BOURGEOIS SOCIOLOGY IN BULGARIA BETWEEN THE WORLD WARS
Author: Boris Stavrov
The study represents a test to reproduce the theoretical and institutional development of Bulgarian middle-class sociological thought between First and the Second world war.
In the preface and the introduction are questioned problems of theoretical-methodological value from historic-sociological knowledge, of the need, the importance and of the perimeters of the study. The formation of the history of sociology in Bulgaria begins in the 60s of our century, while sociological knowledge itself in the country originates and takes its first steps in the premier decades after the release of the Ottoman yoke (1878). The debuts of scientific sociology in Bulgaria are represented in the works of D. Blagoev and his fellow followers. In the same time is also formed the outlook of middle-class sociology and its fight against Marxist sociology. Its development passes by two stages, directly and closely related to the development of the capitalism, the limit between which is First World war. The second stage - object of this study - is dependent on the time of the imperialism and the propagation of Fascism in the political life. In the work are revealed the nature, the characteristics and the ideological role of the fundamental middle-class sociological movements (democratic, liberal and reactionary), structured by schools and authors who exerted an influence on the development of national sociological knowledge or on the spiritual atmosphere of the time and in the propagation of sociological knowledge.
The philosophical base of the study is the historical materialism. One of its theoretical reference marks also the contemporary level of sociological knowledge: the ontological idea of the Bulgarian sociologists referring to the sociological system and the sociological structure of the country; the structuring of the knowledge of meta-theoretical, general sociological and particular sociological level and on the level of theoretical knowledge - concrete, abstract and empirical.
In the first chapter are analyzed the socio-economic conditions and ideological policies which determine the character and the tendencies of development for sociological knowledge in the country. Sociology in Bulgaria reflects the complex and contradictory conditions interior and external to the country, the interior conditions playing a determinant part. The middle-class sociological thought in Bulgaria is weak although it is supported by the middle-class state and other institutions and is an echo deploying some sociological systems, spread along and sometimes out-of-date from Occident. Sociological designs - elaborate as they are and extended by professional sociologists (collaborator scientists, professors in the educational establishments superior, etc.) and by politicians. Another starting point for evaluation on middle-class sociology is the institutional bases in different forms of organization and by their character - socio-scientific, including specifically sociological companies. In consequence of the bringing together of sociological knowledge with contradictions and the social fight of classes, the discipline is structured on the base of the index socio-policy and the ideological role of the schools and authors, reflected respectively in the three following chapters of the monograph.
Within the second chapter are revised the schools and fundamental authors that have middle-class liberal orientation: sociological designs of I. Kinkel and H. Todorov, psychological school, the empirical sociologic theological and sociological studies. The most outstanding scholars of the bio-psychology in Bulgaria are the representatives of the Freudism: L. Rusev, N. Shejtanov, A. Andreev, and others. Characteristic of their designs are questions concerning the country and the social development, the social structure of the classes and the fight of classes, the role of the popular masses and the personalities in the history, etc. Certain problems of sub-divisional nature are also discussed: policy, instruction and education, sociology of the anti-social behavior, sport, etc. An important place is devoted to the designs of the authors on the spiritual activity and especially on the sociology of the religion and art (literature and non-official folklore). The weak influence of the Freudism in Bulgaria is due to the criticism of which they were subjected and especially on behalf of Marxists and some other non-Marxist authors.
The professional sociologist and professor of university Hristo Todorov (1881-1954) is reviewed from the positions of eclecticism and sociological pluralism, while neglecting the problems of the general sociology. He has the merit to have tested the determinants of the specific object of sociology and to differentiate it from the philosophic and other sciences, like ordinarily subdivided its structure on different levels. He also writes on problems of the sociology of science, morals, communications, especially on the sociology of the language, etc. His works have also historic-sociological contents. He criticizes the historical materialism and endeavors to be an objective commentator. In practice, however, his designs were useful for the interpretations of non-fascistic bourgeois liberals.
