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Coordinated by Gheorghe STOICA

 Democracy and the “Mystic” of the State

Gelu SABĂU

“Hyperion” University of Bucharest

 

Abstract: This article deals with a significant debate from the interwar period, which has involved some of the most important Romanian publicists of the moment. The promoters of the debate were the journals Gândirea and Viața Românească, and the main protagonists were Constantin Stere and Petre Pandrea. The subject of the debate refers to Romania's relation to modernity and to the path it had to choose in order to develop. While Stere and the people grouped around him were partisans of democracy and British-inspired constitutionalism, the followers of Gândirea journal promoted organicism, autochthonism and the state's primacy over the individual.

Keywords: authoritarian, Constantin Stere, democracy, inter-war Romania, young generation, Petre Pandrea.

 

1. INTRODUCTION 

The present study proposes to closely follow one of the most significant ideological debates of the inter-war autochthonous public space. It is about the polemic between Constantin Stere and Petre Pandrea (the publicist name of Petre Marcu-Balș[1]), as its main protagonists and which took place through the journals to which the two polemists contributed, namely Viața Românească (Romanian Life) and Gândirea (Thinking). The polemic covers almost completely the third decade of the 20th century (1922-29), its most fervent period being between the years 1927-29. The significance of the dispute is given both by the subject’s importance and by the number and quality of those directly or indirectly involved in it. The subject is crucial: Romania’s relation to modernity and how the Romanian society, through its elites, understands to dispose of the various failures of modernisation and provide solutions for it. Beside the two already mentioned protagonists, this polemic also involved a good part of the time’s cultural and intellectual elite: Nichifor Crainic, Mihai Ralea, Garabet Ibrăileanu, C. Rădulescu-Motru, Nae Ionescu, Mircea Eliade, Vasile Băncilă, Ion Petrovici, Camil Petrescu, Petre Comărnescu, Paul Zarifopol, etc.

The polemic develops on the background of change and conflict between generations. After the accomplishment of the Unity in 1918 and the formation of Great Romania, the young inter-war generation will be, as it has been said, in search of a new ideal for the Romanian society[2]. This search, consonant with the cultural atmosphere in Europe at that time, would inevitably lead to the denial of the old generation by the young, denial by which the latter were seeking to define themselves and be separated from “the old”. The most prominent attempts of orienting the young generation consist in the series of articles published by Mircea Eliade in Cuvântul (The Word) and titled “Spiritual itinerary”[3], and also in “The White Lily’s Manifest”, published by Gândirea and signed by three young rebels: Sorin Pavel, Ion Nestor and Petre Pandrea[4].

 

2. THE DEMOCRATISM OF CONSTANTIN STERE 

The polemic itself begins with a series of articles signed by Petre Pandrea, titled “The Mystic of the State” and published in Gândirea journal, starting from no.7-8, year 1927, articles in which Pandrea straightforwardly criticises the legalist and constitutionalist conception presented by Stere in several articles published in Viața Românească in1922[5]. The role played by Stere in the development of social ideologies of 20th century Romania is known by now[6]. Born in tsarist Bessarabia, and emigrated in Romania due to the adherence to the socialist movement, he is one of the authors who will try to associate two of the great political ideologies of the time: liberalism and socialism[7]. In other words, we could say that Stere is a liberal as far as political rights are concerned, and an adept of socialist ideas as regards economic development[8]. Anyway, Stere was a true democrat, believing that only through the extension of political rights to all citizens could the Romanian society evolve. The universal vote, the impropriation of peasants and local autonomies are the reforms considered by Stere necessary for the accomplishment of poporanism, that rural type of democracy which is, in his view, the most appropriate formula for Romania’s progress.

Stere affirms these opinions as early as 1906, since the foundation of the Viața Românească journal, resuming them at the end of the war, in the new political context of Great Romania’s existence. Thus, in the third number of the journal he will publish an article titled “Local Organisation”[9], in which he discusses the organisation of the Romanian administrative system. A first observation shows us the instability and the defective way in which this system was working: since 1864, in the approximatively 40 years which had passed since the embracing of modern administrative organisation in Romania, there were no less than 19 projects of modification and reorganisation of rural areas, which meant a media of one project in about 2 years[10].  The causes of this severe instability are many. First, the disparity between the modern and liberal Constitution of 1866 and the legislation adopted afterwards: “In 1866 the central institutions of English constitutionalism (the Belgian Constitution) were introduced and our constituents understood that local organisation, borrowed from France in the most detestable age of its public life, was not compatible with these central institutions which, as Gneist has strongly shown, are in England a development, an excrescence of local autonomies. For these reasons, the Constitution of 1866 prescribes the reorganisation of local administration in conformity with the principles of autonomy and decentralisation (Art. 37 and 107). These constitutional provisions have remained a mere dead letter and, consequently, our parliamentarism is groundless, suspended in thin air”[11].

Therefore, in Romania there were no real decentralisation and local autonomy, which form the basis of an authentic democratic regime. The formation of local autonomies had also been blocked by the disaccord between the administrative “form”, copied after the French model in Cuza’s age, and Romanian realities. The greatest harm which the administrative enactment of 1864 had produced is, in Stere's opinion, the foundation of the commune and the abolition of the village as administrative unity, because the village is the sole “centre of population, spontaneously formed throughout history, under the pressure of economic needs, or of the geographic relief, or of the sharing of fields in agriculture, of waters, of forests”[12], etc. Villages are therefore natural developments, in time, according to the needs of the respective communities. Communes present the deficiency of being arbitrarily charted and sometimes of being too big, which is an obstacle for the formation of an authentic local community, given that the inhabitants of greater communes can’t even come to know each other[13]. This is the reason why the disappearance of the village as a basic administrative unity and the foundation of communes „leaves without a legal organisation precisely the live cells of the social organism, the villages, which, disregarded by the laws, are forced to spontaneously organise the land’s customs, according to secular traditions, more or less accidentally”[14]. Thus, the entire potential of political life which is found, locally speaking, at the basis of society, not only is not activated, but on the contrary, it is suffocated by an arbitrary administration. Because villages and hamlets don’t exist as “administrative units, the communal and county councils have a fictitious existence, with no attributions of self-administrated citizenship, being mere bureaux of transmission for higher commands”[15]. This fact leads to an excessive bureaucracy of the administration and the mayor, “instead of being a trustful man of his fellow citizens, becomes a master”[16] and an agent of the centre’s interests. Or, in this way, almost inevitably “the constitutional regime of Romania [is] falsified from its very roots”[17], and parliamentarism, so criticised during the inter-war period, comes to be seen as an unhealthy excrescence of modernity which vitiates the normal development of the autochthonous social organism.

