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1. For people belonging to my generation, family education had much more importance than it has at the present time, a time in which the outlines that delimit family from the environmental world have lost firmness and home life has not only been invaded by TV but it also, faxed with the complexity of socio–cultural conditions, had to give way in many of its educational functions. My father was a military man and my mother didn't have any profession other than taking care of the house. They were both cultivated people who created in me an appreciation for cultural values, opened for me the first means of approaching them and so they were the original rive towards my intellectual inclination and education.
2. Living in a third class county town, and therefore mainly rural, I also had living contact with the popular culture transmited orally through the conversationsheld by the maids at home and by my father's orderlies, who used to recite romances, relate marvellous tales and wonderful mirackes, terrible stories about bands of thieves, rippers, witches, strange stories about enchanted waters or lakes at the bottom of wich the bells rang on Saint Martin's day. All this made me darkly aware of a peculiar world, different from the one we could call city culture or, more padantly, high culture. Without being able to determine to what extent and time, I think however, that this experience in my childhood contributed to my spiritual configuration and later I was happy to see that such a culture was not only the object of scientific study, but it was also highly respected from Herder to Mircea Eliade, to mention but a few.
3. I wasn't a child prodigy, not even precocious, but I think that I was about ten years old when I had, if not the awareness, at least my first experience with social problems. I used to spend my holydays with my grandparents, who had farmland in the village where I was born, that is Corrales de Zamora. After having supper I used to go inmediatly to the kitchen in order to listen and to take part, if possible, in the conversations and jokes made by the day labourers and maids. One evening a serious matter came up: one of them announced his decision of going to Bilbao to work in the mines. The matter was discussed and differently from other days, the conversation became grave and the participants forgot that I was there. I sort of remember that although they were aware of their critical situation –earning ten reales plus room and board– they all advised Eugenio to sty by telling terrible things about that type of work: "You will come back completely shattered, spitting coal and blood, whereas if you stay here, however badly things may go, you'll always have your master." I already knew that there were poor people and rich people, that the houses of the former were much samaller, that they didn't have a wooden floor but only earthen, that the ceilings were low, that their beasts were, at the best, donkeys but no mules, that their children were badly dressed, etc., but I found all that natural and that even though it affected the external conditions of life, it didn't affect the interior part of life itself. Probably the circumstance that Eugenio was the father of a boy of my age who was a friend of mine –and whom I already saw as half orphan– made me feel deeply impressed by the whole thing. And in any case, the fact that I never forgot this anecdote makes me think that it generated in me a vague idea about the existence of a problem which affected not only the position of each one in the social hierarchy, but also the profundity of his personal and his family destiny and that social justice was necessary to rectify things. All this was, of course, darkly sensed, but it was maybe the germ of some of my later intellectual concerns. And in this sense, I can state that a chat among farmworkers has had more influence on me than the lectures given by many a professor.
4. Of all the teachers I had during my adolescence, I would like to mention two names which won't mean a thing to anyone, except to their own descendants: one is Don Rafael Cartes, with whom I studied privately and who taught me –not only with his teaching, but also with his own personality– what a man of letters was and for a period of time served as a role model for myself. The other one, Don Pedro Antonio Martín Robles, Latinist and Hellenist and department head at high school, was what I later found out is defined as a scholar or as a sage, in the classical sense of the word.
1. When I finished high school I decided to study law. A career in which, as our families used to say, "there are a lot of openings", for, apart from the strictly juridical subjects, it also includes economics, history of law, philosophy of law and principles of state. Al these made way not only to different professions, but also to different vocations and that was particularly important at a time where there were no faculties of Economics, Politics or Sociology.
My father decided correctly that I should study in Madrid and stay at the Residencia de Estudiantes. It has been written a lot about the Residencia –sometimes with a bigotry worthy of a more vulgar cause– so that I don't need to dwell upon it. I will just say that it gave me the chance to live together with students of different careers and from practically every region of Spain; to listen to some of the greatest personalities of that time in different intellectual fields, whose names I won't mention here for brevity's sake; to enrich my thought by means of exchanging ideas with my mates, among whom I would like to remember José García y García, a young socialist who died finghting against the enemy in November 1936 at the Casa de Campo and last but not least, to form my personality in the "spirit of the Residencia", that is, following norms and forms of comportment different from the customary ones and which leaded to the actualization of a possible Spain, which experience later revealed as impossible. The reason for referring to the Residencia is not the nostalgia for my young days, but the fact that it has been the circumstance that opened intellectual horizons for me, which otherwise would have been probably impossible to reach and it consolidated my liberal attitude towards things, independently from any political position or militancy.