Much attention in this chapter is devoted to Ivan Kinkel (1883-1941). It is shown that the author is not a Freudist as presented in the majority of the researches, but is an eclectic typical and in favor of the theory of the factors. He treats in his works especially meta-theoretic problems of sociological knowledge on the subject of which he puts forward rightist ideas: on the specific object of the sociologic and on the relationship with other sciences, on the methodological system of sociology, etc. In the system of I. Kinkel also finds place the historical materialism, but he is not historical materialist in any sphere of sociological knowledge. His sociological designs pretend to have all kinds of knowledge. This is why it is also eclectic, its activity at the beginning being tinted of Freudism, while in the finale of bio-racist colors. One criticizes also, that the "new theory" of I. Kinkel on the social development has been likened by designs concerning the sociology of economics, politics and the rightist spiritual activity, etc. One gives a positive appreciation of the designs of the author on the problems of the anti-social behavior of the subject, which it is shown as most realistic. In conclusion, it is shown that I. Kinkel is the creator of the sociological theory with most richest contents in Bulgaria which from the ideological point of view serves middle-class liberalism under the specific Bulgarian conditions: fear of the revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, apprehensive indignation of Fascism, democratic tendencies, etc.
In a paragraph that follows have been mannerly criticized the sociological designs of the theologian Bulgarian professors from the Faculty of theology, senior officials of the Saint synod, missionaries and others. One briefly mentions the designs of the catholic reactionary Dragomir Ljulinov and the democratic sermons of the protestant Trifon Dimitrov. They are analyzed more from the viewpoint of the designs of the orthodox orientation which determine the character of the Bulgarian theological sociological thought. One appreciates here of the critical manner in the designs of Gancho Pashev, Stefan Chankov, L. Sapundjiev, K. Plovdivski, H. Dimitrov and others on the social development, the social structure of classes, work, the revolution and the war, the love, family relations, etc. The theological sociology is characterized as an apologetic and pantheist system of antiscientific values with marked ethical nature. Its limited propagation and its influence can be explained by the traditions of anti-clericalism of the Bulgarian people and the consequent atheist activity on the ideological face of Marxist.
With the same ideological orientation belong the authors of the empirical sociological studies, carried out from middle-class positions. One reviews here in an appreciative way the most important studies and some others which contain empirical sociological elements: rural economy, industry, certain groups and social classes, antisocial demonstrations, etc. These studies are effective in a direction with practical advices given, as well as with a didactic aim. The most outstanding authors of such studies are Janaki Mollov, H. Mocheva and others. One also makes appreciation of empirical sociological studies carried out in Bulgaria by the american sociologist Irving Sanders. The empirical sociological studies carried out in Bulgaria between the two world wars provide a good materiel for comparative studies. With difference of the United States and majority of the countries of Europe, in Bulgaria was not created an empirical sociological orientation.
The third chapter is devoted to the fascist sociology, imported from outside, especially from Germany and its dependent countries. The "fascistization" of the political life in the country is described. The most typical form of this orientation in Bulgaria is the bio-racism whose principal representatives are Stefan Konsulov, L. Vladikin and L. Rusev. The Bulgarian racists, having an unswerving support from their colleagues in Germany, notably deal with the problems of theoretic-methodologic nature of sociological knowledge; they are hostile also against empirical sociology being studied, propagate bio-racism in the history, endeavor to explain social dynamics by the innate racial characteristics, fight against the historical materialism and the sociology of Marxism. They are particularly intransigent with regard of the Marxist doctrines concerning the classes and the fight of classes and the revolution. In the center of their works are the problems of the nation and the state, of the war and others, which serve directly the policy and ideology of the middle-class imperialism. Also they have a weak influence with the Sociology Institute of the Bulgarian public opinion.
One usually associates the bio-racist orientation of the sociological designs with biologist and Bulgarian public figure Metodi Popov (1881-1954). It is noted that Popov is not racist but only pays tribute to the globalization of the bio-racism because of the ignorance of the scientific philosophy; very much as the combatants of racism, he emits the inconsistency and lies of the racist formulations.
Sociological designs of the major non-Marxist philosopher and follower of Rehmke, Dimitar Mihalchev (1880-1967), are regarded as middle-class liberal-democratic. They are studied in the last chapter. One usually shows that his initial designs on philosophical history are not subjective-idealist, like one determines, but eclectic. A special attention is devoted to the discussion of the author on the biology and racism, in which one provides an answer to a series of fundamental problems of sociological knowledge: on the relationship between sociology and biology, the nature of the state and the change in its social structure, the sociology of classes and the fight of classes, etc. The explanation of the sociological designs of D. Mihalchev also contributes to the evocation of the problems of socialism and the U.S.S.R., the fascism, the war, etc. By its criticism, it gives an opinion that has regard on all of the more important tribulations in the interior and international life: on scientific writing, on the national question and especially the question of Macedonia in Balkans, on the anti-Semitism that makes for the premiere time a sociological analysis before the Second World war, etc. Basing itself on the complete analysis of the social structures, it is concluded that the sociological designs of Mihalchev are distinguished primarily from its philosophical point of view. While his philosophy is idealistic and reactionary, it is predominantly his sociology that has the scientific elements of progressism, which has its tendency to remain true with the facts of sociological reality and especially with the fact that it is based on the historical materialism on many problems of sociological knowledge.
