2011년 4월 21일 목요일

발췌: History and the Social Sciences: The Longue Durée

자료: 구글도서 ( 출처: Fernand Braudel's On History )
다른 출처: Persee

※ 총 네 개 소절 중 첫 소절.
* * *

There is a general crisis in the human sciences: they are all overwhelmed by their own progress, if only becauses of the accumulation of new knowledge and the need to work together in a way which is yet to be properly organized. Directly or indirectly, willingly or unwillingly, none of them can remain unaffected by the progress of the more active among them. But they remain in the grip of an insidious and retrograde humanism no longer capable of providing them with a valid framework for their studies. With varying degrees of clear-sightedness, all the sciences are preoccupied with their own position in the whole monstrous agglomeration of past and present researches, researches whose necessary convergence can now clearly be seen.

Will the human sciences solve these difficulties by an extra effort at defintion or by an increase in ill temper? They certainly seem to think so, for (at the risk of going over some very well trodden ground and of raising a few red herrings), today they are engaged more busily than ever in defining their aims, their methods, and their superiorities. You can seem them vying with each other, skirmishing along the frontiers separating them, or not separating them, or barely separating them from their neighbors. For each of them, in fact, persists in a dream of staying in, or returning to, its home. A few isolated scholors have managed to bring things together: Clause Levy-Strauss[주1] has pushed "structural" anthropology toward the procedures of linguistics, the horizons of "unconscious" history, and the youthful imperialis of "qualitative" mathematics. He leans toward a science which would unite, under the title of communications science, anthropology, political economy, linguistics... But is there anyone who is prepared to cross the frontiers like this, and realign things in this way? Given half a chance, geography would even like to split off from history!

But we must not be unfair. These squabbles and denials have a certain significance. The wish to affirm one's own existence in the face of others is necessarily the basis for new knowelge: to deny someone is already to know him. Moreover, without explicitly wishing it, the social sciences force themselves on each other, each trying to capture society as a whole, in its "totality." Each science encroaches on its neighbors, all the while believing it is staying in its own domain. Economics finds sociology closing in on it, historyㅡperhaps the least structured of all the human sciencesㅡis open to all the lessons learned by its many neighbors, and is then at pains to reflect them back again. So, despite all the reluctance, opposition, and blissful ignorance, the beginnings of a "common market" are being sketched out. This would be well worth a trial during the coming years, even if each science might later be better off readopting, for a while, some more strictly personal approach.

But the crucial thing now is to get together in the first place. In the United States this coming together has taken the form of collective research on the cultures of different ares of the modern world, "area studies" being, above all, the study by a team of social scientists of those political Leviathans of our time: China, India, Russia, Latin America, the United States. Understanding them is a question of life and death! But at the same time as sharing techniques and knowledge, it is essential that each of the participants should not remain buried in his private research, as deaf and blind as before to what the others are saying, writing, or thinking! Equally, it is essential that this gathering of the social sciences should make no omissions, that they should all be there, that the older ones should not be neglected in favor of the younger ones that seem to promise so much, even if they do not always deliver it. For instance, the position allottted to geography in these American exercises is almost nil, and that allowed to history extremely meager. Not to mention the sort of history it is.

The other social sciences are fairly ill informed as to the crisis which our discipline has gone through in the past twenty or thirty years, and they tend to misunderstand not only the work of historians, but also that aspect of social reality for which history has always been a faithful servant, if not always a good salesman: social time, the multifarious, contradictory times of the life of man, which not only make up the past, but also the social life of the present. Yet history, or rather the dialectic of duration as it arises in the exercise of our profession, from our repeated observations, is important in the coming debate among all the human sciences. For nothing is more important, nothing comes closer to the crux of social reality than this living, intimate, infinitely repeated opposition between the instant  of time and that time which flows only slowly. Whether it is a question of the past or of the present, a clear awareness of this plurality of social time is indispensible to the communal methodology of the human science.

