On the importance of the state in the era of globalization
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №9 - 2017
Author: Ivashchuk Olga, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of the School of Public Policy of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)
The issue of a role of the state in the formation of modern society
arises due to the fact that the processes occurring in the advanced European
countries encourage to see in civil society not just a sphere that protects its
independence from the state, and not just a society that can fit its concept
only in the form "The world civil society" ("a civil society in
one country is strictly not possible" [1, p. 46]), but the society to
which the state prevents the realization.
With this approach, the national state seems like a relic, like a
brake for a progress and freedom. It’s apparent "confrontation with
universally formulated social-ethical and personal-legal claims" [2; p.
431] makes even supporters of it’s preservation go in some way to bargain with
conscience, to "renounce the principle" [3; p. 62], once
"state-organized brotherhood" is able to "organize and guarantee
solidarity only on its territory" [2; p. 440].
R. Darendorf, the Popperian-oriented theorist and advocate of the
"open society", describes the mutual relations of the state and civil
society at the present stage as the main "modern social conflict".
And even the way of life achieved today in the OECD social
democratic states is not an argument in favor of the state for him, although
there "the old class struggle is by no means fully play out… most
differences in income and status… have become gradual” and “the world of
citizens is a perfect world” [1; p. 45-47], the proletariat has disappeared,
the only line of conflict is the access to the whole scope of civil rights,
which can be provided by the employment, and the unemployed people (whom are no
more than 10% - p. 144) are the only “group which does not fit” [1; p. 145].
This state of affairs is in the interests of the new ruling class -
"citizens”. This is “the majority class”, a class of citizens, if such a
paradoxical formulation is permissible [1; p. 112].
The fact is that here is in this "the best of all possible
worlds" [1; p. 42], where civil society has reached proximity to the
ideal, yet a number of issues, of which the main are the following:
1) “Whereas in the OECD societies, a majority is doing relatively
well and only a minority is defined out, the OECD world itself constitutes but
a minority of mankind” [1; p. 186], and this generates inclusion / exclusion
problems; what happens when civil society is confined to national borders - the
history of refugees and immigrants shows. If they are they are admitted, no
society in the world can still give them the status that full citizens have, at
best they become citizens of a second class, and “that violates the very
principle of civil society”. If they are not admitted, it makes impossible to
grant “citizenship rights for all human beings” [1; p. 46].
2) Not least this inferior civic status leads to the fact that in
the OECD countries there is a non-working minority, which stubbornly reproduces
itself and does not receive, or more accurately, systematically loses access to
an employment, and that means, to the fullness of rights [1; p. 149].
3) Due to a kind of "natural weakness" of civil society in
which traditional ligatures are destroyed, false idols easily master the minds
of people, and from this the “scourge of totalism” [1, p. 45] comes.
Dahrendorf imposes the responsibility for all these problems on the
Social-Democracy, which "has come close to the end of its tether" [1;
p. 173], since "in one way or another all social-democratic roads end up
with big government" [1; p. 167]. It is the Social Democracy, defending
the majority class, forms “a tendency to define people out of the social
universe of the majority, with persistent unemployment, inner-city blight,
regional disparities and the underclass” [1; p. 176].
These problems could be solved also with the continued inequality of
distribution, but with the growth of everybody’s well-being. However,
"heroes of the social-democratic world tend to be super-bureaucrats rather
than leaders with innovative sense of direction" [1, p. 167]. Therefore,
it turns out that the state not only produces totalitarian mentality, but the
strengthening of statism leads to the total stagnation, because the initiative
that can only be aroused by the market (laissez-faire) is dying out.
Indeed, if any intervention in the autonomous functioning of the
market only harms the market, and if there is not a lack of rights, but their
supplying, then it is necessary to stop the bureaucratic intervention and fight
for a single universal "world state" in order to provide
laissez-faire for the sake of the general benefits.
It seems, however, that the matter is not so simple. This is
doubtful due to at least the recent experience of Russia, which in the 90-ies
followed this particular recipe - and ran into a severe crisis process, which
has not yet been reversed.
The analysis of the intermediary links between the market and the
life chances of people may call into question the connections and the reasons
for the problems that have arisen, which at first glance seem obvious.
Firstly, in explaining the impossibility of eliminating the
"non-working minority", it should be noted that it is not just
residual, but is being reproduced, and in this reproduction, it is precisely
the prematurity of the statement that a classless society has come. Because the
subject, interested in the reproduction of socially deprived groups, is not the
"majority class", but the top of the social hierarchy as a very real
class, and not a "class on paper" [4, p. 725], whose reality is
revealed precisely in maintaining this social distance. The cultural isolation
of these groups, pushing them to a semi-underground existence, brings, as M.
