In this paper the author seeks to shed light on the political and philosophical context of the second half of 20th century in which he intellectually came of age. In his intellectual and political development the author distinguishes three main phases. He characterizes the first phase of his development as Praxis, revisionist, dissident Marxism and reformist communism. The second phase was post-Marxism and post-communism, while in the last decade of the 20th century the author defines his theoretical views as non-Marxist. (...) The author defines his latest philosophical-political standpoint as social democratic which, after his own self-understanding, comes closest to West European social democracy.. Autor u ovom radu pokusava da osvetli politicki i filozofski kontekst druge polovine XX veka u kome je intelektualno delovao i sazrevao. U svom intelektualnom i politickom razvitku on razmatra tri glavne faze. Prvu fazu svog razvitka autor karakterise kao praksisticki, revizionisticki, disidentski marksizam i reformisticki komunizam. Drugu fazu predstavlja postmarksizam i postkomunizam, a u poslednjoj deceniji XX veka autor svoje teorijsko stanoviste odredjuje kao nemarksisticko. Svoje najnovije filozofsko-politicko stanoviste autor smatra socijal-eko-demokratskim koje je po njegovom vlastitom samorazumevanju najblize zapadnoevropskoj socijaldemokratiji. (shrink)
Natural Right and History is widely recognized as Strauss’s most influential work. The six lectures, written while Strauss was at the New School, and a full transcript of the 1949 Walgreen Lectures show Strauss working toward the ideas he would present in fully matured form in his landmark work. In them, he explores natural right and the relationship between modern philosophers and the thought of the ancient Greek philosophers, as well as the relation of political philosophy to contemporary political science (...) and to major political and historical events, especially the Holocaust and World War II. Previously unpublished in book form, Strauss’s lectures are presented here in a thematic order that mirrors Natural Right and History and with interpretive essays by J. A. Colen, Christopher Lynch, Svetozar Minkov, Daniel Tanguay, Nathan Tarcov, and Michael Zuckert that establish their relation to the work. Rounding out the book are copious annotations and notes to facilitate further study. (shrink)
This volume examines the entire logical and philosophical production of Nikolai A. Vasil’ev, studying his life and activities as a historian and man of letters. Readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of this influential Russian logician, philosopher, psychologist, and poet. The author frames Vasil’ev’s work within its historical and cultural context. He takes into consideration both the situation of logic in Russia and the state of logic in Western Europe, from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of (...) the 20th. Following this, the book considers the attempts to develop non-Aristotelian logics or ideas that present affinities with imaginary logic. It then looks at the contribution of traditional logic in elaborating non-classical ideas. This logic allows the author to deal with incomplete objects just as imaginary logic does with contradictory ones. Both logics are objects of interesting analysis by modern researchers. (shrink)
The paper identifies the rule of law, the carriers of institutional restructuring, and the prevailing informal rules in the community as three critical determinants of the outcome of institutional restructuring in the community. The paper demonstrates that the analysis of the interaction among these three determinants a claim I call the interaction thesis explains why the transition from socialism to the market economy in postwar West Germany was a success, why the transition to capitalism in Eastern Europe is (...) still uncertain, and why the use of economic policies based on neoclassical economics have produced the rising strength of pro-socialist parties. The conclusion is that the interaction thesis is a powerful and perhaps necessary method for the analysis of institutional changes and their causes, directions and consequences.Cet article identifie létat de droit, les supports des réformes institutionnelles, et les règles communautaires informelles qui y sont prévalent comme les trois facteurs explicatifs majeurs du succès ou de léchec de la réforme institutionnelle dans un pays. Cet article démontre que lanalyse de linteraction entre ces trois facteurs explicatifs ce que jappelle la thèse de linteraction explique, en premier lieu, le succès de la transition du socialisme vers léconomie de marché en Allemagne de lOuest de laprèsguerre, ensuite pourquoi la transition vers le capitalisme en Europe de lEst demeure incertaine, et, enfin, pourquoi le recours à des politiques économiques fondées sur la science économique néoclassique a revigoré les partis politiques à orientation socialiste. La conclusion est que la thèse de linteraction est une méthode féconde et peut-être nécessaire pour analyser les changements institutionnels ainsi que leurs causes, leurs directions et leurs conséquences. (shrink)
In the late 1980s, the actual accomplishments of capitalism finally made a convincing case against socialism. After several decades of experimentation with human beings, socialism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries died an inglorious death. To an economist, the present value of the expected future benefits from socialism fell relative to their current production costs. And Marx was finally dead and, hopefully, buried.
