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Ana Bazac


The aims of this ethical work are two-fold: to focus on an essential concept for the understanding of man, dignity, and to analyse “the really existing socialism” and the period following the collapse of this socialism from the standpoint of this concept.

Indeed, in the European culture the idea of dignity – moreover as well as that of human person – has appeared later enough, in the framework of the struggle of the in statu nascendi bourgeoisie against its political subordination. And, just for the problem was this political subordination, the solution could not be but political, the idea of political rights.

At a theoretical level, the modern thinking has exalted the active side of the man as the proof of his dignity, because only through the contemplative reason the representative of modernity could not attain the consideration and recognition of the other men: activism and the free will (these two being inter-related) were the pillars of the modern image of the human dignity.

As long as the moral philosophy glosses inwards the pattern of political rights which enclose the liberty and the deeds of man, it could accept the concept of dignity, this one moving, at its turn, inward the above-mentioned pattern. But when the real life pushes to transcend this framework, the traditions of the European moral philosophy have to be enriched.

So, what is dignity? It is the conviction of a person about the esteem and recognition other persons share about him/her. Obviously, society, i.e. the other persons could speak about the dignity/indignity of a certain person, thus about a moral characteristic of this one, as well as they could give dignities to him, but dignity is especially the inner feeling of a human person concerning his/her position in a concrete social environment. This feeling, generating the self-esteem and the ability and determination of an individual to continue to struggle decently with the life, is thus not only a stimulus for the person and for society, but it also corresponds to the social relations and positions people have in these relations. If so, dignity is not only a subjective feeling, but the characteristic of the social positions people have and are considered in a certain society.

By discussing this objective aspect of the concept of dignity, the paper emphasises the opposite of dignity, the social subordination and its historical types, and the historical criteria of dignity. If in front of the political subordination the solution is the development of political rights – a criterion of dignity being just the level these rights attain –, there is another type of subordination, the economical one, which in the pre-modern era is covered by the direct political subordination. In capitalism, the economic subordination is unveiled, since people have political rights, but just for the direct subordination is missing the economic subordination seems to be an objective and eternal force. It seems so because the economic subordination consists in positions towards the capitalist private ownership.

If in the pre-modern era the human dignity has depended on the position occupied inside the relationships of direct subordination, in capitalism dignity depends on the position occupied inside the relationships of exploitation, thus of private property.

From this standpoint, even though the USSR and, generally, the “really existing socialism”, was only an attempt of socialism that could not be socialism as such because of the lack of objective conditions worldwide (and not only in these rather peripheral countries), thus because of the inherent bureaucratic leadership (which led to the “deformation” we know) and because of the situation of “socialism in a country” that, as we see, could not be exceeded, thus with of all of these aspects and despite them some relations and structuring values of the 20th century socialism have generated the tendency to surpass the fundamental, capitalist, lack of dignity.

The paper arguments this point of view: at the same time refusing any dogmatic prejudices. Consequently, the post-Soviet era proves it returns to the stage of a fundamental indignity of those who have not private property and thus do not control the means of their existence and of the existence of society. Thus the problem of dignity is no more a speculative preoccupation of an abstract moral discourse.

Starting from the etymology

The person is the concrete expectation and prospect of the human being: the man whose features of personality point out through his free manifestation. The person is a specific person, and only from this concreteness do we conceive the concept of person and personhood.

When we are worrying about the worth of man, i. e. the manner a common fellow/a certain person is treated by his/her fellow creatures, we think first of all to his/her dignity that would be menaced by some inimical circumstances so that other people could no more consider his/her esteem and merit. Just as the humankind is revealed trough the real facts, thoughts and lives of the specific persons forming this species, the real dignity of a person – namely his/her merit, appreciation, due he/she deserves – is the result of the consideration of the other persons.

At a theoretical level, the modern thinking has exalted the active side of the man as the proof of his dignity[1], because only through the contemplative reason the representative of modernity could not attain the consideration and recognition of the other men: activism and the free will (these two being inter-related) were the pillars of the modern image of the human dignity.