Foucault showed, a huge profit to the opposite pole of the social field, which,
thanks to this deprivation of lower minorities, is able to control and
reproduce, for example, through delinquency [5, p. 281-290], their illegal practices
(such as drug dealing). And it is not the Social Democracy, who makes these
practices profitable (Social Democracy at the state level, by all means
available to it, is counter-acting), but an uncontrolled market. This is just
an example of what monstrous forces can unleash the removal of the
social-democratic state, which gives the only space, where socially deprived
groups can fight for their rights and thus have a chance to defend themselves.
As for the distance between developed and backward countries, it can
be shown that it is also reproduced, and it is also not in the interest of the
majority that does not exist as a "class", but in the interests of
the strong players of the world market, which are determined by the gain.
But, as in the first case, this process is not simple, but multiply
mediated. And in order to develop it and at the same time see that the
foundations of totalitarian temptations are in fact different from the
insolvency of Social-Democracy, it is necessary to turn to the genesis of the
Reconstructing this genesis, K. Polanyi established: "There was
nothing natural about laissez-faire; free markets could never have come into
being merely by allowing things to take their course… laissez-faire itself was
enforced by the state" [6, p. 145]. Here are the arguments.
1) The self-regulating market has become a
reality in the 30s of the XIX century, because the industry needed a
constant inflow of raw materials and labor, and only the market could send this
flow to it. However, governments had to pave the way forcibly by overcoming the
resistance of the classes associated with the land [6, p. 90]. Thus, "the
emergence of national markets was in no way the result of the gradual and spontaneous
emancipation of the economic sphere from governmental control. On the contrary,
the market has been the outcome of a conscious and often violent intervention
on the part of government which imposed the market organization on society for
non-economic ends" [6, p. 258].
2) Such a market cannot operate only within one territory, it
requires three conditions at once: "international free trade, competitive
labor market, and gold standard; they belonged together"[6, p. 155]. But
the adoption of the gold standard, and protectionism in case of a threat to the
national economy require the state policy.
3) The organization of production activities of this kind could not
be a "natural" mechanism, since if it had occurred at the dawn of
human history, all producers would have perished. Its essence is a specific
motivation for work, the so-called "economic motivation", in which
people are forced to engage in production by "hunger, or the fear of it,
which those who sell the use of their labour power, and gain with those who…
make profits" [7, p. 98]. Defenders of the market as a natural automatism
believe that these motives are effective at all times, but in fact all the
known historical systems of economics, except capitalism, "are usually not
based on them”, for individual of such an economy “his share in the сommon food resources is secured to him independently of his part of
the productive efforts of the community" [7, p. 97-99]. Referring to the
results of ethnological research, K. Polanyi draws attention to the fact that
"there is no starvation in societies living on the subsistence margin...
the individual in primitive society is not threatened by starvation, unless the
community as a whole is in a like predicament ... The same is true of the
stimulus of the individual gain... A characteristic feature of primitive economies
is the absence of any desire to make a profit from production or exchange ...
Not hunger, nor gain, but pride and prestige, rank and status, public praise
and privat reputation provided the incentives for individual participation in
production" [7, p. 99-100].
Until the middle of the XIX century "In effect, all societies
known to anthropologists and historians restricted markets to commodities in
the proper sense of the term" [8, p. 111]. And only in the 1830s.
"fictitious commodities" came into the sphere of alienation (as
Polanyi calls money, labor and land). And if at the same time in society there
are no cultural barriers that prevent the literalism of their modern existence,
then, "human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they
would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion,
crime, and starvation" [6; p. 76], the land - the natural environment –
would be polluted, uncontrolled financial flows would the enterprises to stop.
Thus, cultural barriers form the necessary prerequisites for the functioning of
the market itself, and the main one, capable of coordinating all three
directions, is the state.
That is why the establishment of a universal market and a national
state in Europe took place simultaneously. As a reaction to the reification of
labor, land and money, the classes associated with them were mobilized,
fighting for their own interests: classes associated with land opposed the market,
preventing the separation of land from the community, including the landed
aristocracy – by social-oriented laws (Speenhamland is a paradigmatic example),
workers - organizing themselves in trade unions and fighting for working
legislation, the bourgeoisie defended its enterprises by regulating finance
(with the help of state central banks and other instruments).
