Presentation on theme: "Physical map. Institutional History Political Institutions: Designed to regulate relations between individuals as between them and the community (public."— Presentation transcript:
Institutional History Political Institutions: Designed to regulate relations between individuals as between them and the community (public life) Organized voluntarily and permanently - an institution wants to represent and influence society.
Theoretical formulations Norms, institutions Economic and social effects relations between the economic and social forces
Methodological approach 1.Functionalist (or structural) approach -It addresses society as a whole in terms of functions (purposes to be achieved) of its constituent elements: norms, customs, traditions and institutions (but society, like a living organism, is more than the sum of its parts).
Emile Durkheim (1858- 1917) a major pioneer of functionalism: how societies maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity, when traditional social and religious ties are no longer efficient?
Historicist approach Evolutions of rules and institutions seen as conflicts among different social, political and economic behavior across time and space (deriving both from the past as from other countries). Comparative approach: focuses on changes and continuities.
Barrington Moore (1913- 2005) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966): comparative historical analysis of effects of industrialization on pre-existing agrarian regimes producing different political outcomes (democracy, fascism, communism) in: Britain, France, USA, China, Japan, India.
Legal Positivism Doctrine established at the end of the XIX century: a norm must be considered as “valid”, until a subsequent norm is posed by the lawgiver. Based on a presumption of law being "scientifically neutral“, free of "ideological impurities"!
French tradition (influences the birth of the Italian school): 1. Maurice Hauriou (1856 - 1929) - "institutional theory"
Hauriou's institutional theory "Social organization becomes durable when it is established: its legal form - which is the element that makes it enduring - is a system of balance of power and consent.” “The form is the structural element of the organization, pursues a function determined by values considered as recognized. "
Jacques Godechot Historian, specialist in the French Revolution (1907-1989): “Institutions are the framework within which people are struggling; that is, they are the product of the balance achieved between the conflicting forces, translated into laws, decrees (or just costumes)."
Crisis of liberalism Difference between Hauriou and Godechot - the awareness that institutions can move away from the values and social consensus. 20 th Century Europe has experienced the loss of political unity, thus the institutions are looking for balance between different - even conflicting - value systems (pluralist democracy).
German tradition Bielefeld school of social history: combines political and cultural studies on the evolution of mentality and language (history of basic political concepts). Main topic: division between state and society caused by the process of modernization (rationalization).
State vs. society Seen from below: antipolithics, populism - the state as an entity living above and at the community's expense. Seen from the top, state-worship: the state as impartial and superior, promoting a “general interest” or “common good”, compared to the special, “private” interests of individuals in conflict with each other (anti-system movements?)
European tradition 2 main patterns developed since 16 th - 20 th century: Pluralistic model (British parliamentary democracy) Monistic model (German authoritarian dictatorship)
British parliamentary system Requirements: 1. Substitution of the king with the prime minister – an accountable political leader; 2. The structuring of the parties inside and outside Parliament; 3. The relationship between governments and public opinion that allows the alternation of governments; 4. A stable Public administration unrelated to the clashes between the parties.
King in Parliament Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum, 1565: confirms the role of parliament as the "accepted part of the constitution, known and recognized element of the Royal Government," "supreme and absolute power of the kingdom because there and not elsewhere, the peaceful meeting between all parts of the kingdom is achieved."
A permanent institution Thomas Smith: confirmed the illegality of any taxation without the consent of parliament (property rights), petitions presented by the chambers become law if approved by the king (participation in government), House of Commons has the right of inquiry into the abuse of royal officials, control over public finances and criminal proceedings against Ministers - impeachment.
Kings’ trial 1649, the Parliament condemns Charles I to death "because of the fundamental proposition by which the King of England is not a person, but an office, with the power to govern by the laws of the country and in no other way."
Royal prerogatives Source of ideological conflict: the royal prerogatives belong to king only. They exclude the consent of parliament because they are the foundation of society (regarding the basic values: matters as religion, morality and the unity of the country), thus a Dogma: the prerogatives can not infringe on the liberty of the subjects.
