Ref. :  000030250
Date :  2008-09-02
Language :  English
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Globalization and the pitfall of cataclysms

Author :  Endre Kiss


The theory of globalization 1
On the society–and history–shaping spatial and temporal structure of globalization
The theory of globalization 2
The theory of globalization 3
The self-destructive dimension
The double function of the post-socialistic structure
Globalization and politics as subsystem 1
Globalization and politics as subsystem 2
Globalization and modernization
Liberalism and monetarism
Globalization and its actors

The theory of globalization 1

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 can’t 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’s what we follow in our present work –, which doesn’t 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 grades of the process of globalization have always manifested throughout the history of the 20th Century as radical and irrevocable transformations in history and society. This experience has come up at each leap of modernization towards “globality”; yet a theory of the history of globalization shall be elaborated, which depicts it as a gradual process. First, the grades of globalization before the 20th Century should be taken by their proper value, as for example the telegraph already fulfilled the opportunity of global action and communication, and had immeasurable effects on international politics and finance even before the 20th Century. The correctly interpreted history of globalization is of extraordinary importance for every scientific and other kind of research, because it might distract scientific and everyday consciousness from the intellectual forced course according to which every generation, every decade, every world-political turn, or significant step in civilization is the victory of globalization (!) over a “not-yet-globalized” preceding state.

The above thoughts nevertheless don’t contradict our definite starting thesis that says the world-historical turn of 1989 is an outstanding stage in the evolving of globalization indeed. 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 specifically real-socialistic bureaucratism of Existing Socialism, especially of the Soviet Union, most obviously didn’t fit the requirements of globalization concerning the arrangement of natural everyday processes. This gradually led to various kinds of tension and pressure.

When analyzing the great leap of globalization in 1989, we must remember that globalization and Existing Socialism have influenced one another mutually right from the beginning. For it wasn’t only that the dynamic forces of globalization shattered the Iron Curtain more and more violently, but there was an opposite tendency as well, as members of the elite of Existing Socialism became more and more anxious about the more and more triumphant achievements of globalization and they felt that they would irrevocably fall behind if they hadn’t join in these processes.

The image of globalization mainly appears both for the everyday consciousness and the intelligentsia as a new system of power and domination, as a peculiar and yet undiscovered new kind of “centralization” alike the old centers of power, yet different in its operation. This fundamental vision is right and appropriate in several aspects, and it is also not a coincidence that the ones who took the first signs of globalization with the least enthusiasm were the ones who possessed some kind of concrete and real power (which of course was not considered “global”). Yet the real model of globalization is fundamentally different than these visions. From the point of the philosophy of society, globalization is not a new, rigid, and utopian structure of (global) power most of all, but its main point is the fact that the economical, political, cultural, and social processes can only take place within the framework of globality. But the primary consequence of this is not an abstract and unintelligible new system of power and dependence, but a new world with a new kind of functioning, a world that is not simply “multi-polar”, but straight infinitely polarized.
Globalization is the new latitude for all of the actors. The new logistics for the actions possible within its framework are realized in structures of micro- medium- and macro-levels. Existing and real globalization creates new social states of affairs in every aspect. The access to the ocean of globalization is at stake in the fight between subject and subject, subject and group, group and group, or smaller and larger groups. The structuring power of globalization penetrates all strata of social life.

The great leap of globalization that started in 1989 realized 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. Nevertheless, globalization can intermingle with several other extended social or world-economical tendencies without losing its authentic and legitimate character. Had the Hungarian society or political elite recognized this concrete realization of globalization in 1989, they surely wouldn’t have chosen the ways of transformation they had, which are already becoming part of our past nowadays.

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 homogenic manner.

Globalization is therefore not a new, yet unknown center of power, nor 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 total accessibility, in principle. 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 of whether really new resources on the side of globalization will evolve, 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 lack 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 to increase 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.

The whole of globalization i.e. its essential and specific appearance in its particular functional (sub)systems is a process impossible to follow for everyday consciousness. These are specific intellectual problems of understanding the real globalization and its real functional (sub)systems, which are per definitionem inaccessible for everyday consciousness.

The representation of the reality of globalization is firstly an immensely huge “extensive” task for social actors, but secondly, it is also a new, “qualitative” task of representing the new functional and abstract qualities of globalization in the per definitionem non-functional and non-abstract dimensions of everyday consciousness.

Globalization as a whole, as a new “world order”, or a system of new structural relations cannot appear in the global flow of information the same way particular global problems (e.g. the drug issue) do. The interpretation and understanding of the globalizing world depends right on the capacity to handle these codes. Decoding these new codes is difficult for everyone (although the objects and dimensions of these difficulties are quite variable), i.e. not only for everyday consciousness in the traditional sense, but for the scientific and the artistic forms of consciousness as well.

The problem of decoding the new codes also divides society by the capacity of “decoding”. For “decoding” can be interpreted as evolving a capacity to “access” the processes of globalization to some extent, i.e. a capacity to use the opportunities information systems offer. But there is also another interpretation of “decoding”, which is worlds apart from the former capacity, and that is the capacity of understanding independently the processes of globalization represented in the information systems, i.e. the capacity to “read” them independently. At this point, the situation of information systems is exactly like that of modern art at the time when modern functional systems appeared. Bertolt Brecht expressed this phenomenon by the example that a photo of the building of AEG says nothing about the various functional processes that take place inside the building.

On the society–and history–shaping spatial and temporal structure of globalization

Globalization is the most extended framework of the interpretation of the present. It is a high-level theoretical generalization, and at the same time also an empirical reality anyone can experience.

The qualification of the action of each actor can be made on the basis of a preliminary consideration of concepts of space and time. Re-thinking the problem of historical space and time this way might be an objective measure of progressivity.