To the fictitious existence of local autonomy, the abuses of functionaries are added, which are possible because the law does not provide efficient sanctions in their cases. The 29th article of the Constitution of 1866 asserts that “No prior authorisation is necessary to the harmed parts in order to keep a check on public functionaries for the acts of their administration”. This constitutional stipulation, according to which the abuses of functionaries can be investigated without any previous authorisation, is undoubtedly in the citizen’s service. Ambiguities appear when one relates to the articles from the Penal Code, which control the way in which the investigation can be carried out: “In the penal code, under the column “Attempts against freedom”, we find article 99, which on the one hand stipulates sanctions for “an arbitrary act which attacks individual freedom... or the Constitution of the country”, but immediately a paragraph follows, which adds that “when it is proven that he (the functionary) has carried out such an act by orders from his superiors... he should be defended from punishment, which in this case should apply only to the superiors who had given such orders”... . And on this scale of “superior who gives such orders” the poor citizen will arrive at the minister, whom, according to the Constitution, he can no longer sue, especially when it comes to “such orders”![18] Therefore, the functionary who has committed an abuse as a consequence of an order received from his superiors is thus relieved from his responsibility, which has to be looked for up the hierarchic scale. By such an endeavour one can easily arrive at the higher level, that of the minister, who, according to the Constitution, enjoys the benefits of immunity, being treated by “special rules”[19].

In the article “The Assurances of Civic Rights in the Ante-project of Constitution of the Peasants’ Party”[20], C. Stere presents and analyses two alternative juridical mechanisms, the English and the French ones, which control the responsibility of public functionaries. While in the English system the functionary is responsible before the law as any other citizen, the French model contains the institution of the administrative legal department, which is the result of the association of the executive and the legal power. Romanian Constitution stipulates, as does also the Belgian one, the separation of powers in the state and doesn’t allow a control system similar to the French one. This is why, in the ante-project of Constitution elaborated by Stere, he proposes for Romania a solution that would combine elements from both systems of administrative law: the functionary to be judged in regular courts, like any other citizen, but the reparations which the abused citizen can ask in court to be judged by special courts, independent from the government[21]. C. Stere is aware of the fact that the institutional and juridical change which would impose a real responsibility upon functionaries could face a strong contraposition from the political class: “Of course, the solution suggested will provoke noisy protests, under the pretext of them paralyzing the governing act. Subalterns to discuss the legality of their hierarchic superior’s orders? The men of state in Romania, used to omnipotence, will not be able to accept such abomination...”[22].          

Apart from the inexistence of effective local autonomy and of real responsibility of the functionaries involved in the administrative act, Stere identifies another cause concurring to the draining of substance of the Romanian democracy: the administrative reorganisation after the Great Union in 1918. From his point of view the administrative regions had to correspond to the historical provinces and not to be arbitrarily charted, as it actually happened. The arbitrary administrative cut, which doesn’t take into account the spirit and tradition of each historical province does nothing but to forcibly impose certain realities which do not correspond to the state of facts. “We need not mechanic standardisation, but intimate union in thoughts and feelings, which can only emerge from the respect given to peculiarities and natural characteristics of each one, and from the truly free activity of all. Real power can never spring from the monotony of an exterior mechanisation, but only from the lively organic diversity[23]. Here is a criticism of how the administrative union had taken place, precisely because the procedure was a technical, bureaucratic one, without paying attention to the local organic realities. Therefore, in Great Romania, according to Stere, we may speak of unification, but not of union.        

In conclusion, the lack of local autonomy, and of real responsibility for the administration’s functionaries, plus the arbitrary administrative charting lead, from Stere’s point of view, to a complete falsification of the Romanian public life. This falsification is most severe as it has given birth to a school “of political philosophy, which motivates the contraposition with all claims for legality and freedom with a view to consolidating the Romanian State”[24]. This is the most often invoked reason for the justification of all centralising measures. Stere thinks that this reason is but a pretext used by “the selfishness of a dominant class, which doesn’t resign in front of time’s demands”[25]. This is therefore about the interests of autochthonous oligarchy[26], which refuses a large democratisation of the social corpus, precisely as this may lead to the loss of its privileges.

However, beyond the immediate interests of the oligarchy, it is clear that a perspective of thought over the centralising state, like the one Stere points out, has existed, being well represented and having many adepts, especially in the inter-war period. One of the most important platforms of expression for this “school of thought” was the journal Gândirea, especially after the direction of the journal was taken over by Nichifor Crainic. For that matter, inside the pages of this journal there starts the polemic against Stere and his adepts gathered around the Viața Românească journal. A series of articles signed by Petre Pandrea and titled “The Mystic of the State” appears in the year 1927[27]. The articles are directly criticising Stere’s concept of democracy and the reforms he is suggesting.

 

3. THE MYSTIC GENERATION AND THE PRESERVATION INSTINCT 

The phrase “mystic of the state” may seem strange to us, people of the 21st century, for whom the liberal separation between religion and politics has long been established. However, for inter-war people, who dreamed of reforming the politician through culture, morality and spirituality, the phrase is a familiar one. For that matter, the youth of the inter-war generation were terming themselves proudly as “the mystic generation”, relating precisely to the role they thought to be adequate to the spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions in the shaping of a new society[28]. From the way in which P. Pandrea uses this phrase, it can be proven that it has precise sources: this is about the French author Ernest Seillière, who writes at the beginning of the 20th century a work in 4 volumes, entitled “The Philosophy of Imperialism”, awarded by the French Academy[29]. As a matter of fact, Seillière, although not a star among his contemporaries[30], is still a known author, with approximately 30 volumes written by then, in which he discusses about the political passions of the time: nationalism, racism, romanticism, democracy.

Seillière’s novel perspective over the problem of political passions is given by the way he joins separate notions like the preservation instinct, mysticism and imperialism, which he gathers together in order to elaborate his philosophy of imperialism. “The desire to power” or “the will to power”, which for certain philosophers such as Hobbes or Nietzsche represents the essence of the human nature, are considered by Seillière to be expressions of the preservation instinct. From this instinct’s manifestation imperialism is naturally being born: “Le « désir de pouvoir» pour parler avec Hobbes, la Rochefoucauld, Helvétius, la «volonté de la puissance» analysée par Nietzsche, où l'impérialisme [...] est primordial et sans cesse actif dans l’être vivant (peut-être dans la matière elle-même). Il n'est guère en effet qu’un corollaire de l’instinct de conservation, car ce dernier instinct se voit bientôt averti par l’expérience vitale de ce fait que tout degré de puissance sur les êtres ou les choses augmente les chances de survie pour celui qui possède cette puissance. Or être c’est lutter ; et persister dans l’être ou vivre c’est vaincre. L’impérialisme proprement-dit, impérialisme de race ou de nation, en fournira la preuve la plus manifeste”[31]. Imperialism is therefore the natural result of the individual’s social life, which is a development from the fact that “to be means to fight”. The religious dimension steps in through the fact that the god becomes man’s ally in this fight for survival: “Les phénomènes subconscients du mysticisme […] inspirent presque nécessairement à l’esprit, qui en devient le théâtre, la conviction qu’il jouit de l’alliance défensive et au besoin offensive de quelque dieu, prêt à l’appuyer pour la lutte vitale. Ces phénomènes apportent la foi dans une augmentation de puissance du fait de cette surhumaine alliance. A ce titre ils conduisent à ce qu’on peut appeler un impérialisme extra-rationnel ou supra-rationnel, en tout cas irrationnel[32]. The religious dimension thus joins the game from the moment in which man, caught in his fight for survival, invokes divinity to join him in this endeavour.