Throughout the work there are revealed the critics of Marxist-Leninist thought in the years, when the ideological influences external and with reciprocal influence have exerted on different authors and schools of thought. The fights between the different orientations in the middle-class sociological thought are discussed. Lastly, one underlines certain conclusions of the exposed and objective conditions in the country which determined the liquidation of middle-class sociology. For different reasons, only the theological orientation had continuous new political tendency of existence after the socialist revolution. In the bibliographical part, the author mentions titles of works of the traditional critics of the sociological Marxist-Leninist world and Bulgarian works with fundamental sociological theses on the contradictions and researches in the field.
DEVELOPMENTS OF SOCIOLOGY IN BULGARIA AFTER THE LIBERATION (1878) UP TO THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION (1944)
As a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1878 Bulgaria was liberated and that, as a matter of fact, was a bourgeois-democratic revolution. Bulgaria stepped on the road of capitalist development though petty commodity relations and craft industry predominated. Small land holdings prevailed in agriculture. The petty bourgeois character of social relations branded the development of social theories arid the whole ideological life of the country.
By the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX the main problem
facing the social-political thought of the country was the problem of the future
social-economic development of Bulgaria. That problem was theoretically
interpreted on the basis of typical European philosophic, sociological and
The sociological thought followed two radically different lines: 1) development of scientific, Marxist sociology, and 2) propagation of non-Marxist, bourgeois and petty bourgeois sociology. Thus a variegated pattern of views appeared about the theory and methodology of sociological problems and the concrete social phenomena interpreted from sociological view-point. At the end of the 80s began the formation of the Marxist sociological conception which at one hand offered a most thoughtful analysis of social-economic processes from the stand-point of historical materialism. and at the other hand most profoundly criticized petty bourgeois sociology.
During the 90s of the XIX century the leading position among the bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideological trends in Bulgaria was obtained by the populist and Neo-Kantian sociological theories. In the course of its historic development the non-Marxist sociological thought in our country relinquished the leading role of the populist and the Neo-Kantian conceptions and, especially after World War I started propaganda and spreading the bio-racial, Freudian, neo-positivist and other sociological conceptions.
The main aim of the Marxist sociological conception, propagated and elaborated by Dimitar Blagoev and his associates G. Kirkov, G. Bakalov, P. Genov, etc., was to create a scientific outlook on the social-economic processes in the country, the factors of social progress, the class structure of society and the social ideal. From the positions of historic materialism D. Blagoev led an unyielding battle against the populist, Neo-Kantian, opportunist and other sociological conceptions which presented a false and unscientific view of the whole social process.
The Marxist sociological outlook passed through two main stages. The first was propagation of Marx’s and Engels’ sociological conception and explanation of the social phenomena in the light of their view. The second stage was Leninist development of Marxist sociology during the 20s and 30s of the XX century.
In parallel to the huge theoretical struggle between the representatives of the Marxist sociological conception and those of bourgeois and petty bourgeois views the foundations of empiric sociology were laid. As far back as 1882 Stefan S. Bobchev carried out an inquiry into Bulgarian unwritten law. The results prompted him to hold a second inquiry. An inquiry into Bulgarian unwritten law was carried out by Dr. Vassil Baldzhiev as well. If up to the beginning of the XX century inquiries into the unwritten law of the mode of life and the folklore of the Bulgarians were the most characteristic feature of empiric sociology, then after the turn of the century the social position of the working class was brought forward. The investigations by Iliya Yanulov, Dr. P. Tsonchev, G. Bakalov and others followed this line. During the 30s the inquiry method was successfully applied in the investigation of series of social and social-psychological phenomena.
The development of non-Marxist sociological thought in our country brought forward a great variety of schools, currents, views and conceptions.
