Marco Solinas – Neoliberalism and Honneth’s Idea of Socialism



welcome to our last lecture in this two-day colloquium our final speaker here is Marko Salinas he's our guest from Scuola superiores Santana in pisa the School of Advanced Studies in visa the Institute of law politics and development Marko Salinas is a professor there right your professor attitude her habilitation yes yes of critical theory and also does a lot of work in studies of teleology political philosophy you've done some work in psychology or psychoanalysis right yes so Marco has studied and researched in Florence Nottingham Berlin Frankfurt and Paris he did his PhD in Florence he was editor full-time at Lamoni a mondadori 2005 2007 he was a member of the foreshocks Collegium so as a geography at the good the University of Frankfurt for 2008 to 2010 under the guidance of axel Hornet he was a fellow at Lakota but at eat in Paris 2011 2012 and since 2013 is it he has been based in Florence and visa and his most important works are via platonic assume my wisdom which is actually originally published in Italian right this year the German translation it was published in 2012 in German and then he also published from Aristotle's teleology to Darwin's genealogy which was published by Palgrave and Macmillan in 2015 and he's also only editorial border several several note journals and he's he's been in Belgrade before a couple of years ago who was visiting at the Department of Psychology of the faculty philosophy University of Belgrade so Marco is a very wide-ranging and prolific author and today he's going to tell us a little bit about a critique of on its perspective developed in the idea of socialism so the title of the lecture is the actuality of Marxist errors in the liberalism and hornets idea of socialism thank you very much thank you very much for the invitation and really appreciated the colloquium the seminar workshop on the atmosphere so yeah so I'm going to speak on this idea of enact allottee of maxwell's the the impact of neoliberals modern society has been so radical et the treatise again brought the critique of capitalism to the center of the academic and also economic and political discussion and this was an issue that was actually put aside as I already so with the collapse of the Soviet system now greeted by many as the definite Triomphe of capitalism not only over real but also other ideas socialism and for more than a decade now voices criticizing the neoliberal doctrine in a decisive way have become increasingly stronger and stronger and this doctrine now free from the internal and the external constraints and opposition's Co determined by the geopolitical so that block did not take long to establish itself extensible and suffice to mention for example liberal economists such as Paul Krugman or any organism like Joseph Stiglitz in this critic and after a rather long silence discussion about marks and more generally the socialist alternative has resumed and Excel Hornets book the ideal socialist is part of this process a very discover also if honored says that he has a personal ground personal reason to write this book this book is exactly a part of this general revitalization revival of Marx studies or I think so I see how networks as a particularly valuable valuable book first of all because it brings back the issue of a systemic confrontation with Martha I know systemic as an under citizen without fear of highlighting is principal theoretical mistakes marks on tries in fact to explain and overcome some of these marks errors and I also agree with on it when he identifies these errors first of all in maths economics ISM as a perspective that is restricted to the sphere of politics and that has been combined with a deterministic flaws of history a vision probably we are going to speak also later on this topic a vision that has been so far sea-fight to use a proper own term by the history of the 20th century and furthermore I also agree with honuts perspective which aims to promote the imminent normativity of Marx critical capitalism however instead of dwelling on the positive side of an herb by Hornets concept of social freedom I find find more productive to keep working on the negative side of Marx critical capitalist comparing it with the actual historical development of capitalism mark the critic is in fact a critic that I think has been partially updated by the establishment of the neoliberal order even if it is an actualization that at the same time always as to deal with the systemic deficit of Marxist theory and in this respect in the present paper I will advance the tests that neoliberalism as actually cite some of marks theoretical mistakes in the sense that neoliberalism has made actual some of the more important problematic points of capitalism which Marx Creek critically I'd like it these are in fact so this points these critical points are posted the Keynesian economics of the 20th century have caused almost almost to disappear from society in a certain way and that in this point were centrally certainly not conduct not lead to the collapse of capitalism as Marx predicted furthermore in spite of the malaise and on justices determined by the establishment of the capitalist neoliberal order in recent years we have been witnessing a strengthening and an expansion of this political economical model I just considered Trump and right-wing populist I think that we could interpret this phenomenon as a sort of regressive spiral a regressive spire that involves the socio-economic political social and cultural normative dimensions and with regard to mask critic my cheese's is therefore that we are faced with systemic theoretical errors but also with the fact that some of these points have been actually actress it by current neoliberal regression and more closely and thinking about all of three main issues firstly there is a partial proletarianization of the middle class or at least a stagnation in middle and low incomes and if it is true that this technician causes discomfort here and oxytrees it is also