If the developed market, whose necessary trend is expansion, invades
from outside (as required by the construction of a world civil society – “we
have to embark on it if we do not to see the achievements of citizenship
jeopardized” [1; p. 46]) in a culturally and politically unprotected zone, all
the vitally important institutions of society are destroyed in it. Social
anthropology abundantly documents processes of this kind. A. Radcliffe-Brown
was naively surprised that “the very material on which the ethnologist and the
social anthropologist rely for their studies is disappearing before our eyes"
[9, p. 146], but already the descriptions of M. Mead allow to clearly trace the
lines of dependence: cultural contact with Europeans launches the process,
"by which a group of savages ... merely robbed of all incentive to effort
and left to die painlessly beside streams still filled with fish" [6, p. 166].
K. Polanyi clarifies: "Not economic exploitation, as often assumed, but
the disintegration of the cultural environment of the victim is then the cause
of the degradation… The result is loss of self-respect and standards" of
cultural behavior [6, p. 164].
The decisive factor in such destruction is the pace that does not
allow the culture, which is not ready for the market, to develop protective
institutions. Already A.de Tocqueville saw that these rates are becoming
deadly, he was amazed with them in the USA already in the 1830s. and described
the main ways in which the "disappearance of the native tribes"
occurs under the onslaught of market production [10, p. 199 et seq.]. With such
an onslaught, "the Indians had only the two alternatives of war or civilization;
in other words, they must either have destroyed the Europeans or become their
equals" [10, p. 203].
But the Indian cannot compete with the Whites in the war,
civilization takes time, so that the corresponding habitus that asks for it
could be produced: “Living in the freedom of the woods, the North American
Indian was destitute, but he had no feeling of inferiority towards anyone; as
soon, however, as he desires to penetrate into the social scale of the whites,
he takes the lowest rank in society, for he enters, ignorant and poor, within
the pale of science and wealth. After having led a life of agitation, beset
with evils and dangers, but at the same time filled with proud emotions, he is
obliged to submit to a wearisome, obscure, and degraded state; and to gain the
bread which nourishes him by hard and ignoble labor; such are in his eyes the
only results of which civilization can boast: and even this much he is not sure
to obtain” [10, p. 206].
The Europeans themselves once passed through the same thorns, but
A.de Tocqueville records the difference that exists in the development of the
pioneer peoples and the retarded peoples: the situation of the retarded ones is
specific because they are compelled to compete with the pioneers on their,
market, rules without appropriate protections, and there is a result – “it is the
misfortune of Indians to be brought into contact with a civilized people, which
is also… the most avaricious nation on the globe, whilst they are still
semi-barbarian: to find despots in their instructors, and to receive knowledge
from the hand of oppression" [10, p. 206].
All these problems cannot remain in the past, while, in spite of
crises, there a world market «laissez-faire» exists. At the end of the
twentieth century, it directly expanded to the area of the former socialistic
camp. An analysis of these events on the Russian model of the 1990s, carried
out by M. Buravoy, allows us to see that the diagnosis posed by Karl Polanyi to
liberal-market utopianism has a "completely modern sound" [11; p. 2].
If the country-pioneer, having survived Speenhamland, came to the
development of production based on the market, then in our case, contrary to
the promises of market utopians, there was what Buravoy calls "economic
involution, a situation in which exchange strangulates production, an economy
that gobbles up its own foundations" [11, p. 7].
In Russia, opened for the market, started the shock therapy aimed at
destroying the administrative economy, and for 3 years since January 1992 all
"fictitious commodities" were commodified, as Russian reformers
“programmed an obsessive destruction of everything associated with communism,
claiming this to be a necessary precondition for the market to autonomously
work its magic. They did not attend to the institutional conditions for
nurturing capitalist production, that markets cannot operate in an
institutional vacuum” [11, p. 7]. Without protection of money enterprises stop,
without labor protection degrades labor, without protecting the land, nature becomes
Indeed, after received a market trauma, the society reacted so that
production has curtailed. Enterprises withdrew from the financial sphere,
preferring barter to closure, workers did not leave jobs at the same time, but
the latter were transformed into places of exchange and consumption,
"where labor market information circulates, where work on the side is
distributed, where desired products can be obtained in exchange for unpaid
wages, where facilities (machinery etc.) can be used for their own independent
production, where meals are taken, or where things are simply stolen
(materials, etc.)" [11, p. 8].
