Comments on the Idea of Community (1931)
The ambiguity of the concept that is employed is greater here than anywhere else. One says, for example, that socialism is the passing of the control over the means of production from the hands of the entrepreneur into that of the collective; but everything depends on what one means by collective. If it is what we are accustomed to calling the state, that is, an institution in which an essentially unstructured mass lets its business be conducted by a so-called representation, then in a socialist society essentially this will have changed—that the workers will feel themselves to be represented by the possessors of the power of the disposal of the means of production. But what is representation? Is it not in the all too far-reaching “allowing oneself to be represented” that the worst defect of modern society lies? And in a socialist society will not the economic “letting oneself be represented” be added to the political so that only then for the first time the almost unlimited being represented and thereby the almost unlimited central accumulation of power will predominate? But the more a human group lets itself be represented in the determination of its common affairs and the more from outside, so much less does community life exist in it, and so much poorer in community does it become. For community—not the primitive but that which is possible and suitable for men of today—proclaims itself above all in the common active handling of the common and cannot endure without it.
KeywordsChristian Theology Socialist Society Real Essence True Subject Party Program
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