But in vain have philosophers emphasized that the man is a creature who freely shapes his nature and evolution and that his “spiritual intelligence” is that which is able to decide and to generate “all possibilities”[2]. Thus vainly have they suggested that the human characteristic and the human reason would be “the most evenly distributed thing in the world”[3]: in fact, although the will and choice in order to attain self-esteem and human self-realisation belong to the individual, they belong in specific social and historical circumstances where the consideration of the others – that even that individual and those persons ought to have real opportunities to show their ability to decide in a human manner and to develop their possibilities – is crucial.

If this consideration is missing and if the opportunities are substituted with lack of human conditions and future, people are far from the situation to demonstrate their human dignity. And if they are not dignified, if others do no more consider them as worthy of representing the human dignity, they become indignant at this condition: in Latin, in + dignatio means just the opposite situation to dignity and the conscience of the situation where the others do no more treat a person with respect for his/her humanity, but treat him/her indigne – unjustly, with cruelty, shamefully.

Therefore, indignation – and we are facing nowadays waves of worldwide indignation against the disregard of the right to be considered as unique human person – is the natural, but human answer to the lack of dignity. Indignation is related to the human person, not to the abstract man. But, just for the worth of the human person is jolted, the worth of man as such is jolted.

Struggling for dignity

The modern concept of dignity has appeared in the European culture with the constitution of modernity. It was related to the entire conception about history: while the medieval ideology has determined the course of time by the exploits of princes, the common people being objects of the political persuasion as well as simple instruments in order to realise the will of the decision-makers (Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513, 1532), the new blast of time become to move the light on the ordinary people. The Christian theological root has not to be neglected, because of the idea of universality it contains: but, although it is about every man, this one sits in front of God, the criterion to judge his worth is his adoration of God, all his deeds being subordinated to this adoration.

Before, Aristotle had spoke about the honours a virtuous man deserves from “the good men”[4], virtuous fellows of the same social stratum. Thus, even though the man as such was constituted in the same way, from body and soul, just the difference between potentiality and real action, between natural faculties and real human movements and actions[5] discriminates between men. Either because some ones cannot master their own feelings “like a slave”[6], or because it is necessary for the management of a household[7], rather both, the idea of treating people in a universal way was not an ancient acquisition.

But, in front of the despotic leadership of the kings the feudal barons have pressed to share the power of ruling (Magna Carta, 1215) and, at the same time, to reduce the arbitrariness of the law. And later on, the bourgeois have fought against the political domination of the aristocracy, demanding political rights for their spirit of entrepreneurship.

How was this fight motivated? Through the bourgeois translation of the Christian universality: within the illusion that, as Marx has observed, the ends and Weltanschauung of the bourgeoisie would be those of the entire nation, the private owner became the model of “man” who had to become freed from any political restriction of his power.

Indeed, “The power of a man, to take it universally, is his present means to obtain some future apparent good”; every man has his faculties to realise this “natural power”; “Honourable is whatsoever possession, action, or quality is an argument and sign of power”; “Dominion and victory is honourable because acquired by power”; “Good fortune, if lasting, honourable” and “Riches are honourable, for they are power”; “Nor does it alter the case of honour whether an action (so it be great and difficult, and consequently a sign of much power) be just or unjust: for honour consisteth only in the opinion of power” [8].

In this mentality, it’s no wonder that the human dignity of a certain person, as the esteem given by the others, is “the price” given by them “for the use of his power”[9].

Pico has right when he insisted on the action. Hobbes was right when he defined dignity as power. But what if people cannot act following their reasonable will and have no power, i.e. they cannot manifest their human faculties?

Kant gave us the ethical demonstration of the imperative to consider the human dignity. Yes, a human person is respected according to his/her actions, including his/her words. He/she is respected if acting morally: not necessary upon the impressions, interests or conceptions of those accidentally related, but according to a profound moral feeling rationally generalised. Though Kant said that the old Golden Rule would not be the metaphysical origin of the categorical imperative, it was however its historical root:  “Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law”, or „Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature”, or „So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only”, or „the will of every rational being as one which must consider itself as giving in all the maxims of its will universal laws”[10].

