Harold Walsby: Political Individualism

In contrast to the larger type of political group – which, as we have seen from our brief study, tends on the one hand to adhere to “economic individualism” and, on the other, to “political collectivism” – we now come to consider the smaller type of group: that is to say, to consider those groups which have as their basic content or subject-matter (their intellectual or ideological material) the idea of “economic collectivism,” and at the same time, “political individualism” as their basic mode or form of ideological expression.

It will be simpler and more convenient for the purposes of exposition to deal with groups drawn from the extreme Left. While our observations will be largely confined to these extremer minority groups and will apply preeminently to them, nevertheless, they will also apply, in lesser degree, to the less extreme Left. We might generalise and say: our observations will apply to other political groups with modifications proportional to their remoteness from the Left-wing extremity; and these modifications will increasingly partake of the nature of the mass modes of behaviour, thought and feeling we have already described, as we pass down the political scale to the extreme Right.

We have referred, in Chapter 3, to intellectualism as a general distinguishing characteristic of the Left-wing. We saw that the extreme Left especially was more concerned and identified with the typical features of intellectualism: abstract theory and principles, doctrine, objectivity, logic, reason, academic discussion and exposition etc. Hand in hand with these goes the repression of “subjective,” “emotional” thinking, i.e., the rejection of emotional group suggestion and of emotional suggestibility – which, we have come to understand, is characteristic of mass behaviour and thinking, and largely based on the individual member’s fear of being separated from the group, the so-called herd instinct. We have learnt, for example, in Chapter 4, from Chakotin, that the intellectual minority resist emotional suggestion but that they are not immune to rational, persuasive, objective argument.

The question naturally arises as to how this intellectual minority (intellectual in the vertical sense) comes to exist as such, how intellectuals come to separate themselves from the mass modes of expression. We shall attempt to account for this – together with the origin of dread of the group – more fully in Part II of this book. But it will be convenient to say something about it at this stage before we go on to treat of political individualism in intellectual groups. And for the time being it must suffice.

We have already shown (Chapter 5) that the group places severe restraints on the egoistic impulses of the individual; it imposes limitations, in other words, upon his means of self-assertion or self-expression. This view is here entirely in harmony with the psychoanalytic standpoint when Freud writes (in his Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, p. 17): “We believe that civilisation has been built up, under the pressure of the struggle for existence, by sacrifices in gratification of the primitive impulses, and that it is to a great extent for ever being recreated, as each individual, successively joining the community, repeats the sacrifice of his instinctive pleasures for the common good.”

Now, we have mentioned (in the same chapter) one way in which the conflict (between the egoistic impulses and the group restraints) results in victory for the individual over the group, one simple method by which the group member overcomes the severe limitations imposed upon him by group expression. That method is by becoming a leader of the group; i.e., by yielding to the mass modes of expression – as for example we have seen Hitler yielded to them, and as man in general, in order to manipulate gross matter, has to yield to the limitations matter imposes upon him. By accepting these mass modes, by identifying himself more closely, wholly, with them, the individual – by operating within their limiting framework can give vent to his egoistic impulses in organising, leading the group and becoming its spokesman. “Nature is never conquered unless obeyed.” Hitler, we saw, conquered the masses only because he obeyed them.

But there is also another method by means of which the individual can overcome or avoid the group restraints: that is by withdrawal, by renunciation, by rejection of the mass modes of expression and retiring, withdrawing, from the mass group. This is the method which is pursued by the intellectual and it is, in fact, the mark of the qualitative or vertical intellectual advance. It means that the individual is no longer held to the ideological modes of the mass by the dread of separation from the group, or what amounts to the same thing, by the emotional tie of identification. It means that the individual’s egoistic impulses are free to express themselves in the assertion of his independence of the group. [footnote 1] It means that he is freed from identification with the primitive assumptions of the mass ideology which previously compelled him to reject or ignore any ideas and feelings incompatible with those assumptions. A shackle is removed which hitherto mentally bound him. His mind is free to pursue and identify itself with – to bind him to – another, more advanced, set of ideas and assumptions.

There are two or three points in connection with this mental emancipation of the individual from bondage to the group, which should be stressed here.

