A Philosophy of Globalization


скачать скачать Автор: Kiss, Endre - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Number 2 / 2010 - подписаться на статьи журнала

 1. On globalization

According to a widely accepted great interpretation, globalization is a science of extensive problems, each of which concern everyone, and humanity in general as well, in new, qualitative, and in their tendencies existential ways. In this sense, the legitimate fields of globalization are e.g. the issues of ecology, raw materials, migration, the global health problems of the world (for they cannot be restricted beyond state limits any more), the global positive or negative tendencies of population, energy, arms trading, the drug crisis, or dilemmas of integration and world economy.

There is another huge interpretation as well – and that is what we follow in our present work – which does not bind the problems and phenomena of globalization to concrete and singularly appearing ‘global’ issues (or to a random set made up of them), but examines structural and functional connections of the whole new global situation.

The world-historical turn of 1989 is an outstanding stage in the evolving of globalization. The primary cause of this is the fact that up to 1989, the mere existence of the two world regimes restricted the process of globalization in the center, between concrete, down-to-earth limits. Each carefully selected element of globalization could get through the systems of these regimes only by extraordinary efforts.

The great leap of globalization that started in 1989 implemented one of the possible versions of globalization, i.e. the one related to monetarism and the international debt crisis, therefore the all-penetrating practice of globalization shall be related to both the problems of monetarism and those of the international debt crisis.

One of the most important and also the most difficult fields of the social-philosophical research of globalization is the continual way its functional and non-functional elements and moments are interconnected, like the cogs of a machine. The more the global processes fulfill their global character, the more obviously they feature ‘clearly’ functional characteristics in their operations. For example, the more obviously ‘global’ the structure of world economy gets, the more clearly do the functional theoretical definitions prevail. From a theoretical aspect, functional and non-functional elements are heterogenic, but from a practical aspect, they fit into one another in an organic and homogenous manner.

Globalization is therefore neither a new, yet unknown center of power, nor a world government, but in principle it is a qualitatively new system of the relations of all actors. One of its specific traits is the possibility of access to global processes and networks in a rather ‘democratic’ way. It would absolutely make sense to describe the fundamental phenomenon of globalization with the criteria of access and accessibility. But this is also the field where we can find the two weakest points of globalization.Globalization demolishes a whole row of particular differences and limits by ensuring in principle total accessibility. In this sense it is therefore ‘democratic’: the participation in global processes could even outline a new concept of ‘equality’. Globalization that builds in elements of discrimination in its dynamic progress would be a contradiction not only in a theoretical, but in a practical sense as well. The world-historical balance of globalization shall prevail in this connection. This balance will depend on the final proportions between the democracy, moreover, the equality of accessibility, and the discriminative moments i.e. the self-destructive real social processes in the field of the forces of these two tendencies.

The second especially critical problem of the globalization past the 1989 qualitative leap is related to this issue. It is namely only one side of the coin that globalization establishes new relations in a qualitative and manifold sense, while the qualitatively new character of relations is made up right by the fact that the mediums and strata that used to separate the individual from global affairs drop out, and the individual can access the multi-faceted communication of global networks directly i.e. without these mediums, just like any other actor. But the other side of this coin is the question whether there will evolve really new resources on the side of globalization, which shall be able to fulfill the increasing demands accessibility generates. The triumphant breakthrough of globalization increases the number of resources by itself, but to a much smaller extent than the possible ‘amount of resources’ required for the world of more and more perfect accessibility. The fail of access requirements namely critically deforms the well-built system of global networks. This negative vision resembles the kind of mass-communication that offers a wide variety of TV-channels, while it fails at increasing the ‘resources’ of entertainment and culture in a qualitative sense parallel with the growing accessibility, therefore all it can offer for the increasing demand is low-level programs, or endless repetitions of tried and trusted ‘canned’ programs.

Globalization raises a row of alternatives, all of which need to be interpreted, on the field of ideology as well as the state, society, and culture. From the aspect of the theory of science, the theory of globalization is a theory of society, and no matter how many unprecedented new definitions there are on the phenomenon of globalization, it is neither necessary nor possible to create a new model of theory-building for any of them.

As we have seen, the real globalization is neither a new and unknown center of power nor a world government, but a qualitatively new system of the relation of every actor, of which main characteristic is ‘globality’, i.e. the access to global processes and networks in a specially ‘democratic’ manner. The relationship of the East and the West changes in the globalized world-society; the roles of debtors and creditors, winners and losers get interwoven in this new world order that is based upon new interdependencies. In respect to social capital, we have to mention the tendency of a ‘downward spiral’, which was induced by globalization, and which means that the types of social capital society invested into individuals reduce both in quality and quantity. This is mainly the consequence of the crisis of the public sphere, according to which the evolving of knowledge society could be a remedy for this problem. An approach based on globalization could show the limits of the approaches, which have stuck at national development. On the level of philosophical generalization, we can also approach the trends of globalization with the categories subject, practice, and emancipation as criteria.

