chapter  10
15 Pages

Global Society as the Crisis of Democracy

WithHauke Brunkhorst

The growth of capital and power in such a society no longer follows any human interests of self-preservation, neither national nor individual. There are two problems which have from the very outset accompanied the transition of society from stratification to functional differentiation. Neither, apparently, can be solved by the functional systems themselves. Functionally specialised subsystems such as the deregulated market-economy cannot produce solidarity by means of their own autopoiesis. Modern society is thus global society from the very beginning, and the development of an ever more tightly-knit network, of ever more rapidly communicating media of dissemination and success-oriented media, has meanwhile led to the complete globalization of a society of functional systems which originally arose in Europe. The return of religious civil war is the logical consequence. Fundamentalism is not something one is born into, as in a traditional society. Fundamentalism is not a matter of origins, estate, or caste. It is not a problem of millennial contradictions between ‘civilizations’.