This new, threefold aspect also possesses a coercive discursive-logical force. For in the evolutionist systems theory, the total absence of coercive power and coherence in each particular connection and statement was really relevant. The General Evolution Theory has become a popular philosophical theory, but –lacking coercive power – it acquired a strange tautological character as well. “Reality”, “future”, and “progress” do not lie in the intellectually risky cognition of new and unknown facts, but simply in tautologically forcing the evolutionary systems theory upon certain facts or phenomena.

Many traits of the phenomenon of globalization, but most of all its actorial structure are the reason why this extremely coercive and coherent theory and logic have to face the significant contingency of future processes, the strongly limited opportunities of real foresight, and the extraordinary measures of some relevant particular actors’ degrees of freedom.

This contradiction might be decisive in evolving the paradigms of future research. We have to understand an extremely relevant and totally self-evident paradox. On one hand, we have started a violent fight against decisive methodological schools, mainly for the reasons that their inclinations are tautological, they do not describe their scientific objects as results of complex and sophisticated analysis, but treat their cognitive schemes more or less as ontological constants, so no wonder if they find these preliminarily ontologically defined schemes in their research fields. On the other hand we arrive at a strict, coherent, and coercive methodology we consider optimal, but at the same time we call attention to its limits, already while explaining it. But the reason of this paradox lies in the new character of holistic relations evolved by globalization itself. It was not evoked by methodological confusion, but on the contrary, by methodological insight. The eternal question of the reference of the method and its object appears here. There are objects of cognition, which allow only limited results even for the most perfect method.

Therefore our argumentation shall find limited, open, and “non-linear” answers on the basis of the right methodology. These answers are in fact equivalent with the transition of “hard” processes of control and communication into “soft” style processes.

The present is: a mixture of the space-time-relations of (global) structures, and the space-time-relations of actors. Whatever abstract – and for the empirical research of society, even esoterical – this approach might seem for the first sight, it nevertheless becomes one of the most decisive characteristics of the present. The fact that the spaces of the present acquire the temporal factor is not new. Moreover, today’s discussion is right to inquire into issues of the global regression and devaluation of space.

This object (i.e. the society of globalization in its theoretical and abstract form) does not fit into the heuristical space of the traditional theories of democracy or bureaucracy, or even traditional social issues any more, correctly to this shift in the structure of space-time. Because for example, neither the principle nor the representations of the liberal and democratic political structure does suffer any harm by the fact that both the urging power of the creation of simultaneities and the possibility of unlimited spatial relocation lead to a devaluation of all spatial factors, or a higher value of all factors that possess the power of creating total simultaneity or perpetual spatial movement that also converges to simultaneity. Globalization is the final, dynamic form of the (social) temporalization of (social) space.

Neither the traditional nor the new problem of historical-social space-time can be solved by the analogy of sciences. And beside the traditional concepts of space and time, new concepts appear as well, which are becoming more and more decisive from the aspects of globalization.

Social-historical time is a specifically social i.e. non-natural constitution and construction. Social time is being generated by social life, and not the scientific concepts of time.

Social time is generated by the following socio-ontologically general all-encompassing measures:

a) physical reproduction
b) temporal components of natural rationalization
c) temporal components of political power and administration.

Two models have been evolved in the tradition to interpret the specifically historical (social) time (space-time). The circular model means, time does not conquer social space (both in the narrow and the broader sense). Although circularity entails the moment of temporality, it perpetually falls back to the starting conditions and thus restores them.

Globalization fits neither into the circular, nor the linear model of time. It is a totally new quality of space-time.
A totally new situation, a new social space-time.

This time we have no intention of making a positive judgment (With an ontological demand) on the character of reality. Our intention was only to point out the mere existence of the tension that might hold between the “sharpness” of the complete theory and the “opaqueness” of possible answers in principle. We would prefer to describe this new kind of reality as one of an “uncertain” character (after Heisenberg), but we accept the attributes like “chaotic”, “non-linear”, or even “soft” as well.

Our concrete accomplishments will not be directly determined by these theoretical considerations, as the functional systems of globalization, their dynamic structures and space-time-relations, and most of all, the measure of the latitude of the “actors” gives a sufficient positive explanation in the positive and objectively grounded definitions of this character of “uncertainty”.

The theory of globalization 2

The extensive and fundamental approach of globalization seems to triumph in the theory and research of society. There are new types of mentalities developing in the global structure of society. Different cultural strata get constantly rearranged in antagonistic pairs like high and low, European and American(-like), or digitalised and non-digitalised. 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 invests into individuals reduce both in quality and quantity.

In social sciences, the scientific method they use is always of highest importance. The laws discovered by social sciences mostly prevail only within the closed, protective, but also hindering system of science and scientific methods. In our present inquiry we attempt to examine phenomena of politics with the seemingly abstract means of the philosophy of society.

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-making for any of them.

The extensive social-theoretical and philosophical approach of this issue leads further to the sphere of more empirical problems of the philosophy of history and the theory of society. Globalization is also a fundamental problem of the post-socialistic regime change, and thus one of the most important tasks and challenges of Hungarian society as well. An approach of post-communistic democratization, which starts out from the aspect of globalization, might offer new perspectives of the theory of democracy, compared to the widespread points of view in the science of politics.

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. There are new types of mentalities developing in the global structure of society. Different cultural strata get constantly rearranged in antagonistic pairs like high and low, European and American(-like), or digitalised and non-digitalised. 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 invests 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 theoretical interpretation of globalization shall by no means be built up as a reconstruction of the globalization of one concrete problem (like ecology or arms industry), but it should start out from the whole, i.e. a thorough examination of structural and functional relations originally interpreted as holistic.

The fall of Existing Socialism put the neoliberal complex of politics and economy in a hegemonous 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 Way appears as the unequal relation between neoliberalism and social democracy.

