Can Liquid "Community" be a Remedy to "The Mass in a Mist"?
The purposes of this article are twofold. Firstly, it is oriented toward an analysis of the concept of "mass". Secondly, it is conducted to illuminate a view prevailing in the Western sociology, namely, "community" is a remedy to the mass in a mist which is supposed to be disintegrated and decayed. The answer to this statement is "negative". It is so because there is an incommensurability in structural logic between "mass" and "community" which means that there is no any track to make a possible transaction between these two notions, even though they are always conceived as two phenomena with a consecutive nature along the continuum of historical development in the European world. In particular, even the notion of "community" is still effective to be adopted in the modern society, it is surely not embodied with an ascribed nature of collective emotion commonly shared by the members of society as what always happened in the primitive society. Under the impetus of individualization in conjunction with rationalization as a predominant force in the modern society, "community" is rather built through the contractual promises among the people in the name of ideology, value or personal interest. The modern notion of "community", with a liquid nature, is thus instrumentally oriented and is formed through a process of achievement. Furthermore, it always presents itself in a changing mode along the line of intentionality generated by the people form time to time. It therefore drives to conclude that a "community" with a liquid nature can not serve as a remedy to "the mass in a mist" as some sociologists are looking forward to and so believe too.