THE two person, or two group "dyad" is a particularly important social grouping, according to George Simmel in The Sociology of Georg Simmel translated and edited by Kurt H. Wolff. But what happens when you expand the dyad to three people, to the "triad?"
"The appearance of the third party.. [means an] abandonment of absolute contrast." In Simmel's view, it introduces three kinds of group formations. The third person might be a non-partisan mediator; he might be a "tertius gaudens" or someone who benefits from a two person quarrel; and he might even be someone who uses a dispute between two people to divide and conquer them. Let us look at each in turn.
The Non-partisan and the mediator. In many cases the addition of a third person can weld the two-person dyad together; the child "closes the circle by typing the parents to one another." But just as significant is the non-partisan mediator.
The non-partisan shows each party the claims and arguments of the other; they thus lose the tone of subjective passion which usually provokes the same tone on the part of the adversary.In other words, the non-partisan "deprives conflicting claims of their affective qualities" and forces the parties to view a dividing issue more objectively than in pure adversary combat. "[A]ntagonism of the will is reduced to intellectual antagonism." Notice though that the mediator is not an arbitrator; he does not decide the issue; only the parties can do that. But the mediator must be viewed by both sides as neutral, either because he is equally close to each party, or equally distant.
WE think of sociology as the individual and society. But Georg Simmel in The Sociology of Georg Simmel translated by Kurt H. Wolff takes us to a more basic consideration, the individual and the "dyad", or the individual as part of a two-person social relationship. But first, consider the situation of the "isolated" individual. Actually, we are not talking here about an individual that is "...
BACK in the 2000s Ross Ashcroft was briefly a BBCer and then an assistant theater director. But after the crash of 2008 he has reached for bigger things and in 2012 released a documentary on all the troubles of the world, entitled Four Horsemen. It got tons of awards at film festivals. It's available on YouTube. You would expect that it to be pathetically banal and devoid of almost anything ...
ONE of the talking heads on Ross Ashcroft's Four Horsemen documentary is Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, an economist who's a Reader at the University of Cambridge in England. In this video under the "Renegade Economist" brand Dr. Chang rehearses lefty talking points on "neoliberalism." I didn't really know what neoliberalism was when I watched the video; I just knew that it was a term that lefties swung ...
THE FINAL PROBLEM for all political and religious movements is what to do after you get to the Promised Land. You’ve defeated the enemy, you’ve conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. What next?
What’s next is that the soldiers of the revolution should get a job, get married, and start a family. And forget all about millennial hope.
But usually they don’t. Instead they get angry.
That’s why blacks rioted in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of ...
Everyone that has half a brain understands that the foundations are shaking. ...
THE GREAT EVENT of the second millennium was the rise of the world-historical middle class.... more
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E.G. West, Education and the State
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Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
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