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Socio-Historical Model and Developmental Theory: Charismatic Community, Charisma of Reason and the Counterculture

Guenther Roth
American Sociological Review
Vol. 40, No. 2 (Apr., 1975), pp. 148-157
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094342
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Socio-Historical Model and Developmental Theory: Charismatic Community, Charisma of Reason and the Counterculture
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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is threefold: (1) methodological, to clarify a basic distinction in Max Weber's work, and historical analysis in general, between socio-historical models and developmental or "secular" theories; (2) theoretical, to examine two neglected aspects of Weber's analysis of charisma, the community of ideological virtuosi (a model), and the charisma of reason as a revolutionary legitimation founded on natural rights (a developmental theory); (3) substantive, to apply model and theory to the counterculture in order to provide a novel theoretical framework for its further study. Socio-historical models are generalizations which emphasize the repetitive side of history; developmental theories describe and explain particular historical phenomena. The model of the charismatic community of ideological virtuosi comprises an emotional consociation with a distinct pattern of ideology, membership and want satisfaction. Historically, the charisma of reason and natural rights, which infused its principles into the French Revolution and later into ethical socialism, was destroyed by the advent of evolutionary and deterministic Marxism. The recent youth and student rebellions are viewed as the charismatic eruption of a new moral mood reviving the charisma of reason, and the contemporary peaceful communes and warlike groups are interpreted as the counterculture's charismatic core.

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