Precisely the same terms are employed by P. Pandrea to define mysticism: “In the fight for preservation or domination that the I or the State is leading, they have assured to have the alliance of a supreme being (God) or that of a fertile and propulsive state of spirit (Mysticism). For the primitive man, the gods are adjuvants in the fight for preservation. Later, Jehovah was the ally of the chosen people. The blossoming and unique preservation of Judaism is indebted to this state of spirit and each time this state of spirit has repeated itself in history (Romans, British, Germans) we’ve had the same results”[33]. As for Seillière, the will to power, assimilated to the preservation instinct, is the individual’s strongest instinct, and man finds the justification for this instinct in God’s image, who is great and powerful in an absolute manner: “In God, man integrates an image such as desired by him, according to which he shapes his features and directs his impulses: great, powerful and just. (Notice that the will to power, revealed by the idea of God is probably the deepest and the most imperative for people. They all wish to command, they desire the strange voluptuousness of making others kneel.) In fact, the necessity of and the aspiration towards God, with its immediate correlative, Justice, is an obscure instinct of individual preservation, the temple of goddess Themis being the strongest police instrument which assures a maximum of benefits to society’s member”[34].

From the way in which E. Seillière and, following him, P. Pandrea defined mysticism, we may draw two conclusions: in this case, the role of mysticism is to consolidate the individual’s ego, to strengthen the preservation instinct he needs in his fight for survival. This is carried out through the alliance that the individual makes with divinity in his fight for survival, an alliance which bestows the protection of the superior being on him. In this definition of terms and this establishment of the problem we can notice two significant slides of sense. Mysticism receives an entirely different function from the one it has inside religious traditions or philosophy of religion. A recent book on this subject, that of the British theologian John Hick, defines the mystic experience within the framework of a life that is “permanent and consistent, and expresses the profound transformation of being free from egocentrism, leading to a receptivity towards all that is life, a receptivity expressed through compassion”[35] and love for one’s fellow. Therefore, in contradiction with the way Seillière and P. Pandrea understand it, mysticism assumes the renunciation of one’s own ego and “passing from natural self-centredness to a new orientation, centred on the transcendent”[36]. From this inversion of the sense of “mysticism” follows the different understanding of the place which divinity takes in this experience. If for Seillière and Pandrea God becomes “the ally” of man in his fight for survival, thus being transformed into a good instrument for the accomplishment of his goal, which is his own preservation, in the religious understanding of mysticism God is the supreme goal, which has to be followed even if sometimes at the cost of losing one’s own individuality. We thus notice a radical inversion of sense of the mystic phenomenon. If in the latter case we may speak of religious mysticism, in Pandrea’s terms we may speak of political mysticism.

 

4. MYSTICISM AND POLITICAL RELIGIONS 

As we could notice, the sense of the two notions is contradictory. Political mysticism is born out of the fact that divinity is considered a strong base of the individual ego and of the preservation instinct which, as will to power, is understood as the very essence of politics. Or, in this manner God becomes an extension of the state: “The Idea of State is a small part of the idea of God. They both give a certain unity to the ego, torn between contradictory tendencies, they teach it humility and sacrifice, and they show it the limits and ephemeral powers”[37]. As it evidently results from the previous paragraph, the state is a God on a smaller scale, there being no difference of nature between God and the state. Given the fact that there is a continuity of nature between the two dimensions, based on a strong analogy or even identity between religion and politics, we can certainly speak here in terms of political religion, political mysticism being in fact an essential dimension of the larger phenomenon of political religions.

The phenomenon of political religions was theorised for the first time by the German philosopher Eric Voegelin who, in the ‘30s, terms fascism and national-socialism as being not mere political regimes, but true political religions[38]. Voegelin discusses the religious dimension of the political phenomenon, believing it to be essential to the understanding of some modern ideologies, as strong as those which enjoyed such success during the inter-war period. In order to define political religions, E. Voegelin makes a distinction between spiritual religions, which find their divinity in “the world’s ground (Weltgrund)” and intramundane religions, which “find their divinity in world’s matters”[39]. Unlike the first, which is related to a transcendent reality, intramundane religions transfer the attributes and qualities of the transcendent to mundane realities. Political religions are therefore based on the analogy between transcendent and mundane or on the inversion of roles in between them – when the mundane takes the place of the transcendent. In the former case we are speaking of political religions in which there exists a relation to the transcendent – such is the case of the cult of Akhenaton, where he is the representative of god on earth[40] –, whereas in the latter case the relation to the transcendent is closed, and the intramundane community takes over the role of the transcendent – as is the case of modern religions[41].

From Voegelin’s point of view, Thomas Hobbes is the modern author who has decisively contributed to the edification of politics as intramundane religion, by the way he related it to the sovereign, and who, besides being a theorist of absolutist monarchy, he terms as “the great theologian of the particular church”[42], namely the theorist of intramundane community. In Hobbes, the Leviathan is the omnipotent state placed immediately under God, and ruled by the absolute sovereign, a sovereign who is the representative of the community and its bearer of sense. The symbol of the Leviathan has the purpose to eliminate the open to transcendent structure of the Christian Church and to lead to an understanding of the community as “a self-centred unity”[43], namely the role of theorising the intramundane community. This is the reason why, although the sovereign acts according to God’s will, he no longer receives legitimacy from God, but from the community it represents. What is important here is the way in which political community defines itself and relates to the sovereign, in a perfectly analogous way to how the Church relates to Christ: “The new community attains its unity in the sovereign, the same mystic-symbolic way in which the Pauline church attained its unity in the pneuma and kephale springing from Christ (Ephes. 4:15). Particular nations are the mundane substance of the political community, but their unity is a corpus mysticum similar to the Christian Church”[44]. We have here, therefore, a strong analogy between the way the Church (transmundane community) relates mystically to Christ and the way civil society (intramundane community) relates to its sovereign. This analogy, which sometimes goes as far as an identity, imbrication or even disguise is thus defining in order to understand political religions.