Whether intended or not, the research of globalization extends into the dimensions of the philosophy of history. It slits world history into two parts: the description and comparison of these two great eras resurrect the great constitutional procedures of the classical philosophy of history.

Globalization becomes 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 didn’t 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. As postmodernism was born on the ruins of neo-Marxism and structuralism, it took over the achievements of these philosophical streams which had been relativizing and deconstructing normal sciences, but at the same time it also dismissed their positive aspirations for reconstruction. Therefore, postmodernism is the use of the discourse of cognition without an intention of cognition.

But postmodernism is not the only hegemonous stream (now in a narrower, also philosophical sense) nowadays. By the fall of neomarxism, the neoliberal-neopositivistic philosophical methodology that was following the Vienna Circle, got into a strategically decisive position in politics as well as in economy and philosophical methodology. 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 reductionistic 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.

There is a simple but so far neglected, however quite decisive fact, namely that the launch of the processes of globalization and the post-communist regime change took place practically at the same time… In our opinion this is not a coincidence, but there is a manifold relation behind this simultaneity. The connection between globalization and the fall of communism is obvious, but the analysis of the multitude of its components still awaits future researches.

In respect of neoliberalism – which is of an outstanding importance in connection of globalization and post-communism – it is a decisive theoretical fact that monetarism and liberalism are not identical phenomena, as the former is able to function even under totalitarian regimes. Would the communist dictatorship have been incompatible with the monetarism that ruled the world? After the resolute start of Pinochet, some weak attempts by Jaruzelski, Grósz and Gorbacsov really make us believe this. Liberalism and monetarism are not necessarily joined together. Their closeness that made them seem identical, was made possible by a particular historical situation: the decline and fall of communism. This was the fact that made monetarist theoreticians mix up the social care of Western welfare societies with the “real Existing Socialism” of Eastern societies, and they found the opportunity of a simultaneous criticism of both systems in liberalism. In this exceptional situation, in which human and civil rights were conspicuously violated in the states of real Existing Socialism, the two – otherwise quite incompatible – aspects of liberalism i.e. economic and civil rights liberalism could be brought together.

The theory of globalization 3

The socio-theoretical concept of globalization does not mean a new, rigid structure of (world) power, but a new framework and environment of social action, in which economy, politics, culture, and all other actors of society are shaping their relations in a new and unprecedented, originally global context.

To show all the political factors and value components globalization evolved from over the totality of political and social reality, an extraordinarily thorough and extensive analysis of the total world history after 1945. This is in fact the problem of the unification of the divided world after 1945, as an actual and real division of the world would evidently automatically exclude any meaningful use of the term “globalization”.

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 “deprivation of mystique” (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 history-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 demolitionii. 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 have occurred in history so far.

While globalization – for functional and structural reasons – pushes the less versatile and overloaded state backwards and makes the spiral of social capital move downwards, it provides real space for action to the new historical actors down to the level of the individual. In the circumstances of globalization, the latitude and freedom of the action of actors can be extreme.

It’s not easy to build the actorial side into the theory of globalization. First, because it’s extremely trivial; it is often difficult even to make it accepted that the free action of singular actions could be a legitimate part of scientific research. Second, because the importance of the actorial side is a less theoretical element, no matter how “incredible” it is. Third, because the actorial side in its arbitrariness does not always reveal the dynamic structures and functions behind it, therefore stressing it might even seem a misinterpretation. The actorial side underlines the specific “uncertainty” (in a Heisenbergian sense) of the theories of globalization (and the future), while the functional systems of globalization, their dynamic structures and space-time relations, and most of all, the extent of the latitude of the actors might provide sufficient objective explanation for a positive and objectively founded description of this “uncertainty” character.

The micro-strata of globalization are scarcely different from the usual micro-circumstances, therefore they cannot be apprehended. The macro-strata cannot be apprehended by society either, because – in accordance with the key concepts that have already become universal – they are virtual, abstract, functional, holistic, and global. The sphere of decisive confrontations is therefore the medium-sphere, which evokes the false appearance as if globalization were no more than a row of collisions.

While globalization provides enormous latitude for the action of the actors, there are hardly any global actors for the representation of individuals organized in social formations. The problem of missing actors is completed with the problem of missing groups of competence. The task of global competence does not possess any actors, and the global actor does not possess competence. Neither traditional forecast, nor traditional consensus-making, nor traditional bureaucracy (administration), nor any traditional “institutions” are appropriate or able to develop competence legitimately. This increases the possibility that global decisions might be the most irrational.

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 neoliberal 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. Neoliberal 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.

The exceptionally great importance of the difference-moment is made up by the fact that in our age, a divided world has been replaced by a unipolar one. While in the divided world, difference was founded by hidden identity, the concrete contents of the neoliberal equality of human rights are ensured by irreconcilable differences. The power of difference is the final character of difference, and its absolute measure. The power of difference over identity establishes rigid and static states of affairs. If the measure of difference exceeds a certain extent, the dimensions of mediation (communication) are eliminated, therefore the two poles of the difference-relation cannot get into interaction with each other. The total freedom of every actor and a system of rigid oppositions inapt for communication – this duality is the most important one of the problems that binds the present to the future.

The bias of self-destruction

The end of the Soviet World Regime, Gorbachev’s of the Soviet Union as a superpower and the end of its magnificent ideology, became not only a decisive, but also an irrevocable fact of today’s universal history. As ultima ratio, it might appear in a different color in each different interpretation of historical eras. However, its self-evident final world-historical value could hardly be traced back to any other process. Although this concrete fact of the end of history has not yet lost its universal quality, it seems like this macroscopic, Gorbachevian “end of history” itself is a part of a higher, and also universal transformation process. With the end of the divided world, which took place in the blink of an eye, disappeared all ideological bias. At the same time, a new vision emerged: the vision of a self-destructive society.

