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This book examines the changes and challenges to democracy particularly in contemporary Russia. In the first section, Ru

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Table of contents :
Contents......Page 8
Editorial Foreword......Page 12
Preface......Page 16
1. Introduction......Page 22
2. Democracy: Virtues and Vices......Page 23
3. Challenges to Democracy in Russia......Page 24
4. Democracy and Economics......Page 25
ONE – Living in the World of a "Unipolar System": Alternatives and Trends......Page 30
1. Introduction......Page 42
2. Providers and Officials......Page 44
3. The Culture of Political Corruption: Public Opinion......Page 49
4. Manipulating the Factors of Corruption: Reform Proposals......Page 51
5. Conclusion......Page 55
1. Aspects of Democracy that Can Lead to Violence......Page 58
2. The Nature of Moral Demagoguery and How It Can Lead to Violence......Page 59
3. The Way in Which Violence Needs Moral Demagoguery......Page 61
4. The Role of Moral Demagoguery In the Political Consciousness of Contemporary Russia......Page 63
1. Introduction......Page 66
2. Beyond Civic and Ethnic Nationalism......Page 67
3. The Interdictory Forms of Higher Nationalism......Page 69
4. Russia: A Mixed Case?......Page 73
5. The Paradoxes of Lower Nationalism......Page 74
1. Social Transformations Before Perestroika......Page 82
2. Transformations During Perestroika......Page 84
3. Transformations After Perestroika......Page 88
1. Introduction......Page 94
2. The Goals and Purposes of a Democratic Society......Page 95
3. Information Theory and the Communications Structure......Page 97
4. Solutions......Page 101
SEVEN – Reflections on Some Problems in Russia's Transformation......Page 104
1. Democracy and Meritocracy?......Page 120
2. Who Are the Elite?......Page 121
3. How Did the New Meritocracy Arise?......Page 124
4. What Can Be Done?......Page 125
NINE – Civil Society and Civil Participation......Page 128
1. Introduction: From Political to Economic Democracy......Page 142
2. The Critique of Economic Democracy and A Response......Page 143
3. Relations of Politics and Economics in Political Philosophy......Page 145
4. Beyond Post-Keynesian Economic Liberalism......Page 149
5. Conclusion: Prospects for Economic Democracy......Page 152
Bibliography......Page 158
About the Authors......Page 170
D......Page 172
J......Page 173
R......Page 174
Z......Page 175
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DEMOCRACY AND THE QUEST FOR JUSTICE Russian and American Perspectives

VIBS Volume 148 Robert Ginsberg Founding Editor Peter A. Redpath Executive Editor

Associate Editors G. John M. Abbarno Mary-Rose Barral Gerhold K. Becker Raymond Angelo Belliotti Kenneth A. Bryson C. Stephen Byrum H. G. Callaway Robert A. Delfino Rem B. Edwards William Gay Dane R. Gordon J. Everet Green Heta Aleksandra Gylling Matti Häyry Steven V. Hicks

Richard T. Hull Laura Duhan Kaplan Joseph C. Kunkel Vincent L. Luizzi Alan Milchman George David Miller Jon Mills Alan Rosenberg Arleen L. F. Salles John R. Shook Eddy Souffrant Tuija Takala Oscar Vilarroya Anne Waters John R. Welch

a volume in Contemporary Russian Philosophy CRP William Gay, Editor

DEMOCRACY AND THE QUEST FOR JUSTICE Russian and American Perspectives

Edited by

William Gay Tatiana Alekseeva

Amsterdam - New York, NY 2004

Cover Design: Paul Pollmann The paper on which this book is printed meets the requirements of "ISO 9706:1994, Information and documentation - Paper for documents Requirements for permanence". ISBN: 90-420-1099-1 ©Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam - New York, NY 2004 Printed in the Netherlands

William Gay dedicates this book to his friend Sam Crowell. Tatiana Alekseeva dedicates this book to her father Aleksander Alekseev.

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CONTENTS Editorial Foreword William Gay Preface Jack Perry Introduction


xv Current Trends in Russian and American Political Theory Reginald Raymer 1. Introduction 2. Democracy: Virtues and Vices 3. Challenges to Democracy in Russia 4. Democracy and Economics

1 1 2 3 4





Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”: Alternatives and Trends Tatiana Alekseeva




Corruption and Democracy Robert Mundt 1. Introduction 2. Providers and Officials 3. The Culture of Political Corruption: Public Opinion 4. Manipulating the Factors of Corruption: Reform Proposals 5. Conclusion Ethics and Democracy: On the Danger of Moral Demagoguery Abdusalam Guseinov 1. Aspects of Democracy that Can Lead to Violence 2. The Nature of Moral Demagoguery and How It Can Lead to Violence 3. The Way in Which Violence Needs Moral Demagoguery 4. The Role of Moral Demagoguery In the Political Consciousness of Contemporary Russia

21 21 23 28 30 34

37 37 38 40 42

viii FOUR

CONTENTS Democracy, Patriotism, and Virtue: Notes Toward a Cultural Theory of Nations and Nationalism Alan Woolfolk 1. Introduction 2. Beyond Civic and Ethnic Nationalism 3. The Interdictory Forms of Higher Nationalism 4. Russia: A Mixed Case? 5. The Paradoxes of Lower Nationalism

45 45 46 48 52 53





Democratic Reforms in Russia: The Specific Social Transformation Vyacheslav Stiopin 1. Social Transformations Before Perestroika 2. Transformations During Perestroika 3. Transformations After Perestroika

61 61 63 67



Democracy, Information, and the Russian Experiment Nicholas Caste 1. Introduction 2. The Goals and Purposes of a Democratic Society 3. Information Theory and the Communications Structure 4. Solutions Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation Konstantin Zuev


The American Dream: Democracy or Meritocracy? Laura Duhan Kaplan and Charles Kaplan 1. Democracy and Meritocracy? 2. Who Are the Elite? 3. How Did the New Meritocracy Arise? 4. What Can Be Done?

73 73 74 76 80

83 97

99 99 100 103 104

Contents NINE


Civil Society and Civil Participation Ruben Apressyan Economic Democracy: The Final Frontier William Gay 1. Introduction: From Political to Economic Democracy 2. The Critique of Economic Democracy and A Response 3. Relations of Politics and Economics in Political Philosophy 4. Beyond Post-Keynesian Economic Liberalism 5. Conclusion: Prospects for Economic Democracy

ix 107

121 121 122 124 128 131



About the Authors




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EDITORIAL FOREWORD This volume inaugurates a Special Series in Contemporary Russian Philosophy (CRP). This Special Series focuses on the philosophy emerging in the Russian Federation, not on pre-Soviet philosophy or immediate post-Soviet philosophy, because nineteenth-century Russian religious thought and twentieth-century Soviet political ideology do not provide the proper reference point for understanding the philosophy now being done in Russia. To promote a more adequate understanding, each volume of CRP explores perspectives in and on philosophy as currently practiced in Russia. This Special Series features collaborative works between Russians and Americans, collections of chapters by Russians, and monographs by Russians. All volumes are published in English. The present volume is a collaborative project between Russians and Americans. The chapters developed from a series of Roundtables on “Democratization in Russia” conducted over a four year period at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and in Moscow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. A Scholar Exchange Agreement had been reached between these two institutions at the end of the 1980s. This exchange was one of only a few retained by the Institute of Philosophy during the transitions following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. These Roundtables were, in part, an attempt to grapple with the critical societal issues that had to be addressed immediately in Russia. Specifically, the Roundtables focused on difficulties facing the Russian Federation in the development of democratic policies and practices. All of the Russian contributors to this volume are or have been associated with the Institute of Philosophy in Moscow, and all but one of the American contributors is affiliated with UNC Charlotte. These Roundtables involved many more papers than are represented here. This selection from the best papers presents a balanced and integrated perspective of views by Russian and American political theorists on democracy, especially in Russia, and its relation to issues of justice. The chapters in this book were edited by me and Tatiana Alekseeva. This volume is our second co-edited volume.1 We have also co-authored a prior volume.2 Reginald Raymer, the Assistant Editor of this Special Series, has prepared the Introduction. Finally, Ambassador Jack Perry prepared a special Preface for this inaugural volume of Contemporary Russian Philosophy. We are especially grateful for the insights and support of this distinguished diplomat who served in the American Embassy in Moscow during the early 1960s and later as U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria. Following his “retirement,” he directed International Studies at Davidson College and then at UNC Charlotte. Through a special arrangement with the Russian Philosophical Society, some of the future volumes of CRP will be drawn from the best papers presented at the national meetings of the Russian Congress of Philosophy. The first was held in St. Petersburg in summer of 1998, and the second was held in Ekaterinburg in summer of 1999. Another volume is being planned with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The possibilities are legion and exciting. This Special Series will demonstrate the originality, vitality, and relevance



of the scholarly writings being produced by the Russian philosophical community. In undertaking this publishing venture, the CRP Special Series is pleased to have co-sponsors in both the United States and Russia. The co-sponsors are the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics at UNC Charlotte and the Russian Philosophical Society. The Center for Professional and Applied Ethics is the largest such center in the southeastern United States. The Center, which maintains a variety of on-going regional endeavors, already sponsors one national professional organization. Now, the Center is moving into international arenas, including research endeavors, which it is beginning with this volume. The Russian Philosophical Society is the largest professional organization of philosophers in Russia and is the successor within the Russian Federation of the Soviet Philosophical Society that existed in the U.S.S.R. In many ways, the Russian Philosophical Society is the counterpart in Russia of the American Philosophical Association in the United States. In my efforts as Editor of CRP, I will be joined by an Assistant Editor, Reginald Raymer, who along with me is in the Philosophy Department at UNC Charlotte. We will be served as well by the distinguished Editorial Board of CRP which is composed of prominent Russian philosophers and of American philosophers with long-standing involvements in Russian philosophy. The members of the Editorial Board are Tatiana Alekseeva, Ruben Apressyan, Alexander Chumakov, Robert Holmes, Alexandre Mikheev, and James Sterba. Alekseeva, who is co-editor of this volume, is Head of the Department of Political Theory at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was formerly the Head of the Department of Political Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy in Moscow and has been a Visiting Professor at UNC Charlotte. Apressyan is Head of the Department of Ethics at the Institute of Philosophy in Moscow and has been a Visiting Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. Chumakov is the First Vice President of the Russian Philosophical Society and has lectured at several universities in the United States. Holmes is a Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Rochester and has been Rajif Gandhi Professor of Peace and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Mikheev, formerly Associate Professor in the Department of the Art and Craft of Translation at the Moscow Foreign Languages Institute, now resides in the United States and is a Professor in the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Sterba is Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Notre Dame, USA and is also a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for International Peace Studies at that university. Both Holmes and Sterba have lectured many times in Moscow and other cities in Russia and Eastern Europe, and Mikheev returns regularly to Russia to pursue professional activities. Democracy and the Quest for Justice: Russian and American Perspectives is a timely first volume in this new Special Series and will make a valuable addition to the Value Inquiry Book Series (VIBS), published by Editions Rodopi, B. V., for which Robert Ginsberg is the Founding Editor. We thank Ginsberg and the Associate Editors of VIBS for their support of this new Special Series. In

Editorial Foreword


You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe said of America, “I think the true discovery of America is before us. . . I think the true discovery of our own democracy is still before us.”3 The Editors and Editorial Board of CRP believe that the same can be said of Russia at the beginning of the new millennium. For the foreseeable future, Russia and most other countries will continue to struggle with the proper structuring of the democratic state, especially in relation to issues of political and economic justice. This first volume of CRP takes up basic questions about the relation of democracy to justice. Subsequent volumes will continue the philosophical exploration of global problems facing humanity. William Gay Editor Contemporary Russian Philosophy Notes 1. William Gay and T.A. Alekseeva, eds., On the Eve of the 21st Century: Perspectives of Russian and American Philosophers (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994). 2. William Gay and T.A. Alekseeva, Capitalism With a Human Face: The Quest for a Middle Road in Russian Politics (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1995). 3. Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again (New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1960), p. 669.

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PREFACE Jack Perry Russia and America—their likeness and unlikeness, nearness and distance, interaction with each other and with the rest of the world—is one of the great subjects for examination in the new chapter of world history that began in 1989. For decades, those of us who taught courses in Soviet politics or in USAUSSR relations would quote Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous prophecy from the 1840s that, in the future, the two great continental powers of Russia and America would dominate the globe between them. That appeared a marvelous foreseeing of the Cold War world. None of us foresaw (although some of us claimed afterward to have done so) the stupendous surprises of the late 1980s with Mikhail Gorbachev starring as Pandora: letting go the Warsaw Pact empire, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the demise of Communist Party rule in Moscow. For many—especially those willing to shut their eyes to nuclear-weapon realities—de Tocqueville appeared out of date. Forgetting the essential role of Russia in world politics since at least Peter the Great, some pretended that Russia was now a minor country that could be ignored, or even punished for past aspirations to power. On the first day of class in my courses about Russia and Russian-American relations, I liked to pose provocative questions for my new students, and one that always led to spirited discussion was, “Is Russia part of Europe?” If one of the students was of, say, Polish heritage, he or she would voice an emphatic negative and make allusions to Orthodoxy, perhaps about the absence of the Renaissance or Reformation in Russia. A political science major would talk, on the other hand, about Russia’s long, long history as a Great Power in the European system. And literature majors might talk about the essentiality to Western literature of Fyodor Dostoevsky or Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. Music-minded students might chime in about Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky or Igor Stravinsky. Budding artists might bring up Wassily Kandinsky or Marc Chagall. Someone might counter about the absence of democracy and possibly “Asian despotism.” And so on. By the end of the discussion we began to see that our differences were not so much about Russia as about how to define “Europe,” or “Western civilization.” My own view is that I cannot imagine human civilization without the Russian presence. I cannot imagine modern history without the immense Russian and Soviet presence. I cannot imagine a future—whether of ideas, or of political economy, or of power, or of art—without the unique Russian presence. The prophecy of de Tocqueville about a world co-dominated by Russia and America may have come true and then have come untrue, but his foreseeing of Russia’s and America’s growth into global significance remains quite valid. So that when



I come to define “Europe” or “Western civilization,” past or present or future, I consider it essential for Russia and America to be part of the discussion—even if each has characteristics that set it outside the norm. Let us be frank: whatever a person’s religious or cultural or national heritage, if someone is abreast of the times they know that the world today is one world. Roots matter immensely; but they matter especially as they help define the future. Even if the term “Western civilization” is controversial in some quarters today, we can assume that contributions from both Russia and America to the definition of a new future civilization are crucial. And if an ongoing Russian-American dialogue can refine and enhance those contributions, so much the better. Democracy and the Quest for Justice: Russian and American Perspectives is the theme of this volume. I suggest that in examining that theme we take as given that both Russia and America will continue to play important parts in human culture and in world politics—and that each can learn from the other. As a career diplomat from 1959 to 1983 I served in Moscow (1962-1964) and then in Paris (1964-1969). Despite the cold hand of Soviet communism upon Russia, I found to my surprise that after taking a step back, I was, as an American, more at home with Russians than I was with the French. The spaciousness of the two continental countries, and the sameness of certain steps taken away from the past, gave us similarities that were absent for an American in Paris, or in London or Bonn or Rome. Immense differences? Yes, of course. But the similarities between Russians and Americans—especially once the Soviet regime had fallen—give us ample ground for fellow-feeling as we examine each other. What is the state of American democracy today? If we were asking, “What is the state of the American empire today?” we would have an easier question. We do indeed bestride the world like a colossus, and people fall easily into clichés—”the only Super-Power,” “the engine of the global economy,” even “the universal nation” and so on. But internally? Prosperous, certainly. An everascending (apparently) stock market, a surprisingly low unemployment rate, even recent motion toward improving the lot of the very poor—all this is impressive. And it jibes with the state of the empire (if I may be pardoned for using that historical term, of course non-pejoratively). An intelligent friend near retirement age said to me recently: “I do not see us teaching the young people in this country that there is any purpose to life beyond acquisition of things.” Does that point to problems in the state of American democracy? I recall my first visit to Washington, D.C., in the spring of 1940. I was then a ten-year-old School Patrol member, and we made a collective trip to the capital from Atlanta by train. Part of our preparation for the trip had been sitting around the radio in class and listening to President Franklin Roosevelt speak. This was an era of enormous danger and great gravity in world affairs, and the state of our country. I can almost feel the tension in the air alongside the Potomac as I think of Adolf Hitler marching into France that spring, the Japanese invading huge chunks of Asia, London fighting off the Blitz—and America holding its breath. I have lived in Washington many years off and on since that



first visit, but I have never forgotten the view of the world from Pennsylvania Avenue in 1940, when the Depression was at hand, when world war was coming closer to us, and when—this is the vital point—life was under challenge. Our life as a nation, our lives as individuals—under challenge. Perhaps this view is merely age that sees the rise to greatness of the American people under the challenge of World War II. But in my eyes a participation was taking place in the life of our times—in democracy itself—that is lacking today. Perhaps our affluence has undermined our need for belief in government, our need for a sense of purpose at home and in the world at large. All I know is that when I compare what I shall dare to call the American soul in 1940 with the American soul in 1999, I see a severe falling-off. What is the state of Russian democracy today? My personal base-year for comparisons of Russia is 1959, the year I first visited there. I had been studying Soviet Russia and the Russian language since 1951, and after three years at Columbia’s Russian Institute I spent the month of May in the USSR, traveling alone. The first city I went to was Kiev, at May Day. Despite the holiday, and the parade, and the grandeur of the city site, and the southern brightness all around, I went into a black depression. The reason was simply that I was experiencing for the first time what used to be called “the totalitarian atmosphere” of a police state. Acres of bright red banners on the streets, but no news of the outside world, hints of surveillance everywhere, and a feeling—hard to pin down, but a definite, palpable feeling—of Control in the air. I went across the Soviet Union on that trip, to Russian and non-Russian places, and some were better than others, but the dark feeling of Control was in them all. I looked at Joseph Stalin in the tomb with Vladimir Ilich Lenin, and I walked the streets of Moscow and Leningrad, and I visited the repulsive cathedrals-turned-into-antireligious museums, and I took part in fervent church services—and everywhere I found the gloom of a dictatorship, the gloom of the absence of democracy. Later, after I entered the Foreign Service, we spent those two fascinating years at our Embassy in Moscow, and while my appreciation for Russia increased, the gloom was not lifted. When I ask myself how stands Russia today, I first of all think back to how miserable Russia was politically—from the standpoint of human freedom—in 1959. How very much brighter everything looks today, even when allowances are made for all the shortcomings and poverty and lack of accomplishment. Much brighter today! Alongside American democracy I mentioned the American empire. Alongside Russian democracy, what about the Russian empire? Any Russian patriot would have to say, “Much shrunken.” A comparison of the growth and decline of the two empires would be instructive. If we began in the 1860s, we would see the history begin with the move of a big chunk of territory, Alaska, from Russian to American hands. Russia went ahead to absorb vast new territories in Central Asia. The United States meanwhile completed its conquest of its North American territories, and about the turn of the century turned to European-style imperialism with the spoils of the Spanish-American war. Russia lost territories



after the events of 1917, although the Bolsheviks reconquered and held most of the Tsarist empire. And by the end of World War II Russia was larger than ever. The new Soviet empire of 1939-89 then fell apart and even parts of the Tsarist empire under Russian rule for centuries moved away. Meanwhile the United States, following up on its great triumph in 1945, built up peaceful economic and in some cases political dominion over a great part of the globe. And today? Because of the expansion of NATO and the reunification of Germany, together with the instability in Central Asia and in the Balkans, not to speak of the growing power of China, Russia finds itself facing formidable security challenges, but without the glacis of non-Russian territories that once almost surrounded it. Only a decade ago Russia was recognized as co-dominator of world politics. Today, some who begin history with yesterday are treating Russia not as a Great Power but as a weak and unstable power that can be looked on with indifference. This attitude is a formidable downward change in perception. Also, this view is not in accord with reality. This change in the perception of its standing in the world necessarily has a large effect on simultaneous Russian attempts to develop a capitalist economy and to nurture democracy. Such things would be hard, passing hard, for any society at any time. To pursue such changes while coping with the severe change in the nation’s security scene—and with the decline in worldwide standing in power terms—is a burden of great weight. Some people used to say that during the Cold War the United States had a military-industrial complex, but the Soviet Union was a military-industrial complex. Given the American role as world police officer, the health of its militaryindustrial complex appears assured. Russia has lost both the motive and the means to maintain its military-industrial complex at anything like the old Soviet level. Yet in an examination of democracy in both countries, the question that needs to ask about this is how much the people as a whole may be asked to sacrifice for national power. And how will security considerations affect the state of democracy in both countries? Earlier I spoke about similarities between Russia and America. We must be conscious as well of immense differences. During our quarter-of-a-century as diplomats, my wife and I often would return to our country and look around us and be dumbfounded at how easy and pleasant and comfortable life was for most people. When we thought of Russia, we often thought that life there was, for most people, considerably more uncomfortable and less pleasant—yet at the same time more serious and more intense. As I try to peer into the new century, I find myself hoping that the Russians catch on to some of the American methods that have worked so well for us in the pleasuring of life. I hope that government becomes more workable, less exciting; that the economy begins to work for most of the people and not for that sliver of rich at the top; that freedom of the press and politics becomes commonplace. But I also find myself hoping that the seriousness and intensity of life will not disappear, that a new birth of Russian culture and art will come. When I think of Russian culture I marvel at the as-



tounding blossoming of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—probably unmatched in all the world at that time if we consider the realm of art—and mourn the Stalinist horrors that by the mid-nineteen-thirties had led to what Isaiah Berlin called “the silence in Russian culture.” All the world would be blessed if that silence could now end. Many would say that making possible this reblooming of art and culture is the principal reason that we yearn for the Russian economy to work well and for Russian democracy to succeed. We Americans, or at least the college professors among us, worry about the state of American democracy, and culture, in a time of unparalleled power and prosperity. We imagine that our Russian friends worry about the building up of a free way of life in a time of heavy difficulties. From those very different nexuses, what do the two societies have to say to each other as the new century begins? They are concerned, at bottom, about many of the same things. The new style of capitalism spreading across the globe is offering many riches for many people but is leaving out great concentrations of the world’s peoples from its offerings. The new style of poll-driven and television-advertised politics is not addressing some of the fundamental choices politics needs to address. The decline of purpose in most “modern” societies—or perhaps “post-modern” is the better word—leaves masses of people grasping for truths they can base a life on. The lifting of the Cold War lid on ethnic and tribal politics has led to security dilemmas of new kinds. The preservation of a livable world environment may be in serious contradiction with trends in the global economy and in world politics. These are concerns for homo sapiens, not merely for Russians and Americans. Yes. But the list of concerns in the changing world scene must reflect power realities as well as human realities. Nation-states of immense power like the United States and Russia will have voices larger than those of other countries. What Americans and Russians do about their internal challenges—and how they communicate with each other about those and also about their power status in world politics—will affect greatly how the family of nations at large copes with all the challenges all of us face. Now let me speak as a plain American. I am proud of our country. But as a long-time diplomat, and one who spent most of his career in Europe, I am conscious of the many lessons in societal living that we have to learn from the Europeans (among whom I certainly include the Russians). I am aware that since the end of the Soviet system in Russia, American influence often has been sought, American models copied (although some recent signs are of a waning of this influence). Candidly, I see a definite limit to how much more influence I would like America to have on the Russian way of life. As an old student of Russian civilization, I believe that the wellsprings of that civilization are deep, and peculiar to itself, and that Russian culture in time will form new ways for itself politically and economically. At the same time, I believe we Americans would do well to take time to listen to our Russian friends about what they consider the important things of



life. The lessons they have to teach may not concern votes and profit margins. They may concern taking ideas seriously, touch on spirituality, involve fresh reverence for the past. The old things in Russian thought may be a helpful blend with the new things in American life. Let me admit that what I am saying—let us have a partnership in learning from each other—is not the main tendency in American academia or in American popular thought today. A strain of triumphalism pervades the American outlook and since the end of the Cold War it has seeped into much of our international thinking. We are worthy of emulation, we say, and we are surprised when someone hints that they may not want to learn of us, may even have something to teach us. In academia, in practical terms, interest in the Russian language and in Russian culture is being downplayed, or at least is declining in popularity. We hope this is temporary. We must admit it is a current reality. When considering Russia, a prevalent tendency in the United States is toward wanting a rather one-sided dialogue, or perhaps even a monologue instead of a dialogue. I repeat that this attitude is not in tune with world reality. Russia’s importance on the world scene is too ancient and too confirmed by cultural facts to dispute. Yet we must combat the perception. Thus the importance of this volume, of these essays that, above all else, represent thinking Americans and thinking Russians taking each other seriously. This partnership is too promising to let fall.

Introduction CURRENT TRENDS IN RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN POLITICAL THEORY Reginald Raymer 1. Introduction Enormous changes have been occurring in international politics since 1989. With the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the East-West conflict that dominated the last half century dissolved leaving political theorists optimistic about a “new world order” of democracy, peace, and justice. Now, at the advent of a new millennium, international relations face new dangers as well as new possibilities. Likewise, for philosophers, the end of the Cold War heralded hopes for rethinking and moving beyond the dominant Hobbesian-based paradigm of Realpolitik. At the same time, however, massive inequalities in the distribution of resources globally, genocidal wars in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan seemingly undermine these arguments for global justice and a “democratic peace” among nations. In bringing together chapters by current Russian and American political theorists, this inaugural volume in Contemporary Russian Philosophy raises candid questions about, assesses prospects for, discloses problems of, and provides clues to new alternatives in the quest for justice in the aftermath of the global resurgence of democracy. The emergence of democracy in the former Soviet Union was the culmination of what has been termed the “global resurgence of democracy.”1 Political theorist Samuel P. Huntington, for example, observes in his essay “Democracy’s Third Wave” that between 1974 and 1991 more than thirty countries made transitions to democracy. Prior to this “resurgence of democracy,” the actual number of democracies in the world and the global prospects for democracy had been significantly reduced.2 With the election of Vladamir Putin (a former KGB official) as President of Russia, some political theorists currently wonder if this is the beginning of a reversal of fortune for democracy in Russia, in particular, and global democracy in general. Others by contrast see in Putin’s election a leader who solidifies Russia’s turn towards democracy. Thus the three parts of this book provide reflections on the important question: Can the “third wave” of democracy be sustained?


Reginald Raymer 2. Democracy: Virtues and Vices

As the authors in this book suggest in their diverse considerations, if democracy is to continue to thrive, then such an accomplishment will entail the promotion of justice politically, socially, and economically. In her opening chapter, Tatiana Alekseeva examines Russia’s inheritance of the legacy of the former Soviet Union and the philosophical implications of no longer living in a “bipolar” Cold War world. According to Alekseeva, the creation of a “unipolar” world, in which the United States is the singular dominant power, places Russia in a precarious position. Under the bipolar Hobbesian–based paradigm of political realism, Russia’s political identity was secure in part due to the capacity of the Soviet Union to wage war. Although Russia still maintains much of its military capabilities, Russian political identity remains uncertain. Alekseeva asks, what is Russia’s global role, particularly when we consider the failure of political realism to address in a nonviolent manner the issue of hegemony. Alekseeva suggests that this “new world order” is fraught not only with difficulties awaiting potentially violent resolution, but also new possibilities of achieving just international relations. If we are to avoid becoming both victims and executioners in this “unipolar” world of political realism, then what is needed, Alekseeva contends, is a rethinking of democratic political philosophy along the lines of John Rawls’s idea of overlapping consensus and/or the work of recent theorists such as Klaus Hoffe and Jürgen Habermas. Although one of the values of democracy is taken to be the inclusion of a country’s citizenry in the political process, democratic governments face particular dangers. One such danger is political corruption. The abuse of public office for private gain poses serious dangers for a democracy because exposure of such corruption under the democratic conditions of constitutionalism and a free press, damages the political legitimacy on which democracies depend for their survival. For example, Robert Mundt, in his chapter “Corruption and Democracy,” considers the connection between democracy and corruption. Examining global trends for corruption, Mundt concludes that democracies are highly vulnerable to corruption of the electoral process. Raising the philosophical question of whether a system can socialize its members into selflessness, Mundt suggests that in the absence of socialized constraints, the success of a democracy against corrupting influences, such as economic disparities among its citizens, is dependent upon the degree to which decision making has been institutionalized— for example, in an independent judiciary. While Alekseeva examines the conditions from which institutionalized overt violence (war, etc.) may arise during this “global resurgence of democracy,” Abdusalam Guseinov considers the possibility that democracies, in theory and in practice, covertly carry the seeds of violence. Understood as a government of the people, democracy, according to Guseinov, is a contradictory idea. Since the idea of a government presupposes hierarchy and subordination, the concept of governmental decisions being a democratic expression of self-



government continually runs the risk of anarchism and totalitarianism. In particular, Guseinov notes that when a democracy loses its democratic legitimacy, as in Mundt’s example of political corruption, violence becomes the foundation for governing. Violence by a democratic government needs a certain context in which to arise. Guseinov locates the seeds of this context in what he calls “moral demagoguery.” Characterized by an excessive use of ethical language in evaluations of social communications, moral demagoguery creates an atmosphere of selfglorification on the part of a subject or group while misdirecting a people’s social energies toward an “other” group deemed unworthy. With the designating of an unworthy group, forcible measures (violence) is legitimated morally if not legally as a means to compel these “unworthy others” against their will. Guseinov examines and concludes that the current situation in Russia is one which is characterized by a high degree of moral demagoguery. Therefore, if Russia and other democracies are to impede the prospects of violence, then laws must be instituted which recognize that morality is meant to promote coexistence and tolerance. To conclude this section on the values and vices of democracy, Alan Woolfolk examines the theoretical implications of the traditional distinction between “civic nationalism” and “ethnic nationalism.” Arguing that this theoretical model conceals moral assumptions about the superiority of Western “civic” nationalism, which has led Western democracies into misunderstandings of and conflicts with Eastern Europe over their “ethnic” nationalism,” Woolfolk suggests a new model of “higher” and “lower” nationalism. He bases his model upon how well coexistence, respect, and inclusion are promoted. Using Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Masaryk, Bosnia, and the Los Angeles riots as his examples, Woolfolk demonstrates that “higher” and “lower” nationalisms are not endemic to one aspect of the globe and often are mixed models as is currently the case with Russia. Asking us to rethink our political theory of democracy in terms of nationalism, Woolfolk contends that by doing so we will move away from tribal and liberal ideologies and more towards just and moral understandings of nationality. 3. Challenges to Democracy in Russia As a recent democracy, Russia becomes important for understanding the connection between democracy and justice. The biggest challenge facing the implementation of democratic reforms in Russia, according to Vyacheslav Stiopin, is Russia’s historical legacy. For Stiopin, all attempts at modernizing Russia (of which democracy may be considered the latest) have failed because Russian consciousness has been molded by centuries of enslavement and oppression which has left the people of Russia with a loss of faith in technological progress. Since democracy depends on individual freedom, responsibility, tolerance of others, and rights and laws as universal regulators of social relations, the fate of


Reginald Raymer

Russian democracy, for Stiopin, requires an understanding of how such conditions run counter to the historical legacy of Russia. If democratic reform in Russia is to succeed, Stiopin suggests that it must find support in the Russian moral consciousness rather than in the liberal economic experience of western democracies. If the attempt to establish a capitalist democracy constitutes a challenge for the people of Russia, then how may we assess and understand the recent Russian experiment with democracy? Nicholas Caste contends that a fruitful means is by analyzing the flow of communication and information within Russian society. Basing his argument on the liberal democratic theory of John Stuart Mill and John Rawls which espouses the necessity of a free flow of information to maintain an informed citizenry and provide a fund of ideas from which informed decisions may be made, Caste suggests the use of communicative studies such as the notion of “cascade theory” of Kenneth Sayre and Peter French as a means to assess whether democratic reforms are facilitating the flow of information or distorting it. The facilitation of the flow of information between citizens and decision makers is necessary, Caste argues, because without it the concerns and wants of the citizens will have little influence on the decisions made. One way to promote the flow of information is to maintain a free press and promote the influence of local and regional governments rather than one centralized authority. Given that newly elected President Putin immediately ordered the forcible closure of a dissenting press after his election, we may ask using Caste’s model about the future of democratic reforms in Russia. To Konstantin Zuev, Russia’s democratic reforms must be understood in terms of the elements of its prior totalitarian legacy and how this continues to adversely affect the transformation to democracy. For example, governmental authority is still concentrated in the executive branch which is alienated from the majority of the Russian population. Moreover, Zuev notes, this executive branch advocates equality politically while hypocritically fostering a lack of reliable and socially significant information to the populace. Corruption, power struggles, and discrepancy in wealth characterize the current state of Russia’s democracy, according to Zuev, which has encouraged a degrading of Russian intellectual properties, a loss of national identity, religious intolerance, and drastic demographic changes. The question for Zuev is how long will Russia find itself in a transitional period in which social, political, and economic tensions remain high? 4. Democracy and Economics Zuev’s recognition that Russia’s democratic transformation is becoming more of a meritocracy provides a transition to the last consideration—the relationship among democracy, justice, and economics. If democracy calls for equal participation of all citizens in resolving community problems, then America is no longer a democracy. This contention is the theme of Laura Duhan Kaplan and



Charles Kaplan’s chapter. Using various social critics, they describe how various technological and educational developments have deprived many Americans of the incentive and/or capability to voice their interests in civic affairs. These same developments they contend result in an American meritocracy where a small well-educated elite have enormous influence concerning social and economic decisions. Drawing upon John Dewey, they propose that a democratic community must be cultivated at all levels of education and communal interaction. Particularly, they suggest development of civic equality is necessary to resist the influence both locally and abroad of transnational corporations which tend to foster meritocracy under the banner of democracy. Ruben Apressyan follows the chapter by Laura Duhan Kaplan and Charles Kaplan with his own suggestion that a more just relationship between democracy and capitalist economics might be achieved by cultivating a civil society. Differing from prior theorists on civil society such as Hegel, Apressyan contends that civil society should focus neither on politics nor economics but on sociality, that is, a system of non-political institutions which cooperate socially separate from the state. Such institutions which include mass media, churches, schools, universities, trade unions and, other organizations, create a pluralistic context by allowing citizens a free exchange of ideas and information separate from the influence of the government. Moreover, Apressyan contends cultivation of civil society is necessary for a democracy in order to provide voice to those people socially and materially deprived by economic disparities. To conclude the book, William Gay returns us to a consideration not of violence but of nonviolence when he offers an analysis of and suggestions for considering anew the possibility of economic democracy. As I noted at the start of this introduction, the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe was heralded by many theorists to be evidence for the superiority of capitalism and democracy. What Gay asks in his chapter is whether economic equality and political liberty should be pursued simultaneously in practice and why. After analyzing various forms of neoclassical and post-Keynesian economists, Gay suggests that Russia, in particular, should reconsider outright rejection of any state influence on the economy. Arguing that capitalist economies require some state control, Gay advocates maintaining some connection between market economies and democracy. Rethinking economic democracy becomes for Gay, “the final frontier,” because if democracy and market economics are separated, then we lose in theory and in practice the notion of positive peace, that is, the cultivation of nonviolence and are left solely with peace conceived in the negative terms of the practice of avoiding war. Notes 1. Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds., The Global Resurgence of Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993). 2. Ibid., pp. ix-x.

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One LIVING IN THE WORLD OF A “UNIPOLAR SYSTEM”: ALTERNATIVES AND TRENDS Tatiana Alekseeva The end of the “Cold War” probably brought about as many new problems as it has solved old ones. Rather quickly, the foundation of bipolarity, that is, the confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, was replaced by a new unipolar world order. As a result, the hope for a less violent and more stable future has given way to a concern that many signs associated with unipolarity point to a more unruly and less predictable system than the old bipolar world order. With the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and the deep crises into which Russia has fallen, the United States is left as the only “superpower.” As Charles Krauthammer notes, “a moment of unipolarity,” appeared.1 Such unipolarity is the same situation against which so many proponents of the doctrine of the “balance of powers” fought as representing the greatest threat to peace and stability in the world. Not surprisingly, therefore, sounds of nostalgia are easily heard in many recent publications. The veterans of the “Cold War” and the newest proponents of the power calculations have their collaborators in Russia. Some people who are disappointed in the democratic potential of the Russian people have started to think only about their own individual salvation. Others hope to find a place for the country somewhere in the Western echelon. Some people, with the arrogance of the offended, are crying about the majesty and greatness of Russia and accuse the West of being the main source of all of Russia’s sorrows. Having lost the status of a “superpower,” Russia nevertheless continues to be the legal inheritor of the U.S.S.R. in many aspects. Preserving for itself the status of a “great power” is just one example of the Soviet inheritance. As a result of the deep economic crises and according to the general level of economic development, Russia has found its global status to be somewhere between that of a developed and a developing country, initially gravitating toward the first, but quickly slipping down to the second. This situation not only brings about a frustrating perception, but it has as its result the necessary correlation of new opposing tendencies concerning Russian foreign policy. As Russia moves from attempts at competition (where feasible) to efforts at partnership in specific fields, the perception of the country from abroad is that Russia is unpredictable and, consequently, dangerous.