The main representative of Marxist sociology at the close of the XIX century and up to the 20s of the XX century was Dimitar Blagoev (1856-1924), the founder and leader of the Marxist party in Bulgaria. As early as 1891 in his profound work “What is Socialism and Can it Gain Ground in Bulgaria?” D. Blagoev analyzed in sociological aspect the development of the country after the Liberation from Ottoman yoke and drew the conclusion that Bulgaria had started on the road of capitalist development. This brought about radical changes in the social structure of the society in which the ruling class was a capitalist one. As the capitalist society developed, the proletariat became the basic social class. Gradually Bulgarian peasants and craftsmen were being ruined and they filled in the racks of the working class. Notwithstanding the great number of small-scale manufacturers and the petty bourgeois rule, the main trend in the development of the country was the setting up and development of a capitalist way of production. It would logically put forward the problem of its own replacement by a higher social order — the socialist order. Therefore the task of the Bulgarian proletariat was to organize itself, to form its own political party, which should arm it ideologically and politically and outline its historic mission. Blagoev’s theoretic conclusions were grounded on specific analysis of statistical facts and data of the social-economic development of Bulgaria.
Bulgarian populism began to play a certain role in the ideological life of the country at the end of the 80s and during the 90s of the XIX century. Russian emigrants populists had brought this ideological current to Bulgaria. The main representatives of the populist sociology and ideology were: V. K. Prokopiev, Dr. Pasmanick, V. Mintses, etc. The main aim of populism was the struggle against scientific socialism. At first such a struggle from populist positions was led by Prokopiev and Mintses and later on by Pasmanick.
Populism as a social theory explained the historic process from idealistic positions using the principal arguments of Russian populist theoreticians. Its ideology combined the subjective-idealistic treatment of social phenomena with the Neo-Kantian sociological conception. The populists maintained that socialism as an ideology and a social system was not applicable in Bulgaria. They considered the peasantry as the principal moving force in history. In his article “Marxism and its significance” Dr. Pasmanick supported the thesis that social development was dependent on the “intellectual factor”. Pasmanick upheld two basic views, 1) historic materialism and in general the materialistic explanation of history had been overcome; 2) it was necessary to reconcile materialism and idealism in sociology. “The reconciliation between materialism and idealism” — wrote Pasmanick — “this is the ultimate goal of philosophy and of history as well”.
The Neo-Kantian sociological and philosophic school in Bulgaria was formed at the end of the XIX century but it played a more significant role in the ideological and scientific life of the country during the first decade of the XX century.
Alexander Nedialkov (1876-1942) was the principal representative of Neo-Kantianism. He attempted to work out a general conception of social development, of its factors, the aim of history and social structure. Having finished his education in Germany, Nedialkov, as he himself declared, had studied “mainly the sociology of Simmel and the philosophic system of Dilthey. He extolled the Neo-Kantian sociology and considered it as the only scientific social theory. His chief aim, as he frankly disclosed, was to fight the Marxist understanding of history and the Marxist notion of capitalist social structure. In his work “Basis problems of sociology” (Sofia, 1908), A. Nedialkov declared that he took “the side of the Mahrburg social-philosophic school, represented by Stammler, as far as the problems of sociology are concerned”.
The influence of Neo-Kantianism wore out gradually and finally faded at the end of the World War I due to the criticism by the representatives of historic materialism. From then on Neo-Kantianism did not play any considerable role in the further development of Bulgarian bourgeois sociology.
A certain role in the development of Bulgarian petty bourgeois ideology and more specifically in the sociological field was played by representatives of right-wing socialism, the opportunist current in Bulgarian social-democratic movement. This reformist current supported specific sociological views, quite distinct from those of staunch Marxism. They formed an eclectic mixture of Marxist conceptions, of Bernsteinism, of Neo-Kantianism about the problems of social development, social structure and the ways towards a socialist order of society. The primary representative of this sociological current was Yanko Sakuzov (1860-1940). The major journals propagating reformist sociology were “Common Deed” (1903) and “New society” (1905). Y. Sakuzov had studied in Russia, France, Germany and England. His principal work was “Ceasarism and Democracy” (Sofia, 1905).
The starting point in the sociological conception of Y. Sakuzov was the revision of the Marxist sociological teaching in the light of Bernstein, Kautsky and Neo-Kantianism. He analyzed the class structure of Bulgarian society and put forward a view that Marxist ideology must be conceived in the “broadest” sense. According to Sakuzov, it was an ideology expressing the interests of the “broad producing layers”. Y. Sakuzov formulated his basic opportunist views that capitalism as a social-economic formation should be transformed but not annihilated as a social order. His sociologic views instilled bourgeois influence into the Bulgarian Working class movement.