The Gorbachevian “end of history” blasted the “moment of truth” in the society of Existing Socialism. But it is also a cosmic and colossally ironic gesture, a cunning of reason (List der Vernunft) that this moment of truth has become reality for Western societies as well. As the Great Enemy bade farewell, the self-image of Western society was also removed from its overall determining framework of bipolarity, which had provided the Western part of the world with a position of comfortable and unchallenged superiority before.

The nearest past of the society was based on good intention, or at least trust in the future – elements welfare society had promoted to the status of an overall political program, a so-called “official humanism”. We do not mean, of course, to make the welfare society of the 60’s and 70’s responsible for a society that became more and more self-destructive in the 80’s and 90’s. Yet one followed right after the other.

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 pass the turtle. The self-destructive society is therefore a society that is unable to maintain (via its own legitimated state institutions) the highly developed post-welfare level of civilization. It is originally a question of budget and economy, still it is not simply a question of economy. If a coal mine is shut down because of inefficiency, it won’t lead automatically to social self-destruction. But if the state is forced to withdraw from the fields of education or healthcare, of which it used to be the only supporter, the self-destructive tendencies become clear at once.
A bankruptcy in economics is not necessarily self-destructive, while a bankruptcy of institutions that used to be supported by the state, is necessarily self-destructive.
Therefore the fundamental problem of the self-destructive society is not simply an economic one. The state debt is not equal with economic recession. The latter one can namely only be followed by economic boost.

The self-identity of the state, the society, and the citizen is seriously questioned from this aspect. Therefore the state, the society, or the citizen either doesn’t have an opportunity to improve all-human values, or they are even bound to use up, or even directly destroy these values.

The self-destructive society is the new and extensive reality. It reminds of the general reformulation of the fundamental notions of social life. The “West”, the developed part of the world should be considered the winner of Gorbachev’s farewell and it drew profit from the global transformation of world economy. On the other hand, even this “West” had to struggle against the consequences of self-destructive society, also because of the growing importance of the debt challenge. At the same historical time,
the former “second” world did not get the financial support it needed to establish its new political democracy and new competitive market economy. In the same period, the old or new “third” world reached the bottom at mass migration and poverty.

In this “post-historical” history, a new question arised: can the politically hegemonous liberalism break away from the downward-circling spiral of self-destructive society?

The double function of the post-socialistic regime

The states and societies of the former real socialist part of the world had to solve several, not only different, but fundamentally antagonistic problems. First, they had to evolve a real and reliable democratic political system, with all known problems of this “project”.. Second, these states and societies had to take successful and effective measures to reduce or even gradually bridge the critically deepening economic and civilizatory gaps between the West and the East, by shaping their own competitive economy.

The two simultaneous great missions of the post-socialist part of the world are: (1) building up a democracy that works, and (2) if not straight solving or using problems of state debt in order to change the economic structure.

These two, in the major aspects antagonistic tasks have been calling for an international and conscious solution right from the start. The all-time western partners have clearly stated that they did not want to think in terms of such a solution. In the post-socialistic societies however, these two huge projects (building up a democracy that works, and handling the problem of state debt) remind of the necessity of such an international and conscious solution time after time.

The two most important projects are in some pragmatic view necessarily antagonistic. This antagonistic relation fundamentally re-shapes and reevaluates even the basic functions of post-socialistic democracy… Such a democracy cannot realize the ideal type of the democratic system. It cannot fulfill itself; it cannot be a self-justifying and self-supporting basic fact in the reproduction of a more just and legitimate society. So it becomes the most important function of the post-socialistic democracy to bail out the economic heritage of Existing Socialism, and even this not in a larger, but exactly in a narrower scope of alternatives. It becomes the real function of post-socialistic democracy in the circumstances given, to manage the whole debt problem of former Existing Socialism.

Its fundamental function to bail out state debts puts post-socialistic democracy more or less directly into the nightmare of a classic Weimar type. If we put it this way, post-socialistic democracy loses its privileged and singularly fortunate character of a general liberation and unveils its extraordinary character. It is so because the main motives of post-socialistic democracy were namely exceeding totalitarianism and the occasion of reaching an optimum of historical dimension. But right after this democracy was born to success, it could get into a Weimar type crisis; a row of political crises caused by the bailout, or – on the contrary – huge civilizatory shocks following successful bailouts.

The double function of post-socialistic democracy (shaping a classic type democracy plus managing state debt) also appears definitely in the specific raising of the mechanisms of political decision-making. While in a democratic political system that consciously accomplishes its historical missions, the whole chain of decision-making reaches into the web of society in multiple ways. Therefore it is also “building up from below”, and it gains its unappealable legitimization from formal or informal agreements of its elected representatives. But in a democracy that has to bail out debts, obviously the whole technique of decision-making should change. It is because financial decision-making strongly limits the latitude of the decision-making of elected representatives. If the budgets of local governments, governments of social insurance, and other autonomous organizations and associations of civil society get empty, it results in serious democracy-theoretical deficits.

Similar shifts in emphases can be shown in the shaping of social structure as well. The greatest central mission of democracy is the shaping of the more or less optimal social side of an existing democratic structure. However, the fact that the present structure of a post-socialistic society is not influenced and shaped by the new impulses of existing democracy but monetarist restriction, must have the binding power of evidence for everyone.