The dependence of Russia on this environment is increasingly clear. Being perceived as dangerous from abroad creates in Russia a sensitivity toward its national interests. Possibilities exist that the already present gaps in the level of development and the guarantees of national security will widen. In particular, the “openness” of history includes the possibility of a “backlash.” Some new variation of a confrontation scenario could occur and could have very serious consequences for Russia in its currently weakened position. For this reason, the study of the possibilities and dangers of the new international order (specifically, the prospects and character of the newly formed world society) becomes necessary. Such a task is not simple, especially given the “collapse” of foreign “Sovietology,” the great discreditation of the prognostic possibilities of political science as a whole, and the deep crises in the theory of international relations. Traditions continue in international relations of correlating power and influence and of defining national interests more or less in terms of the balance of powers. At the same time the need to understand the confusion of the contemporary world is no longer some kind of luxury; it has become a burning necessity. The coming systematic crises, according to Seyom Brown, is a result first of all of the increasing inadequacy in the relations between power and society, which has highly significant global consequences. A summary of Brown’s five main directions in the development of these crises includes: (1) Crises of the societal order, for example, ethnic conflicts, wars for independence, wars of secession from larger states, and wars of xenophobia. They also include the problems of refugees and immigrants, the drug trade of transnational criminal groups, and the smuggling of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and materials. (2) The economical aspect of these crises including the disjunction between the economic and political purposes in the international system. (3) Ecological aspects of the crises such as many well-know threats to the global ecosystem. (4) Cultural aspects which include the lack of coincidence between nations and states and the rise of the national movements. (5) Crises in human rights such as the gap between international norms and national law.2 Because of these crises global society today faces “challenges” and problems previously unknown. Perhaps for the first time in human history, questions about the necessity of changing the essence and character of human thinking take priority over questions about the changes in the “configuration of dominance” and power. Being left alone, without a new global theoretical and institutional foundation, the present system may simply return to something resembling the rough “Hobbesian” anarchic “state of nature,” where every sovereign state, in the hope of surviving and defending its cultural and social identity, would strive to preserve itself with independent sources of self-defense (either alone or in the frameworks of the military alliances). In the contemporary world

Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”


such a Hobbesian stance will mean the striving for the possession of nuclear weaponry and other means of mass destruction as well as the rapid expansion of terrorism. Such a Hobbesian world order may be even more dangerous than the previous one. What is needed is a process of rethinking the trends in international relations. To some extent this rethinking may be compared to the Reformation, whereby thinkers and scholars reformulate philosophical questions such as: What is a human being? What is human nature? What is history? Where is humanity moving? What kind of society can we call good? What is good and what is bad in politics? How do social systems and the activity within them correlate with each other? What is a contemporary state? What role does the contemporary state play in a post-modern world? Scholars, who continue working within the framework of the traditional power paradigm of international relations (political realism), even if they call this framework dysfunctional, are unable to overcome its main features. From an academic standpoint, reflection on these questions, requires someone to ask: What kind of attitude can we find in contemporary political thought concerning the problems of the new “post-bipolar” world order? Another tendency one can observe is a movement towards increasingly archaic attitudes. We can distinguish three points of view here: The first point of view preserves the main features of “classical” political realism and emphasizes the hierarchy of states in the world and as well as issues of power and sovereignty. While accepting the fundamental changes of the second part of the twentieth century, including a rather high level of interdependence among states, the proponents of this attitude continue to regard the interactions of the actors on an international scene in a manner that ignores the actual historical domination of some states over others. These theorists stress preservation of security through the maximization of power (even if today they are talking more often about economic power than about military power). Such a system, where many new actors (for instance, institutions of international law, transnational companies and corporations, and international organizations) are functioning simultaneously is more properly termed a “polyarchy” instead of a “Hobbesian anarchy.” Nevertheless, within this political realism, the laws of state interactions remain intact in practice as well as the control of the international environment which remains under the aegis of the various states. A second group of theoreticians, for example, James Rosenau, also maintains a role for the state system. These thinkers place the state system in the wider context of the simultaneous existence of centrifugal and centripetal trends. According to their approach, in the last decades of the twentieth century a new level of relations between the system of states and multicentric systems appears. Such an attitude finds its source in the theory of Hedley Bull, who is one of the prominent representatives of the “English school” of realism. Bull foresaw the coming of a “New Middle Ages” (which is synonymous with modernity) namely, a secularized system which allows for the mutual crossings of power lines and allows for a multitude of loyalties.3 These theorists suggest that a pos-



sibility exists to foresee a wide differentiation of regimes, multiculturalism, and the pursuit of opposite directions in goals, orientations, and measures of implementation. Moreover, in this model of a world order the priority belongs to national interests, again understood in the context of the maximization of power and the influence of the main “power centers.” A third point of view, associated with John Burton, includes the power paradigm, but adds to it the necessity of taking into account human needs. This viewpoint places special emphasis upon the needs for identity, recognition, and participation.4 The focus of analysis, therefore, is moving from the state as a basic unit to the individual as an actor with ends and purposes. At the same time this group of theorists distinguishes between interests, values, and needs. They stress the possibility of negotiating interests and bargaining about them. Interests, in other words, may be changed and exchanged. Needs may turn out to be an individual, private matter. This means that a need to reconceptualize conflict and to reorient our approach from conflict resolution to conflict forecast. Such a change would require a reorientation towards people and their needs. The problem, however, with this approach is that the very function of forecast is laid upon the states with their uneven possibilities of satisfying human needs. Thus interest once again turns out to be in the center of the concept. And if we apply this once again to the society as a whole, it transforms into national interest. Political realism, even while covering its face with different masks, continues to exert a strong influence on the type of thinking and judgments found in foreign policy. Such covert political realism is exactly what Russia encountered when trying to enter the global society in recent years. This perception lies behind Russia’s newly proclaimed universal ideals of human values, its declaration of a “new type of political thinking,” and its calls for global partnership. Quickly Russia realized that if it really wants to start a new life, many others do not want it to do so. Once again Russia encountered the tough demands of the “politicalrealist” paradigm, which are rather far from the moral norms in world politics and which continue to emphasize competition and the balance of power. Equally disappointing are the contemporary normative theories of international relations. At the center of attention for the theoreticians who work in the normative and idealist traditions are premises which try to connect the stability of the world order with the transition of many countries in the world toward democracy and a market economy. If we look at world society through such a lens, then we can comprehend the best possible prospects for the movement toward peace and cooperation. For example, the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, often emphasized in his speeches that two democracies have never fought against each other. Hence, the support of new democracies around the world is at the core of his approach to foreign policy. This widely held opinion that democracies do not fight against each other leads to the view that, as soon as democracy wins in Russia and the other postcommunist states, the threat to universal peace will be removed. Usually several arguments are mentioned.

Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”


First, as many observers noticed, authoritarian leaders are more likely to initiate military conflicts because they are not responsible before the public, even though they finally will bear all the burdens of war. Under the conditions of democracy people have a stronger influence over the leadership of the country and, as is quite predictable, will always be against war. But even if this statement seems to be realistic, and we can find many historical precedents of it, still we can formulate contradictory arguments. Statistical data shows that democratic states, under specific conditions, are able with no less enthusiasm to engage in a military conflict. We also cannot exclude the possibility of the immediate infection of entire nations with nationalistic or religious fever, from which democracies cannot be protected with certainty. Instability arising from nationalistic and/or religious fanaticism happens not because wars and conflicts are popular among people, but mostly because inner political problems create divisions in a society. Such splits are typical of societies in the process of democratization and press the elite consciously to provoke the nationalistic feelings and look for a panacea by resolving difficulties with “a small and glorious war.” States cannot become mature democracies overnight. They go through a rather dangerous transition period. The relationships among mass political participation, authoritarian, and elitist power politics create a highly unstable context. The history of the last two centuries shows that during a period of transition states become very aggressive and their participation in conflicts becomes more likely to occur regardless of the type of rule (stable democratic or authoritarian). During a period of transition the nationalist and “great power” rhetoric becomes quite appealing and attractive to reformers, who strive with populist desires to exhibit their loyalty to nationalistic ideas, as well as to the opposition, who strive toward revanchism. Concurrently, universalist values quickly disappear from the front pages of newspapers and speeches of the leaders of both sides. Arguments of this sort are often used in the West symbolically to equate “the Russian threat” with the Cold War “Soviet threat.” From such arguments the question arises about the level of “maturity” of democracy and the methods to distinguish between a real and a “facade” democracy. The essence of liberalism as an ideology and of democracy as a political regime consists in a constant process of broadening the space of freedom in contrast to conservatism, which strives to stabilize and freeze the status quo. According to liberal thought, a well-organized society can be constructed only if the process of construction is rational and progressive. Liberalism presupposes that a starting point is assumed (for instance, democratic procedures) and then the long-lasting process of their perfection takes place. Serious questions about this final endpoint are never raised in a serious manner. But where, then, lies the demarcation line which defines a “mature” democracy from a “green” one? Another question is: when do the conflicts of the transitional period stop troubling a society and when does the period of the relative stability start? Other questions also need to be raised. When we may speak about an established democratic



regime and when may we speak only about the recognition of the democratic principle of legitimizing power, which is not really found in the civil culture or institutionalized mechanism of the decision-making? All these questions remain open. One more argument contends that democratically oriented citizens should treat the rights of other peoples with respect. By definition citizens should act in a respectful manner, but the practice does not confirm in all cases with this prescription. Here we reach a quite irritating problem of contemporary liberal political theory, namely, the conflict which exists between human rights and the rights of a nation. According to liberal thought human rights are built into “natural law.” At first glance liberal theory assumes that every individual possesses these rights. Many limitations exists in the realization of these rights, starting with those connected with age and continuing on to the rights of foreigners. Somewhere a border exists between realized and limited rights and normative rights. We cannot define this border, a political problem, on the basis of “natural law. Here, according to Immanuel Wallerstein, a different type of law appears on the scene: the right of the people. And another category that the French Revolution produced: the rights of the citizen.5 The political project of liberalism at least as it was presented in the last century consisted of three-stages of reform, which include the extension of the universal right to participate in elections, the establishment of guarantees of the well-being of all citizens, and the development of national identity. These three reforms in fact “removed” the problem of having the realization of human rights by each person do so. Moreover, these reforms allowed governments to change priorities and to move with the most important tasks which coincided with the present understanding of the common good. The contradiction between the liberal ideal and political practice becomes obvious to citizens quite quickly, but some important factors still helped to cover it in some respects. I will name a few of them. First, the exploitation of the periphery allows the majority of people in developed capitalist countries to raise significantly their standards of living. Second, the existence of significant national wealth allows governments to develop education and culture in ways which sponsor the development of technologies and industrial potential. Third, the local nationalisms of some Western states were supplemented by a meta-nationalism which identifies belonging to the “Atlantic civilization” as being synonymous with being a part of the most highly developed part of the contemporary world. Moreover, we should not forget about the ideological support for the main ideas of democracy and liberalism. Such ideology fosters a double standard in that a few industrially developed countries are the only ones which become acknowledged as being worthy of the full rights of a nation. On the basis of such an ideology, other peoples are proclaimed as “new barbarians,” even if such terms supposedly mean no disrespect. Let us also recall what kind of attitude democratically oriented citizens of the “metropolitan states” had toward the peoples of the colonies in the past. Let us also remember the recent popularity of the idea of fencing off in some man-

Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”


ner the highly developed capitalist world from the rest of humanity, for example, through a “social market” for America which, in neo-isolationist discourse, would include the leveling of living standards of Americans, but would not help advance a stable and peaceful world order. In his writings, Michael Lind raises a question about the necessity of supplementing “political realism” with “economic realism.” By “economic realism,” he means a pragmatic economic policy, which will not only decrease significantly aid programs for developing countries of the “Third world,” but even facilitate the “return” of industrial enterprises, especially in high technology, to the Metropolitan states, as well as implement tough limitations on immigration to highly developed industrial nations.6 Other examples of a “double standard” toward “ours” and “others” are easy to recall. But here the emphasis should be placed on the contradiction between human rights and the rights of a nation, which still exists in liberal theory and democratic practice. From a prudent perspective, continuing to observe the potential of other states, including democratic ones seems wise. As a result the circle tightens and even the most persistent adaptations of the idea of democracy as a guarantee for peace follow habitual political-realist formulas. These tendencies are pronounced to a considerable degree when the processes of democratization in the contemporary world begin to slow down. Several years ago Samuel Huntington published his famous book about the “waves of democratization.”7 According to his data, whereas in 1750 no democratic institutions yet existed on the national level in the whole Western world, by the end of the twentieth century the majority of the countries of the world already could be called democratic. But the processes of democratization have never had an unambiguous course of development. For these processes different types of jumps, “mass breakthroughs,” or, as Huntington calls them, “waves” were more typical. Each wave was stronger than the previous one, but the recoil, which always followed it, never returned the state of affairs to the starting position. Still, the general trend was obvious: more and more states were becoming democratic. Huntington writes that the first wave of democratization was rather long and lasted from 1828 to 1926, the second one went from 1943 to 1964, and finally the third one lasted from 1974 to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the formation of the newly independent states, and the institution of democratic reforms in Eastern Europe. Apparently, the new phase of “recoil” already has begun. According to Larry Diamond the third wave of democratization is stopping or maybe it has even ended.8 Nevertheless, Diamond thinks that avoiding domination by authoritarian states may be possible in our present context. The basis for avoiding such a reversion is the result of the strengthening of the potential of the highly developed nations with stable democratic regimes and the disintegration of the center of support for anti-democratic regimes. In this case the most important question concerns, to use Huntington’s metaphor of military campaigns, whether democracy will be able to preserve control over the territo-



ries it won during the third wave.9 We may ask, does the possibility exist “to freeze” the present state of affairs, while waiting for the coming of the Fourth wave, which, finally, in the long run may bring the world to international peace and security on liberal foundations? Looking to a market panacea for resolving the threat of instability and conflict entails accepting a form of economic liberalism which states that all states are striving for prosperity and that their leaders put the material well-being of their citizens higher than any other end, even higher than security. (This thesis is some kind of extrapolation of the American “philosophy of success.”) In this case, the stability of a society is connected not only with military force, but with the construction of a liberal economic order as well. Within the scholarly literature on the subject, we can distinguish several arguments which propound this view that couples military force with a liberal economic order. One assumption is that to make the system of international trade highly effective and to sponsor the enrichment of states, a definite level of political cooperation is obligatory. As countries become richer, the more they become interested in international cooperation. At the same time, the liberal economic order strengthens interdependency, which is also an important stabilizing factor. All these statements seem to be quite convincing except for the initial contradictory premise about the utilitarian economic motivation of states. The problem is that not all state powers are strongly motivated by the goal of material well-being for their citizens or at least not as their initial priority. Another contradiction is the thesis about the significance of interdependence, which also does not guarantee safety from conflict. States may fear dependency on someone else or fear their own vulnerability that they would prefer to have economic security as their major priority in comparison with all the attractions of an international division of labor. Historical evidence shows quite clearly that an autocracy is much more appealing under certain circumstances and, in these specific circumstances, provokes rejection of international cooperation and even international trade. Nearly all the variations of the new international order in its normative form presuppose in the final analysis the proliferation of liberal, Western values: the construction of the new international order on the basis of liberal values. Moreover, the main measure and condition of the final triumph of liberalism turns out to be the same maximization of power and influence that is advocated by “political realists.” A dilemma appears to be present: nations face either the universal triumph of liberalism or instability and threats to global security. But is such a conclusion illusory? The assertion of the universality of Western values is at best contradictory. The fact that “foreign” values and norms are very often rejected by the native culture is recognized widely in those countries which have had such experiences. But recognition of a rejection of Western values remains difficult. Such a situation is not new. Nineteenth-century Russian thinkers as Nikolai Danilevsky,

Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”


Eugeniy Trubetskoy, and Konstantin Leontev thoroughly studied the problem of the identification of “universal human values” with the values of the “Western civilization.” Alexis de Tocqueville also warned against it. But today, the problems of the global character of international relations has sharpened profoundly and, as a result, many western theoreticians have managed to “forget” about these value issues. At the same time non-Western geocultural zones are demanding more and more their rights for the support and proliferation of other values and cultural types. Asia provides a good example. Asia has 62 percent of the population of the world, and its civilizational and national identity is quite clearly defined and supplemented by an impressive economic growth. Not surprisingly, Asia is starting to insist on a more active role in global decision-making. Under such conditions, to recognize the experience of only one civilization as adequate and workable limits the creative potential of modern development. Likewise, such myopia imposes a false alternative: either move toward a global society based on liberal principles or face a multitude of threats such as those posed by the potential of nuclear weapons or by ecological degradation. One of the most promising ways for the resolution of this dilemma is connected with the idea of an “overlapping consensus” as formulated by the prominent American political philosopher John Rawls.10 He thinks that different groups, countries, and religious and cultural communities can achieve, in principle, some sort of an agreement on the main norms of human behavior, so long as these parties are sufficiently tolerant toward the differences in their world views. Rawls never envisions the confluence of the different opinions into a unified meta-ideology. Such a trend would bring us directly to some sort of a totalitarian state. Moreover, Rawls does not mean the parallel coexistence of different “worlds,” weakly interacting with each other. The idea of an “overlapping consensus” is in the quest for coinciding points which overlap each other and consequently produce an ever increasing space for agreement. On this foundation exists the possibility of modifying work on the basis of behavioral principles, which in the future may support the building of the stable world order. Thus, the quest of locating coinciding points is one of the most important tasks of philosophical thought. For instance, liberalism would not have many difficulties agreeing with Chinese Confucian values such as benevolence or justice. A more difficult example for liberalism to find agreement with would be the use of the term “loyalty.” In China, loyalty means first of all service which is not in conflict with consciousness. The Japanese understand “loyalty” differently: as honesty directed toward the full devotion to one’s “Lord.”11 Despite all the differences here the possibility emerges of initiating a conversation about the same things, including the Western idea of patriotism. A situation will occur that is analogous to the one of comparing the liberal understanding of human dignity and the Japanese interpretation of human dignity as a striving toward spiritual and material well-being.



All cultures condemn murder, theft, dishonesty, and treachery. So from the position of “overlapping consensus,” the possibility exists to define the norms of behavior and to reconcile differences among cultural codes or at least to reach the necessary level of understanding to formulate the norms. A further possibility exists for creating legal steps which may help universalize and further promote international law. Contemporary Western discourse on human rights includes, on one side, some legal forms like immunities, freedoms, and their lawful guaranties, and, from the other side, powerful philosophical foundations, namely, the philosophy of the individual and society, where the individual has a priority by virtue of agreeing to be governed. In both cases, this discourse stands in opposition to many other cultures, including the premodern West. The main idea is not that a definite system was lacking for the defense of individuality prior to modernity or even today in some other civilizations which have very different foundations. What is important is to attempt in a persistent manner and to spread around the world the best examples, such as the ideas of Charles Taylor. For instance, Taylor suggests the possibility exists of finding an “overlapping consensus” on the level of politics and law in combination with the preservation of quite different philosophical justifications of values and norms.12 Rawls mentions the necessity of avoiding philosophical contradictions while formulating the political course and considers this as one of the most important conditions for the stabilization of a political order. Even if Rawls does not leave the framework of the liberal world view and looks for a possibility of a liberal dialogue within liberalism, he anticipates the possibility not of the imposition of liberal postulates, but of a formation of a liberal attitude that has a very different ethos and type of development. But here we touch upon an important problem. According to some of the scholars from East Asia, legal norms, being Western in their foundations, are too individualistic. The Confucian attitude gives more attention to the community and the totality of human relations. Around such concerns the problem of the simultaneous coexistence of different legal cultures and, because of that, the problem of the possibility of their correlation arise. So the way to a global society, based on the principles of cooperation, mutual help, and justice, is not closed to all people. Not competition between ideas and ideologies, but solidarity, not the clash of the civilizations, but their mutual supplementary, not the “balance of power,” but mutual help in terms of Martin Heidegger’s “existential of human being ought to become the main features of the new international order.13 Moreover, Russia could and should find its own place in the building of the society of this type. This question remains for the future. The “breakthrough” to a new understanding of the world order may not be possible at all on the level of the socalled theories of the “medium level.” What is needed is a revolution in philosophies and world views. And not surprisingly in recent years such an interest in the sphere of world politics was expressed in some sense against the established

Living in the World of a “Unipolar System”


tradition by the most prominent figures in philosophy from Noam Chomsky to Jürgen Habermas and from John Grey to Klaus Hoffe.14 Many Russian philosophers have started to reflect on the problems of the paradigms of world society and on global problems. For now such reflections are only the beginning of a quest for a new paradigm. Maybe we will find a marvelous future; maybe not. Even after the Cold War, current expenditures for military arms continue to increase, military conflicts are taking place in different parts of the world, and even democratic states continue to distrust each other to a considerable extent. The real world demands real politics, from the side of Russia as well as from other states. NOTES 1. Charles Krauthammer, “The Unipolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs, 70:1 (1990–1991), pp. 23–33. 2. Seyom Brown, “Building Order and Justice into the Emerging Global Polyarchy,” The International System After the Collapse of the East-West Order eds. A. Clesse, R. Cooper, and Y. Sacamoto (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1994), pp. 127–147. 3. Hedley Bull, An Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), p. 238. 4. John Burton and Tarja Vayrynen, “The End of International Relations?” Contemporary International Relations: A Guide to a Theory, eds. A. Groom and Margot Light (London: Pinter Publishers, 1994), pp. 61-74. 5. Immanuel Wallerstein, “Nepriodolimye protivorechia liberalisma: prava cheloveka i prava narodov v geoculture sovremennogo mira,” Rubezhi, 2 (1995), pp. 124–130. 6. Michael Lind, “Prescriptions for a New National Democracy,” Political Science Quarterly, 10:4 (Winter 1995), pp. 563–586. 7. Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman, Ok.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993). 8. Larry Diamond, “Is the Third Wave Over?” Journal of Democracy, 7:3 (July 1996), p. 31. 9. Samuel Huntington, “Democracy for the Long Haul,” Journal of Democracy, 7:2 (April 1996), p. 5. 10. John Rawls, “The Idea of an Overlapping Consensus,” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 7 (1987), pp. 1–25. 11. Michio Morishima, Why Has Japan “Succeeded”? Western Technology and the Japanese Ethos (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 7. 12. Charles Taylor, “A World Consensus on Human Rights?”, Dissent (Summer 1996), p. 21. 13. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper & Row, 1962).



14. Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994); Jürgen Habermas, Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Global Order (Boston: South End, 1996); John Gray, False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism (New York: New Press, 1998).

Two CORRUPTION AND DEMOCRACY Robert Mundt 1. Introduction The last two decades have been identified by Samuel Huntington as the “Third Wave” of democracy.1 A recent annual report on the “state of world freedom” by Freedom House counts 117 formal democracies among the 191 nations of the world, compared with 63 twelve years ago. According to Freedom House, nearly fifty-five percent of the world’s population now live under democratic rule. Among newly included countries are Moldova and the Kyrgyz Republic.2 Considerable attention has been devoted, especially in recent years, to the relationship between democracy and economic development. Building on the work of Seymour Martin Lipset, recent studies have provided conclusive evidence that such a relationship in fact exists.3 Beyond this basic statement, other scholars have attempted to specify the complex interrelationship of these two phenomena: Does the extension of prosperity through a society constitute a sufficient condition of democratization? Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia then must be seen as exceptions to be explained. Or is the relationship reversed, in that democratic institutions promote economic development? All these questions have taken on special significance in the Third Wave, which provides us with a wealth of recent experience with shifts toward more liberal constitutions. A corollary is suggested by observation of recent history: Does the widespread rejection of authoritarian regimes represent a thirst for democracy, or is there a confusion between democratic institutions and economic prosperity, clearly correlated in western liberal regimes, that have led citizens in eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere to demand the vote because it is tied in their minds to the BMW? While these themes have dominated recent discussions on democratization, this essay focuses on a related, but less often addressed phenomenon: evidence is also available that shows widespread political corruption in many new democracies. This evidence suggests a less-examined hypothesis: Does democratic competition stimulate the rise of corrupt politics? Was Edward Gibbon correct in asserting that “corruption is the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty”?4 Powerful arguments can be made agai ns t the presumed corruption/democracy relationship. “Power corrupts,” argued Lord Acton, and by definition power is most concentrated in an authoritarian regime. Democracy necessarily involves the presence of opposition and independent media, with their freedom to monitor the conduct of government. Yet, current headlines from



newly democratic regimes suggest otherwise. Spain, considered democratic since 1982, recently (1994) saw accusations of personal enrichment from public office leveled against the ex-governor of the Bank of Spain and the former Director-General of Police (la Guardia Civile). “These scandals and racketeering are weakening a too-new democracy, dangerously reviving anti-parliamentism and Franquista nostalgias.” Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez expressed his regrets in terms uncharacteristic of public discourse: When we came to power in 1982, we were prepared to struggle for freedom and progress, but we were not prepared to live with people, sometimes coming from our own ranks, who have used their responsibilities in public administration to enrich themselves; people who have put their appetite for advantage ahead of their concern for solidarity. I feel a profound disgust and a profound shame for having put my confidence in people who did not merit it . . . .5 In Namibia, since the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) won the 1990 elections, “there has been. . .a gradual increase in allegations of official corruption.”6 Soon after South Africa achieved majority rule under the African National Congress, such major personalities as Alan Boesak and Winnie Mandela were charged with corrupt activities. Similar reports have been heard from the Russian Republic. Contemporary cases suggest to some a special time in which less tolerance of corruption is present: William Jefferson Clinton’s difficulties with his Whitewater investment before he became president and the earlier scandal involving five U.S. Senators’ use of influence to slow the investigation of improprieties in a Savings and Loan Association are set squarely on the ambiguous border between corruption and “politics as usual.”7 In Mexico, Italy, and Japan, citizens have punished government corruption with their votes. And in Italy, Spain, and France, newly aggressive judges have prosecuted vigorously political corruption cases involving officials at the highest levels.8 We must address these countercurrents among contemporary democracies, then, in order to specify the relationship between corruption and democracy. Because the term “corruption” lacks precision, attention to definition is required. At its most general, the corruption label has been applied to almost any misuse of power. However, for the purposes of this analysis, corruption signifies the use of public office for private gain: “A public official is corrupt if he accepts money or money’s worth for doing something he is under duty to do anyway, that he is under duty not to do, or to exercise a legitimate public office discretion for improper reasons.”9 Thus the concept necessarily does not include cases where rules are bent to gain a strategic advantage over opponents or an illegitimate effort to influence policy. In the rough and tumble of politics, the rules of the game are not always clear; where the contest is over different policy views and private interest is not evident, we have “politics as usual.” Moreover,

Corruption and Democracy


this analysis will not consider directly the degree of harm caused by corruption or whether in some cases it might not be of benefit to the society.10 Political corruption can be analyzed as a systemic process, with core and extended aspects. As elements of the core process, we have: (1) the individual office holder; (2) political goods (the “favors” that governments dispense); (3) political resources (the official’s “payoff”); (4) the provider of the payoff, who is the recipient of the favor. In the extended process, we can identify what Peter deLeon calls the broader social and political settings of corruption: (1) the culture of political corruption, as where such transactions are so pervasive as to be the norm for official behavior; (2) the informal political system, that is, the network through which systematic corruption takes place, parallel to official structures.11 We will use this framework to discuss the presumed linkage between democratization and corruption and the strategies developed to control corruption in democracies. 2. Providers and Officials The political process can be divided into its recruitment (selection of officials), legislative, and administrative aspects. All three aspects vary in obvious ways between democratic and authoritarian systems. A. Recruitment: The Electoral Process Democratization adds an entire dimension of potential for corruption to the political process, in that candidates for office must reach masses of voters; parties and their candidates must have access to the mass media, and that access is expensive. This puts tremendous pressure on candidates and parties in large democracies to raise money: To offer political goods for political resources. Campaigns must be funded in some way, and complete public funding is unpopular with taxpayers and fraught with allocation difficulties: How can campaigns be restricted to the “serious” candidates and parties without shutting out new competitors? Most countries allow private funding. Does not unrestricted private funding make a mockery of political equality? When is a campaign contribution not, potentially at least, a bribe? How can one prevent the exchange of the economic currency, money, with the basic political currency, votes? Traditional Marxist critiques of liberal democracy suggest that it is built on a false premise, namely, that political equality and economic inequality are possible at the same time. A central challenge in the construction of liberal-democratic constitutions is how to insulate the political process from the cash flows of the free market. Not surprisingly, rules controlling campaign funding in the face of high stakes result in many of the political scandals associated with democracy.



Vote marketing has been a real problem in representative systems throughout their history. In the Roman republic, votes were bought and the practice was not condemned. Cicero defended machine politics, advising citizens to trade in more than mere votes: “Humble folk have only one way of deserving favors from our order or repaying them—by . . . attendance in our campaigns.” If humble folk “shall have nothing except their vote, they shall have—even if they vote—no clout.” Only campaign work would give them meaningful leverage.12 Contemporary problems of democratic corruption in Italy can be traced from such early Roman roots through the unification of Italy in the 1860s. Unification has been described as a substitution of Piedmont (northern) dominance for foreign and Papal control: Southern Italians were brought to heel by the force and corruption traditional in their history. Prefects awarded favors; they bribed, rigged elections, and cultivated local notables to organize the electorate as “clients.” Such practices left the cynicism that characterized more recent Italian politics, and pushed Italian labor movements to more radical, violent ideologies.13 This experience also nurtured the extensive postwar ties between the Christian Democratic Party and the Mafia, revealed to have reached the very top echelons in the March 1995 indictment of former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.14 In Britain, as well, the process of democratization was corrupted quite widely. Even when the franchise was restricted to a large degree, the security of British governments depended on a parliamentary majority. Britain had only 200,000 voters at the end of the eighteenth century; before the Great Reform Act of 1832, even individual voters could be given offices in return for their ballots. In the last half of the twentieth century, direct payment for votes is rare (although such an accusation was made as recently as 1993 in the governor’s race in the state of New Jersey). Votes are now bought more indirectly, as elections are won with media campaigns that are increasingly expensive. Voters were worth more per capita in proto-democratic systems. In the age of mass media, each vote is worth less, but the total process is incomparably more expensive, and tensions over funding continue. Witness the investigation in West Germany in 1982 of two of Chancellor Schmidt’s cabinet members for bribery and tax evasion and for illegally funneling millions of Deutsche Marks—“laundered” to reach party officials—into the 1980 Bundestag election. Most recently we have the case of official eavesdropping on the telephone of the father-in-law of the judge investigating illegal campaign financing of the party of French Prime Minister Balladur.15 B. The Legislative Process Trading in votes is a potential problem at all levels in a democracy, from citizens’ votes in elections to the more expensive votes of the citizens’ representatives in legislative bodies. In nineteenth-century Britain, for example, leaders freely used patronage to secure support. Contracts, military commissions, and government jobs were given to members of Parliament. In the United States in

Corruption and Democracy


that period, bribery also applied to Congressional votes. In order to overcome resistance in Congress to the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7 million, the Andrew Johnson administration put at least another $200,000 into Congressional pockets! U.S. Senators were chosen by state legislatures at that time, so that seats could be bought if enough money was distributed in a legislature. Many Senators came to be known as representatives of specific interests, such as railroads, oil, textiles, and steel, rather than states. Senators became very rich, and their leaders saw themselves as the government agents in a web of financial and commercial interests. Industrialists saw politicians as parasites who accepted any bribe, promised anything, but gave their decisions to the highest bidder without returning other “offers.” Cornelius Vanderbilt once offered $75,000 to an important member of the New York legislature. The legislator accepted $100,000 from Vanderbilt’s rival Jay Gould, voted for Gould, but kept Vanderbilt’s money also. Legislative corruption continues to scandalize some in the present era. Washington has seen the FBI net greedy congressional representatives in its “Abscam” operation of the early 1980s. Others were implicated in “Koreagate.” Still others were exposed in the Savings and Loan debacle later in that decade. In Britain, the 1972 case of Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Maudling involved the distribution of funds from a private firm involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Maudling was forced to resign. In spite of these examples, a clear conclusion cannot be drawn on whether the process by which public policy is determined in democracies is either more or less exposed to corruption than in authoritarian governments. A somewhat theoretical conclusion would be that the policy process in democracies is less corrupt. The argument is that power corrupts, that policy making power is more concentrated in authoritarian systems and less susceptible to exposure and challenge. In China, for example, a consensus exists among protesters and conservatives alike that official corruption is a serious problem, involving even the son of Deng Xiao Ping. Evidence of the hypocrisies of “socialist” leaders abounded when the former governments of Eastern Europe were revealed to have allocated huge rewards to the “political class.” Although many allegations of policy corruption have been made in democracies as well (or at least political corruption has been imagined by voters in Japan, France, Italy, and elsewhere), scarcely any evidence directly supports the thesis that policy corruption is a special problem for democracies, except as it involves the severe need for resources in the electoral process as described above. C. Administrative Corruption At first glance, appointed and career officials would seem to be the office holders furthest removed from the effects of democratization. However, the ethos common to democracies quite possibly removes one of the principal barriers to administrative corruption, the high status of officials. Appropriate lessons can be drawn in U.S. history.



Concerning the first Presidential administrations, historian C. Vann Woodward writes, “Valuing so highly their reputations with the people and posterity, Presidents Washington and Adams and their advisers seldom slipped from a rigid standard of personal integrity and scrupulous regard for the laws.”16 Washington favored Federalists in his appointments and refused positions to former Tories (those opposed to independence from England), while avoiding any suspicion of personal or sectional favoritism. Samuel Eliot Morison also concluded, “The federal civil service began under principles of efficiency and honesty that were in sharp contrast to the jobbery and corruption in contemporary European governments. . . .”17 From this auspicious beginning a precipitous decline occurred in the nineteenth century, especially during the most intense Federalist and Republican competition. The situation went from bad to worse with the administration of Andrew Jackson and his “spoils system.” Jackson never regretted the spoils system and expressed greater concern for the effect of a permanent bureaucratic elite on democratic society. In his first annual message as President, Jackson stated that the duties of public offices were so “plain and simple” that anyone of average intelligence was qualified to hold one. More would be lost, he feared, by continuing individuals in office than would be gained from their experience. Whatever the worth of this populist philosophy, Jackson started a trend: The victorious Whigs removed his Democratic appointments in 1840, President James K. Polk restored the Democrats, etc. In the process, the prestige of the civil service diminished. Historians of Europe have identified the modernization of states with the development of a civil service as a replacement for royal servants with personal loyalty to their monarch. In the process, these civil servants developed their own philosophy and the cult of worshipping their own vocation—they may be seen to have supplanted the church in offering themselves as a priestly class with extraordinary knowledge and ethics. Prussia and other German states began assuming responsibility for the physical needs of officials and their families in return for entire devotion to duty. Prussia introduced, beginning in 1808, the concepts of tenure, exam-based entrance to administration, a rational hierarchy of classes and sub-classes, pensions, and stringent laws and harsh punishments against conflict of interest dealings. The “public servants” of Prussia and its successor states, and of other continental states as well, became known for their haughty, self-righteous demeanor—and for their incorruptibility. If, as the franchise was extended, they were forced to become the respectful servants of the mass public, rather than of some ideal of service itself, what would happen to their ethical standards? Ironically, a rise of democratic, egalitarian norms may correspond to a decline in the status of administrators. In U.S. history, the nadir of ethical standards commonly is assigned to the administration of Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877). Grant was never implicated personally in corruption, but he is seen as a weak president whose lack of leadership allowed the flowering of corruption in his administration,

Corruption and Democracy


which was identified in history with the Crédit Mobilier and St. Louis “whisky ring” scandals, among numerous others.18 His Republican administration at the national level coincided with the flowering of the first powerful (and Democratic) political machine at the local level, the Tammany Hall machine in New York City. At the same time, England was being transformed. The period 1780-1834 saw major changes in British politics, including the Reform Act expansion of the electorate that greatly reduced the possibility of buying seats in the Commons, and the rise of the Cabinet as the supreme controlling body, with the principle of unanimity to give it cohesion. From the middle of the nineteenth century through the 1950s, most Western European civil services were seen as empty of corruption, even as they were haughty to the ordinary citizen. In the process of their democratization, we have seen a rise in the incidence of bureaucratic corruption as well. The emergence of a non-corrupt public officialdom, then, seems to depend either on the accidental evolution or the deliberate development of a corps of people who profit from anti-corruption values, as they might if they made their livings by investigation and persuasion. Cicero, an ardent critic of corrupt judges, was a professional advocate, whose skills could be negated if a judge could be bought.19 The dilemma for democracies is that status and concern for the respect of other officials give administrators a stake in resisting corruption. An exalted class structure, with the public official nurtured in a sense of noblesse oblige, may have been the central factor in Britain’s development of an honest civil service. Unfortunately, superior status for public officials does not fit well with a democratic culture, which will look at such officials as public servants. Civil service ethics may be transmitted successfully as a call to a higher duty that will probably not be appreciated even by ordinary citizens. D. Summary To summarize the argument thus far, the potential for electoral process corruption in democracies must be added to that to which all forms of government are vulnerable: the “sale” of policies by legislators, and the temptation for administrators to charge “rents” for the decisions they control concerning the allocation of rights and privileges in a society. In short, all polities have the potential for administrative and bureaucratic corruption. Democracies add to that potential the new corruptible institutions involved in electoral competition, which itself is often institutionalized in clientelism and political machines and in a leveling that strips administrators of their sense of importance.


