The global economic crisis and the future of "remainder democracy"

2. 2. 2010 / Karel Dolejší

I don't deny that in the First World there are still considerable personal liberties and people are being treated according to the law and decently while this isn't the case in the Second and in the Third World. But these liberties are no longer supported by an economic and political system in which people live, and so they stand on very thin ice which can give way during the first chaotic or psychotic social situation.

Egon Bondy, Neuspořádaná samomluva (A disorderly monologue), Brno, L. Marek 2002, p. 102

The editorial in the London Times on 1st February, entitled "Which Capitalism?" points out that over the past fifty years, the image of the world has turned upside down.

In the 1960s, the newly independent developing countries tried timidly to combine elements of the Western and the Eastern social system. These experiments usually had questionable results and produced weak economic growth. At the time, the West had absolute primacy over the East and the Third World. The West behaved with confidence then. This year's Davos World Economic Forum, however, offers a radically altered image: The Western countries, which have brought about the current economic crisis, now speak about the need of a profound overhaul of all the existing approaches, while the developing countries are now openly and confidently looking for inspiration in the nationalist and authoritative form of Chinese capitalism. The other chasm that The Times notices has opened between the recipients of private profits from the financial institutions and the taxpayers who are now financing their socialised losses.

Since the end of the 19th century, the cradle of capitalism, Great Britain, has began to lag behind Germany. Germany, unlike Britain, was able effectively to organise production on a large scale due to education which placed emphasis on the development of congitive abilities. After the Second World War, practically all European economies overtook Britain. The social liberal thinker Shonfield was forced to admit in the 1960s that the British institutions, created in the liberal era, were unsuitable for the carrying out of the Keynesian economic policy. The pre-capitalist institutions, used by the other West European countries, were much more suitable.

In connection with the accelerating economic changes and the requirement of increasing flexibility the central social institution of the modern West European history, i.e. the individual subject, seeking self-realisation, has become a major obstacle. The "Asiatic mode of production" which is based on the concept of a self-sufficient village community, is on the ascendant. It is this self-sufficient village community which has formed the fundament of the modern Asian state. The western societies which depend on individuals who are trying to realise their own identity are experiencing considerable difficulties because this approach seems to be no longer possible; the organisation of the non-European societies which are based on the collective principle of external control seem to be much more suitable.


Obsah vydání | Pátek 26.2. 2010