The fall of existing socialism put the neoliberal complex of politics and economy in a hegemonic position, and this lead to the illegitimate identification of neoliberalism and liberalism. The structural and functional characteristics of the global world are being shaped by this neoliberal complex. In this context, the Third Wayappears as the unequal relation between neoliberalism and social democracy.

Globalization gets fulfilled in the universe of postmodern values. With respect to the history-philosophical method, we do not attempt to define the main characteristics of postmodernism by its contrast to modernism. We break up with the widespread contrast of modernism and postmodernism, because we firmly believe that the essence of postmodernism can be revealed in its relations to structuralism and neo-Marxism. These two streams were emblematic of the philosophy of the sixties. Sometimes they amplified one another, and sometimes they got polemic with each other. By the mid-seventies, neo-Marxism ceased to exist as abruptly as a natural disaster, and around that time, structuralism also recognized its failure. The place of these two great streams was taken by a philosophical vacuum, which however did not mean a ‘philosophers' vacuum’, i.e. the absence of philosophers; as there came philosophers who although possessed positions of political power, but no philosophy of their own. This was the vacuum postmodernism successfully filled as a meta-philosophy. Therefore, today's philosophy is under the twofold hegemony of postmodernism and neoliberalism-neopositivism. The most important symmetry-relation between these two streams is the attempt to re-regulate the whole process of thinking by the regulation of notion-building and object constitution. But their strategies are opposite to one another: neoliberalism-neopositivism sets reductionist verification as its chief requirement, while postmodernism delegitimates verification. However, these two streams have one more thing in common: both the limitation of the scope of the rules of philosophical verification and its total elimination got realized not through power-free intersubjective discourses, but in the medium of interpersonal power.

The decisive processes of globalization are part of the development of modern rationalism. Yet the decisive process of modern rationality cannot be reconstructed without reference to emancipation, which is also of great historical importance. Rationalization, the ‘disenchantment’ (Entzauberung), the ‘dialectics of Enlightenment’ must appear in a new context. The concept of emancipation must be present also in the history-philosophical discourse of the world-historical ‘farewell’ to myths. All critiques of modern rationality were stated because of emancipation that had not taken place, although its necessity was increasing parallel with the progress of rationalization. The omission of emancipation might put the process of rationalization and globalization into a critical danger.

The relation to modernity in a historical-philosophical sense is decisive not only from the aspect of potential enemies and enemy images. In a positive sense, it is decisive because in several important aspects, globalization, which in fact sprung out from the soil of modernity intends to eliminate the so far most important achievements of modernity as well. It is about the collision of the totalizing, social-democratic type development of the welfare state and its also totalizing, neo-liberal demolishment. For the most typical fundamental characteristic of today's world is not globalization in its pure form, nor integration in its pure form, but globalization or integration qualified by state debt, which is a specific characteristic of all states.

The downward spiral of social capital is also a consequence of this concrete structure of globalization. And right because this phenomenon is a consequence of globalization, it is global as well. We are not trying to ignore the numerous impressive civilizatory accomplishments, ‘success stories’ of globalization. But right the actually manifested structural characteristics of globalization are the cause of the fact that the upward spiral of great accomplishments and the downward spiral of social capital do not cross each other. The knowledge component that operates in modern production is part of a broader concept of knowledge capital, while social capital, which is being invested in successive generations, does not reproduce itself on the level of human civilization. This also means that the future shall become the field of the new battle of civilization and barbarism, even if none of the definitions of these terms will remind of the concepts of civilization or barbarism that occurred in history so far.

Another important element of the new order of international politics (the ‘new world order’) is the new interpretation of ‘identity’ and ‘difference’. By 1989, the logic of neo-liberal identity and difference exchanged the basic notions of identity and difference of socialism, as well as those of Christianity. This means that neither the solidarity of socialism, nor the brotherly love of Christianity can diminish the brutal power of difference. Neo-liberal identity consists in nothing else but the unconditioned respect and guarantee of the freedom and the rights of the individual (which rights might become merely formal at a certain extent of social differences). In such cases, difference is not a mere difference, value, or ideology, but it might even become an essential feature of social existence.

In this framework, it would be in principle necessary to analyze also the actual relationship of globalization and politics as specific social activities or subsystems. This would follow from the fact that in a strict sense, the politics of the present is not the same as a few decades ago. But we are excused from this task by the fact that politics, the political subsystem, and political classes slowly seem to find their proper places in the network of the relations of globalization (and the new world economy), thus a closer examination of the sphere of politics (das Politische) slowly becomes possible even without enumerating the totality of the new world-historical coordinates.[1]

The quality of democracy is a fundamental issue of globalization, the new global world economy, and the new political system that slowly adapts itself to the new coordinates. This is firstly a functional and structural moment. It can be and it should be because global operation can (could) only evolve and operate on the basis of democratic liberalism or liberal democracy. In this sense, liberal democracy is the ‘modus vivendi’ of globalization. But its functional and structural traits shall not make us forget the original value components of liberal democracy, which used to ensure exceptionally strong legitimacy for the political system before the functional and structural dimensions were completely developed.

