Aristotle was convinced of this: man is a political animal, he has a natural propensity to live in society , to group in families, tribes, villages, cities, nations … By leaving his state of nature, his isolation, by creating communities, he discovers the difficulties linked to the community which supposes multiple interactions between individuals who do not think the same thing. To avoid conflicts, a permanent war between divergent interests, the men decide to fix rules of life. If necessary, they designate the wiser (s) to guide them; the latter, Sorcerer, Sachem, philosopher, Pharaoh, Lord, King, Emperor, President or Führer…, embodies authority. He sometimes surrounds himself with advisers to help him in his task and forms a government.
Inevitable questions arise , such as, for example:
- who is legitimate to embody authority?
- who is legitimate to designate it?
- is there a limit to his authority?
- what is the government’s ultimate goal: justice, equality, freedom, happiness, fraternity, national sovereignty?
- what is the best form of government?
- should we distinguish and separate powers?
- or, on the contrary, should we remove all authority and found cooperative societies?…
All these questions (and many others) circumscribe the field of politics. Since the world was world, men thought they had found the Grail. Each time, it was to be contradicted by the facts, as if the ideal government did not exist and should be the object of a perpetual search. A sort of endless Hegelian dialectic : a revolution drives out a monarchy and installs a republic. The republic is then challenged by an empire, itself replaced by a new monarchy, which in turn succumbs under the blows of a new revolution which installs a new republic…
Brief history of political systems s
China knows in the 8th century BC a prosperous period called spring and autumn. It is a constellation of autonomous states which live in relative harmony. Schools of thought are popping up everywhere. In the 2nd century BC, wars between states raged and the art of war became an essential parameter to consider in politics. SUN ZI then writes the art of war.
CONFUCIUS (6th century BC – The unchanging middle)
It offers a system based on traditional values. The state, according to the Chinese thinker, must be led by a virtuous sage (whose example is capable of spreading among the people), surrounded by competent advisers.
He who governs a people by virtue is like the pole star which remains motionless, while all the other stars move around it. Confucius
Its system is based on meritocracy (any subject who proves his competence can become an adviser, regardless of his social condition). He also wants to do without religion to found humanist justice ; justice done by men for men, by defining « a golden rule »:
Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. Confucius .
Constitutional democracy ( Pericles ) was born in Athens at about the same time as Confucius . In 594 BC, Solon defined the principles of city-states which opened a first road to Democracy . The s ophistes , especially Protagoras, believe that the law should be founded by men and not reflected natural laws. Democracy is certainly a pioneer, but also imperfect: women, the common people, slaves are excluded. Socrates is sentenced to death for challenging the principles of Athenian society.
Plato (427-347 BC) – The Republic)
Plato offers his « ideal society », governed by wise men » from the Philosophers-Kings « , a priori free from the temptations of abuse of power. The latter, recognizable by their natural gifts, must be very young extracted from their families and be educated to guarantee their loyalty to the State. Plato believes that all other forms of government degenerate into tyranny, because the leader always favors his interests.
Democracy becomes tyranny. Plato.
The state must promote virtues such as piety, wisdom and justice.
Democracy is a government that provides a kind of equality, both for what is unequal and for what is equal. Plato.
ARISTOTE (384-322 BC – Politics)
Man is a naturally social being who gathers in homes, villages, then cities. He finds his humanity in this « living together » by creating a society based on reason. The aim of the government is to promote virtues (naturally present in humans), such as justice, kindness or beauty.
Good laws produce good order. Aristotle.
There is no need for a social contract at Aristotle, since this assembly (society) takes place naturally. Aristotle sees 6 possible forms of government:
- the monarchy (the power of one) which degenerates (because it privileges its only interests) into tyranny ;
- the aristocracy (the power of a few) which degenerates into an oligarchy ;
- the republic (the power of the multitude) which degenerates into democracy .
The best option is for Aristotle the Republic.
The principle of democratic government is freedom. Aristotle .
The installation of Christianity has the consequence of losing all the Greek and Roman gains, from the scientific, but also political point of view. With the appearance of this monotheism, the only possible form of government is of divine essence. The monarch is the representative of God on earth and is therefore incontestable. He decides everything. Power gradually separates into two spaces: temporal (embodied by the King) and spiritual (embodied by the clergy). The two spaces protected each other for mutual benefit which lasted 1000 years.
SAINT-AUGUSTIN (354-430 – The city of God – Free will)
Saint-Augustin seeks to merge Plato’s philosophy into Christian dogma. Like any good Roman citizen, he puts justice in the spotlight.
Without justice, what are governments if not master thieves? Saint Augustin.