King - Parties 1678-83 Exclusion crisis – division of the Parliament between two parties, Whig and Tory, on the question of royal prerogative to decide in religious matters. For Whigs, Catholicism leads to absolutist monarchy (as in France and Spain). Sir Henry Capel at House of Commons, 1679: “From popery came the notion of a standing army and arbitrary power…but lay popery flat, and there's an end of arbitrary government and power.”.
Whigs/Tories (reciprocal derisive names) Whigs Scottish bigoted Presbyterian, greedy and hypocritical exponent of the new bourgeois class; Whig alliance: City of London - House of Commons - Protestant nonconformists, supporting supremacy of parliament over the monarch and religious tolerance Tories Irish uneducated Catholic, outlaw, unable to fit in the new world of commerce; Tory alliance: Privy Council - Justices of the Peace of Counties - high Anglican Church, supporting the institution of monarchy and of a state Church excluding the Dissenters
Parties - Public opinion Charles Fox (New Whigs) against George III, 1780: The king must not be influenced only by his "favorites", but also by "public opinion”. Fox on freedom of assembly, 1795: "the best security for the due maintenance of the constitution is in the strict and incessant vigilance of the people over parliament itself. Meetings of the people, therefore, for the discussion of public objects are not merely legal, but laudable”.
MPs - voters 1774 - Edmund Burke (old Whig), Speech to the electors of Bristol: virtual representation – a MP is not bound to the will of the voters in his district, he pursues the common good and is accountable for his opinions only to Providence : “his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you. Your representative owes you his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion”.
Universal rights of men vs. inherited rights Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790): “The very idea of the fabrication of a new government, is enough to fill us with disgust and horror… In the Petition of Right (1628), the parliament says to the king, "Your subjects have inherited this freedom", claiming their franchises not on abstract principles "as the rights of men", but as the rights of Englishmen, and as a patrimony derived from their forefathers”.
Formation of governments During 18 th and 19 th century, general elections are considered significant, but not directly binding. Professional politicians get ministerial assignments if they have parliamentary support (example - Walpoles’ Grand Party - a Whig federation of MPs under his patronage). Collective responsibility of government and leadership of the Prime Minister based on the ability to influence the majority of MPs.
Ministerial solidarity The conquest of power is seen as a result of a joint effort made by politicians with common opinions; during the exercise of power, the prime minister has the power to impose a common policy to ministers; the resignation is meant as a joint act of the Council against the king or the parliament.
Last royal government in United Kingdom December 1834 - April 1835: last case of a government (Tories, led by Robert Peel) imposed by William IV against the will of the majority. Peel resigns after 100 days frustrated for not being able to pass laws against the Whig majority. 1835 - Queen Victoria offers to Peel to form a minority government, but he refuses.
Reforming political parties The 1832 Reform Act gives right to vote to the middle class. Number of voters increases about 60%, rising to 650 000. Political parties organize themselves as centralized national structures and promote the voter registration in each district.
Parliamentarism Since the 1832 electoral reform: All parties agree on the principle that decisions taken in parliament are binding on everyone, without regard for other social factors. The local press brings the political debate in the provinces, thus national unity is built around the Parliament, intended as national symbol.
Public opinion Since 1783 journalists can publish parliamentary debates, thus promoting the formation of Public interest associations: - Committee for the abolition of the slave trade (1787), - Birmingham Political Union - National Political Union (1830) promoting electoral reform for a fairer representation, - Chartism - for universal suffrage and more frequent elections (1838-1848).
Six points of the People's Charter 1. A vote for every man twenty one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime. 2. The ballot —To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote. 3. No property qualification for members of Parliament—thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor. 4. Payment of members, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the country. 5. Equal constituencies securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors,--instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of larger ones. 6. Annual Parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.
Private interest associations - industry associations and lobbies for “friendly” legislation (from medieval guilds to the Federation of British Industries, 1916), - first Chamber of commerce established in Jersey in 1768 (Association of the Chambers of Commerce established in 1860), -workers' trade unions divided by sector, established since 1815
Decriminalizing Trade unions 1799 Act to prevent Unlawful Combinations of Workmen prohibited trade unions and collective bargaining, and drove the labor organizations underground 1825 Combination Act allowed trade unions but made unlawful any pressure for wage increases or change of working hours 1871 Trade Union Act made them legal except for picketing.