The democratical character of the political dimension got expanded by a row of yet unclarified new functions. Democratic values left the realm of values and became structures or functions.[2]

The whole liberal democracy is standing before new, often unrecognized challenges. First, it is the functional and structural basis of globalization, and second, the relations of globalization expose it to challenges unknown before. It grounds different things and the expectations towards it, which are also different than before, without changing its basic definition.[3]

The present model of the world is considered to be the mature form of globalization, of which decisive specific trait (beside several other important definitions) is the phenomenon of state debt, which phenomenon fundamentally defines the economic and political framework of globalization, and which is fundamental in the development of the deeply monetarist profile of present globalization. This is the general model, in which the extremely extensive process of accession to the EU is taking place. These multiple functions cause that even the lack of a theory has its own victims, even though it hardly ever gets into the center of discussion.

One of the great issues of the future is made up by problems of the state. The starting point is the relationship between globalization and the nation state; the political public consciousness is aware of the new tensions and problems of competence that arise here. From the aspect of the state, the regulation of political and economic processes is also an important element, therefore their results are of great importance. The great dimension of the future (and the row of questions to be decided) springs from the fact that the state is not a neutral actor that can be characterized solely by functional characteristics, but since the modern state after 1945 undertook civilizatory and overall social tasks at an extreme measure totally unknown before, which tasks can only be drawn out of the bounds of the state shattered by the processes of globalization by destroying huge ‘areas’ in the social network. The states are the losers in this process. But there is also another tendency, which also has its first stark signs already in today's global processes. There are namely also lucky (nation) states, which could use the achievements of globalization and even integration to realize their original ends as nation states, or even their long forgotten aspirations to expand as nation states, and these nation states are already the winners of the expansion of the European Union in multiple aspects, which of course can also be interpreted as a process of globalization. The accession to the EU hides the dramatic importance of future state functions from public opinion and research, while the absolute and relative decline of the state that – for historical reasons – centralizes every social and civilizatory function in itself, results in several concrete practical difficulties.[4]

The actorial aspect in general is an interesting new component of globalization. This term can also be used for the political and social reality of the pre-globalization era. Yet globalization opens a new era in the history of this term, mainly because globalization frees individual actors from the organizational and original interconnectedness of bigger political and social integrities, mostly organizations, and it arranges the universe of the actors in a new way. This means that after all everyone is an actor, and this is not just a mere play on words. We are actors both in a theoretical and in a practical sense, while we still identify this new side of globalization rather with the actually existing ‘caesarian’ components of the actorial dimension, than with its also actually existing democratic components. Of course, all phenomena of globalization have their own actorial aspects, even the problem of the relationship with the developing countries.

But the actors of globalization are often missing, and it is shown clearly in comparison with the new specific global functions. The case of missing actors occurs when political or other processes of globalization create new and strong functions, but at the same time, there are not any equally strong, legitimate, and responsible actors to fulfill these functions. Of course, this starting situation ‘distributes the actorial spaces’ originally in a wrong way: the empty places and functions of missing actors either remain unrecognized, or fast-reacting interest groups push themselves into this vacuum, which seriously distorts the political space. The basic model is simple: an interest group pushing into the vacuum can only be called an actor in one specific sense, i.e. that it follows solely its own interests. To achieve this end, it must shape the political space to some extent, but it does not do it as a legitimate and constructive actor, therefore its activity inevitably implies the destruction of political space.

2. Monetarism and Liberalism

The liberalism is applied, in the true sense of the word, as an ‘endless’ topic of the political and politological discussion after 1989, which date is identical with a victory of the liberalism not considered in the close sense of political party. This hegemony is, in the sense of the supremacy of certain worth settlements, an effective affair, even if it is oriented on wrong ways unintentionally, sometimes however also deliberately. One wrong way is the image of a liberalism considered in the sense of a political party, at least in its ideological sense (about which we can prove that it has just not won world-historically), while the other preferred way, which we are interested in, would be an unambiguous and essentially a main apology, what just only happens nowadays. These both wrong ways are neutralization strategies, which want to detach this singular event of the victory of the liberalism of it salient contours. Only a few think that these both neutralization strategies can also follow different aims. One such aim could be, to neutralize this moment in this new hegemony on the base of which we could raise, as example, liberal and dynamic exigencies to a new world of the victory of the liberalism.

However, this relativizing neutralization of the interpretation of the sense and the importance of the year 1989 causes by no means, that the liberalism would not have remained generally valid as the common denominator and huge discourse of these years. The liberalism appears in every point and as an embodiment of every value in the current discussions. In its environment, descriptive and normative, or value relative positions mix themselves indefinitely. We attack the today phenomena of the economy and the politics as ‘liberal’, while we silently expect simultaneously from the ‘liberal’ disposed actors, that they estimate affirmatively the present as a whole. On the other hand, it is also silently expected, that we take a possible responsibility for the negative part of the system classified as ‘liberally’ economic or political.

