Short Essays: Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft


The sociological theory gemeinschaftgesellschaft (community-society) posit a dichotomy of two distinct forms of society: the former is what we could call and organic community, like the notion put forward by Plato of a small cohesive society where everyone works together and helps each other along, there is a sense of duty towards each other. It is an objective truth that only people in small population areas can sustain a real sense of community. The latter, gesellschaft, is the disastrous, decaying form of society where all social cohesion evaporates as a State Of (economic) War ensues. Society divides into two main groups: those who think that increasing market freedom will solve everything and those that think socialism could possibly work this time: “we swear that we understand Marx better than Lenin!”

Then there are those that are pointing at the growing fire and trying to draw attention to it, but nobody listens: “economic solutions are like trying to cover a gunshot wound with a dirty band-aid!” We Cry: “the problem is not economical! A heroin addict does not take heroin just because heroin feels good, they take it because psychological agony subsides as the barrel pushes the substance in. An alcoholic does not drink just because they love beer, they drink because they need to numb the mental agony eating away at their very Being. They both want to destroy a psychological agony that they cannot escape.” The empty void within our Being is what we are trying to escape, we are trying to fill it with a destructive drug – hedonistic passions and empty pleasures – that is eating away at us psychologically and physically. We have burdened our existence, we have dug our grave and now we teeter on the edge with the middle of our feet perched on the edge of the hole. Our eyes closed we sway backwards and forwards, will we topple in or will we jump back? If we jump back will we be overcome with shock, will our eyes open anew – refreshed – will we be awakened and finally stare at our mess we have created? Will we fix what we have done? Or will we steep further into Despair and fling ourselves into the grave…


The problems that we have are the manifestation of a collective, psychological distress, a post-traumatic disorder ingrained in Western society from two World Wars that shattered the very foundations of the Western world. World War One opened a fissure that was worsened by a treaty which strangled Germany economically – they could not pay the reparations that were demanded. Greed has strangled countries previously, the build up of the ridiculous cult of the ‘God Of Money’ occurred over centuries, but this was the last bit of pressure needed on the trigger, the bullet was fired, economic desires created the conditions required for the largest, bloodiest war in history.

The war ended, but the psychological damaged continued. The void left in the psyche of the public needed something to bring back hope, happiness and meaning, what was there to fill it with? Consumerism, material possessions – “a Rolex will bring back meaning into my life” A year later: “oh, there is a new model of that Rolex that didn’t give me any meaning the first time, but maybe this one will.” Instead of self-reflection, instead of looking backwards to times where social cohesion existed, instead of coming together we fully subsumed to atomisation and materialistic pursuits. We stepped on the accelerator, tore down the rear view mirror and kept the state of Total War alive: Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, the Middle East, the Middle East again – the common thread is the pursuit of resources to increase wealth, the pursuit of more powerful means of eradicating large populations who just happen to happen to be in economic competition with America.

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‘Gemeinschaft & Gesellschaft’ By Tomislav Sunic and Alain de Benoist

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