8 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Ενθυμήσεις: Τι ήταν (;) η "Global Democratic Revolution" (I και II), ο Francis Fukuyama για την «απούσα αριστερά» (III) και δύο επιλογικές αναφορές από τον Παναγιώτη Κονδύλη για όλα τα προηγούμενα.


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Ι
Bush: Iraq Part of "Global Democratic Revolution"
Liberation of Middle East Portrayed as Continuation of Reagan's Policies

President Bush today portrayed the war in Iraq as the latest front in the "global democratic revolution" led by the United States. The revolution under former president Ronald Reagan freed the people of Soviet-dominated Europe, he declared, and is destined now to liberate the Middle East as well.
In a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) described as a major policy address by the White House, Bush avoided issues such as preemptive attack, weapons of mass destruction and "gathering" dangers to the United States.
Rather, he put the war in a broader context of the "2,500-year old story of democracy," in the same tradition as the "military and moral" American commitments to restoring democracy to post-War Germany, to protecting Greece from Communism during the Cold War and combating communist domination in Latin America, Europe and Asia, including, he said explicitly, Vietnam.
The nations of the Middle East, he said, are no less entitled to freedom from "despotism" than all the nations liberated in the past. He congratulated the Islamic nations he believes are making at least some progress towards democracy, mentioning Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and Yemen. And he praised the governments of Egypt, which said "should show the way toward democracy in the Middle East," and Saudi Arabia, which he said is "taking first steps toward reform, including a plan for gradual introduction of elections."
Bush also said "the demand for democracy is strong and broad" in Iran, adding, "The regime in Tehran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people or lose its last claim to legitimacy."
Bush delivered the speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during an event this morning marking the 20th anniversary of the NED, a federally funded foundation that provides grants to organizations that advance democracy internationally. Later, Bush signed an $87.5 billion spending package approved by Congress for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush's NED speech reflected the views of a generation of neo-conservative thinkers and government leaders, who support U.S. activism in spreading democratic government and free markets to those parts of the world that have yet to adopt them.
The speech also had the earmarks of a president seeking to embed a substantive doctrine into his mission, something beyond the doctrine of preemptive war, which Bush and other administration members have invoked in justifying the attack on Iraq.
Bush said, "In the trenches of World War I, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty..."
Now "our commitment to democracy" is being "tested in the Middle East," he said, which "must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations in the Middle East, countries of great strategic importance, democracy has not yet taken root. And the questions arise: Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even have a choice in the matter?"
As for Iraq, he added, "We're working closely with Iraqi citizens as they prepare a constitution, as they move toward free elections and take increasing responsibility for their own affairs. As in the defense of Greece in 1947, and later in the Berlin Airlift, the strength and will of free peoples are now being tested before a watching world. And we will meet this test."
Fred Barbash - November 6, 2003 - Washington Post

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ΙΙ
GEORGE W. BUSH, TROTSKYITE
Is the U.S. really launching a "global democratic revolution"?

It's just a coincidence that George W. Bush gave a speech announcing that the U.S. was leading a "global democratic revolution" on the eve of Leon Trotsky's birthday, but it is one that neatly illustrates the militant revolutionism at the core of American foreign policy in the post-9/11 era.
The proximity to Trotsky's birthday was fortuitous, but the venue of this revolutionary proclamation was not: it was a speech commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the brainchild of neoconservative ideologues, many of whom have their roots on the Trotskyite Left. Having given up the dream of revolutionary socialism for the more practical project of global "democracy," the troublesome little sect of neoconservatives, not so affectionately known as "neocons," is at last having its moment in the sun.
The NED was a sop thrown to the neocons during the Reagan administration, so they could have a little domain of their own, a small but strategically placed contingent of "Socialists for Reagan" embedded deep in the bowels of the U.S. government. The first President of the group, Carl Gershman, was a longtime member of the Social Democrats, USA, formerly the Socialist Party, a group dominated by the legendary Max Shachtman. The founder of "third camp" neo-Trotskyism, Shachtman broke with Trotsky in the 1940s and evolved, over the years, into a firm supporter of U.S. military intervention worldwide, while retaining – like Sidney Hook – his dedication to the "democratic" socialist cause.