true that this condition is very different from maths prediction of a dispossessed starving and hopeless proletariat secondly nearly burliest has caused an exponential increase in economic inequalities and the adoption of new forms of exploitation some even very brutal anyway on the other side in the Western world this process has not lead to the development of the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat predicted by Martha and Alice on the contrary the establishment of the neoliberal ease or neoliberal order as contributed to the formation of a dangerous reactionary and even new fascist political and cultural drift thirdly it is true that globalisation and relocation companies from rich countries to the developing world as favourite the 1 5 percent of the richest in the Western world in spite of the a stagnation in the incomes of the middle and lower class but this is the data economic data from Milan official Piketty or Stiglitz but it is also true that from this process the middle classes of developed developing countries have also taken advanced and their economies have been afire more generally therefore the political economic level the Marxist model of a class struggle between an imperialist bourgeoisie and a global priority reactor also seems to be falsified invalidated rather this struggle in western new liberalism could be interpreted interpreted in terms of a potential internal contraposition between the interests of an oligarchy of plutocrats against the interests of the middle and lower classes this is my proposal briefly we can say that the establishment of neoliberalism has continued to discredit Marxist predictions but nevertheless it has at the same time actual is it some of the youth issues elated by his critique of carbons critically issues that the previous Keynesian model seem to have partially solved or better mitigated and to explain this comprehensive process of discrediting and at the same time actually seeing a Max's theoretical framework in his critique of capitalism a historical point of view I will further describes three steps firstly I will try to put very quickly the decline of socialist ideals in their political historical context highlighting the importance of the collapse of the Soviet system just I will then concentrate on the current competent development and then establishment of nearly burliest focusing on the correlated socio-economic regressions caused by this organda was in the Western world only in the West world secondly I will focus on Marx's main theoretical errors therefore going back to Hornets criticism but also looking at the history of capitalism and turtley I will focus on the current political drift of right-wing populists we'll try to sketch touristical strategy for an emancipatory formal social critique just breathe just okay first won't first point neoliberal world let me start from the collapse of the Soviet system I would like to say immediately that's y at the end of the Soviet system as indeed given an extraordinary possibility to development of democracy and improvements in standard of living at a global level a promise that some extent has been caved however the end of the system has actually had some negative consequences in the Western world which in the long term have contributed contributed to the establishment of the social and cultural precondition for the rise of contemporary right-wing populists European and American political movements in particularly the under the soil system as a double I said a double negative effect albeit indirectly which can also be interpreted as one of the several causes of contemporary political aggressions firstly on the economic political level in particular in Western Europe this the end of the system is interactor lead to the establishment of a Germany of new liberal model this political movement has led to an incremental Aid and savage liberalisation including of the labor market which has gradually generated a progressive process of partial proletarianization of the middle class also because at the same time the welfare state has been partially demolished and the new liberal is Germany as at the same time determined a process of exponential growth in inequality it is this social economic irrigation secondly on the political cultural level the end of the system has been interpreted as the end of socialist hopes and aspirations and it has lead to a weakening of left-wing movements and political parties and then has contributed as contributed to this rise of new right-wing populists regressive solutions i mean political strategies and solutions that are not emancipatory on the contrary they do not challenge the rise of effective social inequalities and win justices and let me focus on socio-economic relation in political terms and this was my point before the end of the soil system has given a crucial support to the rise of neoliberalism already began with tension Reagan during the deities and before hanukkah's highlighted this point and obviously I agree the point is that the role of the end of the system has played in the process of establishment at a large scale of neoliberal not as a form obviously it does not began it is become with touch' Reagan but then at large scale it was a fundamental element and for example in Italy the end of the socialist communist party has depreciated by the end all services not only ill initially also in France so did why because the decline the decline of the Soviet world has been interpreted in an one-sided way not as Universal world not as a possibility of fraying the socialist model and its normative principles and ideals from the totalitarian Soviet framework but as the final victory of the capitalist model of the social model so to cool this is one sided interpretation of lead to the weakening of almost all parties and movements that in the West have been inspired by the socialist tradition bothered by this epoch our victory and the conservative political forces have in fact gradually established a capitalist capitalistic model more and more