So I propose to deal at length with history, and with time in history. Less for the sake of present readers of this journal, who are already specialists in our field, than for that of those who work in the neighboring human sciences: economists, ethnograpers, ethnologists (or anthropologists), sociologists, psychologists, linguists, demographers, geographers, even social mathematicians or statisticiansㅡall neighborr of ours whose experiments and whose researches we have been following for these many years because it seemed to us (and seems so still) that we would thus see history itself in a new light. And perhaps we in our turn have something to offer them. From the recent experiments and efforts of history, an increasingly clear idea has emergedㅡwhether consciously or not, whether excepted or notㅡofitselfㅡhistory of a hundred aspectsㅡshould engage the attention and interest of our neighbors, the social sciences.


1. History and Time Spans

All historical work is concerned with breaking down time past, choosing among its chronological realities according to more or less conscious preferences and exclusions. Traditional history, with its concern for the short time span, for the individual and the event, has long accustomed us to the headlong, dramatic, breathless rush of its narrative.

The new economic and social history puts cyclical movements in the forefront of its research and is committed to that time span: it has been captivated by the mirage and the reality of the cyclical rise and fall of prices. So today, side by side with traditional narrative history, there is an account of conjunctures which lays open large sections of the past, ten, twenty, fifty years at a stretch ready for examination.

Far beyond this second account we find a history capable of traversing even greater distances, a history to be measured in centuries this time: the history of the long, even of the very long time span, of the longue duree. This is a phrase which I have become accustomed to for good or ill, in order to distinguish the opposite of what Francois Simiand, not long after Paul Lacombe, christened "l'histoire evenementielle," the history of events. The phrase matter little; what matters is the fact that our discussion will move between these two poles of time, the instant and the longue duree.

Not that these words are absolutely reliable. Take the word ^event^: for myself I would limit it, and imprison it within the short time span: an event is explosive, a "nouvelle sonnante" ("a matter of moment") as they said in the 16th century. Its delusive smoke fills the minds of its contemporaries, but it does not last, and its flame can scarcely ever be discerned.

Doubtless philosophers would tell us that to teat the word thus is to empty it of a great part of its meaning. An event can if necessary take on a whole range of meanings and associations. It can occasionally bear witness to very profound movements, and by making play, factitiously or not, with those "causes" and "effects" so dear to the hearts of the historians of yore, it can appropriate a time far greater than its own time span. Infinitely extensible, it becomes wedded, either freely or not, to a whole chain of events, of underlying realities which are then, it seems, impossible to separate. It was by adding things together like this that Benedetto Croce could claim that within any event all history, all of man is embodied, to be rediscoverd al will. Though this, of course, is on condition of adding to that fragment whatever it did not at first sight appear to contain, which in turn entails knowing what is appropriateㅡor not appropriateㅡto add. It is the clever and perilous process which some of Jean-Paul Sartre's recent thinking seems to propose.[주2]

So, to put things more clearly, let us say that instead of a history of events, we would speak of a short time span, proportionate to individuals, to daily life, to our illusions, to our hasty awarenessㅡabove all the time of the chronicle and the journalist. Now, it is worth noting that side by side with great and, so to speak, historic events, the chronicle or the daily paper offers us all the mediocre accidents of ordinary life: a fire, a rail crash, the price of wheat, a crime, a theatrical production, a flood. It is clear, then, that there is a short time span which plays a part in all forms of life, economic, social, literary, institutional, religious, even geographical (a gust of wind, a strom), just as much as political.

At first sight, the past seems to consist in just this mass of diverse facts, some of which catch the eye, and some of which are dim and repeat themselves indefinitely. The very facts, that is, which go to make up the daily booty of microsociology or of sociometry (there is microhistory too). But this mass does not make up all of reality, all the depth of history on which scientific thought is free to work. Social science has almost what amounts to a horror of the event. And not without some justification, for the short time span is the most capricious and the most delusive of all. 