Theoretically as practically, the biggest problem in the present, explicit or latent liberalism-discussion is just the far widespread establishment, which the liberalism has to be identically set with (sometimes in the form of the neo-liberalism) within the so-called monetary economic system. Our attempt would like to argue intensively against this fusion attempt, namely, first of all, as far as the clearness of the notion is concerned. This interest has, so obviously, first of all, a purely theoretical orientation, it also has an immanent and evident practical importance, while it can be said that, in every large historical period, the ‘new’ attribution of the political language has necessarily an obvious pragmatic dimension (an example: it may occur no miracle, that a New Right will be called ‘republican’ or also ‘liberal’). However, in this purpose, we are led by no purist will, it is clear to us, that the public linguistic usage in the politics cannot correspond at any time to the theoretical or historical requirements. Our criteria in this context is, that the use of a political-theoretical rule must show at least a necessary relation with the basic vision, or with the basic content of the corresponding political or conceptional direction.

Every reduction of the classical liberalism is immediately a big problem. However, such possibilities can as well appear, for the liberalism, despite its apparently so simple and so transparent baselines is a bundle of numerous ‘freedoms’. L. T. Hobhouse considers, in 1911, all the following ‘freedoms’ as elements of the liberalism as constitutive for a legitimate notion of the liberalism: ‘civil’, ‘fiscal’, ‘individual’, ‘social’, ‘economic’, ‘domestic’, ‘local’, ‘racial’, ‘national’, ‘international’, ‘political’ and the ‘people's sovereignty’ to concerning freedoms. The liberalism stands effectively, and indeed on the basis of a logical necessity, under the constraint of the representation all freedoms, or to defend. Therefore, it is always critical when orientations and concepts presented as ‘liberal’, proceed as ‘reductive’ in their freedom's understanding. Besides, the point in question is not, whether a little bit ‘more’ or ‘less’ freedom or freedoms are sufficient to bear or not the designation ‘liberal’. It is rather about the fact, that already a low reduction of the quality and of the radius of the so believed freedoms leads to the whole credibility of a liberalism as ‘liberal’ which begins to oscillate. Every reduction of the liberalism has a critical effect on the whole concerned concept. In this context, it appears as logical that, from this vision also the specific reduction of the liberalism/neo-liberalism on the system of the monetarism is illegitimate. Before we would determine this incoming phenomenon, which is understood as under ‘monetarism’, it does not seem to be superfluous to shortly analytically evocate the liberalism as political orientation and as crystallization point of political parties. The key to every liberalism lies in the basic vision, which can the most adequate be stated with the thesis of the ‘free game of the free forces’. One side of this question is what this thesis historically meant for every engaged representative of the political liberalism, how this vision was related with the representations of that time about the nature and with which emancipative global representations of the order this vision was inseparably connected. The other also very important side of this problematic is, that only a representation, a concept or a political group may in a legitimate way be named as ‘liberal’, which remain, in a relevant way, faithful to the essential of this basic vision.

It is certain, that the future destiny of the liberalism as political direction frequently depended on this necessary attachment with the basic vision. However, it is as well certain, that ‘nearer’ a liberal political or ideological line of the respective reality came, more difficult it will be to remain faithful to the basic vision. The situation often to be perceived lets appear, that the liberalism penetrates always stronger the political and social institutions and simultaneously loses as independent grouping towards pertinence and mass effect. From this basic occurrence, followed also these three reasons for which the liberalism disappeared for long of the scene, as a big and integrating independent political option, the political (the Liberals did not combat the critical extensions of the general electoral right), the sociological (with the always moving forward development of the political organisation, the sociological basis decreased for such an independent political orientation) and the autopoietic-morphological (the liberalism fertilized all other orientations with sensible and important contents, so that thereby not only more the sociological, but also the ideal identity basis has been critically reduced for an independent liberal political party). Singularly, to this tendency of the constant shrivelling of the independent liberal alternative in politics stands the fact, that after the effective most enormous historical disturbances, the liberalism always appears again as the first possibility on the political scene, which also means, that in ‘normal’ historical times in shrivelling situation, the developing liberalism always gets again the highest chances of the renewal just out of the biggest disturbances.

Here we already come to the complex problem of the liberalism of our days. It is essentially, as just mentioned, a liberalism of the renewal. And because it is so, it is proposed to take in the visor its direct prehistory. The processes of the 70s and 80s represented a rather new situation while the new formulations of the liberal ideology took place not only after the breakdown of a differently established huge other system, but already at the time of its decline, in such a specific sense, as the dissolution of the latest Roman empire and the development and extension of the early Christianity sank. This historical background explains moreover, why the current most relevant reduction of the liberal basic vision could appear, on a certain ‘monetarist’ complex on the way of an apparently trouble-free comparison of the ‘liberalism’ and of a ‘monetarist’ complex.