extreme increasingly neoliberal and ant kinesia and in other words what will as emerge Victory's is the extreme neoliberal idea according to which the market must be free from all state interference and the economic power of the states must be reduce it to a minimum this is nearly very not to be very many words this model has then been applied to an increasing extent also Europe the awakening of trade union forces and of left-wing parties which in the advanced capitalist countries have always supported and defended the interests of the lower middle classes that's in fact considered at the same time with the proportional reinforcement of the power of the economic financial elites as even a liberal economist such Krugman has written this diss elites have managed to define and support their own interests influencing them in an increasingly effective way both political institutions and public opinion briefing the collapse of the socialist alternative as contributed to the development and above all the strengthening of a new theory Germany of the neoliberal order in the Western world and such Germany has also shifted the focal point of the other a balance of political powers towards the right this means that while the conservative and Republican parties adopted a more and more neoliberal model the traditional left-wing parties incorporated increasingly more basic elements of the neoliberal program implementing some reforms that not even conservatives had succeeded in achieving like the Third's way of player and zone weak within this new balance of political forces in the Western world economic financial elites could therefore dictate or at least influence policy taken almost or the economic benefits and profits of the globalization processes and in this way exponentially increasing their wealth these elites were in fact supported by as yeah I was cool man singing la cite by beneficial tax regimes as well as by the progressive the construction of labor law which created a lot of flexibility which is because employment and new forms of exploitation and so on so more in this interaction there was the world unlike unlike in developing countries the richest 1% of the population is becoming more and more aged well they encounter of the lower middle class have stagnated since the eighties in summary despite economic growth no matter what the collapse of this system has determined a structural weakening of the forces of socialist inspiration and it has also contributed to the statement affirmation of nearly very German and so it has determined s ourselves regression regression compare both with the brutality of the Front's of labor exploitations and with the growth of in inequalities this condition of this class yeah so ok furthermore furthermore after the economic financial crisis of 2007-2008 criticism of neoliberalism is becoming our show and is being shared with within the cut academic community we could say yeah that this isn't my point that axel Holland's book could quote in this new revival of critic and after also this phenomena such job insecurity partial privatization growth of inequality could be interpreted than as a form of actualization of Marxist critic of capitalism nevertheless this enrichment of the Russia 1% ad expanse of the middle and lower class classes has not lead to a renewal of the clustered and not even to revival of left-wing forces but on the contrary this other part that yesterday we spoke already yesterday in the discussion on the contrary decreases seems to have reinforced movements which instead of being linked to the socialist socialist tradition a reactionary conservative xenophobic nationalistic and it is in it is precisely this point that leads us back to Hornets critique of Marxist theory so my second point this maxis errors the color of our Nets criticism concerning traditional and Maxima socialism is this economist is economies in the sense that the old socialist proponents only laterally privileged the economic sphere assuming it was at the art of society as a world and in this way they overlooked now this is horrid stages overlooked the other fundamental dimensions of society first of all the sphere of rights and politics and then dispel personal relationships therefore the social is ignored the process of the functional differentiation of contemporary societies honest critic let media more closely with this two series of criticisms first the criticism of economics ISM from the point of view of legal and political blindness Hornets shows that in the socialist tradition starting from Pradhan and mods there was the common argument that the new socialist economic order would make the political dimension of the democratic state governed by the rule of law in a certain way superfluous super like in the critic of Goethe program all the old functions of the state would be reabsorbed reabsorbed by the new sphere of socialist economic cooperation this belief Hornets ogress shows clearly how economics is made the socialist blame to the necessity of preserving the space of politics and impact Chikara the space of democracy and even mean if in the future a society with a socialist economy were to be constructed this would not mean that the dimension of political couldn't should be eliminated yeah highlighted also this point today yeah furthermore the traditional socialist idea of a planet economy governed in a centralized way so government from where ball is also affected by this deficit of the moments and there's a caricature and somatic away you know to describe the situation but I think that listen I think that the point is not so it's a correct point second point B along these lines Hornets also roommates that the same type of economist is induced the searchers to interpret me laterally the liberal rights won by the French Revolution blended by The Economist is the socialism at so in liberal rights almost almost only the legitimization of the capitalist market without taking account of their emancipatory force and yeah in the newton is not so easy but also there there