Free trade Edmund Burke, debate on the prohibition on the export of grain, 1770: "There are no such things as a high, & a low price that is encouraging, & discouraging; there is nothing but a natural price, which grain brings at an universal market.“ "The laws of commerce are the laws of Nature, and therefore the laws of God."
Corn laws 1815-1846 Protectionists landowners heavily represented in Parliament maximized their profits by keeping high import duties for grain. Thomas Malthus: it would be dangerous for Britain to rely on imported corn because lower prices would reduce laborers' wages and decrease purchasing power of landlords and farmers. Free trade new class of manufacturers and industrialists underrepresented in Parliament wishing to maximize profits by reducing the wages of factory workers (men could not work in the factories if a factory wage was not enough to feed them and their families)
Anti-Corn Law League founded in Manchester in 1838, world’s first and greatest industrial town with high percentage of factory workers disadvantaged by the Corn Laws. Its leader Richard Cobden convinced tory prime minister Peel to abolish the law in 1846, causing a split in the party and his resignation.
Manchesterism Manchester School made economic liberalism the basis for government policy, believing that free trade would lead to a more equitable society, making essential products available to all. Main idea: freedom of contract (without government restrictions), freedom of the press and separation of church and state will lead to peaceful relations among nations.
Manufacturing metropolis Population of Manchester Year 180090.000 1831270.000 1850390.000 1890700.000 19001.240.000 19202.300.000 Traditional political capitals YearLondonBerlinMoscow 1700570.00060.000130.000 1800950.000170.000300.000 18502.230.000440.000 19006.620.0002.420.0001.120.000
Social disintegration Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1844: Manchester slums - heavily populated, with no city planning and poor infrastructure due to free trade ideology, causing infectious diseases and higher death-rates for workers and children than in the countryside (Manchester completed its sewage system only at the beginning of 20 th century)
Anti-Manchesterism Engels: “While the conditions of existence of Germany's proletariat have not assumed the form that they have in England, we nevertheless have, at bottom, the same social order, which sooner or later must necessarily reach the same degree of acuteness, unless the intelligence of the nation brings about in time the adoption of measures that will provide a new basis for the whole social system”.
Urbanization in 19 th and 20 th century YearEuropeEnglandFranceGermanyRussia/ Soviet Union 180012231296 1850194519157 19104175384914 19595183485334 percentage of the population living in centers with more than 5,000 inhabitants
Permanent civil service 1855: First parliamentary committee on the efficiency of the civil service, due to the chaotic conduct of the Crimean War (first "technological War" and the first to be followed by the press). The aim of the reform: to divide the technical officials from the political. Since 1870, recruitment by competitive examinations, no longer by political patronage (family ties, clients, party, local basis).
Universal and secret suffrage 1. 1867 Second Reform Act: doubling the number of voters (from 1.5 to 3 million) and more equitable redistribution between the city (underrepresented) and country. 2. 1872 Ballot Act: Inclusion of employees compels the adoption of the secret ballot. 3. 1884 Third Reform Act: the right to vote, as obtained in 1867 in the cities, is extended to the counties. 60% of males has the right to vote.
Female suffrage Fourth Reform Act 1918: male universal suffrage and partial female suffrage (women over 30 with minimum property qualifications – employed in factories during WWI); Fifth Reform Act 1928: women's universal suffrage.
Mass democracy Effects on party system: The results of the election no longer depend on corruption, but on political campaigns, causing more and more bureaucratic centralization within parties and major electoral expenses.
Class struggle in Parliament Effects of the universal suffrage: on one side, the dominance of the richest classes in the House of Commons, because of high costs of electoral campaigns; on the other side, greater social pressure on the upper classes, due to higher expectations of the lower classes fueled by election promises.
Main factors in German constitutional history 1. The absolutist tradition; 2. Corporate and feudal social organization; 3. The failed revolution of 1848; 4. Centrality of the king in political life; 5. The Chancellery (1867) as a solution for an efficient antiparliamentary (unaccountable) government.