Before we could describe the notion used in this attempt of the monetarism, this comparison can be described for a certain world-historical horizon already in its main characteristics. Just the really existing socialism of the 70s and 80s appeared as the central subject against which a classical political liberalism of the human rights and a newer liberalism appeared against the national redistribution and essentially, in the tight sense ‘monetarist’, thinking more economic, could federalize. The going out real socialism created this complex of the new monetarist worldwide complex, while through its existence two original concepts, which had very little to do with each other, had federalized. It was just no longer the clear competent real socialism, pushed in the defensive and its true position under the coordinators of a new reality, before rather a true hermeneutical horizon of the classical, economic and political discussion of a liberalism based on human rights also a strongly represented ‘liberalism’ of the monetary restriction and of a new organization oriented against the central redistribution, that could appear as both sides of a lonely medal. The counterproof can be easily done. Only on the field of the western politics, it was rather so, that the liberals motivated in the human rights should have been positioned rather against the monetary restriction. No miracle that the penetration of this economic politics was implemented on this western field by extremely right and conservative politicians. The system of the declining real socialism was in itself a political field, to which the ‘liberalism’ of the critic of the etatist redistribution did not immediately lead in the relation of the cognitive dissonance to the classic liberalism of the human rights, already on the clear basis, that neither one nor the other was regulated liberally in this system, and that just in this system the critic of the extremely strong central redistribution itself, in the economic sense, has still borne classical liberal tendencies of the ‘free game of the free forces’. The real socialism has not ‘misunderstood’ this new situation, it has simply not recognized it, it has not seen, that its pure existence made possible a crucial strategic regrouping of the forces and ideologies and supplied, like on a running track, the precedent cases, which have always splendidly confirmed the new categorization (on the basis of the occasional union of both liberalisms). The system of the real socialism did not also hereby succeed to make visible some elements of its image, which did not correspond entirely to the new vision. For instance, it could not make clear through its image construction, that it had already understood some veracities of the market's economy, also when it could not transpose itself effectively in the reality.

The world-historical relevant post-communist liberalism united in this way the elements of the classical and the monetary liberalism. However, this development did not remain limited in all their essential points only on this territory. A union of the liberal description of the political and social reality with the monetary description of the same is today a worldwide phenomenon and this represents us the current most problematic reduction of the liberalism. The tacit comparison of the liberalism with the monetarism does not apply only as an incorrect official version, it is also simultaneously very much misleading.

Before we would begin, however, with a critic of this comparison, the clarification of what will be understood here under ‘monetarism’ or ‘monetary complex’ is very necessary. Coherently, which comes back to three relevant subsystems, namely to an economic system (first of all, monetary-economic), which is not determined.

Under ‘monetarism’, we understand an homogenous and coherent, also a political-economic system running homogeneously and largely (of course, however, not entirely) by the phenomenon of the inside and outside indebtedness of the states, to the political system of the liberal democracy and to an hegemony of post-modern values in the human living world.

In the following, we will understand this complex under ‘monetarism’, about this complex we formulate the thesis that it might be generally designed as ‘liberalism’. Besides, it is to be considered first, that the closer economic politics of the monetary restriction has not even once by chance been imposed by ‘liberal’ political forces of that time, without speaking of the fact that the radical active future conservatism here fought against every state redistribution ideologically as ‘left-bore’, while it forgot thoroughly, that many social classes and components of this redistribution have been motivated and implemented not by crypto-left ideologists, but – formerly – by the necessities of the so-called consumer society. From the centre of the modern economy, there is astonishingly no relevant and drastic conflict between monetary restriction and state redistribution, from its perspective, these moments do not reveal themselves as opponents, but as two hegemonic concepts, one after the other, of the economic politics. Not less astonishing is that – provoked by the present comparison of monetarism and liberalism, which is for us the most remarkable present reduction of the liberalism – Reagan or Thatcher appear today with the steady necessity of the concept usage also as liberal in front of everybody. If we continue in line with this arguing, we can also defend the opposed version. There were not only ‘monetarists’ in the concerned past time, who were not liberals, there were also excellent liberals, who objected against the monetarism, under others, Hayek's example.

