly urban circles.

Their quest was for new foundations and in effect for a new kind of leadership. Even more

desperate for a warm, wholesome "gemeinschaft" were those who had been ruined by the Great

War (1914-18) and the subsequent inflation which cut deeply into all social strata: in September,

1923, one US $ closed at 4200.000.000000 marks (4 point 2 trillion).

Tonnies persistently maintained that "gemeinschaft" was neither nice nor cosy, breeding

hate as well as love. Analyzing the "spirit of the modern age", he concluded that it was a cultural

one-way street from the preponderance of "community" type organisations through an age of

individualism right up to dominance of "society" type organisations, offering no way back. Short­

time reversals were admitted, which might even last for a few generations (witness the recent



"gemeinschaften" in the co-operative, labour, and feminist movements. Therefore, one ought to

preserve a sceptical, but not necessarily a pessimistic view of affairs; he himself was always on

the reformers' side.) But, in the long run, according to Tonnies, a culture could not tum back. As

soon as a said culture reaches the stage of predominantly "society" types of social affirmation, its doom has already been sealed.

Considering Tonnies'reservedness, the breakthrough of his "normal types" (as coined by

him prior to Max Weber), accompanied by the success of a new categorial system of social action

did not make him happy at all: Instead of his intended audience, the cool scholars of the new dis­

cipline of sociology, a whole, fervent and possibly starry-eyed new generation was taking up

"gemeinschaft" and corrupted his ideas.

II. The Ebb-Tide of Half a Century

The first German Republic did not survive the Great Slump Hitler finally got his way

after three years of autocratic mismanagement under the Reich presidency of the senile ex-field

marshal and essential monarchist v. Hindenburg, and under the successive Reich chancelorships

of Bruning (a catholic party man and clandestine monarchist), v. Papen (a camarilla type with

some nobility background), and v. Schleicher (another camarilla type from the generalcy),

respectively. In addition, 1932 had seen the governmental putsch of the Reich against the (by far

biggest) federal Land of Prussia which had been the bulwark of German democracy since its

incipiency in 1918. After 5 million people had been rendered jobless and Big Business started to

take an interest in him, Hitler was called to chancellorship on the 30 th of January, 1933.

The opposition appeared dumbfounded and few protested in public. Ferdinand Tonnies

did, however, voice his protest in February 1933 at the Berlin Congress on Free Speech ("Das

freie Wort"), which was dissolved immediately after his address

Shortly after, Tonnies was banned from teaching at his home university in Kiel. His

pension was cut-off, reducing the 78-year-old to poverty and forcing him to sell large sections of

his library to survive in his final days. He was also forced to step down from the presidency of the



"Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Soziologie" (DGS, German Sociological Association founded in

1909), a post which he had held since its inauguration.

His late work also experienced a deadlock, particularly since three of his assistants faced

grave difficulties caused by the growing tide of antisemitism and were finally forced to emigrate.

Iii Ernst Jurkat and the later famous political sociologist Rudolf Heberle (married to Tonnies'

youngest daughter and amanuensis, Franziska) both fled to the U.S.A., and Georg Jacoby to

Ii New Zealand. The first volume of Tonnies' late work "Geist der Neuzeit" ("Spirit of the Modern

Age"), planned for decades and intended as a sort of resume of his work, was published in 1935

but remained virtually ignored in Germany. (It will appear in volume 22 of his complete works

(Tonnies 1998).) The manuscript ofa second, forward-looking volume appears to have been lost.

In 1936, the year of his death, an edition of "Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft" was in fact

published. Going to great pains, Tiinnies' friends finally dissuaded him from writing one of his

legendary, lengthy "introductions", so that this 8th edition contains just a brief "foreword" with

a guarded warning against the abuse of" gemeinschaft". It was duly struck off the curricula of

German universities. Tonnies suffered as well from the fact that, as a supporter of democracy and

opponent of antisemitism, he had already been an outsider in the arch-conservative German

II university life and, even during the First Republic, had been protected more by his own lack of

pretention than by any force of his academic or personal integrity.