Prussia: monarchical principle 1845 - Friedrich Julius Stahl, Monarchical Principle : "For the monarchical principle, the king should remain de facto the core of the constitution, the positive power in the state, the leadership of progress."
Primacy of executive power Stahl: “The security for the monarchy lies not only in constitution but also in the way of government. If this is not strong, energetic, the power will go in fact to the Parliament, though this may be in conflict with the constitution.”
Critics of the english model Stahl: incompatibility between king and Parliament, as the parliamentary principle involves the inexorable affirmation of republicanism, as in England, where: "A fiction, a king can do no wrong sounds like a profoundly monarchical principle, but he can not do anything. Not only the monarch should have no power, he should not have any desire, no belief in political matters. "
England seen by German liberals Carl Rotteck in Constitution, 1836, is critical to the Parliamentary supremacy because: "the Parliament in London has totally alienated from the true idea of representing the people and became a second government, in which the country's interests are sacrificed to the interests of parliamentarians".
Parliamentary model seen by Hegel Hegel, On the Reform Bill, 1831: The parliamentary system is the cause of the gap between principles being proclamed and the reality (the widespread poverty in British and Irish society), and the core of this vice can not be eliminated with the enlargement of the right to vote.
Hegel on popular vote On the Reform Bill: "The main thing in an election reduces to find voters, bring them to the polls and induce them to vote for their masters, especially with the means of corruption."
Possibility to choose Hegel: “Clearly the feeling is that the individual vote is - among the many thousands needed to elect someone - without any real weight. And this - so irrelevant - influence is limited only to people, and is even infinitely more irrelevant for the fact that it does not refer to the matter, which is, indeed, expressly excluded.” (as today’s referendum or citizens’ initiative)
Realpolitik August Ludwig von Rochau, 1853: The world of politics is "dominated by the law of the strongest in the same way as the world of physics is dominated by the law of gravity." "The law is highly dependent and limited by the extent of power that is available." "In the face of poverty is wealth, as the intelligence is waged by ignorance, prejudice and - in particular - stupidity."
The “people” for Rochau «Each party finds the true people there where it can find means for its purposes. The militaristic absolutism calls the army the "elite" of the people, the patriarchal regime tends to define the class of backward rural provinces the traditionalist core of people...»
Rochau “… the bureaucracy sees the real people in the petty bourgeois (middle class) of the city, the liberals grant the role of the real people only to the wealthy and educated and democrats tend to exclude from the people all those who are not associated to the proletarians”.
Selfgovernment Rochau: "Self-government, wanted by opponents of monarchical rule, requires a constant effort and a persistent spiritual will, which are alien to the masses". So: "such a theory can not stand the test of reality in the future, as it has not passed the test in the past."
German Bonapartism Constantin Frantz, Our Constitution, 1851: “The introduction of the constitution must lead to the fall of the throne, because this will end up identifying with corruption and demagogy of the Parliament, which will produce the dissolution of the national spirit and social anarchy.”
Parliamentarism as deceit Frantz: “By the time a deputy is elected, he sits in front of voters as a god and those are not entitled to protest. The whole representative system is nothing but a big mystification.”
The Chef Constantin Frantz, Louis Napoleon, 1852: “According to the parliamentary system, the people elect to be represented, but here (in France under Louis Napoleon) it elects to be governed. There (in England), the so-called executive power is subject to Parliament, here is superior and dominant. There, the state's power rests on the Parliament, here is based on the Chef.”
Leader - people Frantz: “The mendacious parliamentary system is declaiming to the people sweet words on self-government and then establishing the rule of Parliament. Here they say to the people the truth: that it is unable to govern itself and must therefore elect a leader, to which it must obey.”
Freedom of Thought Lothar Bucher, Parliamentarism as it really is, 1855: “The concept of parliamentarism should merge two elements: the party government and Selfgovernment. The German liberals believe that the British parliamentary system is not enclosed in the Palace of Parliament, but rather means an organized, guaranteed and general freedom of opinion and action."
“But are there any institution organizing and guaranteeing the freedom of opinion and action?” Is there a source of constant conflict between organized party interests and unorganized social interests? Bucher
Public Opinion Bucher: “The exchange of opinions among individuals, usually immediate, is now delegated, led by the newspapers. These changes affect the evolution of the representative system: thousands of citizens devote themselves to a single journal and will, thoughts and comments disappear..."
