The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy, Takis Fotopoulos (2005)
This book, which constitutes in effect a restatement (in more than one senses) of Towards an Inclusive Democracy, has been specially written for the French public. Although the book, after its first publication in English, has already been published in Italian, Greek, German and soon in Spanish, still, its French edition is of particular importance for the project of Inclusive Democracy. This is because the autonomy/democratic tradition, to which this project hopes to contribute, has always been particularly strong in France, both in theory and in practice.
Today, after the collapse of socialist statism, either in the form of “actually existing socialism” in the East or in the form of social democracy in the West, there is a historic opportunity for the regeneration of this tradition. Particularly so, when it is now obvious that the “social Europe”, which is supposedly created by the take over of power by centre-Left governments ―with the help of the Green parties which abandoned any liberatory pretence― is singularly inappropriate to reverse the present huge concentration of power, which is the cause of the present crisis. This concentration, in turn, is the inevitable outcome of the separation of society from polity and the economy that was institutioned all over the world in the last few centuries, through the installation of representative “democracy” and the market economy respectively. In fact, within the present internationalised market economy, no controls to protect society and nature effectively from the workings of the market, not even the type of controls introduced by socialdemocratic governments in the past, are feasible anymore. At the same time, neoliberal globalisation itself is irreversible, since it represents the inevitable outcome of the market economy’s grow-or-die dynamics.
However, a regeneration of the democratic tradition today is incompatible with the postmodern abandonment of any universalist political project for the sake of a pseudo-pluralistic celebration of “difference” and “identity”, which however takes for granted representative “democracy” and the market economy, i.e. the present universal institutions for the concentration of political and economic power. At the beginning of a new millennium, the need to formulate a new liberatory project for today’s reality and consequently the need for a new “antisystemic” movement aiming at establishing the institutional preconditions for an inclusive democracy, is imperative. Therefore, the project for an Inclusive Democracy is proposed not just as another libertarian utopia but, in effect, as perhaps the only realistic way out of the multidimensional crisis, in an effort to integrate society with polity, the economy, and Nature.
This book has one aim and one ambition. The aim is to show that the way out of the present multi-dimensional crisis can only be found from without rather than from within the present institutional framework. The ambition is to initiate a discussion concerning the need for a new liberatory project and the strategies for implementing it.