existence, and makes individual wills converge to one identical goal. Inversely, the greater concessions a confessional group makes to individual judgment, the less it dominates lives, the less its cohesion and vitality. We thus reach the conclusion that the superiority of Protestantism with respect to suicide results from its being a less strongly integrated church than the Catholic Church.” (p 159)-“The society can not disintegrate without the individual simultaneously detaching himself from social life, without his own goals becoming preponderant over those of the community, in a word without his personality tending to surmount the collective personality. The more weakened the groups to which he belongs, the less he depends on them, the more he consequently depends only on himself and recognizes no other rules of conduct than what are founded on his private interests. If we agree to call this state egoism, in which the individual ego asserts itself to excess in the face of the social ego and at its expense, we may call egoistic the special type of suicide springing from excessive individualism.” (p 209); How individualism and integration relate to society.<Integration Spectrum>Insufficient individualism (altruistic) Excessive individualism (egoistic)
|---------------------------------------------------------------|Not enough individualism, duty“The individual ego ~ at its social expense.”- Both can lead to suicide* Durkheim Anomic suicide- “But society is not only something attracting the sentiments and activities of individuals with unequal force (integration).” (p 241)- “But to what do these crises owe their influence? Is it because they increase poverty by causing public wealth to fluctuate? Is life more readily renounced as it becomes more difficult? The explanation is seductively simple; and it agrees with the popular idea of suicide. But it is contradicted by facts. Actually, if voluntary deaths increased because life was becoming more difficult, they should diminish perceptibly as comfort increases.” (p 242)- Economic crises -> suicide rate goes up: poverty acts as a shield from suicide- Crises in general: disturbs and disrupts societyAnomic suicide: crises?-Human nature: insatiable desires – perpetual unhappiness“Irrespective of any external regulatory force, our capacity for feeling is in itself an insatiable and bottomless abyss.” (p 247)-How to tame it: accept your role in society; society is more powerful than you; we need a regulative force to respect and yield to; only society can do this“So they must receive it from an authority which they respect, to which they yield spontaneously. Either directly and as a whole or through the agency of one of its organs, society alone can play this moderating role; for it is the only moral power superior to the individual, the authority of which he accepts.” (p 249)“It is the same if the source of the crisis is an abrupt growth of power and wealth. Then, truly, as the conditions of life are changed, the standard according to which needs were regulated can no longer remain the same; for it varies with social resources, since it largely determines the share of the each class of producers. The scale is upset; but a new scale cannot be immediately improvised.