is this idea of so prevailed decide the level of the legitimization of the capitalist market in this critic this is a double cereal of justified criticism that even if Hannes never says it it seems to me aims to take account indirectly also of the totalitarian dictator in nature of the socialist regimes of the 20th century this was another question so the second series of criticism are the traditional theory of solutions actually already justified and classical criticism concerns the role of the proletariat and the socialist deterministic philosopher historian Hannes remark that socialists and above all Marx ascribed to the industrial proletariat objective interests and desires on the bodies of the economic conditions just basically socialists us adopted an apathetic and not an empirical method this supposed interest thus provided basis for the argument that the proletariat would have necessarily revolutionized capitalism creating a strictly deterministic theory of history but this theoretical framework was then laid low by historical events socialist political theory was the stilt a photographer as harnessed this deterministic point of view prevented socialists from adopting an experimental approach to history but this is already a positive topical positives and in this proper in this paper I would like to focus on the negative side of the critical of capitalism and focusing on marks critical capitals we could say that the world diagnostic and prognostic economic and political theory was based on the assumption that development of capitalism should certainly have lead to a pro polarization of society between a very big and starving pretoria and a small and very rich class of capitalists and I am there are some a lot of passage that go in this direction from the earlier writings of Mark to be to the third book of chapter two so really I think that it's impossible to deny this this point a problem since these problems is today has been but falsified discredited in this is possibly most important economical political points of all during the twentieth century instead of a growing radical proletarianization of the bourgeois that is a big stabbing more mobile there has been a progressive Bo justification of the proletariat does Kagan Donna after all Marx and Angus did not have any magic wrestle bore the prognosis of the fall of the system of capitalist production was directly linked to the historical condition that they saw in front of their eyes above all the England of the middle of the 19th century it was historical context in which rising industrial capitalism had caused conditions that were actually really bad regarding the start of living of the new proletariat and also compared to the polarization between this new poor urban proletariat in the new rich upper class of capitalists and according to the economic data analyst analysed by authors like Robert Allen or Branko Milanovic in the first three or four decades of the 19th century the British material derivative fact utterly any advantages from the process of the development of industrial capitalism worse capitalists exponentially increase the profits furthermore there is this really interesting paper from Robert Alan angles pauza diseases and he shows exactly how they did the parameters the standard liberal president were really bad in the first half of 20th century furthermore inequality between the two class continued to grow until around 1875 approximately if therefore we reinterpret the theoretical economical framework proposed by Marx and angles I think first of all today extraordinary book the condition of working class in England this sociological political analysis of this terrible condition if we are interpret the theoretical economical framework in the light of this economic data it seems to me reasonable to assume that the two fathers of storica materialism identified correctly this economic tendency of a socialization between pretoria tembu jersey and then they follow it this macroeconomic tendency of the time and they considered it a basic dynamic of the capitalist system and they also project projected it into its future development in summary marxist assumption of a social polarization and contemporary power polarization of the proletariat has been not only disproved or falsified but actually overthrown but the capacity of production of the capitalist system and at the same time by the crucial role played by institutions in shaping the market and more in general intro of politics reducing the potentially dangerous drakes of this economic system and from this o point of view this reader is also there the the discussion in the world of institutions in economy justice on the other end on the other and the dimension of politics has played an equally important role in the development and Publishing of the neoliberal order there is the espera site we could also say that they say of the 20th century has shown that capitalism is more plastic towards the several forms of social politics and more powerful compared to the ability of capitals to produce words and to provide services and in this way to increase the collective well-being more than maths at imaginative we can here think to calling crouches analysis of the three decades of development after the Second World War more in general one of marks main errors concerns the fact that the two Matiz ation of the relation between economy and politics was articulated fundamentally on the concept or model of structure and superstructure a model that prevented Marx and I agree with with Hana from this point of view a mother that prevented marks from developing a more comprehensive conception of the several relationships between the dimension of economy politics and normativity I mean that I mean it's obviously that Marx and I guess it's done did it say that there is only a column it's it's obviously false but and it's obviously sophist to say that the economy as every power but there is a one side castle causal automatisation of these relationships and not not a faith I know I know that