Postmodernism as the Decadence of the Social Democratic State

Democracy and Nature 7 (1):77-99 (2001)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper it is argued that the corresponding rise of postmodernism and the triumph of neo-liberalism are not only not accidental, the triumph of neo-liberalism has been facilitated by postmodernism. Postmodernism has been primarily directed not against mainstream modernism, the modernism of Hobbes, Smith, Darwin and social Darwinism, but against the radical modernist quest for justice and emancipation with its roots in German thought. The Social Democratic State, the principles of which were articulated by Hegel, is construed as a partial triumph of this radical modernism, realizing a higher level of reciprocal recognition and overcoming much of the brutality of the Liberal State. Postmodernism is shown to be a manifestation of the decadence of the Social Democratic State, characterized by the disintegration of cognitive and ethical developments which have been the condition for people to form communities based on reciprocal recognition. In this regard it parallels the decadence which took place in ancient Rome, for similar reasons: both the Roman Empire and the Social Democratic State reduced people to passive recipients of the benefits of their societies. The implications of this are twofold. If Social Democracy is to be revived, it will require a struggle for ‘strong’ democracy; that is, for a major role for participatory democracy. On the other hand if people opt for the creation of confederations of genuinely democratic communities to replace the State, this will not be achieved by postmodern decadence but through the developments of cognitive forms and communities through which the recognition of people as free agents is instititionalized.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Philosophical Essays.Teodros Kiros - 2011 - Red Sea Press.
Postmodernism and Democratic Theory.Aryeh Botwinick - 1993 - Temple University Press.
Four Dimensions of Democracy.Michael S. Perry - 2015 - Essays in Philosophy 16 (1):3-25.
Decadence of the French Nietzsche.James Brusseau - 2006 - Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Needed but Unwanted. Thomas Hobbes’s Warnings on the Dangers of Multitude, Populism and Democracy.Mikko Jakonen - 2016 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 5 (9):89-118.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-03-27

Downloads
473 (#21,214)

6 months
31 (#34,133)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology

References found in this work

The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Philosophy: Past Conflict and Future Direction.Alasdair MacIntyre - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 61 (1):81 - 87.

Add more references