ROBERT MUNDT 3. The Culture of Political Corruption: Public Opinion

The self-fulfilling prophecy contributes mightily to pervasive corruption. In the case of democracy, the rule might be stated as follows: “Voters get what they expect (deserve?).” Corrupt behavior cannot be prevented if it is not scandalous. Voter retribution will not reduce corruption if voters expect such behavior from public officials. In the Philippines, democratic institutions on the American model were imposed on a culture steeped in clientelism. After forty years of independence, campaigns still are financed by candidates’ families and by economic interests, especially the prosperous but politically vulnerable Chinese merchants. Voters are determined to get as much as possible out of candidates during campaigns, because they expect little from them afterwards. A banner across the main street of one town greeted candidates with the slogan: “No Money, No Honey—No Votes!” A substantial body of literature in American political science seeks to relate ethical practices to regional or community cultures. In a major work on the politics of American cities, Edward Banfield and James Q. Wilson proposed a distinction in political attitudes that they called “private regarding” and “public regarding.” The private-regarding individual bases his or her political activity on achieving personal benefits. The public regarding voter makes decisions based on a concept of the public good.20 An elaboration of this hypothesis has been offered by Daniel Elazar, who has identified three different political cultures in the United States, largely determined by settlement and migration patterns, that lead to different mass contexts for political behavior. In an individualistic culture, politics is a market, in which political actors are judged by their ability as entrepreneurs under essentially amoral rules. A moralistic culture, on the other hand, is one in which the purpose of politics is to build a “good community,” and political actors are judged on their contributions to the common cause, as well as on how well they respect the rules. Finally, in a traditionalistic political culture, the public accepts that politics is the domain of a traditional social elite. In the United States, large Northeastern states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey are identified as individualistic. Some Midwestern states, especially Minnesota and Wisconsin, are seen as moralistic. Much of the South is labeled traditionalistic.21 The patterns of political corruption clearly correspond with the individualistic/moralistic division; however, a danger of circular reasoning is present in this hypothesis, unless culture is measured independently of politicians’ behavior. An indication of ethnic bias also exists, since “early immigrants” from England and Scotland were found by Banfield and Wilson to be public-regarding, while later immigrants from southern Europe were the core of the private-regarding population. Nevertheless, these works have generated a large body of applications that in many cases support their conclusions. Clearly, in a democracy, official behavior will mirror the electorate’s expectations of them.

Corruption and Democracy


If corruption is found scandalous, a democracy has the means to punish corrupt behavior: elected representatives who are identified as corrupt, or who tolerate a corrupt civil service, will be voted out of office. How scandalous is corruption in the United States? A study of the effect of allegations of corruption on citizens’ voting behavior22 used all known instances of charges of political corruption or unethical behavior of candidates for the House of Representatives from 1968 to 1978. The authors identified 83 districts with such charges and compared them with 193 non-affected districts. They found that Democrats were charged more with bribery than Republicans, while Republicans were charged with conflict of interest, than were Democrats. But charges concerning personal morality had the greatest effect on reelection, followed by bribery, then by conflict of interest. Accusation did result in retribution. The average loss of votes on all charges was 7.7 percent for Republicans and 16.8 percent for Democrats. Charges of personal immorality weighed most heavily, with average vote losses of about 25 percent. Losses for Democrats accused of bribery averaged 14.1 percent, and loses for Republicans accused of conflict of interest averaged 10.2 percent. However, the average accused Democrat had served six terms and, in the last election, had won over 67 percent of the vote. The average Republican had served three terms and, most recently, had won by 58 percent. The average loss from voter retribution did not result necessarily in the accused candidates’ defeat; they merely received a close win rather than a comfortable win! One hypothesis still might be tested and added to this literature: Does a large private sector, operating in a politico-economic system with a high level of competition and minimal government-imposed bottlenecks, embitter the taste of corruption, so that it is held in check by public pressures? We have seen that the business moguls of nineteenth-century America encouraged corruption even as they despised politicians. These powerful figures were seeking or had won monopolistic or oligopolistic situations for which they wanted government guarantees. A truly competitive capitalism, on the other hand, might create a climate hostile to corruption. A public opinion that can be scandalized by corruption may be a necessary condition to its reduction. However, it cannot be sufficient unless the scandalous conduct can be made known. Russian writers attacked Tsarist corruption cautiously but relentlessly. Thus Nikolai Gogol, in his story “The Nose,” describes a police inspector whose passion was sugar: In his house the entire parlor, which served also as the dining room, was stacked with sugar loaves which local tradesmen brought to him out of friendship . . . . The police inspector was a great patron of the arts and manufactures, but he preferred a bank note to everything else. “This is the thing,” he would usually say. “There can be nothing better than it—it doesn’t ask for food, it doesn’t take much space, it’ll always fit into a pocket, and if you drop it it won’t break.”23



The legitimacy of the regime was weakened severely by satire such as this, although it was never a sufficient force to cause thoroughgoing reform. Perhaps in the presence of democratic institutions, such satire, if broadly disseminated, might have been sufficient. The total picture, then, is complex: all governments face the potential of corruption from the rent-seeking behavior of those who make authoritative decisions. Democracy introduces an additional temptation in the value of the vote. On the other hand, institutional arrangements can be implemented in any type of political system to reduce the likelihood of corruption. And the dispersal of power and the open flow of information that is characteristic of democracies can make corrupt behavior difficult and expensive. Presumably the variable most difficult to change is the mass culture. Yet it seems that, while popular resentment of corruption is not constant, it occasionally swells and forces at least a temporary focus on corrupt activity. Discussions of corruption often conclude in tones of frustration and hopelessness Robert Klitgaard suggests in Controlling Corruption that this sense of frustration is because of a “nagging sense that there is nothing to be done about it. After all, corruption is as old as government itself.”24 Yet the preceding discussion shows that the context of corruption is complex and affected by many factors. Corruption may be universal, but its incidence clearly varies, as any seasoned world traveler can tell you. Identifying the factors related to corruption and attempting to isolate those that may be manipulated to reduce the incidence of corrupt behavior become important. 4. Manipulating the Factors of Corruption: Reform Proposals In the empirical literature of social science, much more has been written about the pervasiveness of corruption than about its elimination or prevention. This surely reflects widespread pessimism about the possibilities of reducing the incidence of corruption. Robert Klitgaard’s Controlling Corruption stands out as an exception to be recommended for careful study by officials and scholars interested in the possibility. Michael Johnston provides a thorough description of reform efforts in the American context and evaluates them.25 His categorization of reform efforts, with many examples taken from his work (and some from the preceding discussion), is presented in the table on page 31. A. Personalistic Reforms: Moral Education Can a system socialize its members into selflessness? In the Republic, Plato saw the need for an elite of philosopher-kings socialized from infancy to have only the public interest in mind. Great religions have offered this kind of socializing message: Hindus practice respect for all forms of life, even of the lowliest and


Corruption and Democracy

Process Type Electortoral




Defeat Corrupt Candidates

At-large elections

Campaign Spending Limits

Media Dissemination of Financing Information


Public Financing of Elections

Moral Education of public officials

Disclosure/ Punishment of wrongdoing

Commission System

High pay/tenure for officials


Lateral-entry recruitment

Eliminate “red tape”

Hiring, Promoting “honest” workers

Separation, balance of powers

“Sunshine” laws (open meetings) A Typology of Reforms against Corruption (Public Office for Private Purpose) weakest; the Christian is to lay down his or her life for another. Castro’s Cuba and Mao’s China proclaimed a secular version of the selfless activist, the “Socialist Comrade.” These are the cultural countercurrents to the very strong human instinct for self-preservation. But James Madison was skeptical about relying on leaders with good values and preached institutions.


ROBERT MUNDT B. Institutional Reforms: The Balance of Powers

Officials’ discretion in decision making is a source of corruption. An apparent logical approach entails the reduction in the scope of official decision making (as in separating and balancing officials’ powers) and should reduce corruption by hemming in the officials with rules. In the Federalist Papers, Madison argued that institutions rather than individuals provide the defense against abuse of power, “It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.”26 Madison recognized the inherent problem of conflict of interest: at all times official should weigh their private interests against the “public interest” since one can easily rationalize that they are the same. So, the answer of the Federalist Papers was in the separation and balance of political powers. However, in our experience the diffusion of authority cannot be credited with the consistent prevention of corruption. In fact, some have suggested that the reverse is true. In 1904, reformer Henry Jones Ford wrote: The growth of an extra-legal system of connecting the disconnected functions of government for administrative purposes certainly entails corruption, but it does not follow that under such circumstances it is disadvantageous although founded upon venality. Our ordinary system of municipal government is so opposed to all sound principles of business organization that it is highly creditable to our practical capacity for government that we are able to work it at all. The graft system is bad, but it is better than the constitutional system as established by law.27 Seventy years later, American political scientist Edward Banfield came to a similar conclusion: The growth of government wasn’t accompanied by the centralization of control. Rather, structural changes generally toward dispersion of authority: merit system, public employees’ unions, civil rights legislation, laws requiring “citizen participation,” “sunshine laws,” etc. This has been balanced by “informal centralization” in machines.28 The checks and balances are designed to produce stalemate and inaction. The American experience has been that the dispersal of power among independent, relatively invisible local officials does not deter and may enhance corruption, as when political machines arise to circumvent the ineffectiveness of balanced powers. On the other hand, the formal checks seem to be effective where different well-publicized institutions operate as part of the same legislative process.

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In Watergate, the checks and balances in the American system threatened to break down: Congress and the courts were slow to assert themselves; the opposition party did not provide constant and meaningful constructive criticism, nor did most of media—thus the dramatic uphill battle of Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Only the “accident” of their persistence led finally to the check of official misconduct. C. Systemic Reforms: Simplicity and Sunshine Klitgaard’s instrumental approach to political corruption is demonstrated in his first principle of reform: a public official will act corruptly when the likely net benefits from doing so outweigh the likely net costs. If a cost-benefit approach is applied to this situation, the benefit of applying resources to eliminating corruption is reduced as the more egregious forms are eliminated; complete elimination of corruption would be prohibitively expensive. This reasoning leads him to conclude that the optimal level of corruption is not zero.29 However, corruption can be minimized (but never efficiently prevented) by increasing the long-term benefits of honest public service (which benefits often include job security). Administrative style is an important factor, and it operates independently from formal structure. Often this factor is expressed in the following manner: How can a top administrator remain open to various sources of information and attitudes, without being “swamped” with information? This dilemma can be applied to the administrator’s problem with minimizing corruption. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln relieved General John C. Frémont as commander of the Western Department in St. Louis. Frémont had surrounded himself with a retinue of California cronies who made profits on army contracts without competitive bidding. Lincoln saw Frémont as not personally dishonest. “His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself, and allows nobody to see him; and by which he does not know what is going on in the very matter he is dealing with.”30 U.S. Presidents such as Ulysses Grant and Richard Nixon were later to face the same dilemma. The training of administrators can include both “moral education” against corruption and instruction in the administrative skills and style necessary to give subordinates the impression that they are held responsible but are not under surveillance. The above discussion of democratic checks and balances and the free communication of opposition can be effective only if policy processes and administration are open to inspection. In recent years in the United States, governments at all levels have given in to demands, largely from journalists, for “open meetings.” Such laws have allowed journalists to protest successfully even to the level of informal gatherings of three or four city council members over lunch or at a cocktail party. At the national level, implementation of the Freedom of Information Act has put the burden on government to demonstrate how the public good would be harmed by releasing information. These types of measures are known collectively as “sunshine” laws. Probably, no more effec-



tive way is available currently to assure the public that they know what officials are doing. But how much sunshine can be let in on decision-making without hampering its effectiveness? At the federal level, the United States has a contrary tradition in place, “executive privilege,” which protects the executive branch from legislative probing. In any political system tension will exist between these two principles, which inevitably will be resolved short of full public view; here again the optimal level of corruption is not zero. 5. Conclusion Ultimately, the success of any measures against corruption in a democracy is dependent on the degree to which decision making has been institutionalized. Often corruption associated with the democratization process is actually a function of rapid political change, regardless of whether it is in the direction of democratization. In a true democracy, an unequal distribution of political resources that permits a buildup of influence in a single individual or procedural bottleneck would not exist. In such a democracy, corruption should be prohibitively expensive. Without constraining institutions, the economic inequalities that are inevitable in a market economy translate into political inequalities that make democracy a sham and stimulate corrupt decision making. In the Mexican case, the over-powerful role of the president and a poorly institutionalized judicial system are major impediments to reducing corruption. This situation can be contrasted with those of France, Spain, and Italy, where an institutionalized independent judiciary is focused on corruption. These approaches can be promoted by leaders of exceptional integrity, yet their permanent implementation must await the consolidation of stable political institutions. NOTES 1. Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991). 2. Freedom House, The Comparative Survey of Freedom, 1995–1996. http// 3. Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man: The Social Basis of Politics (Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1960). 4. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, cited in Peter deLeon, Thinking about Political Corruption (London: M. E. Sharpe, 1993), p. 207. 5. Le Monde Diplomatique (June 1994), p. 3. 6. Robert I. Rotberg, “Elections in Namibia Point toward Stability,” Christian Science Monitor (25 January 1995), p. 19. 7. Peter deLeon, Thinking about Political Corruption (London: M. E. Sharpe, 1993), p. 118.

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8. “A Peephole into French Corruption, US-Style” and “Rocked by Corruption, Spain Takes a Moment to Pat Itself on the Back,” Christian Science Monitor (3 March 1995), pp. 1, 7. 9. James C. Scott, Comparative Political Corruption (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1972). 10. Aron Katsenelinboigen, “Corruption in the USSR: Some Methodological Notes,” Corruption: Causes, Consequences, and Control, ed. Michael Clarke (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1983), p. 227. 11. deLeon, Thinking about Political Corruption, pp. 25–26. 12. John T. Noonan, Jr., Bribes (New York: Macmillan, 1984), p. 40. 13. Samuel H. Barnes, “Italy: Oppositions on Left, Right, and Center,” Political Oppositions in Western Democracies, ed. Robert A. Dahl (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), pp. 306–311. 14. “Italy Reads Ex-Premier’s Lips Following Alleged Mafia Kiss,” The Christian Science Monitor (6 March 1995), p. 6. 15. “Wiretap Scandal Spins French Race for New President,” Christian Science Monitor (23 February 1995), p. 6. 16. C. Vann Woodward, Responses of the Presidents to Charges of Misconduct (New York: Dell, 1974), p. 1. 17. Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 320. 18. Woodward, Responses of the Presidents, pp. 115–140. 19. Noonan, Bribes, Ch. 2. 20. Edward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson, City Politics (New York: Vintage Books, 1966). 21. Daniel Elazar, American Federalism: A View from the States, 2nd ed. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972). 22. John G. Peters and Susan Welch, “The Effects of Charges of Corruption on Voting Behavior in Congressional Elections,” American Political Science Review, 74 (3 September 1980), pp. 697–708. 23. Nikolai Gogol, Overcoat and Other Tales of Good and Evil (New York: Norton, 1965). 24. Robert Klitgaard, Controlling Corruption (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1988), p. 7. 25. Michael Johnston, Political Corruption and Public Policy in America (Monterey, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, 1982), pp. 134–137. 26. James Madison, The Federalist Papers, #10 (New York: New American Library of World Literature, 1961). 27. Henry Jones Ford, “A Comment on Lincoln Steffens,” Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis, ed. Arnold J. Heidenheimer (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 290. 28. Edward C. Banfield, Corruption as a Feature of Governmental Organization,” The Journal of Law and Economics, 18:3 (1975), p. 604. 29. Klitgaard, Controlling Corruption, pp. 22–24. 30. Woodward, Responses of the Presidents, p. 98.

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Three ETHICS AND DEMOCRACY: ON THE DANGER OF MORAL DEMAGOGUERY Abdusalam Guseinov In this chapter, I will touch upon four points: (1) Aspects of democracy that can lead to violence. (2) The nature of moral demagoguery and how it can lead to violence. (3) The way in which violence needs moral demagoguery. (4) The role of moral demagoguery in the political consciousness of contemporary Russia. 1. Aspects of Democracy that Can Lead to Violence Democracy understood as a government of the people is a contradictory notion, because government always presupposes hierarchy, subordination, and a more or less distinct delimitation of those who govern from those who are governed. Government is connected with establishing localized government bodies and their correlative groups of citizens who are subject to their authority. Briefly, government can be defined as an organization that makes decisions for others. In speaking about people as the subject of government, that is, as the source of its governmental legitimacy, the idea is not that a government is the expression of a supreme will (such as divine revelation or world reason) or that a government is the will of select people (such as an aristocratic minority or an outstanding personality). Instead, the source of a government’s legitimacy is the idea that the government should express the will of all people. In this democratic ideal, the human will, personified in every mature and normal individual, should be recognized as the only legitimate constituent. As the legitimate constituent of a democratic ideal, human will is capable of determining the social conditions for the government’s existence. Political decisions should be made by the people. If this is how democratic government is conceived, then it cannot be a government for all the people, because decisions are not made by the subjects. If the people are the subjects of an action, then government can not exist. All concepts of democracy and all of its historical forms, which fluctuate from anarchism to totalitarianism, can be interpreted as various expressions of this contradiction. Anarchism accentuates the autonomy of people and, in turn, comes to deny gov-



ernment. Totalitarianism accentuates the authority of government and comes to deny people as competent subjects. Anarchism and totalitarianism are the two dangers along the “narrow path” called democracy. By themselves, neither anarchism nor totalitarianism can be considered a form of democracy because they overstep its limits, but in opposing ways. If democracy is indeed a government of the people, then under totalitarianism government exists without people and under anarchism people exist without government. Government can also be understood as self-government, meaning the supremacy of one part of the whole over the whole itself, as in the case of how the brain governs the body. With this organic understanding of government, democracy means self-government of the people. This idea is expressed in the famous words of Abraham Lincoln when he said that “Democracy is government of the people, for the people and by the people.” Democracy, understood as self-government, solves two interrelated and prominent problems. First, self-government demarcates the spheres of individual, group, and formal political decisions. Second, such a democracy combines the wills of the individual as well as the group into a single will or common denominator. The solution of the first problem contains the dangerous possibility that the political sphere can usurp the fields of group and individual decisions or, vice versa, that individual and group interests can destroy a unified political space. The solution of the second problem also contains the dangers connected with the status of those individual and group wills which are closest to the common denominator and the most distant from it. Here conflicts might arise that are dangerous for the democratic life of a society, when certain groups privatize political institutions and structures while other groups become alienated from them. When a democratic government loses its democratic legitimacy, violence becomes its dominating foundation in every case. But for a government to become essentially forcible while remaining apparently democratic, a certain charismatic atmosphere is required. One of the most important elements of this atmosphere is moral demagoguery. 2. The Nature of Moral Demagoguery and How It Can Lead to Violence Sometimes demogoguery is referred to as moralizing, moralization, and even moralistics. Since the last three terms have axiologically different and negative values and often are regarded simply as derivatives from morals, the term “moral demagoguery” seems more appropriate. Besides, its etymology is more to the point. The substitution of morals by its semblance is done when a desire to manifest or to demonstrate it is present; that is, when it has to appear before the demos (the people and the public). Demagoguery or populism always appeals to morality, finding such an appeal to be an adequate means for its goals. An excessive use of ethical language, determined by the abundance of moral terminology and in evaluations of social communication, can serve as a

Ethics and Democracy


direct indicator of moral demagoguery. The indicators of moral demagoguery are of a qualitative nature. In the most general way, they can be reduced to public figures resorting to positive self evaluations and negative evaluations of others. This characterization does not mean that we can speak about moral demagoguery only when an individual ingeniously engages in self praise and openly condemns others. An individual also may engage in self praise indirectly through a secret agenda, such as presuming one’s own clan or nation to be the best or the kindest. Another case is a show of modesty, which is summed up in the saying, “Humbleness is more than pride.” Moral humiliation of others also can take strange forms, such as extolling them. By making moral evaluations of other people, one assumes the right to give such evaluations. Briefly, the thesis that moral demagoguery’s indications lay in the subject’s self praise and condemnation of others should not be taken literally. To be applied empirically, a more concrete definition would have to be made. Nevertheless, this sketch allows me to illustrate these principles in a general way. Moral evaluation is a paradoxical phenomenon. It presupposes that the evaluator is morally faultless or has special competence in this respect. For example, such competence is with legal evaluations made by special qualified people. A characteristic feature of a morally perfect individual is an awareness of one’s own imperfection, personified in the feeling of dissatisfaction or modesty which does not allow the person to assume the attitude of a judge or teacher. An example of this feature is the famous evangelical tale in which Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” He did not even present himself as a person without sin. Conversely, the fact that an individual is willing to undertake the role of a moral judge discloses a complacency that shows that this individual does not correspond to this role. We can conclude that, people who could give moral evaluations will not do it because they can, while those who are ready to give moral evaluations cannot be trusted with this task because they are ready to do it! Without pretending to solve this contradiction, a kind of temporary rule can be proposed which is as follows: if a moral evaluation in the positive form is possible, it can be done only with respect to others; a moral evaluation in the negative form is only permissible for a subject with respect to herself or himself. In fact, wrongdoing and crime are distinguished precisely on the basis of the following indications, who judges whom and on what grounds. Wrongdoing and crime can coincide. Often they do coincide factually, because they can be the same act. The difference lies in the fact that individuals answer for their crimes done to other people on the basis of legal norms, while in the case of wrongdoing they answer for their awareness of moral law. According to Thomas Hobbes; “Law is the consciousness of the state.”1 Changing this statement one can say: consciousness is the law of a moral individual. Thus, moral evaluation, at least in its negative form as condemnation of others, cannot be justified consistently and, in this sense, is impossible. If, nev-



ertheless, such evaluations do exist, this fact means that they have a transmuted form. Most often this altered form is moral demagoguery. Moral demagoguery can be defined as the misuse of moral evaluation by shifting its vectors: the subject directs toward herself or himself that which should be directed toward others (namely, moral elevation) while that which should be directed toward oneself (namely, moral condemnation) is directed toward others. The result of moral demagoguery is self glorification on the part of the subject where an individual or a group of individuals portray themselves as better than they really are. But self glorification is only its first, obvious, and most harmless consequence. A more dangerous consequence is the fact that moral demagoguery contains in itself the selection of people by a moral criterion. Moral demagoguery divides the people into categories consisting of good and evil. This dichotomous categorization is the destructive essence of moral demagoguery. To put people on both sides of the ethical barricade means to make a gap between them that is impossible to overcome. Religious utopias, Christian or Muslim, separate the grain from the shaft, meaning the separation of good people from bad people on the Day of Judgment. They admit that after this separation, the good will have eternal life in paradise, while the bad are doomed to eternal suffering in hell. Nothing in common remains between the separate groups. Moral demagoguery can be interpreted as a hypocritical form of the Last Judgment because an individual assumes the role of judge that in religious utopias belongs to God. One specific mechanism of moral demagoguery involves transforming a concrete and verifiable issue into an abstract and indefinite one in order to misdirect people’s social energy. Moral demagoguery is a continuation of incompetence; it serves to compensate and thus hide the true causes of some act or another. It turns crime into wrongdoing and dissolves concrete responsibility in a general fault. Moral demagoguery can be seen as a safety valve that bleeds the “steam” of public anger that would otherwise tear the social “boiler.” The subjects of moral demagoguery are mostly those on the upper rungs of the social hierarchical ladder: rich countries with respect to poor ones; privileged classes with respect to the deprived; managers with respect to employees; teachers with respect to students; parents with respect to children; older people with respect to the young. 3. The Way in Which Violence Needs Moral Demagoguery The word “violence” in a natural language means the compulsion of someone against their will. The essence of violence, consists in blocking the free will of individuals and forcing them to do or to keep them from doing actions that are prescribed by those committing violence. In general, violence can be defined briefly as the usurpation of free will. Violence is the supremacy of some individuals over others based on external compulsion.

Ethics and Democracy


Violence is an extreme case of the supremacy-subordination relationship of government. Governments can have different foundations. Some governments can be based on the real difference of wills. In this case, human interactions are natural and normal even when they become hierarchical. A typical case is a government of educated estates over uneducated ones. Governments can also be based on the preliminary agreement or accord with those governed, a typical case being liberal democracy. Government also can be based as well on external compulsion, where consequently we are faced with violence. A typical case of this scenario is totalitarianism. Violence is an axiological notion. Violence not only describes a certain type of relationship between people but provides an evaluation of this relationship as well. The evaluation is entirely negative, because we perceive violence as a harmful, illegitimate act that is associated with evil. Only external compulsion of an individual that is worthy of condemnation is called violence. In everyday thinking and within social and philosophical conceptions the understanding of violence as evil is also connected with the thesis that there are cases of morally justified applications of violence do exist, that is, violence can be used for the sake of good. In this manner, violence becomes ethically sanctioned. To what extent is this judgment justified? Violence is based on a conflict in which its participants cannot come to mutual agreement. A human situation that precedes and engenders violence is captured eloquently in the question posed by Lev (Leo) Nikolaevich Tolstoy: “How can human conflicts be settled when some people think evil that which others think good and vice versa?”2 We may answer that this question is connected with violence. This solution presupposes that good people should govern evil people, thus subordinating them by force to the will of the good. That is, in order to start the mechanism of justified violence, violence should be interpreted as an instrument of good. Usually arguments that are given to justify violence serve this purpose. Some examples are: violence used as just vengeance; violence used for the sake of the people toward whom it is directed, and minor violence used in order to prevent greater violence. Ethical argumentation used to justify violence presupposes the preliminary qualification of people as good and bad. The point is that certain difficulties, for which violence is proposed as a response, emerge from the very impossibility of their solution. Violence cannot be an instrument of good by definition, because it results from a situation in which reaching agreement about what is good is impossible. Violence could be justified morally only if those toward whom it is directed give their consent. But if this consent is possible, why employ violence? Justification of violence for the sake of the good is, therefore, logically inconsistent. I am not considering moral justification of violence, but the ethical argumentation aimed at justifying its separate forms and cases. In fact, a careful examination of the notion of violence reveals its ambiguous nature. Why should the public be interested in this ambiguity? Part of the answer lies in the fact that



people must face ethical quandaries in which their views on good and evil prove to be diametrically opposed. This situation cannot be overcome through a generalized notion of violence. Clarifying the double-faced notion of violence in which one projection is good and another is evil appears useful. “When we, revolutionaries, are killed, it is bad, when we, revolutionaries, kill, it is good.” This was Leon Trotsky’s line of reasoning in his classic article, “Their Morals and Our Morals.”3 Through his frankness, he was precise in analyzing the causes of the ambiguous understanding of violence. The ethical discrediting of violence is necessary since violence is directed toward “us,” while the ethical justification of violence is necessary since violence is directed toward “them.” Because of this ambiguity, ethical argumentation for violence is impossible. At the same time, the use of violence requires such argumentation. A supposed way out of this antinomy is moral demagoguery. Ethically, moral demagoguery seems to insure violence. The essence of moral demagoguery, as we have seen, is that certain subjects usurp the right to speak in the name of the good, marking off their opponents and thus making them enemies. The recognition that moral demagoguery creates a quasi-spiritual situation in which violence becomes more acceptable than evil suggests it can even become a direct obligation. 4. The Role of Moral Demagoguery in the Political Consciousness of Contemporary Russia Considering the public consciousness of post-Soviet Russia, we can observe a high degree of moral demagoguery. At least three aspects can be pointed out. First, public goals are formulated in a deliberately uncertain, elevated, and unverifiable form (for example, in references to “Renewal,” “Spiritual Renovation,” “Return to Civilization,” and “The Eurasian Choice”). Recently, the words “Russia” and “Russian Federation” have disappeared almost entirely in the vocabulary of political and public figures. They speak mainly about the “Great Russia” and, the worse things become in various spheres of life, the greater “Great Russia” becomes. When speaking about such great things as the grandeur of the Motherland, such minute things as a concrete individual or a small nation fade into the background. Second, public discussion often acquires a morally violent character; it is directed against the ethical opposition to a point where no way back remains. Examples can be found in the charges of rivaling sides: “communo-fascists,” “reactional forces,” “traitors,” “CIA agents,” “dregs,” “scoundrels,” and so on. What can one do with “dregs” and “national socialists”? Only destroy them, because people simply cannot sit with them at the same symposium. Third, morally humiliating evaluations reach existential depths. Opponents are not simply bad people, but carriers of devilish elements. People’s bodily features are played up, for example, “mustache,” “obesity,” or “a birthmark on the head” which is compared with a sign of Satan. One should not see Russian

Ethics and Democracy


barbarism as emerging only when moral criticism turns into anthropological criticism. On the contrary, this transition reveals a remarkable coherence of thought and mood. Ethical opposition is the deepest existential opposition that can have only one consistent and humanly decent continuation: a fight to the finish. A direct link exists between the inclination of Russian public consciousness to moral demagoguery and the inherent moods of animosity, hostility, and hatred. To break this link and to cultivate in the society defense mechanisms against moral demagoguery is one of the most significant and yet historically protracted tasks. Morals outline the ultimate level of human life by providing the spiritual space of mutual respect within which a cooperative, reasonable, and responsible life is possible. Morals are the most general condition of accord and cooperation among people, but precisely for this reason demagogues misuse morals. Their misuse of morals results in narrowing the area of mutual respect and communication among individuals and communities. In general, the consequences are devastating because moral demagoguery becomes a source of disjunction, quarrels, and wars. As is well known, Europe passed through a long and cruel period of r eligious wars before it came to realize that religious tolerance is a necessary precondition for public life in its modern forms. However, rarely mentioned (at least in Russian literature) is that religious intolerance, which stood in the way of modern society, was a form of moral intolerance. During that period, moral limits simply coincided with religious ones. Overcoming moral intolerance manifested as the spiritual sanctioning of violence was no less vital a task of liberal-democratic social development than the overcoming of religious intolerance. In European history this task was resolved mainly by distinguishing between morals and law and by making law the morals of the state. This task is the problem that Russia is currently trying to solve. NOTES 1. Thomas Hobbes, The English Works of Thomas Hobbes, Vol. 2, ed. Sir William Molesworth (Aalen, Germany: Scientia, 1962), p. 337. 2. Leo Tolstoy, Works, Vol. 28, (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing, 1968), p. 38. 3. Leon Trotsky, Basic Writings, ed. and intro. by Irving Howe (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1963), p. 138.

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Four DEMOCRACY, PATRIOTISM, AND VIRTUE: NOTES TOWARD A CULTURAL THEORY OF NATIONS AND NATIONALISM Alan Woolfolk Comprehension . . . does not mean denying the outrageous, deducing the unprecedented from precedents, or explaining phenomena by such analogies and generalities that the impact of reality and the shock of experience are no longer felt. It means, rather, examining and bearing consciously the burden that events have placed upon us—neither denying their existence nor submitting meekly to their weight as though everything that in fact happened could not have happened otherwise. Comprehension, in short, means the unpremeditated, attentive facing up to, and resisting of, reality—whatever it may be or might have been.1 Nationalism is the term for a specifically modern phenomenon of cultural integration. This type of national consciousness is formed in social movements and emerges from modernization processes at a time when people are at once both mobilized and isolated as individuals. Nationalism is a form of collective consciousness which both presupposes a reflexive approbation of cultural traditions that have been filtered through historiography and which spreads only via the channels of modern mass communication. Both elements lend to nationalism the artificial traits of something that is to a certain extent a construct, thus rendering it by definition susceptible to manipulative misuse by political elites.2 1. Introduction The widely-accepted distinction between Western and Eastern nationalism put forward by Hans Kohn some years ago continues to shape recent studies of nationalism, even though the distinction has analytical shortcomings and frequently appears to define moral as much as analytical categories.3 As in the case of the distinction between patriotism and nationalism,4 the contrast between Western and Eastern nationalism may hide more than it illuminates, especially insofar as conventional moral assumptions about the superiority of Western “civic” nationalism over Eastern “ethnic” conceptions of citizenship forestall careful theoretical analysis. Even so, theoretical analysis need not—in fact, cannot—completely abjure moral vision. All theory, I would argue, con-



tains moral implications for thought and action, whether recognized or not. Facts and values, knowledge and belief, feeling and reason, and theory and moral practice, I suggest, cannot be set apart as we have been taught, and that to attempt to do so is intellectually self-deceptive. If theory always contains implications for the conduct of life, then the real question is the extent to which a particular theory encourages analytic insight along with moral and spiritual probity. Whatever the merits of the distinction between “civic” and “ethnic” nationalism, and they are many and obvious, the contrast fails to illuminate some aspects of nationalism and national identity that are essential for comprehending the violent outer and inner history of the twentieth century.5 2. Beyond Civic and Ethnic Nationalism Recently, Steven Grosby has begun to build a case against the distinction between “civic” and “ethnic” nationalism.6 Grosby argues that the universalistic doctrines of liberal democratic societies centering on beliefs that all persons are created equal and that they are endowed with inherent and inalienable rights, which are the hallmarks of “civic” nationalism, have only been realized within the bounded collectivity of the nation–state. That is, paradoxically, implementation of these universal rights has always been particularistic and depended upon a degree of exclusivity; the universalism of “civic” nationalism has always come to fruition, however imperfectly, within a physically bounded territory and a culturally bounded people that define a nation. “Once this paradox is recognized,” Grosby contends, “the important political problem . . . becomes a matter of the proper mixture of universality and exclusivity . . . the proper mixture of, on the one hand, the rights of the individual, and, on the other, the duties of the individual to his nation.”7 The concept of “civic” nationalism obscures precisely the particularism and exclusivity hidden within Western universalism. Grosby also comments that the distinction between “civic” and “ethnic” nationalism works to “blur the difference between nationality and nationalism.” He suggests that nationality depends upon the acceptance of physical and cultural boundaries, specifically images of boundaries that determine the territory and people of a nation, whereas nationalism is best described as a set of beliefs about the nature of a people, their land, and their rights. Grosby contends that the image of an extensive but bounded area of land and the image of a bounded people become inseparably linked in the formation of a nation—“territoriality is an ingredient in . . . common memories.”8 In short, the trajectory of Grosby’s analysis suggests that the concept of “civic” nationalism too easily denies or ignores the common but highly particular images and memories that define every nation, emphasizing instead cognitive components of beliefs and ideas to the detriment of psychic states associated with what are frequently called primordial attachments. Many theorists have pointed to the importance of primordial attachments for understanding nationality and nationalism, ranging from Hans Kohn and

