It’s been a while since I read such a thorough and thoughtful critique of current political and social predicament. Unfortunately, it’s in Russian. But I will translate an especially poignant paragraph:
The peculiarity of our current historical fragment is that democracy equates itself with free market; today, democracy is dependent on competitive triumph of the strong over the weak. Democracy declares victory of success over failure as its achievement. Competition per se is not the problem: every participant, however strong, has a chance to win. But what makes these particular triumphs different, from, let’s say, the triumphs of Pericles, is that a society doesn’t win from the victories of the strong. The subject of Pericles’ democracy or Jeffersonian democracy was society, and not some particular outcome of a competition. Today’s society – is a stage for a free market; people are spectators at best, but rather a hindrance to the competition. In theory, democracy does not allow for the triumph of the strong over the weak: such triumph happens in the course of a competition; it is moderated by the rights of other citizens – the strong is dependent on society where he shares the responsibilities of citizenship. But the hybrid of the last decades – “democracy – free market” – cements the victory over the weak as something permanent, creates a caste of “super citizens”, the strongest players, citizens of global market – but not citizens of a particular society. The successful are automatically becoming powerful political force; and not in any given stand-alone country – since the market is not subject to boundaries. Banks’ CEOs, heads of corporations, owners of natural resources companies do not represent society; they don’t even represent their own capital – they represent the new formation, new democratic nomenclature.
I’ll file it under “deep thoughts”. For my Russian readers – a great long weekend read. Maybe I’ll translate more later. This needs to get bigger circulation.