The two simultaneous and in many aspects antagonistic functions of post-socialistic democracy clash particularly sharply in the term legitimacy. Post-socialistic democracy – as every post-totalitarian democracy – is one of the most legitimate political structures right from the beginning. But this most stable legitimacy suffers damages each day because this same (“the most legitimate”) structure cannot provide a minimum level of vital conditions and chances for its citizens in any era. This alone won’t critically weaken the otherwise exceptional legitimacy of post-socialistic democracy. But it would be foolish to think that the actual monetarism that follows from the bailout function of democracy would not have any influence on the legitimacy of the same democracy. In this pressing tension, namely two concepts of legitimacy outline and turn against one another, i.e. the (flawless) classical political-theoretical concept of legitimacy and the (fallible) practical problem-solving legitimacy, which considers the ability to overcome practical problems the basis of a pragmatic legitimacy.

Globalization and politics as a subsystem 1

Every research of the post-socialistic transition is starting out from totally new and unprecedented universal characteristics of globalization, virtuality, and post-industrialism. On the other side, contrary to the still unmapped significance and magnitude of these unprecedented new traits stands the concrete appearance of global everyday life. This unbelievable distance of a holistic and theoretical approach, and the microscopic and particular everyday practice creates a specific space of theory and practice.

In this framework, it would be necessary to analyze also the actual relationship of globalization and politics. This would follow from the fact that in a strict sense, the politics of the present is not the same as it was 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 new places in the world of globalization (and the new world economy). Therefore a closer investigation of the sphere of politics (das Politische) slowly becomes possible even without enumerating a theoretical totality of the new world-historical coordinates.

The double face of democracy becomes a fundamental issue of globalization. On one side, this is a commonly functional and structural moment. It is 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, on the other side, its functional and structural foundation shall not make us forget the immanent and original value components of liberal democracy (like all kinds of human freedom, etc.), which used to ensure exceptionally strong legitimacy for the political system even before the functional and structural dimensions were developed completely.

The fundamentally democratic character of the political face of globalization was expanded by a row of yet unclarified new functions. Democratic values left the realm of founding values and became pragmatic and constructive components of concrete structures and functions.

Political contents overlap with each other. The pragmatic dimensions eliminate the distinction between “left” and “right”. A great number of social and socio-cultural transitions appear. Each of these factors is quite weighty and serious even on its own, so they make the common use of the old categories critically difficult. The historical shutdown of Existing Socialism also accomplishes its own revaluation of values. In spite of all this, it is no more impossible to define the greatest political initiatives. Giving up the intention of defining the new great initiatives would be dangerous both intellectually and ethically. It refers not only to the “left”-“right” distinction, but also to that of liberalism and conservatism, and other important conceptual definitions, even the issue of the “nation” as well.

The whole liberal democracy stands before new, often unrecognized challenges. First, they are the functional and structural foundations of globalization, and second, the challenges of concrete global relations unknown before. For example, the democratic order is expected to limit migration, but at the same time it is also expected to make it possible and human.

If we define liberal democracy by its aspect that the party that wins the elections controls the operation of state administration and redistribution for a cycle, we can clearly realize a new trend of modern democracies. Possessing the totality of state power means power of a smaller extent and a narrower scope of action than before globalization. The dimension of political power (in the relative extent of power) is smaller, yet the role it plays in answering global challenges is more important than before. A state in the hands of the ruling political party can no more possess instruments of production, neither does it produce. It redistributes the taxes of other producers, and it tries to fulfill its tasks that no other player was willing to undertake, because they cannot be undertaken by private players. But contrary to the weakening power and competence of the state stand the (both absolutely and relatively) renewing demands and pretensions of insatiable individuals and groups.

Globalization and politics as a subsystem 2

The present model of the world should be considered the mature form of globalization. Its decisive trait (beside several other important definitions) is the phenomenon of state debt; this phenomenon fundamentally defines the economic and political framework of globalization for the societies and for human life. This model 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.

One of the great challenges of the future is made up by problems of the state. The starting point is the relationship between globalization and the nation-state; 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, it undertook civilizatory and social tasks at an extreme measure totally unknown before, which tasks can only be lifted from the bonds 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 fortunate (nation) states, which could use the achievements of globalization and even integration to realize their original ends and pretensions as nation states, or even their long forgotten aspirations to expand as nation states. These nation states are already the winners of the expansion of the European Union in multiple aspects, which 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. (1)

The problem of the duality of the political sphere (das Politische) and economy shows also the new quality of globalization. It is a question of theory of systems. If we examined the phenomena solely from the one (the political) or the other (the economical) viewpoint, we would not come to any special conclusion. In this case we would make the new complexes of present phenomena – shaped by globalization – the subject of a past, pre-globalization kind of reconstruction, and instead of using the language the new complexes would require, both one-sided approaches (the economical or the political discourse) would use the language of (exceeded) normality.

If we used the traditional political terminology as medium of the inquiry of globalization, we would not just get to an average image of normality, but straight to one of idyllic normality. It emanates the vision of the victory of liberal values, and the worldwide spreading triumph of the democratic order. But if we used the traditional economic terminology, the image of the globalizing world might no more seem so idyllic. All details, relations, and dimensions of the economic and political qualities of globalization can be described by the language of normality – except for the fact of globalization itself.

On the level of macro-theories, the mature form of present globalization is called monetarism. We have already justified the use of this term earlier. We are well aware of other meanings of this term, as well as of the factor of arbitrariness when labeling an already complex form of something that had possessed no name before. The fruitful component of using the term “monetarism” is that it does not only refer to the outstanding importance of global cash flow in general, but it also refers to the gigantic amount of money in this flow, and, indirectly, to the eminent importance of global stock markets, and by this, also to the decisive new problem of state debt.

The specific problem by the reconstruction on the micro-level of globalization is the fact that while anyone can sense and understand this micro-level directly, one can only acquire models and patterns that make the well-known micro-level recognizable as the micro-level of globalization after a macro- and medium-level reconstruction. There is a set of phenomena, which could be characterized as the micro-sphere of globalization, but its specific micro-sphere can be identified as part of globalization just after a whole interpretation of the macro- and medium levels of globalization.

