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3. Still the narrative: the State hypothesis
«We live in a world of unprecedented wealth, but also of extraordinary deprivation and oppression. The development consists of the removal of freedom deprivations that limit the choices and opportunities for people to judiciously exercise their citizen condition»
Amartya Sen went to Portugal in March 2011. While she was granted the honorary distinction of the University of Coimbra, Professor Teresa Carla Oliveira recalled the importance of the reflections of the Economics Nobel (1998) «in a period in which the hegemonic neo-Hobbesians are the global markets, rather than the governments or the sovereign policies.»
According to the French philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky (Métamorphoses de la Culture Libérale, 2002) the postmodern society is characterized by public disinvestment. We all aspire to have less State government — to have a larger economical freedom, of course — but at the same time, we need more State to regulate capital flows and to prevent disasters. This principle — the ‘governed society’ within the sense of Lyotard — is what characterizes the social welfare or «the set of initiative actions of the public authorities and society, destined to ensure the right to health, welfare and social assistance» (Fábio Zambitte Ibrahim, Social Security law Course, 2010).
And, finally, a State without welfare is also a soulless State; how should we still aspire to a democracy that still presents itself as «the practical ability of each individual to achieve the goals that he values»? (Amartya Sen). Let us remember: freedom is «the distinctive character that show that our way of life it is not imposed onto us by others» (Georg Simmel).
Man’s challenge is to proceed his narrative (his “historical process” in the words of Condorcet and also Arendt), to reconcile what belongs to all with what should belong to each one.
capitalism is good for State funding
To be a capitalist, yes, but what dignity does capitalism have that crosses continents under the impotence (or indifference) of the States, negating citizenship? Capitalism doesn’t pay for the natural disasters.
marxism is good for the distribution of wealth amongst the workers
To be a Marxist, so what? If the market is the organizing principle of a capitalist society, was Marx guilty if amongst workers some individuals were driven by the same petty desire to accumulate wealth, to monopoly capital?
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) defines man as sort of a predator of himself (“hominis lupus hominis”, The Leviathan, 1651: man is a wolf to man). Hobbes argues for a central idea of the State, completely identical to the current totalitarian market dynamic. In summary, in the transposition to mass democracies, governments would tend to favour large private interests over public interests.
war generates war as money generates money
The struggle for survival in the human narrative cannot be confused with the instinct of the Hobbesian beast (modern terrorism), but rather as an ongoing challenge to elevate moral.
Modernism or postmodernism, capitalism or Marxism aren´t scary in their essences, what is frightening is the lack of scruples, the usury and envy, the corruption and the crisis in justice, the contempt for education, the gratuitous violence, the voyeurism and barbarism that have always accompanied man in its historical process.
Condorcet (Marquis de Condorcet, Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain – Sketch for a Historical Picture of the progress of the human spirit –, 1795) relied on the ability of man to infinitely perfect himself. Like Arendt so did Touraine, Lyotard, Popper, Weber, Adorno, Horkheimer, Steiner, Descartes, Lipovetsky, Sebastien Charles, Habermas, Amartya Sen, Georg Simmel, Marx...
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