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Jacques Bidet ; profesor emeritus Sveučilište Paris X-Nanterre, Paris, Francuska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 132 Kb

str. 11-27

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The first part of the article gives a summary account of the basic concepts of
general or meta/structural theory of modern society: metastructure, structure,
system. In a critical confrontation with Marx and Habermas, the author starts
by explaining his main theoretical innovation – the concept of metastructure,
as the most general supposition and a trait of the modern epoch in which the
official watchword of liberty-equality-rationality vaguely and gradually comes
to the fore: it is the watchword of public sociability which is, in the final instance,
determined by the norms of the common word, in which all participate as equals.
This discursive immediacy necessarily becomes manifest through
a double mediation: of economic understanding (market/organisation) and of
legal-political reason (interindividual and central contractuality). In that sense,
metastructure is the set supposition for the modern class structure; it is not its
basis, but its referential fiction. However, it inevitably turns into its opposite
– into exploitation, domination, alienation – in the society which calls itself
‘capitalist’. The structure of such a society reveals a double bipolarity, a division
into a ruling class and a ruled class, but also a division within the ruling
class itself into the market pole as the first class factor (proprietors) and the
pole of organisation as the second class factor (managers and ones who are
competent). The subordinated class is no mere multitude of passive “ruled
ones”. It is the “fundamental class” as a positive political actor. As opposed to
class structure, which necessarily exists in a state-nation, it is characteristic of
the world-system that it constantly impairs the metastructural supposition, distorting
the modernness of the state-nation: the barbarism of centres in relation
to peripheries is immanent to the centres themselves. The inevitable result of
this historical tendency is the world-state. It abolishes neither the state-nations
nor the world-system, and it is already appearing on the horizon as the final
geopolitical realization of this social logic of modernity.
In the second part of the article, the author briefly shows how the metastructural
hypothesis is developed in his more recent and concrete research into the
areas of history (the emergence of the modern form of society starting from
the 13th-century Cities-states in Italy), sociology and politics (relation between
social classes and political parties), and culture (general theory of ideologies).
These analyses show that structure is key to the world-system, and not vice
versa, in the sense where the whole would explain the part: the system (statenation)
can be adequately understood only from the starting point of (class)
structure. Since the capitalist totality cannot be metastructurally organised in
one go, it could not emerge as a space which is brought together, like an empire,
by one institutionally unified will, but only as a plural whole, a systemic
plurality of state-nations.

Ključne riječi

modernity; metastructure; structure (class); state-nation; world- -system; world-state; Marx; Habermas

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