Democracy, Patriotism, and Virtue


Edward Shils to Anthony Smith and Michael Ignatieff.9 Such theorists have tended to define nationality too broadly and to underplay the extent to which nationalism differs from nationality and may even oppose it. Perhaps, the most compelling example of a theory that illuminates how extreme forms of nationalism can corrupt a nation and encourage its spiritual decline may be found in Hannah Arendt’s magnum opus, The Origins of Totalitarianism. Here, Arendt maintains that the imperialist and totalitarian movements of the last century subverted the nation-state because they opposed the cultural limitations characteristic of particular nations and the legal restraints and political institutions that are the foundation of the modern state, as well as the territorial boundaries of the nation-state. Arendt contends that European imperialism, which emerged full-blown during the three decades prior to World War I in both its “foreign” and “continental” forms, prepared the way for the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany by advocating corrupted varieties of nationalism based upon tribal and racial principles. Expansion appeared to be a means of reasserting the cohesion and common interest of the nation as a whole against divisive economic and social interests. “In theory, there is an abyss between nationalism and imperialism; in practice, it can and has been bridged by tribal nationalism and outright racism.”10 For Arendt, the racism of foreign imperialists (such as the English and the French in Africa) and the tribalism of continental imperialists (in the forms of Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism in Austria-Hungary, Russia, and elsewhere) represented a break with the excesses of traditional, chauvinistic nationalism in that nationality was reduced to ideological abstractions that contradicted the very identity of the nation. “From the very beginning, racism deliberately cut across all national borders, whether defined by geographical, linguistic, traditional, or any other standards, and denied national-political existence as such.”11 Likewise, continental imperialism expressed contempt toward the narrowness of the nation-state and appealed to “an ‘enlarged tribal consciousness’ which was supposed to unite all people of similar folk origin, independent of history and no matter where they happened to live.”12 According to Arendt, both the foreign and continental imperialists lacked any understanding of traditional patriotism. They had no feeling for a territory of their own, nor the slightest idea of “responsibility for a common, limited community.”13 Varieties of tribal nationalism based upon race-thinking, vague notions of folk communities, and historical falsehoods have been, of course, conventionally associated with Eastern “ethnic” nationality and nationalism. Recent conflicts, such as those in the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union, have tended to reinforce commonplace assumptions that the most virulent, corrupted forms of nationalism are somehow characteristic of parochial societies that have failed to achieve the cosmopolitanism of Western “civic” nations. Yet, Arendt’s analysis points to the prevalence of tribal nationalism among nations with “civic” and “ethnic” traditions. For instance, the racism of the English or the Dutch in Africa during the era preceding World War I represents a theoretical parallel to the antisemitism of the Pan-German movement of the



same period. Similarly, the political opportunism and contempt for the limits of the nation-state exhibited by the English imperialist Cecil Rhodes and the Austrian leader of the Pan-German movement, Georg von Schoenerer, reveal common traits of what Arendt calls “the imperialist character.”14 “Civic” and “ethnic” national traditions have produced their respective cases of antinational tribal nationalism. The recurrent nativism of the “civic” nation par excellence the United States, offers ample evidence that tribal nationalism has been an enduring motif in the history of “civic” nationalism. Even if the Know-Nothing movement of the 1840s, the anti-oriental Immigration Act of 1882, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and the McCarthyism of the 1950s are merely exceptions to the “civic” rule in the United States, what William Pfaff calls “lower nationalism” is, nonetheless, a significant feature of American nationalism that cannot be understood apart from the dominant “civic” ideals.15 3. The Interdictory Forms of Higher Nationalism What I would like to suggest is that a case can be made for distinguishing between higher and lower forms of nationalism, regardless of whether one refers to a so-called “civic” or “ethnic” national tradition. By higher nationalism, I intend to refer to forms of nationalism that promote the moral-spiritual life of a nation through the cultivation of collective beliefs and memories that support character-forming disciplines of limitation. By lower nationalism, I refer to forms of nationalism that corrupt the moral-spiritual life of a nation by inculcating disciplines and habits that oppose collective and individual limitations. All particular expressions of nationalism contain elements of both higher and lower nationalism—none is so “high” that it does not contain forms of release from inherited limits; none is so “low” that it can completely deny the possibility of a life of spiritual and moral ascent. The important question for students of nationalism remains which motifs dominate in thought and action and in what combination. By this test, most expressions of nationalism remain somewhere in the ambiguous middle range of moral life—resulting, perhaps, in martial virtues serving dishonorable ends or the enlistment of jingoistic sentiments to fight a limited, defensive war. Nevertheless, pointing to some characteristic patterns and examples creates the possibility of clarifying various forms of nationalism. Higher nationalism is characterized by the predominance of interdictory forms that define all higher culture, regardless of whether such forms are represented in explicit prohibitions or implicit in national images of restraint and limitation.16 For instance, the image of ancient Israel as a primordial community of “chosen people” attached to a “promised land” has served as a reference point for many nationalist doctrines, both “civic” and “ethnic,” ranging from those of fourteenth-century France, Cromwell’s England, and early America to the creeds of the Zionist movement and the Nation of Islam in the twentieth century.17 Insofar as ancient Israel has been envisioned as a prototypical nation founded upon the Deuteronomic code, it has been a rich source of inspiration in

Democracy, Patriotism, and Virtue


the history of higher nationalism. Such nationalism has depended upon the recognition that a chosen people can lay claim to a promise land only so long as they remain faithful to their inherited interdicts. That the image of ancient Israel has often been invoked in order to facilitate the violation of national limits does not gainsay this point. Within the history of American nationalism, Abraham Lincoln stands as the greatest exemplar of higher nationalism. Lincoln’s move toward moral greatness commenced with the abrogation of the Missouri Compromise by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which removed the moral stigma that the national government had earlier placed upon the institution of slavery and opened the way for its extension into new territories. In that year, Lincoln rose to answer, in a series of proleptic speeches, his powerful symbolic rival Senator Stephen Douglas, who had led the fight to pass the Kansas-Nebraska Act and defended the right of each state to decide the slavery question by popular vote. In rejecting the doctrine of popular sovereignty, Lincoln spoke in an explicitly interdictory language, reminding Douglas in the debates of 1858 that “God did not place good and evil before man, telling him to make his choice. On the contrary, he did tell him there was one tree of the fruit of which he should not eat.”18 Yet Lincoln was no abolitionist, even though he shared their hatred of slavery, because he could not countenance the antipolitical moralism and political naiveté of the abolitionists’ interdictory fanaticism. Although a house divided against itself on the slavery question could not stand, neither could one be constructed upon untempered moral passions. Lincoln aimed to carry out both his moral duty and his responsibilities as a citizen by, first of all, preserving the political institutions of the nation. Consequently, Lincoln worked to achieve a successful synthesis of ethical perfectionism and political realism that was grounded in “the profound central truth that slavery is a wrong and ought to be dealt with as a wrong.”19 By most accounts, Lincoln was an ambitious and brilliant political tactician and strategist, who gave ample evidence of his political skills on many occasions.20 From 1854 onward, as Lincoln rose to meet the moral crisis of slavery, it became clear that his considerable ambition and political shrewdness would be (and perhaps always had been) subservient to his vision of the nation, as he attempted to bring the theory and practice of his life into closer alignment. In fact, Lincoln’s vision of the nation’s future was inseparable from his theoretical understanding of his life’s purpose: the two were fused and guided by “the fixed idea that it [slavery] must and will come to end.”21 Although Lincoln knew that the prospects for ending slavery in the short run were slim and dangerous to the life of the republic, his theoretical conviction that slavery must and would eventually end framed all of his political tactics and determined what policies he could and could not support. Lincoln’s vision of the nation assumed that the nation must be subject to some higher limitations, restricting the freedom of both domestic and foreign policies. In proclaiming a day of national fast (30 March 1863), for instance, Lincoln followed a classic spiritual strategy by calling for self-abnegation, explicitly sug-



gesting that the nation was guilty of disobedience to a higher authority for which it must atone: “May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?”22 Although Lincoln was usually less explicitly theological, he took for granted that the integrity of the nation depended upon recognizing the sacred limits of the nation. In foreign policy, Lincoln’s acceptance of limitation was evident in his rejection of the nationalist doctrine of manifest destiny. As the foreign equivalent of the domestic doctrine of popular sovereignty, manifest destiny rationalized territorial expansion that Lincoln did not find necessary for the expansion of political freedom. For Lincoln, nationalism might oppose the higher interests of the nation. Laying claim to a promise land was not a matter of unbridled license conferred on a chosen people. Another pivotal figure in the history of higher nationalism is the founder and first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937).23 Masaryk is significant because he also framed his political thought and action with a theoretical vision that emphasized the interdictory forms underpinning his nation’s spiritual heritage. In 1886, Masaryk stepped out of his relatively obscure role as a university professor in Prague to challenge the Czech establishment by questioning the authenticity of some medieval Czech texts being used to promote Czech nationalism. Masaryk’s victory in the so-called struggle of the manuscripts helped to establish his public reputation for integrity and to ensure that the Czech national revival, which was entering a more explicitly political phase than previously, would henceforth not be based upon politically useful historical fictions. In 1893, Masaryk moved to prepare himself to become the heir to the nineteenth-century Czech Renaissance by taking the extraordinary step of giving up his seat in the Austrian parliament because, as he states in his autobiography, “the chief thing I had learnt was that I was still weak in politics. My resignation did not mean that I had renounced politics; on the contrary. I wanted to begin from the foundations; I wanted to make a new policy, a policy of the future, and to impress myself on the thought of our people.”24 Within the next few years, Masaryk steeped himself in Czech history and political theory: in 1895-1896, he rapidly published books on “the Czech question” and Czech historical figures, such as Karel Havlícek and Jan Hus, which were then followed by a major critical study of Karl Marx in 1898. As a result of his theoretical efforts, Masaryk was able to step forward at a pivotal juncture in European history with a public philosophy based upon moral demands that directly opposed the dispirited habitus of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the folkloric vagaries of Pan-Slavism, and the revolutionary theory/practice of Marx in Central and Eastern Europe. Masaryk grounded his public philosophy in militant ideals that he envisioned as necessary to forging a democratic Kulturnation amid the ruins of aristocratic social orders in Central and Eastern Europe. Democracy, Masaryk

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contended, needed a “new man, a new Adam,” but “man” was “a creature of habit.” Consequently, true democratic reform demanded breaking with old habits, beginning with “old political habits” of violence. We “must abjure every form and kind of violence,” Masaryk wrote. “Above all, we must deAustrianize ourselves.”25 Breaking with aristocratic ways demanded, in addition, renouncing old habits of indolence and not working, martyring oneself in the name of romantic causes, immoderation in drink, sexual license, and disinterest in public affairs. For Czechs, breaking with the Austrian past meant identifying with the great examples of spiritual resistance to the established social order from Protestant and Czech history—Jan Hus, Jan Comenius, Josef Dobrovsky, Jan Kollár, Frantisek Palacky, Karel Havlícek, and eventually Masaryk himself. According to Masaryk, neither the Pan-Slavists nor the Marxists were capable of guiding meaningful moral reform because they had not broken with the aristocratic habitus. In fact, Masaryk’s call for “reform, not revolution,” against the Marxists, aimed to draw attention to the “political primitivism” and lack of scruples against killing that characterized the devoteés of Marx and Lenin.26 Although Masaryk rejected Tolstoy’s doctrine of passive resistance (visiting Tolstoy in 1887, 1889, and 1910 apparently to discuss it), the interdict against killing held for him, despite the struggles of World War I, precisely because Masaryk understood himself as engaging in a desperate defense of Czech interdicts. In short, Masaryk built his “realist” theory of politics upon a morally demanding interpretation of modern nationalism and democracy. Although European nationalist movements, in fact, tended to grow where capitalism advanced and drew heavy support and leadership from the urban middle classes, the rise of nationalism in Eastern Europe can by no means be reduced to a materialist interpretation. Eric J. Hobsbawm’s thesis that the linguistic nationalism of the 1870-1918 period (when Masaryk was a growing influence) was primarily a defense of “petty-bourgeois” interests must be questioned and qualified.27 As Oscar Jászi contended in 1929, looking back at the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy, nationalism was an independent source of moral and spiritual forces. As feudal institutions came under increasing criticism and attack, a new type of civic consciousness developed and the “minimum program” for all national movements was “the possibility of developing their own culture and language, and of having an opportunity to speak their own idioms in the schools, the churches, the administration, and before the tribunals.” Jászi maintained that this was the “precondition for all further economic and cultural development.” He continued, “if we study the intellectual and moral struggles of the heroic period of nationalism, we distinctly recognize that we face not only the introduction of a new method of economic production, but at the same time the establishment of a new scale of moral values.”28 Not surprisingly, Masaryk almost perfectly illustrates Jászi’s argument: not only did he advocate a linguistic “minimum program,” but he also became one of the most forceful pro-



ponents of a far-reaching “new scale of moral values” that Europe saw in the twentieth century. Despite appearances to the contrary, lower nationalism offers no such set of genuine moral values (Jászi’s thesis needs qualification). As nationalism moves away from the interdictory forms of high culture, “moral values” become less demanding and increasingly empty, with organizational discipline replacing creedal discipline, outer direction replacing inner, until only the institutional orders of the military or the party remain. Lower nationalism can assume extreme forms of what John Lukacs calls cults of the state and the Volk, exemplified respectively in Mussolini’s Fascism and Hitler’s National Socialism.29 Of the two, Hitler was the more “extreme nationalist,” who hinted at his rejection of everything morally demanding in his nation’s heritage when he stated in Mein Kampf, “I was a nationalist; but not a patriot.” Lukacs captures something of what is at stake in this distinction, declaring that “patriotism is defensive, nationalism is aggressive; patriotism is the love of a particular land, with its particular traditions; nationalism is the love of something less tangible, of the myth of a ‘people,’ justifying everything, a political and ideological substitute religion.”30 Lukacs misses the higher nationalism found in patriotism, but his description of nationalism identifies a critical characteristic of lower nationalism: the use of ideological abstractions to release action from inherited limitations. In addition, he detects the superficial spirituality that underlies the emotionalism of the extreme nationalist. 4. Russia: A Mixed Case? Russia constitutes an unusual case for Western scholars studying nations and nationalism because of the historical union of church and state and the impact of Western models and doctrines upon Russian national consciousness. As Lukacs has pointed out, “the unity of church and state was the fatal bane of Russia.” Neither supranational nor independent, “it was not an intermediary institution, limiting absolute power.” The problem of “Constantinism,” or Caesaropapism, worked against the formation of a religious tradition that could serve as a center of spiritual resistance to political authority.31 Consequently, Russian nationalism was too frequently defined by an absolute state, becoming a cult of the state. Yet, as Liah Greenfeld has contended, the state nationalism of the Tsars was eventually superseded by the cultural nationalism of the Russian intelligentsia during the nineteenth century, resulting in the emergence of two types of nationalism—Westernism and Slavophilism. According to Greenfeld, both types were grounded in ressentiment against the west. Both led to cults of the narod or people with the attendant weaknesses associated with such cults. As prominent scholars of nationalism, Lukacs and Greenfeld assert that Russian nationalism has been characterized by spiritual failures that have in effect, retarded the development of a higher nationalism. Rather than the problem of Constantinism, Greenfeld focuses on the frustrated and distorted social aspirations of the Russian intelligentsia as the key to the motivational structure

Democracy, Patriotism, and Virtue


of the elite that has been decisive in defining Russian nationalism over the last two hundred years. Nationalism per se, in Greenfeld’s theory, “originated as a reaction—one of many possible reactions—to the structural contradictions of the society of orders. It was a response of individuals in elite sectors of society, who were personally affected by these contradictions and were placed by them in a state of status-inconsistency.”32 For the Russian nobility and non-noble intellectuals who redefined themselves as members of the intelligentsia during the nineteenth century, identification with the intelligentsia conferred simultaneously a class and a national identity that guaranteed them a sense of dignity and status security which the Tsarist social and political order denied them. Membership in the intelligentsia became inseparable from subscribing to the values of cultural nationalism and “experiencing the therapeutic effects of national pride.”33 Among cases of nation-defining elites, the Russian intelligentsia is problematic because they venerated an artistic and literary elite that most could not hope to enter. According to Greenfeld, the average intelligent citizen turned to the revolutionary movement as a means of achieving self-realization and status, which they could not find elsewhere, in the service of the nation. Greenfeld argues that “behind the revolutionary movement . . . stood Russian nationalism” because the central feature of Russian nationalism was the worship of “the people.” She contends that the devotion of the revolutionary intelligentsia to an ideal image of the narod was, in effect, simply another manifestation of cultural nationalism. Unfortunately, self-realization and status for the revolutionary intelligentsia was achieved through martyrdom; recognition came to those most ready to sacrifice themselves and others to the cult of “the people.” Service to the nation within the revolutionary movement favored dangerous and violent tactics that frequently exhibited a complete indifference to the plight of actual people, thereby opening the door for ever lower forms of nationalism. In the early twentieth century, the most important effort to offer a cogent critique of the revolutionary intelligentsia and to raise the prospect of a higher nationalism was presented by the contributors to Vekhi. Any assessment of the vicissitudes of nationalism in Russia must take this failed effort into account.34 5. The Paradoxes of Lower Nationalism The separation of action from belief, conduct from inwardness, constitutes the primary paradox and most misunderstood characteristic of lowering forms of nationalism during the twentieth century. The terrible cultural simplifications espoused by tribal nationalists (for example, race, blood, the folk community) may appear to have the quality of deeply held convictions, but they are better understood as ideological weapons in the struggle for power that cunning leaders frequently understand as such and that beguiled followers readily accept in order to satisfy the unrestrained cravings and resentments of their disordered lives. Referring to both Nazism and Bolshevism (which, according to Greenfeld, is another manifestation of extreme nationalism in the guise of a class



ideology35), Arendt states that “it is . . . freedom from the content of their own ideologies which characterizes the highest rank of the totalitarian hierarchy. These men consider everything and everybody in terms of organization.”36 Arendt’s analysis suggests that totalitarian elites, nationalist and otherwise, cannot be understood as inquisitors and abolitionists because they recognize no authority that is superior to themselves. They possess no vision of high culture and, therefore, can be possessed by no god-term. A truly superior authority or god-term forbids some actions: not everything is permitted nor even conceivable so long as a creedal discipline prevails. Totalitarian elites “believe,” in contrast, that everything is not only permitted but also possible. “What binds these men together,” Arendt states, “is a firm and sincere belief in human omnipotence.” She continues, “Their moral cynicism, their belief that everything is permitted, rests on the solid conviction that everything is possible.”37 With such formulations, Arendt points to what might be more accurately called an anticreedal fanaticism that is far more subversive of peaceable existence than any form of creedal fanaticism, advocating violence in the name of cultural interdicts.38 The Nazis acknowledged no superior authority—constitutional, moral, religious, or other. Contrary to common opinion, they were not even bound by their own racist doctrine. Nazi antisemitism may have had much more to do with hostility towards the image of the Jews as descendants of the prototypical interdictory nation than any deeply held “beliefs” about Aryan superiority.39 “Conscience,” Hitler proclaimed in his more candid moments, “is a Jewish invention. It is a blemish, like circumcision.”40 He understood himself as liberating humanity from the interdictory forms of high culture, including those of higher nationalism.41 As prototypical lower nationalists, the Nazis pushed their nationalism to such transgressive extremes that for the perpetrators even their transgressions became what Arendt characterized as banal. Eichmann was not a creedal fanatic, nor was he even motivated by resentment, hatred, or envy, which may depend upon some residue of creedal limits to give them focus and intensity. “Except for an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement,” Arendt observed, “he had no motives at all.”42 More recently, Hans Enzensberger and Michael Ignatieff have identified many of the same anticreedal patterns in contemporary national conflicts and civil wars that were first noticed by Arendt. Commenting on today’s civil wars raging “from L.A. to Bosnia,” Enzensberger draws the conclusion that “violence has freed itself from ideology. Compared with the present lot, earlier combatants were true believers.” Although Enzensberger may misconstrue the nature of Nazi and Bolshevik fanaticism, his discovery of “the complete absence of conviction” among today’s combatants offers further evidence that much of contemporary nationalism has been mistakenly assimilated to a creedal model.43 Ignatieff, too, has confirmed the anticreedal pattern of the “new nationalism” that he has encountered in contemporary Croatia and Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, Quebec, Kurdistan, and Northern Ireland. “There was a bewildering

Democracy, Patriotism, and Virtue


insincerity and inauthenticity to nationalist rhetoric everywhere I went, as if the people who mouthed nationalist slogans were aware, somewhere inside, of the implausibility of their own words.” Ignatieff points to the fictional and selfdeceptive character of the new nationalism as directly related to its exaggerated, violent quality. The new nationalism “shouts, not merely so that it will be heard, but so that it will believe itself,” Ignatieff observes. “It is almost as if the quotient of crude historical fiction, violent moral exaggeration, ludicrous caricature of the enemy is in direct proportion to the degree to which the speaker is himself aware that it is all really a pack of lies.”44 Ignatieff also notes the cynical manipulation of nationalist rhetoric practiced by leaders of the new nationalism. Describing Serbia’s Milosevic, for example, he refers to how Milosevic used nationalism as a “cunning diversion . . . to distract Serbian attention from the disastrous economic policy of Titoism.”45 The cunning leaders and beguiled followers of lower nationalism are linked together by common doubts not common beliefs. The fanatical quality of their nationalism is calculated to hide these doubts from others if not themselves. An uncanny resemblance exists between the fanaticism of lower nationalism and the tepid nationalism of cosmopolitan Western nations that theorists of nationalism have not addressed: both are characterized by doubts that undermine the national project. Although tribal nationalism has undoubtedly appealed time and again to uprooted populations on the peripheries of the modern world, it is characterized by a tendency to devalue the very national boundaries that one finds thrown into question by the prevailing liberal morality of civic nationalism. Indeed, neither a tribal morality nor a morality of universal, impersonal, and impartial principles can be reconciled with a conception of moral life as being grounded in the particular ethics and historical narrative of a particular nation. Neither can accept the possibility of a searching critique of the nation that acknowledges the limits of that criticism. Both tribal morality and liberal “civic” morality cannot account for the unconditional loyalty of a Masaryk or a Lincoln to militant, national ideals that demanded collective as well as individual restraint in the face of universal possibilities.

NOTES 1. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), p. xiv. 2. Jürgen Habermas, “Citizenship and National Identity: Some Reflections on the Future of Europe,” Theorizing Citizenship, ed. Ronald Beiner (Albany, N. Y.: State University of New York Press, 1995), p. 257. 3. Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1944). 4. Maurizio Virioli, For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).



5. Rogers Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992). 6. Steven Grosby, “The Nation of the United States and the Vision of Ancient Israel,” Nationality, Patriotism, and Nationalism, ed. Roger Michener (St. Paul, Minn.: Paragon Books, 1993), pp. 49–79; Steven Grosby, “Antinomies of Individuality and Nationality,” Qualitative Sociology, 18:2 (Summer 1995), pp. 211–226. 7. Grosby, “The Nation of the United States and the Vision of Ancient Israel,” pp. 25–53. 8. Ibid., pp. 53–54. 9. Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1944); Edward Shils, “Primordial, Personal, Sacred, and Civil Ties,” Center and Periphery: Essays in Macrosociology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), pp. 111–126; Anthony Smith, National Identity (Reno, Nev.: University of Nevada Press, 1991); Michael Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1993). 10. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), p.153. 11. Ibid., p. 161. 12. Ibid., pp. 223–224. 13. Ibid., pp. 196, 232. 14. Ibid., pp. 207–221. 15. William Pfaff, The Wrath of Nations (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), pp. 184-188. 16. Phillip Rieff, The Feeling Intellect, ed. and intro. Jonathan Imber (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), pp. 321–330. 17. Grosby, “The Nation of the United States and the Vision of Ancient Israel,” pp. 59–72. 18. Abraham Lincoln, The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Arthur Brooks Lapsley, intro. Theodore Roosevelt (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1923), vol. 2, p. 229. 19. J. David Greenstone, The Lincoln Persuasion: Remaking American Liberalism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 250. 20. David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995). 21. Greenstone, The Lincoln Persuasion, p. 208. 22. Grosby, “The Nation of the United States and the Vision of Ancient Israel,” p. 71. 23. Thomas G. Masaryk, Constructive Sociological Theory: The Forgotten Legacy of Thomas G. Masaryk, eds. Alan Woolfolk and Jonathan Imber, intro. Alan Woolfolk (New Brunswick, N. J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994), and Alan Woolfolk, “Politics and Science as a Vocation,” Society (March/April 1996), pp. 79–85. 24. Karel Capek, President Masaryk Tells His Story, recounted by Karel Capek, trans. Dora Round (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1934), p. 175.

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25. Thomas Masaryk, The Making of a State: Memories and Observations 1914–1918, arranged and prepared with an introduction by Henry Wickham Steed (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1927), p. 443. 26. W. Preston Warren, Masaryk’s Democracy: A Philosophy of Scientific and Moral Culture (Chapel Hill, N. C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1941), p. 13. 27. E. J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Program, Myth, Reality (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 116–122. 28. Oscar Jászi, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1929, 1971), pp. 251, 258. 29. John Lukacs, The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1993), p. 213. 30. Ibid., p. 215. 31. Ibid., pp. 229–230. 32. Liah Greenfeld, “Transcending the Nation’s Worth,” Daedalus, 122:3 (Summer 1993), p. 49. 33. Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 220. 34. Liah Greenfeld, “Russian Nationalism as a Medium of Revolution: An Exercise in Historical Sociology,” Qualitative Sociology, 18, no. 2 (Summer 1995), pp. 189-209; Marshal Shatz and Judith Zimmerman, Vekhi: A Collection of Articles about the Russian Intelligentsia, (Armonk, N. Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1994). 35. Ibid., p. 189-209. 36. Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 387. 37. Ibid. 38. Alan Woolfolk, “Hannah Arendt: The Burden of Anticreedal Culture,” Human Studies, 10 (1987), pp. 247–261. 39. Lukacs, The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age, p. 208; Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 386. 40. Hermann Rauschning, The Voice of Destruction (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940), p. 223. 41. Ibid., p. 225. 42. Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Viking Press, 1965), p. 287. 43. Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Civil Wars: From Bosnia to L.A. (New York: The New Press, 1994), pp. 21–22. 44. Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging, pp. 244–245. 45. Michael Ignatieff, “The Politics of Self-Destruction,” The New York Review of Books 42:17 (2 November 1995), p. 17.

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Social Transformations Before Perestroika

Democratic reforms are an important aspect of the radical transformations in economics, politics, and social consciousness that are now taking place in Russia. In order to account for these reforms, addressing only contemporary problems and situations is not sufficient. A broader historical perspective is required use these transformations came about as a result of profound socially rooted reasons. Attention must be given to the turning points in Russian history that mark the passage into stages of civilizational development. These stages are characterized by profound social transformations and the process of modernization lies at their heart. For a large part of its history, Russia was a traditional civilization. Other examples of ancient civilizations, the majority of the twenty–one civilizations singled out by Arnold Toynbee, are ancient China and India, ancient Egypt, medieval European states, and the societies of the Muslim Orient. Despite their variations, traditional civilizations share common traits. These common traits include being marked by the reproduction of established kinds of activities and the respective fundamental social structures, sometimes throughout the lifetime of several generations. Other traits were the predominance of traditions, mythological types of thinking, a strict control over the individual person, and the person’s dissolution in a network of corporate and clan relations.1 For a long time, traditional societies were the only type of civilizational development until a new type of civilization began to emerge. These new societies, which I term technogenic, sharply contrast with the traditional ones. The technogenic civilization is marked by dramatic social change caused by the development of production that features the priority of innovations over traditions, and the value of scientific rationality along with technological progress. In this civilization, the individual is in the process of constant development of new technology instead of being tied to a certain social corporation. Technogenic civilization began to gain momentum in seventeenth-century Europe. It was created by the fusion of two traditional cultures: the culture of the ancient Greek polis and that of the European Christian Middle Ages. The synthesis of the two during the Renaissance formed a “cultural matrix” that gave rise to a new stage in the evolution of civilization. This type of civilization first



encompassed countries that are collectively known as the West, that is, Great Britain, Holland, France, the United States, Germany, Italy, and others. Shortly thereafter, the technogenic civilizations began to expand over the entire world. Technogenic development actively transported values, culture, and a way of life into most countries in the traditional Orient, Latin America, the African states, Russia, and elsewhere. Technological progress ensured the increase in consumption and the amelioration of the quality of living. Such advances in technology also opened up new possibilities for strengthening the military and using state violence as a means for resolving problems thereby increasing the influence of military power in countries where little or none existed before. Not surprisingly, traditional societies could not compete against technogenic civilizations with the result that few traditional societies still exist. A more common result was the absorption of traditional societies by technogenic societies through colonization. Another way traditional societies were able to preserve their state independence was by embarking on the path of modernization. Modernization was a specific way of entering the technogenic stream of development, based upon borrowing Western technologies and certain layers of an alien culture that were incorporated into the traditional cultural setting. Countries that successfully managed to travel this path became part of the system of developed technogenic societies while retaining many of their distinctive features. Japan in the mid–nineteenth century and the four East Asian “tigers,” the newly industrialized economies of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century, are examples of this occurrence. The history of Russia, beginning with the reforms of Peter the Great, was one of ever increasing modernization. The philosopher and sociologist Giorgii Plekhanov, one of the forerunners of the socio–democratic movement in Russia, wrote that Russia was a centaur that appeared when Peter the Great had sewn a European head onto the Asiatic body of Russia.2 After Peter the Great, Russia once again underwent several large–scale modernizations. These changes consist in the transplanting of Western experiences into the body of a traditional society by means of a strong state power. The government was imposing a novel way of life by forming new social structures while overcoming the resistance of the tradition. The historical significance of Peter the Great’s reforms was in turning Russia toward the West. Because of these reforms, Russia witnessed the emergence of industrialization, the development of a military power, and the advent of science. However, the Russian “body” resisted Western grafting, and the peasants, representing a large segment of this population, managed to preserve most structures of traditional life. Russian originality is largely determined by this symbiosis of these two cultures, modern and traditional, and of the two respective ways of life. They interact with each other and often generate great cultural achievements. Alexsander Herzen’s remark that “because of Peter’s reforms Russia responded with the genius of Alexander Pushkin,” illustrates this point. 3 The entire golden age

Democratic Reforms in Russia


of nineteenth–century Russian culture was the result of an assimilation of Western experience. From the West, Russia borrowed technologies and fragments of culture, but not civic order. This hybrid condition accounts for the fact that Russia did not enter into the accelerated, dynamic, and progressive development that the technologically oriented West was going through at the time. The second large–scale modernization reforms of Alexander II came in response to this hybrid context of borrowed techniques and traditional civic order. The Revolution of 1917 and all subsequent radical changes in Russia were attempts to modernize. The transformations that were carried out in the 1930s under the Bolsheviks surpassed the industrially developed countries. Accelerated industrialization was a way of meeting the historical challenge that could be discerned already in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. During the uncompleted Stalinist reforms, advisers of the Russian prime minister spoke of the necessity of accelerated industrialization that was to be implemented by reforming the traditional Russian peasant like. After the end of the civil war and the restoration of the economy, the Bolsheviks were once again faced with the same historical task. The next attempt to modernize included the extreme centralization of social life through mass violence (that led to the extermination of millions of people), suppression of individual freedoms, and an excessive strain on the society at large. Even though the Soviet Union had turned into a developed industrial country, won the victory in World War II, and later became one of the Superpowers. The price was too high. The current technogenic lag may be traced back to the 1970s, a time when the industrially developed capitalist countries of the West and the East were going through a scientific and technological revolution. Soviet society was incapable of creating the necessary conditions for passing on to a new stage of civilizational development because of the totalitarian methods of government. Soviet society appeared to be insensitive to new informational technologies. But, in fact, the Soviet Union was a closed society with ideological control over the minds of its people and the communicative networks. Gradually, the need for radical changes that would provide for the dynamic evolution of the country was felt. Another period of modernization needed to occur. 2.

Transformations During Perestroika

Modern transformations began with Perestroika. The underlying idea of the Party and government elite that led to Perestroika was the need to mobilize society for another breakthrough in the economy and for a speeding up of scientific and technological progress. However, the absence within the Soviet economy of internal stimuli to modernize became apparent quite quickly. In order to modernize, the ultimate mobilization of all resources had to occur as if the Soviet Union were in a state of war. A mobilization of this sort was required because production was planned to the last detail and was efficient only under extreme circumstances, such as the state of war. Since there was no real war, pro-



ductivity was achieved by the imitation of a war situation and by uniting people for removing external threats or for accelerated construction of a better life. Social solidarity was ensured by propaganda calling for sacrifices in the name of the supreme goal and by repression against those who doubted these goals and state policy. The Soviet state often used this mobilization model to resolve economic problems. However, in the late 1960s, Russian society became tired of constant preparation for war. People lost their belief in the rapid construction of a prosperous society and were unwilling to sacrifice everything for the sake of the future. Attempts in the early 1980s to revive some Stalinist methods within the mobilization model were unsuccessful. Society was being drawn into stagnation. Under these circumstances, modernization of the economy proved impossible without touching the foundations of its organization and functioning. The ruling elite, Mikhail Gorbachev and his administration, became aware of this need for radical change and encouraged the state and Party mass media to discuss the necessity of changing the management of property and the economy. Market reforms were proposed as a condition for the successful economic development of the country. Yet, implementation of these ideas was opposed by those portions of the Party and state who regarded market reforms as a threat to their economic power and privileges. Because of these fears, the state and Party were frequently obstacles to reforms despite contradicting the logic of modernization which demanded political changes as a necessary condition for radical economic transformations. The historical significance of Gorbachev and his administration was in starting political reforms and the democratization of society, but without foreseeing all the consequences. For political reforms to be successful, sharp changes in social consciousness need to occur. Public criticism of Stalinism and totalitarianism by the government was a necessary ideological first step for political reforms. Because of this ideological necessity, Gorbachev’s perestroika is often criticized for being reduced to wordy exercises and to marking time. However, I think these criticisms are neither accurate nor correct. In Russia, economic and political changes were impossible without preliminary changes in the ideology of its people, which nonetheless left the social ideals unchanged. First and foremost, perestroika was a period of loosening many traditional Soviet values and mentalities. Glasnost meant the destruction of the basic principles of a totalitarian society, which was closed, possessed a unitary and sterile ideology, and practiced a repressive persecution of the opposition. Using the slogan of socialist renewal, Gorbachev allowed ideological opposition and supported it in the beginning. This laid the foundation for further decisive steps aimed at transforming the Soviet political structure. Some democratic changes were brought about, such as free elections, legalization of political opposition, limitation of the Party’s rule, and transfer of power to the officials elected into office. The political reforms in the late 1980s to early 1990s were a turning point in Soviet history. All subsequent changes in Russian society were to a great ex-

Democratic Reforms in Russia


tent determined by this period. During glasnot, several new routes to societal development appeared. Realization of some of these paths was determined by many factors, in particular, by antagonism of social forces, by interests of the ruling elite, and by the political ambitions and wills of old and new leaders. In today’s Russia, a common argument is that the difficulties of the reform period were caused by the selection of the wrong strategy at the beginning of Perestroika. Without a doubt, more favorable scenarios existed for the development of Russian reforms than the one implemented. However, the most probable course of events was followed because no social groups or political leaders could foresee and avoid several of the catastrophic turns on the path of Russian democracy. Democracy, I suggest, was being created against a complicated historical background and had to carry the weight of former traditions yet to be overcome. When examining the missed opportunities and the logic of past developments, a necessary consideration is to analyze the initial conditions of the democratic transformations. As a rule, all prior modernizations in Russia were brought about by the government which implemented a new order while struggling with past traditions. The more recent Russian reforms were also initiated by the government, but they led to a weakening of power, the loosening of the state, and then the most unfavorable scenario, namely, the collapse of the state. I do not think this collapse was fatal, but it cannot be explained exclusively by intentions of individual politicians. Behind their ambitions, personal relationships, and struggle for power, political leaders faced a deeper layer of determinations related to the very nature of the society to be reformed. Russian statehood, one of the values of highest priority in Russian consciousness, had undergone a deep transformation during the Soviet period. The characteristic feature of the totalitarian system was not that the Communists were the only Party in power, but that the Communist Party gradually dissolved the state, became intertwined with it, and ceased to be a political Party having turned itself into a system of specific agencies of state power. In the sphere of economics, the Party exercised control and management over all branches of the economy and disposed of state property. Five-year plans that determined the strategy of the country’s economic development were first approved at the Party congresses before becoming state law. Enterprises were under direct control of the Party bodies. In all regional and republican committees and in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee economic departments existed which corresponded to branches of the economy, such as machine building, transportation, construction, and trade. These departments insured direct management of ministries, duplicating them and controlling the operative management of the economy. Directors of enterprises and chairpersons of collective farms were appointed and relieved by Party committees though sometimes this appointment was disguised by formal elections.