As top advisors to the Lane Kirkland wing of the AFL-CIO, Shachtman and his followers burrowed deep in the labor movement, and lobbied extensively for the establishment of a government-subsidized "quasi-private" foundation that would help them extend their labor connections internationally, The effort bloomed in the Carter years, when the two parties agreed to share in the spoils, and bore fruit at the start of the Reagan years. The legislation establishing the National Endowment for Democracy mandated that most of its funding, at least initially, would go to the Free Trade Union Institute (FTUI), an arm of the AFL-CIO's International Affairs Department.
Aside from the subsidy, however, the benefits to the Shachtmanites were also ideological: from their perch at the NED, they could egg on the administration to confront the Soviet Union and agitate for the prosecution of the cold war to the fullest – all at taxpayers' expense. When the Soviet Union imploded, however, so did the rationale for the NED – and it narrowly escaped the budget ax. But post-9/11, the NED – along with the neoconservative movement – was given a new lease on life. Certainly George W. Bush's conversion to Shachtmanism, as evidenced by his NED address, represents the apotheosis of neocon dominance in Washington.
The odd combination of Soviet-style phraseology with ostensibly conservative rhetoric made for a speech of unsurpassed weirdness. On the one hand, the President celebrated the victory of capitalism, hailing the triumph of "democracy," "free enterprise," and "markets," and yet somehow managed to do it the style of a socialist orator out of the 1930s.
The U.S., according to Bush, was no ordinary country, nor even one especially blessed, but an "inspiration for oppressed peoples," whose acolytes worldwide "knew of at least one place – a bright and hopeful land – where freedom was valued and secure" – kind of like the Soviet Union was to the Commies of yesteryear. Here, too, are references to the necessity for "sacrifice" – a favorite theme of the old Soviet rhetoricians – including this Orwellian formulation:
"By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice."
The speeches of the Soviet leaders, and their American imitators, were always filled with new "turns," announcing the most recent twist in the party line, and the Bush speech displays the same grandiose tic:
"We've reached another great turning point – and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement."
America as the leader of a "world movement" – the idea is positively Leninist.
Full of revolutionary resolve, the U.S. must now focus on the Middle East "for decades to come," said Bush. For some strange reason, Mesopotamia does not yet share Montana's enthusiasm for democratic governance, and this is impermissible:
"Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom, and never even to have a choice in the matter? I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free."
Yes, but as Frederick Douglass put it, he who would be free must strike the first blow. It is not for us to say how or if the peoples of the Middle East will find their way to freedom and, consequently, to prosperity. Perhaps it is religion, and the willful pull of tradition, that holds that whole region of the world back: but doesn't freedom also include the freedom to say no to modernity? Oh, but we mustn't say that, it's politically incorrect to even imply that all peoples everywhere and at every time are something more or less than multi-cultural clones of Homo Americanus:
"Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This 'cultural condescension,' as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would 'never work.'"
Speaking of cultural condescension: Japan had "democracy" long before World War II, with an elected Diet, a figurehead monarch, and a relatively free expression of Western liberal and even radical ideas. The assertion that U.S. troops brought these alien concepts with them for the first time and imposed them by force on reluctant Japanese is laughable.
And the idea that postwar Japanese democracy is an unqualified success is certainly arguable, as Tokyo proves unable to reform its entrenched bureaucracy and put its economic house in order. Even the determined revolutionist Junichiro Koizumi has only just managed to lurch from one crisis to another: the land of the rising sun may yet fall beneath a tsunami of bank debt. So much for the virtues of Japanese democracy: Japan is still a society run by consensus, where Western-style individualism is considered a form of mental illness.
The President applies this same mindless universalism to the problems of the Middle East, which can all be solved if only we recognize that, in the end, ideology must trump such reactionary vestiges of the past as culture and religion:
"It should be clear to all that Islam – the faith of one-fifth of humanity – is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries – in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America."
Turkey is democratic – except when the military decides that democracy is bringing the country too close to the edge of an Islamic revolution, in which case it reverts to its roots as the prototypical Oriental despotism. Before we set up Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone as exemplars of the democratic progress, perhaps it would be wiser to wait and see if they don't return – some time tomorrow – to historic patterns of repression and civil war.
Albania – a bastion of democracy? Only if you consider – like many libertarians – that all governments, democratic or otherwise, are the moral equivalent of little more than gangsters.
