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Alternatives For Political And Economic Organisation In The New Century

By       Message Come Carpentier de Gourdon       (Page 4 of 11 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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However, it is far from clear that local management systems can be efficiently coordinated on a larger  scale according to the same principles and, given that many problems and resources are global or at least require cooperation on a national, multi-national or global level, there is a clear need for an overarching superstructure or mechanism which will certainly have to be aided by advanced technology but cannot be reduced solely to technology.

 

Colin Crouch's Post-Democracy (2004, Cambridge, UK) observes that democracy and modernization both follow a parabolic trajectory so that the latter often goes hand in hand with a slow decay of the former which then turns into what Adrian Pabst calls "post-ideological managerialism" based on a "Centrist Status Quo" and possibly later into an inverted totalitarianism.

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3-A New Scientific Socialism -- National or Global?

 

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This third option within the Modernist perspective consists in taking stock of progress in natural and social sciences in the last hundred years to revise and refurbish the basic principles of Marxism in order to avoid the pitfalls which doomed both the Soviet and the Maoist regimes in the last century and build a truly user-friendly and functional socialist (or why not, communist?) system with a human and ecological face. Many proponents of this new avatar have freed themselves from the old anti-religious phobias of their predecessors and speak of integrating the "otherworldly" needs of mankind into the equation, recognizing that spuriously scientific materialism  is outdated and untenable in our age when science and spirituality are converging in many areas and when preserving the environmental balance has become a priority  higher than industrial productivity, even in the eyes of Leftists.

 

However one of the pitfalls of much of socialist thinking even today is that it fails to take into account the drastic and irreversible changes brought about in the global economy by new manufacturing and communication technologies which make it impossible to recreate the industrial oligopolies of the past, as Kessel (ibid.) points out. Thus trying to restore the great, labour intensive manufacturing firms to their former glory in the affluent societies of the North is doomed to fail in the face of competition from poorer high growth, nations against which protectionism is not a viable option in the long term. The rust-belt socialism of the 20th century must give way to a still vaguely defined "green socialism" that must primarily address self-employed people, small entrepreneurs and innovators.

 

Although in the USA, the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama has grudgingly taken over the majority of the stock of major insolvent companies and banks, thereby practicing a form of "temporary (and probably failing) limited socialism" in the judgment of his Republican critics, Europe is probably the continent most hospitable to a revived socialism at present, firstly because of its long experience with the welfare state and generous system of social protection and secondly as a result of its bitter present experience with the crisis caused by the excesses of "casino capitalism" since, in the words of Hans Koechler: "the states gradually gave way to powerful, but unaccountable vested interests at the transnational level" (World Affairs vol. 14, No2, 2010). Jeff Faux has described this process from an American standpoint in his 2006 book The Global Class War.

 

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It was indeed in Vienna. Austria in 1979 that the International Progress Organization called

For shifting "the emphasis from having to being and from consumption to quality of life". In the opinion of the socialists and of all those who reject the concept of "making a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it" (ibid.), the speculative basis of minimally regulated liberal capitalism is "a misunderstood notion of individual freedom".

 

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Come Carpentier is a French writer, traveller, editor, consultant and researcher born in the Canary Islands, who lives and works in India and in Europe (France, Italy.Switzerland), helping manage a private foundation and contributing to various (more...)
 

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