Thus there is among some of us, as historians, a lively distrust of traditional history, the history of eventsㅡa label which tends to become confused, rather inexactly, with political history. Political history is not necessarily bound to events, nor is it forced to be. Yet except for the factitious panoramas almost without substance in time which break up its narrative,[주3] except for the overviews inserted for the sake of variety, on the whole the history of the past hundred years, almost always political history centered on the drama of "great events," has worked on and in the short time span. Perhaps that was the price which had to be paied for the progress made during this same period in the scientific mastery of particular tools and rigorous methods. The momentous discovery of the document led historians to believe that documentary authenticity was the repository of the whole truth. "All we need to de," Louis Halpen wrote only yesterday,[주4] "is allow ourselves to be borne along by the documents, one after another, just as they offer themselves to us, in order to see the chain of facts and events reconstitute themselves almost automatically before our eyes." Toward the end of the 19th century, this ideal of history "in the raw," led to a new style of chronicle, which in its desire for exactitude followed the history of events step by step as it emerged from ambassadorial letters or parliamentary debates. The historians of the 18th and early 19th centuries had been attentive to the perspectives of the longue duree in a way in which, afterwards, only a few great spiritsㅡMichelet, Ranke, Jacob Burckhardt, Fustelㅡwere able to recapture. If one accepts that this going beyond the short span has been the most precious, because the most rare, of historiographical achievements during the past hundread years, then one understands the preeminent role of the history of institutions, of religions, of civilisations, and (thanks to archeology with its need for vast chronological expanses) the ground-breaking role of the studies devoted to classical antiquities. It was only yesterday that they proved the saviors of our professsion. 

The recent break with the traditional forms fo 19th-century history has not meant a complete break with the short time span. It has worked, as we know, in favor of economic and social history, and against the interest of political history. This has entailed upheavals and an undeniable renewal, and also, inevitably, changes in method, the shifting of centers of interest with the advent of quantitative history that has certainly not exhausted all it has to offer. 

But above all, there has been an alteration in traditional historical time. A day, a year once seemed useful gauges. Time, after all, was made up of an accumulation of days. But a price curve, a demographical progression, the movement of wages, the variations in interest rates, the study (as yet more dreamed of than achieved) of productivity a rigorous analysis of money supply all demand much wider terms of reference. 

A new kind of historical narrative has appeared, that of the conjuncture, of the cycle, and even of the "intercycle," covering a decade, a quarter of a century and, at the outset, the half-century of Kondratiev's classic cycle. For instance, if we disregard any brief and superficial fluctuations, prices in Europe went up between 1791 and 1817, and went down between 1817 and 1852. This unhurried double movement of increase and decrease represents an entire intercycle measured by the time of Europe, and more or less by that of whole world. Of course these chronological periods have no absolute value. Francois Perroux[주5] would offer us other, perhaps more valid, dividing lines, measured with other barometer, those of economic growth, income, or the gross national product. But what do all these current debates matter! What is quite clear is that historian can make use of a new notion of time, a time raised to the level of explication, and that history can attempt to explain itself by dividing itself at new points of reference in response to these curves and to the very way they breathe.

Thus Ernest Labrousse and his students, after their manifesto at the last Rome Historical Congress(1955), set up a vast inquiry into social history in quantitative terms. I do not think I am misrepresenting their intention when I say that this inquiry must necessarily lead to the determination of social conjunctures (and even of structures) that may not share the same rate of progress, fast or slow, as the economic conjuncture and the social conjuncture,ㅡmust not make us lose sight of other actors, though their progress will be difficult if not impossible to track, for lack of a precise way of measuring it. Science, technology, political institutions, conceptual changes, civilisations (to fall back on that useful word) all have their own rhythms of life and growth, and the new history of conjunctures will be complete only when it has made up a whole orchestra of them all.

