Agreeing with the existence of a systemic crisis as a state of the modern world, it should be recognized that some scientists believe that human society is now undergoing a civilizational revolution, passing through a kind of rite of passage:
Two universal processes are developing in the world: globalization and individuation, accompanied by the transformation of subjects, objects, situations, the development of technical and technological tools, mutations of political and other institutions (NEKLESSA ALEKSANDR. 2019).
The accentuation of the universal process of individuation is a consequence and manifestation of the crisis of liberal humanism while underestimating the structure of human society and overestimating the role of an individual in the civilization process.
Conceiving in general the ethnogenetic processes in Europe, it can be argued that, compared with other continents, they had a more complex character. For millennia, waves of immigrants of different ethnic origin rolled through Europe, leaving their contribution to the process of integrating elements of different cultures into the common European civilization as a supercultural phenomenon. The experience of distinct cultures, representatives of which are not so much individuals as national communities, includes two large categories – the experience gained and the experience inherited. At the same time, the experience gained, spreading in a certain region, forms the basis of regional civilization, and the most significant achievements, which simplify existential problems, are assimilated throughout the world and form an earthly civilization. The formation of Earth civilization is complicated by the process of globalization, which greatly narrows creative initiative, hinders the manifestations of original thinking, and limits the search for new ways in science, culture, and technology. Influence on world civilization is mainly provided by individuals as representatives of distinct cultures, while national communities maintain and develop the connection of elements of their own culture. In contrast to the experience gained, the experience inherited can be the basis for new creative searches and at the same time provide those searches with originality of methods and ways. However, it cannot be ruled out that in the inherited experience of individual peoples there can be unpromising achievements therefore it is in their interest to get rid of such experience, assimilating the achievements of other cultures.
Positive achievements of accumulated experience are inherited, if not genetically, then by mechanisms of evolutionary psychology. The recognition of this fact is not only theoretical, but also of practical importance for modern international relations, the peaceful nature of which is hampered by ideological faults, especially between the Christian and Muslim worlds. Some peoples of the world have developed an inferiority complex and they are looking for their own greatness in the mythical past, and such attempts naturally cause skepticism, which only increases alienation between nations and activates unhealthy ambitions.
The search for greatness in the past is caused by a heightened sense of national dignity. This generally positive quality is understood too simply and superficially. In his conclusions, a person must certainly pay attention to the reasons that push his thoughts in one direction or another. The greatest benefit to each people is brought by people who are guided in their life by the voice of conscience as the voice of God. By doing so, they are more conducive to its progress than by fiction and the spread of fantasies about its past greatness. All world history convinces that during the existence of mankind cultural leadership passed from one people to another and each of them has its own chance in the future.
The development of modern geopolitics in the direction of global hegemony causes the growing concern of many philosophers of the world, expressed, in particular, in the solid collective work of recent times (DEMENCHONOK EDWARD, DALLMAR FRED, 2017). Reviewers rate this book with these words:
… this is a book-manifesto, a book-application, a book – a call for the joint development of an intercultural and inter-civilizational concept of an alternative world order. It is important that this program work be continued. The problems are formulated, the tasks are set, and then it is necessary to find out who will be the political subject of solving these problems and who will prevent to overcome the global disorder, and how to practically begin to fulfill the covenant of Leo Tolstoy from “War and Peace”, which means that if people are vicious and connected with each other and constitute power, then honest people only need to do the same. It's so easy”. (GLINCHIKOVA A.G., VERETEVSKAYA A.V., 2019: 142).
The book provides an analysis of the problems generated by the global crisis and suggests various ways out of it. It is noteworthy that in the preface to this book it is noted that in the twenty-first century "individual freedom is threatened in many ways, along with escalating social and global problems" (DEMENCHONOK EDWARD, 2019; xi). However, there is no question of counterbalancing individual freedom by certain individual duties in this book. Similarly, the authors do not consider cases of “dispassionate, scientized, assembly-line violence” as an unperceived counterbalance of excess liberal humanism. The solution to the problem of growing violence is seen in the emergence of new "global heroes of non-violence" like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, which will lead the movement of broad masses to "re-humanization" (DALLMAYR FRED, 2019: 7-8; NANDY ASHIS, 2019: 67-68), that is to aggravate the problem. In general, a certain concept, which would unite almost two dozen articles of the book, does not get through, except for the call for courage to hope made in the sub-title of the book.