2. In the last years at the University I decide to intensify my studies of philosophy of law and for this goal I received a kind reception and a resolute and efficient help from Don Luis Recasens Siches, who had placed the philosophical juridical studies "at an european level" –as one would say nowdays– vis-à-vis the Krause scholasticism or that of St. Thomas. The oeuvre of Ortega y Gasset had a big influence on me –as it also on must of those belonging to my generation– his thesis or general expositions; the dialectics of the "I" and the circumstance, the perspectivism and the new idea of vital reason, as well as some of his works on specific subjects, among which I must point out La rebelión de las masas (1930) and En torno a Galileo (1933), where he brings and develops the theory of generations. Through out time my esteem for both works have increased. This is justifiable if one has in mind that –in my opinion– the enlightening virtue of the idea of the massification of society and of the significance of generations as historical actors became more obvious in the times to come than in the time in which they were formulated. Although my university period coincided with the trouble period of the end of Monarchy and the beginning of the Republic, I don't think the political events had an influence –at leastin a noticeable way– on my intellectual positions or tendencies till 1934: it is not that I remained out of the political events –I even was for seven days under arrest in the Dirección de Seguridad, which was then at the Calle de las Infantas– but I think it caused more of a disturbance than an effect on myself absortion. However, I perceived that something had entered a crisis, and from 1931 I began to take an interest in the new political tendencies that were present on the European horizon. I studied some of Marx's works, those of his mature period: the only ones that reached our shores then; I read Trotsky, Lenin and some other Bolsheviks like Bukarin, Zinoviev and Radek, whose works (especially those of the least two mentioned authors) were later withdrawn from circulation. I also showed interest –which I tried to satisfy as far as it was possible– in the Italian fascism and glanced at the writings of Gentile, Panunzio and Rocco.
During this period I published some minor works on history of political and juridical ideas and in 1934 I read my doctoral thesis, also on a subject about history of thought. Leaving these works apart, which were destined to start an academical and professional curriculum vitae, my ideas were far from being clear and distinct, except for what concerns the historicity of political thought, especially when it entails axiological or normative guidelines, for in this case the abstract contents themselves have a different meaning and function in connection with the various historical junctures to which they are articulated. This leads us to the conclusion of the manifest ideological destiny of a political thought of this kind and with regard to its statements one has to ask himself Quid prodest?: for what and for whom is it useful here and now? I don't claim that this way of seeing things was original, but I did come to it by my own means and in particular, as a consequence of my doctoral thesis on the illicitness of the resistance to the arbitrary and unfair power in the late Spanish scjolastic doctrine, which was a beautiful one, but actually assigned to hinder the process of secularization of the State. Since then, and with the proper shades, that point of view has bee a constant in my thinking.
1. In September 1934 I went to Vienna on a scholarship from the Junta de Ampliación de Estudios. In February of that same year, after a heavy fighting that lasted several days, socialdemocracy had been eliminated from the Austrian political system and the free and democratic order was substituted by an authoritarian regime that was based upon a picturesque estates constitution. Approximately a month before my arrival in Vienna, Chancellor Dolfuss had been murdered by a national socialist commando and in October in Spain the insurrection in Asturias took place and in order to stifle it, it was necessary to moilize the Army's elite, which was constituted by mercenary colonial forces. A yearbefore the Nazis had taken power in Germany and Spengler hadpublished his book Decisive Years, a title that defined well this historic period.
Under the authoritarian political regime –which was hard but not suffocating, except for socialdemocrats– the University carried on with its glorious past, although some Marxist professors like Max Adler had been expelled and others had voluntarily gone ito exile. From being the capital city of a multinational empire of 87 million inhabitants, Vienna became the capital of a state of seven million, overtaken by terrible economical and fiscal conditions. Urbanistically itpreserved the magnificence of previous times, but I sort of remember its population decreased at a rate of ten thousand a year and, under these appearances, life for Austrians was hard, economically impoverished and often ended in suicide. The Viennese, however, bore their destiny without complishing and with a meritorious and admirable stoicism and, at least superficially, life was pleasant, courteous and joyful, for as our friends used to say, Wien ist immer Wien. However, cultivated people –preseeng the terrible tragedy which hung over Austria and which took place in 1938 –sensed that Austria's destiny did not depend on itself anymore, but on the Realpolitik from other countries and especially on the relations of forces and agreements and treaties between Italy and Germany.