Firstly, we should bear in mind that only the comparative few are able to withdraw from and renounce the group. We must remember the enormous moral pressure which is put upon the individual by the group, in the form of mass emotional suggestion, in order to ensure his conformity and adherence to the group modes of thinking. This mass suggestion – which Freud has shown (see his Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego) to be closely allied to hypnotism and hypnotic suggestion – ensures the conformity of the vast majority of the group members, and the suggestion often varies in its intensity simply in order to accomplish just that result. If, for instance, within a mass group there arises a comparatively strong, critical faction (composed of a number of individuals whose ties with the group have weakened) which threatens the group with dissension and disruption, the mass suggestion will increase in strength, volume, intensity and violence, until the former condition of mass conformity is again restored. One of the best examples of this process in action on a major scale was, indeed, the rise of fascism itself – consequent upon the growth, on the continent, of a strong, though still comparatively small, Left-wing movement. Further examples of the same process, but on a smaller scale, are to be seen time and time again in everyday politics, particularly during election periods. This process is largely unconscious; it is almost automatic and can be crudely compared with the automatic action involved in the process of thermostatic control: when the temperature goes down the energy for maintaining it is automatically turned on until the former condition is restored and the supply of energy is diminished. So that, on the whole, only a few individuals can ever succeed in resisting the mass suggestion and thus succeed in freeing themselves from the ties of the mass group.

Secondly, it must be borne in mind that the alternative path of renunciation, as a means of overcoming or avoiding the limitations of thought and expression imposed by membership of the mass group, is not deliberately and consciously chosen by the individual, who is, in fact, largely unconscious of what is actually going on in his relations with the group.

Thirdly, the whole path of renunciation itself is long and complicated, and is accompanied or marked by a more or less well-defined series of intermediate stages, which lead upwards, as it were, through a series of levels, from groups of the mass type – exhibiting low vertical growth of intellect – to smaller groups of the intellectual type, with a high vertical development of intellect, and through these to the smallest type of group of them all: the type with only one member, the independent individual himself. This latter type tends to remain more or less of an ideal, for exceedingly few people indeed ever actually reach it or even approximate it. It will readily be seen that this brief description of the ascent of the developing intellectual through these various ideological levels, accords well with the facts of the existing structure of the whole system of political groups as shown in our original diagrammatic scale of political levels (Fig. 1).

Lastly, it must be understood that by renunciation, by withdrawing from the group, the individual only escapes the group’s influence and constraints in a direct ideological sense. Though the intellectual may no longer identify himself with the mass group, though he may no longer feel bound to it, nevertheless it still remains to influence and limit him indirectly – for instance, in its stimulation of his opposition to it and in its tendency to drive him continually towards its antithesis: complete intellectual independence. [footnote 2] Moreover, it remains also to frustrate his newly acquired aims which, for their practical fulfillment, require the permanent conversion of the masses to his way of thinking – that is to say, require the collective modes of thought and behaviour (political collectivism, mass suggestion) together with their economic contents (economic individualism) to give way, in the mass group itself, permanently and enduringly, to independent modes of thought. In short, the very content (i.e. economic collectivism) of the intellectual’s mode of thought (political individualism) presupposes the inevitable and eventual universality of his way of thinking and the complete decay or abolition of its antithesis: namely, economic individualism and political collectivism.

We shall see, in Part II of this study, how this underlying presupposition or assumption actually arises as the consequence, mainly, of an interaction between (a) the intellectual’s repression of his internal tendencies or impulses to “subjective” or “emotional” thinking (mentioned above) to give way, in other words, to mass suggestion, and (b) his repression of the external limitations, the frustration of his aims, imposed upon him by the continued and omnipresent existence of the mass group.

Strictly speaking, of course, nobody is able to separate himself truly from the mass group and escape entirely its limitations and constraints. To do that would entail complete physical withdrawal from human society itself. The separation, which is only partial and incomplete, is merely that effected by the renunciation, or internal inhibition, of the group ties and mass ideological modes and assumptions. The individual, no matter with what other group he may identify himself, and though he may no longer directly identify himself with the mass modes of thought, still remains nolens volens part of the mass group and still – though in a different manner – under its influence. Again, the renunciation, repression or inhibition of the mass ideological modes (shown by the individual’s resistance to mass suggestion) is never continuously permanent or even complete. The renunciation or repression, to put it another way, varies in its extent and in its intensity according to the continually changing external situation or environment of the individual. And the extent and intensity of the repression will vary also from person to person, according, that is, to the individual’s psychobiological make-up in other directions. The intellectual himself thus still remains subject to group suggestion in many ways, particularly so where the contents or subject-matter of the suggestion appear to him to have no obvious relation to the basic assumptions or economic content of the mass ideology – in most of the multitudinous petty affairs of everyday life, for instance, and when he is enjoying a joke or being entertained. It is when the contents of the suggestion are such as to recall, by association, the basic assumptions or economic content of the mass ideology that the repression, which has perhaps been temporarily relaxed or in abeyance, is suddenly strengthened and his resistance is brought to bear against the suggestion.