Bucher on the Press Bucher: "Every morning, the "opinion" is served ready as a muffin. By reading, one gets used only to absorb. The race to gain does not leave a spare minute to reflect on what we have read. It is clear what power has a newspaper, by virtue of what will decide to publish and what will decide to fail to mention, and generally by virtue of spreading ideas and ways of seeing that it generates among the readers."
Indirect censorship Bucher: "The Parliament is an enemy of the kind of press that gives voice to the classes and interests that are not represented in it... The crime of "incitement to hatred and hostility" was born in England. Against a dangerous political movement, but in particular of a social nature, there is a whole arsenal of indirect means against the press. "
Cult of the leader Bucher: “The faith in public opinion springs from the needs of public authorities, as a voluntary submission which the mass of men always tend. A leader who has gained the confidence of the masses can lead them to acts of obedience and renunciation, of sacrifice, to which the state apparatus with all its worldly and spiritual power, is not capable to impose".
Guiding principles for the imperial constitution Bucher and Bismarck (1866): The new constitution should take into account the actual distribution of organized power in the state (military) and unorganized socio-economic power in the society (nobility, industry, finance).
Legislative/executive power The principles of separation of power for Bucher and Bismarck: serve for masking implicit claims to sovereignty (as in the case of the British Parliament), or are a sign of an unforgivably impolitic attitude. The bourgeoisie, in any case, does not deserve even a segment of political power.
Plebiscitary trust Article 17 of the imperial constitution: “the Chancellor is responsible for all the acts of the Empire”. -Leading to an overall interpretation of the governmental conduct instead of examining a growingly complex administration. -Personalization of political trust based on a pretended direct connection of the leader with the masses.
Industrialization Energetic national governments as an emergency solution (“Emergency knows no law”) to guide social transformations connected to the process of industrialization: Urbanization - need of new social infrastructure Accumulation of capitals - neglect of traditional hierarchies as land aristocracy (Junker)
Concentration of capital Deutsche Bank – founded in 1870 in Berlin with Bismarck’s approval, “to serve both economic and national purposes”; financing: -Krupp (steel, armaments), -Bayer (chemical and pharmaceutical), -BASF (chemical industry), -AEG (electrical equipment), -Siemens (electronics)
Friedrich Krupp AG Largest company in Europe in 1880s with 75.000 employees. Generalregulativ - firm’s constitution imposing strict control of workers (loyalty oath) and prohibiting dealing with national politics. In return, Krupp provided social services - insurances for men and their families in case of illness or death, settlement houses in Essen – a model for Bismarck’s paternalist government.
Settlement as community From: Arbeitersiedlungen Krupp, 1912: “The industrial village is economically and politically important: it gives a peasant tone to excited proletarian conscience. The colony is isolated from external influences, helping those willing to work during strikes. The house entrances open to inner courtyard, turning its back wall into a defensive wall against the main street”.
Urbanization Since 1870 to 1900 almost half of German population migrated from rural areas of the eastern Prussia to industrial centers of the Rhineland. Junker agricultural associations and nascent völkisch and anti-Semite movements raised political campaigns against mass exodus from the countryside as against “degenerated city“, seen as "the tomb of the race“.
Völkisch movement populist movement combining a romantic focus on "organic“ unity of nation or race and a "back-to-the-land" revolt against modernity, declining as: anti-urban, anti-industrial, anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, anti- Slavic anti-capitalist and anti-socialist, anti-Parliamentarian and anti-liberal
End of patriarchal regime Max Weber’s survey on agrarian workers of eastern Prussia, 1892/3: Decay of Instverhältnis - centuries obeyed regime of the countryside, a pact between the owner and the peasant family, offering a relative economic tranquility in exchange for an almost complete dependence (subjection), establishing a strong community of interest between them.
Loss of social control Weber: assuming that the farmers hadn’t found work in the city," for the Junkers their laborers were lost anyway, because now they had become "too politically cunning”. Once the patriarchal ideology had been broken, the class struggle replaced the image of a “community of interests” with the owners, both among agricultural workers as among those of industry.