We are told that the Middle East needs to be "transformed" before we can sleep safe in our beds at night. But if "more than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments," as the President averred, then what's the problem? These very same peoples hate our guts, that's what, and democracy hasn't ameliorated their hatred – only given it freer expression.
While the President goes on to assert – wrongly, in my view – that Islam is compatible with the Western concept of limited government and individual rights, for some unexplained reason there seems to be a "freedom deficit" prevalent in Muslim countries:
"Whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead. These are not the failures of a culture or a religion. These are the failures of political and economic doctrines."
But political and economic doctrines cannot be understood except as they relate to and are derived from cultural and especially religious ideas. As Murray N. Rothbard showed in his monumental "An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought," the development of economic ideas in the West – the varieties of socialism, including Marxism, as well as capitalism – was rooted in the religious and cultural trends prevalent in pre-industrial Europe. The idea that political and economic doctrines are something separate and aloof from the cultural traditions of a given country or region, to be applied by social engineers at gunpoint, is a grave error inherent in our "liberationist" foreign policy.
Like the Commie leaders of the past, who disdained the role and power of religion, and were conscious enemies of tradition, Bush sees himself as the instrument of History. All progress is measured by the speed of his victories. He is shocked – shocked! – that
"There are governments that still fear and repress independent thought and creativity, and private enterprise – the human qualities that make for a – strong and successful societies."
Yes, and one of them is Israel – a country that systematically steals Palestinian land, bulldozes private homes and businesses, and won't even let its helots travel from one city to another, let alone provide some outlet for their "creativity." Billions per year in U.S. aid pays for the systematic dehumanization of an entire people at Israel's hands.
The Israelis are not mentioned by the President, but he has plenty of advice for the Palestinians:
"For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy. And the Palestinian leaders who block and undermine democratic reform, and feed hatred and encourage violence are not leaders at all. They're the main obstacles to peace, and to the success of the Palestinian people."
Is it really only Yasser Arafat who blocks and undermines "democratic reform"? What does "democratic reform" mean in the context of having your house bulldozed, your shop destroyed, your olive trees uprooted and sold, your land stolen out from under your feet?
By urging the adoption of democracy from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the President should be careful, for he may get what he wants: the end result, however, will almost certainly not resemble anything desirable from the American point of view. Democratic elections in Algeria, held in 1991, led to a radical Islamist victory at the polls, and the election was promptly cancelled. A similar result would surely ensue if, today, Bush could press a button and instantly implement his democratist panacea throughout the region – thanks, in large part, to U.S. military intervention in Iraq and our unconditional support to Israel.
The President then turns his Olympian gaze on Iraq, praises the Iraqi Governing Council – even as the U.S. contemplates plans to ditch it – and rallies his fellow revolutionaries around a long-term commitment of troops and treasure:
"This is a massive and difficult undertaking – it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed – and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran – that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution."
The idea that we must wait for the democratization of the Middle East before we can even begin to recapture the safety of the pre-9/11 world is ludicrous. Do we really have to conquer most of the rest of the earth before we can ensure our own legitimate national security interests? This is precisely what Trotsky theorized about the Soviet Union – that the revolution must spread, to protect the "workers' state" from its implacable enemies. The neocons are selling us the same sort of malarkey – using the President as their mouthpiece – only this time packaged as 100 percent Americanism.
That may be the biggest of the many lies we've been told lately. Nothing could be more anti-American than a policy of perpetual war in the name of "peace." What emboldens – and creates – terrorists is the neocon conceit that we can stage manage the development of Iraqi society – or any society. Such a policy subverts our constitutional form of democracy at home, and undermines our interests abroad.
The great error of Marxism was the idea that liberal ends (the withering away of the state) could be achieved by coercive means (the "dictatorship of the proletariat"). There was to be a "transition period" of indeterminate length before the workers paradise could be achieved, and Soviet workers were continually exhorted to "sacrifice" so that they might "liberate" the "oppressed peoples" abroad and usher in a new world order. If any of this sounds familiar, it is because a Marxism of the Right has won the day in Washington.
The conservative economist and columnist Paul Craig Roberts, an assistant secretary of the treasury in the early years of the Reagan administration, calls our neocon policymakers "neo-Jacobins," and he is entirely right to compare the neocons to that ruthless and notoriously bloodthirsty faction of the French Revolution. The name has become a synonym for revolutionary tyranny, a dangerous perversion of the libertarian ideal into its complete opposite. That is precisely the nature of the enemy we now face.
