The Coal Miners in France During the Second Empire

Powerful Essays
The Coal Miners in France During the Second Empire

In this paper I will explain why revolt by the labor against capital

in Second Empire France failed. To explain the situation, I will use

Marx's theory of capital accumulation as he presents it in {Capital}. Also

important in the theoretical description of this phenomena is the role of

tradition and the way its restraints deviate from those of the economy in

this French society. Based on this description I will discuss how the

function of management is enforced by the economy and traditions inherent

in a society. From these considerations I will suggest additional elements

and relationships necessary for social relations change to transcend the

institutional conditions in which they exist.

Terminology relevent to a theoretical account of an event is given by

Talcott Parsons in {The Structure of Social Action}. Here, action is

described as a system that may be divided into unit acts. The unit act

consists of four elements. First there is an agent, or actor. Second, the

act has an end which is a future state of affairs or goal towards which the

action is oriented. Third, there is a situation where the trends of

develop- ment differ from the end towards which the action is oriented. The

situation is composed of two elements; the conditions are that which the

actor cannot manipulate in accordance with his end, and the means are that

over which he does not have control. Finally there is a relation between

these elements; where a situation allows alterna- tive means to the end,

the course is selected from the normative orientation of the actor.

(Parsons, 1968: 44)

In order to account for the interrelationships in the historical event


... middle of paper ...

... change. Events will

subsequently no longer happen but attain meaning in the light of the source

that the charismatic element advocates. This change in normative

orientations relative to the change in other elements of the process must

be reflected in the ideology. The ideology of social change may not simply

be a reiffication of the old in a reactionary form. The substance of the

ideology, in being a response to the divergence caused by the economy and

polity, must be such as to transcend that which came before it. This final

condition, specifying the relations between elements necessary for

revolutionary change, may only be derived in a society which is neither an

organic, composite whole nor one of random atomistic ends. Rather, the

society must be one where the normative orientation for mediating between

conditions and means is one of consensus.
Get Access