In all logic, this orchestration of conjunctures, by transcending itself, should have led us straight to the longue duree. But for a thousand reasons this transcendence has not been the rule, and a return to the shor term is being accomplished even now before our very eyes. Perhaps this is because it seems more necessary (or more urgent) to knit together "cyclical" history and short-term traditional history than to go forward, toward the unknown. In military terms, it has been a question of consolidating newly secured positions. Ernest Labrousse's first great book, published in 1933, was thus a study of the general movement of prices in France during the 18th century,[주6] a movement lasting a good hundread years. In 1943, in the most important work of history to have appeared in France in twenty-five years, this very same Ernest Labrousse succumbed to this need to return to a less cumbersome measure of time when he pinpointed the depression of 1774 to 1791 as being one of the most compelling sources, one of the prime launching pads of the French Revolution. He was still employing a demi-intercycle, a large measure. {In his address to the International Congress in Paris in 1948, Comment naissent les revolutions?("How are revolutions born?"), he attempted this time to link a new-style pathetic fallacy (short-term economic) to a very old style pathetic fallacy (political, the "revolutionary days").}[Sa communication au Congrès International de Paris, en 1948, Comment naissent les révolutions ? s'efforce de lier, cette fois, un pathétisme économique de courte durée (nouveau style), à un pathétisme politique (très vieux style), celui des journées révolutionnaires.] And behold us back up to our ears in the short time span. Of course, this is a perfectly fair and justifiable procedure, but how very revealing! The historian is naturally only too willing to act as theatrical producer. How could he be expected to renounce the drama of the short time span, and all the best tricks of a very old trade?

Over and above cycles and intercycles, there is what the economists without always having studies it call the secular tendency. But so far only a few economists have proved interested in it, and their deliberations on structural crises, based only on the recent past, as far back as 1929, or 1870 at the very most,[주7] not having had to withstand the test of historical verification, are more in the nature of sketches and hypotheses. They offer nonetheless a useful introduction to the history of the longue duree. They provide a first key.

The second and far more useful key consists in the word structure. For good or ill, this word dominates the problems of the longue duree. By structure, observers of social questions mean an organization, a coherent and fairly fixed series of relationships between realities and social masses. For us historians, a structure is of course a construct, an architecture, but over and above that it is a reality which time uses and abuses over long periods. Some structures, because of their long life, become stable elements for an infinite number of generations: they get in the way of history, hinder its flow, and in hindering it shape it. Others wear themselves out more quickly. But all of them provide both support and hindrance. As hindrances they stand as limits("envelope," in the mathematical sense) beyond which man and his experiences cannot go. Just think of the difficulties of breaking out of certain geographical frameworks, certain biological realities, certain limits of productivity, even particular spiritual constraints: mental frameworks too can form prison of the longue duree.

The example which comes most readily to mind is once again that of the geographical constraint. For centuries, man has been a prisoner of climate, of vegetation, of the animal population, of a particular agriculture, of a whole slowly established balance from which he cannot escape without the risk of everything's being upset. Look at the postion held by the movement of flocks in the lives of mountain people, the permanence of certain sectors of maritime life, rooted in the favorable conditions wrought by particular coastal configurations, look at the way the sites of cities endure, the persistence of routes and trade, and all the amazing fixity of the geographical setting of civilizations.

There is the same element of permanence or survival in the vast domain of cultural affairs. Ernest Robert Curtius's magnificent book,[주8] which has at long last appeared in a French translation, is a study of a cultural system which prolonged the Latin civilization of the Byzantine Empire, even while it distorted it through selections and omissions. This civilization was itself weighed down by its own ponderous inheritance.. Right up to the 13th and 14th centuries, right up to the birth of national literatures, the civilization of the intellectual elite fed on the same subject, the same comparisons, the same commonplaces and catchwords. Pursuing an analogous line of thought, Lucien Febvre's study ^Rabelais et le problem de l'incroyance au XVIe siecle^,[주9] is an attempt to specify the mental tools available to French thought at the time of Rabelais. Febvre was concerned to define the whole body of concepts which regulated the arts of living, thinking, and believing well before Rabelais and long after him, and which profoundly limited the intellectual endeavors of the freest spirits from the very outset. Alphone Dupront's subject[주10] too appears as one of the freshest lines of research within the French school of history. In it the idea of the crusade is examined in the West after the 14th century, that is, well after the age of the "true" crusade, in the continuity of an attitude endlessly repeated over the longue duree, which cut across the most diverse societies, worlds, and psyches, and touched the men of the 19th century with one last ray. In another, related field, Pierre Francastel's book ^Peinture et societe^,[주11] demonstrates the permanence of "geometric" pictorial space from the beginnings of the Florentine Renaissance until cubism and the emergence of intellectual painting at the beginning of our own century. In the history science, too, all the many model universe are just as many incomplete explanations, but they have served their turn over a long period. The Aristotelian concept of the universe persisted unchallenged, or virtually unchallenged, right up to the time of Galileo, Descartes, and Newton; the it disappeared before the advent of a geometrized universe which in turn collapsed, though much later, in the face of the Einsteinian revolution.[주12]