In the case of the original Jacobins, their policies quickly led to their own undoing. Whether we can hope the same fate will befall the neos, at least any time soon, is a matter of some speculation that, lately, seems almost likely. At any rate, we can always hope.
Justin Raimondo - November 10, 2003 - Antiwar


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ΙΙΙ
The Absent Left

Something strange is going on in the world today. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 and the ongoing crisis of the euro are both products of the model of lightly regulated financial capitalism that emerged over the past three decades. Yet despite widespread anger at Wall Street bailouts, there has been no great upsurge of left-wing American populism in response. It is conceivable that the Occupy Wall Street movement will gain traction, but the most dynamic recent populist movement to date has been the right-wing Tea Party, whose main target is the regulatory state that seeks to protect ordinary people from financial speculators. Something similar is true in Europe as well, where the left is anemic and right-wing populist parties are on the move. There are several reasons for this lack of left-wing mobilization, but chief among them is a failure in the realm of ideas. For the past generation, the ideological high ground on economic issues has been held by a libertarian right. The left has not been able to make a plausible case for an agenda other than a return to an unaffordable form of old-fashioned social democracy. This absence of a plausible progressive counter-narrative is unhealthy, because competition is good for intellectual debate just as it is for economic activity. And serious intellectual debate is urgently needed, since the current form of globalized capitalism is eroding the middle-class social base on which liberal democracy rests...
The Second International got a rude wake-up call in 1914, when the working classes of Europe abandoned calls for class warfare and lined up behind conservative leaders preaching nationalist slogans, a pattern that persists to the present day. Many Marxists tried to explain this, according to the scholar Ernest Gellner, by what he dubbed the "wrong address theory": Just as extreme Shi'ite Muslims hold that Archangel Gabriel made a mistake, delivering the Message to Mohamed when it was intended for Ali, so Marxists basically like to think that the spirit of history or human consciousness made a terrible boob. The awakening message was intended for classes, but by some terrible postal error was delivered to nations. Gellner went on to argue that religion serves a function similar to nationalism in the contemporary Middle East: it mobilizes people effectively because it has a spiritual and emotional content that class consciousness does not. Just as European nationalism was driven by the shift of Europeans from the countryside to cities in the late nineteenth century, so, too, Islamism is a reaction to the urbanization and displacement taking place in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. Marx's letter will never be delivered to the address marked "class." Marx believed that the middle class, or at least the capital-owning slice of it that he called the bourgeoisie, would always remain a small and privileged minority in modem societies. What happened instead was that the bourgeoisie and the middle class more generally ended up constituting the vast majority of the populations of most advanced countries, posing problems for socialism. From the days of Aristotle, thinkers have believed that stable democracy rests on a broad middle class and that societies with extremes of wealth and poverty are susceptible either to oligarchic domination or populist revolution. When much of the developed world succeeded in creating middle-class societies, the appeal of Marxism vanished. The only places where leftist radicalism persists as a powerful force are in highly unequal areas of the world, such as parts of Latin America, Nepal, and the impoverished regions of eastern India...
One of the most puzzling features of the world in the aftermath of the financial crisis is that so far, populism has taken primarily a right-wing form, not a left-wing one. In the United States, for example, although the Tea Party is anti-elitist in its rhetoric, its members vote for conservative politicians who serve the interests of precisely those financiers and corporate elites they claim to despise. There are many explanations for this phenomenon. They include a deeply embedded belief in equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome and the fact that cultural issues, such as abortion and gun rights, crosscut economic ones. But the deeper reason a broad-based populist left has failed to materialize is an intellectual one. It has been several decades since anyone on the left has been able to articulate, first, a coherent analysis of what happens to the structure of advanced societies as they undergo economic change and, second, a realistic agenda that has any hope of protecting a middle-class society. The main trends in left-wing thought in the last two generations have been, frankly, disastrous as either conceptual frameworks or tools for mobilization. Marxism died many years ago, and the few old believers still around are ready for nursing homes. The academic left replaced it with postmodernism, multiculturalism, feminism, critical theory, and a host of other fragmented intellectual trends that are more cultural than economic in focus. Postmodernism begins with a denial of the possibility of any master narrative of history or society, undercutting its own authority as a voice for the majority of citizens who feel betrayed by their elites. Multiculturalism validates the victimhood of virtually every out-group. It is impossible to generate a mass progressive movement on the basis of such a motley coalition: most of the working -and lower- middle-class citizens victimized by the system are culturally conservative and would be embarrassed to be seen in the presence of allies like this. Whatever the theoretical justifications underlying the left's agenda, its biggest problem is a lack of credibility. Over the past two generations, the mainstream left has followed a social democratic program that centers on the state provision of a variety of services, such as pensions, health care, and education. That model is now exhausted: welfare states have become big, bureaucratic, and inflexible; they are often captured by the very organizations that administer them, through public-sector unions; and, most important, they are fiscally unsustainable given the aging of populations virtually everywhere in the developed world. Thus, when existing social democratic parties come to power, they no longer aspire to be more than custodians of a welfare state that was created decades ago; none has a new, exciting agenda around which to rally the masses.