It is the medium sphere that occupies a privileged position in the theoretical reconstruction of globalization. The medium sphere does not simply show a new side of the phenomenon of globalization, but it shows its most relevant new side, because globalization appears in this environment as the decisive determining factor of the whole social life. On this level do the new functional systems of globalization broadly confront with social life. It is the virtual, but also physical area, of which system-theoretical functioning penetrates historical frameworks of non-functional nature, like values, contracts, or tradition. As defined earlier, globalization is a state of exceeding a critical mass of functionally operating systems. Now we can understand, why the most dramatic confrontation takes place in the medium sphere, for here does the functional sphere overlap with the non-functional sphere.

The present form of globalization is a coherent system called monetarism, of which macro-level definition’s most important conditions we have already stated. Of course, the coherence of the medium-level doesn’t mean a coherence of scientific laws. This coherence is a product of an ever-changing interpenetration and confrontation of huge functional systems and non-functional social and human activities. That’s why this system can change, and its qualities and relations can never be unchangeable necessities.

In the philosophical tradition, the semantic of all decisive terms of political philosophy and political practice was shaped when the political subsystem – in the pre-globalization era self-evidently – was far identical with all social theories in general.
In globalization qualified by functional operation and no more by (non-functional, therefore system-theoretically different) politics, the political subsystem is no more identical with social theory in general
. What about the theory of Social Contract or the original Human Rights in a situation when the unconditioned respect towards them although remains, but at the same time, in the real conditions of global monetarism,
these rights are obviously violated, while nobody can be made responsible for it either morally or politically!

Because of this new systemic difference happens the relative devaluation of the political subsystem towards all functional systems (mainly the economic one).
On the medium-level of globalization, the relative devaluation of the political subsystem leads to the revealing of so far hidden genealogical dimensions. Who on Earth knew that Marxism, that started to decline critically after the 70’ – 80’s, was still carrying a considerable measure of civilizatory-utopistic potential? Who on Earth knew that it was the framework of the nation state that secretly carried the functions of the welfare state? Who knew that it did it in such a self-evident way that as soon as the nation states shattered financially, the whole future of the institutional framework of social politics shattered? Thus the relative devaluation of the political subsystem has already shown that the collapse of the political sphere also means the devaluation of “society” in connection of shaping the most important relations. Moreover, there are some signs that indicate that the collapse of the political sphere might even lead to the devaluation of mankind.

The decline of the system of politics – despite naïve expectations – will not liberate society from the conventional organization power and repression of the state. This is because it is right another decisive consequence of globalization-monetarism that the economy, like several other subsystems, can escape from the legal interventions of the state critically impoverished by the omnipresent networks of common debts. On one side, the impoverished state will no more be able to control the function of the subsystems within its territory. On the other side, paradoxically, it must use all of its energies to control the functions of which existence and reproduction it can no more influence.

Globalization and modernization

The fundamental rise of modern rationality cannot be reconstructed without a historical analysis of emancipation. Of course, this does not only modify the interpretation of the shaping of rationality, but the interpretation of the whole strategy and direction of the historical process as well. Rationality, ”disenchantment” (Entzauberung), “the dialectic of enlightenment” must appear in a new context.
Thus the phenomenon and the issue of emancipation must appear in the historical and philosophical discourse of the “farewell to the myths” as well. This refers to liberalism as a political concept on a theoretical level and the concretization and manifestation of modern rationality. Modern liberalism is the political face of modern rationality. The indifference towards various issues of emancipation was the great failure of liberal politics. As an integrating political concept, it should have integrated the immanent and necessary moments of emancipation in its modern rationality. Instead of having done that, the present neoliberalism obviously even protests against issues of emancipation with its indifference and ignorance. The real stake of this phenomenon is the relation we already mentioned. According to our thesis, the serious and legitimated criticism (and partly even suspicion) of rationalism mostly rises because emancipation – that should have been necessarily integrated into rationalization – does not take place. The lack of emancipation might thrust the whole process of rationalization into critical dangers.

The collision of the social-democratic evolving of the welfare society, its neoliberal demolition, and their common dynamics fundamentally determined also the historical era that followed. 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. State debt, as a decisive moment is first the negative heritage of the welfare state. This is also the moment by which strategic instrumentalization the monetaristic world order accomplished its own decisive breakthrough.

The global world represents the basic dimensions of the problem of universal values. Its political and social triumph is due to the worldwide victory of neoliberalism that is based on human rights, and of which values it had made universal in a most evident and seemingly natural manner. The functioning new world order embodies universal real dimensions, and it does it in the trivial existentially bounded (seinsverbunden) manner of facticity.

The classically new basic situation, i.e. the “universality of particularities”, the process of every individual and group becoming a global actor, is in a sharply antagonistic position to the rule of universal values. But before judging the universal and at the same time particular universalism on grounds of justice or inequality, we must point out that in the all-round process of the transformation is a great number of components of emancipation and equality in competition. Without a doubt, it is a grave new contradiction of today’s globalization that this omnipresence of particular universalism makes the global pretension of particular interests a horribly close danger. This fundamental contradiction is also paradoxical: in a global world that is being constituted by a type of universal values that embody universal operation, every particular individual might evidently become an actor. But such dialectic of a transformation to independent and monadic actors might become self-destructive.

In our foresight, everyday globalization cannot compensate that danger even by its evidently twofold universal characteristic (like human rights neoliberalism and functional universalism). It is because globalization is only capable of regulating the rules of vindicating particular interests to a limited extent. There might start a new historical era of “warre, as is of every man, against every man”.