In a seeming paradox, the main problem lies in discerning the longue duree in the sphere in which historical research has just achieved its most notable success: that is, the economic sphere. All the cycles and intercycles and structural crises tend to mask the regularities, the permanence of particular system that some have gone so far as to call civilizations[주13]ㅡthat is to say, all the old habits of thinking and acting, the set patterns which do not break down easily and which, however illogical, are a long time dying.

But let us base our argument on an example, and one which can be swiftly analyzed. Close at hand, within the European sphere, there is an economic system which can be set down in a few lines: it preserved its position pretty well intact from the 14th to 18th century or, to be quite sure of our ground, until about 1750.

  • For whole centuries, economic activity was dependent on demographically fragile populations, as was demonstrated by the great decline in population from 1350 to 1450, and of course from 1630 to 1730.[주14] 
  • For whole centuries, all movement was dominated by the primacy of water and ships, any inland location being an obstacle and a source of inferiority. The great European points of growth, except for a few exceptions which go only to provide the rule (such as the fairs in Champagne which were already on the decline at the beginning of the period, and the Leipzig fairs in the 18th century), were situated along the coastal fringes. 
As for other characteristics of this system, one might cite [:]

  • the primacy of merchants; 
  • the prominent role of precious metals, gold, silver, even copper, whose endless vicissitudes would only be damped down, if then, by the decisive development of credit at the end of the 16th century; 
  • repeated sharp difficulties caused by seasonal agricultural crises; let us say the fragility of the very basis of economic life; 
  • and finally the at first sight utterly disproportionate role accorded to one or two external trade routes: the trade with the Levant from the 12th to the 16th century and the colonial trade in the 18th century.
These are what I would define, or rather suggest in my turn following many others, as being the major characteristics of mercantile capitalism in Western Europe, a stage which lasted over the longue duree. Despite all the obvious change which run through them, these four or five centuries of economic life had a certain coherence, right up to the upheavals of the 18th century and the industrial revolution from which we have yet to emerge. These shared characteristics persisted despite the fact that all around them, amid other continuities, a thousand reversals and ruptures totally altered the face of the world. 

Among the different kinds of historical time, the longue duree often seems a troublesome character, full of complications, and all too frequently lacking in any sort of organization. To give it a place in the heart of our profession would entail more than a routine expansion of our studies and our curiosities. Nor would it be a question of making a simple choice in its favor. For the historian, accepting the longue duree entails a readiness to change his style, his attitudes, a whole reversal in his thinking, a whole new way of conceiving of social affairs. It means becoming used to a slower tempo, which sometimes almost borders on the motionless. At that stage, though not at any otherㅡthis is a point to which I will returenㅡit is proper to free oneself from the demanding time scheme of history, to go out of it and return later with a fresh view, burdened with other anxieties and other questions. In any case, it is in relation to these expanses of slow-moving history that the whole of history is to be rethought, as if on the basis of an infrastructure. All the stages, all the thousands of stages, all the thousand explosions of historical time can be understood on the basis of these depths, this semistillness. Everything gravitates around it.