Without real justice, there can be no association of men under a consented right. Saint Augustin.
The purpose of the state is to offer its citizens a happy and virtuous life. He sees a world cut in half between the city of God ( Civitas Dei title of his book) and the earthly city (Civitas terrea) where sin dominates. Divine law must therefore be the reference for drafting laws.
Saint-Augustin is also the inventor of the concept of » Just War « . Defending a state or restoring peace are causes that justify war.
SAINT THOMAS d’AQUIN (1225-1274 – Theological sum )
For Saint Thomas Aquinas, the state has a vocation to make its subjects happy. Justice is the political virtue par excellence. Laws must serve the interests of the people as a whole. He opens a breach, explaining that a government can be pagan. The law must be « an order of reason for the common good » (and not imposed by the Church). This is revolutionary.
True peace is more about charity than justice, the latter being aimed at removing obstacles to peace. St. Thomas Aquinas.
The concept of just war is taken up by the Italian thinker who endorses it when its purpose is to defend good against evil.
Nicolas MACHIAVEL (1469-1527 – The Prince)
For Nicolas Machiavelli, the morality of the head of state comes after the well-being of the state. The chef will be judged on his results (and not on the means employed) and must therefore use intrigue, cunning, lies …
In the actions of men and especially of princes, we consider the end rather than the means employed. Nicolas Machiavelli.
He must know how to exploit the weaknesses of his people to obtain great things « Never has a prince lacked a legitimate reason to color his lack of faith ». Machiavelli is a Republican opposed to the intervention of the Church in the affairs of the State.
As it is difficult to make love and fear coexist, to choose, it is safer to be feared than to be loved. Nicolas Machiavelli.
This will inspire MUSSOLINI who claimed to be inspired by the Prince of Machiavelli.
After centuries of obscurantism, of scientific stagnation, which find their apogee with the absolute monarchy of Louis XIV, La Boétie , Montaigne , Voltaire , Rousseau, d ‘ Holbach and many others thwart scholastic logic. Gradually, the idea of laws based on critical reason and no longer on sacred texts is gaining ground. Tocqueville will show later that the withdrawal of the Nobles from the campaigns wanted by Louis XIV allowed the emancipation and education of the bourgeoisie: the revolutionary verse was in the fruit.
La Boétie (1530-1563 – Speech on voluntary servitude)
Perhaps he was the first. He wonders about a strange fact: millions of subjects accept, it seems obediently, to work for centuries like slaves for the happiness of a monarch (in this case François I) who confiscates them little by little almost everything. La Boétie seeks to understand the reasons for this voluntary servitude . He explains it by tradition, habit by the fact that these subjects only know this political system, endorsed by the Church. Now it would be enough for them not to serve any more for this same monarch to lose his only means of subsistence and for the monarchy to collapse like a house of cards.
Be determined not to serve any more, and you are free. La Boétie.
La Boétie dismantles the pyramidal cogs of a tyranny: the tyrant calls on a few « accomplices of his cruelty », who in turn have henchmen who subjugate the country. Everyone has an interest to defend in the gear. These interests are the glue of tyranny.
La Boétie is sometimes seen as the first anarchist.
Thomas HOBBES (1568-1679 – The Leviathan)
Thomas HOBBES thinks that « man is a wolf for man ». The state of nature is a state of permanent war of all against all.
From this war of all against all results that nothing can be unjust. Without common power, no law, without law, no injustice. Thomas HOBBES.
To avoid the war of all against all, men agree on a Social Contract of submission to a third authority , guaranteeing the protection of individuals.
The subjects’ obligation to the sovereign is supposed to last as long, but not longer, than the government is able to protect them. Thomas HOBBES .
This sovereign must enjoy an indivisible and limitless absolute power to prevent chaos. If he fails, the social contract is broken.
Without a power which holds them in respect, men are in this state which is called war. Thomas HOBBES.
Thomas HOBBES seems to be nostalgic for absolutism. He advocates a strong state, a Leviathan, an evil necessary for life in society.
John LOCKE (1632-1704 – The Two Government Treaties)
Men are independent rational agents and enjoy natural rights. They gather in society (as at Aristotle ) so that it protects them. The purpose of the law is to guarantee and promote freedom, within the framework of a social contract (as with Hobbes ).
Wherever law-sensitive beings live, if there are no laws, there is no freedom. John LOCKE.
Locke is the father of liberalism : he wants state intervention limited to restricted fields (guaranteeing private property, peace, freedom and prosperity for everyone). In this sense, he is one of the inspirers of the French Revolution .