But the moral imperative surpasses the concrete mutual relationships; for this reason, it seems to be abstract and inflexible. In fact, it is the most adequate to the unique quality of the rational beings: that of being the only persons between the things used by the will of men, i.e. “their very nature points them out as ends in themselves, that is as something which must not be used merely as means, and so far therefore restricts freedom of action (and is an object of respect)”[11]. Only the human persons are able of moral thinking which controls their will, and only “morality is the condition under which alone a rational being can be an end in himself”[12]. Morality “is that which alone has dignity”[13], and humanity is capable of it.

Not the high confidence of Kant in the capacity of men to perfection their moral conduct (au fond repeating their entire evolution[14]) is that which makes him one of the greatest fighters for the human dignity, but his demonstration that the quality of person can be generalised to all the human beings (more, to all the rational beings) and that dignity is an universalisable idea and criterion to judge people.

Finally here, not only the modernising theoretical effort but also the practical struggle have answered to the lack of dignity, namely of lack of autonomy[15]: according to the modern mainstream ideology, the civil and political rights, transposed into the law, would be the only social conditions of the creative manifestation of the human faculties of all. Yes, the importance of these rights in front of the government and the political organisations is obvious and well-known. But politics is not reducible to the state and to the position toward the state, and the will of the human person is not depending only on the possibility to elect or to associate, to speech and movement. More, a right which follows is that to freely participate in the civil and political life, but to what extent would be conceived this participation, since society is based on the power relations? We remember that not only the conservative thinkers like Hajek, but also the liberal ones – liberal in the European sense[16] – like Popper or Rawls have insisted that the open to compromise, i.e. “reasonable” politics is that when people accept to not challenge the fundamental economic and political asymmetry: the core of democracy would be how to press some officials and members of parliament to respect the law and reduce corruption, by alternating them with others more credible, and not to change the law itself (or, in Popper’s formula, “How can we so organize political institutions that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage?”, not “who should rule” – The Open Society and its Ennemies). Letting apart that this liberal viewpoint is “a single country centred” and considers some peoples “no well-ordered” and thus “not deserving the respect and toleration of the ‘liberal and decent peoples’” (Rawls, The Law of Peoples), it does not respond to the question involuntarily issued from the statement that it (the liberal viewpoint) would exist to the greatest benefit of the lesser advantaged citizens: and if these citizens cannot benefit, but are disadvantaged from this situation? How could they change it within this pattern of thinking, or would this change be desirable at all (in this pattern of thinking)?

The liberal representation of the political rights was described by the young Marx and Engels as “the idealistic expression of the real interests of the bourgeoisie… the bourgeois is …the truth of the citoyen the “Rights of Man” confers the rights of ‘Man’, the true solemnisation on each individual bourgeois”[17]. By the way, the present mass arrests of the Occupy Wall Street manifestations – after the diatribes against the “socialist” regimes, developed under the flag of the political rights – illustrate this description.

Thus the self-esteem and self-confidence of man have raised and rise when he/she has civil and political rights: to fight for the realisation of these rights is never superfluous, but it’s not enough, or rather this fight involves also non-political rights.

As we know from the history, the social struggle – this time against the bourgeois domination – has continued and pressed toward the enlargement of the human rights. Just as a result of this struggle and of the practical transposition of its social and economic ends in and by the first socialist state in the history were the economic, social and cultural rights recognised by the capitalist states: the 1948 Universal Declaration of the Human Rights has sanctioned the fact of the ideological (and not only political) victory of the socialist state and has constituted the framework and direction of the post-war Western “welfare state”. But this – until the development of the trans-national phase of capitalism: with the rise of this phase and through delocalisation, the (trans-national) capital has become more powerful than the national workforces and than the nation-states, and it blackmails the later by supplying its investments for the reduction of the social policies of the states.

How does the individual defend himself/herself?

Dignity is not only a feeling but also/rather a main quality of the social position. During the pre-modern times, the man and women from the subordinated labour force had no dignity, since they had no autonomy for establish their movement and limits of their ends and means. The sentiment of their belonging within specific subordinating relationships has exceeded their feeling of uniqueness, thus of the dignity of the uniqueness as factor of consensus and mobilisation.