Side by side with the development of theoretical sociology in Bulgaria, empiric sociology was being established. Proper empiric sociological researches in our country appeared in the 80s and 90s of the XIX century. The major form of those investigations was the inquiry. Now it is proven that the first to use the inquiry method of concrete empiric research was the well-known publicist, jurist and scientist S. S. Bobchev. A graduate of Moscow University, Law Faculty, Bobchev even in the course of his studies took an interest in the inquiry research method. He composed the first program for “Collecting and Studying the National Juristic Customs” (1882). On the basis of the collected empiric material S. S. Bobchev published his work “Collection of Bulgarian Juristic Customs” (part I, Civil Law, Plovdiv, 1896). Thus the inquiry method of empirical research became a historic fact, successfully brought to life during the 80s of the XIX century.
On analogy with the program of S. S. Bobchev, during the 90s Dr. Vassil T. Baldzhiev composed “A Questionnaire for Investigating into Bulgarian Juristic Customs” (1893). Consequently as early as the 90s the inquiry method was firmly established in one field of the social sciences — the unwritten law.
The name of Iliya Yanulov (1881-1965) is connected with profound empiric sociologic research into social phenomena by means of the inquiry method. Yanulov is a notable event in the history of Bulgarian sociological thought and his activity spreading abroad has, in a sense, achieved European popularity. Yanulov’s activity as an empiric sociologist started at the end of the last century in the syndical movement. Up to World War I he had carried out over ten social inquiries which played an important role in workers legislation. The first social inquiry was held by Yanulov in 1899-1900 into the working conditions of the printers in Sofia. In this inquiry together with Iliya Yanulov and Petko Velichkov participated Georgi Dimitrov. The second of Yanubov’s social inquiries was into the manner of students life in Sofia. In 1904, in the town of Panagyurishte, Yanulov carried out his third large sociological investigation into the conditions of lift and labor of the children workers at the carpet factory.
After inquiring into the situation of the working class Yanulov went on to sociological researches into the living conditions of the young generation. In the town of Panagyurishte assisted by the local physicians he organized a sociological research of 1200 students by means of the inquiry method. Yanulov consistently used the inquiry method in sociological researches into the working and living conditions of the workers in several branches of production, into labor accidents, etc. While carrying out his sociological inquiries, in the period before World War I, he published series of articles on two major problems: 1) sociological, theoretical problems and social politics as a science; 2) labor law, working class social insurance and the role of the trade unions.
After World War I, Iliya Yanulov continued his work in the field of theoretic and empiric sociology and in the International Labor Organization. His most considerable inquiry of that time was the investigation into suicides in Bulgaria held in 1927, and the inquiry into the spread of tuberculosis in Sweden, Holland and Bulgaria by means of the comparative-historic method (1937-1938). During the 30s, Yanulov brought forward the suggestion that a Sociological Institute should be set up in Bulgaria. Estimating highly the role, aims and tasks of the Belgian Sociological Institute “Solovei” in Brussels, Yanulov maintained the necessity of a social organization by means of scientific methods, applied to successfully in natural sciences, after, of course, they have been adjusted to social phenomena.
During the 20s and 30s sociology developed intensively. Side by side with the discussions on various social problems, with the publishing of monographs and articles, a process of instituting sociology began. Several sociological societies were set up which not merely organized the ideological theoretical activity of sociologists but were as well a prerequisite for intensive organizational, theoretic and empiric sociological research work. Such was the philosophic-sociological society, headed by Prof. V. Ganev; the sociological society headed by Prof. Ivan Kinkel, etc.
What is known of the organizational life of the society, headed by Prof. Ganev, makes it clear that it developed as an academic society. The works and publications of its members, some of them published in “Anthology” present a variety of conceptions on the subject, methods, contents, volume and social function of sociology. One of the main trends in methodological aspect was the Neo-Kantian sociological conception, another trend — to analyze social phenomena from a fascist standpoint.