The Lord God creating the earthly civilization laid down in its basis principles of structuring and polymorphism, and man cannot ignore them. The principle of structuring is of a comprehensive nature and liberal humanism must obey it too. While legitimate social classes, which provided the structuring (socialization) of society, esisted, humanistic ideas remained at the level formed by the Indo-Europeans in prehistoric times and were limited.This was enough for the dynamic development of European countries. The necessary polyphony in the forms of social consciousness in Europe was ensured by its multinationality. When democratic forms began to spread not only to the political system, but also to the spiritual life, and public consciousness fell under the pressure of globalization, Europe entered a period of protracted systemic crisis, one of the manifestations of which was the de-socialization of society. In connection with all this, the question arises whether democracy really best meets the task of organizing a society with the greatest benefit for a person. Proponents of democracy like to repeat: "Yes, democracy as a form of government is imperfect, but humanity has not yet come up with anything else." Is it so?
Throughout the history of mankind all forms of government can be divided into three groups – the board of one person, groups of individuals, and the board of the majority. Closer to our time, forms of government generally develop from authoritarian to democratic. However, carefully considering the power structure of the states of the past and the present, we can conclude that there has always been a combination of democratic and authoritarian forms of government, and where this conjunction was more harmonious, the states achieved the greatest success. The ancient Greek philosopher Stoic Panetius (180 BC – 110 BC) even considered the combination of monarchical, aristocratic and democratic elements to be ideal (RUSSELL BERTRAND. 1995: 237). Let us recall the history of ancient Rome. The interaction of the democratic and autocratic components of power in Rome had good results, and Roman achievements were later used by medieval Europe in state and military construction, the development of a theory of law, etc.
At present, in Europe, a further simplification of the structure of society grows in the direction of increasing its monotony increases. At the lowest level of the structure are the broad masses. Overestimating the possibilities of democracy and trying to democratize all spheres of human activity, intellectuals try to attract the masses to an active social life, but they fail to:
Endless moralizing calls for informing: to guarantee a high degree of awareness of the masses, to provide them with full socialization, to raise their cultural level, etc. – are dictated solely by the logic of the production of sanity. However these appeals have no sense – rational communication and the masses are incompatible. Sense is given to the masses but they crave spectacle (BAUDRILLARD JEAN. 2000: 15).
At the same time, political scientists and philosophers, traditionally considering democratization to be progress, are now to a large extent caught aback by the fact that democracy does not work in many of post-communist countries. All this makes many doubt the universality of democratic forms of government, especially clearly such sentiments are manifested in Russia:
In Russian ruling circles, the thesis is now fashionable that democracy in the West is just a game, behind which lies the power of money, the military-industrial complex, special services, etc. Indeed, in no country in the world there is democracy in the sense in which it was understood in ancient Athens, namely: "democracy". Elites rule everywhere, who usually legitimize their power through elections. At the same time, in democracies, elections, by virtue of what happens during their present, and not imitative, competition, make democracy both a game and reality. One of the main reasons for the current crisis of democracy in the West is precisely because there are more games and fewer realities. (CHERNEGA B.N. 2019: 32).
At the same time, the crisis passed China, which is currently developing very dynamically. Applying the principle of structured humanism, the Chinese leadership administratively carries out what is achieved in the West by the methods of democracy – the regular change of ruling teams, the fight against corruption and social inequality. Such a balanced policy, at the given availability of cheap labor and a large-scale domestic market, China has secured superfast economic growth and has come close to the nominal leader of the world economy, which the United States still remains. Using "soft power", also formed on the principles of Confucianism, China is turning into a global superpower, which becomes an example for the peoples of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania. The success of China in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 is also undoubted.
If we take this situation into account, then we must agree with Chung-Ying Cheng that Confucianism is "a resource for the development of a renewed world system" (CHUNG-YING CHENG. 2019: 36). However, his understanding of the goal of civilization as the achievement of human well-being seems too mundane and near-minded. Well-being itself can help achieve the goal as a prerequisite or an enhanced opportunity. A man can comprehend the mystery of the goal of creating the world by God only by perfecting himself and choosing the most successful examples of behavior for this, one of which, indeed, can be affirmed by the principles of Confucianism in the understanding of Chung-Ying Cheng:
Confucianism is a philosophy based on empirical observation and a reflective understanding of humanity or what a person is. It all started with a modest observation of how things and people change and move. This observation experience awakens a person to reflect on his own identity, so that he can change his behavior and affirm the autonomy of the human will, based on human feelings and human understanding. Therefore, Confucianism is the discovery of humanity from himself to others and from others to himself. In this discovery of his own “I”, a person establishes his identity and begins to feel others in relation to their identities, which should be discovered by their own “I”. He reveals the human goal of finding good and the human potential for this (ibid: 39).
As we see from the definition, when organizing the life and activity of human society, the role of God is absent in Confucianism, while it should be based on ethical standards developed by individuals in the process of self-knowledge. Perhaps such people hear the voice of God and understand it in their own way, but in principle, God speaks to each person with a voice of conscience and he should be guided by it. This is the difference between Confucianism and many modern religions, which form their own ethical standards.
