By Gideon Baker
This e-book addresses the debates round civil society, utilizing democratic idea and case experiences drawn from jap Europe and Latin the US. It strikes past the completely theoretical to envision the connection among the belief of civil society as democratic concept and democratic perform.
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Additional info for Civil Society and Democratic Theory: Alternative Voices
Kuron 1981a: 95) It is in this sense that the term civil society itself started to be used around 1981. Michnik wrote at this time, describing the Solidarity accords: For the first time organised authority was signing an accord with an organised society. The agreement marked the creation of labour unions 20 The parallel polis independent of the state which vowed not to attempt to take over political power. The essence of the spontaneously growing Independent and Selfgoverning Solidarity lay in the restoration of social ties, self-organisation aimed at guaranteeing the defence of labour, civil, and national rights.
Hejdánek in particular grappled with the seeming contradiction of seeking to develop opposition as a permanent political project, denying that Charter 77 considered itself a conventional political opposition, and that it had ‘any intention of constituting the first rung on the ladder for some alternative power bloc’. , ceases to be functional … Without the background of a vigorous ‘alternative’ cultural front independent of state structures, the activity of the defenders of human rights and freedoms would inevitably atrophy and decline.
Marx’s utopia of a state-free, communist future is employed here against that approach to socialism seen as destroying social self-management. In other words, Kus´ y’s argument is similar to that made by many of the Chartists, who see civil society positively, only the Marxist antipathy to the term is not ‘The independent life of society’ 39 yet abandoned in Kus´ y’s account. This basic affinity can be seen by comparing Kus´y ’s antistatist vision to one provided by Uhl. Uhl has the same revolutionary (though non-violently so) ends in mind as Kus´y, only he has stopped using Marxist language to express them: It is utopian to assume that society will ‘merge’ with the parallel polis, thus causing the withering away of the state and its bureaucratic machinery … It is only during the revolutionary process that [this polis] will rapidly ‘absorb’ society, which will create, on islands of alternative associations and activities, a polis which is no longer parallel, but an authentic polis of free people.
Civil Society and Democratic Theory: Alternative Voices by Gideon Baker