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In the second volume of the Introduction, which is devoted especially to social functions and organs, we have proceeded, therefore, to a new but incomplete synthesis. We have especially described the structure and the functioning of each of the social organs considered separately; however, we then strongly insisted that first the organs, next the groups of organs, and finally the systems of groups, always and necessarily present a correlative and simultaneous organization and functioning, and that all of these, including the systems of groups, which are the most extensive and the most complex forms of special social organography, are always agencies with a view to the service of the ensemble, which regulates their particular activity and acts upon their individual structure.
In our study, which has been at once both static and dynamic, of the organs, of the groups of organs, and of the systems of groups relating to the different classes of social phenomena, we have also recognized a certain order, which is both logical and natural. We have based this classification upon the degree of complexity and of specialty of the organization and functioning of the phenomena, and not, as in former classifications, upon the complexity and specialty of the phenomena themselves.
Accordingly, the economic system in its entirety is divided into three distinct but connected branches. The simplest and most general of these is that of circulation; next in order is that of consumption; last, most complex and special of all, that of production. This is an important fact; for if, as we believe, the economic life is the foundation of the entire social life, it is the circulatory system that constitutes the lower story, the foundation, the basis of the entire structure—and not production, nor the technique of production, as the school of Karl Marx maintains.
The circulatory branch of the system, likewise, according to a natural and logical order, includes: (1) the transportation of men and of utilities—(a) land, (6) maritime; (2) the transmission of offers and orders; (3) the circulation of signs representative of values; (4) the circulation of public and private instruments of credit.
It follows that, in last analysis, all social life can be reduced to a movement, to a change of place of the human units and of utilities, that is to say, of the more or less numerous parts of the two factors combined by land and sociology.
This observation, supposing it to be as exact as I think, should be of the highest importance for the general philosophy of the sciences, because it should permit us to perceive more or less clearly that sociology itself will some time be related to a universal mechanical law well understood from the purely philosophical point of view. This philosophical monism will not be able to treat social phenomena simply by themselves, according to their distinctive character and their particular laws.
The fact that in last analysis all social life can be reduced to movement, to a change of place of human units and of utilities, corresponds to the fact that every social structure can be reduced to a displacement, a movement, a new combination of land and population. It is this that we actually observe in the economic activity of the most rudimentary populations, which live by hunting, fishing, and gathering fruits, nuts, etc. All their economic activity consists in a movement, in approaching natural utilities, in bringing these utilities together. Here circulation, consumption, production are only one; they are blended in a single movement, in a circulatory movement which involves at the same time the two other phenomena, consumption and production, which are not differentiated until later. However, consumption and production in their distinct forms, in the highest distinct forms they are subsequently able to attain, nevertheless always remain as the two poles of the same sphere. At the same time, this statement explains a fact which I think no one disputes, namely, that the circulatory phenomena always tend to become organized, that is to say, socialized, before the phenomena relating to consumption, and especially before the phenomena of production, which are the most complex and the most special of all economic phenomena. Among productive phenomena those activities relating to industry, properly so called, become organized before agricultural industry.
The objection has been made that hunting, fishing, and
gathering are likewise forms of production. This is true — and they are also forms of consumption. It has also been said that all production is only a combination, that is to say, a displacement of elements. This is likewise true, but in gathering, hunting, and fishing consumption and production are still involved in the pre-eminently simple form of a displacement, of a transportation, while in production, properly speaking, there is a new combination of the raw materials which serve to form a new product.
While our logical and dogmatic classification is impregnable when we consider economic phenomena in the abstract, it seems even more valid from the historical and natural point of view, when we consider them in their social forms, in their organization. Thus all the sociologists, including the socialists, point out that the circulatory phenomena of societies, represented by roads, canals, railways, postal systems, telegraphs, telephones, money, credit, banks, are much more advanced in organization and in socialization than the phenomena of production or even of consumption. There is even
one universal international Postal Union. There are commercial museums. There is a universal code of marine signals, and the same thing is true of music and science. The unity existing in the majority of the treaties of commerce, in the most-favored-nation clause, has the same meaning as international expositions. There is a bibliography planned according to a common method, and even universities with international scope.
