By Walter Garrison Runciman
The concluding quantity of W.G. Runciman's trilogy on social idea applies his thought and technique to the case of twentieth-century English society. He indicates how England's capitalist mode of construction, liberal mode of persuasion, and democratic mode of coercion advanced within the aftermath of worldwide warfare I from what that they had been because the Eighteen Eighties, but didn't evolve considerably following global struggle II. His rationalization demonstrates that a few fiscal, ideological and political practices have been favourite over others in an more and more advanced setting, neither predictable nor controllable through policymakers.
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Additional info for A Treatise on Social Theory, Volume 3: Applied Social Theory
Similarly, although there were Conservatives both in and outside of Parliament who would have welcomed a single-party state, a restructuring of industry imposed from above, and the radical curtailment of trade-union power, few if any were disposed to take part in paramilitary defiance of the traditions of peaceful protest, constitutional debate, and respect for the formal liberties of the individual citizen. Whatever the hopes of right-wing admirers of Mussolini or the fears of left-wing theoreticians for whom Fascism was the natural form into which capitalism was being driven in self-defence, Fascism in Britain was a failure.
No other sociologist who had undertaken the same task would carry it out in the same way, least of all in chapter 4 where it is fundamental, as I argued in volume I, to the distinction between explanation and description that descriptions remain discretionary even after all the evidence is in. But although it does so happen that the picture of English society which the evidence dictates is not what would exemplify my personal ideals, no sentence in this volume would need to be differently written if it were otherwise.
The inadequacies of volume II, as I now see them, are of a very different kind. The one of which I was first made aware is the weakness of its proffered typology of human societies, which is too rudimentary for even the limited function which I claimed for it (Wickham 1991). But if, on the other hand, there is a weakness in its exposition of the theory of social selection, it does not lie in any fatal flaw which has since been pointed out to me in the basic propositions of the theory. I could, as I now realize, have set out more systematically the implications of the idea that social evolution is analogous but not reducible to natural selection, and I could have done more to anticipate the responses of fellow-sociologists still disposed to dismiss it out of hand without any attempt to test those implications against the evidence of the historical and ethnographic record.