The modernising ideology has dealt just with the function of consensus and mobilisation related to the individual. Generally and first of all, the individual defends himself/herself with the help of family solidarity. But this relationship was not enough to the young bourgeois which was motivated by his individual (and unique) aim to have and thus to be: to prove, through his endeavour, the reason of his unique existence.

The characteristic of the original bourgeois ideology is individualism: the sign of the modern time would be just the possibility of the individual to detach from the traditional bindings of solidarity, i.e. to exist and develop (enrich) as a specific person; the civic and political rights would be the (only) conditions of the individual manifestation; the essence of this manifestation is the individual entrepreneurship allowed by the law of free enterprise. Everything that the bourgeois claimed, fought for and did seemed to be the purposes and ends of an individual living in a society that, finally, was understood as a simple addition of an individual to another individual to another individual.

The persuading power of this ideological pattern was and is so strong that even in present the mainstream economists and political scientists elude and exclude a cardinal fact: that the individual bourgeois owner cannot win within the zero sum capitalist relationships without special political and economic bourgeois “solidarities” (in parties, organisations, mafia etc). Practically, the power of the individual bourgeois is never the result of its own isolated action but, in virtue of his private property and because of his private property, he has a dominant position in the relation of exploitation. This position allows the impression that it supposes an individual significance. More and with the entire competition that would suggest absolute distinct bourgeois entities, the real place inward the economic sphere depends on the complex class “solidarities” and, as a consequence, not the individuality of a bourgeois owner or firm is that which is important in front of the ruled but, on the contrary, the collective capitalist power as such, its entities being only indefinite representatives.

A mini phenomenological halt

Consequently, the individual defends himself/herself within and through his/her class appurtenance. The concrete context imprints a sense of randomness to the trajectory of each individual, and people were and are educated to consider the random destiny that would generate their individual evolution and realisation, instead of and without their connections inside their social position and related to the power relations.

But the modern society has constituted just through the emphasis of the class positions between people having the same civic rights. The ruled were no more subjugated subjects without any political rights, but “free”, and this freedom has allowed them two-fold feelings: that of having been overtook the state of submissiveness which annulled any kind of dignity and manifestation as an individual, and that of the insufficiency of this attained level.  

However, although the representation of freedom by the ruled has implied social conditions for a dignified life, the historical level of technique – i.e. of the concrete possibility to surpass rarity as ontological feature of society – was the objective basis of the taking over of the main, bourgeois, ideological current. The idea of civic and political freedom was assimilated enthusiastically by the sans-culottes and in its name have they continued to claim a better life.

 Indeed, the political freedom allows the constitution of the image about a person’s own dignity and about his/her ability to self-defence as a person/an individual. Namely, people have thought and created clichés of thinking even though their experiences were different from their images.

But only the political freedom is not enough to a dignified life, and the experiencing of the distance between the liberal clichés and reality have led, all these aspects, to the pressure for conditions of dignity exerted by those politically free but economically exploited for conditions of dignity.

The proletarian struggle within the system has permitted, at the first hand and only in the centre type countries, social policies supporting decent conditions for the majority of citizens. But, at the second hand, these conditions did not annul the exploitation, neither in the developed countries nor in the countries subordinated inside the international relations.

Anyway, the fight for social policies in a single centre type country has outlined a selfish and contradictory pattern of thinking: firstly, the international costs of the social rewards given in the centre type country were not considered; secondly but at the same time, the hope that the situation of this country will be quite worldwide generalised (how?) was present, aiming at calming the conscience of those who, however, were not exterior to the idea of class struggle and have benefited it.

Significances of the first socialist country

The main message of socialism was that it will annul the fundamental cause of the lack of dignity of the working people, thus of the lack of capability to self-defend. And even though the labour force continued to be economically (and politically) compelled, the abolishment of the individual private property and the taking over of its function to compel the workers by the state – i.e. in the name of the general interests of a dignified life for all – have constituted the only possible way in the 20th century, but absolutely necessary, in order to change both the experiences and the representations concerning the human dignity.