The situation is consistent with the case we presented here. In P. Pandrea’s articles the unity and the sense of intramundane community are not represented by the sovereign, but by the state, and the mystical relation of individuals is to the state also. Although there is reference to the transcendent, we’ve seen that God isn’t regarded as having a function and a role different from that of the state, but is rather seen as an extension of the state itself. We can speak in this case of a quantitative analogy between God and the state: “The Ideea of State is a small part (emph. add.) of the Idea of God”[45]. Starting from this analogy, according to how individuals relate to God, discovering their own limits and learning “humility and sacrifice”[46], they can discover the same thing through their relation to the state. The state thus becomes essential to defining the sense of the individual’s life: it “is an element of organisation, the sole possibility of gathering in one unitary beam the divergent rays of the individual soul, which, if left to its own will, presents an inferior tendency of returning to primitive formulae: impulsivity, disintegration, complete lack of restraint”[47]. This is where the idea of the state’s cult appears, to which the individual must adhere in order to give a sense to his life or to give up the unrestrained and “low” tendencies of his own ego: “The social elements predominate over the individual’s life, nurturing his conscience and giving him their orders. The cult of the state ultimately does nothing but to enthrone a normal and healthy rule of organised collectivities”[48]. We can notice how by enforcing an almost religious cult of the state, which claims to ennoble and provide a sense to individuals’ lives, individual egoism is not eliminated, but only converted, according to the philosophy of imperialism, into a collective egoism.

This way the view on the authoritarian state is shaped, the state being seen as a collective being in which citizens mystically participate, and being defined from the perspective of political religions as an intramundane community. The authoritarian state is based on three fundamental principles: “the idea of order, of competent hierarchy and that of predominance of collective rights over individual rights”[49]. Order and hierarchy are two essential dimensions, which draw the political life near the divine sphere, both being at their origin essential symbols of the divine universe or universe created by divinity[50]. This is where the priority collectivities receive over individuals comes from, and also the inherent conflict which appears between the authoritarian state and the liberal democratic state, a conflict to which we shall refer hereinafter.

 

5. THE ORGANIC PERSPECTIVE BETWEEN THE AUTHORITARIAN STATE AND THE DEMOCRATIC ONE 

The submission relation between individuals and state, from the perspective of the authoritarian state, is based on an organic view on society, a view according to which individuals have the same role towards the state as that of a member towards the entire organism: “The bond between Individual and State is not one from an adversary to another and not one from a friend to another, but from a live organ to a live organ, their relation being a tacit condition for reciprocal existence”[51]. We must also note here the fact that C. Stere himself, after being accused by P. Pandrea of having a rationalist and mechanistic view on society[52], claims that the administrative reorganisation of Great Romania had been done in a mechanic manner, without taking into account the organic realities: “We need not mechanic standardisation, but intimate union in thoughts and feelings, which can only emerge from the respect given to peculiarities and natural characteristics of each one, and from the truly free activity of all. Real power can never spring from the monotony of an exterior mechanisation, but only from the lively organic diversity[53].

The paradox is merely apparent and derives from the polysemy which the word organic possesses, a polysemy which determines the two authors to give it different senses. When Stere speaks about the “organic diversity” of the different Romanian provinces or about the Romanian villages as being “live cells of the social organism”[54], he has in view a certain historical evolution of the Romanian society and the fact that the administrative and territorial organisation of Great Romania should be consonant with this evolution. The “organic” dimension refers first to local realities, this being the reason why Stere is a supporter of local autonomies.

On the other hand, P. Pandrea, in spite of proclaiming himself a spokesman of the organic vision, inspired by the historical tradition[55], not only is he against the local autonomies which Stere is supporting, but is, on the contrary, a supporter of rapid political and administrative centralisation, which in his view is required by the historical context: “The historical moment of the Romanian State, compared to other analogous moments, actually indicates the ascent of centralisation, as a method of the unification”[56]. Only that political centralisation, as a unification instrument, although required by the historical moment, is contradictory to local traditions and it radically breaks up with them. This fact is noticed by P. Pandrea who sees in this centrifugal tendency of local traditions a serious impediment for centralisation:

“To these centrifugal political and economic tendencies there regularly correspond centrifugal juridical tendency. The towns in Transylvania, Bucovina and Bessarabia will hardly settle for the new juridical order, which the Romanian State has created, because, economically speaking, they don’t yet revolve around the Capital, and politically, they’ve gathered in minority groups. The refusal to merge, not just officially, with the new geography, brings difficulties in the distribution of justice. The organic acknowledgment and the exact applicability of the laws face both economic and political difficulties, besides the spiritual ones. The break from the initial complex has created an offsetting which the immediate introduction of some new laws, to regularise ancient habits, would have worsened”.[57]

We thus notice how a self-proclaimed supporter of historicism and organicism, contrary to the opinions he is expressing, is sustaining a politics which radically breaks off with the past.

It is clear from all these that P. Pandrea’s term “organic” does not refer to the local dimension of the historical traditions. What he aims at, when he refers to the past and tradition, is the existence of a reified nature of the Romanian people, which has been passed on unaltered throughout its history, and which the present generations are obliged to preserve and pass on[58]. Such a view on the nature of traditions and their “organic” transmission was undoubtedly influenced by the conservative ideologies from the Romanian culture, which have actually inspired the “autochthonous” conception promoted by Gândirea.

Another meaning of the term “organic”, as it appears in P. Pandrea, derives from his mystical conception on the state. The “organic” participation of each individual to the state’s life is done by his identification, which may as well be complete, with the state’s goals, which can be embodied by its leader. We are surely dealing here with that definition of the “organic truth”, the purpose of which is to legitimate a new political myth, given that it can no longer be legitimated by the religious revelation[59]. The organic truth, thus defined, is the unique truth of the entire community, a truth against which there can be no dissent, because dissent is a risk for the peace and unity of the community. We can note here how the “organic” perspective on truth contributes to the constitution of a totalitarian political reality.

 

6. POLITICAL MYSTICISM VERSUS CRITICAL SPIRIT 

The polemic between the two ideological orientations inflames after Mihai Ralea, an admirer and disciple of C. Stere, who later became the director of Viața Românească, writes several articles against the ideas advocated by P. Pandrea[60]. The polemic takes places in a culturally vast field, inside which the parts are divided by their fundamental orientations: on the one side there is the rationalist, critical, individualist, liberal current, and on the other side, the mystical, organicist, historicist and authoritarian current. P. Pandrea situates within the first category along with Titu Maiorescu and the junimist movement, Caragiale, the poporanist movement and its founder C. Stere, Paul Zarifopol etc., while the second category makes room for Kogălniceanu, Eminescu, Bărnuțiu, Iorga, Pârvan, Rădulescu-Motru and the journal Gândirea[61]

The polemic “critical spirit” versus “mysticism” has as starting point the thesis on the existence of the critical spirit, developed by Garabet Ibrăileanu in the book entitled as such[62]. Ibrăileanu notes the fact that modern Romanian culture has developed itself as a marginal culture in Western Europe, through massively borrowing Western elements of culture and civilisation. In this context the critical spirit steps in and its role is to discern and assimilate the elements borrowed from abroad: “The influenced people may assimilate the culture either passively, meaning randomly, without choice, without criticism, or by criticising it, discerning the elements of the foreign culture in order to keep precisely what it needs for the development of his own riches, energies, capacities and inclinations”[63]. This is where the hypothesis of the critical spirit as a creative factor within the Romanian culture comes from: “Once more, a critical spirit was needed, in order to examine the elements of Western culture and to validate only those which, in order to keep the above comparison, were proper to value the Romanian energy and capacities”[64].