MONTESQUIEU (1689 – 1755 – From the spirit of the laws)
He is the rhetorician of the separation of powers into three branches (trias politica):
- executive (enforcing laws);
- legislative (adopt laws);
- judicial (interpretation of laws.
to create a balance that brings stability and thus prevent the natural tendency of rulers to tyranny
The corruption of each government almost always begins with that of principles. Montesquieu.
Benjamin FRANKLIN (1706-1790 – Constitution of the United States of America)
He joined Confucius in the concept of virtue (notably entrepreneurial) and meritocracy. It encourages entrepreneurship and denounces:
- « idle » aristocrats (leaders);
- preferring useful entrepreneurs (citizens who care first about the public good), hardworking and vigorous, good citizens ultimately.
Do not waste time, always use the useful, undertake the necessary ”. Benjamin FRANKLIN.
Jean-Jacques ROUSSEAU (1712-1778 – From the social contract)
Freedom is the very essence of humanity. It must be guaranteed even in a society governed by laws. He refutes Hobbes’ idea of a naturally « bad » man. On the contrary, life in society corrupts it. This will scandalize the great explorers ( Magellan , Cook , Bougainville, De La Pérouse who will find that, on unexplored continents, do not live only « good savages », but also cannibals, thieves, criminals, individuals who n don’t hesitate to offer their wives a piece of shiny metal…).
All the same, he starts from this hypothesis (the « good savage ») to establish the foundations of his Social Contract , the aim of which is to guarantee freedom .
Obedience to the law that has been prescribed is freedom. Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
He is still opposed to Hobbes who saw in the law a restriction of freedoms. The law must guarantee the prevalence of the general interest over particular interests. He is the thinker of the revolution, inspiring in particular Robespierre and Desmoulins, almost soothsayer:
We are approaching the state of crisis and the century of revolutions. Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
He also denounces the abuses of private property:
You are lost if you forget that the fruit belongs to everyone and that the earth belongs to no one. Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Jean-Jacques ROUSSEAU will inspire many left movements thereafter which will take up the main principles:
- the development of freedom and equality is possible;
- the law and the state are able to improve society;
- the legitimacy of the state whose source is the sovereign people.
The time of revolutions
The Christian monolith ends up falling. The thinkers of the revolution will write a declaration of the rights of the man and the citizen and especially a constitution by putting God aside. The law is written by men for men. There is no longer any natural hierarchy linked to birth. There are only residents of the city: the citizens. However, the logic of perfect equality will come up against the harsh realities, Gracchus Babeuf, the author of the conspiracy of equals, first Communist will end up on the scaffold.
Emmanuel KANT (1724-1872 – Critique of practical reason)
Happiness is not the (primary) goal of a government: in fact, happiness is felt differently according to people and one cannot therefore rely on it to define a mode of government.
Nobody can force me into happiness (according to his conception). Emmanuel Kant
The law should therefore not, in the first place, be concerned with happiness which is everyone’s business. The state should be concerned only with protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals. In other words, it is not up to the state to manage museums, theaters, or even build hospitals. The state builds an ecosystem in which the individual can flourish, find their own definition of happiness.
The law must be the subject of an agreement, apply to all, reflect the common will and protect the interests of each.
Law is the limitation of everyone’s freedom. Emmanuel KANT.
It introduces the notion of categorical imperatives (which cannot be discussed, which one would like to see universally applied and which the law must be inspired by) to allow life in society: for example the prohibition on burning a red light.
Edmund BURKE (1729-1797 – Reflections on the French Revolution)
BURKE is traumatized by the excesses of the French revolution, especially during the terror instituted by ROBESPIERRE (which he had predicted). He draws the conclusion that it is necessary to control the passions of men who must above all not influence politics. He opposes the concept of natural law of ROUSSEAU , attractive on paper, but leading to serious abuses, men always finding an infinity of rights to claim. In this he prefers a wise continuity of society, of its traditions, even of its inequalities, with, if necessary, a good monarch, preferable to the rabid hordes of revolutionaries.
Government is a human creation that has one objective: to meet the needs of a society. It is clear that certain needs conflict. The government then plays the role of arbiter: the laws are there to control the passions of individuals. The crowd (and not the individual) must be subject to constraints from an outside power. BURKE denounces the excesses of the French revolution, the Terror imposed by Robespierre between 1793 and 1794. Thomas PAINE will answer him.
Thomas PAINE (1737-1809) – Common sense – Human rights)
In 1649, England experienced its glorious revolution. Olivier CROMWELL, deposed King Charles I and installed an ephemeral republic, quickly replaced by a parliamentary monarchy.