City and individualism Werner Sombart, Modern capitalism (1902- 1927): “The need for individual freedom makes seem the city life full of charm. But individual freedom as an ideal for the masses took on the meaning of freedom "from", the liberation from the constraints of the neighborhood, the family, the authority. The city has shaped the capitalist spirit: individualism, intellectualism, rationality, the ability to calculate.”
Society/Community An attempt to theorize social dysfunctions caused by the rapid industrial revolution and new social relations and values (individualism, materialism): Society: an “aggregate and mechanical product” in which we see the overall picture of the "bourgeois society" or "society of exchange": “for the poor, the sweet native soil of our homeland is nothing but the paving of the sidewalk” (Ferdinand Tönnies, 1887)
Community A place of “real and organic life” based on face-to-face relations and traditional ethics of mutual help; but also an exclusive place prohibited to foreigners: "as a place of mother tongue, and thus of deep, instinctive understanding between members, in which harmony and common will are governed by rules of natural law”.
Popular state Carl Friedrich von Gerber, General lines of the German public law, 1865: "popular State" is the way to the realization of the general interest of the people. Only within the State "the nation stands united to the legal consciousness and builds his own will", which then expresses the will to power of the state.
Organic State Gerber: The state is committed to permanent planning and organizing of the life of popular community. The community, in turn, recognizes the state's legal competence, as its superior ability to realize the "general interest". The state is a living organism – its vigor is demonstrated by governmental “will”, that is, by the act of governing.
The will of the people Gerber: The will of the state coincides with the will of the people. But, it is intended only as a general will, that is, as "objective basis", opposed to the concrete participation of the individual in decision-making. The will of the individual is deemed as "subjective" and relegated to the private law.
The people Gerber: "people" does not mean only the actually present and acting citizenship - which willingness would be empirically testable - but "the whole” - past, present and future generations of germans - spiritually united in the historical community, of which the currently living generation expresses only the present moment."
Individual/state Gerber: The single subject participates as a tiny particle of the new body to the "life" of the community, renouncing in return to the right to reclaim his self-will against the state. "By placing his right to rule, the state requires that the citizen should submit to its legitimate orders in any forms (laws, administrative acts...) and demonstrate obedience ".
National community Otto von Gierke, The nature of human unions, 1902: The "nature" requires "the ethical sense derived from the idea of a concrete community" and that necessarily involves a "supreme value of the Whole." The status of the "individual" citizen and his freedom are derived from his status of community member, subject to the will of higher-level "unit, the indivisible Community-person».
Nation state Gierke: The nation state is the legal form for the community, a place of "real and organic life" in which the single parts are united in a whole. “From the religious point of view, the commandment to love our neighbor is completed in the commandment to love God above all things. [...] To the community on earth that means: love the whole more than yourself!”
The leader Gierke: “Wherever we find life, we'll note its representative - or "exponent", or literally "bearer" or "holder" (Träger), which has its own character. We note some eminent individuals involved in a creative way and, through their more personal action, which comes only from them, transform society. But this result occurs only when the community cooperates at least so receptive, embracing the gift of the individual. "
ADAV General German Workers' Association (ADAV) formed in 1863 by Ferdinand Lassalle; the ultimate goal was the establishment of a people's state (Volksstaat), that is a rigidly centralized socialist national state dominated by dictatorship of the conviction - to be understood as a free submission to dictatorial power of a leader voted for the good of the people.
Article 4 of 1867 ADAV program “The association considers a sad mistake if someone thinks he can be useful to the interests of the working class acting on his own. The association has recognized that only by submitting to the whole, each can operate successfully from his place. The association must therefore consider anyone who does not recognize the idea of the organization, as well as anyone who fails to comply with the principles, as an enemy of the working class.”
Dictatorship of the conviction “Freedom and authority are united in our Association, which offers a miniature model of what will be the future shape of our society! This discipline is not based on any other ground except on clear understanding that only by the dictatorship of the conviction, not by personal opinion and grumbling, you can put into action the great violent work of transformation of society! We let the proliferation of individual chatter to the bourgeois.”
