Social Scientist. v 3, no. 32 (March 1975) p. 3.


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S C VARMA

Sociology and Sociological Radicalism

SOCIOLOGY was born in EuropeŚwestern Europe, to be precise. But it has emigrated to America, like those countless Europeans. The results have been near-disastrous: both emigrants have lost their original continental philosophical temperament, historical perspective, qualitative bent and theoretical sweep and elegance of style, language and manners. So much so that not even their progenitors would be able to recognize them immediately were they to come across them today at Harvard, General Motors, Pentagon, Ford Foundation or the State Department.

But one thing has not changed.

The French Revolution brought the bourgeoisie to power, opening the way for capitalist development. Whether it was the dispossessed aristocracy which devised sociology to counteract the revolutionism of the rising bourgeoisie or whether it was the bourgeoisie-in-power which founded and fashioned sociology as its ideological weapon against Marxism, the rising revolutionary theory and practice of bourgeoisie's self-created enemy, the proletariat, the fact remains that sociology was conceived of as a statusquoist, reformist and counter-revolutionary though apparently objective mode of social analysis. I say 'apparently' because Auguste Comte, the alleged "father" of sociology, cast sociology in a positivist mould on account of the anti-revolutionary character of



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