The economist Armen Alchian said once that ever since the fiasco in the Garden of Eden, we have been living in a world in which what we want exceeds what is available. The desire for more satisfaction is a predictable behavioral implication of the fact of scarcity. In fact, it might have helped mankind to survive against competition from other forms of life. Man's desire for more utility gives rise to two interdependent issues that each and every society has to (...) face: how to increase the value of the community's wealth, and how to allocate the increment in wealth. We generalize those issues as the demand for economic development. (shrink)
The main objective of this essay is to show that the process of transition from socialism to capitalism in Central and Eastern Europe is a cultural problem rather than a technical one. In pursuing that objective I analyze two interrelated issues. First, analysis shows why and how cultural differences in Central and Eastern Europe have, via transaction costs specific to the process of transition, specific and predictable effects on the results of institutional restructuring, and, consequently, on economic performance. Second, I (...) argue that spontaneous changes in the prevailing culture could, under a set of credible and stable formal rules of the game, help to close a gap between the culture supportive of capitalism and the prevailing culture in Central and Eastern Europe. a Footnotesa My colleague and friend Fred Fransen made two major contributions to this essay: he helped me identify numerous inconsistencies in the essay, and he changed a number of my perceptions on the relationship between culture and economic performance. James Buchanan, Ljubo Madzar, Henry Manne, Milic Milovanovic, and Katarina Ott gave me useful suggestions and comments on earlier drafts. I am grateful to Victor Vanberg and Ulrich Witt for the opportunity to discuss this essay with their colleagues and students at the University of Freiburg and Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany. (shrink)
Francis Bacon's "Inquiry Touching Human Nature" is an engagement at a fundamental level with the political and philosophic thought of one of the founders of modernity, Francis Bacon. Bacon had a comprehensive vision of the human situation. And because he saw the costs or dangers of modern life as clearly as he predicted its achievements and boons, Bacon is a thinker who addresses directly and deeply our own perplexities.
Leo Strauss’s _The Political Philosophy of Hobbes_ deservedly ranks among his most widely acclaimed works. In it Strauss argues that the basis for Hobbes’s natural and political science is his interest in “self-knowledge of man as he really is.” The writings collected in this book, each written prior to that classic volume, complement that account. Thus at long last, this book allows us to have a complete picture of Strauss’s interpretation of Hobbes, the thinker pivotal to the fundamental theme of (...) his life’s work: the conflicting demands of philosophy and revelation, or as he termed it, “the theologico-political problem.” It is no exaggeration to say that Strauss’s work on Hobbes’s critique of religion is essential to his analysis of Hobbes’s political philosophy, and vice versa. This volume will spark new interest in Hobbes’s explication of the Bible and in his understanding of religion by revealing previously neglected dimensions and motives of Hobbes’s “theology.” At the same time, scholars interested in the intellectual development of Leo Strauss will find in these writings the missing link, as it were, between his two early books,_ __Spinoza’s Critique of Religion_ and _The Political Philosophy of Hobbes_. In addition, this volume makes available for the first time in English a letter, a book outline, an extended review, an engagement with legal positivism, and an account of Strauss’s work on Hobbes by Heinrich Meier, all of which shed light on Strauss’s concerns and his approach to Hobbes in particular, as well as to modern political thought and life. (shrink)
In the first, general part the author starts from the assumption that a small country like FR Yugoslavia cannot realistically expect equality and equal rights in its relations with the USA. Therefore it should be very pragmatic in approaching U.S. However, it does not follow from that that it has no chance whatsoever to stand openly and decisively for its own national-state interests and rights while at the same time it is trying to harmonize them with the interests and rights (...) of the most powerful country. The author also claims that domestic extreme pragmatists underestimate the danger of a principles reaction of a great part of their own people when they are ready to give in to every and any caprice of U.S His conclusion is that Greece vs. U.S. should