Victor S. Vakhshtayn

MSSES; RANEPA, Moscow, Russia

Why some sociological concepts can be actually forbidden in public speech and in theory, but at the same time be legitimately used in a different context or in relation to another class of objects? The answer to this question requires a shift in the research setting. From the sociological explanations and standard patterns used in the history of concepts, it is necessary to move to the genre of epistemological research that clarifies the work of the concept in its interaction with other conceptual structures — to the genre of military history of ideas. The idea of the “community of fate” (Schicksalsgemeinschaft), which this article is devoted to, is a model object for this kind of research. Originating at the dawn of sociology in the works of Max Weber and Georg Simmel, the combination of the category of “community” with the intuition of “fate” gave rise to the conceptualization of “community of fate”. This concept has lived several parallel lives: in sociological theory, irrationalist philosophy, and Nazi propaganda. The purpose of this article is not just to rehabilitate the “community of fate” in the language of sociology, but to show under what circumstances an idea can act as an actant, sometimes contrary to the intention of its creators. Thus, from the military history of ideas, we can chart the path to a new research axiomatics — the axiomatics of object-oriented epistemology.
Keywords: community of fate, military history of ideas, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, object-oriented epistemology