In the sphere of politics, the Party set forth directions and policies that would allow the control of all state structures without exception. For example, no deputy, from the Soviets to the Supreme Soviet of the country, could be nominated or reelected without the preliminary consent of Party committees. Controlled, non-alternative elections were nothing but a formal mechanism for approving lists of deputies prepared by Party committees before hand. Ministers and state executives were appointed and relieved upon the recommendation of Party committees. The army, militia, and courts were under tough Party control. For example, high military ranks were given by the consent of the CPSU Central Committee and judges were elected according to recommendations of Party committees. The state security services were directly under the Party’s Politburo and Central Committee, which was a special organ of the Party’s rule of the country. The Party exercised constant control over the spiritual life of society and over individual citizens. Literature, art, and even scientific research were under Party control. Party committees, along with security services, monitored the loyalty of citizens, their state of mind and spirits. Intrusion of Party committees into family life was the norm. So-called “personal cases” of adultery, which resulted from complaints by a spouse or sometimes by neighbors, friends, or even anonymous letters, were often heard at Party meetings. The huge and rampant apparatus of the Party and state bureaucracy was a specific class that ruled everything and was not controlled by the people. The Party and state nomenclature selected by Party organs served as basis for both the existence and reproduction of this class. The Party itself had no democratic traditions. The Party was built and functioned as a centralized, militaristic structure where formal non-alternative elections were but outward legalization of personnel selection already done by the centralized Party apparatus. This system could not be dismantled easily and painlessly. The Party’s destruction began with the criticism of Party rule as an inefficient way of governing society. Glasnost and free elections loosened the old system of power allowing the state to free itself from the Party’s grip to be created anew on a democratic foundation. Under these circumstances, attempts at democratic reformation of the central power inevitably led to the weakening of such authority. As a result, favorable conditions for separatism were objectively created in many of the regions composing the Soviet Union. Criticism of totalitarianism and Party rule was growing into criticism of the center and state central organs since, in the people’s opinion, they were associated with the Party’s unlimited power. The collapse of Communist state ideology sped up the growth of nationalist ideas. Under the circumstances, the former Party and state nomenclature became stratified. In most regions, the major role of the Party was replaced because of the desire for more independence in disposing of state property and for control over power within these regions. This process began before Perestroika, during the period of Leonid Brezhnev’s stagnation. Moreover, this form of regional nomenclature united with “new democ-

Democratic Reforms in Russia


rats” who were frequently representatives of nationalist ideology. As a result, quite complicated processes came into being when the democratic opposition was objectively used by various social forces that strove for power, rather than democratic changes. The struggle between these forces and the part of the Party nomenclature that represented the central power in the Soviet Union ended in the August 1991 with the attempted coup and the subsequent collapse of the USSR. 3. Transformations After Perestroika The disintegration of the Soviet Union was accompanied by the recurrence of many structures of power in the former Soviet republics. The ideology of nationalism, which replaced communist ideology, often continues the old antidemocratic tradition and potential for military violence by declaring the rights of nations to be superior to human rights. The dismantling of the old system is going on unevenly. The majority of the new states, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), are just embarking on the path of reforms. Some states try to carry out the economic transformations by introducing elements of a market economy, but retain the traits of the Soviet political system by modernizing totalitarianism and authoritarian power structures. The democratic rhetoric and somewhat superficial democratic forms are only a camouflage for continued authoritarianism. Russia has pursued more reforms than any of the other former Soviet republics but the reforms continue with great difficulties. A liberal-democratic state and socially oriented market economy were the ideals of Russia’s democratic opposition. Unfortunately, the realization of these ideals through mere transfer of the Western experience onto the Russian soil did not yield the desired results. The economic reforms, carried out in the course of monetarist policy, only created some of the necessary elements of the market structure, such as a new banking system and a stock market. These reforms provided for brisk trade and eliminated the deficiency of commodities. Yet, these positive aspects of the reforms do not counterbalance the negative ones, such as a decline in production, high inflation rates, unemployment, and a sharp polarization of society according to income. The democratic hopes of rapid economic advancement as a result of monetarist reforms did not occur. In many respects, these were the illusions of Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar’s government, caused by the carrying out of reforms immediately after August 1991. Many decisive factors were not taken into consideration, such as the persuasiveness of monopolies, the existence of nomenklatura-Mafia clans, and the continuation of elite control of state property and its redistribution to the government’s benefit. Not taken into account was the existence in Russia of a tradition of “distributive” consciousness, which under the conditions of transition to the market economy turned into the cult of redistributional relationships



in which the speculative-redistributional capital began to dominate over productive capital. Business, in contrast to classical Western models, is not viewed by the average Russian citizen as a competition among producers to sell a product to an independent and conscious consumer. Instead, they view business as involving deals between the Mafia and heads of the monopolies which result in the wealth saved up by society being redistributed through their use of power structures and clan ties, and, in this manner, these groups dictate their will to the helpless consumer. These negative processes during the first stage of market reforms led to the disappointment of most people and to the rise of social tensions. The main sequence of events included: the opposition of Parliament to the President and his government, the events of October 1993, the results of the elections to the new Parliament, which were unexpected by the “victorious” government of the democrats, and the resignation of Gaidar and other convinced adherents of monetary reforms. At present, Russia confronts the problem of trying to intensify market reforms and simultaneously change the strategy of their realization. This new and necessary economic policy will be oriented at supporting productive business, reconstructing the economy, and getting on the cutting edge of technology. Such a policy does not mean that the new strategy of reforms must neglect the positive results of the previous stage. The new economic policy can not be realized without relying upon the already created infrastructure and privatization. The problems within these institutions may even be corrected during a new stage of reforms. In the course of economic transformations in Russia, questions arose above the fate of Russian democracy. Theoretically, a market economy does not automatically lead to democracy. Though free enterprise is the back bone of the democratic organization of social life, the market can develop within the framework of various political systems, including authoritarian ones. In this connection, an analysis needs to be undertaken of the social prerequisites which can serve as a basis for the ideals of the liberal democracy to be realized in Russia. Realization of these ideals presupposes the existence of definite cultural traditions and is based upon a specific system of values. In this value system, two fundamental principles dominate: (1) individual freedom, which presupposes responsibility, tolerance of individuals, a readiness to comprise, and a willingness to make agreements with other people, and (2) rights and laws as the universal regulators of social relationships among people. The democratic forms and institutions, such as the multi-Party system, elections with alternative candidates, parliamentarianism, and division of powers, gain democratic meaning only when these two principles are observed. Therefore, anyone who speaks about the fate of democracy in Russia must first realize how deep these values are rooted in the Russian consciousness. We must admit that previous Russian history did not favor the forming of these val-

Democratic Reforms in Russia


ues. Centuries of enslavement in pre-revolutionary Russia and the subsequent totalitarian control over individuals during the Soviet period could not mold the organic connection of freedom with responsibility. Freedom of an individual should be defined as having self will and a lack of restrictions but as also having tolerance and a willingness to compromise. Responsibility was always associated with strict outer control by the state, with its subjects having to meet its requirements and to restrict their personal wills. Obeying and implicitly respecting the law was not a habit of Russian consciousness. In both pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary Russia, the people’s relation to the law was deformed by the power structures. The feeling for law and order following the reforms of Alexander II was wiped away from the memory of Russian society because of the mass actions of revolutionary violence. The subsequent practice of human rights violations in the totalitarian Soviet system conditioned people to act and accept illegal forms of life. Legislation was so contradictory that it restricted the basic necessities of life, causing in some cases even mere survival under such conditions to be impossible, if these laws were actually obeyed. During the Soviet period, adherence to the Constitution meant coming up against the unwritten rules of the Party and state government. Not coincidentally, in the 1960s and 1970s opposition to the totalitarian system took the form of human rights movements. These movements demanded the observance of the constitutional guarantees for every Soviet citizen. Yet, these actions were taken by authorities as the utmost threat to the state and to the Soviet way of life. Not surprisingly, therefore, the values of social liberalism and democracy, enunciated as a public ideal, could not take root in the people’s consciousness. Because many democratic ideas conflicted with the former tradition and the older mentality, they will only gradually be included in the new system of life. For this reason alone, the downfall of Soviet totalitarianism did not guarantee the observance of the principles of liberal democracy. Even the political leaders who proclaimed these principles did not care about observing the laws or giving up privileges, such as their illegal “dark income.” To cite a “comic” phrase, “Democrats took away the privileges of Party rule and then appropriated them.” The weakening of the state during the period of transition from totalitarianism to democracy was accompanied by a chain reaction of self-will and infringement of laws. Rise in crime, the absolute power of corrupt officials, and the arbitrary rule of local elites serve as examples of such lawlessness. Yet, the observance of laws and the strengthening of moral right are the keys in developing reforms in Russia. Legality is in the consciousness of the majority of Russia’s people and is the most important value. Polls show that almost half of Russia’s people associate demands for defending private property with legality. In order for laws to be observed, a powerful state is needed and such a notion has always been a component of the Russian national idea. Using this assumption, different scenarios for the political development of the country are



possible. Admittedly, the scenario of authoritarian power carrying out market reforms under a strict centralized direction is quite feasible. Without a doubt, the simultaneous strengthening of power along with developing democratic liberties, where individual freedom takes a high place in the system of value priorities, continues to have positive qualities. When considering which of these scenarios may come to pass, any analysis depends on the interaction from many factors. An important realization is that a spiritual reformation regarding people’s consciousness is already taking place in Russia. The ideals concerning individual freedom and the law are combining with traditional Russian ideals of justice and equality. Gradually, these ideals of justice and equality are gaining moral and ethical meaning and are being included as priorities for a meaningful life. The Russian people comprehend the ideals of freedom and legality more in the spirit of social liberalism than in relation to the economy. Such comprehension corresponds more to the Russian spiritual tradition, which is not oriented to the values of pragmatic individualism but instead places moral values above considerations of economic benefits. Democracy in Russia will have more of a chance if the ideas of liberalism are not taken from the Western experience but instead find support in the traditions of Russian moral consciousness. Reforms need to be created from the nation’s own ideas, such as occurred following World War II in the post-war economic breakthrough of Japan and the former West Germany. On the other hand, an alternative scenario of Russian reforms connected with a resurgence of authoritarianism is also possible. In relation to liberal values, the changes that have taken place in mass consciousness are still unstable. The traditional attitude that treats the state as an outer power, with the task of restricting freedom for the sake of order, is deeply rooted in the Russian mentality. The onslaught of rising crime and corruption are further factors that can strengthen authoritarianism. Policies toward foreign countries might also push Russia in an authoritarian direction. Consider actions of Western politicians who think Russia should be treated only as a country which lost the Cold War and which now must struggle with nationalistic radicals for influence among the countries who are members of the CIS. The imprudent actions of these Western politicians could stimulate the rise of Russian nationalism and inspire efforts to restore the former superpower at any cost. Such developments, if they are allowed to occur, might promote the further curtailment of democracy and even a transition to yet another era of authoritarianism. NOTES 1. Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History, Vol. 1 (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).

Democratic Reforms in Russia


2. Giorgii Plekhanov, Selected Philosophical Works (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961). 3. Aleksander Herzen, Selected Philosophical Works (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1964).

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Six DEMOCRACY, INFORMATION, AND THE RUSSIAN EXPERIMENT Nicholas Caste 1. Introduction The metamorphosis of the Soviet Union into independent republics struggling to establish capitalist democracies constitutes a challenge for Russians and all other peoples of these regions that is unparalleled in the history of any society. In the case of the new Russian Republic, the establishment of a democracy in a society devoid of relevant institutions and practices is complicated by the attempt to establish a capitalist market-place. Russian society had been governed by socialist institutions for the better part of the twentieth century and by an agrarian aristocracy in the preceding centuries. A change in either the economic or the political system of a society historically presents major difficulties to the people of that society. Consider, for example, the problems faced by the Soviets in the 1920s and the 1930s and the complications of democracy faced by the Americans and the French subsequent to their revolutions. In comparison, the difficulties of establishing both at once present unprecedented challenges. The depth of the problem is exacerbated by the fact that progress attained in one area may be contradicted by arrangements made in the other. Capitalism, after all, has not always been the companion of democracy. The Fascist regimes of Hitler and Mussolini existed quite comfortably under a capitalist economic system. Neither has democracy required a capitalist economic system as a necessary condition for its own survival. In fact, many Marxists challenge the view that a true democracy is even possible in a capitalist society. One response to this challenge would be the subordination of the priorities of one system to the other. The requirements of democracy, for instance, could be taken as subordinate to the needs of a capitalist economy. Alternatively, the case may be that capitalist principles could be sacrificed on the altar of democracy. But either of these attempts would deny the Russian people the unique opportunity of confronting these difficulties in a way that could provide a paradigm to other societies seeking to make such a transition. Another, more fruitful, way of mitigating the difficulties would be to seek a level of abstraction which addresses the problems from a more comprehensive viewpoint. The difficulties could then be addressed in tandem without the sacrifice of one set of ideals for the other. My intent in this chapter is to articulate such an over-arching perspective. To do so, I will draw from the field of infor-



mation theory. On this basis, I will analyze the problems and issues faced by democratic governments in general by viewing democratic government as essentially a system of information exchange. While the nature of the information flow in the case of an economic system differs significantly from that of a political system, the information types are both related and overlapping. A delineation of the types of information relevant to each area is thus necessary as a first step in the establishment of the abstract model. While an analysis of a capitalistic economic system can be based on this same model, I will limit my discussion in this chapter to those considerations relevant to an analysis of a democratic system of government. The types of information which are meant to flow within any system cannot be described without a preliminary assessment of the ends or goals of that system. Once these goals are established, the next step is to determine the ways in which that system can best effect the efficient and unimpeded flow of the relevant information. The maximization of the flow of relevant information will be seen to be a desirable goal of any system composed of autonomous individuals seeking a shared result. In the case of the Russian experiment with democracy, attention to the requirements of information-flow within a democratic society will enhance the prospects for an orderly and a successful transition. Such an analysis could reveal a way for Russia to avoid some of the difficulties which often are faced when a society ignores the information needs of its governmental system. In order to function effectively, any organization or system must facilitate the flow of information relevant to its purposes among the intentional subjects who collectively compose it. Armies must communicate to their soldiers how, when, and where to fight. The members of charitable organizations must be informed as to how to direct their efforts. In a political democracy the relevant information consists of the needs and the interests of the electorate. These needs and interests must be conveyed accurately to the policy-makers. The accuracy of the information-flow to the policy-makers in turn depends upon the organization’s communications structure. An examination of the communications structure of a democracy can yield an assessment of the efficiency of the information-flow and of the likelihood of distortion. Similarly, in a capitalist economic system, the scarcities and overproduction of products must be communicated to the producers of those products. Whether an established firm or a budding entrepreneur is to engage in production cannot be determined except by reference to the desirability of that product to the consumer base. 2. The Goals and Purposes of a Democratic Society Any assessment of a communications system should begin with a stipulation of the goals and purposes of that organization. In the case of a charitable not-forprofit corporation, for instance, the goal may be to raise money for the particular charity. Among publicly funded corporations, the U.S. Postal Service, for exam-

Democracy, Information, and the Russian Experiment


ple, has as its goal the efficient delivery of the mail. Religious organizations may have as their goals the servicing of the religious needs of their particular communities and, perhaps, the proselytizing of non-believers. In the case of democracy, however, the specification of particular goals is made difficult by the fact that democracy is itself an institution that espouses no specific goals, such as those of the organizations just enumerated. In fact, a commitment to such particular goals would defeat the very role of a democratic government. John Rawls states that a democracy is not to be viewed as an “association.” One reason is that with a democracy, “we have no prior identity before being in that society.”1 Another reason Rawls presents is that a democratic society “has no final ends and aims in the way that persons or associations do. . . .”2 For these reasons citizens do not think that antecedent social ends that justify them in viewing some people as having more or less worth to society than others and assigning them different basic rights and privileges exist accordingly. Unlike other organizations, a democratic society cannot specify a particular end or goal, but must take as its more abstract goal the ability to summarize and express the goals of the community taken as an aggregate. This task is made more difficult by the fact that a democratic society is more often than not composed of contending factions which hold different and sometimes hostile philosophical, religious, and moral ideals of what that society should accomplish. Rawls calls these differing views of the ends of society “comprehensive doctrines.” While comprehensive doctrines themselves may be held by members of society and groups within society, a democracy itself can subscribe to no particular comprehensive doctrine. Instead, these doctrines must be thought of as belonging to the “background culture” of society.3 The comprehensive doctrines espoused by members of a society thus provide a fund of ideas from which that society may draw when deciding which policies and actions to pursue. The only way for these contending views to be reconciled is for the individuals who hold them to have some voice in the government and to be active in ensuring that their views are taken into consideration by the policy makers. John Stuart Mill believed that involvement by individuals was a necessary condition for good government. He states, “the rights and interests of every or any person are only secure from being disregarded when the person interested is himself able and habitually disposed to stand up for them.”4 But standing up for one’s rights and advancing one’s interests in society is itself predicated, for Mill, on the accuracy of the information employed by individuals in making their decisions. More specifically, he contends: Government consists of acts done by human beings; and if the agents, or those who choose the agents, or those to whom the agents are responsible, or the lookers-on whose opinion ought to influence and check all these, are mere masses of ignorance, stupidity, and baleful prejudice, every operation of government will go wrong; while in proportion as the men rise above this standard, so will the government improve in quality up to the point of


NICHOLAS CASTE excellence, attainable but nowhere attained, where the officers of government, themselves persons of superior virtue and intellect, are surrounded by the atmosphere of a virtuous and enlightened public opinion. The first element of good government, therefore, being the virtue and intelligence of the human beings composing the community, the most important point of excellence which any form of government can possess is to promote the virtue and intelligence of the people themselves.5

From the perspective of Mill, a democratic society can function fairly and effectively only if it gives voice to the contending viewpoints of the various comprehensive doctrines which are espoused by its citizens. However, these contending views can inform the decision-making process of government only if the particular “takes” on these viewpoints espoused by individual citizens are actually taken into account by governmental decision makers. As far as Mill was concerned, only the individual can truly represent her or his interests in the governmental process. Despite the fact that a large subset of the populace may espouse a particular comprehensive doctrine, the necessity still exists to consider the interpretation of these viewpoints as held by each citizen. Taking such individual perspectives into account, however, can easily be defeated by the “ignorance, stupidity, and baleful prejudice” of the population. The citizenry, therefore, must be informed in an effective and efficient manner as to the facts and implications of the policies under consideration. The difficulties attendant upon keeping a society truthfully informed about the facts and implications of the policies under consideration can best be determined by assessing the way that information is dispersed within that society. Information theory provides an effective tool for assessing the dispersal of information. Before proposing some solutions, I will provide a brief consideration of the role of information theory in the interpretation of the problems of information dispersal within a democracy. One of the goals of a democratic system of government is to ensure that the interests and needs of the electorate become factors in the decision-making procedures of the government. These various interests and needs are communicated to elected officials who in turn are part of a legislative body and who may also serve on several committees within that legislature. The legislature may be unicameral or divided into two houses. The structure of the legislative body and the manner in which representatives are elected will define how information concerning the interests of the electorate will be processed by that system, as well as how accurate the information will be when evaluated by government decision makers. 3. Information Theory and the Communications Structure Two concepts are of particular value in the analysis of information flow. The first is the concept of information cascades. The concept of an information cas-

Democracy, Information, and the Russian Experiment


cade, formulated by Kenneth Sayre, describes the flow of information within a group of individuals who pass that information along to one another in such a manner that the input of one individual in the cascade is determined by the output of the preceding individual.6 Under this conception, the information does not simply flow through the cascade unchanged. Each individual who receives the information does something with it—“processes” it in some manner. The information coming to the individual thus greatly determines the output, but by no means is that determination complete. A simple mechanical example of such a cascade would be a series of calculators wired together so that each of them doubles the number entered as its input from its predecessor. If the number “3” is entered into the first calculator, its output would be the number “6” which would provide the input for the second device in the cascade. The second calculator, in turn, would produce an output of “12” which, in turn, would become input for the third, and so on. The problem of passing along information through a cascade becomes more complicated when the system is not mechanical, but is composed instead of autonomous and intelligent human beings. The hierarchical structure of an army, for instance, is an example of a cascading system which is structured in such a way as to exert maximum control over each of the outputs. Decisions made by the generals are passed along to lower-level operatives, and eventually to the field commanders and the foot soldiers. The problem which Sayre sees in any cascade is that it has a tendency to “lose” information. The description of any event becomes increasingly inaccurate the greater the number of individuals within the cascade. The problem arises because the information is not only being passively transmitted from one individual to the next but must also be interpreted before it can be forwarded. The effect of the interpretations is to increase the amount of misinformation gathered at the furthest levels from the source. In spite of any rigidity built into the system (an army, for instance, traditionally tries to ensure the maximum fidelity to the orders as originally given), the output of the individuals within the cascade is affected by their understanding of the input, by the background assumptions affecting their interpretation of that input, and by the particulars of the situation in which the information is to be applied. The problems caused by the spread of rumors in crisis situations is an example of how such misinformation may be easily compounded. The problem of information loss becomes even more acute when we consider the case of a non-rigid system such as a democracy. A democracy is not like an army. Orders are not simply given to be passed along intact to the next individual or group within the cascade. In a democratic system, as Mill has observed, the needs and the interests of the individuals who comprise it will affect the manner in which the information is passed along. Not only must the individual interpret and attempt to apply information, but also each individual will consider that information in light of his or her own needs and interests. On a more general level, the comprehensive doctrine to which a specific individual sub-



scribes is going to inform how that individual renders a particular segment of information to the next person in the cascade. Thus, the interests and comprehensive doctrines which influence an individual’s dealings with society contribute to the natural information loss to which any information cascade is susceptible. The flow of information is affected not only by the interpretations of the individual members of the cascade, but also by the formal structure of that cascade. Describing the decision-making procedure of a corporation, Peter French has employed the term “Corporate Internal Decision Procedure” to describe the manner in which corporations, as opposed to individuals within the corporation, make decisions.7 For French, purpose and intention can be ascribed to the corporation itself without the necessary ascription to individuals within that corporation. Corporate decisions are, as such, the result of decisions made by individual members of that corporation. However, these individual decisions may have little or nothing in common with the resulting corporate decision, which becomes more than the simple summation of the individual decisions which inform it. French’s notion of the Corporate Internal Decision Procedure can be extended to cover the decisions of any organization, including those of a democracy. Clearly, in such a case, the decision procedure itself will be affected greatly by the distortions or “noise” to which any information system naturally would fall prey. In a representative democracy the distortion is exacerbated by the interests and the comprehensive doctrines of the representatives making them. One of the chief interests of a representative traditionally has been the desire to be re-elected. Unlike the decision procedure of a hierarchy, such as an army or a corporation, a representative is compelled to take into account the interests and needs of his or her constituents. While these interests may not be paramount in the decision-making process and are themselves interpreted through the comprehensive doctrine to which the representative may subscribe, they do bear a weight which can be ignored by the representative only at her or his peril. So, in a democracy, the interests of individual citizens must become at least part of the interest of the elected representative. For this reason, an essential element of a democratically-based structure is that to be truly democratic, it must facilitate the flow of information not only from the higher reaches of government to the people (even a well-structured dictatorship can accomplish this feat), but also to assure that information concerning the wants and needs of the citizens can influence the decision-makers. And in order for the democracy truly to answer the needs of the people this information must be received by the decision-makers in a manner which is relatively true to those needs, interests, and comprehensive doctrines of the constituents. This process is complicated by the fact that as information is passed along a cascade composed of self-conscious individuals, it is intercepted and interpreted by what may be termed “decision nodules.” A decision nodule is any

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person or group who receives information, interprets that information according to that person’s or group’s needs, interests, and comprehensive doctrine, and then passes that information along the cascade to another nodule or nodules. Inevitably, some distortion in that information occurs before being passed along. In the United States, for instance, congressional committees attempt to determine a broad range of feelings on proposed legislation by holding congressional hearings. Having assimilated the testimony, the members of the committee then not only must weigh the various points of view, but also determine how much influence those diverse perspectives should have on the eventual legislation. At this point, the personal interests of the committee members becomes a crucial factor. If the issue happens to be military base closings, for instance, a member of the committee might live in a district where many workers are employed on existing bases. In such a situation, the member’s interest in keeping his or her constituents employed may overshadow any interest in the national welfare. Similarly, representatives whose comprehensive doctrine includes a faith in a strong military structure also would find their views influenced by those beliefs. The representative’s “processing” of the information received in testimony therefore may be influenced by factors which may not have been addressed in discussions with the witnesses called to testify. As that same information gleaned in the hearings passes up the ladder to legislative leaders and to members of the executive, further distortions may occlude quite seriously the decision-makers’ ability to respond to the real interests of the ordinary citizen, causing them to respond, instead, to the perceived interests of the people as distorted by those in the decision structure who may have poisoned the well with their own needs and interpretations. While, so far, I have emphasized the flow of information to the representatives and the decision-makers, I should note as well that in a democracy information must flow in both directions. Not only must the representatives, at whatever level, process information gained from constituents, but those same representatives often have a great deal of influence on the way in which those constituents view the issues and the problems which the lawmakers confront. The concerns of citizens do not develop within a vacuum. Representatives often put their own “spin” on issues in such a way as to define them for their constituents. The “spin” is not always successful, but it can have a great deal of influence on individual interpretations. In the United States, for instance, the attempt to end racial injustices through legislative means in the 1950s and the 1960s was thwarted somewhat by the segregationists’ recasting of the conflict as one between “big government” and “states’ rights.” This reinterpretation was not accepted, universally but did allow a large number of people to justify to themselves in non-racist terms practices that were blatantly unfair. They claimed they were not against integration, but merely for states’ rights. So the problem of information flow within a democracy must be viewed as bi-directional. Information may be distorted when processed in either direction within the decision procedure of a democratic system. The needs and interests of



the citizens are interpreted by the decision nodules (in this case the elected representatives) who determine policy. Similarly, the information at the disposal of the citizenry is distorted by the interests and comprehensive doctrines of the representatives who inform the public. The constant interplay of misinformation in both directions can cause a great deal of distortion even in the most wellintentioned democratic society. 4. Solutions So far, I have suggested that any information cascade is subject to distortion in proportion to the number of decision nodules composing it. The needs, interests, and the comprehensive doctrines of the individuals within the cascade exacerbate the distortion to which any information cascade is prone. Further, the decision procedure of such a system can produce results which may not have been envisioned or desired by the specific decisions which informed it. While some distortion is therefore natural to any information system, the amount of noise can be mitigated. The goal here would be to approach as closely as possible the true and accurate rendering of information as it flows through the system. This limit can be reached by designing the system in such a way as to provide a diversity of cascade channels through which that information reaches the elements of that system. Alternative sources of information will enable individuals to access that information from a variety of perspectives and to filter out most if not all, of the resulting noise. Even though these alternative cascades themselves will result in distortion, the nature of that distortion presumably will differ in each of the channels. A musical example will be instructive here. The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff created a piece which he entitled Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. This rhapsody consisted of twenty-four variations for piano and was based on a theme written for the violin by the Italian composer Niccolo Paganini. These variations are quite diverse. Let us assume the case of a music lover who was unfamiliar with Paganini’s original composition but who also was interested in determining the original piece as best as possible by listening to Rachmaninoff’s variations. Listening to one variation selected at random, our music lover would face considerable difficulty in trying to guess how Paganini’s original theme is reflected. That some of the variations included sub-themes attributed to other composers only makes the situation that much more difficult. This would be the equivalent of the noise or distortion of an information system. But the more variations to which our investigator listened, the greater would be the possibility of this individual guessing at the original theme. Listening to and comparing the entire set of twenty-four variations would maximize this individual’s chances of correctly rendering Paganini’s original composition. We can imagine, in this case, the twenty-four variations as diverse information cascades.

Democracy, Information, and the Russian Experiment


The more of these cascades or variations one experiences, the closer one will come to the original score. The same is true of information flow within a society. The more diversity in the cascade channels reaching the higher decision-making levels, the more likely the discussions and decisions will reflect the original needs and interests which gave rise to them. Similarly, individual citizens (who care to make the effort) can maximize their understanding of the true nature of the issues and ensure that their responses are not based on misinformation. The various distortions which have arisen as a result of the decision nodules through which the information has passed may be attenuated. Through a diversity of cascades, less information will be lost. In a democratic society this diversity can be accomplished in several ways. The first and by far the most effective counter-cascade to the government channel is a truly free press. While the media itself provides its own distortions and variations on the stories which it covers, these interests are not the same as those of the government. Aside from any alleged political bias, even a truly unbiased press will tend to report those stories which will most interest its audience. An angle that is perceived as provocative or controversial by the media likely will take precedence over a calmer and more thoughtful approach. Network newscasts, for instance, even when attempting an honest and unbiased approach to a story face the problem of condensing their coverage because of time limitations. Nevertheless, the variety of news sources and the diversity of their approaches ensures that the government as well as the citizens can gain accurate information. But for the media to be truly effective in providing an alternate information channel to both citizens and their representatives keeping the media free of any government control is of paramount importance. Yet another necessity is that the media be independent of any group within that society intent upon foisting its own interests and comprehensive doctrines on the nation. This does not mean that government officials and private interests may not try to control the spin on the information they supply to the media. Such an approach, however, does require that the media be independently minded in rendering the various interpretations of those spins. Those interpretations should be based on the media’s own commitment to an accurate and undistorted rendering of events. The alternative information cascade provided by the media must itself include a variety of information channels. The “media” should not be viewed as a monolithic entity providing a single source of information. Instead, a diversity of methods and viewpoints should exist within the media itself. Television newscasts, for instance, while eschewing the more considered approach of the print media, can provide information through live coverage and tapes of events which can be compared to the print descriptions. Discussion of the issues by political pundits and in newspaper editorial pages can provide additional perspectives to the public. In addition, the increasing use of the Internet as a me-



dium of information exchange and political discussion should also be encouraged as providing an independent channel. Another way in which the diversity of information channels can be augmented is to increase the influence of local and regional governments. While smaller governmental units no doubt have many of their interests in common with the central government, significant variations in the interests of geographically and culturally separated communities are bound to exist. By strengthening the power of more localized government units, the sometimes myopic views of the central government structure can be corrected. In the continental United States, extending over four time zones, the interest of state governments range from a concern with urban problems in the northeast to those of midwestern farmers and western ranchers. The vast and varied Russian Republic, extending across two continents and twelve time zones, requires a similar commitment to a degree of autonomy on the part of regional governments. This does not mean, however, that regional governments must establish superiority over the central authority. A simple requirement might be that local and regional entities possess enough power to influence the national discussion. The optimal balance between the central power and regional governments must vary from nation to nation and can be determined only through trial and error. Ultimately, the goal of any democratic system of government should be to represent accurately the interests of the individual citizens. This can be accomplished best by a diversity in the information channels on which government representatives as well as individual citizens rely to inform their decisions. In creating the new Russia, policy makers can use the tools of information theory to analyze and assess the flow of information within the burgeoning democracy and, hopefully, avoid some of the pitfalls into which other democratic experiments have blundered.

NOTES 1. John Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), p. 41 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid., p. 13. 4. John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991), p. 65. 5. Ibid., p. 39. 6. Kenneth Sayre, Consciousness: A Philosophic Study of Minds and Machines (New York: Random House, 1969), p. 155. 7. Peter French, Collective and Corporate Responsibility (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), esp. Ch. 4.

Seven REFLECTIONS ON SOME PROBLEMS IN RUSSIA’S TRANSFORMATION Konstantin Zuev The historical process revolves around human society’s self-organization and evolution. More specifically, history includes the results of the activity of various political leaders and social groups who have different interests and different ideas about both the current social situation and the proper direction for the nation’s development. Discussion of these ideas and interests, as well as the attempt to find objective criteria to compare and evaluate various social systems at various stages of their evolution, is extremely crucial for developing scenarios and forecasts about the future This task becomes especially complex when we study transitional periods, characterized by a high level of economic, political, and social instability. During periods of instability, a system may approach a point of bifurcation where what appears to be an insignificant cause can produce an enormous effect. In my view, the Soviet Union entered this transitional domain in late 1980s and the new Russian Federation remains in this state at present. Many internal factors contribute to this instability. Economic decline and social problems, for example, may be linked to this instability. Other internal factors contributing to this situation of instability include fatal errors of power, such as the decision “to establish constitutional order” in Chechnya. External factors, especially the instability of close neighbors of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, CIS, for example, Afghanistan, pose additional dangers to political stability in Russia and to its efforts at modernization and sustainable development. I believe no privileged theories and methodological approaches are available for understanding Russia’s present situation and forecasting its future position in the world. Such an understanding requires a knowledge of Russian history, both ancient and recent. Economic, social, and cultural factors, including the mentality of Russians and the other peoples composing the former Soviet Union also need to be analyzed. Along with grasping the negative impact of a totalitarian society, an understanding is needed of how elements of this legacy continue to affect adversely the formation of an economically and ecologically efficient modern democratic society in Russia. For instance, concepts such as “modernization” and “democratization,” as well as “privatization” and “market economy,” are necessary and crucial, but they are not sufficient for understanding Russia’s realities. Probably concepts of “hierarchy,” “oligarchy,” and “imitation” are no less crucial for characterizing actual political and socio-economic processes in Russia. In this



chapter, I will discuss several facts, problems, and concepts which must be understood adequately before the formation of a true image of Russia’s present and future alternatives is possible. Among many Russians, a common platitude is to characterize the present period as a transition from a totalitarian society with a command economy and strict ideological control to a political democracy with a market economy, ideological pluralism, and the pre-eminence of rights for individuals. The word “reform” and all its variations, such as “corrective reform,” “the necessity of deepening reform,” or “those who resist reforms will be eliminated,” have become almost as meaningless as the ideological cliches “revolution” and “progress” during the Soviet period. Most of the Russian population is unsure of how they will live tomorrow and in the near future. Russian citizens do not know the means by which the government will carry out this transition from one type of society to another, let alone what the consequences will be of such a change in their way of life. Which country or countries, for example, from among the “civilized” (an adjective that became very popular in the Gorbachev period) world should Russia use as a model for itself? How successfully can the experience of other countries be adapted to Russian conditions? Many Russians well remember how Communist Party theoreticians and intellectuals at the beginning of “perestroika” criticized and even renounced entirely Russia’s historical experience in totalitarian socialism. At that time they proposed orienting the country toward a more “correct” form of socialism based on a Scandinavian model and on other wealthy countries of Western Europe. In retrospect, I think a more interesting and apt choice for analysis would have been Turkey, its southern neighbor. Turkey is a country which experienced contradictory but not unsuccessful modernization. Currently fashionable set phrases, such as “civilized countries” or the “civilized world,” are very difficult to define. What constitutes a civilized country, and can one speak in general about a united world civilization? Do not different forms of civilization tied to various nationalities, religions, historical and cultural customs, traditions, and norms of behavior exist? Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Huntington emphasize the plurality of civilizations in the past, present, and probably in the future. The competition and rivalry among these diverse civilizations will continue to be not only the motive force of global development but also the likely source of tensions and conflicts. Even countries and regions with similar economic and political organizations, such as Western Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, have many fundamental differences. In addition, several regional differences exist within the borders of many governments, as can be found among the various states of the United States, between northern and southern Italy, and among regions of Russia. The results of the Duma and Presidential elections show that the opposing ways of life, and the electorate’s mood, in Russia’s two major cities and the

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


provinces continue to diverge, just as they differed in pre-Soviet and Soviet Russia. The reality of diversity among and within nations does not mean that objective comparisons of economic and social development and living standards among different countries should not be made. Despite these differences, the overwhelming majority of people, religions, and cultures can agree on several moral and cultural norms and ways of life. One common good is personal safety for a population. Another is respect for people’s dignity, although how this principle is understood depends to a large extent on one’s religion, culture, and upbringing. Other common goods include the guarantee of quality air, water, and food products, a wise organization of work and rest, and a valuing of intellect and professionalism. Many shared norms also include as good having people be honest, ready to help others, and behave in a good-willed or at least polite manner. At the same time, simple answers are difficult to find regarding questions about many other aspects of social life. How should the principles of freedom and justice operate? How should private property, including land ownership, be regulated? What social and economic differences are acceptable in society? What should the relation be among generations? What place should religion hold in social life? What rights should foreigners possess? These questions and many others are answered in various ways in different countries. Some approach these questions from the perspective of local experiences and traditions, but they can and sometimes do rely as well on the more or less successful examples of other countries or international laws. These considerations seem to me crucial today when Russia finds itself in the difficult search for new ways of life and new values. The country continues to contemplate its past. In some ways Russia is rejecting its past entirely and is seeking foreign models to imitate. In other respects, Russia is idealizing unjustifiably its past. Russian citizens often discuss whether they lived better in the past or present, as well as what they hope for in the future. The answer will depend essentially on whether authorities are able to achieve a better understanding of the current lives of the country’s citizens and, accordingly, carry out policies that, at least, will not make them any worse. Probably the words most often repeated by politicians and the mass media during the last ten years in Russia are “democracy,” “democratic,” and “democratization.” These words are in no way new for Russian citizens: for long years we were instructed about the “principal advantages” of “socialist democracy” over “bourgeois democracy.” But in fact the people knew very little about the real functioning, structure, and mechanisms of modern democratic societies. Often democracy has been defined as a very imperfect political system, whose chief merit is that other systems are even worse. A crucial characteristic of contemporary democracies is the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances, which does not allow any one branch of government to dominate any other or decrease its importance. Contemporary democracy also provides an



effective defense of personal rights and freedoms and creates conditions leading to economic growth and high standards of well-being. Today, some argue that, despite the contradictory policies and mistakes of the authorities, Russia is moving along the path toward a developed democracy. Proponents of this argument maintain above all that this movement is being promoted by the Constitution and that Russia is showing two signs of democracy: political pluralism and freedom of speech. I will discuss, later, freedom of speech and access to information. Before doing so, I want to consider how decisive is the argument that the constitution promotes democracy. Indeed, the Brezhnev and even the Stalinist constitutions, in many respects, looked democratic on paper but life continued independently and even contrary to them. To appreciate the contemporary situation in Russia, one needs to take an impartial view of who holds real authority. Without a doubt, real authority is held only by the executive branch and, above all, by the president and his administration. The current State Duma is in fact as defenseless as the former Supreme Soviet, which ceased to exist in 1993. Indeed, all material and financial provisions of the Duma and even the wages of Duma members are paid through the presidential administration. And the third crucial branch of government, the judiciary, has been forgotten altogether, as if it no longer existed or had no serious work to accomplish. This situation is no accident: its real influence on crucial policies of the country is far less than the influence of any high-level official close to the president. In his time, the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, made a considerable contribution to the creation of parliamentary democracy in Russia. The four dumas at that time were precursors to the present one. They did not think seriously about refuting the principle of autocracy. In an early sociological survey, the tsar wrote in the column marked “profession”: “tsar, master of the Russian land.” Stalin was in the same way a “master.” To a lesser degree, so too were the succeeding general secretaries, whose power was limited more noticeably by the not purely formal principle of collective leadership. Unfortunately, the very word “master,” that is to say the person who is in fact in charge of his or her own domain without the external imposition of any restraints or responsibility, precisely fits the description of the president and his close circle of advisers. The president’s inability to contribute substantially to the resolution of the problems during the transitional period in Russia is very often reflected in sudden rearrangements and reshuffles in the presidential and governmental “teams.” Alexsander Korzhakov, Mikhail Barsukov, Oleg Soskovets, Alexsander Lebed, Igor Rodionov are only a few of the persons who were quite close to the president (or from whom he expected a miraculous resolution of very complex problems) but who in a certain moment were dismissed. The reasons and hidden motives for the president’s nominations and dismissals create numerous possibilities for interpretation. Most often his intuition or artful staff rearrangements and farsighted system of “checks and balances” are praised in the depth of his own bureaucratic

