Organizations of convenience [still trying to figure out what he means by this phrase] in an antagonistic society must necessarily pursue particular ends; they do this at the expense of the interests of other groups. Therefore obdurancy and reification necessarily result. If such organizations continue to occupy a subordinate position within which they were totally open and honest toward their membership and its direct desires, they would be incapable of any action. The more firmly integrated they are, the greater is their prospect for asserting themselves in relation to others. the advantage of totalitarian 'monolithic' nations over liberalist nations in power politics which can be internationally observed today is also applicable to the structure of organizations with a smaller format. Their external effictivity is a
function of their inner homogeneity, which in turn is dependent upon the so-called totality gaining primacy over individual interests, so that the organization is forced into independence by self-preservation: at the same time this establishment of independence leads to alienation from its purposes and from the people of whom it is composed. Finally - in order to be able to pursue its goals appropriately - it enters into a contradiction with them. (110)
And, of course, once your group is winning, the allegiance is less because of a common set of beliefs or founding goals: allegiance is mostly won because of the fact that the group is winning. Not that any of this is necessarily all that unique in terms of the points it is making (except that last little twist about getting into contradiciton with one's goals.) In fact, it is basically the argument of all movements once they become politically involved, all the way up to the nation itself, as he points out. Which leads me to wonder what can possibly be the ultimate goal of this struggle, in the end, other than pure dominance. I suppose it depends on the form of the struggle. If it is a war of words, then the dominance becomes "truth" but if it is a more conventional war than dominance means not only being right, but being stronger. But either victory can only be retained by defending some distinct difference between the "us" of the winning team and everyone else. This is much harder to do with ideological warfare because of the malleability of the meaning behind words and it's slippery grip on reality and therefore the action one takes in that reality. In the case of military dominance, the default is some form of racism or xenophobia as the securing mechanism. In either case, the dominance of a functional organizational unity may make it more likely to succeed in in a struggle, but the end result will rarely be that the opponents who faced each other can acknowledge their common humanity or rationality.
I've read many accounts of peace as being an oppressive state of being because everyone is, in some way, forced to accede to the wishes of everyone else. Most memorable of these for me is that of Robert Kaplan who says, in one of the essays collected in The Coming Anarchy,
The italian political theorist Gaetano Mosco noted in The Ruling Class (1939) that universal peace is something to be feared, because it could come about "only if all the civilized world were to belong to a single social type, to a single religion, and if there were to be an end to disagreements as to the ways in which social betterment can be attained....Even granting that such a world could be realized, it does not seem to us a desirable sort of world." OF course, there is often nothing worse than war and violent death. But a truism that bears repeating is that peace, as a primary goal, is dangerous because it implies that you will sacrifice any principle for the sake of it. A long period of peace in an advanced technological society like ours could lead to great evils, and the ideal of a world permanently at peace and governed benignly by a world organization is not an optimistic view of the future but a dark one. (169)
I can see his point here--and he makes some others I would write on if I had the opportunity. But the point I would make is that there is a big difference between having a complete lack of any type of social conflict and simply agreeing that killing each other might not solve anything.