2. My main goals were to study philosophy of law and principles of State. In regard to the first point, I came to the conclusion that as a global and systematic discipline, philosophy of law was approximately twenty five years behind in relation to general philosophy. This distance was sometimes reduced in some monographic works which were, without any doubt, intellectually valuable, but in general terms could add very little to the cognition / knowledge of law and nothing to that of philosophy. This had not always been that way, as it is noticeable in the thought of Wolff, Kant, Hegel and even Stahl, where law has a place of its own in his philosophical system or, in other words, philosophy of law wasn't then a simple applied philosophy, a philosophy for jurists, but a part of the system of general philosophy. Something similar could be said, mutatis mutandis, of Thomasius or Pufendorf, who couldn't imagine being able of giving account of juridical reality, as they understood it, without falling into philosophy. On the other hand, in other times, the study of certain social relations (for example, the estates) used to be included within the scope of what was perceived as law and under a certain perspective, as it is well shown not only in the works of the above mentioned authors –many consider that German sociology started with Hegel–, but also in jurists in a strict sense like C.G. Svarez and even in the positive law of the eighteenth century. But since then, times had changed radically: in this theory, as well as in its positive expressions, law had, on one hand, reduced its scope and, on the other, had generated its own conceptual system and its peculiar heuristic instruments. At the same time, great philosophers had excluded it from their systematic horizon and sociology went its own way. Under these circumstances, it raised the doubt not of the possibility of philosophizing about law –as on any other subject– but of the necessity and functionality of philosophy of law as a systematic discipline, for it looked as if it couldn't give an answer to the real problems of our time (among which was the overcoming of the juridical positivism) and, in my opinion, they could only be faced with help of sociology "as science of reality". I was certainly not the only one who thought this way, as the cases of other companions in my generation reveal. Among them were Gómez Arboleya, Medina Echevarría and Recasens himself, who, even though they were law professors, strayed their attention towards sociology. To these names it can be added the one of Gurvitch outside Spain.
3. Although since 1930 Kelsen was no longer physically present, his thought was very present and his great disciples were still –not all of them for very long– in Vienna. Even though I admit that Kelsen is one of the great jurists of all times, as well as author of valuable works outside the strictly juridical field, I must confess that I belonged to the ones who were not completely satisfied with his pure theory of Law, for still admitting the fullness and the logical rogourosity of its construction, it seemed to me that Law could not be fully understood without having in mind its origins, its aims and the values that inspire it. Besides, the identification between State and Law –a Law from which the axiologic criteria are excluded– leads to the exclusion of criteria of metajuridical legitimity and, therefore, to the juridical legitimation of any sort of political regime. I was later surprised by the prestige, dogmatization and even bigotry reached by Kelsen's theory after the second world war, although –at least in some cases– this theory has lost part of its purity by jointing to the recognition not only of a hypothetical fundamental norm, but also of concrete fundamental values which sustain the totality of the juridical order and act as parameters for its interpretation. In any case, the more or less critical estimation of the pure theory of Law after the second world war can be explained as a reaction against the regimes which were built on the despiction of Law. To this reactive motivation can be added, on one hand, that Kelsen's theory seems to provide the rigorous scientific basis needed by a true juridical technique and, in this sense, it could be affirmed that Kelsen belonged to the spirit of our time, according to which there is no reliable technique without a solid scientific basis and science itself is justified insofar as it provides a secure basis to technical activity. On the other hand, it can be added that the so based technicity contributes to give a feeling of neutrality, security and even asepsis to the (in many cases dramatic) profession of jurist. However it was, and seeing things from the perspective of our time, Kelsen's theory provided a closed system of Law –without inputs and outputs– which although it does not correspond to the reality of things, it is heuristically admissible and, thanks to it, its technicity can be strengthened, although –as each closed system– it bears the risk of entropy and of its breakdown at a drastic irruption from its environmental world, as experience has shown. But of course, these last ideas hadn't occur to me in my Vienna period.