In addition to all the concordant observations which I have presented elsewhere upon the relative advancement of the circulatory forms, as compared with those of consumption, and especially of production, particularly in my Essais sur la monnaie, la crédit, et les banques, I have found confirmation in this not less interesting fact emphasized by M. Polléans in his creditable book on L'accaparement, viz., that
not only economic facts, but the words for them, have had their evolution. One could not speak of monopoly of production so long as concentration of the means of production did not exist. Speculative or commercial monopoly, which for a long time was the only kind in sight, is entirely eclipsed at present by the power of productive monopoly (P. 7). . . . . The legal notion of monopoly [accaparement] is strictly determined by the monopoly of speculation. This is to be explained by the legal code, and by the object which Art. 419 had in view. .... That article was promulgated at a time when understandings between producers were not yet born. Its intention was to protect freedom of trade and to secure respect for an individualistic conception of the relations of exchange. At that time isolated production on a small scale, divided by competition, was essentially individualistic, and there was nothing to fear except speculative commercial maneuvres (P. 10).
Thus, up to the most recent economic phenomena, the order of formation and of constitution, proceeding from circulation over to production, confirmed in a constant manner.
We have likewise shown that there is a natural order in production itself; thus industrial production, properly speaking, is much more perfect and in reality more ancient in its social forms than agricultural production. Progress of the first has always preceded that of the second, not merely from the technical point of view, but also from the point of view of socialization. In spite of belief and even appearances to the contrary, industrial production, like agriculture, not merely requires a sufficient development of the mechanical, physical, and chemical sciences, but it also requires a development of biology. So in the countries most advanced in civilization, agriculture, in contrast with manufacture, is still essentially empirical; it has been of this character to such an extent that its tools, with few exceptions, have been but little modified for centuries. Further, the industrial organization has already assumed much higher social forms; industry has been freed from the feudal régime and from paternal sbsolutism to a much greater extent than agriculture. Yet it may be objected that just as in industry the manufacture of cotton was emancipated before the manufacture of wool, precisely because the former is the more recent, and was therefore established with fewer restrictions, so likewise industry as a whole is more advanced than agriculture, because it is more recent. However, in fact, we encounter a certain development of industry among all peoples, even in cases where there is no agriculture; agriculture is a special differentiation of general industry.
In Part II, we have proceded to a similar classification of the organs and groups of organs: genetic, artistic, scientific, moral, juridic, and political. This classification is a second synthesis, at once subjective and objective, for it organizes our knowledge, and at the same time it rests upon observations conforming to concrete reality. One of the most constant laws which we have recognized at this point of our studies is that the social functions and organs thus considered by themselves assume a structure which is less rigid and despotic as their organization becomes more developed and perfect. With evolutionary progress, in the place of order resulting from commandment there is substituted order resulting from the perfecting of the organization itself.
A third positive synthesis, which is still special, shows that the numerous social functions and organs are only the result of sociological differentiation from a primitive homogeneous state, out of which they emerge by way of natural filiation. We have shown that, by the very fact of this filiation, the functions and the organs are related to each other in such a way that the highest forms in each class, and the highest forms of the ensemble of the classes of functions and organs, are interrelated as the divers branches of an immense genealogical tree. Thus the circulatory function, which is the simplest and most general economic function, not only gives rise to a whole series of organs which jointly perform the work of circulation, but it also gives rise to an uninterrupted line of functions and organs relating to consumption, such as private and public markets, wholesale and retail commercial houses, etc., and to an analogous line of functions and organs which participate in the work of production. Further, the economic functions and organs give rise to domestic, artistic, scientific, moral, juridic, and political institutions, all of which are related to the economic functions and organs, and to each other as direct and collateral descendants of common ancestors.
Let us recall, for example, that from the æsthetic point of view a natural classification arises, which is based at the same time upon the relations of the arts to our senses, to the exterior