The repression then manifests itself in the intellectual’s verbal opposition and feeling of hostility to the economic content (economic individualism) of the mass ideology, in his rejection of the underlying assumptions, the modes of thinking and feeling characteristic of that ideology (such as, e.g., its identification with authority, strong leadership, action, personal power, heroes, hierarchy, character, physical bravery, aggressiveness, force, symbolism, mysticism etc. and its intolerance or rejection of intellect, logic, understanding, doctrine, reason, theory, academic discussion, objectivity etc.).

In so far as the intellectual’s opposition, resistance, and his rejection of the mass ideology, is itself – because of the repression – partly emotional and irrational, then we can expect that he is still to some extent subject to emotional suggestion in respect of behaviour, ideas – and feelings which tend to support his own modes of thinking and their contents. We shall find this to be the case. Such suggestion, of course – though he does not recognise it as such – assists in the maintenance of the repression and, consequently, in preserving his mental comfort. On the other hand, ideas which appear to be – whether they are or not connected with, or to favour, the mass ideology, or ideas which threaten to disturb the renounced, repressed material – will frequently call forth a vigorous, irrational and emotional opposition. The resistance hardens, the repression is intensified, and he will either oppose at all costs, despite any irrationality he may show, in order to defend himself against the mental pain involved in the acceptance and return of repressed material, or he may – especially if what he opposes be more rational and scientific – remove himself bodily from the scene of his discomfort.

These words of Freud, though they were meant to describe another but not altogether dissimilar set of circumstances, are peculiarly apt here:

Thus we could definitely ascertain that the same man would take up and then abandon his critical objections over and over again in the course of the analysis. Whenever we are on the point of bringing to his consciousness some piece of unconscious material which is particularly painful to him, then he is critical in the extreme; even though he may have previously understood and accepted a great deal, yet now all these gains seem to be obliterated; in his struggles to oppose at all costs he can behave just as though he were mentally deficient, a form of ’emotional stupidity.’ If he can be successfully helped to overcome this new resistance he regains his insight and comprehension. His critical faculty is not functioning independently, and therefore is not to be respected as if it were; it is merely a maid-of-all-work for his affective attitudes and is directed by his resistance. When he dislikes anything he can defend himself against it most ingeniously; but when anything suits, his book he can be credulous enough. We are perhaps all much the same; a person being analysed shows this dependence of the intellect upon the affective life so clearly because in the analysis he is so hard-pressed…As we already know from Breuer’s observations, it follows from the existence of a symptom that some mental process has not been carried through to an end in a normal manner so that it could become conscious; the symptom is a substitute for that which has not come through. Now we know where to place the forces which we suspect to be at work. A vehement effort must have been exercised to prevent the mental process in question from penetrating into consciousness and as a result it has remained unconscious; being unconscious it had the power to construct a symptom. The same vehement effort is again at work during the analytic treatment, opposing the attempt to bring the unconscious into consciousness. This we perceive in the form of resistances. The pathogenic process which is demonstrated by the resistances we call REPRESSION. (Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, pp. 247-8.)

We must not imagine that the two processes we have described – that of renunciation and that of “mastering” the group – are simply mutually exclusive. The intellectual finds an outlet for his egoistic impulses in argumentation, discussion and debate – in which, because of his superior intellect, he is easily able to “master” and “defeat” representatives of the masses, exponents of the mass ideology. On the other hand, the leader – who actively masters the group by more closely identifying himself with and expressing its ideology – in a certain sense also renounces the group, that is to say, the passive mass; he withdraws from it – because of his active leadership – and comes to have a certain contempt for its passivity, its “sheep-like half-heartedness,” as did Hitler and Mussolini for example.