Francis Fukuyama

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Δύο επιλογικές αναφορές

Η «αριστερά», έχοντας μετατραπεί σε ουραγό ή σε σφογγοκωλάριο του αμερικανισμού, δεν αντλεί πλέον από ότι ζωντανότερο είχε η μαρξιστική παράδοση, δηλαδή την ανελέητη απομυθοποίηση των φιλελεύθερων ιδεολογημάτων, αλλά τρέφεται από μια κοινωνική θεωρία που εν μέρει αντικατοπτρίζει και εν μέρει συγκαλύπτει εξιδανικευτικά τις πραγματικές σχέσεις ισχύος μέσα στη δυτική μαζική δημοκρατία.
Καθώς η τελευταία έχει ποικίλες επόψεις και διάφορες ιδεολογικές ανάγκες, η επικρατούσα στη Δύση κοινωνική θεωρία εμφανίζεται κι αυτή σε διάφορες τάσεις: θεωρίες περί «δικαιοσύνης» ή περί «επικοινωνιακής πράξεως» ικανοποιούν τις γενικότερες ηθικολογικές απαιτήσεις της νομιμοποίησης των δυτικών καθεστώτων, θεωρίες περί «συστήματος», προερχόμενες από τον πνευματικό κόσμο της κυβερνητικής και στηριζόμενες στην εννοιολογία της, συνάπτονται με την διοικητική και τεχνική πλευρά της μαζικής δημοκρατίας, ενώ οι πραγματικότητες, αλλά και οι ονειροφαντασίες, της «ελεύθερης αγοράς» απηχούνται σε θεωρίες οικονομίστικης εμπνεύσεως, όπου το σύνολο της κοινωνίας συγκροτείται σύμφωνα με το ιδεατό μοντέλο της αγοράς. Παρά τις μεταξύ τους αντιθέσεις, που κινούνται σε επίπεδο πρακτικά δευτερεύον... όλες αυτές οι θεωρίες, ως προϊόντα νομιμοποίησης της ίδιας κοινωνίας, συμμερίζονται ρητά ή άρρητα βασικές αντιλήψεις... Συνοψίζουν θεωρητικά την ιδεατή του αυτοκατανόηση από δυτική σκοπιά και μονολόνοτι ενίοτε διαπιστώνουν ότι ανάμεσα στην αυτοκατανόηση αυτή και στη σημερινή πραγματικότητα υπάρχει κάποια απόσταση, ωστόσο διατείνονται ότι ο πυρήνας και μεγάλα τμήματα της σημερινής πραγματικότητας εμπεριέχουν σαφείς ροπές ικανές να μας οδηγήσουν αργά ή γρήγορα στο σημείο που δείχνει η ιδεατή αυτοκατανόηση (της Δύσης).
Σε κάθε εποχή η ιδεολογία του νικητή καθίσταται για τους νικημένους ερμηνεία της πραγματικότητας, δηλαδή η ήττα τους επισφραγίζεται με την αποδοχή της οπτικής του νικητή.