It is also Ibrăileanu who issues the thesis of the development of the critical spirit in Moldavia’s region, by identifying many factors which contributed to this evolution: Moldavia lacked a national middle class, endowed with revolutionary instincts, that is why in 1848 the revolutionary ardour manifested particularly in Wallachia, while Moldavia had a “velvet” revolution instead. The West was enthusiastically copied in Wallachia, while Moldavia’s role was rather to temper the imitative excesses of the Wallachian people. Then, Wallachia had closer relations with Transylvania throughout its history, and this is why the Latinist, pro-west idea had larger influence here. Now the Moldavians too begin to criticise, through Junimea, the Latinist abuses of the Transylvanians and Wallachians. And, last but not least, the men of culture from Moldova who were representatives of the critical current belonged largely to small boyars’ families — wherefrom this ascent of the conservative spirit over them[65]. The critical spirit thus proves to be “reactionary” – when it comes as a reaction to some imitative phenomena –, but also creative – as it contributes to creating an authentic Romanian culture by discerning and adapting important elements. G. Ibrăileanu then enumerates the most important exponents of the critical spirit: Gh. Asachi, M. Kogălniceanu, V. Alecsandri (makes a passage from pașoptism to junimism), C. Negruzzi, the junimist movement (it practises especially cultural criticism), Eminescu and Caragiale (radical social critics) and the socialist movement (it also practises radical social criticism from the perspective of the left-wing Western ideology).

The rationalist dimension, of Kantian origin, was later added to the thesis of the critical spirit developed by G. Ibrăileanu. From this point, “critical” becomes the synonym of “rationalist” or “Kantian”. A succession which starts with Titu Maiorescu, continues with Ion Petrovici and then with Petru Andrei, Octav Botez, M. Ralea, Dan Bădărău, Ştefan George, Ioan Gherea, etc.[66] is thus shaped. From P. Pandrea’s point of view the critical spirit is harmful to the national edifice for at least two reasons: 1) for any culture situated at its beginning, as is the case with the Romanian culture, a creative spirit is needed, which can only be fed by the religious thrill, and not by the critical spirit: “At the origin of a culture there has always been a Sturm und Drang, an unleashing of energies and possibilities, a religious enthusiasm, an almost unlimited trust in the gifts of the respective people”[67]; and 2) the fact that rationalism cultivates the individual’s freedom would be noxious, from Pandrea’s view, to the coagulation of national unity: “The nationalist and progressive ideology does not favour the coagulation of the State in unitary forms. The assignment of boundless liberties and the apology of anarchic individualism are meant to detain the foundation of a Romanian state organism to the extent and splendour which the sacred historical rights, ethnical and political supremacy are claiming”[68].

 

7. DEBATES AND DOCTRINAIRE CIRCUMSTANCES 

Whereas Stere thinks that democracy and individual liberties can be consolidated only by rule of law[69], Pandrea thinks that, on the contrary, the law is incompatible with individual liberty, and compatible only with the authoritarian tutelage of the state: “The Law and the State are harmonic. Liberty and Law are antinomic”[70]. This is how Pandrea comes to a critique of Stere’s concept of “rule of law”, as he understands it, and identifies several contradictions in Stere’s doctrine of popular democracy: “We have in this doctrine a vicious circle out of which there is no way.  Aiming at liberty, the supreme good of humankind, its assurance, instead of being done by an inhibition of abusive personalism, closes its way through the apology and development of dissolvent ferments. In this complex 3 contradictions of the doctrine of “Viața Românească” can be encountered: a) antipositivism and democracy (the first is of the last generation Ralea, Ștefan George, the second is of all) b) the problem of the ego and the guarantee of liberties c) anti-historical rationalism and the theory of national specificity”[71].

The answer to these accuses was to come from Mihai Ralea. In the first place, the Junimist movement, which is seen by Ralea as a rationalist and critical current, is not alien to the conception of historicism and of the national specificity: “Junimists – this is known by everyone – have drunk deeply from German romanticism in their cultural education. These influences on Maiorescu, Carp, Negruzzi are obvious, as they studied in Berlin during the period of the romantic and historicist revolution, the sole purpose of which was the fight against the French revolution and its abusive rationalism”[72]. Here is how the ideological forefathers of poporanist democratism, supporters of the illuminist rationalism, not only did they prove to be impregnated with historicism, but they are also the critics of the French revolutionary rationalism. The confusion which Pandrea makes in this case is probably due to the fact that, starting from the radical antithesis between the rationalist and the historicist spirit, he prefers to emphasise the critical dimension of junimism, to the prejudice of its historicist dimension.

Then, the anarchic individualism which P. Pandrea is accusing Stere of doesn’t exist in reality, because Stere relies on the solidaristic idea: “Solidarity, as sociologism, means the primacy of society over the individual. [...] The individual only lives through the society, there is not sociologist who takes the individual as his starting point. Naturally, solidarity doesn’t conceive of an autocrat state, as Hegel, but it still subsumes the individual to the group it belongs to”[73]. Therefore, the individual liberty Stere is pleading for, in the strict frame of “the rule of law” is in no way chaotic or anarchic as his opponents claim it to be, but it goes in a larger frame which regards the general interests of society as a whole, by also protecting the individual of possible abuses.  Relying on this social conception, which aims at the general interest, Stere will allow himself to ask for the expropriation of great properties in order to accomplish the agrarian reform.

As for the three contradictions which P. Pandrea notes in the poporanist doctrine of Stere, M. Ralea will punctually answer each of the objections: a)  antipositivism (Kantianism) is not incompatible with democracy, but on the contrary, the sociologic positivism has always been a theoretical justification of democracy. Then, Ralea remembers that each socialist democratic claim has the Kantian ethic at its basis, an ethic which demands that people should always be regarded as goals per se and not as means[74]; b) the development of the individuals’ ego is perfectly compatible with the guarantee of liberty. P. Pandrea tries to affirm the contrary thesis, when he speaks of Pârvan’s critique of modern education, which blocks the evolution of individuals registered in mass education, “the inevitable pattern-education of the Egalité regime”[75] and asserts that the differences between individuals better find their place in a collective, strictly hierarchic, and authoritarian society: “The main rule is not some schematic equality of individuals, but the structured territorial inequality, which the collectivity must discern through its eminent exponents and to exhort to the maximum development and blossom of wonderful virtues”[76]. M. Ralea evidently pleads for the contrary thesis, by saying that the individual ego can only evolve inside a regime that cultivates public liberties, and by mocking Pandrea’s claims that individuals could develop fully within a collective order[77]; c) rationalism and historicism are not antinomies, as could be noted in the case of the junimist predecessors. The bases of Stere’s doctrine take into account the historical evolution, and rationalism, when it is not exaggerated, doesn’t exclude historical development. Contemporary rationalists claim that reason, as faculty of knowledge, is the most appropriate for the historical moment of the age: “in the present stage of evolution of our faculties the reason is the most perfect among them”[78]. Also, rationalism is not incompatible with the thesis of the national specific, but, on the contrary, it can be said that reason is the faculty capable of encompassing the specific of each nation by virtue of its capacity of discerning. If the problem is thus considered we can note that the “mysticism” which pleads for “union” and “fusion” is incompatible with the thesis of the national specificity[79].  