Now, we have asserted that the characteristic mental outlook, attitude, or mode of thought of the intellectual – his typical basic form of political or ideological expression – is that of “political individualism” (or as we shall see, what amounts to the same thing, “ideological individualism”) which we have opposed to the political or ideological collectivism of the masses. We have also stated that the economic content of the intellectual’s mode of thought is that of economic collectivism, i.e., the common ownership and control of the social means of producing material wealth. Much evidence of this linking of political individualism and economic collectivism is to be found in the many political statements on record made by various Left-wing scientists, intellectuals and members of the intelligentsia generally, especially those of the extreme Left. These statements are to the effect that there ought to be, or there must be, or there is actually taking place, a widespread change in the existing social and political attitude of the masses; a change from mere blind, irrational belief and prejudice to a more critical independent mode of thought.

Consider, for instance, the following extracts from a pamphlet issued by a small political group of Left-wing intellectuals (which, although it has existed as a political party, aiming at mass support, since 1904, is very little known outside extreme Left-wing circles):

… Applicants for membership are required to sign the Declaration of Principles printed on the inside cover of this pamphlet, and are expected to satisfy the branch before which their application comes that they understand and accept the principles in question…A pamphlet of this kind is bound to make somewhat difficult reading for those who are not yet accustomed to a closely reasoned explanation of political and economic problems. Any reader who finds this to be his experience is urged not to be discouraged. The effort to understand the various clauses of our Declaration of Principles and to explore the lines of thought opened up in this pamphlet cannot fail to be of value, even if at first it presents a little difficulty…

Let him take them up as a challenge to his intellect, and either convince himself of their truth or prove their falsity. Let him then bring his actions into line with his convictions, rejecting the socialist principles if he thinks them unsound, but adopting them and cleaving to them if he finds them true and unassailable.

True, these principles and the policy they dictate offer nothing but battle and victory – nothing but the last arduous campaign of the class struggle and the fruits thereof. But it is sufficient. It must not be exchanged for the power and pelf of office and a place near the fleshpots of Egypt for a few who dub themselves leaders of the working-class.

We who know the class to which we belong, and build up all our hopes on the capacity of its intellect, know that it will not be so exchanged. We know that the working-class, as a class, is capable of judging all things for itself, and of marching on to its emancipation under the guidance of its own avowed principles without leaders or use for leaders…

Note the emphasis on principles, understanding, intellect, “closely reasoned explanation,” and particularly the rejection of the idea of leadership, which, as we have seen, is one of the fundamental ideas or assumptions of the mass ideology. This rejection is closely related to the anarchist’s emphatic repudiation of leadership, authority, nationalism, militarism, the state, compulsion, personal power, physical force, money, etc., etc. – which becomes extremely interesting, for it can be plainly observed that these rejections are renunciations of just the very characteristic and typical features of the politico-ideological collectivism of the mass groups. Furthermore, we have learnt to suspect that the emphatic emotional repudiation is largely based on the intellectual’s actual repression of these assumptions and attitudes – that is to say, that the emphatic rejection arises from the actual existence of the repressed, internally inhibited material.

The anarchist, we should well note, is pre-eminently the advocate of political individualism, of critical, individual independence of thought and personality. He is, ideally at least, a self-sufficient, one-man political group – able, by using his reason, to make all political decisions for himself, and, under anarchism, to enter voluntarily into the co-operative labour of anarchist society, in which all shall have equally free access to the commonly owned means of production and to the wealth produced. Thus we see that in the anarchist ideology, political individualism on the one hand and economic collectivism on the other are developed to the extreme, to the ultimate. (In passing, it is of interest in this connection to note that anarchism is usually considered by anarchists and, often by other members of the extreme Left in their conception of the “withering away of the state,” to be the final and ultimate form of human society.)

As evidence of this extreme development embodied in the anarchist ideology, let us consider some typical statements from anarchist sources. The following come from Rudolf Rocker’s Anarcho-Syndicalism:

Anarchism is a definite intellectual current in the life of our time, whose adherents advocate the abolition of economic monopolies and of all political and social coercive institutions within society. In place of the present capitalistic economic order Anarchists would have a free association of all productive forces based upon co-operative labour, which would have as its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society, and would no longer have in view the special interest of privileged minorities within the social union. In place of the present state-organisations with their lifeless machinery of political and bureaucratic institutions Anarchists desire a federation of free communities which shall be bound to one another by their common economic and social interests and shall arrange their affairs by mutual agreement and free contract.Anyone who studies at all profoundly the economic and political development of the present social system will easily recognise that these objectives do not spring from the Utopian ideas of a few imaginative innovators, but that they are the logical outcome of a thorough examination of the present day social maladjustments, which with every new phase of the existing social conditions manifest themselves more plainly and more unwholesomely. (pp. 9-10.)

