Community (1919)

  • Asher D. Biemann


It is the most mature insight of recent sociology as a genetic self-discovery of contemporary mankind that the modern culture of the West has moved from community toward society, that a mechanical way of living together has infiltrated and disintegrated the organic way.1 Community is the expression and manifestation of an original, naturally homogeneous, relation-bearing will that represents the totality of mankind; society [is the expression and manifestation] of a differentiated, profit-seeking [will] that is generated by detached thought and removed from the totality [of mankind]. … Community is grown relatedness [Verbundenheit], welded together by common possession (predominantly soil), common work, common customs, common belief; society means regulated segregation, held together externally by force, contract, convention, or public opinion. … The medieval city represents the first in its basic form; the modern mega city, the second. The first is the monumental, dome-like grown attempt “to organize a close-knit association of mutual help and support for consumption and production, and for the entire social life, without, however, binding the individual with the shackles of the state but, rather, under complete protection of the creative expressions of a particular group of individuals.”2 The second is but a structured unity in a mechanical light; in truth, a mass of “numerous free individuals who repeatedly come in contact with each other during interaction, who exchange and cooperate without, however, any community and communal will arising in their midst other than a sporadic remnant of an earlier, still lingering condition.3


Common Custom Creative Expression Common Land True Community Common Work 
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© Asher D. Biemann 2002

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  • Asher D. Biemann

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