Thomas PAINE, a century later, wants to be the heir to the democratic ideas of CROMWELL , pleading in particular for the emancipation of the American colonists from the British crown and against the monarchy. He explains the need for laws by the complexity of relations between men and pleads for a representative democracy. He opposes the conservatism of BURKE by recognizing that each generation has the right to choose its institutions. Virtue is not hereditary:
When we work for posterity, let us remember: virtue is not hereditary. Thomas PAINE.
It denounces the right to vote in censorship granted to owners who establish laws according to their interests.
When the rich protect the rights of the poor, the poor protect the property of the rich. Thomas PAINE .
This imbalance creates resentment among the poor and a risk of uplift. Rights must be granted without condition of ownership. He is therefore in favor of universal suffrage.
Jérémy BENTHAM (1748-1832 – Panoptique)
He sees in the law a necessary restriction of liberty. He theorizes an arithmetic approach to happiness: an individual equals a unit, regardless of his social condition. To be fair, a law must produce maximum happiness for the greatest number. BENTHAM is a utilitarian. He takes up HUME’s idea that the good criterion for distinguishing good from evil is utility.
It is the greatest possible happiness for the greatest number which gives the measure of good and evil. Jérémy BENTHAM
Unlike KANT, who did not want the state to mix in with happiness, BENTHAM sees in this value a means of distinguishing a good from a bad law: any law restricts freedoms. We must therefore weigh the “for” and the “against”, compare situations with and without law and determine which one brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number. This is the appropriate decision criterion according to BENTHAM . He pleads as BREAK for a representative democracy.
In economic terms, BENTHAM approaches Adam SMITH by considering that the market functions better without intervention of the State.
Friedrich HEGEL (1770-1831 – Phenomenology of the mind)
The meeting of two individuals inevitably gives birth to a master and a slave. The spirit that prefers freedom to life becomes the master and the one that prefers life to freedom becomes the slave. The existence of the master’s consciousness is confirmed by the existence of the slave.
Being a slave depends on your own will. Injustice is therefore not only on the side of the oppressing masters, it is also on the side of the oppressed slaves. Friedrich HEGEL.
He also theorizes the dialectic of history: the latter is a logical series of theses (for example absolute monarchy), antitheses (the Revolution) and syntheses (the first Empire).
The rise of socialism , communism and anarchism
The French Revolution abolished the privileges linked to birth. But it stopped on the way. The serfs have become workers. They simply changed masters: the owners of the means of production replaced the lords. The industrial revolution gave birth to a mass proletariat which, for Marx, is the fervent of future revolutions which will lead, according to a mathematical logic, to communism.
Pierre-Joseph PROUDHON (1809-1865 – What is property?
In France, the 1830 revolution culminated in the July monarchy. The class struggle is raging. For PROUDHON , the rights to liberty, equality and security are natural, absolute, inalienable and must be the basis of the foundation of any society. Property is contrary to all these rights: the property of the rich feeds on the misery of the masses; Property must therefore be abolished.
Property is theft. Pierre-Joseph PROUDHON.
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859 – The Old Regime and the Revolution)
It challenges the emerging ideas of socialism : socialism ignores the highest human qualities, it undermines private property and stifles the individual. For Tocqueville, socialism is only a new servitude.
Democracy seeks equality in freedom, socialism seeks it in bondage. Alexis de Tocqueville.
Tocqueville sees three flaws in socialism:
- it sums up man to his material inclinations (he would only seek to accumulate goods);
- he ignores the ideals of generosity and virtue;
- it undermines the idea of private property (an essential element of freedom).
In other words, socialism kills the spirit of enterprise, the spirit of initiative, discredits the owners, despises the individual who is only a cog in the big state machine.
John Stuart MILL (1806-1873 – Of Liberty)
A healthy society is made up of individuals who are free to think and act, as long as they do not harm others.
Wherever a dominant class exists, the morality of the country emanates to a large extent from the interests and the feeling of superiority of this class. John Stuart MILL.
MARX is not very far away … MILL sees three fundamental freedoms: freedom to think and opinion, freedom to follow one’s tastes and inclinations (as long as it doesn’t harm others), freedom to associate with others ‘other. However, for MILL , the electoral system results in a dictatorship of the majority over the minorities.
Thus we classify the tyranny of the majority among those evils against which society must protect itself. John Stuart MILL.
In only one case is the state legitimate to limit an individual’s freedom: to prevent him from harming others. For everything else (body and mind), the individual is sovereign.
The struggle between freedom and authority is the most remarkable feature of these historical periods which are familiar to us from childhood. John Stuart MILL.
And fortunately, because this freedom, in particular to think, is the necessary condition for innovation, the spirit of initiative which make humanity progress through perpetual debate, the confrontation of ideas.