Power operates only destructively, bent always on forcing every manifestation of life into the straitjacket of its laws. Its intellectual form of expression is dead dogma, its physical form brute force. And this unintelligence of its objectives sets its stamp on its supporters also and renders them stupid and brutal, even when they were originally endowed with the best of talents…

It was from the understanding of this that modern Anarchism was born and now draws its moral force. Only freedom can inspire men to great things and bring about intellectual and social transformations. The art of ruling men has never been the art of educating men and inspiring them to a new shaping of their lives. Dreary compulsion has at its command only lifeless drill, which smothers any vital initiative at its birth and can bring forth only subjects, not free men. Freedom is the very essence of life, the impelling force in all intellectual and social development, the creator of every new outlook for the future of mankind. The liberation of man from economic exploitation and from intellectual and political oppression, which finds its finest expression in the world-philosophy of Anarchism, is the first prerequisite for the evolution of a higher social culture and a new humanity. (p. 33.)

Next, we have the following extracts from Herbert Read’s The Philosophy of Anarchism:

… Progress is measured by the degree of differentiation within a society. If the individual is a unit in a corporate mass, his life is not merely brutish and short, but dull and mechanical. If the individual is a unit on his own, with space and potentiality for separate action, then he may be more subject to accident or chance, but at least he can expand and express himself. He can develop – develop in the only real meaning of the word develop in consciousness of strength, vitality and Joy.All this may seem very elementary, but it is a fundamental distinction which still divides people into two camps. You might think that it would be the natural desire of every man to develop as all independent personality, but this does not seem to be true. Because they are either economically or psychologically predisposed, there are many people who find safety in numbers, happiness in anonymity, and dignity in routine. They ask for nothing better than to be sheep under a shepherd, soldiers under a captain, slaves under a tyrant. The few that must expand become the shepherds, the captains and leaders of these willing followers.

Such servile people exist by the million, but again I ask: What is our measure of progress? And again I answer that it is only in the degree that the slave is emancipated and the personality differentiated that we can speak of progress… (pp. 8-9.)

… The worth of a civilisation or a culture is not valued in the terms of its material wealth or military power, but by the quality and achievements of its representative individuals – its philosophers, its poets and its artists. We might therefore express our definition of progress in a slightly more precise form. Progress, we might say, is the gradual establishment of a qualitative differentiation of the individuals within a society. In the long history of mankind the group is to be regarded as an expedient – an evolutionary aid… But the further step, by means of which a civilisation is given its quality or culture, is only attained by a process of cellular division, in the course of which the individual is differentiated, made distinct from and independent of the parent group. The farther a society progresses, the more dearly the individual becomes the antithesis of the group. (p. 10.)

… Creeds and castes, and all forms of intellectual and emotional grouping, belong to the past. The future unit is the individual, a world in himself, self-contained and self-creative, freely-giving and freely receiving, but essentially a free spirit. (p. 12.)

Lastly, here are some quotations taken from a review of Arthur Koestler’s The Yogi and the Commissar in the anarchist paper War Commentary (19/?/45):

… At the other end of the scale we get the people who realise fully that no good can arise from an authoritarian system of government, who accept all the negative criticism of anarchism, yet who have insufficient faith in man to see any alternative to authority… Koestler, who is one of the most talented of the independent Left intellectuals of this country… realises. All the faults in authoritarian societies up to the present, he has sufficient concern for mankind to make him continue in spite of this fact to hope for a social system that will not partake of these faults, yet he has not made that ultimate act of faith in the potentialities of man which results in the final rejection of authority as the pattern of social relations and the acceptance of a libertarian cooperation as the basis of the administration of society.Koestler, like most of the Left intellectuals who have preserved their independence of thought, is fully aware of the equivocal nature of the position in which he finds himself, and his latest book, The Yogi and the Commissar, is an attempt to investigate thoroughly the position of the revolutionary intellectual and to prescribe some line of development which might lead to more constructive results.

Koestler sees the dilemma of the intellectuals expressed in the extremes of the Yogi and the Commissar…

Koestler himself, it can be seen, hovers uneasily between, seeing the good in each of them, yet unable to reconcile these apparently contradictory tendencies. The duality from which he suffers is shared by many of his generation, and has resulted in that unfortunate lack of direction which has led so many of our intellectuals into compromised positions, into defending the lesser evil. Koestler puts their position when he says: “The collapse of the revolutionary movement has put the intelligentsia into a defensive position; the alternative for the next few years is no more ‘capitalism or revolution’ but to save some of the values of democracy and humanism or to lose them all; and to prevent this happening one has to cling more than ever to the ragged banner of ‘independent thinking’.”