Έτσι π.χ. όσοι χθες ακόμα παραληρούσαν για τον «εθνικοαπελευθερωτικό αγώνα του λαού του Βιετνάμ», άναβαν καντήλια στο εικόνισμα του Τσε Γκουεβάρα και δεν ήθελαν ν' ακούνε κουβέντα για «τυφλό αντικομμουνισμό», σήμερα, αντί να καταγγέλλουν τον ιμπεριαλισμό, κεραυνοβολούν «κάθε εθνικισμό» και ενστερνίζονται ως ερμηνεία της πραγματικότητας τα συνθήματα του νικητή: τον οικουμενισμό μέσω της ενιαίας παγκόσμιας αγοράς και των «ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων». Δεν αναρωτιούνται ούτε ποιος θα ερμηνεύει κάθε φορά τι σημαίνουν αυτά τα «δικαιώματα» στον συγκεκριμένο τόπο και χρόνο, ούτε αν και κατά πόσο δικαιολογείται ο «εθνικισμός» όποτε ένα μικρός θέλει να αντισταθεί στις αδηφάγες διαθέσεις ενός μεγάλου.
Με τον τρόπο αυτό, ενώ ηθικολογούν αδιάκοπα, στην πραγματικότητα συμπαρατάσσονται με το δίκαιο του ισχυρότερου. Αλλά αν ο ηττημένος, αποδεχόμενος όψιμα την ιδεολογία του νικητή, γίνεται συχνά ο γελοιωδέστερος και γλοιωδέστερος φορέας της, δεν είναι βέβαια ο πρωταρχικός εμπνευστής και θεμελιωτής της...
Όσα ωφελούν τους ιδιοτελείς τα προπαγανδίζουν οι αφελείς. Όμως οι ιδιοτελείς δεν έχουν μόνο νομιμοποιητικές ανάγκες, που ικανοποιούν οι αφελείς' έχουν και ανάγκες πρακτικές, πρέπει δηλαδή, σε αντίθεση με τους διανοούμενους τους, να δρουν συνεχώς μέσα σε συγκεκριμένες καταστάσεις, όπου διακυβεύονται τεράστια οικονομικά και στρατηγικά συμφέροντα. Όταν π.χ. το αμερικανικό Πεντάγωνο καταρτίζει τους σχεδιασμούς του, που φθάνουν ήδη βαθιά μέσα στον 21ο αιώνα, δεν καλεί βέβαια τον Rawls, ούτε τον Habermas ούτε άλλους ηθικοφιλόσοφους προκειμένου να ακούσει και να ακολουθήσει τις συμβουλές τους. Κατά τη χάραξη και την άσκηση της πολιτικής τα νεφελώματα διαλύονται και τα αστεία τελειώνουν, και σταθμίζονται χειροπιαστά δεδομένα και ορατές τάσεις. Οι οικουμενιστικές ιδεολογίες διόλου δεν προοιωνίζουν την πραγματική μετάβαση προς έναν οικουμενισμό ισότιμων ομάδων και ατόμων. Γιατί θεωρητικά ισχύουν μεν για όλους, πρακτικά όμως ερμηνεύονται δεσμευτικά από τους ισχυρούς και ανοίγουν τις θύρες για οποιεσδήποτε επεμβάσεις κρίνουν σκόπιμες οπουδήποτε. Ότι ήταν για τους Ρώσσους κομμουνιστές χθες ο «προλεταριακός διεθνισμός» είναι σήμερα για τους Αμερικανούς τα «ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα». Και στον 21ο αιώνα, όπως πάντοτε στο παρελθόν, την Ιστορία θα την καθορίσει όποια Δύναμη θα είναι σε θέση να προσδιορίζει δεσμευτικά για τους υπόλοιπους το περιεχόμενο και την πρακτική εφαρμογή των κυρίαρχων εννοιών (διάβαζε: ιδεολογημάτων)...
Όποιος δεν θέλει να είναι φερέφωνο του ισχυρού δεν πρέπει και να αποδέχεται την εικόνα που προβάλλει και επιβάλλει ο ισχυρός για τον εαυτό του. Πολλοί, ιδίως «αριστεροί», έχουν την εντύπωση ότι (εξακολουθούν να) απορρίπτουν το «σύστημα» μόνο και μόνο επειδή επικαλούνται την ιδεολογία του «συστήματος» προκειμένου να επικρίνουν σε ορισμένα σημεία την πραγματικότητα του. Όμως με τον τρόπο αυτό απλώς καταφάσκεται αντικειμενικά ό,τι απορρίπτεται υποκειμενικά...