4. The writings of Carl Schmitt roused in me not a greater respect, but a greater attraction according to my sense of the tense historic juncture of that time. If Kelsen's theory of Law and State was a perfectly finished structure –of which I am sure Kelsen himself was aware –as it is shown by the fact that he barely had to vary it since its formulation, Carl Schmitt's thinking, on the other side, has been a motorized one, a constant process stimulated by the dynamism of events and, therefore, always in formation. His extense background, the width of his horizon and the incisiveness of his thinking impressed me greatly, but I was most of all impressed by concepts such as that of friend and enemy, decision and existential act, his notion of sovereign as the one who decides on the exceptional case, exceptionality itself not only as inherent in existence but also as that in which true reality shows and, especially, the autonomy of politics as a logos with its own dialectics independently of its contents. These were concepts which, for better or worse, threw light on the reality of things, but they seem to have gone beyond their political intentionally and time, as it is shown by the fact that young generations –including Italian professors of comunist tendency– had a liking for some of them, especially for the ones which lead to the autonomy of the political. But the importance of Carl Schmitt was revealed not only on his political concepts, but also on his juridical ones, of which I will only mention here the notion of "institutional garanty", which is nowadays part of positive law and constitutional doctrine.
5. My inclination towards sociology, that I mentioned before, lead me to a first contact with the thinking of Lorenz von Stein –whose bust decorated the staff's room in the Faculty of Law– who had a great influence on my later perspectives. I also took an interest in the Austrian–marxist thought, especially in its attempt to joint Marxism to kantian gnoseology and ethics. But what it was a real discovery for me in this field were Marx' early writings, which were first published in 1932 by Landshut and J.P. Mayer in two volumes from Kröner Verlag. These writings, which were then hardly known, were to have a great significance in thought after the second world war. He seemed to me not only a completely new Marx, but also, paradoxically, more modern, more enlightening and richer in ideas than the mature Marx. I am not stating anything, of course, I'm just referring to an impression from that time. Many years later, being the director of the Institute for Political Studies at the Central University of Venezuela. I entrusted one of my collaborators with the selection and translation –for the first time in Spanish– of parts of these writings.
6. I also took an interest in the counterrevolutionary thinking, represented at the University of Vienna by professor Othmar Spann, who reduced thought and social reality to the polarity universalism–individualism and considered the totality (Ganzheit) as a basic theoretical category and who, to my surprise, once made a comment to me on the topicality of Krause in Spain in the nineteenth century, who Spann included among the universalists. As a result of this interest, back in Spain I gave a short course on the German political romanticism at the University of Madrid. Since then I have kept a certain interest in the counterrevolutionary thinking, not only because it constitutes a necessary moment in the dialectics of the history of political ideas, but also because polemical perspectives, although they are not objective, they do sometimes probe more deeply into the analysis of things than neutral ones.
1. Towards the end of 1935 I went back to Spain and took over the chair of philosophy of law, whose titular professor was Recasens Siches, for whom I stood in, in charge of the course, from February 1936 till the end of the academical period, when I went to Berlin in order to prepare my magistral lecture for a competitive examination which had to take place in the autumn of 1936.
2. The Spanish civil war broke out and after some incidents which are irrelevant to this biography, I went back to Spain towards the end of August to join the populist army, where at first I served as infantry officer and later, after having passed the corresponding courses, as staff officer. The nature of our army made me –me as well as others– hold unfitting functions and responsabilities considering my age and experience and I became division chief of staff and towards the end of the war –at the battle of Extremadura or Penarroya– of a group of divisions. I bring this up on behalf, and just on behalf, of the fact that the working–out of operation orders showed me the practice and limits of instrumental rationality with regard to changeable situations and data and to non–calculated or random answers. As an anecdote, I think it is interesting remembering that it was during the civil war in an Aragonese village, called Granen and at the officer's mensa of the 14th International Brigade when I first heard of Kafka.