In principle, i.e. according to the law, people were equal in front of the state and collective ownership, and just this new type of property has assured in a rapid rhythm the development of both the social policies and of the level of civilisation, science and technique. This aspect is the more so remarkable as the first socialist country and most of the other socialist countries were underdeveloped and peripheral. The comparison between the former condition of the majority of the population within a peripheral and underdeveloped country and, on the other hand, the new one resulted from the new productive relations instituted after 1989/1991 has contributed to the conviction that the accumulation resulted from the hard and disciplined work has transmuted into important features of a dignified life.

But, as we know, the 20th century socialism took place in the absence of the objective conditions of a system opposed to capitalism. This fact is that which explains at a fundamental level the “deformation of the revolution”, using Trotsky’s words; however, the rise of bureaucratic leadership and the subordination of the soviets to the authority of party committees, as well as the well-known aspects of dictatorial political regime and those of an authoritarian one, all of these could annul neither the new type of productive relations nor the communist type values which have legitimised “the really existing socialism”.

Indeed, an economic-social system is defined by the productive relations and the legitimising values: the political regime is not a defining feature, since in capitalism both democracy (the representative capitalist democracy) and dictatorship took place. Thus, just in order the productive relations to allow macro-planning, a coherent coordination of the economic inputs and outputs, both related to the communist type values, and the centralisation of capital, the social policies were possible. The principles of the state economic intervention, the “welfare state”, were realised for the first time and at the highest level of this model, in the Soviet Russia.

As I characterised it[18], the former socialist system could be but an isotope of capitalism, unstable because of the coexistence of the communist type legitimizing values and the economic compulsion of the labour force, all of these “in a single country”, i.e. within a world capitalist environment, marked by competition and struggle for power. But this isotope has showed that people may manifest creatively and regard enthusiastically the sense of life when they have dignified material and cultural conditions and when the law forbid private ownership-based social differences. In these circumstances they might criticise the formal democracy and the privileges of nomenklatura, but they could not fight and win in the name of “the authentic socialism”. Consequently, they lost their enthusiasm and, although they did not completely forget the beautiful words “socialism”, “communism”, “dignity of every human person”, they reduced their social aspirations to the mirage of consume. The 1991 tragic event of the dissolution of the Soviet Union – it was tragic, indeed, illustrating not only the decay of the “communist” leaders dreaming to a “third way” leading to a glorious capitalism, but also of the treacherous or impotent institutions and of the emasculated people incapable to oppose – and the tragic withdrawal of the people in September-October 1993 when it could have been the main political actor able to stop the involution (but it was not; why would it have been since it was not only disoriented but also missing leaders, the former communist dinosaurs not being too attractive?), these events and those which followed were the results of the relationships described by Trotsky, between the working people and the new dominant class, the bureaucracy.   

People were drove to the oblivion of the condition of a dignified life: that they cannot be dignified without emancipation, namely through their submission to the private management of privately divided society. Thus they passed through an unfinished hardship: that of the fragmentation of society, of the stagnation of the institutions of education, science and culture, of the incapacity of both the people and the power to efficiently self-organise, of the social collapse. History is guilty for this oblivion and this hardship: but history means concrete leaders occupying their knot in the web of the power, and immense suffering of the common people n times multiplied.

The present international events and the human dignity

The collective trauma of December 1991 is irreversible, but is and will be forgotten by the generations born after the collapse[19].  The trauma is thawed in the popular conscience, but the dignity of the simple man remains destroyed. He/she accustoms to the idea that one can live only at the level of the struggle to survive, and forgets the pride to have been considered himself/herself as dignified to be a prototype which deserves to be generalised. He/she becomes again the humble who fought for his/her dignity, but who no more knows to do this. It defends himself/herself at the level of biological existence, but is no more able to develop his/her individuality.