The old anti-Bismarckian, Tonnies, (Thurnwald 1936) had long feared that Hitler could

not but restore monarchy. An absolute rationalist by temperament, the founder of German

sociology could not grasp the social phenomenon of charisma. He did, nonetheless, predict the

outbreak of a second world war. Fearing the worst, he passed away in the year 1936.

After Nazism, sociology? Meeting again in 1946, thanks to the encouragement of the U.S. sociologist, Howard

Becker, a numerically decimated Deutsche Gesellschaftfiir Soziologie included one of the rare

surviving German followers of Tonnies: Max Graf Zll Solms (1893-1968) of Marburg university

was in fact one of the few non-emigrants of his generation who had neither been a nazi

sympathizer nor published over the course of the notorious 12 years. Indeed, he was almost

unique in having prepared an erudite study on "Gesellungslehre" (1946, 1956) in the course of

the period. Examining this profound, elaborate work today, we are reminded to some extent of



the Parsonian approach. But, as if from a parallel universe, it was in 1946 already out of step

with international sociological developments. Moreover, Solms lacked the Aristotelian power of

the great Talcott Parsons. The ageing, mild-mannered, highly sensitive, and frail scholar would

not be the one to carry Tonnies' sceptre in the future Germany (cf Fechner & Claas 1997). Two

others formed the vanguard of German sociology in the post-War years.

Helmut Schelsky (1912-84) was a war veteran and had been a student of Hans Freyer in

Leipzig and thus part of a clique who embraced German idealistic philosophy to further their

careers under the Nazis. Now, understandably disillusioned, Schelsky started to focus on his

forte, the specific social problems, e.g. of the family, youth, and industry. He went on to become

the most successful post-War sociologist and to promote a new generation of sociologists in the

Federal Republic of Germany. But he found all "systems", including the Tonniesian, suspect, and

subverted any aspirations in this direction with good-humoured determination.

One particular event which seriously sabotaged a Tonnies revival was the return of Rene

Konig (1906-92), the other powerful post-War hero of German sociology. Konig had spent the

war in exile in Switzerland and returned to occupy the influential chair of sociology in Cologne.

An extremely erudite and brilliant lecturer of the Durkheim school, Konig perfectly understood

his fears of a repetition after 1945 prompted

him to become a staunch advocate of the empirical approach to sociology popular in the U.S.A.

A look on the trustees of German quantitative methodology in the bastions of Cologne and

Mannheim testifY to his popularity. Marking the 100"' anniversary of Tonnies' birth in 1955,

Konig, as editor of the only German sociological journal at the time, set out to utterly discredit

him (Konig 1987 [1955]), in the Kolner Zeitschrijt fur Soziologie

und Sozialpsychologie. After

a tribute to Tonnies' character and resistance to the "Third Reich", Konig dismisses "that honest

spirit" (ibid. 122) as a highly significant, but outdated social philosopher who could only be of

interest, if at all, in the context of regional studies (ibid. 153, 189; 165). As a result, Tonnies,

being difficult to read anyway since his style was firmly rooted in 19th century scientific prose,

was dropped from the reading list of generations of students to come.

the romantic temptations of his generation. In fact,

The young, internationally acclaimed successors ofSchelsky and Konig, RalfDahrendorj

and Jurgen Habermas, virtually ignored Tonnies and consequently raised questions in their early

pioneering work to which he had presented solutions as far back as 1887 and 1922. I have already pointed this out elsewhere (Clausen 1994b).


As a result, when the student movement in the '60s focused on the critical theory of Theo­

dol' W Adorno, eagerly moving on to the classics Marx and Engels followed by Lenin and Mao,

the fact that ninnies had already praised Marx' "Das Kapital" as a pioneering work remained

unacknowledged. His only objection to Marx was that he was an analyst, who (like Hobbes) had

an in-depth understanding of "society" (gesellschaft), but knew nothing of "community"

(gemeinschaft) (cf. ninnies 1921). In addition, Tonnies had committed one cardinal sin in the

eyes of the '68 movement: he was a sceptic who did not believe in the permanent, liberating

"Revolution" .