Production, which still remained, receded and concentrated around
single households, the home economy [11, p. 9]. As for the land, Duma “has
managed to rebuff market initiatives of the executive and the urgings of the
World Bank”, but this action has not saved production. The collective farms
“have collapsed as productive centers”, the result was a significant drop in
the amount of production of grain products and “organizing subsistence
production of basic food products”, “intensification of the domestic economy…
petty commodity production (Kitching)” [11, p. 9].
The question that arises here is the following. Why from so similar
starting conditions - Speenhamland in England and the command economy in Russia - so different results were obtained: in England - production growth, in Russia - involution, in England a working class has emerged; in Russia it is being destroyed?
Because only the catch-up situation created by the market, the situation of
rupture and backwardness, could create a paradoxical new class-owners of means
of production that are not interested in the development of production.
M. Buravoy describes it as “a new class in Russia”, which “is not a bourgeoisie lodged in self- expanding production but a parasitical class
ensconced in networks of exchange. The New Russians range from the mafia that
regulate economic transactions to the bankers and financiers who speculate in
government credit and bonds, to the merchants who regulate imports and exports,
to the oligarchs who control the appropriation and distribution of raw
materials, to the moguls who own and monitor mass media. The New Russians do
not generate new resources, they do not add value, they live off the rapidly
diminishing and impoverished productive classes” [1; p.14]. Since this class is
far from production, it does not care about the productive capabilities of the
working people, and this is favorably to its partners in the world market,
whose interests are to maintain a distance from countries whose market should
be unprotected and open for imported commodities as much as possible.
Hence the differences: in England, where the interests of the social
top coincided with the interests of production development in the country,
state policy, opening the way to a free market, simultaneously protected the
society from the market, responding to its functions in the market system:
"Factory legislation and social laws were designed to protect labor power,
land laws and agrarian tariffs were enacted to protect natural resources and
the environment, and central banking and the regulation of the monetary system
were required to shelter businesses from the caprice of money markets” [11; p. 15-16].
But in Russia, paralyzed by a market blow, production cannot yet form classes
capable to represent its interests at the state level. The state became
one-sided "instrument of market fundamentalism, of a narrow class of
oligarchs who own and control the most profitable industries (gas and oil) who
also control the major banks and media channels” [11; p. 16-17], and therefore
not only did not protect society from the market, but provides for the lack of
control of its agents against the interests of producers. Therefore, in all
directions, "we have the picture of involution, of society withdrawing
into itself and away from the state" [11; p. 18] which normally should
have saved it.
The dysfunctionality of the state leads to the fact that "Russia
is stretched between two receding galaxies –societal involution and
international glitter” [11; p. 18] of the oligarchic elite, which is trying to
keep up with the Western standard of living, but exploiting national resources
and destroying national production, which is rapidly recedes to the periphery
of the world economy. And this situation creates not only internal problems.
Normally, when the state is consistent with its notion, like the
pioneer leaders of the market system, it is the outpost of protecting the
society from the market, and its strengthening does not cause threats of
parting with democracy (the state is growing as a welfare state in times of
global market crisis), and it used to be in England, the USA. But the same
crisis at the opposite pole, where inaction of the state and the ousting of
workers from political participation caused industrial and institutional
paralysis, led to a completely different situation: "The more backward
European countries, most notably Germany, Austria and Italy, succumbed to
fascist solutions" [11, p. 20], it was the extreme reaction to the market,
the result of market liberal utopianism as a policy. This is the situation
described by A. de Tocqueville: if the civilizing process poses a threat to
death, then, in order not to disappear, the culture collapses at the societal level, shrinks into totalitarianism and decides to attempt a war, involving
everyone, including the most universal - outstanding representatives, such as
M. Heidegger .
Thus, the temptations of totalitarianism arise not because of
intervention in the market, but quite the contrary, because of the destructive
principle that is contained in the uncontrollably operating machine of the
laissez-faire market. The soil for a conservative revolution, of which no one
is insured, is preserved to the same extent that alienated market communication
creates threats to human existence without creating a simultaneous opportunity
to respond to this threat by the development of production.
Thus, it is a democratic state, i.e. such, in which political
participation is ensured for all productive classes of society, is a
prerequisite for the work of market production and the prevention of fascist
development options. And that's why it should be national. To understand why
this is so, let us turn to the criticism of the paradoxes of liberalism that K.
Schmitt developed and whose provisions "carry an important warning for
those who believe that the process of globalization is laying the basis for
worldwide democratization and the establishment of a cosmopolitan
citizenship" [13; p. 42].