3. Once the war was over I spent some time in concentration camps (Albatera and Porta Coeli) and in prisons (Gandía and Madrid). Considering things from an strictly intellectual point of view, the civil war period and the one of captivity would seem fruitless, but it wasn't so, for, although I had hardly read printed books others than tactic regulations and some manual on subjects related to my transitory metier, I did read the signs of the book of reality, that more or less clearly revealed to me the presence of a historic juncture in which the tremendous global irrationality coexisted together with the rigorous instrumental rationalities for concrete aims and these rationalities themselves were prompted by irrational motivations; a juncture in which there took place a falsification of the true sense of words, a poisoning of souls, a self-delusion, a relativism, if not a real prostitution of values, in virtue of which fratricide and genocide were legitimated with the promise of a supposed ideal community; a juncture that required big decisions, but which was sustained on an unsettled bottom of random and eventuality and, therefore, of big uncertainty. In short, reality revealed to me as a gigantic system of contradictions where the only possible policy seemed to be the Realpolitik. This allowed me to have, on one hand, more and more hope as the world war drew on/advanced of an allied victory, but on the other hand, less and less that this victory would mean the fall of Franco's regime. In any case, I was feeling young and strong and only externally and circumstantially defeated.
1. In 1942 I started giving private lessons. Towards 1945 I began to publish some magazine articles. The affectionate insistence of F.J. Conde and the convenience of finding a place to continue my studies and investigations made me enter in 1948 the Institute of Political Studies, where I stayed until 1951. In this year I exiled voluntarily to Argentina, taking with me a pleasant memory of the Institute and the people who worked there.
2. During this period I focused my attention on the study of constitutional law, on the dialectics of realtioships between State and society in the English philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in the physiocrats, in Hegel and especially in L. von Stein and Robert von Mohl, trying to find the historic foundations of a subject which has constantly caught my attention and which I have considered essential for the construction of the political theory of our time. I continued paying attention to the work of Carl Schmitt and, most of all, of Hermann Heller, where I found a theory of State abreast of times, centred on the organization's category in which juridical and sociological concepts were articulated, as well as the dynamism of events with the permanence of forms and where the dialectics of normativity and normality were developed. I think it was a reference made by Heller what lead me to deal with the later well–known book of G. Lukács: History and Consciousness of Class, which I had in its first edition (Berlin, 1923) since my Vienna times, but I hadn't had the chance to read it till then. However, the author who most impressed me was Max Weber, whose significance would be absolutely unsuitable to expound here and who since then had a lasting influence on my thought.
3. the result of my studies and readings was a series of works that I published during this period and among which my Derecho constitucional comparado stands out. Within the extensive limits of its subject, it synthesizes and integrates my way of thinking at that time, without dismissing the possibility that, as some people think, certain perspectives and concepts are still valid. This book has given me the satisfaction of having been useful to the upbringing of specialists on this subject in Spain as well as in Latin America and of having been labelled as a classic at the current time.
In 1951 begins my South American period, which was to last approximately thirty years, but I never lost contact with Spain, where I used to go during my holidays and sabbatical years. In sight of the prevailing situation at the university, my Spanish friends in Buenos Aires advised me not to base my means of life on an academical contract and one of them – Jesús Prados Arrarte– found a post for me at the main electric firm in the country (CADE). My colleagues in constitutional law and related subjects gave an affectionate and excellent welcome and at their request I developed two short courses in one of the institutes at the Faculty of Law. But I stopped my relation with that university when some of the colleagues who had taken me there were expelled from it for political reasons. At the request of a group who attended the above mentioned courses I carried on with my teaching activities outside the university institutions. I went on paying attention to the same subjects as in Madrid and started some studies on the estates society and constitution, which I continued later in other latitudes, but never –maybe because the project was too ambitious– brought them to an end. Except for the aforesaid courses, I didn't take part in the public cultural life of the country, where I left good disciples and friends and I took an excellent memory of it, when the desire of devoting myself completely to academical life made me search other horizons.
1. In 1954 I moved to Puerto Rico, where I had a contract with the University of Río Piedras, where I lectured on political and juridical subjects and got in contact with North American political science, which has changed a lot since then. Apart from the Puerto Rican professors, there was then a big number of foreign lecturers of various American and European nationalities. Most of us lived at the campus or in its surroundings and our social relations world went hardly beyond the university environment. This circumstance certainly had the inconveniences of every circle tending to stick to itself, but it also had the advantage of making an intensive exchange of ideas possible.