It becomes clearly evident from an examination of these representative samples of the extreme Left-wing and anarchist outlooks – exhibiting as they do the highest development of political individualism and economic collectivism – that there is contained within them, standing out with varying degrees of sharpness, the important implication which we have mentioned earlier in this chapter. The implication is, namely, that at some future date, near or remote, the mass modes of behaviour, thought and feeling will die out, will cease to exist as such; and that the masses themselves will, in freeing themselves from the group ties and the crude modes of group expression, permanently and universally adopt the critical, objective, independent mode of thought typical of the intellectual, together with its necessary corollary and content of “economic collectivism.”

This implication is of supreme importance in our study, for it presupposes a certain form of intellectual, ideological and political evolution on the part of human society, which, if it corresponds with the facts, renders the implication valid and with it the general position of these outlooks. But if, on the other hand, that mode of development does not so correspond with fact – that is, with the actual mode of development – if, in short, the objective evidence is against it, then of course the implication is unsound and with it a great part of the outlook of which it is so fundamental a constituent. We might possibly have supposed and taken it for granted that, as it was of such vital importance, this aspect of the (qualitative) intellectual or ideological development of society, would have been investigated and dealt with by those – the rational and scientifically-minded intellectuals – the validity of whose politico-ideological position depends so much upon it. But such is not the case. We may look in vain through the literature of the whole of the Left-wing to find any clear recognition of the problem, let alone any attempt to investigate it. What we do find is a tremendous amount of matter devoted to the study of the economic aspects of history, science, philosophy, primitive society and institutions, social development and the structure of modern society etc. In this massive literature all intellectual, ideological and political development is usually treated as a kind of epiphenomenon or byproduct of the economic evolution of society. Nowhere do we find a conception of a real, independent ideological evolution – with its own laws, underlying processes and mechanisms peculiar to itself. And nowhere do we find any direct or positive evidence to support the implication to which we have referred; it is simply ignored.

These considerations alone would tend to force us logically to the conclusion that the implication is very largely an assumption – an assumption which is more or less unconsciously drawn upon in order to support a position otherwise sustained by a great deal of study and insight into the economic aspects of social phenomena and social development. The conclusion is further strengthened by the consideration of such references as those found in the above samples – and to be found liberally distributed throughout all such literature – references to “faith in the potentialities of man,” to the building of “all our hopes” on mass rationality, etc., etc. Further, when we come to examine the objective evidence, the actual mode of ideological development itself, we find that so far from giving factual support for the assumption, it undermines and belies it; the evidence, as we shall see, points the other way, and, at the same time, provides us with a complete and satisfactory explanation of how the assumption itself arises, and of the necessity for the assumption to be made by those who make it.

At this point it will be convenient to refer once again to our broad scale of political opinion, and to integrate with it the main results, so far, of our discussion: namely, the new concepts of political (or ideological) collectivism and individualism. We are thus enabled, by adding these terms in their appropriate places on the scale, to perceive readily and in a diagrammatic manner, the inverse-ratio relationship – of economic individualism and collectivism on the one hand, and political individualism and collectivism on the other – as it occurs in both the ideological structure of modern society and in the typical ideological or vertical development of intellect itself. See Fig. 2 below.

Domain of Ideologies Figure Two

[footnote 1: This independence of the mass group is not only expressed intellectually but in many other ways – e.g., circumstances permitting, in particular forms of behavior and aesthetic tastes, certain modes of dress, long hair, beards, etc.]

[footnote 2: It is of interest to observe that the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word “intelligentsia” – which comes through the Russian (intelligentsiya) and Italian (intelligenza) from the Latin of intelligence “The part of a nation (especially the Russian) that aspires to independent thinking.”]

Continue reading The Domain of Ideologies by Harold Walsby (1947)
Part I Mass Groups and Intellectual Groups
Forward | The Paradox | The Political Groups | The Left Wing and IntellectualismThe Masses and Emotional Suggestibility | Fear of the Group | Political Collectivism | Political Individualism | The “Mass Rationality” Assumption
Part II Ideological Structure and Development
The Ideological FieldDefinition of Ideology | Cognitive Assumptions | The Process of Assumptions | The Absolute Assumption | Identification | Development and Repression | Conclusion | Bibliography | Index