It is obviously treacherous, that today the hegemonic political-economic system has ‘no name’. So it is very similar to Robert Musil's Kakanien (i.e. Austria-Hungary), which had no name and however in fact disappeared. Apart from the name, of course, this political-economic system of the world exists absolutely as a ‘unity’, it is not only so experienced, it reveals itself in its function as a unity, every day, although this unity is so far rather perceived and described as a process of the ‘globalization’. The lack of name leads however to the generally experienced conception, that the present situation is considered by wide circles as generally ‘normal’ and ‘problem-free’. There are finally in fact ‘normal’ economic situations and a ‘normal’ politics, the most normal, which can just only be, namely the liberal democracy. The monetary complex appears in these observations as entirely problem-free, without any intellectual challenge. At this stage, we do not want to analyze, of course, the monetary complex in itself. We want only to point out, that just in this perception of the monetary complex as ‘normal’, the illegitimate comparison of the monetary complex with the liberalism is also ignored. All motives and arguments in this orientation cannot be here enumerated. The most essential argument is still again and always in another form, that the monetary complex is together with to its three components of the liberal basic vision of the ‘free game of the free forces’ in a so critical distance, that the term ‘liberal’ must appear as a clear imposture. The monetary complex reduces the social room of manoeuvre of many (if it just does not destroy it), introduces in a lot of points of the economic regulation an extreme centralization, so that it cannot thereby any longer be considered as a part of the liberal field. Its conception of the state is once again not fundamental. Whilst it diminishes its social functions in every sense, it establishes a bureaucracy in the sensible money-economic fields, which practically never existed in ‘normal’ democracies. With this dismantling of the socials, we must always keep in mind the fine difference, that the dismantling due to the indebtedness is not formally carried out by the monetary complex, the essential of this act consists however in the fact that the monetary complex is willing to break numerous taboos or to encourage their elimination. The dismantling of certain social achievements can be understood, of course, also as a fiscal-monetary fact, the concerning facts are however, on the other hand, social taboos, which were at least valid since the 2000 years of the European civilization, however, partly they are taboos which functioned after 1945 as those of the new industrial society and the post-hitlerian European democracy as a new sine qua non of the western societies. After this reflection, we can see already rather differently the term ‘dismantling of the social auxiliary achievements’ and in this work of the dismantling of taboos, the exigencies to designate ‘liberalism’ cannot also any more be taken entirely seriously, because the liberalism understands the ‘free game of the free forces’ always in the basic vision in an emancipative sense.

With what has been said up to now comes together that the whole political field is radically revaluated. In this world of the monetary complex, the whole subsystem of the politician is radically depreciated, the politician is a man, who can and must certainly promise a lot before the vote, from his own force, however, has practically no chance to break the activities of the monetary complex and his highest and most complex duty is to select democratically the circle, which will be the victim of the next restrictive measures. It appears to us, that this transformation of the politicians is also not just a phenomenon, which would totally be worthy of the name of the liberalism. Another, also serious abnormality between liberal basic vision and the big monetary complex is that while in the basic vision in fact a ‘free game of free forces’ is foreseen, from which then a really alive whole appears, the ‘free’ system of the monetarism, in big tendencies, at some highly important stages of conscious and arbitrary interventions, in Carl Schmitt's sense, depends on political decisions. The difference is so enormous and relevant that its theoretical relevance is completely out of discussion. These decisive determined interventions raise further in the next future already the deepest democracy-theoretical problems, because finally we should also take into account, who and on the base of which, public and democratic legitimacy does these ‘last’ interventions and, finally it cannot be sufficient democratically-theoretically, that it is ‘confirmed’ simply by the monetary words of a perfect speaker in influential medias, that he so ‘proceeded’ and is a such ‘good specialist’ to take on this basis the pending decisions in question that have their legitimacy. On account of these facts, many honest and a little bit superficial critics of the monetarism think and say nevertheless, that the monetarism is just not ‘democratic’. We still come back again and in every context to the latent already mentioned first point – to the monetarism the ‘real socialism’, with its other name, the communism, remains again as a legitimacy, for it puts again in evidence, that the symbiosis of the political-democratic and of the monetary-restrictive liberalism can present, in relation, and in the horizon of the really existing socialism, something such as a ‘sense’. We do not find only legitimacies of ‘liberal’ type, they would however melt like snow, also in this case as in the bright of the simplest critic. We can of course live together with the fact, that the ‘liberalism’ is vague, ambiguous and insipid as numerous other political terms – however, we must with every term consider a minimum of unity and relation with the basic vision and, in this case, it is more than a terminology question. The designation ‘liberalism’ for the big monetary complex is observed now from the horizon of the really existing socialism, which simply does not exist today any more – on this basis an etiquette imposture. There is a single relation, in which the big monetary complex and the neo-liberalism have nevertheless something real to do together. However, this relation is not the one of the inherence or the substantiality, also not the one of the interdependence (as the predominant rhetoric would suggest this one or another variation). The only really existing relation is a simple coexistence which is, however, not fateful and metaphysical. Under completely certain specific historical circumstances, appeared the coexistence of the political conception of the liberal human rights founded democracy and of the closer monetary complex and under still more concrete historical circumstances, the coexistence of the political conception of the liberal human rights founded democracy and the closer monetary complex appeared as the mark of a strange liberal ideology and rhetoric. This is the true relation and it is the one of the coexistence, for this coexistence can in principle be refused by both sides. We consider the cases, in which the closer monetary complex with the conservative variants of the same democracy, but also with the conservative variants of a non-democratic political system (fascism, post-communism) can also productively exist together.