Summary of political dogmas before World War I The national community wants the realization of values of justice; The national governments' will is the reflection of peoples' will; The governments' political unity is the reflection of national unity; The leaders' quality can emerge only if every member of the nation obeys his commands with blind faith.
German politics after World War I Legacy of the war years: - gradual downfall of public institutions (Parliament, civil government, authority of the Chancellor and the Emperor); - 1916-1918 unofficial establishment of a military dictatorship over society (war economy)
Weimar Republic November 9, 1918 – end of the German Empire and birth of the first German Republic; August 11, 1918 – first democratic costitution, based on a western type parliamentary pluralistic model, and on compromise between diverging interests and ideologies, granting individual, political and social- economical rights.
From State to Community Deep contrast between institutional framework (parliamentary negotiation, formal democracy and rights of the individual) and the common political discourse (communitary identity, substantial democracy, strong leadership)
Urban republicanism Hugo Preuss (author of the Weimar constitution) in Development of the German city, 1906: “urban stands for republicanism as rural for monarchy. The hegemony of urban spirit will open the way for political and social liberty, spreading from the towns to countryside and urbanizing the whole state”.
Right to housing Article 155, Section V: Economic Life, of the Weimar constitution: “The distribution and use of the soil shall be controlled by the state in such a manner as to prevent abuse and to promote the object of assuring to every German a healthful habitation and to all German families, especially those with many children, homesteads for living and working that are suitable to their needs”.
Rent strike, Berlin 1932 “Food first, then the rent”: Anti-system parties (Nazi and communist party) as defenders of the people against unjust legal order.
Existenzminimum Healthy housing built as much cost- effective as possible, in order to provide all citizens with a minimally- acceptable floor-space, “air, light and sun” and a common space for socializing, promoted by Social-democrat local government and trade unions, in order to fulfill social rights promised by the constitution.
New urban identity In place of the 19° century liberal city divided into private spaces, the New building movement creates settlements for a “new community”. Martin Wagner, chief city planner for Berlin: “the residents are learning to know their common interest and a communitarian culture. The march of battalions of identical flats shows that the people is not ashamed of equality”.
Reichstag fire decree “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State” of February 28 1933 in direct response to the Reichstag fire, signed by President Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, allowing him to take any appropriate measure to remedy dangers to public safety without the prior consent of the Reichstag.
State of exception § 1. “Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution are suspended. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom, freedom of expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible”.
The Enabling Act of March 23, 1933 considered a constitutional amendment and thus adopted by a two-thirds majority because it allowed the Chancellor Adolf Hitler to enact laws altering the constitution without the consent of the Reichstag. All parties - centrist, conservative and liberal - except the SPD (and the banned KPD), voted in favour of the Act.
One-party state Law securing the unity of party and state, December 1, 1933: §1. “National Socialist German Workers’ Party is the bearer of the concept of the German State and is inseparable from the State”. § 3. “The members of NSDAP and SA, as leading and driving force of the National Socialist State, will bear greater responsibility toward Führer, people, and state”.
Nsdap command pyramid Der Führer – party chairman; 18 Reichsleiter - Reich Leaders – comprable to ministers responsible for specific spheres of interest; 40 Gauleiter - regional Party leaders; 800 Kreisleiter- provincial leaders
Political order as territorial organization 26000 Ortsgruppenleiter - local group leaders controlling from 150 to 1500 dwellings (a village constituted usually a single local group, while a big city was divided into more than 50 groups). Each local group was divided in 8 cells headed by a Zellenleiter, each of which was composed of 50 blocks controlled by a Blockleiter.
Blockleiter holder of party sovereignty in the communities of the lowest level, controlling the lives of approximately 170 inhabitans (40 to 60 households) and “is responsible in its sector for the overall situation on the Nazi movement” and therefore he “takes care of everything, knows everything and fits anywhere”.
Public service as social control Gottfried Feder, New town, 1939: “the cell structure of the town corresponds to the cell structure of the party. The grouping of houses in clusters induces the inhabitans to develop communities of neighbors, thus producing a perfect correspondence between the net of public utilities, administration and transport. Our city is thus in each sense a total city”.