One of the main aspects of the social conscience of “the really existing socialism”, issued from the Marxist theory, was the strong internalisation of the concept of social equality. There is no such thing as biological equality, every one is a unique person, but – thought the common man/woman – not only that there are no more ‘the boyards” and their ownership deciding the value of the others, but politics makes everything to construct the optimal material conditions and free access to education and culture in order to show my unrepeatable passage on the Earth. It’s only up to me to demonstrate that I deserve all of these, concluded he/she. Yes, the privileges and the infringement of so beautiful and reasonable principles have jolted the common conscience long before the collapse of the system, but in their deep down people have kept the confidence and the pride to be socially equal. And after, one told them that the political freedom to choose the representatives and to see the game of the “nouveaux riches” to get richer, i.e. to take their power and to confiscate it, is worth more than an inexistent equality.

And they lost their power and no one considers them as dignified: in fact, they are important not as human persons, but as consumers and votes in a society of the spectacle[20], or as unforeseeable beings causing troubles to the great personages of the day.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to such a world unbalance that capitalism, transformed into a world empire[21], got out of the principle of keeping up appearances, and of the idea that capitalism ought not to oppose too much to democracy for people to believe that capitalism = democracy. Indeed, democracy was so attractive for the Westerners that the system was accepted, the more so it manifested through the welfare state. Consequently, the appearances were generally saved up and the ugly events were always made forgotten.

But the trans-national capitalism, when the capital became more powerful than the states and pushed toward the reduction of welfare policies (the post 89/91 Eastern countries and, generally, the emergent economies like China are models and instruments used to this reduction), seemed to no more need to care about keeping up appearances.

In the last 30 years, the neo-liberal fury worldwide was so much the biggest as capitalism already faces its system crisis. Corruption became ordinary, not only in the developing or emergent countries[22].  Wars followed each other more and more savage, using depleted uranium and causing long lasting damages and suffering to the enemies which are now, not theoretically but practically, the peoples[23].  

Their right to dignity is annulled. This is the reason of the present protest of the indignados: occupying the street, the public space connecting the individuals, they protest against the system as such (not only against the greed of bankers, but against the capitalist treatment of the entire natural and social environment). They do not manifest under the flags of unions and parties which betrayed them so many times, and do not want more crumbs within the system. But there is not yet a trans-national unity of the indignant forces, although capital is already trans-national. The danger of a new defeat of the world proletariat is big.

The present Greek example shows, in its turn, that capitalism offers to the peoples of the world either an explicit dictatorship (through the military coup) or an empty form of democracy, both being the means of the aggravation of domination, poverty, social polarisation and world warfare.

Even though in system crisis, the only solution of capitalism is to continue its logic at any sacrifice. The indignant protesters worldwide are driving at the change of this course. I do not cover with myths the history of the “really existing socialism”, nor I discuss the rhetoric which has many times substituted the genuine theory of revolution: “proletarian revolutions constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals – until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out”[24].  My aim here is to put the problem from the point of view of the real ordinary man/woman: his/her dignity and his/her need to avert the suffering constitute the only criterions to judge the present world politics and its turns. Its state of emergency is the state of emergency of the ensemble of common people worldwide. And vice versa. Humanity is in a too big peril to postpone the social transformations without which its future itself is under question.

Consequently, not the creation of the USSR was a sad event, but on the contrary the present moment of the human history is desperate enough: in this moment the anniversary of the October revolution could but grieve us. Why that? Because we remember not only the heroic struggle for the human dignity of those who never before were regarded as dignified, but also the destruction of this struggle, of its results. Marx said that mankind parts from the past by laughing: there are different significances of the laugh, and sometimes it is doubled with a profound sadness. It is for the lost time of those who lost their social dignity: since the biggest wealth of the man is his time and since the human time depends upon and is made by man’s deeds and thoughts, the present capitalism murders men and women and their time and stops the creative manifestation of the many. The lost time, the irreversibly lost kairos of so many people are infinite reasons of sadness. And of the determination to continue to fight for the human dignity of every one and all: the effort to do this is never too big.

[1] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man, (De hominis dignitate, 1486),  http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/Mirandola/: „as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer”; „whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you may, with premeditation, select, these same you may have and possess through your own judgment and decision .. you, by contrast, impeded by no such restrictions, may, by your own free will, to whose custody We have assigned you, trace for yourself the lineaments of your own nature …”

[2] Ibidem.