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


apparatus. But to an objective observer, all this internal activity at the top, which should be evidence of the energy and effectiveness of the authorities, is rather reminiscent of the “apparatus games” that took place during the Soviet period at the highest levels of the then-nomenklatura. True, at that time, dismissals and nominations were not commented on, as widely, and the news media most often were limited to saying that such dismissals were “in connection with a transition to different work” or that an official was “retiring for health reasons.” Essentially, little has changed. Such phrases are not much less informative than the explanation that was offered by Boris Yeltsin for the dismissal of Korzhakov and Barsukovs: “They took too much upon themselves and gave too little.” For an ordinary person, who would like to hear something concrete and intelligible on the reasons for what is going on at the highest levels of power, explanations like these give the impression that the average citizen is being treated like a child who is not in a position to know much about the world of adults. As in the past, behind the sensational events concerning the structures of authority, another phenomenon lies hidden, namely, an “intoxication of power” which is expressed in the feeling of superiority over those who are not connected to power or who do not have reverence before higher-ranked officials, be they tsar, general secretary, or president. For Russian society, this tradition of the intoxication of power is an illness: “You’re the boss and I’m a fool; I’m the boss and you’re a fool.” This brilliant formulation of folk wisdom precisely sums up the Russian situation. The roots of this situation may be in the relationship of serfs to their landowner, but such roots now nourish an entire gamut of situations. Political authorities are alienated from the very people they are meant to serve. Such an illness is unlikely to be cured soon. Yeltsin played perfectly and received the people’s sympathies when he first came to national prominence by campaigning against the “unjustified privileges” associated with the old Party bureaucracy. But soon those slogans were forgotten, and the new democratic bureaucracy enjoys the same privileges in the same places (except, in the sanitariums in Crimea, owned previously by the Central Committee of CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union). Let wages and pensions go unpaid or let thousands of refugees from Chechnya resolve their own problems, yet, the president can manage to find hundreds of millions of dollars for the preelection campaign or some $400 million to reconstruct the Kremlin Palace, including very expensive Italian furniture, a pool, and a sauna for the president’s close associates and bodyguards. Most tax-payers do not find such expenditures necessary or justified given the current situation of the country. Instead, such extravagance raises suspicions that similar multi-million dollar operations primarily benefit the many officials in the executive branch. In his time, the Russian historian Vasily Kliuchevskii wrote, “as the authorities grow fatter, the people grow thinner.” Unfortunately this regularity of Russian history has become no less true today. I know several interesting studies by Frederick Starr in the United States and Charles Fairbanks which evaluate the



condition of Russian statehood.1 Both Starr and Fairbanks believe that the real dangers for Russia’s future result not from a strong state, but from its weakness, that is, an inability to solve the difficult problems Russia faces. I agree with such a conclusion but would add one point: The state is weak by being insincere toward its citizens and unable to fulfill its duties; however, it is strong enough to defend the privileges of the new high-ranked state nomenklatura, making their lives no less isolated and alienated from the everyday problems of the average citizen than they were during the Soviet period. The state’s weakness and its hypocritical attitude towards its citizens was demonstrated quite clearly during the awful two years of the Chechen war. The very beginning of this war and the first military actions in Grozny clearly showed that the main victims would be the Russian population of Chechnya, in particular old men and women, and the Russian soldiers sent there without any rational explanation why they should destroy Grozny, the mostly Russianspeaking Chechen capital. Memories of war in Afghanistan, which began for purely ideological reasons in conditions far from democratic ones, should have left a strong impression on the new leadership by putting it on guard against careless and dangerous political and military adventures. However, the country was reduced to a new calamity—a limited, but no less cruel, civil war. Through the Chechen War, a democratically elected president, along with his Security Council (but without any consultation with the State Duma or the Council of the Federation, consisting of regional leaders), have taken what amounts to the most irresponsible and dangerous decision in the history of new Russia. The attitude of Russian citizens to this decision is well known. In the Nizhny Novgorod region alone, for example, more than a million signatures—out of a population of four million—were gathered to call for the president to stop the war. Such a large protest had no effect. Now when the peace treaty with Chechnya is signed the president, instead of publicly acknowledging his personal responsibility and the responsibility of his close assistants for this tragedy of Russia and Chechnya, produces demagogic assertions like “we put an end to the four hundred years of conflict between Russia and Chechnya.” The prospect that the long Russian-Chechen conflict has reached a definite and lasting conclusion is doubtful. At the moment such an assertion is no more than wishful thinking. With the last Russian soldiers having left Chechnya months ago, questions still linger about exactly what they were doing there: fighting the regular armed forces of a sovereign state (Chechen interpretation) or combating illegal armed formations to restore constitutional order within the Russian Federation (according to the official Moscow view)? Whichever version is more plausible, the fact remains that the soldiers were acting on official orders from their commanders. And, unlike their counterparts in the armed forces in many developed countries armed forces, they cannot disobey any order no matter how doubtful. In exchange for the soldiers’ unconditional fulfillment of duties, the state is supposed to ensure observance of their rights. No one can have respect for a

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


state which vows to take care of its defenders and then abandons them. Such a situation occurred long ago yet today it continues to be quite ordinary. Described many times by the mass media, such abandonment produced only shame for the state and its leaders. Instead of effective actions being taken by government officials, old men and women spend all that they were able to earn over several years to buy freedom for their sons. Let us return to a necessary condition of democracy: general access to reliable and socially significant information. During the Soviet period, all news that was deemed necessary by the party was available in newspapers such as Pravda or Soviet Sport. Citizens took into account the ideological context and deceptions and sought reliable sources. Now the situation is completely different and there are many independent sources of information. A huge number of publications and radio and television broadcasts are striving to inform the Russian citizens about the most varied topics, all without the limitations of censorship or ideological taboos. Already the independent mass media represent in Russia a strong “fourth power” honestly serving ordinary people and defending their interests. In reality nothing is so simple. Thus, the information situation is far from what people hoped it would become during Gorbachev’s glasnost. Behind the flood of facts, scandals, opinions, interpretation, and predictions lurks a paucity of information about many vital questions. What, for example, is Russian-style privatization? Is it a remarkable program that is making every Russian an actual owner of formerly state-owned property, as Anatoli Chubais says, or is it a deception of the country and its citizens by a group of political adventurists, acting on orders from western security services, as Moscow’s Mayor Yuri Luzhkov claims? How can the administration of the President and government lack enough space in buildings that once housed not only the Russian government organizations but also the all-union state and party structures? Who selects, and according to what criteria, the constantly changing composition of various presidential structures? What actual authority do these structures have? Does former prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin possess the enormous fortune reported in Izvestia (which reproduced information from the French newspaper Le Monde) or should such information be considered simply a joke, as Chernomyrdin suggested in a television interview? Anyone living in Russia could come up with hundreds of such questions. Well argued and informative answers to such questions are almost impossible to find. A strong impression emerges that we are being starved of information intentionally—that is to say, of basic information necessary for every adult person with a certain level of political and civil culture—despite the appearance of free speech, a pluralism of opinions, the enormous number of new “political analysts,” and public opinion services. Formerly, we were isolated from information, with only one official interpretation of all crucial events imposed on society. The principles by which Soviet society functioned were generally under-



stood, and many people were able to extract objective facts from official interpretations. Now, we are deafened by “the din of pluralistic information,” but the sense and content of what is going on, in many regards, remains unknown or consciously hidden. We also should not forget that mass media, especially television channels, have become an arena of competition among powerful financial groups who have established their control over major channels. Consequently, the independence of the mass media is relative. The degree of independence of the mass media will depend very much on the mentality and social responsibility of new owners. We come here to one of the most interesting and crucial questions: if Russia intends to form a new type of society based on private property and a free market at what stage of maturity will we find a new class of private owners, businessmen and businesswomen, and modern entrepreneurs whose economic activity is capable of replacing the old Soviet state-planning economy? This question still remains impossible to answer definitively. Among the majority of ordinary citizens, the term “New Russians” describes a new class of citizens whose financial and social status stayed the same or diminished during last five years. The separation of the “New Russians” into a special social class is connected not so much with their role in the organization of modern industry and in the effective management of national economy, as with the process of acquiring and distributing wealth and with the status and prestige of consuming. Market and banking activities, profitable import-export operations, the use of privatized property by either selling or renting, the apportioning to themselves of huge deposits and “dividends”—these are the main sources of the quick separation of Russian society into the “money elite” and the average Jane and Joe. Clearly, almost all ways of rapid enrichment are linked with the absence of just and comprehensible laws regulating economic activity and with violation of existing laws. In return for a bribe, for example, someone in the state administration gives privileged status in exporting oil, natural gas, or aluminum to the company paying the bribe. The majority of these individuals, with their pompous mansions and expensive cars, successfully avoid paying taxes, despite the fact that the government has announced as a priority the formation of an effective tax system which includes “tax police.” The new “money elite” throws its money around. The way in which this new “money elite” makes money is already reflected in many jokes and anecdotes about the “New Russians.” Yet no one is rushing forward to announce officially himself or herself to be the owner of a large fortune by reporting to the government, society, and the media actual accounts of their sources of wealth. No official data exists about the richest people in Russia. Because rumor and innuendo are the “rules of the game” established by the government, the only “official data” existing about the richest people in Russia are the names of the presidents of the leading banks. In fact, many top government bureaucrats, mayors, and administrative heads are doing quite well financially; many people believe that these officials

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


have fortunes that are considerable even by Western standards. But these officials never agree that they are rich people, and not merely because the sources of their prosperity are based on various types of corruption. This “modesty” reproduces in many ways the attitude characteristic of the former Soviet nomenklatura. Officially, members of the nomenklatura received an average salary, but that did not include the state-provided dachas, automobiles, and “closed” clinics (that is, ones not open to the general public). Such perks are a special sort of hypocrisy masking enormous differences in income and style of life in a country pretending to be “socially homogeneous.” Vladimir Bryntsalov is perhaps one of the richest people in the country. No one else has admitted to being worth $2 billion; so, he is somewhat of an exception to the rule. A Duma deputy and owner of Ferein, the largest producer of pharmaceuticals and strong beverages, Bryntsalov became known to the wider public after the publication in Russian of materials from Paris Match and Der Spiegel. In one of his television interviews, he said that he gave Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Duma colleague and chief of the liberal-democratic party, a birthday gift worth more than $100,000. In a Paris Match interview, he claimed that he felt uncomfortable that people do not know how wealthy he is. Although Bryntsalov stresses that the source of his wealth is the production of medicines needed by consumers, just what talents and qualifications have brought him such wealth in just a few years nevertheless remains unclear. In any case, neither his television interview nor the subsequent scandal over his registration as a candidate for Russia’s presidency gave one the impression that Bryntsalov is another Bill Gates, a symbol of this high-tech century and of the possibilities for free enterprise in the United States. A quite logical and natural development would be if along with Bryntsalov, the list of billionaires in business were to include the armaments manufacturer Kalashnikov, the inventor of the most famous automatic gun in the world. But this is not the case, as all the country saw when Kalashnikov thanked authorities for receiving a modest apartment with one bedroom. In Russia, particularly in Moscow, during the last several years individuals active in business were also busy forming clubs and organizations. Commercial organizations often hide behind solid names such as “The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Support” or “The Association of Business Cooperation” and, thereby, enjoy a non-profit status. Thus, these commercial enterprises receive access to profitable, interest-free credits and other advantages. Combining entrepreneurial or commercial activity with political activity is a usual phenomenon, as are attempts to use political influence to get around competitors for purposes such as gaining access to state property. In the end of 1995 a famous manifesto of the so-called Moscow G-7, a group of seven of Russia’s business and banking leaders, was published in The Financial Times. Probably for the first time leading representatives of the new Russian economic system expressed some of their ideas about the crucial role of business leaders in the development of the Russian state. Later in various interviews the same people were expressing the same



idea. As the president of Menatep bank said in his interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta, “politics is the most lucrative aspect of business.” This phrase correlates ridiculously with Lenin’s famous formula, that “politics is economy’s concentrated expression.” Anyway an open cohabitation between power and money in Russia can result in the formation of a political-financial oligarchy which is not at all a norm for modern democracies with strong market economies. Nonetheless, on the whole Russian entrepreneurs as a social class are still at an immature stage; they have yet to devise an effective strategy for the country’s development or to recognize their own social obligation. How strange and comic to see to what degree New Russians are attracted to apartments, restaurants, clubs, and clothing that are touted as “elite,” through which they reinforce their separateness and “chosen-ness” as a minority that can buy those expensive villas, automobiles, luxury items, and send their children to study at exclusive private schools. Such actions testify not only to the cultural level of the group, but also to the antidemocratic tendencies, their arrogance and disrespect for the majority of the population for whom these pursuits are simply inaccessible (and not because of any innate laziness or lack of professionalism). All of this can only lead to the growth of alienation among the disparate social groups and creates the danger that Russian society will be polarized and unstable, with great potential for unrest and conflict, rather than move toward a modern democracy with a strong middle class. An oft-repeated phrase of the old Marxist vocabulary was the idea of “the exploitation of one human being by another.” We had this message drummed into us as the basic condition of capitalism and that only a communist society can end it. After a while, Russians got sick of hearing such ideological clichés and thought, “well, let them exploit me, if only they would give me some rights and enough to live on.” But the present economic situation, linked in popular consciousness with the course of reforms, stimulates society’s return to its former notion of “exploitation,” based on a simple and frightful opposition of “us” vs. “them.” “Us” represents those 80 percent of population who are getting by on their $100 to $200 a month and who have no hope of benefiting from the fruits of the market economy. “Them” means those who are siphoning away profits made by years of average people’s labor or who are stealing the country’s natural resources. Few of “us” are likely to ever feel that this situation is legal, much less just. A necessary condition for the development of a modern market economy and a stable democratic society is the presence of a sufficiently strong and selfconscious middle class. But the possibilities for the emergence of a middle class did not exist in Russia. For the majority of the population the prices of many goods, including such items as electronic equipment, shoes, and clothing, exceed a month’s salary. At the same time the reality of Moscow’s growing downtown fleet of elegant, expensive stores, restaurants and casinos, where the staff, including the obligatory guards, always outnumber the visitors is difficult to explain. All this appears absurd in particular when workers, engineers, teachers,

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


professors, scholars, doctors, etc. do not think about the widely advertised luxurious cars, furniture, and tourist travels but about how to satisfy their basic needs and very often about purely physical survival. The worst thing is that for many people their belief that normal qualified labor can provide them with just remuneration is now under great doubt. Under such conditions the formation of a middle class is not likely; instead, more probable is the marginalization or even lumpenization of many people who according to the standards of modern society should belong to this class. Another negative consequence of this situation is rapid degradation of our nation’s intellectual potential. Many scientists have lost interest in the work of their colleagues and have ceased believing that their professions and qualifications are needed by the country. This loss of intellectual capital can result in irreversible degradation and even the collapse of the scientific community. Despite the declarations and presidential decrees on the priority that science and education should be given, their direct financing from the state budget and industry has decreased steadily, and the social position of scientists and teachers in middle school and higher institutions fell accordingly. Today, fewer and fewer young people are considering pursuing careers in science, except those pursuing such careers abroad. The so-called brain drain to the United States, Europe, Israel, and other countries poses serious dangers to future economic and technological development of Russia. In order to understand the present situation in Russia we should remember that for a long period the country lived under the domination of one official ideology. Refutation of it and the transition to ideological pluralism, or rather to the absence of any subsequent ideology, created a special situation. According to some experts and intellectuals, this situation contributes to social cynicism and the rejection of all positive values. Currently, Russian popular consciousness is characterized by quite different, even opposite ideas, values, and views of reality. Not long before his inauguration, President Yeltsin made a statement on the necessity of working out an overall national ideology. Proponents of a national Russian idea note that in many countries such ideas do exist, linked with the history, culture, traditions, and mentality of where they actually work. Are not Americans, for example, convinced of the superiority of their political system, those basic values on which the “American way of life” is based? Do they not strive to achieve “the American dream”? Russia, with its dramatic history, rich cultural heritage, and strong spiritual traditions, cannot survive and develop successfully without a national idea. Throughout the centuries, both the Russian and Soviet governments looked for and found ideological support for their existence and their politics in certain doctrines and formulas: “Moscow is the third Rome,” “Orthodoxy, autocracy, the people” or “Communism, the bright future of humanity.” Intellectuals actively worked through and discussed other ideological constructions more or less connected with the official ideology. Recall the Slavophiles, the Westernizers, and the Eurasians. The range of possibilities for those who today want to try



their hand at working on a new national idea is sufficiently vast. They might try putting an accent on patriotism or “Russian spirituality” or focus on individual rights and freedoms or on an idea of social solidarity and collectivism. Or, as mathematician Nikita Moiseev suggests, they might emphasize Russia’s dominance in the area of new technologies, seeing this country in the future as being among a group of leaders in economic, scientific, and technological development. All of the above visions are possible. But we should not forget that, until recently, Russia was dominated completely by the official communist line. This ideology became, over time, routine and natural for many, particularly for the representatives of the older generation. This same ideology, however, evokes from the majority of the population a steadfast repulsion of any ideological doctrines, particularly of those issued “from on high” and imposed by the government. The people are not inclined to listen attentively even to the voices of such persons as Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, although some of his ideas, for example the creation of independent effective local authorities or local self rule, could be one of the possibilities to develop and strengthen democracy in Russia. Today, religious institutions, especially Orthodoxy, have close to carte blanche. A legal separation between Church and State in Russia guarantees equality for a variety of religious beliefs. Ironically, after the long period during which the Soviet government fought against the “opiate of the people,” what is now termed "historical justice" prevails. The rebirth of religious faith, nevertheless, poses several problems. First, political officials at all levels seem to be jockeying with each other for the right to participate in religious celebrations and ceremonies. This looks fairly strange and ridiculous, especially given that not too long ago these same people were either indifferent to or frankly critical of religion. A second problem occurs when top government officials identify Russia with Orthodoxy, this raises a legitimate question: Doesn’t Russia have many religions, Orthodoxy being just one of these? This looks like an attempt to return to the pre-Soviet past. But the past is irretrievable, and to entirely restore Orthodoxy to its former position is just as impossible as reviving the second component of the famous ideological trinity under the tsars: “orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality.” One can understand the motivations of politicians who seek new ideological and moral buttresses to exchange for the old system of values, but one cannot call such behavior sensible or relevant to the interests and needs of modernizing the country. Lastly, these frequent displays of Orthodox fervor, obviously done camera effect, may ultimately give new impetus to Russia’s second-largest religion, Islam, which for many reasons is rooted more deeply in the consciousness and way of life of its adherents. Instead of consolidating the state system, Russia’s leaders may find that they are encouraging a confrontation between the traditional Russian religion, Orthodoxy, and the religion of most of the non-Russian

Reflections on Some Problems in Russia’s Transformation


Islamic population. Consequently, already complex relations among various nationalities and ethnic groups may be aggravated by religious differences. For now, a recognition of political and ideological pluralism is sufficient, for a democratic society and as is guaranteed in the Russian Federation’s constitution. The declaration of a new national idea might be taken by many as a signal to establish a new variation of ideological unanimity and thus would create even more mutual criticism and accusations by groups with various points of view on Russia’s development. The reasons for the increased popularity and the influence of various ideas should be examined. Such research is necessary, along with the study of Russia’s ideological history—its doctrines, when, how, and why they were introduced into Russian society, politics, culture, and spiritual life. This is an crucial task for the scientific community, the educational system, and the media. But such research should not be undertaken by governmental agencies, nor should it acquire the nature of a concrete state ideology. If the authorities today need an “ideological foundation” for their actions, such a grounding should be based on an objective, realistic, and systematic analysis of the country’s condition, its resources, and abilities, and its new geopolitical position. A realistic foundation should include the firm understanding and realization by the authorities that the most valuable element of the country is the physical, intellectual, moral, and psychological welfare of its people. One of the most interesting and practically crucial problems is how long Russia will find itself in a transitional period in which the level of economic unpredictability and the probability of strong political and social tensions and conflicts remain quite high. This problem has been addressed in several interesting works. I would like to mention Daniel Yergin’s and Thane Gustafson’s book, Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World, in which they analyze four main scenarios of Russia’s development in the next fifteen years.2 In the final portions of their book, the authors assert that Russia has the chance of becoming democratic and non-imperial. They assert that Russia most likely will have a free market economy. I would add several remarks to this forecast. Taking into account Russia’s present situation, in particular the very dangerous demographic tendency toward depopulation, I cannot place myself in the ranks of the optimists expecting the rapid emergence of a modern democratic and prosperous country. I suppose an even greater chance exists of Russia’s irreversible transition into a second-order and dependent country whose global economic, political, and cultural (including linguistic) impact will not be very significant. Russia could find itself developmentally falling behind not only the great powers but also countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey. The prospect for Russia’s membership in the G-8 appears to be linked not so much with its economic and technological successes and brilliant prospects as instead with its past geopolitical role and remaining enormous nuclear potential. Despite these prospects, I greatly hope that Russia will be able to avoid acute socio-political conflicts and further disintegration and that the Russian people will have higher standards of living. I also hope that the Russian political elite will display higher



intellectual and moral qualities and that the individual rights of Russian citizens will receive greater respect and even legal guarantees than has occurred in the past. Finally, alongside any list of possible positive outcomes, we should not forget about other possibilities for Russia’s future. For instance, one situation may be a rapid dissolving of the Russian population with a parallel increase in the numbers of immigrants, in particular Chinese. An alternative scenario for the future results in an inverse transformation of Russia from an actually undeveloped democracy into an open and militant antidemocracy. The recent history of Iran proves that the latter possibility should not be dismissed as unreal. NOTES 1. Frederick Starr, “The Paradox of Yeltsin’s Russia,” The Wilson Quarterly (Summer 1995), pp. 66–74; Charles Fairbanks, “A Tired Anarchy,” The National Interest (Spring 1995), pp. 13–25. 2. Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson, Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World (London: The CERA Report, 1995).


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Eight THE AMERICAN DREAM: DEMOCRACY OR MERITOCRACY? Laura Duhan Kaplan and Charles Kaplan In the United States, where citizens believe themselves to be living in the world’s greatest democracy, the social landscape more closely resembles a meritocracy. We no longer have a political reality or ideology in which every type of interest has a voice. Instead, we have one in which every individual, if she or he is talented and hardworking enough, can earn membership in the one class whose voice is heard. In this chapter, we review several recent works in political science that describe this shift from democracy to meritocracy. The authors of these works differ on the extent to which they criticize meritocracy, and on the particular forms of resistance to it they prescribe. 1. Democracy or Meritocracy? The great American philosopher John Dewey’s vision of democracy saw a community of various groups and individuals in dialogue. All members of this community have the responsibilities of making their needs known and responding to the needs of others through adaptive compromise.1 Dewey’s vision defined a type of equality, called “civic equality” by historian Christopher Lasch and others.2 The ideal of civic equality calls for equal participation of all citizens in identifying, discussing, and solving community problems. Under this ideal, economic and ethnic differences between individuals and groups are recognized rather than hidden. For example, some social scientists acknowledge that a community requires laborers as well as capitalists and that a civic space must be vigilantly maintained wherein the two groups can address one another. If this definition characterizes democracy, then for the most part the U.S. is no longer democratic, either in reality or in ideology. The new reality is a version of meritocracy, in which a large but elite minority dominates economic and social decision-making. Members of this highly educated elite havie been recruited from a variety of social classes and ethnic groups through the sorting mechanism of education. Members of the elite rarely advocate the interests of the non-elite group from which they come, because their new lifestyle quickly removes them far from the concerns of the non-elites, whose lives nonetheless are structured by the decisions of elites. Unfortunately, the existence and value



of this system of meritocracy is less and less open to question in intellectual circles today. This thesis about the decay of democracy and the rise of meritocracy has been articulated in two recent books that are seldom read as a unit, although they should be. One book, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy (1995), is a collection of essays about moral and civic decay in contemporary America by the recently deceased historian and social critic Christopher Lasch.3 The other book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994), is an exhaustive survey of the findings from nearly a century of formal intelligence testing in America, followed by a discussion of the implications of the test results for American society.4 Its authors are political scientist Charles Murray and the recently deceased psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein. Lasch’s book, which as much as calls the growing meritocratic elite “morally repugnant,” has not made a popular splash. On the other hand, and ironically, Herrnstein and Murray’s book The Bell Curve has been discussed widely among the educated. Its chapter on racial differences in IQ (intelligence quotient) sparked a passionate national debate that lasted for months.5 However, the debaters paid precious little attention to the larger thesis in which the thesis about racial differences in IQ was embedded, the damaging fallout from the rise of meritocracy. For example, no one asked how we, in a world increasingly structured by technology and increasingly directed by the interests of the new elite, can create an order that respectfully includes people, whatever race they turn out to be, who are average or below average in intelligence. Unwittingly, by focusing the debate on the need to reform the socioeconomic forces that impede the development of intellect and other talents among African Americans, the debate reinforced the hold that the ideology of meritocracy has upon America. Commentators approved of meritocracy and wanted to make sure that the ranks of the elite include representation from an appropriate variety of races and ethnicities. No one seemed to notice the book’s clear statement that the existence of a meritocracy leaves people who are not technologically literate without political or social representation. A cynic might suggest that the exclusive focus on the easily defined racial issue was a deliberate ploy to avoid questioning the moral implications of the commentators’ own status within the intellectual meritocracy. 2. Who Are the Elite? Demographically, the elite can be defined as the group of people who occupy the most cognitively demanding occupations. A society that relies on technology depends upon people who can learn to develop and use the technology. In the last three decades, the number of occupations that demand technological literacy has skyrocketed. In order to fill this increased number of cognitively demanding positions, say Herrnstein and Murray, the system has had to become more efficient at sorting people by cognitive ability.

The American Dream


The primary qualification for membership in the new elite, say Herrnstein and Murray, is intelligence. A “cognitive elite,” as they call it, is identified during the elementary and secondary school years using a variety of educational tests. Members of this group, they say, are in the top 5–10 percent of measured cognitive ability and, by virtue of the education they are able to master, enter cognitively demanding and economically rewarding professions. Then, the most cognitively able of this group are educated at a handful of the country’s most selective colleges and universities. Often, these graduates are lured into the highest-paying, highest-status, most cognitively demanding jobs. Lasch writes that the livelihoods of people in this circle depend upon an “investment in education and information, [instead of] property, [which] distinguishes them from the rich bourgeoisie, the ascendance of which characterized an earlier stage of capitalism. . . .”6 Their occupations include “brokers, bankers, real estate promoters and developers, engineers, consultants of all kinds, systems analysts, scientists, doctors, publicists, publishers, editors, advertising executives, art directors, moviemakers, entertainers, journalists, television producers and directors, artists, writers, and university professors.” President William Jefferson Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, has described members of the elite as “skeptical, curious and creative,” products of an intense parental commitment to intellectual and cultural education, working in the labor force as “symbolic analysts.”7 But more than by any demographic characteristic, Lasch writes, this elite is identifiable by its lifestyle, largely a product of its workstyle. This workstyle has been described in various terms, some more flattering than others. Herrnstein and Murray, who are appreciative of the existence of a cognitive elite while at the same time aware of its dangers, describe the workstyle of the “symbolic analysts” in idyllic terms. A scientist passionately devoted to the study of a certain protein or an investment analyst following a market can be in daily electronic conversation with people throughout the world who share the same passion, passing drafts of work back and forth, calling up data files, doing analyses that would have required a mainframe computer and a covey of assistants only a few years ago—all while sitting alone at a computer, which need not be in an office, but can as easily be in a beach house overlooking the ocean. Across the occupational domain of those who work primarily with their minds, the explosion of computer and communications technologies has liberated and expanded creativity, productivity, and personal freedom.”8 Lasch, who is scornful of the elites, points out that the “personal freedom” afforded the elites by new communication and travel technologies is a freedom without responsibility. He writes that the new elites operate in a market that is international in scope. Their fortunes are tied to enterprises that operate across national boundaries. . . . Their loyalties—if the term is not itself anachronistic in this context—are international rather than regional, national or local. They have


LAURA DUHAN KAPLAN and CHARLES KAPLAN more in common with their counterparts in Brussels or Hong Kong than with the masses of Americans not yet plugged into the network of global communication. . . . It is a question whether they think of themselves as Americans at all. Patriotism, certainly, does not rank very high in their hierarchy of virtues. ‘Multiculturalism,’ on the other hand, suits them to perfection, conjuring up the agreeable image of a global bazaar in which exotic cuisines, exotic styles of dress, exotic music, exotic tribal customs can be savored indiscriminately, with no questions asked and no commitments required. The new elites are at home only in transit, en route to a high-level conference, to the grand opening of a new franchise, to an international film festival, or to an undiscovered resort. Theirs is essentially a tourist’s view of the world—not a perspective likely to encourage a passionate devotion to democracy.9

Today’s elites accept a mobile lifestyle as part of the price they must pay for affluence. They are willing to move to a new city whenever a current highpaying employer requires it or a more lucrative employment opportunity emerges. The frequent travel and less frequent home relocation of such a lifestyle discourage commitment to a community, and the donations of time and money that attend commitment. In fact, Lasch would argue, today’s elites have no conception of a community as a multilayered collection of the people who work together to make civilized life possible. Fearing the lawless, possibly envious, mob, they sequester themselves within gated communities—yes, walled cities—patrolled by private police forces. Their children attend expensive private schools. Even their methods of communication, as Herrnstein and Murray point out, which include email, facsimile, and private courier services, bypass the U.S. Postal Service. To as great an extent as they can, the elites have created a life independent of the public square, having no need for, and no thoughtful interest in maintaining, public services such as police and education. Yet as they lose touch with the “public,” their power over it increases. Herrnstein and Murray explain: As their common ground with the rest of society decreases, their coalescence as a new class increases. The traditional separations between the business world, the entertainment world, the university intellectuals and government are being replaced by an axis of bright people that runs through society.10 Their shared creative networking will determine the products, entertainments, educations, and legislations available to Americans. For example, as the coalescence of the cognitive elite across the various intellectual fields continues, increasingly academics will lose their incentive or perhaps their ability to be genuinely critical of government and commerce.

The American Dream


3. How Did the New Meritocracy Arise? Herrnstein and Murray, whose book focuses on intelligence testing, credit that practice with a major role in the creation of the new American elite. The rise of education as a qualification for employment in an increasingly technological economy has fed neatly into the rise of intelligence testing as the basis for college admission. Before these trends, the most intelligent 5 to 10 percent of Americans were scattered through a variety of occupations. They were Chief Executive Officers, but they were also teachers, farmers, laborers, and homemakers. These individuals provided effective leadership to a variety of social spheres. Laborers, for example, organized labor unions and brought them to local, regional, and national prominence. Homemakers, for example, organized their neighborhoods for political action and their religious institutions for community service. Since the 1960s, however, the most intelligent individuals, female as well as male, have been recruited into the circle of managerial and professional elites, doing jobs which require formal education in technological as well as traditional subjects. The income gap between the elites and the middle classes leaps ahead as people searching for mates of equal intelligence now find mates with equal earning power. For example, two lawyers, each earning $150,000, who marry one another have a household income six times the size of a husband-and-wife pair of office workers earning $25,000 each. The effect, and likely the intent, of this trend in professional recruitment, Lasch writes, has been to siphon off talent from lower economic classes or from groups that might have an interest in challenging the projects of corporations and the politicians they control. The most talented potential leaders of resistance now have joined the circle of people who “are more concerned with the smooth functioning of the system as a whole than with any of its parts,”11 that is, persons, neighborhoods. This cooptation of talent and disempowerment of lower social classes is legitimated by the ideology that America is a country in which any talented person willing to work hard can “make it” socially and economically. Obviously, those who succeed easily accept this ideology. Those who do not succeed tend to accept the desirability of a meritocracy, but complain, no doubt accurately, that entry into it is easier for people whose parents provided them with the advantages of wealth and education. In theory and in practice, America is no longer a country that provides a lively democratic alternative to rule by an aristocracy. It is merely a country in which entry into the aristocracy is based on merit, rather than heredity. To be sure, this decay of democracy cannot be blamed entirely on the elites. Lasch highlights several other trends that have silenced Americans’ interest in democratic participation. For example, Horace Mann, the great educational thinker and activist of the mid-1800s whose legacy still colors the American public school system, excluded divisive issues from the common schools in order to avoid sectarian quarrels, failing to see, in Lasch’s words “that political and religious controversy is educative in its own right.”12 Lasch reminds his



readers of the now unquestioned twentieth-century trend in print journalism championed by Walter Lippmann to provide expert information rather than a forum for public debate. Deprived of a voice in public debate and deprived of skill in argumentation, members of the American public have lost their incentive to represent their interests in a civic dialogue. 4. What Can Be Done? Herrnstein and Murray have no interest in changing the lifestyle or slowing the growth of the new cognitive elite. They find the idea of an aristocracy of talent appropriate, and perhaps enjoy some of its benefits themselves. They do recognize that the abandonment of the lower classes by the elites will have dire consequences for the lower classes. Fewer and fewer employment opportunities for adults of all races who graduate from weaker and weaker schools will lead to a permanent multiracial underclass who live in poverty and violence. Eventually, they predict, America will see the rise of the “custodial state,” in which children born to low-income, low-intelligence, single mothers will be cared for from birth to death by the state.13 The middle and upper classes, who will be responsible for their own livelihood, will begin to seethe with resentment and tensions will erupt violently. Some critics will say this is already happening in America. The remedies of Herrnstein and Murray focus on improving access to the cognitive elite while at the same time improving life for the underclass. To strengthen and diversify the cognitive elite, they call for improved gifted education programs and preferential hiring of equally qualified minority candidates. To strengthen the other classes, Herrnstein and Murray recommend that efforts be made to create and to value employment and community opportunities for less gifted individuals. They suggest that people try to strengthen their neighborhoods, traditionally a source of valued places for many levels of ability. And finally, they suggest simplifying the legal translations of moral rules, by punishing crime swiftly and consistently and rewarding married couples with rights that unmarried couples are denied, so as to communicate clearly what our society deems “taking responsibility.” The proposed solutions of Herrnstein and Murray fail to address the decay of democracy. Most of their solutions are stated in terms of what members of the elite can do to help the underclasses. Herrnstein and Murray are so steeped in the ideal of meritocracy that a democratic solution, which would involve members of the underclass in thinking, speaking, planning, and perhaps even doing for themselves, does not occur to them. For Herrnstein and Murray, no realistic possibility exists for the less intelligent or less highly educated to have a voice, they do not consider even the notion that this group should have a voice. Some critics would argue that Herrnstein and Murray are overly pessimistic about the permanence of the underclass and that they dismiss too hastily possibilities for raising IQ. Herrnstein and Murray’s identification of the economic underclass with the less intelligent locates them on the “nature” side of the de-

The American Dream


bate about whether “nature” (that is, heredity) or “nurture” (that is, environment) plays a greater role in human development. Some of their critics emphasize the role of “nurture,” pointing out the ways in which racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination contribute to a cycle of poverty, unconducive to the development of the intellectual abilities stressed in our society. This view is articulated eloquently in Jonathan Kozol’s book Amazing Grace.14 Kozol writes about Hunt’s Point, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City, as a community of intelligent, hardworking, dedicated people struggling to succeed against tremendous odds. Difficulties include schools so impoverished that poisonous lead paint is peeling off the walls; hospitals so understaffed that new patients are led to beds still bearing the last occupant’s bloody sheets; a city so apathetic that public elevator inspectors are allowed to refuse to enter decrepit buildings, leaving decayed elevators in which several children die each year. This unhealthy and unsafe environment is not conducive to the development of intelligence or of the self-esteem that would lead young people to seek wider opportunities. In contrast to Herrnstein and Murray, Lasch, is neither so congratulatory of the elites nor so paternalistic toward the underclasses. His solution is to make a multilayered educational effort to reinstitute Dewey’s ideal of democracy, wherein all citizens participate in identifying, discussing, and solving community problems. A heavy dose of civic responsibility is necessary, Lasch might argue, to recall the elites from their isolation and the underclass from its desolation. Not only would individual lives be morally and materially improved by this, community life also would be improved. True solutions to America’s problems might result if those who make the decisions and those who need to implement the decisions—not just the representatives who have graduated from those groups into the elite—actually spoke with one another. In a slightly different way, Lasch too can be criticized for failing to embed his critique of meritocracy in a larger socioeconomic context. As political scientist Benjamin R. Barber argues in his book Jihad vs. McWorld, the erosion of local community is not a peculiarly American problem, but a reflection of a global economic trend. The depletion by corporations in industrialized nations of the domestic natural resources they need for manufacturing led to their transformation into transnational corporations. These companies take what they need as cheaply as possible without any regard for community boundaries. They work to create desires for their products without any regard for cultural values. In fact, many of the “symbolic analysts” who make up the cognitive elite use their skills to help create the international consumer culture that supports transnational corporations. For transnational corporations, success is defined solely in terms of profits; the most successful companies make the most money, regardless of the damage they do. Similar standards are applied to individuals within the companies. When working for the corporation becomes the dominant option for subsistence, the shape of local life comes to mirror the corporate ladder.15 Despite Barber’s description of the problem in terms of global economic



trends, he affirms the same solution Lasch offers. Communities around the world cannot expect the elites to undercut their own profits by looking out for local needs. Instead, communities must be aggressive in creating opportunities for civic participation on the local level. Barber finds his inspiration, once again, in Dewey. Dewey believed that a democratic public must be cultivated at all levels of education and community interaction. In Barber’s view, the need for such cultivation has intensified and must include self-conscious resistance against the leveling of values encouraged by transnational corporations. For both Lasch and Barber, Dewey’s democratic vision of “civic equality” is not merely utopian. On the contrary, “civic equality” is a blueprint for the urgent task of creating viable human communities. NOTES 1. John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York: Macmillan, 1916). 2. Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and The Betrayal of Democracy (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995), p. 19; Mickey Kaus, The End of Equality (New York: Basic Books, 1992). 3. Ibid. 4. Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: The Free Press, 1994). 5. Russell Jacoby and Naomi Glauberman, “I.Q.: Is it Destiny?” Newsweek, 124 (24 October 1994), pp. 52–62; Jacoby and Glauberman, The Bell Curve Debate: History, Ideas, Opinions (New York: Times Books, 1995); and Steven Fraser, ed., The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence and the Future of America (New York: Basic Books, 1995). 6. Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and The Betrayal of Democracy, p. 34. 7. Ibid., pp. 35–37. 8. Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, pp. 511–512. 9. Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and The Betrayal of Democracy, pp. 35–36. 10. Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, p. 513. 11. Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and The Betrayal of Democracy, p. 35. 12. Ibid., p. 10. 13. Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, p. 523. 14. Jonothan Kozol, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (New York: Harper, 1995). 15. Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (New York: Ballantine, 1996).