Till now, the big monetary complex has been still described very incomplete, although it represents a good and adequate perceptible subject for the economy, as well as for politics, but also still for the society. It presents itself as ‘economic politics’ of liberal colour, although it is not only either ‘liberal’ (under other also on the basis of the considerations stated up to now, we can express it already in an explicit form), but in the narrow sense of the word also or ‘economic politics’, for it has only little to do with the economy in the narrow sense. It is an ‘economic politics’ or ‘political economy’, which takes care exclusively of the financial transactions, with special attention to the ‘soft’ circumstances of the state finance affairs, with which through the double indebtedness of the state always big money flows can be transferred from the state sphere to other spheres, it is not because in these state spheres the need for these resources does not exist any more, but from the more simpler and challenging reason, that these resources become simply transferable under given circumstances. This fundamental conception of the big monetary complex assigns every actor his game area, without which he, as said, had directly a lot to do with the real economic processes. And it can also not do it, because it represents the logic of a bureaucratic and fiscal procedure, which establishes, however, then according to definition of a ‘world on the paper’ in which the real economic processes can come too shortly and in a bad case, totally easily.

For this reason, the monetary complex, in its way, is an ‘economic politics’, its economic component can also get a little free from the politicians, as its political component from the economic ones. The fact that we have here to do with a new mix of economy and politics has to be mentioned. Every monetary (economic) step is politic, every monetary (political) step is economic. The monetary complex has to do with economy and society only in borderline cases, certainly it is not indifferent to it if the society tries to withstand against it. For the monetarist, the ‘case of emergency’ according to Carl Schmitt is the single social condition which draws his attention, he does not take care even of the economic processes, they are namely ‘free’ and have only the necessary obligation to conciliate themselves with the monetary general conditions. As far as the ‘freedom’ is concerned, not only the economic processes are free, but also the social processes and actors ‘free’, what also means a lot in the monetary language, that they can do and experience what just impresses them, everything is good and legitimate. Here, exists another crucial difference to the liberal basic vision, for, nevertheless, this latter has really learned in several periods that it does not break taboos, what has not at all to be said from the monetary big complex – as we have just spoken about. The big monetary complex lives with the society in a marriage, where it can make a picture about the state of its wife only further to their anguish cries.

This is the logical consequence in case of a big complex, which can unite politics and economy so inseparably, that it develops its own language, which – despite the conception of a lot of linguistic philosophers – is not ‘only’ a language, but shortly said, a new statement of the notions with the contents that correspond to its original perspectives. So the language of the big monetary complex forgets every difference between the macro and the micro level of the processes, which consequently follows from that schoolmistresses and nurses, through their renunciation to ‘request for consumption goods’, pay the debts of armies, heavy industries or hydroelectric works. So a condition of the fiscal balance appears for the monetary language as a ‘surplus consumption’, even if in the country in question the lower limit of a western consumption level has not even been reached. In this language every subject obtains its market characteristics, whether physical, mental, imaginary or utopian. In the infinite conviction, that all market is (and must be), the big monetary complex forgets not only its previous studies about the history of the economy (possibly with Károly Polányi), but also the most current studies about the borders of the market in the present. Not the heating of a hospital will become thematic, but the teeth of the citizen (with the more economic scientific characteristics, all the better) are presented as ‘market-associated’ and ‘dependent on market’. While the individual simple citizens with ‘responsibility’ must take for them the reimbursement through their work of the national debts as expenses of their physical existence, politicians and bankers were till now never legally condemned for the planification of the indebtedness. Apparently, the law of the game casinos manages in this context the way to lose more, how more generosity is treated.

The monetarism alleges (and it has a certain reality characteristic), that it ‘reacts’ to a new social state, which can be described at least metaphorically as a ‘social disease’. However, indeed, the monetarism is itself a social disease, it has so little to do namely with real economic processes, with social taboos and with the real objectives of the liberal basic vision, that this categorisation must appear as legitimated. If also add the whole democracy-theoretical problematic to these facts, we can understand this description even better.

A fundamental tendency of a self-destructive society is an extent of state debt that makes it impossible for the economy to catch up with it even by the most favorable conjunctural conditions. Achilles cannot catch up with the turtle. The self-destructive society is therefore a society that is unable to maintain (via state institutions) the modern, highly developed post-welfare level of civilization it has once reached. And this is not simply a question of economy. If a coalmine is shut down because of inefficiency, it will not lead to social self-destruction. But if the state is forced to back out from the fields of education or healthcare at a noticeable pace, the self-destructive tendencies become clear at once. Therefore the fundamental problem of the self-destructive society is not simply of an economic kind: the fundamental problem is not equal to economic recession, as the latter one can only be followed by economic boost at more favorable circumstances.