I make no claim to have defined the historian's profession in the preceeding linesㅡmerely one conception of that profession. After the storm we have been through during recent years, happy not to say naïf the man who could believe that we have hit upon true principles, clear limits, the Right School. In fact, all the social scienes find their tasks shifting all the time, both because of their own developments and because of the active developments of them all as a body. History is no exception. There is no rest in view, the time for disciples has not yet come. It is a long way from Charles-Victor Langlois and Charles Seignobos to Marc Bloch. But since Marc Bloch, the wheel has not stopped turning. For me, history is the total of all possible historiesㅡan assemblage of professions and points of view, from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The only error, in my view, would be to choose one of these histories to the exclusion of all others. That was, and always will be, the cardinal error of historicizing. It will not be easy, we know, to convince all historians of the truth of this. Still less, to convince all the social sciences, with their burning desire to get us back to history as we used to know it yesterday. It will take us a good deal of time and trouble to accommodate all these changes and innovations beneath the old headings of history. And yet a new historical "science" has been born, and goes on questioning and transforming itself. It revealed itself as early as 1900, with the ^Revue de synthese historique^, and with ^Annales^ which started to come out in 1929. The historian felt the desire to concentrate his attention on ^all^ the human sciences. It is this which has given our profession its strange frontiers, and its strange preoccupations. So it must not be imagined that the same barriers and differences exist between the historian and the social scientists as existed yesterday. All the human sciences, history included, are affected by one another. They speak the same language, or could if they wanted to.

Whether you take 1558 or this year of grace 1958, the problem for anyone tackling the world scene is to define a hierarchy of forces, of currents, of particular movements, and then tackle them as an entire constellation. At each moment of this research, one ha sto distinguish between long-lasting movements and short bursts, the latter detected from the moment they originate, the former over the course of a distant time. The world of 1558, which appeared so gloomy in France, was not born at the beginning of that charmless year. The same with our own troubled year of 1958. Each "current event" brings together movements of different origins, of a different rhythm: today's time dates from yesterday, the day before yesterdat, and all former times.


2. The Quarrels with the Short Time Span 

These truths are of course banal. Nonetheless, the social sciences seem little tempted by such remembrance of things past. Not that one can draw up any firm accusation against them and declare them to be consistently guilty of not accepting history and duration as dimentions necessary to their studies. The "diachronic" examination which reintroduces history is never absent from their theoretical deliberations.

Despite this sort of distant acknowedgment, though, it must be admitted that the social sciences, by taste, by deep-seated instinct, perhaps by training, have a constant tendency to evade historical explanation. They evade it in two almost contradictory ways: by concentrating overmuch on the "current event" in social studies, thanks to a brand of empirical sociology which, disdainful of all history, confines itself to the facts of the short term and investigations into "real life"; by transcending time altogether and conjuring up a mathematical formulation of more or less timeless structures under the name of "communications science." (...)

On the other hand, where sociology is concerned, our quarrel along the frontiers of the short term must necessarily be a rather bitter one. Sociological investigations into the contemporary scene seem to run in a thousand different directions, from sociology to psychology to economics, and to proliferate among us they do abroad. They are, in their own way, a bet on the irreplaceable value of the present moment, with its "volcanic" heat, its abundant wealth. What good would be served by turning back toward historical time: impoverished, simplified, devastated by silence, reconstructedㅡabove all, let us say it again, ^reconstructed^. Is it really as dead, as reconstructed, as they would have us believe, though? Doubtless a historian can only to easily isolate the crucial factor from some past age. To put it in Henri Pirenne's words, he can distinguish without difficulty the "important events," which means "those which bore consequences." An obvious and dangerous oversimplification. But what would the explorer of the present-day not give to have this perspective (or this sort of ability to go forward in time), making it possible to unmask and simplify our present life, in all it confusionㅡhardly comprehensible now because so overburdebed with trivial acts and portents? Claude Levy-Strauss claims that one hour's talk with a contemporary of Plato's would tell him more than all our classical treatises on the coherence or incoherence of ancient Greek civilization.[주16] I quite agree. But this is because for years he has heard a hundred Greek voices rescued from silence. The historian has prepared his way. One hour in modern Greece would tell him nothing, or hardly anything, about contemporary Greek coherence or incoherence. (...)


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