Democracy assumes the substantial homogeneity of the
"demos" [14, p. 9]. K. Mannheim calls this "basic, formative principle" of
democracy . At the same time, a common substation of such equality cannot
be a certain "human nature", and Schmitt rightly rejected this
liberal premise [14; p. 13]. Such declarations would only mean that the norms
and rules of the game will be set by the leading nation in its own interests.
In practice, this substance has a specific historical and cultural definiteness
of the mode of man's production in the Marxian sense, its local-cultural
specification, which for this very reason cannot be accepted, as liberalism
does, for the natural characteristic of an abstract individual in general. In
this cultural specification one cannot invade without damaging the foundations
of being a man in a given culture, this way of producing surplus labor.
Democracy takes into account the reality of these differences of
cultural faces, thereby the right to self-determi-nation is taken into account.
In this sense, the Schmitt distinction "we/ they" is meaningful, and
Schmitt does not assert anywhere that this distinction should be based on race.
Quite the opposite, by virtue of the very logic of the functioning of democracy,
it is the subject-matter of a struggle to establish legitimate demos
boundaries, i.e. for the establishment of the order of his life, the
subject-matter of domestic policy in the proper sense. Therefore, it is by no
means an accident that, as Schmitt notes, historically "since the
nineteenth century it has existed above all in membership in a particular
nation, in national" [14, p. 9], as not an accident the fact recognized by
the liberals that "The only law we know is national" [1; p. 195].
The homogeneity of the demos is the index of readiness for the
market, since from the inside, the side of production, the world market becomes
demanded by the culture when the unified internal market is created, which
requires the unity of the territory, the concentration of all types of capital
and other monopoly conditions, including monopoly to symbolic violence, which
only the state can provide [17; p. 4]. From this side, the state is a
Nevertheless, from the other side, the modern state, in which power
over the metacapital legitimizes the education system, i.e. the state of not
dynastic, but bureaucratic type, in a double sense is a pluriversum.
Firstly, in the sense that only in this way there can exist
autonomous and formally equal actors - players of the world market. Although K.
Schmitt wrote about the medieval organization of the spatial order of
Respublica Christiana as a pluriverse of autarkic communities, about the
procedure for recognizing the right of an equal Other to resistance, in which
the state did not play a significant role until the 16th century [18; p. 57-62],
this order could retain the autonomy of its units without the state, only
because this order did not yet knew the lassez-faire market. Without a state,
it is impossible to provide multiplicity of market subjects in market
conditions, and no "parties, trade-unions, associations of many
kinds" [1; p. 110] can create and keep it.
Secondly, contrary to K. Schmitt's conviction, “the political form”
can be implemented only within frames of the democratically organized state
space. Political form, i.e, management, in which there is not only a
bureaucratic technique and a "norm", but also the sovereignty of a
"decision" making [19; p. 65-66]. This sovereignty takes place
because the border between "them and us" (the rules of legitimate
inclusion / exclusion) is not reified, but remains an object of struggle, in
field of which all productive classes must be represented. The reification of the
boundary is avoided because the sovereign who takes decisions, who accepts the
authorship concerning the aims of his culture, cannot be a monarch or head of
the family, but only a plural subject in the Bakhtin sense of "alien
living and full" subjects - pluralia tantum [20; p. 331], which remains
plural in any variants of representative forms.
Another question is that in itself this democratic form provides
only chances, it is only a space of politics, i.e. the struggle for social
justice in decisions regarding a common cause - res publica. The actual measure
of the rope achieved in this tug-of-war should remain unresolved.
But in any case, "state-organized brotherhood" does not
create grounds for moral torment or ethical relativism in the spirit of O. Depenheuer:
to act morally doesn’t mean to provide the right of universal entry, destroying
all local borders, but to prevent the market from spontaneously producing
poverty when this market destructs those cultural bonds that endow the
individuals of each culture of the dignity and systemic quality of "being
a man". Moral prohibition should be on the border of invasion of foreign
market-protection institutions, allowing different cultures to transform at
their own pace and along their trajectories, relying on their own state
sovereignty. The ABC of dialectics is that the universal, if it is not empty
abstraction, including the universality of the "world civil society",
can exist only in a peculiar and plural form, in this case - the form of the
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 «It is always the direct relationship of the owners of the
conditions of production to the direct producers - a relation always naturally
corresponding to a definite stage in the development of the methods of labour
and thereby its social productivity - which reveals the innermost secret, the
hidden basis of the entire social structure and with it the political form of
the relation of sovereignty and dependence, in short, the corresponding
specific form of the state” 
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №9 - 2017