Ένα οφθαλμοφανές, και ασφαλώς όχι τυχαίο, γνώρισμα των κοινωνικών θεωριών που προαναφέραμε είναι ο εξοβελισμός της ιστορικής διάστασης και της ιστορικής θεώρησης. Η άλλοτε υποκρυπτόμενη και άλλοτε επιδεικνυόμενη πρόθεση εξοβελισμού της ιστορικής διάστασης και ιστορικής θεώρησης είναι να δώσει τροφή στην εντύπωση, και στην ελπίδα, ότι η σημερινή κοινωνικοπολιτική κατάσταση στη Δύση αποτελεί εδραία κατάκτηση της ανθρωπότητας, η οποία όχι μόνο δεν είναι δυνατόν να ανατραπεί στο χώρο της διαμόρφωσής της, αλλά και σε προβλεπτό χρονικό διάστημα θα εξαπλωθεί σε ολόκληρο τον πλανήτη.
Όμως μέσα στην ιστορία δεν υπάρχουν ούτε μόνιμες κατακτήσεις ούτε ευθύγραμμες εξελίξεις ως απλές προεκτάσεις σημερινών συγκυριών. Η διάδοση της μαζικής δημοκρατίας σε παγκόσμια κλίμακα όχι μόνο δεν θα γεννήσει παντού πιστά αντίγραφα, αλλά θα αλλάξει και αυτήν την ίδια στις μητροπολιτικές χώρες, πυροδοτώντας παράλληλα οξύτατους αγώνες κατανομής.
Αν ο 20ος αιώνας σήμανε τη διάψευση της κομμουνιστικής ουτοπίας,
ο 21ος αιώνας θα χαρακτηρισθεί από την κατάρρευση της φιλελεύθερης.
Ποιά συγκεκριμένα γεγονότα θα συγκροτήσουν τις μεγάλες ροπές κατά τον 21ο αιώνα, που θα είναι ο συγκλονιστικότερος και τραγικότερος της ανθρώπινης Ιστορίας, δεν μπορούμε να ξέρουμε. Ένα ωστόσο είναι βέβαιο: η Ιστορία δεν τέλειωσε, κανείς απ' όσους ζουν σήμερα δεν πρόκειται να πεθάνει γνωρίζοντας πως θα τελειώσει...

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Τα θεωρήματα περί «αλλοτρίωσης» έγιναν δημοφιλέστερα στις δεκαετίες του 1960 και του 1970, και στο πλαίσιο της τοτινής «πολιτισμικής επανάστασης», επειδή κατανοήθηκαν στο φως ενός συνθήματος, το οποίο απέκτησε λειτουργία-κλειδί εξ αιτίας του ηδονιστικού βασικού προσανατολισμού της μαζικής δημοκρατίας ως κοινωνικού σχηματισμού κυριαρχούμενου από τη μαζική παραγωγή, τη μαζική κατανάλωση και την ηθική ανεκτικότητα: εννοούμε βέβαια το ηλεκτρικιστικό σύνθημα της ατομικής «αυτοπραγμάτωσης».
Η διαφορά ανάμεσα σε μετανοούντες (φιλο)κομμουνιστές και θριαμβεύοντες δυτικόφρονες είναι, όπως λέγεται συνήθως, ότι οι πρώτοι ήσαν διατεθειμένοι να παραβλέψουν ή και να χαιρετίσουν την απανθρωπία, αρκεί να διαπράττονταν στο όνομα της Ουτοπίας, ενώ οι δεύτεροι, με τον αντιουτοπικό πραγματισμό τους, υπηρέτησαν την φιλελεύθερη υπόθεση της φιλάνθρωπης ανοχής.
Αν όμως δούμε τα πράγματα σε μια διαφορετικά προοπτική, αυτή η υποκειμενικά αισθητή αντίθεση επισκιάζεται από μιαν αντικειμενική ομοιότητα.
Οι «προοδευτικοί», δηλ. δεχόμενοι τη φιλοσοφία της ιστορικής προόδου, διανοούμενοι συμπαρατάχθηκαν με τη στρατευμένη Ουτοπία πιστεύοντας ότι η Ουτοπία θα γίνει στο μέλλον πραγματικότητα, άρα ότι η Ιστορία θα τους δικαιώσει. Και οι δυτικόφρονες διανοούμενοι μέμφονται σήμερα με τόση αυτοπεποίθηση τις αμαρτίες της αντίπαλης πλευράς επειδή φρονούν ότι, το αργότερο το 1989, η Ιστορία έδωσε δίκιο σ' αυτούς...