 

8. BARBARITY OR DEMOCRACY 

Along the debates carried out with the representatives of the right wing ideology from the Gândirea journal, M. Ralea grasps the nature of the political mysticism promoted by the young people of the new generation, and the fact that their discursive cocktail, made of irrational elements of the unconscious life and strewn with religious symbolism, can easily lead to a fall into a new barbarity. In a prophetic paragraph, M. Ralea warns about the unpleasant surprises which such a cultural, ideological and political orientation could bring:

“I've said it so many times that all mystical directives recommended now to our people will be fatal. Young people who encourage this don’t think at the damage they are doing, in the name of some bizarre patriotism they claim to have for their country. For in fact a return to mysticism means returning to instinct, obscurantism and barbarism.

Vitalism, and this escape temperament are not themselves values. They are mere tools that are worth as much the cause is worth, in the service of which they are placed.

To a people who barely opened its eyes to the light, any possibility of civilisation is closed. They are told: do not judge, do not think, do not tame appetites and desires, become as much of a beast as you can, because it is the unconscious power of life. Return to the barbarism you lived in for centuries. Rudeness, brutality, cannibalism, rule of your wrist will suit you perfectly. Be careful only to sprinkle a little orthodoxy and mysticism on it”[80].

In order to avoid this barbarism which, as we’ve seen, was predictable even since 1928, M. Ralea obviously pleads for values opposed to those cultivated by the young mystical generation: liberty, responsibility, common sense, reason-based discernment, materialistic civilisation, decent life conditions for all citizens:

“That which our people lacks is liberty, roads, justice and cleanness of the streets. We need some few men of character and some thousand systematic “water closets”. Of literary attitudes, although delicious in their spicy and capricious subjectivity, we may as well dispense from. We do not need luxury when we lack that which is necessary. We do not need caprice, when we do not have that which is normal. This people needs to be humanly transformed in its deep masses. This is what the young people of today must understand. Vitality, energy, yes. But in the service of civilisation. Aggressive barbarism doesn’t necessarily mean youth”.[81]

In this context, from Ralea’s point of view, it is evident that the mission of the inter-war generation should be one opposed to what the young mystical generation had proposed. Instead of deliriously encouraging political mysticism, and authoritarian regimes based of the “organic” identification of the individual with the state, they should support democracy as the single form of preservation and cultivation of a society’s civilisation:

“But, because we depart inspired by this method, we quickly reach the conclusion that the one political regime that can, given our times of conscience and culture, contribute to our solidarity and cohesion of state is democracy.

How much ink has been spilt by so many occasional aristocrats, by the weak snobbish or merely by headless people, against democracy!

But we have repeatedly risen in defence of democracy in spite of all the superior smiles of shallow dictators. And this is why:

a) All civilised countries are democratic; all demi-civilised or primitive countries are dictatorial.

b) Because in our country this regime has not been experienced, in order to show its gifts. If we suffer today, it is for the reactionism which has ruled, not for the democracy which has barely taken shape.

c) Our civilisation is conditioned by our Europeanisation with the help of the democratic regime”[82].  

 

Indeed, as seen from today, in the light of history, Ralea’s judgments seem correct. Today as well, civilisation is a synonym of democracy, Europe seems to be our only chance of evolving on the path of history, and our society’s faults are linked with the lack of democracy rather than its “excess”. M. Ralea had correctly identified the possible solutions for the Romanian society of the inter-war period, but it was the course of history in that period which would not stand by his side, yet would stand entirely by the side of his adversaries!

 

9. CONCLUSIONS 

In the present study I’ve tried to shortly retrace some of the essential aspects of this important polemic which took place in the Romanian inter-war period. As I have said, many first hand intellectuals of the time were involved in this exchange of responses. I have here presented, within the limits of space, the positions of some of those involved in this debate. On the one hand the supporters of democracy and of the constitutional regime, representing the left-wing ideology of the time’s political spectrum, and on the other hand the followers of political religion, characterized by right-wing accents, to which the fascist ideology is also subsumed. Today the results of these confrontations are well known. In accordance with what happened throughout the entire Europe, the ‘30s were years of expansion for right-wing ideologies, and then, after the end of the war, these regimes were replaced by left-wing totalitarianism in Eastern Europe. In the inter-war period the supporters of democratism had fewer followers, and their premonitions, not only did they passed unnoticed, but were almost completely fulfilled. Their voice did not get a chance of being listened to after the war either, when nothing could stop the communist ideology. Now, their words are undoubtedly actual, not from the perspective of confronting some extremist ideology, which is not imminent, but from the perspective of the deficit of democracy which exists, even today the Romanian society, just like in the inter-war period. This study, apart from his contribution to the cultural and political history of inter-war Romania, aims to emphasise the actuality of his message for the present.


Bibliography

 

ELIADE, Mircea, Itinerariu spiritual. Scrieri de tinerețe. 1927, Humanitas, București, 2003.

HICK, John, Noua frontieră a religiei și științei, trans. A. Anghel, Herald, București, 2012.

IBRĂILEANU, Garabet, Spiritul critic în cultura românească, Junimea, Iași, 1970.

PANDREA, Petre, “Mistica Statului” I-IV, Gândirea, No. 7-8, 9, 10 and 11, 1927.

PANDREA, Petre, “Pârvan și filosofia statului”, Gândirea, No. 4, 1928.

PANDREA, Petre, “Spiritul critic și mistica statului istoric”, I-V, Gândirea, No. 10, 11, 12, 1928 and No. 1-2, 1929.

PAVEL, Sorin, Ion NESTOR & Petre PANDREA, ManifestulCrinuluiAlb”, Gândirea,No. 8-9,1928.

RALEA, Mihai, Scrieri, vol. 7, Minerva, București, 1989.

RIZESCU, Victor, Tranziții discursive. Despre agende culturale, istorie intelectuală și onorabilitate ideologică după comunism, Corint, București, 2012.

SEILLIERE, Ernest, Introduction à la philosophie de l'impérialisme, Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1911.

SEILLIERE, Ernest, Mysticisme et domination: essais de critique impérialiste, Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1913.

STERE, Constantin, “Suveranitatea națională și constituanta”, Viața Românească, No. 9, 1922.

STERE, Constantin, “Supremația legii”, Viața Românească, No. 10, 1922.

STERE, Constantin, “Garanția drepturilor cetățenești în ante-proiectul de Constituție al Partidului Țărănesc”, Viața Românească, No. 11, 1922.

STERE, Constantin, Scrieri, Minerva, București, 1979.

STERE, Constantin, Scrieri politice și filozofice, Domino, București, 2005.