Not only does such a period fail to improve the accumulated civilizatory or human values, but also it often cannot even ensure simple subsistence for them. The self-identity of the state, the society, and the citizen is questioned from this aspect. Therefore the state, the society, or the citizen either does not have an opportunity to improve human values, or they are even bound to use up, or even destroy these values.

The self-destructive society is the new and extensive reality of these days, and it calls for the reformulation of the fundamental notions of social life.

The adequate perception of the big monetary complex applied long – in politics as well as in the economy – a long, constant and difficult problem. This problematic of perception is so difficult, because the big monetary complex offers several faces simultaneously for the society. The destructive character of the big monetary complex appears partially always in certain steps, which are not apparently connected with each other. On the other hand, these attacks and monetary raids always appear in the immaculate ideo- logy of the neo-liberal rationality. This diversity of the social image of the big monetary complex will be even bigger if we think of the fact that the monetary bulldozer sometimes exterminates the social institutions, which are actually mature for the decline and no more rational. Some legitimate throws make of course these actions of the monetarism not generally legitimate. However, immediately, on the other hand, close to the successful rationalization acts ‘against will’, another face of the big monetary complex appears again, namely the one of the brutality almost matchless in the peaceful decades and the one against-nothing-flinches, which is to be observed easily with these attacks against the (unknown, but also personal) society. Indeed, the cruelness in these attacks goes up to fracture of the taboos and in it the interpretation so simply cannot pass. We have already shortly touched the problematic of this fracture of the taboos, from this brutality the political context is more essential at the moment. The thought is not at all to be refused, how many societies shaken by crises would have survived with their fatal diseases, if they had allowed or may allow to themselves this brutality, which the big monetary complex carries out. At this point of the problematization of the monetary fracture of the taboos from which we already have thought, they were no longer to be broken in the ‘modern’ history, the revelation raises, that the ideology and the background of this fracture of the taboos has just been the anticommunism.

It remains, of course, the question whether the attack directed against the dying real socialism has been actually legitimized, to support this attack ideologically with arguments and to befriend. It remains, above all, the paradox that the anticommunism has effectively won, when it formulated this aim only as an ideological light and accepted most astonishingly the effective end of the communism. If we persevere in this image of the brutality, another face of the monetary complex appears immediately again, namely the image of the effective relevant quality of the ability to integrate functionally modern international processes. There is no doubt, a clear lack of such integration possibilities would know how to combine the big macro-economic and other processes in a general show and in functions. A big luck of the big monetary complex is that this hegemony of functional type is not directly political, while every earlier hegemony should have been at least externally political. However, this particularity also leads back to the question of the difficult perceptibility and ability of interpretation. The functional power is not only an innovation, it can also most well solve the difficult problems of the political legitimacy.

Do we have now the functional face of the monetarism in the eyes, the picture changes itself again necessarily. There appears the picture of the ‘everyday’ monetarism. There is not namely every day a naval battle, there is not also any every day monetary attack, there is an everyday life, as there is always an every day life in front of the monetarism. The monetary raid does not occur every day, as well as we can never be sure that it will never again occur. The monetary peace does not exist absolutely, which also means, that the war is further carried out for the foreseeable time.

The big monetary complex does not define itself, thereby it complicates that it is perceived and described. It has no subject, or no subjects which bear him, what does not mean of course, that all its subjects have the same destiny. The big monetary complex goes together with the supremacy of certain values in the society, without which it might be understood as its direct consequence. It modifies all subsystems, without this fact they would interrupt themselves. The big monetary complex also presents itself as a ‘normality’ and, as such, as something that cannot be affirmed only from the liberal point of view, but as something that is borne by liberal principles. It now seems to us that it is not so.

Neoliberalism has arrived to a great change in its context. After its worldwide victory, it remained as the only regulator of globalization on the political-ideological scene, and past the acme of its exclusive hegemony, it became identical with the whole of the existing social and economic world order in common political consciousness. It is a not yet achieved high-level realization of the present world order, globalization, and rationalization (in a socio-theoretical sense) that also amplifies the tendencies that follow from ‘bidding farewell’ to the myths. If neoliberalism is an outcome of such a height of rationalization in this theoretical framework, it must not pass by the developing new forms of emancipation.


[1] As we could say a little cynically, this is possible because getting acquainted with some of the new traits of the political sphere (das Politische) is quite a big success alone, while there is practically not much hope for getting acquainted with all of the new traits altogether. And as a partial adaptation of political practice to the new relations has already taken place, a total reconstruction of the theoretical relations of globalization is not necessary to reveal these relations.

[2] Such a transformation of values into structures/functions of course raises abstract scientific–theoretical problems as well.

[3] The democratic order is expected to limit migration, but at the same time it is also expected to make it possible.

[4] On 31st March, 2004, a Bolivian miner blew up himself in front of the Bolivian parliament. The direct cause of his action was that he got no pension, and his argumentation was flawless. He demanded a sum he had gradually paid as taxes for the state of Bolivia during his working decades, and he did it not without any rightful ground.