Nevertheless, there is a rational kernel in Confucianism. The democratization of society must have certain boundaries, and humanization must be precisely structured. In principle, in each state there are in different proportions both democratic and authoritarian elements of a political system. Finding the regimentum mixtum appropriate for each nation is evidence of great wisdom, and copying standard templates, once contributed to the success of other nations, will indicate the absence in the country of sensible persons.
It is not easy for a person to part with traditional views and habits, he is characterized by inertia of thoughts and behavior. In order for radical changes in human society to occur, recognized and influential authorities must reinterpret the world around him and the person in it, departing from the mechanistic notions about them that formed in the previous historical era.
Under current conditions in world politics, people of a new category should play a more influential role, but not such, imagined E. Fromm. In his opinion, these people should abandon all forms of possession, gain self-confidence based on the inner need for affection, love, unity with the world, feel the joy gained from serving people, free themselves from illusions and further in the same spirit [FROMM ERICH. 2010: 182-183]. In general, in his view, people of the new category should learn to fully to be, that is, to enjoy life. But it’s not for this that the Lord God created man, although one can only guess at the purpose of his creation. Since man has changed significantly during his existence, it can be assumed that the process of creation continues. At the same time, obviously, the creation and improvement of man must fit into the whole process of creation of the Universe, and at a certain stage of his development he must fulfill some Divine task on Earth within the framework of this process. And this task should be more serious than just being in joy and love. Probably, joy and love, being positive qualities of life, should ensure successful constructive activity of people in accordance with their potential. The history of mankind is a joint act of the creation of God and Man, and this concept is nothing new, but it requires concretization, as Arnold Toynbee did in his time:
Episodic and ephemeral human participation in earthly history is redeemed when he gets the opportunity to play his role on Earth as a willing helper of God, whose authority over everything gives Divine weight and significance to insignificant and pitiful human effort without it (TOYNBEE ARNOLD J. 1995: 108).
But in order to become the “willing assistant”, it is necessary to understand the ideas of God, according to which He created this world, to realize exactly what He did and what Man did and analyze whether any actions of Man contradict the act of God. According to Saint Augustine (354-430), each person finds evidence of the existence of God in his own soul, but nowadays it is not enough to prove the existence of God to yourself, it is necessary to understand the "logic" of His creation. The prehistory of humanity, when man himself played an insignificant role, allows it to be done, but it still needs to be known in general ways. And this should be the first priority of the people of the new category, whose activities will be aimed at overcoming the crisis of liberal humanism. Instead of a passive desire to be in a fundamentally new society, they should have an active desire to have it. Such people cannot be very numerous, especially since they have to give up some dubious joys of life, but having joy and at the same time the duty in serving God and people in accordance with with the traditional ethical values, which provide for respect for elders, teachers, and parents, what is impossible without realizing by men their place in the hierarchical structure "family – community – region – country – nation".
Liberal humanism found its natural reflection in liberal democracy, that is, in the political system now dominant in the West, which provides not only free general elections, but also the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of speech, assembly, religion, ownership of property. However, in some countries of Central Asia, free elections brought dictatorship to power, in the Balkans they exacerbated inter-ethnic conflicts, while under authoritarian rule there remained tolerance. In Arab countries, there is a danger of choosing even more reactionary than previous regimes. (ZAKARIA FAREED, 2004, 6).
Thus, it turned out that liberal democracy can lead to the opposite of the intended outcome. This was already evident in the example of most African countries, where its imposition led to rower dictatorial regimes.
Liberalism is based on the direction in the philosophy of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, which emphasizes the importance of personal freedom (ibid, 8). However the Greeks and Romans could understand freedom differently than the philosophers of our time. Here is one of the modern definitions:
The fundamental sense of freedom is freedom from chains, from imprisonment, from enslavement, by others. The rest is an extension of this sense, or else metaphor. To strive to be free id to seek to remove obstacles, to struggle for personal freedom, is to seek to curb interference, exploitation, enslavment by men whose ends are theirs, not one's own. The freedom, at least in political sense, is co-terminous with the absence of bullying or domination (BERLIN ISAIAH, 1994, 52)
Philosophers try to describe the phenomenon of the concept of freedom, but its essence escapes from their reasoning as soon as it comes to positive and negative liberty. This is because a person is never free. Even if he is free from the chains, the imprisonment, the enslavement and other external restraints of his actions, he still remains a prisoner of an internal deterrent in his conscience. Constitutional liberalism, in the words of Zakaria, places the rule by law at the center of political life, while the rule of law must be exercised. However, a person has not only the rights received at his birth, but also the duties dictated by his conscience, also obtained at birth from God. And if his rights are secured by laws, then duties must also be regulated by any of the forms of public life.
Throughout the history of mankind, religion has been such a form, and Christianity has especially consistently maintained that the obligation of man to God is more important than the obligation to the state. However, in recent centuries, Christianity is increasingly losing its influence on social processes. This is the main cause of the crisis of liberal humanism.
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