Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 9.djvu/829
THE SOCIOLOGY OF CONFLICT 799
inasmuch as we contemplate together a pair of periods, the one always seems to be explanatory or needing explanation; and only as we place them in this subordination of rank do we seem to ourselves to have seized upon the meaning of their reaction. With their mere reaction as the phenomena present it, and which in itself designates neither of the component elements as the primary and neither as the secondary, we are not satisfied. Distinctions of difference of value and of purpose are so much a part of the tendencies of the human mind that we cannot refrain from representing to ourselves the unbroken flow of alternating periods through such distinctions as those just referred to, and from expressing them at the same time under the forms of ruling and serving, or of preparation and fulfilment, or of provisional and definitive situation. The same relationship may be asserted of struggle and peace. Both in the serial and in the contem- porary aspect of social life these conditions are so interwoven that in every peaceful situation the conditions for future conflict, and in every struggle the conditions for future peace, are devel- oping. If we follow the stages of social development backward under these categories, we can find no stopping-place. In his- torical reality each condition always has the other as its corollary. Nevertheless, we always feel an essential difference in the signifi- cance of the different members of this series. Struggle seems to be the preliminary, the purpose of which resides in the fact and in the contents of peace. While the rhythm between the two elements, objectively considered, plays its role upon a single level, our estimate of value constructs at the same time iambic periods out of the process, with struggle as the thesis and with peace as the arsis. Thus in the most ancient constitution of Rome, the king must first appeal to the citizens for their consent if he wished to begin a war, but he did not need this consent when it was a question of peace. In the latter case the consent is assumed as a matter of course.
It is obvious that the transition from war to peace must pre- sent a more considerable problem than the reverse. The latter needs really no particular scrutiny. For the situations within the condition of peace out of which struggle emerges are them-