№ 2, 2019
The article is devoted to the analysis of two opposing tendencies in the left-wing political thought. The first one is left-wing centralism, which is understood as a concept (common among many left-wing concepts) that emphasizes the priority role of the centralized coordinating organizations (parties, states, world associations, etc.) in the political struggle and/or build- ing post-capitalist social relations. The second one is anarcho-localism that focuses on network self-organization and decentralization. Having documented the gradual ousting of left-wing centralism by anarcho-localism, the author identifies the complex of objective and subjective factors that stimulated the process. According to the author, the growth of anarcho-localist tendencies within the left-wing political thought was associated with the rethinking of the teaching of Karl Marx after the publication of his previously unpublished works, disenchantment with the Soviet-style bureaucratic socialism, recognition of environmental problems caused by the large-scale mass production, and the rise of the counterculture. However, in his opinion, a key role in pushing centralism to the periphery of the left-wing political thought played the emergence and the development of new communication technologies that opened the way for the transition to network social interactions.
The author interprets the predominance of anarcho-localist ideas in the left political thought as the evidence of its deep crisis. In support of his argument he refers both to the unsuccessful practical experience of social movements inspired by these ideas, which demonstrated their weakness in the face of the global bourgeois system, and to the fundamental inability of anarcho-localism to work out a convincing, preferable and, most importantly, realistic image of the future that reflects the complexity of the world socio-economic and political interactions. He predicts an increase in the demand for the cen- tralist leftist concepts as the society develops further.
№ 3, 2016
The article discusses possible scenarios for the evolution of the modern capitalist society. Claiming utopian the ideas, that liberation from material needs and socialization of production will lead to the establishment of the communist system free from class struggle and alienation, D.Davydov considers social-personalist revolution a more plausible scenario. Such revolution, in his opinion, could lead to meritocracy as well as to the development of the social-personalist society per se, in which priority of assets accumulation is trumped by the priority of personal self-realization, and the inevitable class inequality coexists with the leading role of a creative individual.
№ 3, 2015
Developing the idea of the gradual transformation of capitalism into a rentier society expressed in the article that was written in collaboration with L.Fishman (see Politeia, 2015, № 1), D.Davydov analyzes the specifics of Russia as an emerging rentier society. According to the author’s assessment, rent problems in our country are not limited to the “oil curse”, and involve a wide range of rental by their nature relations. In justifying this argument, the author considers a set of factors conducive to the emergence of a rentier society in Russia, showing that, in contrast to the Western countries where such a society can theoretically be a stable formation, in the Russian conditions sliding into the rentier state is fraught with economic disaster.
№ 1, 2015
This article analyzes the term “rent” as a metaphor and a possible conceptual framework for studying the modern Western society. Contesting the validity of the argument that the capitalist system is based on overcoming rent-seeking behavior, L.Fishman and D.Davydov demonstrate that rent relations permeate modern capitalism to a greater extent than the preceding societal formations. According to their conclusion, capitalism as a society of material welfare maximizers through work and investment represents a fragile shell that hides old rental principles, and this shell can break at any moment exposing an unprecedented in history rent society that is developing inside this shell.
№ 3, 2014
The article analyzes normative aspects of social capital theory that problematizes the process of individualization i.e., decrease in coherence and destruction of social values in the modern society. Recognizing that the arguments of proponents of this theory are based on the results of the empirical studies corroborating that social connectedness and trust contribute to sustainable economic development, D.Davydov, however, focuses his attention on the ambiguity of this approach. From his point of view, advocates of social capital theory distort the inner essence of social phenomena when treating them as economic resources and subject of investments. The author posits that such logic fuels the process of individualization rather than fights it. According to the author, in a society where altruism is taken over by selfishness and thrift, and social coherence – by indifference to public good, appealing to profits only reinforces such tendencies.
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