Civil Society - Philosophy

Civil Society

How to reconstruct the history of society? What could be the reconstruction of political ? From a methodological point of view, the evolutionary approach to genealogy of the political is vulnerable. Historians post facts but the pattern of the evolution of society - from ethnos to the people and from it to the nation. This position seems quite objective and rational basis for a balanced policy: yes, there are still remnants of tribal life, as well as traditional societies where the population feels like subjects of the king, but these people should be educated and brought up in a democratic spirit and thus brought to a state nation. Of course, there is no objection to the fact that social progress is from the primitive horde to modern democracy. The question is, where does our primitive legacy go and how to deal with the "other" that has not reached the modern stage of national identity. Unlike the supporters of the evolutionary and dialectical approach, which takes into account, apart from the simple development from the lower to the higher, their struggle, interaction, transformation and preservation of the old, one can assume that the "primitive" exists not only in the past, but also in the present, within a civilized society, within ourselves. And it is on the need for self-knowledge, and not on simple historical curiosity, that interest in the genealogy of the political is based.

State instinct can not be imagined as a kind of sustainable virus, from time to time generating outbreaks of imperial ambitions. It is equally frivolous to think that the modern "post-national" society in the context of globalization will give rise to tolerant cosmopolitans. In fact, it is precisely today that intense ethnic and ethnic conflicts are observed, a new division of society is taking place, and new barriers, including those of a national and cultural nature, arise.

The development of civil society is viewed by historians as a natural historical process, in which changes in consciousness are determined by one or another established circumstances and the layout of political forces. You can point to some basic settings of modern society :

► First, society is a solidarity community based on the legal equality of its members;

► Secondly, citizens are tied to the territory on which they establish their political self-government, form the state;

► Thirdly, the unity of the nation is based on political and cultural sovereignty.

The notion of a cultural nation is fraught with nationalism; it is believed that in modern society it must give way to the notion of a civil nation.

Nation and society . Nations appear as a product of a long cultural and historical development. As political communities they have been known since the Middle Ages.

The starting point of the modern political process can be considered the formation since the XIV century of independent states, when political power was constituted as power over a certain single territory. During this period, a class society is formed. The formation of nations marks the second stage of modernization, when the question of the legitimacy of political sovereignty arose. The population becomes the subject of politics, and this means turning it into a civil nation . National consciousness unites representatives of different population groups, previously separated by regional, ethnic, religious barriers. For this, new foundations of unity are necessary, and that is what public opinion becomes. The development of national self-consciousness proceeds unevenly. At the earliest stage of the existence of modern states, the right to represent on behalf of the nation appropriated the nobility and the top of the urban population. So in the game of history is included class nation . As education increases, the national consciousness is formed in the reading public and embraces ever wider sections of the population. The intelligentsia becomes the bearer of national self-consciousness. In the second half of the 18th century, broad patriotic movements are organized, which are considered the third phase of the process of European modernization. By patriotism is understood such social and political behavior, in which common interests prevail over personal ones. On the basis of patriotism, the modern model of the civil nation was formed, which is characterized by residence in one territory and the presence of citizenship, the right to self-determination and political self-government. According to the new political model, a nation consists of citizens who have the right to elect and be elected.

The entry of nations into the historical arena is directly related to the formation of the national state . It is characterized by the fact that sovereignty belongs to a people that is endowed with civil rights and takes an equal part in all the institutions of the state. National states are formed as a result of a movement that arises on the basis of a certain program for achieving national self-determination within its territory. Opposition political movements seeking political autonomy generate internal and external conflicts, so the modern attitude to such movements is very ambiguous. The national liberation movement creates an ideology in which both the identification criteria of the nation and democratic human rights are formulated. Nationalism is the denial of equality and the assertion of one's own chosenness against the backdrop of the inferiority of other nations. Thus, xenophobia, chauvinism and anti-Semitism are the cornerstones of nationalism, in which the nation is understood as an ethnic community. A catastrophic outbreak of nationalism occurred during the First World War and led to the formation of a fascist movement.

The formation of national states has caused many wars. Even Immanuel Kant for public security put forward the concept of the Union of Free Nations, based on the principles of equality. After 1945, in the field of foreign policy, serious changes took place that were characterized by international cooperation: the creation of the UN, NATO, the European Community, the Security Council. 200 years after Kant, there appeared such supranational organizations as the International Court of Justice, the Commission on Human Rights, etc. Thanks to integration into international structures, negative consequences of autonomization are removed, and the national state passes to a new phase of development, characterized by openness of borders, interest in cooperation and exchange (economic, cultural, information) with other countries and peoples.

The modern understanding of the social community distances itself from defining it in terms of "blood and soil", as well as language and cultural myth. Political consciousness is not reduced to ideology and mentality, although it acts as a form, kind or phenomenon of social consciousness. The state, in fact, is understood as civil society, the core of which is the third estate, ie. practically the whole nation. It is institutionalized in the form of a national assembly, which represents and expresses the will of the people. So there is an autonomous national state - a republic.

In this story, it is somewhat surprising and alarming that the republic is perceived as a mother, giving birth, uniting and protecting her children - the people. Why does a purely functional theory of civil society introduce an element of blood-bearing ties? Why does the word "brotherhood" appear on the banners of the republic?

In the Anglo-Saxon literature, the term "nationalism" understood any manifestation of the national. This concept had a positive rather negative evaluation meaning. After the end of the Second World War, political nationalism was disavowed and began to be perceived as something unambiguously negative. However, the continuing national movements forced the researchers to overcome the rigid moral distinction and to take a more thorough approach to the role of nations in the contemporary political process. So there were new concepts - regionalism, separatism, ethno-nationalism , etc. Neutral, priceless use of the term nationalism led to the fact that today the nation is rarely treated as a political community, and is mainly seen as a cultural and even ethnic community.

It's time to bring together the concepts of cultural and political and thereby open the door to new, more thorough research of society. First of all, it is necessary to deepen the notion of the political and to reveal both the forms of its manifestation in history and the concepts in which it should be described. It seems natural to apply it to such a general term as "consciousness." However, the term consciousness in recent years is experiencing inflation caused by its excessively expanded use, and in the new historical science is supplanted by the concepts of mentality and mentality that generalize the norms of human behavior. The political is not limited exclusively to rational representations, but includes habits, customs, rituals that regulate bodily acts. Communication within the social community is carried out by means of signs, the carriers of which are voices and people's faces, sounds and smells, architectural structures, city structures, etc.

The fact that modern nationalism no longer feeds on "blood and soil", but has a largely artificial, political character does not mean that it can not be taken into account. On the contrary, it is the possibility of using the national myth for political purposes to study more closely the mechanism of its production and appropriation in modern society. For this it makes sense to re-read the work of the old authors who wrote in the era of stormy changes, when the national spirit was dressed in military uniform. We condemn the people who called for the protection and prosperity of their own nation to walk in army boots on foreign lands. But we must not consider them bloodthirsty barbarians, sharply different from us - peaceful and civilized people. Consciousness of our ancestors was not limited to low instincts, but contained very lofty ideas, for which they were ready to sacrifice even their lives. It is in the light of the danger of such an "exalted" cultural heritage should be carefully considered as to how, by whom, where and when it was produced.

In recent centuries, historical memory is preserved and cultivated by the intelligentsia, primarily school history teachers, whose lessons form the political consciousness.

Since national movements seeking political autonomy have intensified their activity in our time, despite globalization and expansion of international integration, it is necessary to seriously consider the arguments of old discourses and try to oppose them not just reminders of the "terrible past", but serious analysis modernity.

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