This was the state of affairs right up to 1980. Important publications (on them cf. Clausen

1994b) had failed to attract attention. The name Tonnies became no more than a mythical

reference in the history of sociology at German universities, not unlike Ibn Khaldlll1

III. The Kiel Bonanza

Kiel, now the capital of the German Land Schleswig-Holstein, with its Christian­

Albrechts-Universitdt founded in 1665, was to become the centre of Tonnies' academic life. It

was here he returned to after his doctorate and research sojourns in London, Berlin, and

Hamburg. Late in life, he received his first professorship here in 1909, the procrastination caused

by the hostility of the Prussian authorities towards him for his sympathetic analyses of the causes

of the dockers' major strike in Hamburg (1897). And here he remained after his untimely

retirement in 1916 to enjoy a long, fruitful old age. Upon his death, he willed his remaining assets

to the Kiel State Library. The valuable, prolific collection ofletters, notes, manuscripts, books, and offprints, his life

work can be found in the Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesbibliothek under the custody of Jiirgen

Zander and ftled up for the purposes of research (Zander 1980).1

offices of the Ferdinand Tonnies Society are also in Kiel (Ferdil/cmd-Tonllies­


Gesellschaft, FTG), run by a very small staff, and present headquarters of the Tonnies Complete

Edition (Tonnies-Gesamtallsgabe, TG; cf. Fechner 1994); research officer is currently Rolf

Fechner. The office is a wonderful source of experts' advice



constant improvements funded by international, above all

East European, North American, and Japanese research interests, Kiel has inevitably become a

magnet for Tonnies' scholars, who began meeting here first by chance and later by design. One

gets to know very quickly who's who in this still growing, close-knit social network of scholars.

It is possible to make weekend trips to the West coast from Kiel. There Tonnies was born

in the small parish of Oldenswort in 1855, the year Livingstone first hit upon the Victoria Falls

and the fourth year of the New York Times. There on the Frisian marsh, Tonnies spent his

childhood in a large "Haubarg", the Low German term for an isolated, enormous yeoman's

dwelling, where the family, farm labourers, and stock lived together under one mighty roof, next

to the dykes which fought to stave off the tidal floods of the German Sea. An interesting fact to

bear in mind when studying a man who was to develop a non-romantic concept of "gemeinschaft"

(cf. Bamme 1991, Carstens 1995).

In view of the location and the

IV. Institutional Approach

It will come as no surprise to sociologists that the Tonnies revival was not due to the

sheer force of his ideas alone, but also to the fact that a locally-based organisation resided in Kiel.

The Ferdinand Tonnies Society (FTG) has an annual budget far greater than that of the German

Sociological Association (DGS). (I know this for a fact having served my term as Treasurer).

However, these are just figures and have little to do with output. As far as I am aware, the FTG

is a unique example of an association devoted to the memory of a great scholar of sociology. This

warrants a closer look at the FTG's short history.

TheFTG was founded in 1956, some 20 years after both Ferdinand and Marie Tonnies

were buried at the Eichhof cemetary in Kiel, and eleven years since the end of the Second World

War. The founders were a mixed crew. There were the ageing pre-Nazi working-class

intellectuals such as Wilhelm Kahler (the FTG's first Secretary), who had been forced by the

Nazis to abandon their university training and return to work on the Kiel docks. There were

university academics like the philanthropist and physicist Werner Kroebel, who was its first

president 3 The declared statute or goals of the society were to preserve the intellectual legacy of


Ferdinand Tiinnies, to understand and interpret social movements (through political education),

to facilitate contact among young students and apprentices and provide them with supporting

institutions. II The last one was the main goal ofthe founders. The shortage of student accomodation in

Kiel was acute, and the FTG raised and borrowed funds in order to open one of the fIrst of the

III city's students' residences, the Ferdinand-Tonnies-Haus. It was neither the fact that the hostel

managed to survive as an independent enterprise (a self-sufficient one as that), nor the fact that

both the offices of the Society and the Critical Edition were located in the building, but a far more

subtle, sociological aspect of the enterprise which determined Tonnies' rise in popularity: for the

fIrst time in Kiel, male and female, foreign and German students were allowed to live together.