In January 1932 on initiative of Prof. Kinkel, Kiril Grigorov and Evgeni Kamenov was formed a scientific-sociological society. In contrast to the first one, the scientific-sociological society was progressively orientated and closely linked with the problems of life, with social events. The Chairman of the society Prof. Kinkel and the secretary K. I. Grigorov motivated in the following manner the necessity of a Bulgarian scientific sociological association: “Sociology is a logical, necessary product of the widely developed differentiation of the social sciences, which the scientific world witnesses, especially during the second half of the last century. And if the differentiation is inevitable and rather helpful to the further development and progress of scientific knowledge, the synthesis is just as necessary for scientific progress and it does not delay to appear after an intensive differentiation and its development side by side with it. The material and spiritual needs of mankind require a general orientation in the problems of life as well. Sociology is to satisfy this very need in the sphere of social sciences”.
Sociology was conceived as universal, synthetic social science. It studied the common, generic properties of social phenomena whose specific properties were subject of scientific investigation by the particular social sciences. Sociology was a science studying the complete public reality in all its manifestations; this means that particular sociological problems should be treated in such a manner as to account for all social and other factors which up till now determined the social phenomena.
In February 1936 on the initiative of Dr. M. Ganovski, Dr. Vera Zlatareva, Rangel Daskalov and Slavi Pushkarov the co-operation “Land and Culture” was founded. That was the first co-operation in our country for “production and consumption of cultural wealth”. In connection with it a scientific sociological circle was set up. It worked out (1936) and published in the journal “Land and Labor” a draft organization chart of the agriculture labor co-operative. The agricultural sociological circle’s subject was applied sociology and the vital needs facing the Bulgarian village. It sought a way out of “the heavy agricultural crisis”. This circle used sociology as a methodology for elaborating concrete social models.
During the 30s in Bulgaria took place a number of sociological discussions which engaged the public attention. Such were the discussions about the possibility of a planned economy in capitalism and in socialism. In 1933 on the pages of the journal “Annals of Economic and Social Politics” a discussion about the character and perspectives of fascism took place. At the end of the 30s the biggest discussion on the problems of racism and biologism in the social sciences was carried out and it affected all trends of sociology.
The Leninist development of the theoretical activity of Bulgarian Marxists is connected with the names and activity of D. Blagoev, G. Dimitrov, V. Kolarov, etc. In 1918 D. Blagoev published a number of articles on the character, essence and specific features of imperialism. G. Dimitrov and V. Kolarov by means of a concrete analysis of the class structure and the proportion of political powers in Bulgarian society after the fascist coup of 1923 gave proof to the concept that it was necessary to set up a broad democratic front of the working people in the struggle against fascism. The principal nucleus of this front was to be the union between the working class and the peasantry. G. Dimitrov made a brilliant analysis of the essence, forms and manifestations of fascism. He defined fascism as an outright dictatorship of finance capital. Analyzing the nature of capitalism of the time and the essence of fascism, Dimitrov outlined the trends of preparation for a new world war and grounded the notion of setting up a democratic front of all working people in Europe and in the world to fight against fascism and the possibility of a new world war.
During the 30s V. Kolarov worked out a profound social-economic analysis of European agricultural problems and reached a series of important political generalizations which became the foundation of the Communist International agrarian program.
Todor Pavlov (1890-1977) played a substantial role in the theoretical development of Marxist sociology. In his fundamental work “Theory of Reflection” he elaborated the problem of the relationship between philosophy and sociology. T. Pavlov formulated the view on the subject and tasks of sociology as a specific social science. T. Pavlov formulated that “Sociology, which is a formal (non-philosophic) science, notwithstanding that it is the most universal of all formal social sciences should not be identified with historic materialism, which is not a formal science and it is not a formal scientific theory and method. Historic materialism is in fact the very dialectical-materialistic philosophy or logics itself not applied just to one but to all formal sciences of human social life: sociology, political economy, aesthetics, ethics, linguistics, etc; historic materialism is the philosophy or logics of the social historic development of man. Or in a word, historic materialism is the logics of human history”.
T. Pavlov has supported and further elaborated this concept of the subject of sociology and the relation between sociology and historic materialism. This conception became the basis on which sociology developed as a science in Bulgaria.
Marxist sociology was elaborated in Bulgaria by S. Ganovski, A. Kiselinchev, M. Dimitrov, E. Kamenov, Ivan Hadzhiyski, etc.