Liberalism and monetarism

In the ‘70s and the ‘80s re-shaped liberal ideas did not appear in their full new splendor after a new historical cataclysm. They came at the decline of a worldwide social order that had been defined by special political and ideological characteristics. The similar way did the rise of ancient Christianity accompany the decay of the late Roman Empire. This unique historical and structural position of liberalism was the real antecedent of the most important characteristics of the post-1989 liberalism, and also the reason of the fact that such a seemingly absolutely problem-freel symbiosis of “liberalism” and “monetarism” could evolve. Existing Socialism was in defense, and it could not find its proper place among the coordinates of a new, globalizing reality. It was the Real Socialism that shaped the whole political, social, and also the hermeneutical horizon, ahead of which classical, human rights-based liberalism and monetarist restriction could and did appear as two essentially connected consequences of one and the same theory. It was namely the “order” of Existing Socialism itself, in which the “neoliberalism” of the critique of etatistic redistribution did not differ from the human rights idealism of classical liberalism!

Before the horizon of Existing Socialism, the really “liberal” description of modern market economy seemed to be fully isomorphic with its “monetarist” description, which new isomorphia accepted an existing political and economic state (i.e. monetarist restriction) of the continually existing Western capitalism (apprehended from the embedded anti-totalitarian perspective) as “liberalism”. On such a hermeneutical basis, the actual politics of monetarist economy was called “liberalism” as an opposite of both Existing Socialism and the Western-type redistribution... Now the big question is how the form of market-economy would have been called that should have been initiated in the post-communist state of the ‘60s! Probably it would also have been called “liberalism”, even though it was about distribution.

Therefore that statement “liberalism=monetarism” is not only wrong use of terminology, but it is extremely harmful and misleading as well. The economic policy of monetarist restriction was introduced first in England, then in the United States, actually by conservative politicians and parties, as a response to the Keynesian policy that was considered in another sense too “liberal” that time. Therefore “monetarist restriction vs. social-democratic type redistribution” is only a political conflict. Concerning the real field of economics, it is not so. To consider Maggie Thatcher or Ronald Reagan “liberal” from any real aspect of liberalism would be quite an absurd assumption indeed. By this, again, we arrive to the fact that the complex of monetarist restriction is essentially incompatible with any basic vision of liberalism.

Next we have to define, in what sense we use the term “monetarism”. “Monetarism” is firstly a well-known concept of economic theory, which has not only appeared in several eras of history, but it even managed to find its proper place not only in the framework of neoliberal, but of other economic concepts as well. This problem can be proceeded in several further directions, and now we would mention the “pope” of the economic neoliberalism of the ‘70s von Hayek could also raise strong objections against the narrow economic approach of monetarism!

In global context, by monetarism we mean the uniform fundamental complex of today’s political and fiscal order. It entails the international order of both inwards and outwards indebted states, in which the policy of monetarist restriction prevails both internationally and in the framework of the nation state. This is the complex we shall call “monetarism” in the following, independent from the strongly different various views whether the state of indebtedness is only temporary or not. In international political and economic terminology, there is no special term for this extensive ruling global economic system. The lack of the proper term speaks for itself. It is an evidence for the fact that even other important actors consider today’s world economy and the system of world politics bound to it “normal”... While it cuts back social functions of the state (including several functions that had been taboo before), it strengthens the state’s debt-managing forced functions (what is totally anti-liberal), radically redefines politics that had been an intact and most important sphere of society for the fundamental vision of liberalism before.

Monetarism makes – in a functional and system-theoretical sense – a theater out of the central political environment that should have been the central subsystem from the aspect of political liberalism. It thrusts the whole system of politics on a course of a programmed failure. The other reason why monetarism is not liberalism is that at certain points of the financial system, it makes regulating and conscious (etatistic) intervention possible even into the seemingly most spontaneous processes. It is not only against its own ideology, but it even contradicts its own deeper definition as a system of a free play of free forces.

Within the framework of Existing Socialism, the indebtedness of the state meant necessarily increasing freedom – but it is no wonder that so many things were considered progressive in the captivity of Existing Socialism. That’s why the economists and politicians representing the policy of indebtedness could win the support of the politically active part of society. It belongs to the negative antecedents that Hungarian financial policy could use every political situation in this one and a half decades as an opportunity to earn more credits. Hungarian financial policy could manage to take new credits in whatever world political or world economical context, ideological course, or case of emergency. Meanwhile, the Hungarian political class was obviously less resourceful (and what is more important, less successful) at elaborating a concept to liberate the productive powers of society. Therefore, there was a point when the row of credits as a supposed starting point of future constructive economical processes inevitably turned to a destructive phase. But even past the critical point, neither economists nor politicians could manage to get the economy off the forced course of this vicious circle. Moreover, in the meanwhile, an insightful outsider could not escape the suspicion that neither the political class nor the opinion-making economists were aware and conscious of the further consequences of fatal debt problems.

Globalization and its actors

Globalization manifests itself through society, institutions, and individuals, over long and uncertain transitional periods, in which the gained advantages are easy to lose, and it is often not clear what would be the next step that makes sense.

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 aren’t any equally strong, socially legitimated, and responsible actors to fulfill these functions. This starting situation originally “distributes the actorial spaces” falsely. The empty places and functions of missing actors either remain unrecognized, or tricky interest groups push themselves into this vacuum. 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 solely follows 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.

The actorial aspect in general is a theoretically attractive new component of globalization. Although his 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 liberates 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. Unfortunately, we still identify this new side of globalization rather with the actually existing “caesaristic” components of the actorial dimension, than with its also actually existing democratic components.

Global competence itself also lacks actorial foundation. Neither traditional forecast, nor traditional consensus-making, nor traditional administration, nor any other traditional institutions are capable of shaping competence legitimately. But who shall respond to a new and strong challenge then (e.g. when the USA predicts a huge economic crisis in Europe)?

The relation to modernity in a history-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 demolition. (2) 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.