you are not agree but but I agree with with hunnit with this idea that the different theoretical framework gives not enough place to this relationships between the different spells on the methodological level so I think that we have to proceed to replace in there all the economist ease with a new dialectical vision of the of these relationships between at least economical political and normative but unlike unlike Hornet I think that this perspective should be able to reveal the crucial dimension of historical contingency and in this sense to be an alternative to the traditional teleological a Gillian theoretical framework I think that by in Hana see especially in freedoms right there is this idea of over teleology of history and here arts exactly now he uses this this expression Tilly lugia dick Stello loogie starting from here and I think that this group or your group was moving also in this direction to give more space to the contingency starting from here we can also proceed to atomization of the forms of social critique that could improve this contingency a critique that can show the whaling wish and the places in which social critics could take their positions and could then be intrusive a social and political placement that must be accompanied by the use of that eminent normativity that as long as as shown is also the basis of Marxist critic of capitalism and the working of this negative side instead of the positive side of social freedom I believe that we can find newer magnetical a vein is able to contribute to the elaboration of a critical some of the main processes of current neoliberal regression I'm thinking first of all of the return of thousands of savage exploitation of the economic malaise and new insecurities and fears of the lower middle class and even more in general of the worsening of social inequalities these are all these are all elements that can be included relatively speaking going beyond is theoretical one side view in the critic of capitalism set up at the time by Marx I think that we can work with maths at this level and I come to my final point Third Point the order to develop a form of emancipatory critique let me also comrade to this point the critic of neoliberalism is normative Constellation from the point of view of the culturally and psycho political dimension of current relations within the framework of neoliberal Germany new spiritual constellations which are aimed at justifying and legitimizing greater current inequalities and new forms of exploitation of lab have in fact gradually emerged and developed this is this is a multiple levels normative and function as well as constituting new forms and types of justification even highly articulated we can think for example of the doctrine doctrine or meritocracy and of individual responsibility or the ideology of creativity and more generally those processes that Luke Walton C&F capillo already described at the end of 90s in terms of a new spirit of capitalism these new spiritual constellations have contributed to the development of right-wing populist forces the fears and anxieties generated by social and economic insecurities as well as their anger in the face of broken promises and unfulfilled expectations and also the political disorientation resulting from the liberalists wing of the traditional socialist parties had found new interpretation and answers in the specific neoliberal political framework proposed by the right-wing populist parties and moments this new part is in fact in full accordance with the financial elites no mediated themselves as the real defenders of the interests of the lower middle classes they have branded immigrants and emerging countries like China as the principal enemies even if the richest 1% continue to increase their profits also thanks to the main power of these countries it is from these conditions that follow xenophobic an naturally scheme movement such as that of trapped for Allah Pan Savini a lot in the face of this situation on the side of political theory there are many others who are stressing that one of the main problems should be seen in the other coming of negative emotions right-wing problems would be supported by emotions like anger and fear emotions that are here considered as such I think that decision an error of perspective an error the problem does not concern fear anger considered as such this emotion so pollution zone could have in fact an emancipatory rule if they were to support different normative visions and conceptions after all in the course of history these emotions have actually brought about movements forces and emancipatory struggles count times in Tourette occur turns we can't think for example of axel Hannes thematize ation of the fundamental political and above all moral role of negative emotional reactions to experiences of disrespect miss actin self Argan and the most the emotional reactions to these experiences an approach linked to that issue of edward thompson who plays the angry english riots in the heightened 18th century within the general frame of moral economy emotional trials coming back to the issue at hand i think that current political regression is also generated by the spiritual constellation called the termite by neoliberal germany emotions like fear anxiety resentment and anger are experiencing reading a general political vision that aims to build enemies internal or external against which to channel these emotions or if we want to use a second a little concept this dries yesterday gotta put a question on to two hundred and i thought to france know i'm an article on some political film politics and Hannes wrote a really interesting forward to this to this essay to to build a bridge between the two layers of psychoanalytical analysis and political dimensions it seems to be there for a political vision that is stead of this this just no progress in this population it seemed to be there for a political vision that instead of promoting a struggle for a rebalancing of income and wealth and also to invert socio-economic is to