Nine CIVIL SOCIETY AND CIVIL PARTICIPATION Ruben Apressyan The expression “civil society” along with some other words, like “democracy,” “liberty,” and “market,” appeared to become one of the leading political slogans in attempts to transform Soviet society at the beginning of the 1990s. By the mid-1990s, the growing impression of Russia as a country in which democratic reforms were slowing and a discrediting of democratic ideology has made the notion of “civil society” more attractive than the word “democracy” as an ideal. Politicians, journalists and politically active citizens perceive civil society as a less radical, more tolerant concept. Besides, the term seemed to be more expedient for those who wish to demonstrate their non-participation as the politics of reform failed to achieve democratic reformation. To my mind the use of this old philosophical and political term enables liberal and democratic opposition to communism. Yet the more the idea of civil society is kept as a slogan, the more it remains indefinite and imprecise in content. What is the most general understanding of civil society in the context of current discussions? First, an elementary definition would be the notion of civil society as a certain aspect of social life. Specifically, we speak about a civil sphere of a society being interrelated with political and economic spheres. Civil society, in this sense, is a sphere of non-governmental initiatives. These initiatives are neither controlled by the government nor accountable to it. A second characterization of civil society is as a sphere of appearance and interaction of different private interests. The existence of a civil society is a sign of pluralism and openness. A civil society cannot exist in monistic and closed social systems like the Soviet Union or any other totalitarian model. In these models everything is subordinate to the state. A third meaning concerns the , elimination of absolute state power. This feature of a civil society is secured by the rule of law. The state, in the person of political leaders, state officers, and state institutions becomes accountable to the society. Fourth, civil society means a society which constitutionally and institutionally affirms the equal rights of every citizen (in spite of her or his social, economic, confessional, racial, or ethnic background). Lastly, a fifth feature of civil society consists in how citizens are able to influence the social and political processes and thereby share responsibility for what happens in their society. Such are the initial, political features of civil society. These characteristics are evidently not sufficient to explicate the concept of civil society. The essence



of civil society can unfold as well through historical description and explanation of its functioning, and its normative and behavioral orientations. In the history of European civilization, civil society spontaneously developed in the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries through the rejection of state and ideological absolutism. In general civil society puts limits on any form of state autocracy, whether it be absolute monarchy, one-party ideocracy, ethnic, tribal or bureaucratic oligarchy. A good example is the civil society of seventeenth century England that appeared as an apparent compromise between two competing forces: the traditional aristocracy and the third estate. One spiritual aspect of such a compromise was based on religious tolerance and the refusal of religious fanaticism. One political consequence was a consent to “class” coexistence based on the premise that the third estate renounce absolute ambitions to political power, while the aristocracy recognized the right of the new class to free, broad, and private economic activity. In this civil society everybody recognizes everyone’s right, particularly the representatives of religious minorities, to religious freedom and, more broadly, to freedom of conscience. Civil society should be differentiated from other historical type of societies where state power is balanced by the autonomy of communities, clans, or corporations. Such societies include ancient republics, medieval monarchies, or trading city-states, as well as ancient Eastern monarchies (by their mere order, presupposing economic and municipal autonomy of rural, handicraft, and trade communities). From this perspective, civil society appears as a system of civil rights and liberties. The history of civil society can be viewed in relation to the development of efforts for its preservation, improvement, and institutional consolidation. In the 1970s and 1980s, the idea of civil society was accepted both as a slogan and political conception by democratic movements (whatever forms they had) opposing the authoritarian communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Later, these movements transformed into anticommunist protests in the Soviet national republics (first in the Baltic republics, then in Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine). In this sense, the idea of civil society was an appropriate means to express peoples’ hopes to return to or to join European civilization.1 From G. W. F. Hegel and Karl Marx comes the tradition of understanding civil society as a part of society concerning non-state and non-political relations. Such an approach points to an essential feature of civil society: economics is independent from politics. According to Marxists, the feature of a society formed in the particular conditions of recent European history, was generalized to a statement of the dominant role of economy in society—“the economic basis of society”—and developed into a theory of the death of the state in the future. In practice, this theory informed the “stratification” of communist societies. The understanding of civil society in the liberal democratic tradition is different. Liberals consider civil society as an aspect of social life that sets out the activities and relations of human beings as sovereign, self-initiating, and self-

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managing citizens. In this tradition, civil society is a sphere of independent and socially significant actions. Civil society determines the standard of human behavior—as sovereign, loyal, but free citizens. The difference between the modern notion of civil society, which has developed during the last decades, and the traditional, specifically Hegelian one, is that civil society is considered as different not only from the state, but also from the economic sphere. With this conception of civil society a new model of society has been proposed— a model focused not on politics or economics, but on the form of sociality itself.2 The sufficiency of civil society is secured by a system of non-political institutions, including mass media, municipal bodies, independent universities, churches, trade unions, and various organizations of social cooperation. All of them function as a counterbalance to the state power and the different forms of “monopolies.” In their different embodiments, they should be strong enough to withstand tyranny (from the top) and anarchy (from the bottom). Internally participants should be free enough to have the right to make a decision to retain or withdraw their participation. By no means are such organizations completely open for new members. As a rule, joining them or incorporation presupposes some procedures. Particularly owing to this non-political organization, civil society can preserve its sufficiency as a counterbalance to the state power. Yet the law, secured by constitution and legislation, is the main social instrument restricting state power. The political model of civil society as a sphere of interregulated and equally represented interests (individual and corporate) is opposed not only to the autocracy of the state, but also to any forms of anarchism. In current Russian public discussions and in professional publications, some writers identify the notion of civil society with the notion of a state under the Rule of Law. Thus, they display their inability to understand the essence of civil society as the space for the interaction of sovereign interests. This interaction is regulated by law, which is called upon to secure everybody from the arbitrary rule of state persons (leaders, police officers on patrol, and other officials) or corporately organized groups (such as stock associations, a body of directors, or a monopoly). This security is to be available even under conditions when the arbitrary rule is confirmed by lawyers and in this respect is presented as if it was legitimized. A state with legislation based on principles different than human rights, for instance a corporate state, can still be classified as appropriate to law, so far as it is based on the strict fulfillment of the accepted laws. According to the modern approach to this term, Rule of Law does not simply mean rule based on laws; instead, it refers to rule by laws that uphold human rights. Historically, civil society developed during the time of the Industrial Revolution. The characteristic features of civil society were influenced through the types of human social associations. In other words, the character of their “participation” in a society, rather than the character of production, determined the nature of civil society. Also, the structure of civil society was determined by



the interaction of sovereign agents, particularly collective ones, namely, communities and associations of different sorts (professional, nonprofessional, local, educational, cultural, etc.). For this reason, the structure of civil society does not coincide with social structures or strata structures or with the basic kinds of social activity. Consequently, in relation to Russian discussions of this issue, we can see for all those who had come through the Soviet version of Marxist education in political science, the difficulties inherent in understanding that civil society was based on a balance of different interests (individual and associated, non-formal and institutionalized), which were irreducible to social and class relations the kinds of social activity, not on the kinds of social activity,. In this connection, I want to note that the destruction of civil society in Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s was determined not by the “liquidation of classes,” but by the elimination of political and legal conditions for autonomous civilian activity. Activity undertaken by self-organized citizens (rather than individuals mobilized by the state) had actually emerged in Russia by the end of nineteenth century and in fact had even increased owing to the independence movements during the Revolution of 1905. Sometimes a person runs across the opinion that the ruling Communist party, once developed, played to a certain extent the role of civil society. Indeed, the party organization sometimes provided defense for some individuals against mid-level state institutions. Nevertheless, even taking this limited role into account, we cannot consider the ruling party as an alternative to civil society because as a whole the party structure secured adequate “blood circulation” in Soviet society and was primarily the political structure responsible for the autocracy of the party oligarchy and for keeping maximum state control of all aspects of social life and, in the most severe decades (during Stalinism) of including the private life of individuals as well. One other opinion concerning civil society in Soviet society also appears implausible. According to it, in the absence of civil society (in the civilized meaning of the word) its role was executed by the intelligentsia, specifically those people from different social strata who were capable of autonomous and critical thinking and who, in their latent opposition to the ruling regime from the 1960s through the 1980s, were considered as a kind counterbalance to the statepolitical system.3 To my mind, these analysts are incorrect when they attribute such a role to the active and selfless efforts of human rights advocates or to dissidents, even though, these civil initiatives and actions were undertaken by exceedingly courageous people.4 Civil society is not a system of social institutions which are legitimized by their status. Likewise, dissent, even when manifested in action, including publication of periodicals that illuminate the state’s persecution of dissidents, should not be considered as a social institution. Dissent was, in fact, the only form of unaccountable (in the sense of uncensored) civilian self-expression and in the long run pointed to the monist (totalitarian) character of the Communist regime in Russia.

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Still, some elements of civil society illegally remained in the Soviet society and from time to time emerged in rudimentary and substitutive forms. These forms included legal and illegal (“shadow”) private production and service activity and the cultural, confessional, and related intellectual activity. These elements were evidently odd. Even in their legal forms they did not have an appropriate legislative basis. They were not recognized by the law as a manifestation of the citizen’s sovereignty and frequently were prosecuted criminally. The following point is clear: a totalitarian state cannot recognize citizens’ self-initiated activity as rightful and competent. Totalitarian society is based on individuals’ obedience, rather than on citizens’ initiatives. In a totalitarian state only the established power and those belonging to it can secure significant social status or legally secure a sufficient income. Taking into consideration the nature of totalitarian society and the real abilities of the owners privileged by it, one can explain the fact that post-Soviet privatization continued to serve mostly the interests of former Party bureaucrats. Owing to Russia’s totalitarian heritage real power (economic instead of political) was gained during the wave of democratic reforms in Russia by persons who considered power a means to personal wealth. Equally, the inertia of totalitarianism explains the fact that all branches of the post-Soviet state power have resisted unrestricted private business and secured development of private business through legislation. Contrary to this situation, civil society not only manifests the potential of individual possibilities outside and beyond state power, but also promotes the conditions for the successful realization of private interests that are independent from the state. One more remark concerning the notion of civil society is required. When discussing civil society, we need to take into consideration the heterogeneity of this social phenomenon. In its developed forms civil society presents itself as a system of certain formal and institutionalized structures. However, different self-organized movements, initiatives, associations, and informal and united communities also exist. All these dimensions belong to civil (non-political and non-economic) spheres of society. Quite close to this view was Russian philosopher, Semion Frank’s (18771950) understanding of civil society as a “collaboration and interaction of liberally-individual centers of activity.”5 Proceeding from this observation, I want to turn to another issue that will allow me to provide a fuller understanding of civil society. I assume that civil society is displayed in the structure of society and in the order of its functioning. Classical political theorists point to the family, the church, and the university as the elements of civil society. This suggestion is quite plausible, since these civil communities and institutions are able to provide a sufficient counterbalance to the state. From a philosophical point of view, such an institutional or “substantialist” approach misses the fluid character of civil society. The experiences of totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century have demonstrated that the family, the church, the university, or even the amateur



chorus or sports group could be incorporated completely by the state and converted into the cells and “check points” of the omnipresent state. So, the term “civil sphere” is more appropriate to the notion of civil society. Civil society is to be defined not through its substance, but through its function. This function, the non-political environment, specifically the non-state experience, serves as the public counterbalance to the state and, thereby, serves as a means to influence the state directly or through parties. Such considerations mean that different kinds of political parties need to be considered. As Andrew Arato mentions, some political parties perceive themselves as public movements and aim to embody an anti-bureaucratic logic or a logic of direct democracy.6 For instance, in many European countries environmental movements developed into green parties and their representatives participated in parliamentary elections and collected a surprisingly high amounts of votes, particularly in the 1980s. By delegating its representatives to the state, civil society continues to be a counterbalance to state power. Sometimes members of parliaments, specifically as members of a parliament, instead of activists in a public movement, take part in civil actions such as demonstrations, civil disobedience, or fasts. Meanwhile, public organizations or some of their members who are infatuated with politics or seeking personal profits may become dependent upon state structures and come to promote state policy, while formally remaining within the ranks of the civil sphere. From this point of view the elements of civil society, understood as a space, which manifests civil positions and undertakes civil action, existed in the Soviet Union, as in other totalitarian and authoritarian countries (for example, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, or Africa). The rudiments of nonstructuralized and non-legitimized civil society can be seen in the former Soviet Union and in what today are recollected as “kitchen discussions,” that is, nonpublic discussions (however, still discussions) and in the omnipresent political jokes or bard songs, which were connected with broad grassroots movements from 1960 through the 1980s. These examples are rudimentary because they involved an exclusive and partial aspect of civil society according to which citizenship can be expressed as a type of personal independence without accountability to the state. Strictly speaking, citizenship is manifested in civic autonomy, instead of personal independence. Historically the development of civil society was mediated by forming independent social agents who were subject to laws. Individual autonomy became a criterion for evaluating social processes. In the civil dimension, personal autonomy is an essential embodiment of a person’s sovereignty and a premise for a person’s civil independence. In contradistinction, authoritarian consciousness does not endure civil self-determination and, given its inclination to paternalism, considers autonomy as an expression of an individual’s separateness and non-participation, namely, as a manifestation of disobedience and willfulness. Authoritarian political consciousness, specifically the one that includes despotic or corporate tendencies, longs for installing a social and legal

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order beyond individual autonomy and political liberties. It aims for a political order that is beyond citizenship. Such an organized society makes determinations for individuals who are ignorant about their rights, who are unable to achieve civil self-realization, and who are deprived of civil self-consciousness. As one can witness following the development of new independent states, the hasty substitution of an authoritarian order by another one, which was open to civil rights and liberties may result in social disorder and mass manifestations of willfulness. Such is the destiny in most totalitarian societies that turn to liberalization without sufficient deliberation. People, who have been deprived for decades of the right of self-realization, are unable to convert themselves into citizens by the mere fact of their liberation. Citizenship is acquired in selfliberation. Autonomy is a condition for a person’s self-realization and maintenance of dignity, particularly by being a member of a community. But in order to stipulate individual creative initiatives and promote citizens’ activity a community itself should become an environment that is wholesome for such activity and irreconcilable with willfulness. In politics, an individual’s autonomy is to be constitutionally guaranteed by a system of civil rights. A just political order in a society can be measured by its development of and accessibility to civil rights. Political equality in a society is confirmed by the right of all citizens to participate or not in a political process and to influence the decision makers—at least as voters. So the problem of civil society becomes the problem of creating citizens. Citizenship is a juridical notion. Moralistic and ideological conceptions that add to the notion of citizenship qualifications of social status, political activity, or responsibility do not fit the idea of citizenship. Thus, an opinion that only an owner of private property can be a citizen may be a clear idea, yet it adds extraneous elements. This idea may be found in the émigré Russian philosophers Nickolas Berdyaev, Ivan Ilyin, and Georgy Fedotov. Domestically, Russian public discussions returned to the criterion for citizenship on the eve of the 1990s. The intention was to recognize and confirm legally the right to private property. The historical premise of this opinion is evident. The political-juridical institution of citizenship developed on the basis of the institution of private property and developed relations of exchange arranged as national markets. However, the understanding of citizenship as ownership leads to an amalgamation of the notion of citizen and the idea of individual rights. The idea of citizenship assumes that all members of society, except those deprived by the law, are recognized as citizens irrespective of their socialeconomic or educational status and their actual level of civil activity So, the notion of citizenship should not be confounded with the notion of an active and responsible citizenship: possession of ownership, profession, or technical skills does not secure a citizen’s will and readiness to actualize one’s civil rights, especially as civil commitments. Political institutions reach their democratic legitimacy when citizens participate directly in their functioning and



have sufficient control over their functioning. Thus, the idea of civil society is strictly imperative: citizens realize their citizenship and their human rights only as active citizens. Civil society is pluralistic. It is pluralistic ideologically, insofar as it avoids the dominant interests that are supported by political authorities and the ideology of law. It is pluralistic economically, insofar as it is based on the actual variety of property relations and on everyone’s autonomy to choose their walk of life and way of self-realization. It is also pluralistic politically.7 State power may be centralized in civil society proportionally to the need for securing economic sufficiency and political stability. However, political power as such may be distributed among different social institutions. In the broad sense, power is the will and ability to make political decisions and to influence decision-making; it is the capacity to form and direct social processes. In developed democracies, power ceases to be only the prerogative of the state (represented by central, regional, and municipal authorities).8 As individuals and in associations, citizens within various economic confessional, and cultural groups of civil society are able to influence government. To consider the state as an equal partner of civil society would be naive. In all cases, state power is performed as an instrument of organizing public life by hierarchical and coercive means. Part of the state’s destiny: is to compel people to do something through coercion, that is, against their will. However, the state should be under control, and the mechanisms for controlling and restricting the state are secured by democracy. In democratic society, inequality that emerges within any sphere of power, is balanced by the system of rights and liberties which ultimately limit state power. Another aspect of the power system is that power is a matter of recognition by its subjects: power decisions are effective only under the condition that they are recognized as such by those who have to execute them. Strictly speaking, democratic society is based on a “prima facie agreement.” This agreement is between citizens and the constitutional state and among social groups regarding conciliation as the only possible way for society to survive and flourish. Otherwise without a presupposed agreement or “social contract,” political power cannot be exercised by civil society. On the theater stage, the king is mainly played by actors acting as courtiers. Analogously political power occurs through the recognition by citizens of politicians and their roles. Social relations develop according to the model of a contract. Even though a “social contract” is surely a metaphor, this metaphor is quite adequate to the way in which of civil society is organized. The metaphor signifies the transition from “status” relations to “contract” relations. People come to agreements and fulfill them regardless of their formal and ritualized status, of their belonging to this or that social strata. “Social contract” is a metaphor because historically and actually citizens have not signed any agreements to establish a society. “Social contract” is a conceptual scheme of social organization. The members of a society act as if they delegated a part of their rights to the state (state institutions)

Civil Society and Civil Participation


and, in return, they receive guarantees of a secure social order. “Social contract” is a Weberian ideal type that reflects the real practice of different social, economic, political, educational, and other enterprises. The practices of these enterprises, in fact, are mediated by agreements and contracts registered juridically contracts between social agents. By means of these agreements and the registration of these contracts, these enterprises express their will to cooperate. A government, when it is as efficient as a civil society, becomes a sphere of social partnership in which citizens identify with the authority and are ready to share social responsibility. Properly speaking, citizens prove their citizenship, that is, their status of membership in civil society, through responsible participation in political processes. The ability of citizens to influence political processes and the rights of citizens are two sides of a coin. Civil participation is not merely an event or a procedure. It is a priority of civil society, at least in a society, which is founded on the basis of a constitutional democracy. The idea of civil society presupposes the inclusion of subjects into governing both social affairs and political processes. At issue is the decentralization and distribution of power. The idea of civil society is central to the concept of democracy. In my view, under present conditions the idea of civil society should signify the transition from the classical liberal conception of a “minimum state” to one based on the conception of a pluralist welfare state. This transition appears to be a key structural feature in the development of broad and varied civil participation in Western democracies. Perhaps, this growing civil participation resulted from a recognition that active political involvement was necessary to correct the dependency fostered by welfare governments. In a developed civil society, such actions are necessarily collective, that is, influence on the state is more effective if mediated by the activity of unions, group interests, groups of civil initiatives, or political parties. By the middle of the twentieth century, a democratic political model based on civil society could be viewed as the result of citizens’ political activity at all levels of society. One of the most significant patterns of this sort was the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s, which ultimately put an end to the structural system of institutionalized racism. The movement carried out forms of protest often through civil disobedience. Another question is whether this civil disobedience was directed toward the entire U.S. political system as such, or only toward those parts in need of radical changes. Similar processes took place under completely different conditions in noncivil and non-democratic societies. Powerful civil movements in CentralEuropean countries (at the end of the 1980s) and in the Soviet Union (on the eve and at the beginning of the 1990s) directed against political systems appeared to become the necessary condition for the deconstruction of totalitarian communist regimes (for example, Romania). Movements of this sort, although manifesting a high level of civilian activity, may not be considered, for the reasons given above, as typical embodiments of civil participation.



Though almost everybody supports the idea of civil participation as such, once the question regarding real political and legal mechanisms of citizens’ participation in social government is asked, it becomes evident how difficult it is to fulfill this idea in practice. First, the idea of civil participation is based on the recognition of every citizen’s constitutional right for potentially equal opportunity for participation in the political institutions and procedures of democratic society. Politics in particular, is a professional field and requires appropriate specialized knowledge, habits, and skills. Second, civil participation does not mean the involvement in political government in general; this is certainly the function of administration and elected bodies at different levels. What is significant is that citizens should be able to take part in open discussions of political, social-economic, cultural, and other programs, and influence the decisionmaking process and its execution. This personal involvement in government should take place on local/municipal levels. All these forms of participation require a redistribution of power guaranteed politically and legally. Hence, the idea of civil participation, re-conceived in terms of a redistribution of political power may face persistent resistance from the party holding authority. Resistance is not difficult for citizens, at the local level as individuals, as representatives of group interests, as persons associated with public organizations, or as members of communities. Yet they may not be fully ready. Apathy and skepticism, low motivation toward public problems and the lack of knowledge and experience are all factors that hamper citizens’ participation in public affairs and political decision making. Such obstacles are a common problem for democratic countries, including well-established democracies with their long and rich political experience. I believe that civil participation is a legitimate initiative when directed to changing or improving social experience and when not motivated merely by state-administrative, corporate, authoritarian, or clan reasons. Taking into consideration the nature of civil society we may say that the field of civil participation is unlimited. Citizens may participate in promoting the resolution of social, political, professional, confessional, cultural, educational, or even sports problems. In a particular case they can be stipulated by ambitious and mercantile motives, but the practical significance of participation is determined by whether it relates to the public good and common interests. In post-totalitarian societies civil participation is appreciated as a way to social, political, and cultural pluralism and self-government. In the developed democracies the problem of civil participation is regarded as urgent and topical as well. Many observers and analysts associate overcoming the difficulties of representative democracies (which are not always able to secure such fundamental principles of democracy as individual freedom and political selfgovernment) with the increasing civil participation. As various experiences of civil initiatives show (for example, the environment), citizens involved in civil participation are able to compensate for inadequacies in the system of represen-

Civil Society and Civil Participation


tation for securing common interests, equality, or citizens’ possibilities of influencing political process. As a matter of fact, traditional political parties have become less able to represent the broad spectrum of public interests. This fact can be explained by the increasing merger of countries with stable democracies with the leading political parties and the main interest groups along with different structures of the state. At the same time, inside the parties themselves the leaders and central headquarters play increasing roles in the elaboration of programs, strategies and tactics of political campaigns. Although in principle every common party member may rise through the party hierarchy to the top, such possibilities are narrower the more the party structure develops. The “top” of a big party is usually to a large extent independent from the bottom organizations in determining the party policy. Following the process of party development in Russia today, one can see the same tendencies in the Russian parties, although most of them remain undeveloped; the gap between the party representatives that have entered the legislative power from the party masses has been deepening, and this gap becomes especially obvious against the background of election campaign rhetoric. Another challenge for civil participation even in well-established democracies comes from the latent attempts by the state authorities to substitute genuine civil participation with symbolic and illusory forms in which authorities try to get rid of the citizens’ control, to take them in and make their activity vapid, or at least to turn it to minor and small-scale issues.9 On the contrary, full and effective forms of civil participation are manifested on the level of open collaboration between the authorities and citizens, efficient representation of citizens’ interests to authorities, and productive control by citizens of political power. In such cases, one can speak about decentralization and the distribution of power. Authorities are ready to share the responsibility of decision-making. The collaboration of politicians and citizens may become a basis for common political commissions, working groups, or conflict resolution groups. Such interaction, especially when effective, occurs when citizens act with civil (public) organizations that have sufficient intellectual, technical, and financial resources, rather than as rootless and faceless individual “representatives of the public.” In any case, the division of the power, that is, its dispersing, takes place owing to the citizens being able to take responsibility upon themselves, and not leaving it to the authorities who are eager to share power. One of the ideological images of democratic society consists in an opinion that it is a society of active and loyal citizens. Though this image is in general certainly right, we need to distinguish when citizens have the right by their real participation to influence political processes when citizens are ready to actualize this right and, what is more important, to feel themselves competent to actualize it. According to various polls, most citizens are satisfied with the consciousness of their principal possibility of influencing political decision making, but only a small number of them actually are inclined to make such attempts.10



The scale of civil participation depends upon the measure of the decentralization of political power and the development of the institutions of civil society. Though elections are a basic institution of democratic society, electoral activity is the least productive form of civil participation. By voting citizens just indirectly influence the political process and, in fact, have no ability to influence the decision making. Participation in election campaigns is more effective.11 Public opinion usually is well informed about specific and loud actions of civil participation, such as demonstrations, strikes, and other forms of protest, including civil disobedience. Such actions are certainly important for attracting public opinion to sharp social issues and raising the awareness of legislative and executive authorities. Disobedience is also a form of civil participation. The issue of disobedience as a matter of political discourse became actualized mainly as a result of successful experiences of nonviolent movements against evidently unjust and non-democratic political systems. However, in democratic society civil disobedience may cause internal legal and political tension when the conflict is between different sorts of civil commitments: between the obligation to participate in political process and the moral unacceptability of participation supporting and strengthening an unjust social order, or the obligation to be law-abiding and the moral duty to vindicate one’s legitimate rights. The contradiction of the first kind is not so sharp, for the requirement of civil participation is more of an advisory character; abiding by the law is obligatory. Civil disobedience, when practiced against intentional and demonstrative corruption of the law, is a form of active political resistance and does not just assume possible administrative and juridical sanctions, but directly provokes them. By an action of civil disobedience (individual or group) citizens declare their disagreement with political decisions (actions, policy, etc.). At the same time, the disagreement presumably rests on certain reasonable and legitimate reasons: by protesting against the given law or decision citizens appeal to other laws, to the constitution, or to international juridical acts and, thus, in one way or another confirm the rule of law and order. Mass actions of protest could be so pressing that they force rulers to correct their policy and turn their attention to topical and urgent social problems. However, when the actions of protest are over, very often nobody from the civil initiative group controls the process of decision making and execution. The possibilities of influencing the decision making are greater on the local level through parents assistance groups, boards of trustees, environmental committees, etc., as well as by letters and requests to deputies, routine and imperceptible lobbying efforts in municipal or regional legislative bodies. The possibility of effectively influencing decision–making becomes much greater when one has personal access to politicians—to legislators, ministers, or the heads of administration. Moreover, the effectiveness of civil participation is enhanced when members of initiative groups are as far as possible engaged in the process of political and administrative decision making and have control over its execution.

Civil Society and Civil Participation


The political experience of the Central-Eastern European countries and post-totalitarian experience in general show that civil groups and associations often confront not only the governments, bent for new authoritarianism, but also political parties more or less directed to monopolize political life. In particular, this tendency regards trade unions whose leaders more than others are oriented to populism in political issues. Currently in Russia, because of the low legal guarantees from the state and the limited exposure of trade-union activists some regional and local trade-union leaders in confrontations with the directors of companies and enterprise have decided to collaborate with extremist and Nazilike political groups, which help workers to achieve their goals by radical actions and terror and, thus, actually interfere with the development of the institution of civil society.12 So, the civil criticism of authoritarianism in conjunction with populism supplants, rather than completes, parliamentary democracy. The influence on the undeveloped democratic state could be made more effective through the application of proper legal means and mechanisms. Another problem in this field is that one finds in any democratic society a significant number of powerful individuals with financial, official, corporate, or clan possibilities who are high enough to influence legislative or political process for the better provision of their own private interests. By these actions, such individuals in fact depreciate the constitutional implementation of civil rights and political liberties. Citizens’ aspirations to civil participation also may be limited by the lack of resources. In some democratic countries, one can witness the process of legal recognition of civil participation. Thus, in Germany according to “Urban Planning Promotion Act,” anyone seeking an urban innovation is obligated to consult with citizens and citizens’ associations in order to avoid derogating the interests of owners, leaseholds, and users of land, houses, and buildings.13 This means that the process of coordination may be devastated by the bureaucracy or big companies interested in innovations for the sake of high profits. But the Act legitimates citizens’ participation in such processes; moreover, no urban innovations would be approved by city councils without the sanction of citizens associations. In democratically undeveloped countries, especially economically weak ones, the ability of legislators to enact measures which compensate for social and material inequality is for many reasons limited. Often legislators are not concerned about the urgency of such measures. Their deafness to the demands of citizens that they stop corruption and nepotism, signifies their disinterest in establishing equality. Nevertheless, only citizens organized in initiative groups and movements who actively influence decision-making and keep control over political processes are able to function as a sufficient counterbalance to authoritarian, corporate, or clan interests. By supporting the institutions of democratic government through responsible citizenship, they can even assist democratic government in pursuing the interests of society as whole.



1. Andrew Arato, “The Conceptin of Civil Society: Assent, Decay, and Recreation—and the Directions of Further Studies,” Polis, 3 (1995), pp. 26-48. 2. Jean L. Cohen and Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1990), p. 410. 3. Apressyan, Ruben. “The Role of the Higher School in Promoting Civil Society in Russia,” Poisk, 22 (25–31 May 1996), p. 7. 4. Ludmila M. Alexeeva, The History of Dissent in the USSR (Moscow, Vilnyus: Vest, 1992). 5. Semyon Frank, The Spiritual Foundations of Society (Moscow: Republika, 1992), p. 144. 6. Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, p. 51. 7. Ernest Gellner, Conditions of Liberty (London: Routledge, 1990), p. 101. 8. Marvin E. Olsen, Participatory Pluralism, Political Participation and Influence in the United States and Sweden (Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1982), p. 52. 9. S. R. Arnstein, “Eight Rungs of the Ladder of Citizen Participation,” Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 35:4 (1969). 10. Stephen C. Craig, The Malevolent Leaders: Popular Discontent in America (Boulder, Colo. and Oxford: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 61-63. 11. Harrison Salisbury, “Modes of Participation and Policy Impact in American Education,” Comparative Public Policy and Citizen Participation: Energy, Education, Health, and Urban Issues in the US and Germany, ed. C. R. Foster (New York, Oxford, Toronto: Pergamon Press, 1980), pp. 102-103. 12. E. N. Sarikov, “New Trade Unions Against the Temptation of Nazism,” Novy Mir (New World), 1 (1996), pp. 132-139. 13. H. Zillesen, “Citizens’ Participation in Decision-Making Processes in Energy and Environmental Policy,” Comparative Public Policy and Citizen Participation: Energy, Education, Health, and Urban Issues in the US and Germany, ed. C. R. Foster (New York, Oxford, Toronto: Pergamon Press, 1980), p. 34.

Ten ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY: THE FINAL FRONTIER William Gay Authoritarian governance is not a viable option for the future. Powerful forces are propelling us toward the alternative: As information technology, global economic and ecological interdependence, stakeholder demands, and other forces converge, participation is really the only viable governance option. Continued autocracy has very high costs. On the macro level, we risk war, nuclear proliferation, ethnic conflict, revolt by the many poor against the affluent few, and ecological disaster. On the micro level, we are threatened by noncompetitiveness, bankruptcy, and the waste of human and other resources.1 1. Introduction: From Political to Economic Democracy For many years, “Star Trek” was one of the most popular science fiction television programs in America. To describe the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, Captain James Kirk declares, “Space, the final frontier!” Just as those voyages are a fantasy, even so may be my thesis, “Economic Democracy: The Final Frontier.” An actual starship capable of reaching other planets never has been built, and genuine economic democracy never has been practiced. Nevertheless, by talking about such dreams, we at least may bring into better focus the realities of our current situation and our future possibilities. Moreover, if we look beyond the United States and beyond philosophical texts, evidence can be found that steps toward greater democratization in the economic sphere, in fact, are being taken. As little as a decade ago, the term “economic democracy” was still in use.2 Now the term “economic democracy” itself is no longer in vogue. Instead, the related terms in use are “employee ownership” and, under management, “employee participation.” The obstacles to a serious consideration of economic democracy, however, are not only terminological. Conceptually, some recent trends in politics and in philosophical and economic theory oppose the extension of democratic principles to the economic sphere. In this chapter, despite the issues I will have to address in discussing economic democracy, I will assume that within at least the sphere of politics the value of democracy is taken for granted. In fact, most discussions of the value of democracy focus on the value of democratic politics. Francis Fukuyama even



goes so far as to claim that democratic politics has triumphed on a global scale.3 As Robert Mundt made clear in his chapter in this volume, at least from a statistical point of view, most nations now declare themselves to be democracies and a majority of the global population lives in these countries.4 My question is: If democracy is good within the political sphere, could it be good in the economic sphere as well? This question is especially relevant in light of various recent changes in geopolitics. Of prime importance is the fact that the New Russia is becoming much more like the United States in trying to combine democratic politics with a market economy. In addition, this model is portrayed increasingly as the royal road to national well being and prosperity. A too often unexamined fact is that the United States is conspicuously undemocratic in its economic sphere. The coupling of “democracy and market economies” needs critical examination. Just as many people take for granted the coupling of “the maintenance of national sovereignty and the capacity to wage war,”5 even so many people also take for granted that “democracy and market economies” go hand in hand. Put simply, as Russia, the United States, and the rest of the global community face the beginning of a new century and a new global epoch,6 they need to address the lack of symmetry regarding the value of democracy in political and economic spheres. If the pursuit of political justice requires democracy, will the achievement of economic justice require democracy as well? 2. The Critique of Economic Democracy and A Response Even if we assume that in the immediate post-Cold War world democracy and market economies have been victorious, what is the significance of these victories? A more cynical response than the one which praises both of these developments would be the suggestion that the dissolution of the Soviet Union not only made the world “safe for democracy” in the political sphere but also made it “safe for capitalism” in the economic sphere. In other words, the victory of democracy is partial; market economies remain largely undemocratic. The claim that the West “won” the Cold War too easily occludes recognition that the victory of democracy is restricted to the political sphere. While the public may not be aware of a restriction of democracy to the political sphere, a variety of thinkers are well aware of this restriction. In fact, not all philosophers, let alone all theorists, support democratizing the economy. I will give brief attention to this fact and then proceed to the articulation of my position. In the next section, I will trace in more detail the theoretical position that separates political democracy from economic democracy and pursues only political democracy.