More importantly, by taking in students from both the ancient, established university and the

I technical colleges, traditionally divided by strong class distinctions, the FTG gained a mildly left

profile among the various political groupings. a fact which was a considerable handicap for more

than 25 years under the Christian Democrat land governments, but today works in its favour

At a micro-sociological level, the benefits proved greater during a crisis. By the time the

Society was established as a liberal academic institution, it had attracted the attention of

I politically active students (1953-68). But, becoming more and more radicalized during the

student unrest, the students of 1969 rejected the moderate FTG. The founding fathers were so

discouraged by this turn of events that they almost dissolved the FTG It was the petty business

administration who managed to keep the legal organs of the Society (members' assembly, board

of directors) together; one could not, after all, jeopardize the future of the hostel. As a result, the

FTG survived the student riots, which were simultaneously rocking America. The lesson is as

follows: A research society with serious, long-term objectives is well-advised to scout around for

some trivial interest preferably connected with property In crisis situations, this helps to keep

members together, not quite unlike a marriage.

The other activity continued parallel, and really began to flourish in the later '50s: a

popularising lecture style in the social sciences with a clearly defmed democratic and social

agenda. The politically backward and repressed intellectual atmosphere in post-nazi German

universities, was particularly stifling in the state of Schleswig-Holstein Not only had the Land

virtually doubled its population through the influx of millions of refugees from East Prussia and


Pomerania, but in the slipstream of the last nazi Reich government under Donitz, a large number

of senior nazi officials, sometimes under aliases, had penetrated ScWeswig-Holstein's

academic post-war elite in the town halls and public service, courts and legal professions,

political and

rightwing and/or refugees' political parties, and doctors' practices. Hence, the lectures and

debates which took place under the auspices of the FTG provided a sanctuary or outlet for

critical students, and members of that generation, some of whom exercise some influence today,

still feel a tangible sense of gratitude to the Society.

After entering a new phase at the end of the '70s, the FTG committed itself to its third

(first, according to the charter) task, which was to preserve the intellectual legacy of Ferdinand

Tonnies. At about the same time, Alexander Deichsel of Hamburg University took up Tiinnies

studies, later on founding the "Ferdinand-Tonnies-Arbeitsstelle" at the Institute of Sociology

there, and 1983 encouraging Jurgen Zander to give his pioneering lectures on editing the

Complete Tonnies. Both Hamburg and Kiel are cooperating ever since. I shall spare you details,

which can be found in the first history of the FTG by []we Carstens (1993).

In a nutshell, it consisted ofjustif)ring the FTG to raise funds. The initial strategy (familiar

to us all) was to rally Tonnies researchers and readers from Germany. Contacts were established

with scholars scattered throughout America and Asia, such as Werner Cahnman (1981 a) to name

but one. They were regularly invited to attend symposia in Kiel: the astonishingly successful first

Tonnies-Symposion in 1980 (cf Clausen & Pappi 1980) was followed by a second one 1983 (cf

Clausen et al. 1985), and a third which attracted two hundred scholars and quite a lot of other

interested students and sympathisers in 1987, under the title "One Century of'Gemeinschaft und

Gesellschaft'" (cf ScWuter & Clausen 1990, Clausen & Schluter 1991a and 1991b). The most

striking aspect was the spirit of the events, which drew together a loosely-knit social network

into a signifIcant cluster. It also helped enormously that the atmosphere of the symposia was a

unique blend of community and cosmopolitanism. It helped that many of Tonnies' descendants

were and are still alive: as can be expected from an old-fashioned, professorial extended family,

they came from a broad range of disciplines and countries and viewed the symposia as a sort of

huge family gathering, inviting the other participants as guests and contributed to the scientific

debate, sometimes with insiders' eagerness. A conference, which combines globalism with

intimacy in a friendly local setting is extremely inspiring. As you see, between these two poles

one tendency was demonstrably absent, that of nationalism.