preserve and maintain these inequalities and I think it is that this is one certainly not the only one of the trends that contribute to triggering those political economic and political cultural regressive spirals that we face today now facing these regressive dynamics I would like to try to sketch some points briefly of a theoretical strategy to develop a form of emancipatory critique of dislocations firstly I think that's an incisive social criticism as to start from a position that has to be sympathetic to the suffering of the majority of the population obviously it does not mean that we have to share the right-wing publish analysis and solutions on the contrary it means that we have to give a different interpretation of these causes of social suffering I don't know if you are used to to adopt this concept of engagement social engagement yes and that we have to try to provide other political solutions to it in other words a critical theoretical activity cannot be limited to complaining about contemporary mass regressive reaction to globalization and so on this activity is to critique this regression trying to defend in an emancipatory way the interests and aspirations of the middle lower classes and fighting at the same time against the greater inequality sports at the national level that is between different social classes and at the global level it is between different countries secondly this critique of inequalities and justices can also be developed in relation to the historical socialist tradition because this tradition is certainly is still important on several levels in leveling a critique of deliveries from a normative point of view from an economic point of view and from a strictly strictly political and in order to develop this general strategy against actual aggressions it says nevertheless necessary to make very clear the many deficits and problems both of the historically socialist countries and of social thinking and in this sense this sense we have to challenge the one said interpretation of the in and of the solid system as yeah the sign of the final victory of the most radical neoliberal capitalism it is an ended in fact as giving us the opportunity to rethink and apply in a totally different way some of the main socialist normative principles and ideas and I think that this normative level we could start to develop theoretical and political strategy to overcome both they are Randall's legacy of the totalitarian service system and its historical reverse side so they're aggressively impact of neoliberalism it also means that it more precisely philosophical and normative terms it is fundamental to abandon classical traditional Max's concepts such as fast consciousness or objective interests as assumptions that are expressions of Objectivism and essentially asthma and that should be fully replaced by now by an approach focus it on a wide-ranging problematization of cultural and existential social historical faults in other words a critic of ideology must not be understood as only an other turning or overt raw or moral principles which would have a single objective and predator mind meaning that would be be tried the principles of equality and freedom are themselves objects of various interpretation as Michael Walzer highlighted in his approach to internal and imminent critic also through his interpretation of Graham she's critical ideology say the other two we have to interpret these normative principles and this was what so Mike reticular today – hummus was why well why if we use only one normative principle so well we have to think that there is only enormity call such as what only one what why only social freedom well we also when we think that much the normative their humanity critic of ideology used by Maxwell's link to the principle French Revolution there were three at least principle the verticality factor is not not not only one but freedom and equality there are four have various cultural social and political meanings these meanings are not unique and unequivocal but they are historically determined from time to time through far-reaching dynamics and struggles never predefined or press specified and this principle stances are those objects of a cultural struggle that can also be conceived as a struggle for a general and Marxist idea of a yellow region of a necessary and dialectical overcoming of social contradictions to a creditor mind and press tablished and of history is therefore set aside and it is in take into account this characteristic of normative principles which are themselves subject to interpretation a reciprocal conflict that those elements of social criticism which are not reportable only to the question of the imminent or fashion foundation of critical standard become crucial the question from this point of view the question of the positioning of the social critique within the framework of various normative interpretations that support reflect directly alliances and antagonism between diverse and potentially or actually already opposed social groups and classes now appears equally important only through an internal conception of this kind so as at the same time to preserve the character of reflexivity of critical active I believe can we offer a model that could perhaps L to trigger transformative social dynamics to the overcoming of social problems and vocations giving to these various processes one specific direction and not another direction and they're going to conclude for us it is precisely this kind of critique where their analysis of an imminent normativity always takes into account cultural systems and dynamics into power relations that determine specific demonic circumstances that can offer us one of the most promising possibilities to update and relaunch max's purpose of an dakota much later to our notion of lining our criticism with the criticism of politics from taking sides in politics that is from entering into real struggles and identifying ourselves with thank you very much [Applause]

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