VOEGELIN, Eric, Religiile politice, trans. B. Ivașcu, Humanitas, București, 2010.




[1]ThearticlesinGândirea journal are signed as PetreMarcu-Balș.IwillusethesurnamePetrePandrea, because this is the name under which the author has remained known to posterity.

[2]HereishowMirceaEliadedefinesthevaluesoftheyounggeneration: “We wanted to win those values which are not born out of political economy, nor technique, nor parliamentarism. Pure, spiritual, absurdly spiritual values. The values of Christianity.” (MirceaELIADE,Itinerariuspiritual”, I, Itinerariu spiritual. Scrieri de tinerețe. 1927, Humanitas, București, 2003, p. 266). 

[3]Itisaseriesof12articlespublishedinCuvântuljournal,year III, No.857,860,862,867,874,885,889,903,911,915,924 and 928, 1927. These articles were defining for the spirit of the new generation, and it was after their publication that Mircea Eliade was proclaimed the leader of the young generation. In the present study I indicated the articles gathered as MirceaEliade,Itinerariuspiritual…cit.,2003.

[4]ManifestulCrinuluiAlb” was published in Gândireajournal,No. 8-9,1928,pp.311-317.

[5]See the articles “Suveranitateanaționalășiconstituanta,Supremațialegii” and “Garanțiadrepturilorcetățenetiînante-proiectuldeConstituțiealPartiduluițărănesc” published in No.9,10,11 of the ViațaRomânească journal, year 1922.

[6]SeethestudiesofZiguORNEA,ViațaluiConstantinStere,2vol., Cartea Românească,București,1989-1991; and Poporanismul,Minerva,București,1972.

[7]SeeheretheseriesofpolemicalarticlesofAurelC.Popovici, entitled “Socialismșiliberalism(I and II, published in the journal Sămănătorul,No.23și24,1908), where the publicist from Banat tries to prove that socialism and liberalism, which are reunited in Stere’s doctrine, are actually contradictory. Also, in the polemic with Stere, Pandrea speaks about the syncretic nature of poporanist ideology: “There are three influences which meet in a completely arbitrary manner: 1) the Russian utopia and the idea of the intellectual’s duty and sacrifice for the emancipation of the people. [...] 2) Marxism and the materialist conception of history and 3) the Diceyan, Manchesterian, libertarian, illuminist and progressive constitutionalism.” (Petre PANDREA, “Spiritul critic și mistica statului istoric”, IV, “Izvoarele poporanismului criticist”, Gândirea, No. 12, 1928, p. 505.

[8]See the study of C. STERE “Social-democratismsaupoporanism?”, Scrieri politice și filozofice, Domino, București, 2005, pp. 169-353 and the Introduction of VictorRizescu at the same volume,Populismulșicelelaltemarxismeromânești,pp.5-57.

[9]ViațaRomânească,No.3,1906,republishedinthevolumeConstantinSTERE,Scrieri,MinervaBucurești,1979, pp. 353-364.

[10]Ibidem,pp.354-356. Stere proves that such reform projects don’t imply the improvement of local community’s life and of the administration’s activity, but aim at collecting taxes, by establishing the required number of contributors.

[11]Ibidem,pp.354-356. Stere proves that such reform projects don’t imply the improvement of local community’s life and of the administration’s activity, but aim at collecting taxes, by establishing the required number of contributors.

[12]Ibidem,p.359.

[13]Ibidem,p.359.C.Stere also proves that smaller communes are better and more efficiently administrated than bigger ones (Ibidem,pp.358-359).

[14] Ibidem,p.356.

[15] ConstantinSTERE,Supremațialegii,ViațaRomânească,No.10,1922,p.15.

[16]Idem,Scrieri,p.359.

[17]Ibidem,p.17.

[18]Ibidem,p.12.

[19]Cf.totheArticle29 of the Romanian Constitution, 1866.

[20]Article published in ViațaRomânească, No.11,1922,pp.215-227.

[21] ConstantinSTERE,Garanțiile drepturilor cetățenești în Ante-proiectul de Constituție al Partidului Țărănesc”, Viața Românească, No. 11, 1922, p. 226.

[22] Ibidem,p.226.

[23]Idem, „Supremațialegii”, Viața Românească, No. 10, 1922,p.16.

[24]Ibidem,p.17.

[25]Ibidem,p.19.

[26]Forapresentationandacriticalevaluationofthediscourseontheoligarchyandmodernityininter-warRomania,seeVictorRIZESCU,Tranzițiidiscursive.Despreagendeculturale,istorieintelectualășionorabilitateideologicădupăcomunism,Corint,București,2012,chapterI,Structuri,ideologiișilecturisociologice,pp.21-170.

[27]ArticlespublishedinGândireajournal,No.7-8,9,10 and 11,1927.

[28]Herearesomeofthefeaturesofthisnewgeneration,fromM.Eliade’sperspective: “The dominant feature: a desire for a complete and authentic synthesis. This is why the critique of diletantism, the need for spiritual seriousness, the need of integrating the mystical experience, and the critique of that scientific and academic spirit ...(MirceaELIADE,Itinerariuspiritual…cit.,p.304).

[29]The4volumeswhichthephilosophyofimperialismconsistsofaretitledLaphilosophiedelimpérialisme.LecomtedeGobineauetlaryanismehistorique(1903),Laphilosophiedelimpérialisme.ApollonouDionysos(1905),Laphilosophiedelimpérialisme.Limpérialismedémocratique(1907) and Lemalromantique:essaisurlimpérialismeirrationnel(1908).ErnestSeillière was ellected member of the French Academy in 1946. He left an important work behind, over 50 volumes of studies and essays on philosophy, political philosophy, literature, etc.

[30]Here is the opinion expressed by Petre Pandrea about the French author: “ErnestSeillière doesn’t yet share the “vogue” of the various French thinkers, probably because his over 30 volumes are too richly documented, written without any glamour, lacking the fluid grace of the Bergsonian style, and the precision of Boutroux, and the perfect clarity of Valéry.(PetrePANDREA,MisticaStatului,I,Gândirea,No.7-8,1927,p.149).

[31] ErnestSEILLIERE,Mysticismeetdomination:essaisdecritiqueimpérialiste,LibrairieFélixAlcan,Paris,1913, “Avant-Propos”,p.II.

[32] Ibidem,p.III.

[33] PetrePANDREA, “Mistica Statului”, I, Gândirea, No. 7-8, 1927, p. 149.

[34]Ibidem,p.145.

[35]JohnHICK,Nouafrontierăareligieișiștiinței,trans.A.Anghel,Herald,București,2012,p.80.

[36] Ibidem,p.290.

[37] PetrePANDREA,Misticastatului,I,Gândirea,No.7-8,1927,p.150.

[38]See the Introductive Study of Bogdan Ivașcu, at Eric VOEGELIN, Religiile politice, trans. B. Ivașcu, Humanitas, București, 2010, p. 62.