The works of Ivan Hadzhiyski (1907-1945) were of the greatest importance for the development of concrete sociology. He was an original Bulgarian sociologist and social psychologist who by means of the historic materialistic method worked out theoretic-sociological analysis and concrete sociological researches using the inquiry, observation, annals, ethnographic and folklore materials. The investigation into social phenomena according to Hadzhiyski, must be based on concrete analysis. This is the only way to bring about changes in the world instead of just explaining it. The primary point in Hadzhiyski’s analysis is that he studied the complex social structure of the subject and the inter-connections of its elements. According to him the relations of production and exchange are the basic kind of relations in each social aggregate. He solved the problem about the essence of society in Marxist spirit. The person should be considered in the structure of social relationships. The key to comprehend every social process is the way of production in a given society. Labor is the basis of all relations of people in society. This was the starting-point of Hadzhiyski’s analysis of the mode of life and the spirit of the Bulgarian people.
Hadzhiiski accounted in his investigations for all complex inter-connections and
factors of material or spiritual nature and he interpreted them dialectically.
The concrete sociological methods used by Hadzhiyski were observation, analysis
of documents, analysis of practical actions, inquiry method and social
Hadzhiyski produced brilliant models of researches into the class structure of Bulgarian Renaissance and capitalist society, the various layers of the people, the social characteristics of peasants and craftsmen.
One of the most disseminated sociological conceptions, especially during the 20s, was the Freudian sociology. It is well- known that Freud endeavored to set up as universal philosophy and ideology his formal scientific discoveries and medical theory. Exactly these pretensions of his and his social theory found some supporters in our country at the beginning of the 20s. Ivan Kinkel’s (1883-1940) works were of most considerable importance to the development of the Freudian sociology. In a sequence of articles and books: “An Attempt at Building a new Theory of the Economic Development of Civilized Mankind”, “To the Problem of the Psychological Grounds and Origin of Religion”, “Science and Religion in Psychoanalytical Light”, “Social Psychology and Revolutionary Movements”, etc. Kinkel tried to ground a sociological conception, which eclectically united the principal points of Freudism with elements of historic materialism and bio-racism. He more specially examined the problems of revolution, the role of the person and the masses in history, the laws of social progress, etc. Kinkel considered social diseases such as prostitution, suicides, etc. from the position of Freudism and the theory of Lombroso. Kinkel investigated the occurrence of the economic and cultural development of mankind and established four cycles in world history.
According to Kinkel sociology is a synthetic science and consequently it makes use of principles and methods of study characteristic of other social sciences. In Kinkel’s opinion, sociology besides its other functions should examine the general objective laws governing the complete social life in a static and dynamic situation. He allowed five scientific methods of studying the sociological phenomena. According to him pluralism in sociology is an expression of the real pluralism in society.
One of the philosophic-sociological currents in Bulgaria was Rehmkeanism. Its main representative was D. Mihalchev, author of the books: “Philosophy as a Basic Science” and “Form and Relation”. D. Mihalchev was chief editor of the “Philosophic Review” journal (1929-1943), a professor at the university, diplomat and public figure. In the editorial of the “Philosophic Review”, D. Mihalchev formulated the necessity of systematic sociological analysis of social phenomena, social class problems, social contradictions, sciences, masses, political parties, social-economic phenomena, the laws and meaning of history, etc. And indeed, on the pages of the journal sociological problems were systematically discussed.
The peculiarity of the Rehmkean views about social phenomena was caused by the fact that Mihalchev accepted the starting-points of historic materialism as the basis of his Rehmkean sociology. His concepts on the historic process were essentially contained in the frames of economic materialism. Mihalchev’s historic merit was his struggle against the bio-racial, fascist and geographic currents in sociology. A progressive role in the social-economic life of the country on the eve of World War II and during the advance of fascism was played by the set of articles (1936-1938) by Mihalchev about the mode of life, the development and the ideological life in the USSR.
Side by side with the mentioned sociological conceptions some Neo-Hegelian theological and other eclectic sociological views spread in the country but they enjoyed smaller public influence.
The historical development of the sociological thought in Bulgaria convincingly proved that none of the idealistic sociological currents could grow into a sound school. The progressive conception, convincingly established by the Bulgarian Marxists and first of all by Todor Pavlov, Ivan Hadzhiyski, etc., is deeply rooted in Bulgarian social sciences. This conception unveils scientifically the social structure of Bulgarian society, its objective laws, the factors of social progress, the functioning of social systems and the future development of society as a whole.
This scientific conception was further developed and elaborated by the theoretical and empiric investigations of Bulgarian sociologists after the socialist revolution.
Copyright © 2007 by the author.