At any rate, it was decided at the Third Tiinnies Symposium in 1987 to publish the com­

plete works of Tonnies. A mammoth task. Unlike the case of Georg Simmel and to some extend

Max Weber, whose complete works started coming out earlier than Tonnies', there exists in his

case an extensive legacy of published and unpublished material. Tonnies also lived up to the ripe

old age of81, writing prodigiously to the end. Under group pressure several people were coerced

into accepting editorship.4 A concept for the Tonnies-Gesamtausgabe (TG, 24 volumes) is

decided upon and the first volumes are finished und - as mentioned - will be published 1998.

Such a vast project has one attractive, socially dynamic advantage: its "figuration" (as

Norbert Elias put it) is self-sustaining. By a figurational impact, the Ferdinand-Tonnies­ Gesellschaft as an institution (one might be tempted to say corporate social actor, although this

tenn might not have met with Tonnies' approval), and always a resultant of the efforts of several

social actors, has always been far more efficient in handling its long-term affairs, i.e. in ordering


of its activities, than was ever really planned by any of the Society's presidents:

First of all, urgent social problems were resolved. Next - in the interdisciplinary and

popular spirit of democracy - a bridge was built between the university and the StatelLand. Now,

finally, we are ready to embark upon the secular, centennial task proper: the preservation of the

complete printed work of a classic, before the next war comes along to wipe out the archives.

V. Globalized Social Change, or, Gesellschaft vs. Gemeinschaft

The 1989 tsunami of buccaneer capitalism engulfing mainly the

Union and her satellites, as well as China, may even destroy the established forms of

domesticated, self-legitimizing capitalism in the United States, Europe, or Japan In such a

scenario, the culturally agreed and symbolically enforced borderlines between the exchange of

positive social sanctions on the one hand and negative social sanctions on the other, might well

collapse altogether. This would result in the breakdown of the rather well established social

distinction which exists between "market" and "war".

Second World of the late Soviet

But then again, perhaps not. It might be possible on a global scale to draw new border­

lines between legal business and organized company (and/or state, or confessional) crime on the



other hand (e. g. in the field of trading, marketing, and using drugs, ABC weapons, or human organs).

In any case, the electronic revolution begets new kinds of global risks (cf McNeill 1989,

Clausen 1996), and trading with those risks is already underway. The amount of international

speculative trade with money derivates is only one indicator of the new calculating style of short­

lived collective actors, ad hoc begotten and dissolved. The main problem associated with this

seems to me to arise at national levels as well: rationality is being transfonned more and more to

be transfonned into a short tenn, tit-for-tat rationality. This bias to accelerate social action while

shrinking its social horizon might not be rational at all. If the horizon is drawing on us, long-tenn

risks might transform into angst, roaming beyond our horizons.

I am convinced that three of Tonnies' analyses help us as we enter the 21 ,t century:

(1) His conclusion concerning the growing preponderance of "normal types" of the "soci­

ety" kind of mutual affirmation, as against the declining "community" "normal types", is valid.

(2) Again, the quest for new "communities", steering the ideas of"communitarism" (say,

ofAmitai Etzioni), is well in line with Tonnies' sceptical assumption that at times reversals back

to the "community" "normal types" may take place; but will not be sustained for more than one

or two generations. Just witness, for example, the ever shorter honeymoons experienced by many

fundamentalist movements and sects. Their swift turnabout to quite rational (if violent) politics

and cut-throat business is often breathtaking. Tonnies would possibly have commented: "It is to be foreseen."