[39]EricVOEGELIN, Religiile politice...cit., p.87.

[40]Ibidem,pp.90-102.

[41]“The symbolism of the completely closed intramundane ecclesia didn't have to go beyond the symbol of the Leviathan – the decisive step being the beheading of God.  [...] Now God’s connection with the intramundane symbolism is cut and replaced by the community itself as a source of legitimacy for the collective person.” (Eric VOEGELIN,Religiile politice...cit.,pp.140-141).

[42]Ibidem, p.122.

[43] Ibidem,p.124.

[44] Ibidem,p.125.

[45] PetrePANDREA,Misticastatului,I, Gândirea, No. 7-8, 1927, p.150

[46] Ibidem,p.150.

[47] Ibidem,p.143.

[48]Idem, “Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.145.

[49] Idem,Misticastatului,I, Gândirea, No. 7-8, 1927, p.143.

[50] EricVOEGELIN,Religiile politice...cit., pp.103-106.

[51]Petre PANDREA, “Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.145.

[52]P. Pandrea traces an opposition between the rationalist, critical current, represented in the Romanian culture by junimism, caragialism, poporanism and zarifopoliomanie (from the publicist’s name, Paul Zarifopol)  and the organic, historical and creative culture, represented by Kogălniceanu, Eminescu, Bărnuțiu, Iorga, Pârvan, Rădulescu-Motru and the Gândirea journal (cf.  Petre PANDREA, “Pârvan și filosofia statului”, Gândirea, No. 4, 1928, p. 149). Therefore, we thus have on the one hand “the organicist conceptions (this included the authoritarian state)” and, on the other hand, “the mechanistic conceptions of the State (this inclused democratism)”, Stere being included in the last category (Petre PANDREA, “Mistica statului”, I, Gândirea, No. 7-8, 1928, p. 145).

[53]Constantin STERE, “Supremațialegii, Viața Românească, No. 10, 1922, p.16.

[54] Idem,Organizațialocală,ViațaRomânească,No.3,1906, inScrieri, p. 356.

[55]OneofthepredecessorswhoaffirmsthispointofviewisthehistorianVasilePârvan: “This organicist, historicist and realist conception is shared also by Pârvan...(PetrePANDREA,Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.146).

[56] PetrePANDREA,Spiritulcriticșimisticastatuluiistoric,II,Crizașitehnicaunificării,Gândirea,No.11,1928,p.446.

[57]Ibidem,p.449.

[58]M.Ralea is the one who criticises this conception supported by N.Crainic, the director of the Gândireajournal: “Mr.N.Crainic [...] thinks that this soul is fundamentally inscribed somehow within the nation, that it is the same in the past as in the present, that it provides the continuity and unity of the ancestry.(Mihai RALEA, “Filosofia culturii cu aplicații românești”, Viața Românească, No. 2-3, 1926, in Scrieri, vol. 7, Minerva, Bucureşti, 1989, p. 100). Here are the objections which Ralea brings to this conception: “It could be replied that there is in the past of a people a certain feature of character which is constant, that there is something unchanged throughout historical difficulties. [...] I agree. But in this case:1) it is either that the feature we find in the past is identical with that of today and the hypothesis of traditionalism is useless in explaining today’s specificity,2) or that feature has changed (and it would be against historicism and evolutionism as well for it not to change) and then we are dealing today with a different feature, a different peculiarity. The most conservative collective production, folklore, has constantly been changing, by borrowing the discoveries of its time.” (Ibidem, p. 103).

[59]Cf.EricVOEGELIN, Religiile politice...cit., p.137.E.Voegelin asserts that this perspective on the “organic truth” is consistent for the totalitarian ideologies defined as political religions.

[60]  Wehavealongseriesofpolemicalarticleswiththeparticipationofotherpublicists. I present here the series of articles in the order of their publication:ManifestulCrinuluiAlb,Gândirea,No.8-9,1928M.RALEA,Rasputinism,ViațaRomânească,No.12,1928N.CRAINIC, the section “Cronicamăruntă,Gândirea,No.3,1929M.RALEA,Iarășiortodoxismul,ViațaRomânească,No.7-8,1929N.CRAINIC, the section “Cronicamăruntă,Gândirea,No.11,1929;P.PANDREA,Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928M.RALEA,VasilePârvanșitânăragenerație,ViațaRomânească,No.4,1928;P.PANDREA,MisticaStatului”, I-IV,Gândirea,No.7-11,1927P. PANDREA,Spiritulcriticșimisticastatuluiistoric,I-V,Gândirea,No. 10-12, 1928 and No. 1-2, 1929 –  M.RALEA,Despre misticastatuluisaubasmulcucocoșulroș,ViațaRomânească,No.4,1929E.BUCUȚA,Raționaliștiișimisticastatului,Gândirea,No.6-7,1929.

[61] Petre PANDREA, “Pârvan și filosofia statului”, Gândirea, No. 4, 1928, p. 149.

[62] GarabetIBRĂILEANU,Spiritulcriticînculturaromânească. The book was published for the first time in 1909, at the Publishing House of Viața Românească Journal, Iași. I use in this study the version published at Junimea,Iași,1970.

[63] Idem,Spiritulcritic…cit.,Junimea,Iași,1970,p.37.

[64] Ibidem,p.38.

[65] Ibidem,pp.42-44.

[66] PetrePANDREA,Spiritulcriticșimisticastatuluiistoric,I,Gândirea,No.10,1928,p.409.

[67]Idem, “Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.150.

[68]Ibidem, p. 150.

[69]BytheconceptoftheruleoflawStere understands three fundamental aspects:1) nobody is above the law; 2) the incompatibility between the law and the power of coercion, abusive and dicretionary and 3) the legal defence of individual freedom. (cf. Constantin STERE, “Supremația legii”, Viața Românească, No. 10, 1922, pp. 6-7).

[70]Petre PANDREA, “Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.146.

[71]Idem, “Spiritulcriticșimisticastatuluiistoric,V,DomniaLegii,Gândirea,No.1-2,1929,p.55.

[72]Mihai RALEA, “Despremisticastatuluisaubasmulcucocoșulroș,ViațaRomânească,No.4,1929, inScrieri,Vol.7,p.185.

[73] Ibidem,p.190.

[74] Ibidem,p.188.

[75]Petre PANDREA, “Pârvanșifilosofiastatului,Gândirea,No.4,1928,p.148.

[76]Ibidem, p. 148.

[77]Mihai RALEA, “Despre ”mistica statului” sau basmul cu cocoșul roș”, Viața Românească, No. 4, 1929, in Scrieri, vol. 7 pp.188-189.

[78] Ibidem,p.187

[79] Ibidem,p.187.

[80]Mihai RALEA, “VasilePârvanșitânăragenerație,ViațaRomânească,No.4,1928,p.164.

[81]Idem, “Misiuneauneigenerații,ViațaRomânească,No.1,1928,p.157.

[82]Ibidem, No. 1-3, 1930, pp. 195-196.