Therefore, on these bases, the sensible consequences of the deeply interdependent relationship of globalization and liberalism/neoliberalism are becoming crystallized around the issue of the state. Now we can clearly see that the state as a “buffer” is a central element of the battlefield of globalization, but of course, only if we consciously insist on the actual achievements of modernity and emancipation. (3)

Neoliberalism has arrived at a great change. 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 that also amplifies the tendencies that follow from “bidding farewell” to the myths. If neoliberalism is really an outcome of such a height of rationalization in this theoretical framework, it must not pass by the developing new forms of emancipation.


(1) 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 legitimate reason.
(2) The most important characteristics of the theoretical starting situation created by globalization can be fully examined in this conflict. As the demolition of the welfare state does not basically appear as an economic or political problem in this discourse (although it might still be controversial in this context as well), but as a civilizatory, modern, cultural, and society-building factor. The context of globalization does not erase the validity (Gültigkeit) of the individual subsystems, but it positions new, general, and painfully concrete “global” i.e. general and universal contexts above their rationality.
(3) Pointing out these criteria is not an unnecessary theoretical enterprise nowadays. It is namely not included in the expectations concerning morals, society, or even good manners that beyond pursuing his own particular interests, one had any duties in order to preserve the achievements of civilization, emancipation, or modernization.

Main publications

Our present inquiry relies upon several of our former works. As this inquiry is a study- and research resource, we are hereby giving the data of all relevant works, so the reader may obtain sufficient information about the history of each thesis in more detail.

Publications in books

Monetarismus und Liberalismus. Zu einer Theorie der globalen und geschichtsphilosophischen Aktualitaet. (Dresden, 1998 p1-17)

Zur Rekonstruktion der praesentistischen Rationalitaet Mittel-Europas. Eine Problemskizze. (Cuxhaven-Dartford, 1998 p1-189)

A globalizáció társadalomfilozófiájához. (Pro Philosophia Füzetek, issue 21/22). (Veszprém, 2000 p133-177).

A legutolsó utolsó esély. Uj valóság és uj vizió. (With Csaba Varga). (Budapest, 2001 p1-384).

Intelligens régiók Magyarországon I (With several co-authors).
(Budapest, 2001 p1-515 )

Monetarista globalizáció és magyar rendszerváltás. Társadalomfilozófiai tanulmányok. (Budapest, 2002 p1-410)

Globalizáció és/vagy posztmodern. Tanulmányok a jelen elméletérol. (Budapest-Székesfehérvár p1-285)

Published books

Átalakuló Magyarország. (Budapest, 1996 p106)

Von der Mitte nach Europa und zurück. (With P. Gerlich and Krzysztof Glass). (Wien - Poznan, 1997 p168)

Civilizáció az ezredfordulón (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 1997 p135)

Friedrich Nietzsche und die globalen Probleme unserer Zeit. (Cuxhaven-Dartford, 1997, Junghans Verlag, p1- 263)

Az állami eper édesebb-e? (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 1998 p-114)

Igazságosság (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 1998 p1-137)

Bunkóság (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 1999 p1-180)

Megérteni a globalizációt. (With János Molnár). (Budapest, 1999 p1-171)

Ezredvégi ember. (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 1999 p1-214)

A történelem visszavág. (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 2001 p1-92)

Jövo mint egész (Mit látunk a jövobol?). (With Rimma Dalos). (Budapest, 2001 p1-188)

Populizmus. (With János Molnár). (Budapest, 2001 p1-77)

A tudás társadalma. (With Csaba Varga and many others). (Budapest, 2002 I-II p1-840)

Értelmiség – társadalom – politika 1968-2000 (With Rimma Dalos), 2002 p1-62

Inquiries and studies

Globalizatsiya na mikro-, mezo- i makrourovnyakh. in: Globalistika: Entsiklopedia. Mazur, A.N. Chumakov. Moscow: Raduga. p190

Globalization – on its Micro- Middle- and Macro-Level. in: Global Studies Encyclopedia \ Edited by I.I.Mazour; A.N.Chumakov, W.C.Gay. TsNPP "Dialog". - Moscow: Raduga Publishers, p2003 – 592.

Understanding Global World. in: National Culture - Globalization. “Roots and Wings”. (Sopron, 2003 p22-30)

A történeti-társadalmi tér és ido a jövokutatás perspektivájában. in: Inco (On-line theoretical journal), 8, 2003/1.

A nemzetközi politikai rendszer kialakítása a globalizáció korában. Irak mint esettanulmány. in:

Globales Hoschschulwesen zwischen Neuhumanismus und Staatsverschuldung. Von der historischen Soziologie zu einer nicht gewollten Utopie. in: Universitaeten in der Zivilgesellschaft. Herausgegeben von Emil Brix und Jürgen Nautz. (Wien, 2002 p75-88)

Postmodernism and Future Research. in:The European Legacy, Vol.7, No 4, pp. 487-494.

Fin de l’histoire. in: Dictionnaire critique de la mondialisation. Paris, 2002 p181-183.

Entre le néo-positivisme-néo-liberalisme et le postmoderne. in: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. Nr. 14/2002.

Identitaet und Differenz – Funktionen der Logik, Logik der Funktionen. Über den Anderen, das Anderssein und die Interkulturalitaet. in: INCO (On-line theoretical journal), Nr./ 7. 2002/1.

A posztszocialista rendszerváltás legfontosabb diskurzusai 1989 és 2002 között. in:A rendszerváltás(változtatás) mérlege, II. kötet. (Komárom, 2002 p327-338)

A kristálytiszta elméletektol az áthatolhatatlan gyakorlatig. A tudástársadalom eloestéjén. in: A tudás társadalma. Edited by: Endre Kiss, Csaba Varga and others. Budapest, 2002 vol I p15-26)

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