(3) Furthermore, his notion that individualism will never rule again in our culture seems

to have been confirmed; since individualism might only flow from gemeinschaft while superseding

it, and in turn always succumbs to its own creation, gesellschaft (see below, p. 27)

But, it was exactly his rational, systematic approach which became the stumbling block

for the sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies when predicting radical, rapid, and de-secularized social

change. So, he failed to foresee the desperate demand for "charisma", which surfaces so

dramatically once people are deprived of the cultural community ties they have nurtured since

childhood. Indeed, in the final chapter of his last book "Spirit of the Modem Age", he remarked:



"It is no coincidence that such [i.e. political, spiritual, religious] tendencies and temptations arise

I and flourish particularly during periods of great economic crises [

] although naive and ignorant

I demagogues are incapable of such a scientific insight, and will always be. ,,5

The year was 1935 and he was still underestimating the fuhrer as a mere demagogue. The fact that western politicians by and large believed they could appease Hitler is no consolation. Max Weber did grasp this possibility by his sheer power of observation. However, "charisma"
I does not fully answer our questions, which still remain to be studied. Charisma neither explains

nor veils anything. It is a signal. Global charisma might be a nasty signal of gesellschaft outstripping gemeinschaft worldwide.




Illi! I


* * *




DGS Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Soziologie [German Sociological Association] Iii FTG Ferdinand-Tonnies-Gesellschaft [Ferdinand Tonnies Society] KZfSuS Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie [Quarterly, Cologne, ISSN 0023-2653] TF Tonnies-Forum [Biannual, Kiel, ISSN 0942-0843] TG Tonnies-Gesamtausgabe [the complete, critical Tonnies edition, 24 vols.]


Bamme, Arno. 1991 [1990]. Ferdinand Tannies: Soziologe ailS Oldel/swort [Ferdinand Tonnies: Sociologist from Oldenswort]. 2 nd Ed. Wien: Profil Cahnman, Werner J. 1981a. "Tonnies und die Theorie des sozialen Wandels[.] Eine Rekon­ struktion" [Tonnies and the Theory of Social Change A Reconstruction]. Pp. 1-16, in Lars Clausen and Franz Urban Pappi (Eds.), Ankllnft bei Tannies [Arrival at Tonnies]. Kiel: Muhlau. Cahnman, Werner J. 1981b. "Hobbes, Toennies, Vico[.] Starting Points in Sociology". Pp. 16-38 in Buford Rhea (Ed.), The Future of the Sociological Classics. London George Allen & Unwin.


Cahnman, Werner J. and Rudolf Heberle (Eds.). 1971. Ferdinand Toennies on Sociology:

Pure, Applied, and Empirical. Selected Writings. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Carstens, Uwe. 1993. "Chronik der Ferdinand-Tonnies-Gesellschaft" [Chronicle of the FTG]. Tannies-Forum. 2: Special Issue. Carstens, Uwe. 1995. "Der Marschhof "Op de Riep"[.] Das Geburtshaus von Ferdinand Tonnies" [The Marsh Farm "Op de Riep": The Birthplace of Ferdinand Tonnies]. Tannies-Forum.


Clausen, Lars. 1980. "Die Wiederkehr der Arbeit" [The Return of Labour]. Frankfurter Rundschau. Frankfurt on Main: 07.07.1980: 14-15. Clausen, Lars. I994a. Krasser sozialer Wandel [Harsh Social Change]. Opladen: Leske + Budrich. Clausen, Lars. 1994b. "Nestor of German Sociology: Ferdinand Tonnies". Soziologie. (Bernhard Schafers (Ed.): Sociology in Germany[.] Development - Institutionalization - Theoretical Disputes. Edited in occasion of the XIIfh World Congress of Sociology.)