be the best example for FRY.vs.U.S. Between FRY and the USA there are often serious misunderstandings, one of the reasons being essential differences in their respective conceptions and practices of the relationships between nation, religion, and state. The last two portions of the text are devoted to the analysis of those misunderstandings and differences. U prvom, nacelnom delu, autor polazi od toga da jedna mala zemlja, kao sto je nasa, ne moze realisticki ocekivati jednakost, pa cak ni punu ravnopravnost u odnosima sa SAD kao planetarno dominantnom silom. Zato se, prema njemu prema SAD moramo odnositi pragmaticno. To za njega ne znaci da nema nikakvih sansi da sa uspehom otvoreno i odlucno postavimo pitanje i nasih nacionalno-drzavnih interesa i prava kad nastojimo da ih sto vise uskladimo sa interesima i pravima te najmerodavnije i najsilodavnije zemlje. Ekstremni pragmaticari kod nas potcenjuju opasnost principijelisticke reakcije dobrog dela naroda ako snishodljivo preteruju sa popustanjem i prilagodjavanjem. Za nas je najrelevantniji slucaj i najbolji primer za ugled Grcka. U nasim odnosima sa SAD, prema autoru, cesto dolazi do nesporazuma izmedju ostalog i zbog sustinskih razlika u shvatanjima nacije i religije kao i njihovog odnosa sa drzavom. Tim razlikama i nesporazumima posvecena su dva preostala dela ovog teksta. (shrink)
This article argues the main following points. (1) Communism was fatefully dependent upon the action or inaction of its top leaders because of the vulnerability of the hyper-centralized power and hyper-centralized defense of the ruling class and the ruling party. No one was really able to seriously predict the historical contingencies such as Gorbachev and Yeltsin that played a decisive role. The most that social scientists and analysts could safely claim was that communism had become unsuccessful and problematical to such (...) an extent that force alone could maintain it. However, given the overall history of communism, who could have anticipated that such force would not be used. (2) The United States is toiling now in an overwhelmingly difficult and dangerous transition, not only from a ‘superpower’ to ‘merely’ a big power, but from a totalistic and laissez-faire capitalism to a limited and state-regulated capitalism. It is the most efficacious way of production and primary distribution. However, unless capitalism, national and global, becomes regulated and combined with some kind of socialism (solidarism) that is yet to be established, global crises will keep recurring. The best chance for enlightened socialist (solidaristic) humanism lies in secondary distribution based on equality and justice as its fundamental principles. (3) The very term ‘superpower’ suggests a kind of superhuman, almost divine power. The United States does not have such power because (among other things) apocalyptic weapons are at the disposal of some considerably weaker states (in every other respect). (4) The possibility of the self-destruction of humankind has become the over-determination of all other over-determinations in history. It follows that auto-apocalypse must be separated from the categorical and epochal dichotomy between modernity/ modernism and postmodernity/postmodernism and given an absolute priority, both theoretical and practical. This break should be characterized as post-postmodernity and reflection upon it as post-postmodernism. We are in vital need of a total anti-apocalyptic turnaround in overall thought, sensitivity, activity and organization. Unfortunately, it can now safely be predicted that more and more states and societies, even those founded on (internal) freedoms and desirous to maintain them, will become transformed into states and societies focused on the struggle for survival in the face of auto-apocalyptic threats. I believe that confronted more and more with such threats liberalism will actually, and later probably also explicitly, yield the place of the fundamental operative (unlike declarative) view of the world, ideology, imagology, and principle of social organization — to humankind existentialism. We have entered an existentialist ‘end of history’ instead of the proclaimed liberalistic ‘end of history’. (shrink)
As the military dictatorship was being imposed on Poland, Enrico Berlinguer declared: “The model set in motion by the October revolution has run out of steam.” I would add: “The Yugoslav model of that archetype (otherwise progressive and meaningful), symbolized by Stalin's break with Tito in 1948 even though it actually began with Tito's break with Stalin a year or two later, ran out of steam in terms of its ability to generate innovation among the people and to motivate and (...) mobilize them as early as the end of the 1960s.” Ever since then, the Yugoslav system has been caught in a vicious circle. (shrink)