2. Parallel to the fulfilment of my teaching commitments, my intellectual interest focused mainly on the ideological worlds and the political structures which were based on mythical-symbolic representations, which I tried to understand searching their own logos. When I read in my youth Réflexions sur la violence by G. Sorel, the subject of the myth; so to say, shocked me and my interest on it on it grew on behalf of its rhetorical-political relevance on the Italian fascism and of its sinister presence on national socialism. But nevertheless, the subject had been no more than stored in my memory until the fifties, when it became one of my concerns in virtue of, I think, two factors: one was the sedimentation of experiences of the political world in which I had lived and which I have mentioned when I referred to the Spanish civil war; the other factor was the reading of various works, among which those of Jung, Mircea Eliade and, most of all, of Cassirer –especially his Philosophy of symbolic Forms– stand out.
A first approach to this subject was an essay on the transfiguration of power in forms which are assigned to make it trascend ideally its crux character of command and interhuman obedience relationship. In this essay I tried to show the different ideologizations of political power throughout history, I also studied the political forms of the early Middle Ages as a historic period with a totally consolidated and coherent political structure which was based on sacral–mythical assumptions. Trascending dealing with these and other subjects, I adhered to the conclusion that although rationality and irrationality, myth and concept are always present in socio–political structures, as well as in those of thought and in those of attitudes and, therefore, they have a transhistoric dimension, on the other hand, their combinations and relative presence of each of the terms are a historic variable and, so, it can be distinguished between periods or junctures under hegemony of irrationality and periods or junctures under prevalence of rationality. This distinction coincides in the main with that between sacral societies and secularized ones. This lead me to deal with the passing from one perspective to the other in European political history, that is, from sacrality to secularization and rationality. The main results of my effortsin this period and on this subject were: an essay on "La transfiguración del poder", a book called El reino de Dios, arquetipo politico and a study on Federico II de Suabia y el nacimiento del Estado moderno.
1. In 1958 I was called by the Central University of Venezuela in order to organize an Institute of Political Studies, whose direction I held till my retirement in 1979. There I found a pleasant atmosphere due to the facilities given to me by the academical authorities on one hand, and, on the other, to the qualities of the young people I had to educate as future professors or researchers and my relationships with them was an intellectual stimulus for me. I am not going to expound here on the history of the Institute, although in its first period it was a projection of my own personality and that history would be interesting from the point of view of the academical sociology. I will just say that I succeeded in keeping the Institute firmly against the attempts to break its ideological neutrality or, in other words, against the attempts of its instrumentalization by one or another political tendency. This task was not easy at a time in which the environmental society was undergoing a very marked process of politization, but, in any case, it corresponded with my way of understanding the intellectual mission personality, as well as institutionally, based on the capacity which I have had all my life, to abstract my intellectual task from any kind of environmental incitements and/or coercions.
2. I considered the Institute's main aim was to develop the study of a political theory beyond the normative or "institutional" perspective –without ignoring the importance of Law– and focused on the cognition of the peculiar dialectics of the political reality, in order to promote investigation in this field and to create a staff of future professors, upon whom a College of Political Studies could be properly founded, all of which took place in due time. In the beginning the college was influenced by European conceptions, especially by those of Max Weber and H. Heller, but with the passage of time the North American conceptions took over a hegemonic position. Changing the changeable, this process has been shared in Western politological thought with varying degrees according to the different capacities for processing.
3. During this period constitutional theory and law –subjects on which my doctorate law courses and some of my publications were focused– continued mainly the academical tradition which existed before the second world war, for even most of the institutional changes which followed it had already been initiated or laid out in the juridical–political literature of the "Weimar period". This was not the case of the political science and adjacents subjects, which from the mid fifties were dominated, on one side, by that rapid process of "innovation" and "obsolescence", to which attention has been called in relation to the economical and technological fields, but which in our own time extends to practically every vital area; and on the other hand, by an increasing thematic and methodological diversification, in which the unity and even the basic roots of the object were lost. With the perspective of time –and with some exceptions– all that appear now to me as successive flashes or as gropings, which somehow remind of Plato's myth of the cave or seem like discovering an already known fact. Probably, much of this literature would have passed unnoticed to me or I would have ignored it, if it hadn't been for the fact that being the director of the Institute, I had to be informed of it, for, otherwise, it would have been impossible to maintain in proper terms the relationship with my collaborators, who, being young, were very alert at innovative attempts. But in spite of the fact that I have always been open–minded and disposed to intellectual recycling, I have never developed a mania for the new, although I must recognize the marks that the systemic and functionalist perspectives have left on my thinking.