Clausen, Lars. 1996. "Die Geburt des Politischen aus dem Geiste der Musik" [The Birth of Politics from the Spirit of Music]. Pp. 33-48 in Lars Clausen (Ed.). Gesellschaften im Umbruch [Societies in Turmoil]. Frankfurt on Main and New York: Campus. Clausen, Lars, Volker von Borries, Wolf R. Dombrowsky, and Hans-Werner Prahl (Eds.). 1985. Tannies heute[.] Zur Aktualitdt von Ferdinand Tannies [Tonnies Today: The Actuality of Ferdinand Tonnies]. Kiel: Muhlau. Clausen, Lars and Franz Urban Pappi (Eds). 1981. Ankunft bei ninnies [Arrival at Tonnies]. Kiel: Muhlau. Clausen, Lars and Carsten Schluter (Eds.). 1991a Hundert Jahre" Gemeinschaft und Gesell­ schaji' "[.] Ferdinand Tal/nies in der il/temationalen Diskussion [One Hundred Years of "Community and Society": Ferdinand Tonnies on the International Agenda]. Opladen:

Leske + Budrich. Clausen, Lars and Carsten Schluter, in cooperation with Rolf Fechner (Eds.). 199 I b. "Aus­ dauer, Gedllid undRuhe "[.] Aspekte und Quellen der Tannies-Forschung ["Endurance, Patience, and Composure": Aspects and Sources for Doing Research on Tonnies]. Materialien der Ferdinand-Tonnies-Arbeitsstelle am Institut fur Soziologie der


Universitat Hamburg. Vo!. 10. Hamburg: Rolf Fechner. Eubank, Earle [E.]. 1936. "Ferdinand Tiinnies - in Memoriam." American Sociological Review


Fechner, Rolf. 1992. Ferdinand Tannies[.]


[Ferdinand Tonnies Bibliogra­


phy]. (Tom. 2 of Alexander Deichsel and Lars Clausen (Eds.), Tannies im Gesprach[.] Studien und Entwiirje [On Tonnies: Studies and Projects].) Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.

Fechner, Rolf. 1994. Das Projekt einer sozialwissenschajtlichen Edition[.] Konzeptionelle,


Editorial Project in the Social Sciences: Considering Concept, Method, and Organization of the Complete, Tonnies Edition]. Hamburg: Rolf Fechner.

Fechner, Rolf and Herbert Claas (Eds). 1997. Verschiittete Soziologie[.] Zum Beispiel: Max

GrajZ1I Solms [Sociology Buried Alive For Example Max Graf zu Solms]. Berlin: Dun­

cker & Humblot. Konig, Rene. 1987 [1955]. "Ferdinand Tonnies'" Pp. 122-197 in Rene Konig, Soziologie ill

Deutschland[.] Begriinder, Verjechter, Verachter [Sociology in Germany: Founders,

Vindicators, Vilifiers]. Munich: Hanser. McNeill, William H. 1989. "Control and Catastrophe in Human Affairs." D.iEDALUS. 118: 1-15.

Merz-Benz, Peter-Ulrich. 1995. Tiejsinn und Scharj5inn[.] Ferdinand Tannies' begriffliche

Konstitution der Sozialwelt [profundity and Acuity: Ferdinand Tonnies' Conceptual Con­ stitution of Social Reality]. Frankfurt on Main: Suhrkamp. [Soon in English.] ScWiiter, Carsten and Lars Clausen (Eds.). 1990. Renaissance der Gemeinschajt? Stabile Theorie und neue Theoreme [The Renaissance of "Community"? Solid Theory and New

Theoretical Appraisals]. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. Graf zu Solms, Max. 1948. "Gesellungslehre." Pp. 57-91 in Verhandlungen des Achten Deut­

schell Soziologentages vom 19. bis 21. September 1946 in Frankjurt a. M. [Gesellungs­

methodische und organisatorische Uberlegungen zur Tannies-Gesamtausgabe

I lehre:

Proceedings of the 8 th German Sociological Congress, September 19 Lh -21", 1946,

in Frankfurt on Main]. Tiibingen: 1. C. B. Mohr. Grafzu Solms, Max. 1956. Analytische Gesellungslehre [Analytical Gesellungslehre]. Tiibingen: 1. C. B. Mohr. Thurnwald, Richard C. 1936. "Ferdinand Tonnies - in Memoriam." American Sociological

Review 1:430-431.


Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1887 [1912]. Gemeinschajt und Gesellschqft[.] Abhandlung des Com­ munismus und des Socialismus als empirischer Culturjormen [Community and Society:

A Treatise on Communism and Socialism as Empirical Patterns of Culture].