[4] Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, Book IV, 3, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.4.iv.html

[6] Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, Book VII, 2, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.7.vii.html

[7] Aristotle, Politics, Book One, Part IV: the slave is “living instrument”, “living possession”, “the minister of action”; Part V: “For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule”, „Again, the male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind”, “the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master” „Nature would like to distinguish between the bodies of freemen and slaves, making the one strong for servile labor, the other upright, and although useless for such services, useful for political life in the arts both of war and peace”, “some men are by nature free, and others slaves, and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and right”, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.1.one.html.

[8] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil (1651), Chapter X, Of Power, Worth, Dignity, Honour and Worthiness, http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hobbes/thomas/h68l/chapter10.html; but, illustrating the historical Restoration, Hobbes has added: “Covetousness of great riches, and ambition of great honours, are honourable; as signs of power to obtain them. Covetousness, and ambition of little gains.. is dishonourable”.

[9] Ibidem.

[10] Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785), http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5682/pg5682.html

[11] Ibidem.

[12] Ibidem.

[13] Ibidem.

[14] See Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681); vezi ediţia Discours sur l’histoire universelle, à Mgr. Le Dauphin, par Bossuet, avec la continuation jusqu’à l’an 1700. Édition augmentée des variantes, Tome premier, Lyon, Rusand, Libraire-éditeur, 1834, p. 11: „On voit les lois s’établir, les mœurs se polir, et les empires se former. Le genre humain sort peu à peu de l’ignorance ; l’expérience l’instruit, et les arts sont inventés ou perfectionnés”.

[15] See Kant but also Cornelius Castoriadis, “Pouvoir, politique, autonomie”, in Cornelius Castoriadis, Le monde morcelé. Les carrefours du labyrinthe. III, Paris, Seuil, 1990, pp. 130-131: the Greek autonomy of the political is not tantamount with the Kantian representation; it does not discover in an immutable reason a law which the man would give to himself once and for all, but it questions the law and its foundations, and it re-institutes.

[16] But as we see, there is no big difference between the American understanding and the European one, notwithstanding that in America this liberal-social-democrat position is depicted as ‘left-wing’.

[18] Ana Bazac, “Some ideas concerning the state socialism debate”, Eszmélet, Hungary, number 62, June 2004, pp. 27-46 (in Hungarian).

[19] Serghei Roganov, The collapse of the USSR: an absolute death?  20 years without USSR, 2011, http://www.criticatac.ro/9733/colapsul-urss-o-moarte-absoluta-20-de-ani-fara-urss/ (in Romanian translation)

[20] As Guy Debord has long before warned. 

[21] Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (2000), Cambridge, Massachussets, Lond., England, Harvard University Press, 2001.

[22] With all the commissions (see only The Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong), 1974; The Independent Commission Against Corruption (Australia, New South Wales), 1988;  Transparency International, founded in 1993; The Group of States against Corruption (Council of Europe), 1999; Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption – 2002), see for example Oborne, Peter, The Triumph of the Political Class, London, Simon & Schuster, 2007, or Eurodéputés, ils détournaient le salaire de leurs assistants, 24 juin 2011, http://www.rue89.com/2011/06/24/comment-des-eurodeputes-detournaient-le-salaire-de-leurs-assistants-210669, or http://dotsub.com/view/01ad2718-073c-474a-ac40-c7a72e199d55, or Riciclaggio, rapporti con lo Ior sotto inchiesta dieci banche, 1.06.2010,  http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2010/06/01/news/riciclaggio_banche-4483288/ etc., leading to the discredit of politicians, see Mattei Dogan, Méfiance et corruption : discredit des elites politiques, http://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-politique-comparee-2003-3-page-415.htm:

[23] See only Michel Chossudovsky, America's Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, March 30, 2011, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24049, or Michel Chossudovsky, Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya?, Part II, April 7, 2011, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24202 etc. See Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War, E-Book Series No. 1.0
Global Research Publishers  Montreal, 2011. But also the lie and misinformation used to justify the aggressions, see Domenico Losurdo, Que se passe-t-il en Syrie?, http://www.voltairenet.org/Que-se-passe-t-il-en-Syrie.

[24] Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 1852, I, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch01.htm

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