4. Apart from my tasks as director of the Institute, I carried on with the studies which I had begun in Puerto Rico, on the mythical political thought in its historically concrete configurations, as well as in its general theory. I considered that in this field –as in others– both approaches belonged together and were reciprocally complementary. And so, next to the study of some concrete myths and symbols, like the kingdom of the end of times, the myth of Rome, the mythical space and name, the Crown, etc., I tried to formulate a general theory of political symbols, which is expounded in my book Mitos y símbolos políticos (1946) and, later, of myth and mythical attitude in the political field, which I included in a compilation of my work under the title of Los mitos políticos (1981). As a necessary counterbalance, I focused my attention on the presence and development of rationality in modern political thought and practice and I started research on the historical causes of the reason of State. Beyond its concrete subject, this research lead me to the perception of a plurality of rationalities: next to and opposed to political reason we have the juridical, economical, ideological, party's rationalities, etc., as various instrumental specifications of one and the same vital reason and rationalising potentiality, which in actualising on different fields, it must undergo the conditionings and dialectical exigenciesof each one of them. This leads to results which even thought they are rational for a specific objective or for a specific sector considered on its own, might be inconsistent with the results of the rationalization of another sector and produce a global irrationality and disfunctionality. In short, reality not only consists of irrational and rational moments; even within the scope of rationality, the conjunction, articulation or the combination of partial rationalities may generate an objective reality ruled, as a whole, by irrationality, which can only be neutralized by a measured political direction, able to transcend the pragmatism of immediate objectives and of conceiving things as parts of a totality.
5. Another subject that caught my attention was the problematic concerning the construction of a political theory. Beginning with the supposition that political reality only reveals itself through its historic existence. I came to the conclusion that it is in history where one has to look for the foundation of the elaboration of its concepts. To this old assumption –somewhat counter to the prevailing politological trends– was added the point of view that the original and germinal ideas from which interpretative concepts as well as the possibilities of arrangement of socio–political reality derive, are limited. Such ideas, however, do not exist by their own as something ontologically previous to reality; they can only be outlined through a historic study of reality are constituted by an expression and an articulation which are specific of such original ideas and within the conditionings of the space and time coordinates in which they take place. Based on these assumptions –upon which, for obvious reasons, I cannot dwell any longer– I believed in the possibility and, even more, in the necessity of the construction of a general theory of politics based upon a historic substratum wide enough, so that its formulations would not be just confined to the western world and to the present time. The projected theory would include, among other possible areas, the formulation of a tipology upon application of which, the historically concrete political configurations could be analysed and understood at a fundamental and general level of analysis. It is impossible for me to determine the sources of such an exposition, but I do seem to perceive some immediate influences, among which are certain ideas from Parsons, A study of History, by Toynbee and Fundamental Questions of political Economy, by W. Eucken. As a result of my interest and efforts in this field there appeared some works, among which may be mentioned "Sobre la significación de la historia para la teoría política" and "Contribución a la teoría de los órdenes", from which "Ordenación y organización" was later detached and developed.
6. I also dealt with the political and state systems of our time. I began with the supposition that –for a superior level of analysis– such systems are incomprenhensible if one does not have in mind the civilization frame in which they are included and I shared and developed the idea that our civilization –without dismissing other features that may characterize it– is mainly a technological one. This is to be understood not as a simple repertory of more or less complicated technical instruments, but as an objectified reality or "second nature" jointed in a dynamic set of large systems, which constitute the frame and conditioning where existence takes place at the present time, a civilization that opens up great possibilities, but it also generates strong coercions for individual and collective life. I tried to analyze its different aspects such as the components and levels of its structure, its peculiar rationality and its own legality, different from the natural and juridical ones, its virtus, that shapes social entities as well as individual and collective mentalities, etc. Trying to be more concrete, I'll add that I worked on the significance if technology as a support of power and, therefore, of the differences in potential among states; on its importance to the origin of the new species of functional legitimity and also maybe new formulations of the concept and modalities of sovereignty; on the generation of new forms of State administration, among which the technocratic one stands out; on the interplay between State and technological development and, finally, I formulated typological models of State, based on the different combinations of the technological moment with other moments which shape the political order. In short, I tried to determine the impact of the technological civilization on the structure, function and position of the State. The reflections on this subject, which were originated in a seminar at the Institute, were developed and collected in my book Burocracia y tecnocracia (1974).