Economic Democracy


A. The Philosophical Critique of Economic Democracy In “Democracy and Economic Rights,” Jan Narveson argues for the importance of economic rights. His defense of economic rights (such as ones to buy and sell) includes a critique of the view that if democracy is proper for governing the state it is also proper for governing economic enterprises.7 In contradistinction to this view, Narveson contends that in principle voters could vote in favor of capitalism. Presumably, he has in mind a type of capitalism largely devoid of worker participation in economic governance. While such a choice could be made, its possibility does not clinch his argument. He needs to argue that certain economic rights are more basic, since voters could choose economic democracy. Narveson does make this argument. He holds to a view of liberalism in which rights to private property and free association are more fundamental than the right to vote. Actually, in opposing economic democracy, Narveson primarily criticizes Robert Dahl. In A Preface to Economic Democracy, Dahl, in fact, makes a rather compelling case for extending democratic procedures to the economic sphere. Dahl also presents a critique of the economic rights model to which Narveson subscribes. At one point, Dahl states, “None of the well-known reasoned arguments for private property as a fundamental right, comparable to the fundamental right to self-government, is satisfactory, either because the grounds are unsatisfactory, or the scope of the right is unsatisfactorily defined, or both.”8 Dahl rejects arguments for unlimited acquisition of private property and arguments for private ownership of corporate enterprises. In his words, “the demos and its representatives are entitled to decide by means of the democratic process how economic enterprises should be owned and controlled to achieve, so far as may be possible, such values as democracy.”9 Also, for Dahl, economic democracy will foster moral responsibility by reducing adversarial relations between employers and employees and because employees in such arrangements will be better representatives of consumers than traditional managers or owners who are much fewer in number and functionally more removed from consumers.10 B. The Case for Democratization of the Economy To make my argument for economic democracy, I must begin by rejecting a laissez–faire attitude toward the economy. T. A. Alekseeva and I incorporated this line of reasoning into our most recent book, Capitalism with a Human Face. In this book, we advance the thesis that governments should regulate the economic sphere at least to the point of establishing a system of social guarantees that provides minimum protections for their citizens.11 To support our view we had to rebut the arguments of neoclassical economists and to propose a postKeynesian economic liberalism. Primarily, we argued that Russia needs to provide social guarantees for both humanitarian relief and for political stability. Many Western economists contend that the Russian government does not have



the money to pay for social guarantees. Although we suggest that on economic grounds a program of social guarantees can be defended, we believe that humanitarian and political reasons for social guarantees should have priority over the strictly economic argument. If Russia continues its program of radical economic reforms, the result, beyond on-going political instability, could be long-term economic misery for large numbers of people. To focus only on general indicators such as increases in the Gross National Product and call Russian economic growth a success based on such aggregate analyses would be myopic. If, simultaneously, large numbers of citizens are living near or below the poverty line, this circumstance undercuts the claim of economic well-being. When fiscal austerity reaches the point that it equals letting many people starve, such a practice is difficult to square with a democratic government charged to serve the interests of the people and to provide them with basic protections. The past Soviet system, despite its political and economic problems, at least recognized the need to provide such protection.12 Surely, the new Russian government should recognize, in line with its new constitution, that the establishment of basic social guarantees represents a means by which a democratic government can help fulfill its obligations to the people. I contend that the argument that Alekseeva and I make regarding Russia is applicable to any society. While authoritarian systems can ignore such suggestions, democratic governments should give them at least some consideration. In fact, most democratic governments do intervene in the economic sphere in part to assure a minimum level of basic protection. In a democracy, such intervention needs to have some connection with the will of the people. For this reason, a degree of democratization of the economy is difficult to avoid under democratic governance of society. Consequently, from a practical point of view the issue is not really one of “kind” but rather one of “degree.” 3. Relations of Politics and Economics in Political Philosophy The picture is much more complicated than the one I have sketched so far. To give a more complete picture, I will review the main positions in political philosophy and show why we will need to move beyond them if democratization of the economy is to be pursued. A. The Divergence of Soviet and American Political Philosophy Near the end of the Cold War, many analysts referred to a convergence of Soviet and American systems. However, as I have pointed out, instead of a convergence of the two systems, the post-Cold War World has witnessed the transformation of post-Soviet Russia into a system that aims to combine democratic politics with a market economy. What has been lost that was of real value is the ideal of economic democracy.

Economic Democracy


Within philosophical discussions of justice, the distinction is often made between the principle of merit and the principle of equality. When these principles are applied to the political and economic spheres of society a fourfold classification results. If equality is pursued in the political and economic sphere, a political-economic democracy results and aims for pure egalitarianism. At the other extreme, if democracy is rejected in both spheres we has the type of pure meritocracy associated with fascism in politics and National Socialism in economics. Interestingly, the United States and the former Soviet Union had mixed forms, as I discuss below. In the table that follows, I illustrate the relationship of democracy to each of these four types. For purposes of brevity, I will not discuss the full scope of the data in the table on page 126. Throughout the Cold War a common assumption was that a sharp division exists between Soviet and American political philosophy. Often, we were told that while the Soviet system pursued social justice as a prerequisite for global peace, the American system pursued global peace as a prerequisite for social justice. In other terms, we could say that the Soviet system aimed for its conception of positive peace (the presence of justice), while the American system sought negative peace (the mere absence of war). When the difference between the two systems is framed in either of these ways, the point of disagreement concerns whether social justice is a prerequisite for or a consequence of global peace. Such a disagreement is older than either the Soviet Union or the United States. Traditional political philosophy also makes this contrast, most often on the basis of the distinction between liberal and democratic theory.13 All modern societies are politically and economically non-egalitarian. If we is concerned about this fact, we can respond with the liberal value of political liberty or the democratic value of economic equality. Many in the United States and the Soviet Union simply assumed that political liberty and economic equality could not be obtained simultaneously. If this assumption is made, we can choose to give primacy to either liberty or equality in moving toward a more ideal social organization. John Locke and liberal theory see political liberty as primary and legitimate the continuing economic inequality.14 Jean-Jacques Rousseau and democratic theory view economic equality as primary and justify the requisite political inequality.15 Long before this distinction was applied to the United States and the Soviet Union, the conflicting distinction between liberal theory and democratic theory was illustrated historically in the French Revolution. Specifically, the first stage of the French Revolution was informed more by the liberal tradition, and the second stage by the democratic tradition.16 Without a doubt, problems existed in the practices of the French government in each stage and subsequently.







Pure Egalitarianism:

Politics: Equality/left

Economics: Equality/left


Political-Economic Democracy

Parliamentary Democracy

Democratic Socialism

Ideal of equality in politics and economics

Meritocratic Egalitarianism:

Politics: Merit/right

Economics: Equality/left


Only Economic Democracy

Democratic Centralism

State Socialism

More of merit in politics; Less of equality in economics

Egalitarian Meritocracy:

Politics: Equality/left

Economics: Merit/right

USA and post-Soviet Russia

Only Political Democracy

Representative Democracy

State Capitalism

Pure Meritocracy

Politics: Merit/right

Economics: Merit/right

Germany and Italy during WWII

No Democracy


National Socialism

Disinterest in political or economic equality

Less of equality in politics; More of merit in economics

The Four Relationships of Democracy to Politics and Economics

Economic Democracy


Despite modifications made by the theoretical fountainheads of American and Soviet society, the basic commitment by the United States is closer to the liberal tradition and political liberty, and the basic commitment by the Soviet Union was closer to the democratic tradition and economic equality. The fact that the Soviet Union did not and the United States has not achieved fully its primary commitment is not as important in this context as the insight that these theoretical differences provide for understanding how some came to see the two systems as polar (and polarized) opposites. Given the historical record, we would have a difficult time presenting either approach as the royal road, let alone exclusive route, to the good life in a just society. From a logical perspective, the Enlightenment assumption that primacy has to be given to political liberty or economic equality can foster unsuitaable dichotomous approaches, as occurred throughout the Cold War. Once we realize the unlikelihood either of political liberty or economic equality, we can work consistently on both at the same time even if more needs to be done relative to one rather than the other. From this perspective, the difference in such social systems is more in “degree” than in “kind.” B. The Problem of Political Domination Although the purpose of this chapter is to advance the argument for economic democracy, I want to make it clear that political democracy by itself represents a considerable advance beyond the political absolutism of the early modern age. Philosophically, earlier and more authoritarian tradition is associated with Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, people originally lived in a state of nature which was unregulated and which became a “war of all against all.” To escape this plight, people entered into civil society but did so at the price of subjecting themselves to the dictates of the state.17 The consequence of this view is that, domestically, the ruler has absolute power over the citizens. Nevertheless, relations among sovereign states is again like the state of nature, that is, they are in a potential, if not actual, “war of all against all.” In recent decades, this political view was referred to as Realpolitik or political realism. For the political realist, international politics is amoral because no global authority exists that is capable of enforcing its dictates. For obvious reasons, parts of Hobbes’s political philosophy were adopted by both conservative and authoritarian theorists in their accounts of what constitutes legitimate power. Within social contract theory, the transition from a state of nature to a state of civil society is one that supposedly results in the imposition of social constraints that serve the interests of the citizenry. Many political theorists regard these social constraints as forms of domination, whether legitimate or illegitimate and whether deficient or excessive. For many citizens and political theorists, one of the central issues surrounding domination concerns the danger that the propriety of a spectrum of social constraints can blind us to the institutionalization of an additional spectrum of social constraints which Herbert Marcuse



terms “surplus repression.”18 In other words, political states seek to restrain far more behaviors than are necessary to avoid social anarchy. So, we are left with the following question: What is the basis for claiming legitimate exercise of authority? If no exercise of authority is ever legitimate, then anarchism is the politically correct response to the imposition of rule in the absence of unanimity.19 But if some authority is justified even when complete unanimity is lacking, then how social constraint is justified becomes a critical issue. Because of the negative associations of domination, many political philosophers, going beyond Hobbes, distinguish power and domination. In modern political philosophy, this tradition, which replaces absolute political authority with limited political authority, can be traced back to John Locke. His political philosophy arose as a critical response to the claim of a divine right of kings and called for several limitations on sovereignty.20 By contrast, early in this century Max Weber made the problem of domination (Herrschaft) the central focus in his analysis of various types of societies.21 In defining the legitimacy of a state, he concluded that attempts to establish de jure criteria (that is, ethical or normative principles) are unconvincing logically and irrelevant politically. So, he abandoned any attempt to establish de jure criteria of political authority or legitimate power. Instead, he simply focused on empirical or de facto success at political rule (that is, a factual or descriptive account). Such forceful domination can be shown to be observable empirically. By focusing on instances in which citizens are subject to a specific government, this approach begs the question of whether citizens should be subject to this government.22 If the main responsibility of a state is considered to be the regulation of the relationship between the state and the citizens without interfering in any aspect of their private lives (including economic activity), then this relation usually is not regarded as paternalistic. In this political form, which draws on the ideals of classical liberalism, patronage by the state is minimal. As John Stuart Mill expresses this point, “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community . . . is to prevent harm to others.”23 However, if democratic politics can help prevent harm to others, perhaps a democratized economy could do so as well. 4. Beyond Post-Keynesian Economic Liberalism The great debates of the past two hundred years, as described by Karl Mannheim, have occurred in the context of three great waves: liberalism or humanitarianism (namely, the right to participate in decisions that affect our’s life), socialism (namely, the right to material security), and various conservative or reactionary movements.24 Clearly, under this view, the value of democracy is at the level of politics in the liberal approach. Eventually, three positions gained prominence—two of which support capitalism and the third introduces socialism per se. These positions are based on the views, respectively, of: (1) Adam Smith

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and John Locke, (2) John Maynard Keynes, and (3) Karl Marx.25 In economic, rather than political, terms the Western labels of “conservative,” “liberal,” and “radical” can be applied to these positions.26 An ambiguity exists in classifying these positions. I contend this ambiguity arises from the failure to delineate clearly political and economic spheres and to address the value of democracy for each.27 A. The Varieties of Traditional Political Philosophy Even on their own terms, the positions of both Smith and Locke have problems. Smith assumed some “invisible hand” (actually, competition in the market) guaranteed that enhanced public welfare would result from actions of private individuals in free markets.28 This position amounts to a utilitarian claim that unregulated markets and private property produce greater benefits than can be achieved by regulation. Beyond suspect assumptions about human nature on which this view rests, the emergence of monopolies and multi-national corporations significantly undercuts the laissez faire model. Also, Smith’s assumption that competition leads to reduced costs through efficient use of resources neglects such factors as damage to the environment. Locke took as “self-evident” that both freedom and property are natural rights,29 and his economic followers argue that only free markets preserve both of these rights.30 Various writers question the assumption of natural rights, the preeminence of these rights even if they are granted, and the unjust inequalities that result from free markets.31 Until the world depression of the 1930s, the conservative model largely guided Western political and economic behavior. Then, from the time of Theodore Roosevelt to the election of Ronald Reagan, “liberal” Democrats in Congress had control over the economy. Then a few decades ago, conservative economists like Milton Friedman argued the government had moved from a mechanism of order to one of oppression.32 Recently, many politicians have adopted this model often holding the anti-government position that big government causes or worsens economic problems. Since the 1980s, this position has experienced a resurgence politically and academically. Politically, “Reaganomics” is a version of conservative economics which seeks to sweep away many of the reforms associated with the “liberal” model. Academically, the neoconservative position in economics is termed neoclassicism and stems from the work of Robert Lucas, Jr.33 Two key contemporary proponents of neoclassical economics, Steven R. Cunningham and Jon Vilasuso, argue governmental intervention in the economy is inefficient and tie their academic argument to political developments in a manner that thwarts democratization in both spheres.34 Within the framework of “free” market models, the most telling criticism was offered by John Maynard Keynes. He claimed unregulated markets can lead to economic stagnation. For example, the aggregate demand among the economic sectors of households, businesses, and government can be less than the aggregate supply of goods and services in the economy when too many house-



holds save instead of spend some of their liquid securities. To prevent these negative results, he proposed that government regulate money supply, expand taxes, and increase its own spending.35 Recent economic liberals accept, in varying degrees, the policies of Keynes. While “liberals” continue to support individual freedom and private property, they regard governmental intervention in, and even some regulations of, the economy as consistent and appropriate. Robert Heilbroner, for example, stressed the need for a political dimension in economics, while John Kenneth Galbraith argued specifically for an expanded role for liberal government in the economy and society.36 Other post-Keynesian economic liberals include Robert Eisner and Thomas Paley.37 Karl Marx developed the socialist alternative to the “free” market models of Smith and Locke and focused on the inequalities that resulted from capitalism. Robert Carson notes, “From the Radical point of view, periodic crisis in capitalism is not the result of excessive tinkering with the market system, as Conservatives claim; nor will the tendency toward crisis be contained by Liberal interventionism. Periodic and deepening crisis is capitalism.”38 Marx showed that capitalism is more than an economic system. He presented the limits of market systems when he exposed the ideological bias of the market ideal in which the initial distribution of claims on resources goes unquestioned. Marx’s critique has received many up-dates, such as that provided by Joan Robinson.39 In the United States, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, in particular, have advanced contemporary radical economic analysis.40 Many theorists have come to favor a mixed economy in which market systems and private ownership are retained, but modified by government regulation aimed at their most obvious defects. Manuel Velasquez, for example, concludes that “the mixed economy comes closet to combining the utilitarian benefits of free markets with the respect for human rights and for justice that are the characteristic strengths of planned economies.”41 The United States has, and the former Soviet Union had, a mixed economy, but recently the U.S. economy and now (and increasingly) the Russian economy are closer to the unregulated conservative model. The needed debate, given this understanding, should focus on the proper type and degree of governmental economic regulation. B. The Need for a Re-Focused Political Philosophy Capitalism has focused on the production of great wealth and has supported, to a lesser extent, the advancement of human rights. However, capitalism is associated as well with a high frequency of war and with significant levels of environmental damage. By contrast, the former Soviet Union focused on economic growth, sometimes at the cost of environmental damage and low priority to human rights. In the West, the impact of government has been primarily internal in relation to regulation, and the state has functioned poorly in controlling external markets, with the important, though lamentable, exception of those instances, mostly in the past, of colonial aggression.

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Of fundamental importance is recognition of what has changed, namely, the emergence of a global economic system. Practically, this system is virtually synonymous with the dominance of global capitalism. Currently, Russia wants to participate in this global economic system. As is well known, in 1917 the Soviet Union began developing an economic model that aimed for selfsufficiency and withdrawal from international capitalism. Though the Soviet Union attempted, it never really achieved a market within a state socialist system. During the last few years of its existence, the Soviet Union tried to combine its internal market approach with participation in external markets, namely, global markets. Now Russia is facing the hardships of a rapid transition to a market economy coupled with the hardships of abandoning the traditional social guarantees for its people. Today the question for all societies concerns the proper role for the state in relation to markets. This question no longer can be asked as only one concerning internal development. The reality is that all countries are part of an interdependent, yet hierarchical, global system. Moreover, the United States and Russia are found wanting in regard to the articulation of new global values. Though the former Soviet Union may have given little more than lip service to such values, post-Soviet Russia faces a real dilemma. If Russia continues to embrace uncritically and wholeheartedly embraces Western values, it will turn much of its history and stability on its head. While some of that history quite obviously should be discarded, a vision remains—and to some extent a practice—that should be affirmed. 5. Conclusion: Prospects for Economic Democracy In this chapter, I have argued that, in practice, economic equality and political liberty could and should be pursued simultaneously. However, as good as these values may sound, I have suggested as well that now is a particularly difficult time for obtaining serious discussion of such a global orientation. Nevertheless, in the case of Russia, the rejection of a planned economy and command system found in the former Soviet Union should not entail rejecting all forms of state influence on the economy. Regardless of what neoclassical economists contend, market economies are no exception to the need for state regulation. As we move toward what could be a brighter future, several important questions must be faced. How should governments interact with markets that are global? How should the growing network of international relations affect national sovereignty? Can and should the approach of nations to internal development be consistent with their approaches to external development? Can we conceive of a global society that both achieves well-ordered international relations among all peoples and avoids the pitfalls of excessive centralization? These are only a few of the questions that still need to be faced. I indicated at the outset of this chapter that increasing support for a greater degree of democratization in the economy can be found within the fields of eco-



nomics and management—even if their reasons center on economic pursuit of efficiency and profit and even if their proposals are pragmatic responses to political pressure from discontented and alienated workers. I will note briefly a couple of examples in three different areas. First, piecemeal to extensive efforts are being made to introduce democratic practices within existing market systems. Some writers, such as Keith Bradley and Alan Gelb, advocate employee participation and ownership primarily as a temporary or stop-gap measure. Although Bradley and Gelb call for worker or employee ownership, their support is restricted to ailing industries and is presented as an alternative to subsidies and reindustrializing.42 Other writers aim for much more extensive democratization of the workplace. One recent and rather interesting “map” is provided by Patricia McLagan and Christo Nel. They contend that participative systems outperform authoritarian systems and eventually will replace the remaining authoritarian systems. They present ten key values as the emerging guiding principles for participative institutions, namely, “consumer focus; commitment to participation; shared power, rights, and responsibilities; access; internalized control; respect for the balance of rational and nonrational; thinking close to doing; broad legitimacy; diversity; and learning.”43 Second, special attention needs to be given to the more comprehensive developments in Western Europe and Japan. Western Europe has taken the lead in economic democratization. Sherri DeWitt does a good job of presenting this case. She provides detailed case studies of industrial democracy in Sweden and of the German system of codetermination. The German system is one in which worker participation is mandated through legislation that is binding on employers and employees and takes precedence over any agreements reached through private negotiation.44 The situation in Japan may be what is more likely for the United States, though it falls short of what I have been advocating. In his 1991 book, Human Capitalism: The Japanese Enterprise System as World Model, Robert Ozaki argues for the global adoption of the Japanese model. He claims that after World War II Japan developed an economy that is neither capitalist nor socialist. Ozaki uses the terms “human capitalism” and “humanistic enterprise system” to designate Japan’s people-oriented system that is “based on the premise that human—not pecuniary or material—resources are the most vital capital with which to create and increase the wealth of nations.”45 Finally, some American economists are even making the case for democracy in the workplace. One good source is Ronald Manson’s Participatory and Workplace Democracy. He makes the reverse of the usual argument on the relation of democracy to the political and economic spheres. He contends that participation in the workplace promotes greater participation in government.46 Even more comprehensive is the work of Samuel Bowles and his colleagues. One of their more helpful studies is their 1990 book, After the Waste Land. They state: By a democratic economy we mean an economy that guarantees to all citizens basic rights to an economic livelihood; that offers to all citizens op-

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portunities for participation in making the economic decisions that affect their lives, either directly or through elected representatives; that puts an end to the economic dependency of working people on the whims of their employers; and that eliminates the economic dependency of women on men and removes racial, sexual, and other forms of discrimination in the access to jobs, housing, and throughout the economy.47 According to Bowles, Gordon, and Weisskopf, a democratic economics would: (1) seek sustainable improvements in living standards, (2) enhance domestic democracy and community and international cooperation, and (3) seek greater fairness. However, to do so, three changing economic realities must be faced, namely, the end of Pax Americana, the end of Pax Patriarchy, and the closing of the environmental frontier.48 These examples show the breadth of recent models that propose the expansion of democratic principles and practices to the economic sphere. Consequently, while democratization of the economy may seem a long way off in the United States, developments in several other parts of the world and even in some sectors of the U.S. economy provide glimmers of hope that the obstacles to democratization of the global economy are not insurmountable. My remarks suggest that the post-Cold War world would be ill-advised to separate democracy and market economies. Their separation may be compatible with negative peace, but not with positive peace. Now is the time for further voyages of exploration, theoretical and practical, into the uncharted territory of the last frontier, economic democracy. NOTES 1. Patricia McLagan and Christo Nel, The Age of Participation: New Governance for the Workplace and the World (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1995), p. 4. 2. Drew Christie, “Recent Calls for Economic Democracy,” Ethics, 95 (October 1984), pp. 112–128. 3. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992). 4. Freedom House, The Comparative Survey of Freedom, 1995–1996, http// 5. William Gay, “Militarianism in the Modern State and World Government: The Limits of Peace through Strength in the Nuclear Age,” From the Eye of the Storm: Regional Conflicts and the Philosophy of Peace, eds. Laurence F. Bove and Laura Duhan Kaplan (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1997), esp. pp. 5–7. 6. William Gay and T.A. Alekseeva, eds., On the Eve of the 21st Century: Perspectives of Russian and American Philosophers (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994).



7. Jan Narveson, “Democracy and Economic Rights,” Social Philosophy and Policy, 9:1 (Winter 1992), pp. 29-61. 8. Robert Dahl, A Preface to Economic Democracy (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985), p. 82. 9. Ibid., p. 83. 10. Ibid., p. 98–100. 11. William Gay and T.A. Alekseeva, Capitalism with a Human Face: The Quest for a Middle Road in Russian Politics (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996). 12. Linda J. Cook, The Soviet Social Contract and Why It Failed: Welfare Policy and Worker’s Politics from Breznev to Yeltsin (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993). 13. Franklin L. Baumer, Modern European Thought: Continuity and Change in Ideas, 1600–1950 (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1977), esp. pp. 218–236. 14. Edward McNall Burns, Western Civilizations: Their History and Their Cultures, 6th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1963), pp. 600–601. 15. Ibid., pp. 603–605. 16. E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolutions:1789-1848 (New York: Mentor Books, 1962), pp. 597f. 17. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Richard Tuck (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 18. Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), pp. 34, 80, and 206. 19. Robert Paul Wolff, “On Violence,” The Journal of Philosophy, 66 (October 1969), pp. 601–616. 20. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1980). 21. Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1972), 122–126; Max Weber, Economy and Society, trans. Ephraim Fischoff et al., eds. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (New York: Bedminster Press, 1968), pp. 212–220. 22. William Gay, “Action versus Society: The Significance of Weber and Marx in the Intellectual History of the Social Disciplines,” Cultural Hermeneutics, 4:1 (November 1976), pp. 1–23; “Probability in the Social Sciences: A Critique of Weber and Schutz,” Human Studies, 1:1 (January 1978), pp. 16–37; and “Justification of Legal Authority: Phenomenology vs. Critical Theory,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 11:2 (May 1980), pp. 1–10. 23. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, ed. Currin V. Shields (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1956), p. 13. 24. Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge, trans. Louis Wirth and Edward Shils (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1936), esp. pp. 192–263.

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25. Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1988), pp. 147–165. 26. Robert B. Carson, Economic Issues Today: Alternative Approaches, 4th ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), pp. 10–27. 27. William Gay, “Market and State: Some Philosophical Aspects,” The Contemporary Civilized Market: The Overseas Experience and Its Diffusion in CIS, eds. A. M. Alekseev et al. (Moscow: Economic Academy, 1995), pp. 48–60. 28. Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (New York: The Modern Library, n.d.). 29. Locke, Second Treatise. 30. Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944); Murray N. Rothbard, For a New Liberty (New York: Collier Books, 1978); Gottfried Dietz, In Defense of Property (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971); John Hospers, Libertarianism (Los Angeles: Nash, 1971); T. R. Machan, Human Rights and Human Liberties (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1975). 31. Velasquez, Business Ethics, pp. 148–150. 32. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). 33. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., Studies in Business Cycle Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1981). Robert E. Lucas, Jr. and Thomas J. Sargent, “After Keynesian Economics,” Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, eds. Lucas and Sargent (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981), pp. 295–319. 34. Steven R. Cunnigham and Jon Vilasuso, “Is Keynesian Demand Management Policy Still Viable?”, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 17:2 (Winter 1994–1995), pp. 187–210. 35. John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1936). 36. Robert L. Heilbroner, Between Capitalism and Socialism: Essays in Political Economics (New York: Random House, 1970) and John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 4th ed., 1985). 37. Robert Eisner, “Keynes Is Not Dead, Just Drugged and Dormant,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 17:2 (Winter 1994–1995), pp. 211–229 and Thomas Palley, “The Free Trade Debate: A Left Keynesian Gaze,” Social Review , 61:2 (Summer 1994), pp. 379–394. 38. Carson, Economic Issues Today, p. 25. 39. Joan Robinson, Economic Philosophy (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Publishing Company, 1964). 40. Paul Baran, The Political Economy of Growth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957); Paul Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966); and Paul Sweezy, The Theory of Capitalist Development (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1942).



41. Velasquez, Business Ethics, p. 167. 42. Keith Bradley and Alan Gelb, Worker Capitalism: The New Industrial Relations (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983). 43. McLagan and Nel, The Age of Participation, p. 61. 44. Sherri DeWitt, Worker Participation and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1980). 45. Robert S. Ozaki, Human Capitalism: The Japanese Enterprise System as World Model (New York: Kodansha International, 1991), p. 1. 46. Ronald M. Manson, Participatory and Workplace Democracy: A Theoretical Development in Critique of Liberalism (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982), p. 136. 47. Samuel Bowles, David M. Gordon, Thomas E. Weisskopf, After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000 (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1990), p. 187. 48. Ibid., pp. 188–191.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS TATIANA ALEKSEEVA is Head of the Department of Political Theory at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Formerly the Head of the Department of Political Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Philosophy in Moscow, she writes on contractarian political philosophy and international relations. RUBEN APRESSYAN is Head of the Department of Ethics at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Philosophy in Moscow. He has been a Visiting Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada and writes on the theory of civil society. NICHOLAS CASTE is a political philosopher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He specializes in the relationship between democratic governments and their citizens, personal rights, the role information in democratic systems. His articles focus on the extension of the democratic principle to non-governmental organizations. WILLIAM GAY is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He specializes in war and peace studies (in which he has published extensively), social and political philosophy (particularly Russia), and continental philosophy. He is an Associate Editor of VIBS and the Editor of its Special Series on Contemporary Russian Philosophy. ABDUSALAM GUSEINOV is a Professor of Philosophy and Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute in Philosophy in Moscow. He is a leading Russian specialist in ethics and Head of the Ethics Division of the School of Philosophy of Moscow State University. He has lectured widely in the United States. CHARLES KAPLAN is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For the past twenty years, his research and clinical practice has focused on intellectual assessment. He publishes extensively on the intellectual development of children. LAURA DUHAN KAPLAN is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has published extensively in peace studies and applied philosophy. Currently, she is an Associate Editor of VIBS and the Editor of its Special Series on Philosophy of Women as well as its Special Series on Social Philosophy.


About the Authors

ROBERT MUNDT was Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate programs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests include political corruption, democratic theory, and political change, particularly in West Africa. JACK PERRY was Interim Director of International Programs and Visiting Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A former ambassador to Bulgaria for the United States, he writes extensively on U. S. foreign relations policies regarding Eastern Europe and Russia. REGINALD RAYMER is an Instructor in Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He specializes in language and culture and ethics and society. He is the Assistant Editor of the VIBS Special Series in Contemporary Russian Philosophy. VYACHELAV STIOPIN is President of the Russian Philosophical Association and Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Philosophy in Moscow. He specializes in philosophy of science and technology and has lectured widely in the United States and other countries. Of his numerous publications, many have been translated in international journals. ALAN WOOLFOLK is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Core Curriculum at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of numerous articles on the sociology of culture and intellectuals. His current research interests include Thomas Masaryk and the ideas of nationalism and nationality. KONSTANTIN ZUEV is Professor of Philosophy at the Financial Academy of the Russian Federation Government. He specializes in philosophy of science, political science, and the theory of culture. Previously, he has published extensively in numerous foreign languages in philosophy of science and Russian politics.

INDEX Adams, John, 26 Alekseeva, Tatiana A., xi, xii, 2 , 123, 124, 134 Alexander II, 6 Amazing Grace, (Kozol) 105, 106 anarchism, 3, 37, 38 Andretti, Giulio, 24 Apressyan, Ruben, 5 Arendt, Hannah, 47, 48, 54, 55 aristocracy, 108 Atlantic Civilization, 14 authoritarianism, 67, 70 autonomy, 37, 82, 108, 112, 113, 114 Balladur, Eduard, 24 Banfield, Edward, 28, 32 Baran, Paul, 130, 136 Barber, Benjamin R., 105 Barsukov, Mikhail, 86, 87 Berdyaev, Nikolas, 113 bipolar, 2, 9, 11 Bolsheviks, 63 Bowles, Samuel, 132 Bradley, Keith, 136 Brezhnev, Leonid, 66, 86 Brown, Seyom, 10, 19 Bryntsalov, Vladimir, 91 Bull, Hedley, 11, 19 capitalism, 5, 20, 29, 51, 73, 92, 101, 122, 123, 126, 128, 130, 131 cascades (information), 77, 80, 81 Cassen, Robert, 130 Caste, Nicholas, 4 Chechen War, 88 Chernomyrdin, Victor, 89 Chubais, Anatoli, 89 Cicero, 24 civic nationalism, 46, 47, 48 responsibility, 99 civil

participation, 107, 115 self-realization, 113 society, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115 sphere, 107, 112 Clinton, William Jefferson, 12, 22 Cold War, 9, 122, 124, 125, 126 Comenius, Jan, 51 Commonwealth of Independent States, 67, 83 Consciousness, 17, 39, 95, 118 authoritarian, 112 civic, 51 collective, 45 moral, 4 national, 45, 52 political, 42, 112 popular, 92, 93 Russian, 3 self, 113 tribal, 47 Cunningham, Steven R., 130 Dahl, Robert, 123 Danilevsky, Nikolai, 9 decentralization, 121, 123, 124 democracy betrayal of, 108, 112 capitalist, 12, 85 corruption of, 29, 33 economic, 123, 124, 125, 127, 129, 131, 132, 136, 137, 139 global resurgence of, 9, 10, 13 parliamentary, 125 political, 128, 133 representative, 85 third wave, 23, 24, 29, 42 democratic ideal, 45 liberal theory, 12, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 42 movement, 114 peace, 9 political model, 121


system, 81, 83, 84, 87, 89 theory, 131 democratization, 90, 92 demagoguery, 11, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51 Dewitt, Sherri, 131 Diamond, Larry, 16 Douglas, Stephen, 51 Deuteronomic Code, 57 Dubrovsky, Josef, 53 economics conservative, 129, 130, 132 democratic, 133 Neoclassical, 124, 125, 126, 129 economy, 5, 12, 34, 90, 92, 108, 122, 123, 124, 129 capitalist, 73 command, 84 democratized, 128, 133 global, 133 market, 83, 84, 92, 93, 95, 122, 125, 131 mixed, 130 planned, 131 pluralistic, 114 technological, 103 education, 30, 31, 33 Eisner, Robert, 130 Elazer, Daniel, 28 elite(s), 5, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 cognitive, 101, 102, 104, 105 professional, 103 equality, 4, 117, 126 civic, 5 economic, 5, 125, 127, 131 political, 113 principle of, 125 Federalist Papers, 26, 32 Fedotov, Georgy, 113 final frontier, 5, 105, 121, 133 Gabb, Alan, 126


Gaidar, Yegor, 67, 68 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 131 Gates, Bill, 90 Gay, William, 5 Gellner, Ernst, 107 Gibbon, Edward, 9 Glasnot, 71, 73 Gogol, Nikolai, 10 Gonzalez, Felipe, 22 Gorbachev, Milkail, xiii, 62, 95 Gould, Jay, 25 Grant, Ulysses Simpson, 10, 27, 33 Greenfeld, Liah, 54 Grey, John, 19 Guseinov, Abdusalam, 2, 3 Gustaafson, Thane, 94 Habermas, Jürgen, 19 Hegel, G. W. F., 108, 109 Heilbroner, Robert, 130 Hernstein, Richard J., 100, 101, 102, 104 Herzen, Aleksander, 62 Hitler, Adolf, 73 Hobbes, Thomas, 127, 128 Hobbesian anarchy, 128 state of nature, 127 Hobsbawm, Eric J., 51 Hoffe, Klaus, 19 Huntington, Samuel, 15, 16, 83 Ignatieff, Michael, 47, 54, 55 Information, 4, 5, 30, 31, 33, 63, 86, 89, 90, 101, 104, 121 Islam, 95 Jackson, Andrew, 25 Jihad vs. Mcworld (Barber), 105 Johnson, Andrew, 25 Justice, 1, 2, 3, 4, 17, 18, 70, 79, 85, 94, 113, 125, 130 economic, 122 political, 122 social, 125


Index Kalashnikov, 91 Kaplan, Charles and Laura, 5 Keynes, John Maynard, 123, 128, 129, 130 Klitgaard, Robert, 30, 33 Kliuchevskii Vasily, 86 Kohn, Hans, 45,47 Kollar, Josef, 51 Kozol, Jonathan, 105 kulturnation, 50 Lasch, Christopher, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106 laissez-faire, 123, 129 Lebed, Alexsander, 86 Leon, Peter de, 23 Leontev, Konstantin, 17 Lenin, 51, 92 liberalism, 13, 14, 16, 18, 123 classical, 128 democratic theory, 130 Lincoln, Abraham, 32, 38, 49, 50, 55 Lind, Michael, 15 Lippmann, Walter, 99 Lipset, Seymour Martin, 21 Locke, John, 125, 128, 129, 130 Lucas, Robert Jr., 129 Lukacs, John, 52 Luzhkov, Yuri, 89 McLagan, Patricia, 121 Madison, James, 32 Mandela, Winnie, 21 Manheim, Karl, 129 Mann, Horace, 99 Marcuse, Herbert, 128 Marx, Karl, 51, 71, 129, 130 Masaryk, Thomas G., 50, 51, 55 meritocracy, 4, 5, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 Mill, John Stuart, 4, 75, 76, 77 modernization, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 83, 84 Moiseev, Nikita, 92 moral

demagoguery, 3, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 education, 30 responsibility, 123 morality civic, 55 liberal, 55 tribal, 55 Mundt, Robert, 2 Murray, Charles, 98, 99, 100, 101 Mussolini, Benito, 52 nationalism, 3, 14, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 67, 70 civic, 46, 47 cultural, 52 ethnic, 46, 47 higher, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 lower, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 55 Nicholas II, 86 Nixon, Richard Milhouse, 33 nomenklatura, 67 nonviolence, 5 Novgorod, Nizhny, 88 Palacky, Frantisek, 51 peace, 5, 125, 133 global, 125 negative, 5, 125, 133 positive, 125 perestroika, 61, 63, 65, 67 Peter the Great, 62 privatization, 68, 83, 89, 111 Pushkin, Aleksander, 63 Rawls, John, 4, 17 Reagan, Ronald, 129 Realpolitik, 1, 127 realism, 11, 12, 15 Reich, Robert, 101 Rhodes, Cecil, 48 Robinson, Joan, 130 Rodinov, Igor, 86 Roosevelt, Theodore, 129 Rosenau, James, 11


Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 125 Sayr, Kenneth, 74, 75 Schmidt, Helmut, 24 Schoenerer, Georg von, 48 Solzhenitsyn, Alexander, 92 Smith, Adam, 129, 130 Smith, Anthony, 47 Soskovets, Oleg, 86 Starr, Frederick, 85 Stiopin, Vyacheslav, 3, 4 Sweezy, Paul, 130 technogenic, 61, 62 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 17 Tolstoy, Lev Nicholaevich, 41, 51 totalitarian, 4 character, 110 control, 68 elites, 54 methods, 63 model, 107 movement, 47 regimes, 112, 116 socialism, 84 society, 64, 83, 84, 111, 113 state, 17, 111 totalitarianism, 3, 37, 38, 41, 47, 64, 66, 67, 111 Toynbee, Arnold, 61, 82 tribalism, 46, 47, 48, 49 Trotsky, Leon, 42 Trubetskoy, Eugeniy, 17 unipolar, 2, 9, 19 Vanderbilt, Corneliue, 25 Velasquez, Manuel, 130, 135 Vilasuso, Jon, 135 violence, 2, 3, 5, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 51, 54, 104 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 14, 19 War, 43, 48, 50, 54, 88, 121, 122, 125, 127, 130


Washington D. C., 25 Washington, George, 26 Weber, Max, 128, 134 Wilson, James Q., 28 Woodward, C. Vann, 26, 33 Woolfolk, Alan, 3 World War I, 47, 51 World War II, 132 Yeltsin, Boris, 87, 93, 96, 134 Yergin, Daniel, 95 Zuev, Konstantin, 4 Zhirinovsky, Vladimir, 91