Leipzig: Fues, 1887. [With new subtitle:] Grundbegriffe der reinen Soziologie [Basic

Terms of Pure Sociology]. 2 nd Ed. Berlin: R. Curtius, 1912.



Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1897. Die Wahrheit iiber den Streik der Hajenarbeiter und Seeleute in

Hamburg 1896/97 (The Truth Concerning the Dockers' and Sailors' Strike in Hamburg, 1896/97). Hamburg: Engelke. Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1921. Marx[.] Leben und Lehre (Marx: Life and Doctrine]. lena:

Lichtenstein. Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1935. Geist der Neuzeit [Spirit of the Modern Age]. Leipzig: Hans Buske. Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1963 [1940]. Community and Society. Trans!. & Supp!. by Charles P.

Loomis. 3" Ed. New York: Harper & Row. Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1971. See Cahnman & Heberle.

Tonnies, Ferdinand. 1998. Tannies Gesamtausgabe Band 22. 1932-1936: Geist der Neuzeit

- Schriften -Rezensionen [Complete Tonnies Edition, Tom. 22, 1932-1936: Spirit of the

Modem Age - Treatises - Reviews]. Ed., Introd, & Annot. by Lars Clausen. Berlin and

N ew York: de Gruyter. Wal3ner, Rainer, and Rolf Fechner. 1995. "Das Delta der Tonnies-Forschung" [The Delta

of Tonnies Research]. Tannies-Forum. 4:(2)60-68



1980. Ferdinand Tannies (1855-1936): NachlajJ,

Bibliothek, Biographie

[Ferdinand Tonnies (1855-1936) Bequest, Library, Biography]. Kiel: Schleswig-Holstei­

nische Landesbibliothek.


l.Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesbibliothek, Schloss, D-24103 Kiel, Germany; 'B' +49-431­

9067185, Fax +49-431-9067160.

2.Freiligrathstr. 11, D-24116 Kiel, Germany; 'B' +49-431-551107, Fax +49-431-552993.



3.1956-77, his professorial successors were the theologian Joachim Schaifenberg (1977-1978) and myself, sociologist (1978-).













4.Lars Clausen, Alexander Deichsel, Knauer.

Cornelius Bickel, Rolf Fechner,

Carsten Schluter­


groBer wirtschaftlicher Krisen emporkommen und ins Kraut schieBen [

einfii.ltige und unwissende Demagogen einer solchen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis unfahig

J, wenn auch

es ist nicht Zufall, wenn solche Tendenzen und Versuche gerade immer in den Perioden

sind und sein werden." (1998, p. 217)


Cornelius Bickel

Ferdinand Tonnies and Charles Taylor The Sociologist and the Philosopher about the Images of Man and Society


I. Gemeinschaft

2. Taylor's History of Development of the Modern Subject in

Comparison with Tbnnies' theory of "Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft" 3. Systematic Points of Reference in the Comparison Tbnnies - Taylor 4. Analogies in the respective Perceptions of Democracy Bibliography

1. "Gemeinschaft" with Tiinnies and the Communitarians

1.1 The Communitarians

The problem of"Gemeinschaft" has been rediscovered under the term of "community".

In the USA there are tendencies among political philosophers, the communitarians, that focus on

this idea. In fact it is a variation of the immanent criticism of liberalism which has accompanied

liberalism from the very beginning. The aim of this approach is to solve the problem of political

and social justice in consideration of grown conditions of life, of historical and individual

peculiarities. This seems to be appropriate to reality than it could have ever been possible within

the scope of the abstract models of "market and contract" of the economical and political

liberalism. It is the problem of how to justifY their argumentation the communitarians are

primarily concerned with, quite analogous to its counterpart: the liberal contract theory.

It is the intention of communitarism to bring to bear the thought that modern democracy

is not merely the result of the concordance of interest of isolated individuals. Consequently, the

support of common benefits being backed by grown local as wen as cultural traditions are