Going on to more specific problems, I orientated my work towards the relationships between State and society, a subject to which I had dedicated myself since the years when I gained contact with the conceptions of von Stein and now, starting from systemic criteria, I could approach it with categories like interplay, retroaction or circular causality. The social State of our time, which I tried to clarify, seemed to me, from the historical point of view, an attempt to cancel secular social struggles. This attempt was made possible through the application of Keynes' thesis and by the development of the neocapitalist economical system. From the ideological point of view, the social State of our time seemed to me the end of a process started by von Stein and actualized by Heller and others during the Weimar period. Apart from other characteristics, which are irrelevant here, I perceived in this sort of State the expression of a double process which consisted, on one hand, of the increasing influence of the State in the society and, on the other, of the socialization of State by the society. Apart from being a starting point for further analysis, this process has, as immediate consequence, the diffusion of limits between State and society, which were much clearer previously.
In view of this diffusion of limits and of the quantitative and qualitative increase of interplays between both terms, it is not very likely that the State of our time can be understood without explaining the structuring of present–day society. Unlike other societies, the present–day one is not characterized by being structured in estates or by being stratified in classes, but by being built up as a whole structured in organizations for the attainment of rationally defined goals. This has a great significance for the participation of social forces in the State's decisions and for the use of these forces by the State in order to establish its policies and to formulate its decisions, so that a good part of the political decisions which are juridically attributed to the State are actually the result of interplay among State bodies, political parties and interest organizations. The development of the organizational society goes beyond the frontiers of each country and gives rise to transnational society, which is constituted not by the relationships among states (like the so–called international society), but among social actors who belong to different states and national societies and who, on conditioning the possibilities of action of states, have created the transnational politics as something different to the national and international ones.
These studies and reflections lead me to the determination of another main characteristic of the State of our time: the growth of its complexity. This phenomenon is basically due to the increase of components of the State system, to the increase and interdependence of the relationship among themselves and also with the environmental factors, all this together with the rapid change in all these components and relationship. This complexity which, in principle, is required for a better functioning of State at present time conditions– can be functional as well as dysfunctional, depending on if its development is either controlled or erratic. The result of my work on all these subjects was my book about Las transformaciones del Estado contemporáneo.
And here ends, by now, my intellectual biography. In 1979 I was appointed as magistrate and immediately after as President of the Constitutional Court. This way, a new period in my life started, about which I do not have as yet sufficient perspective to evaluate its significance in what the subject of this autobiography concerns.
Summing up the tendencies that, in my opinion, have prevailed in the development of my intellectual life, I'll start by saying that I never belonged to any school, I have not considered any proposition immutable, nor have I devoted my activity permanently to just one subject. I have rather tried to centre on myself, to keep a critical and selective spirit and I've let myself be taken by the successive or simultaneous curiosity on different subjects which I have abandoned once I had satisfied my intellectual interest or when I considered that I could not make any further progress on them, so that, for better or worse; I have never fallen into specialization.
I have never endorsed the idea of "the committed intellectual", which in the practice has proven to be the alienated intellectual, often repentant, whose result has been the loss of auctoritas he had enjoyed not so long ago. I have rather believed that the only valid commitment for the intellectual is his own search for the reality of things with the awareness of the relativism involved in this task. I do not deny, however, that I may acquire political or other kind of commitments, the same as any other citizen. But one thing is being free to do it and another thing is to be forced to do it.
Although I am opened to different perspectives, sensitive to the problems of our time and I admit that adaption to environmental conditions is a necessity of human existence, I maintain certain criteria and attitudes discordant with the usual ones in our time: I have very little confidence in team–work, I also don't have much confidence in congresses, symposia, discussions, etc. and I usually do not go to conferences, cocktail parties, presentations of books or similar events. Except for a small number of reports, I have never done a work by assignment, unless it was on a subject which had interested me previously, for I have preferred to be master of my own tasks than craftsman of those of other people and, therefore, my work has never been put in a permanent tender. In short, I have tried to avoid the machinery that present time imposes on intellectual activity –and I don't mention this as a virtue, but rather as a deficiency in adapting to the ecosystem that surrounds the intellectual's function nowadays. But precisely because of that, I consider myself as a specimen of a historic species, of a sort of intellectual life that, after having been present in western history since the 17th century, today is in process of extinction.