Και καθώς στο νου τους, ήδη για πολεμικούς λόγους, κυριαρχεί η αντίθεση «ελευθερία-ολοκληρωτισμός», δεν συνειδητοποιούν ούτε τη καταγωγή του οράματος τους από ορισμένη φιλοσοφία της ιστορίας ούτε τη συνάφεια της προσφιλούς τους πανανθρώπινης κοινωνίας με οικουμενιστικές ουτοπίες -και πρώτα-πρώτα την μαρξιστική, η οποία αρχικά δεν ήταν τίποτε άλλο από μια παραλλαγή ενός ονείρου του αστικού φιλελευθερισμού: εννοώ το όνειρο της πολιτικής και ηθικής ενοποίησης του κόσμου υπό την αιγίδα μιας ανοιχτής παγκόσμιας οικονομίας...
Τις συνάφειες αυτές τις αποκρύπτει συνήθως ο μονομερής προσανατολισμός του ενδιαφέροντος προς την ηθική πλευρά των προβλημάτων...
Ακόμα και με κίνδυνο να σκανδαλίσουμε τους ηθικολόγους μας, δηλ. τους ιδεολόγους της δικής μας κοινωνίας, οφείλουμε να διαπιστώσουμε ότι οι οικουμενικές αρχές των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, οι οποίες αποδίδουν ίση αυτονομία και αξιοπρέπεια σε όλα τα άτομα ως άτομα, μπορούν να ευδοκιμήσουν μονάχα σε κοινωνίες όπου ένας εξαιρετικά διαφορισμένος καταμερισμός της εργασίας κατακερματίζει το σύνολο σε άτομα και όπου μαζική παραγωγή και μαζική κατανάλωση κινούνται σε υψηλότατα επίπεδα. Αν εκλείψουν αυτές οι προϋποθέσεις, τότε θα συρρικνωθούν αναγκαία οι ελεύθεροι χώροι, μέσα στους οποίους ανθίζουν η ατομική αυτοπραγμάτωση, η ανοχή, η συναίνεση κ.τ.λ...
Μερικοί διανοούμενοι διαισθάνονται την εσώτερη συνοχή μιας τέτοιας ηθικής και μιας τέτοιας οικονομικής οργάνωσης -όμως την διατυπώνουν με αισιόδοξα πρόσημα. Υπερασπίζουν λοιπόν κατ' αρχήν το δυτικό σύστημα (και βλέπουν μάλιστα σήμερα πολύ επιεικέστερα ακόμα και τον «αμερικανισμό») και τις μελλοντικές του προοπτικές στο όνομα πανανθρώπινων ηθικών αξιών, καταδικάζουν κάθε απαισιόδοξη πρόγνωση για τον δυτικό πολιτισμό και καταγγέλλουν την απόρριψη της δυτικής αποθέωσης του «χρήματος» ως νοσταλγία της φασιστικής ρητορικής, η οποία αντιπαρέθετε επίσης στο «χρήμα» το «αίμα και χώμα». Έτσι, αφήνουν την παραδοσιακή αριστερή κριτική του καπιταλισμού να τη νέμεται η ευρωπαϊκή «Νέα Δεξιά», χωρίς να αντιλαμβάνονται ότι και οι ίδιοι απλώς θητεύουν σε μια τετριμμένη (την αισιόδοξη) φιλοσοφία της ιστορίας...
Μετά το ναυάγιο της Ουτοπίας της Ανατολής τα εξημερωμένα κατάλοιπα της «Αριστεράς» ενστερνίστηκαν έτσι την Ουτοπία της Δύσης και δίχως πολλά-πολλά αντάλλαξαν τον αριστερό «αντιφασισμό» με τον φιλελεύθερο «αντιολοκληρωτισμό». Θα διαψευσθούν για δεύτερη κατά συνέχεια φορά, αν η οικουμενική επικράτηση της δυτικής οικονομίας και ηθικής δεν συνεπιφέρει την πραγμάτωση της αντίστοιχης Ουτοπίας, αλλά τρομακτικούς αγώνες κατανομής και καταστροφές πλανητικού βεληνεκούς.


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