Mikhaïl BAKOUNINE (1814-1876 – Stateism and Anarchy)
The privileged tend to rule institutions, therefore corrupt them and the masses remain in slavery. Refusing authority is necessary to free yourself and flourish. No one can do anything about it. Even the most beautiful souls wear out the exercise of power and end up defending their own interests. It is therefore necessary to suppress all authority, even that emanating from universal suffrage. Bakunin is one of the fathers of Anarchism. His thinking would fuel opposition to Marxism, which on the contrary would argue for a dictatorship of the proletariat, therefore a ruling authority.
David THOREAU (1817-1862 – Civil disobedience)
The existence of slavery is proof that the state is the source of misfortune and injustice. We must then disobey to bring down this slave state. THOREAU prefers to trust the individual intelligence of citizens.
The best possible government is the most discreet. David THOREAU.
David THOREAU inaugurates a new means of action against an unjust state: civil disobedience. It will inspire activists in their struggles for the recognition of rights, such as Martin Luther KING or Mahatma GANDHI .
Karl MARX (1818-1883 – Capital)
Capitalism and private property transform the worker into goods. They are alienated, cut off from the production of their work, their identity, their brothers. Communism abolishes private property and puts an end to alienation. MARX opposes HEGEL , because he thinks that we can act on history by the action of the masses. «
Communism is humanism brought back to itself by the end of private property. Karl MARX.
Like PROUDHON, MARX sees the source of the evil in the existence of private ownership of the means of production which allow « the owners » to exploit the workers by stealing most of the fruit of their labor.
We recognize no other definition of communism than the abolition of the exploitation of man by man. Karl MARX.
Friedrich NIETZSCHE (1844-1900 – The twilight of idols)
man is « will to power », an energy which pushes him to persist in his being. NIETZSCHE is against the tide: he is nostalgic for the great nobility, the great Hellenes: in antiquity, the qualities of the lion (strength, power, vitality) were the most sought after. He regrets to see that the values put forward are now those of the lamb (softness, non-aggressiveness): the fault of Christianity and the declaration of human rights.
Édouard BERNSTEIN (1850-1932 – Problèmes du socialisme)
The socialists are mistaken: they thought that capitalism would accentuate misery. The opposite happened. The standard of living of workers has improved. Capitalism is very stable, capable of overcoming crises. BERSTEIN notes that workers end up recognizing the benefits of capitalism. The revolutionary socialists then prefer to reform than to revolutionize.
Petr KROPOTKINE (1842-1921 – The Conquest of Bread)
All authority should be rejected, the church of course, but also the state. Any structure is liberticide; man must cooperate on the basis of what is best: respect for others and their propensity for mutual help. Pert KROPOTKINE is the father (with Bakunin ) of Anarchist Communism . Its world is based on a total absence of state, absolute egalitarianism and solidarity.
Instead of the cowardly formula: Obey the law! Let’s cry Down with all the laws! Petr KROPOTKINE
Max WEBER (1864-1920 – Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism)
The individual is just a cog in a running machine. He is the father of sociology . The idea is for Max WEBER to seek an “ideal-type” by analyzing society as it is. To understand how it works, you have to study its simplest cog: the individual; complex interactions between individuals lead to collective representations, such as religion or economic systems. Individuals create systems that end up restraining them: Max WEBER sees Protestantism, more individualist than Catholicism, as the source of capitalism.
Totalitarian states – communists, fascists and Nazis.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Tsar Nicolas II was still at the head of an immense territory, from the Urals to Kazakhstan, essentially agrarian, trailing the great European powers. The First World War ended for Russia in 1917 with the Bolshevik Revolution and the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty with Germany. Why did the communist sauce take hold in Russia, a country without industry and therefore without a proletariat, while everywhere else it came to an end? In 1848, calling for the mass uprising in the manifesto of the Communist Party, MARX and ENGELSthought that the first domino would fall either in England or in Germany because of the presence of a structured mass proletariat. In 1919, defeated Germany was well agitated by troubles caused by the spartakist leagues of Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht . But soon order is restored. As Edouard BERSTEIN had anticipated in The Problems of Socialism, the French and English workers seem to be content with the progressive improvement of their standard of living. They aspire more to be part of the bourgeoisie than to overthrow it. A split of the left forces then appears between those who want reforms ( the socialists) and those who want the revolution ( the communists ). In October 1917, after a brief revolution, the first communist state in the world was born. It is the beginning of a terrible famine and 80 years of totalitarianism.
Vladimir Ulyanov ILLITCH says “LENIN (1870-1924 – The State and the Revolution)
The young agitator Vladimir Ulyanov ILLITCH said « Lenin » read MARX and ENGELS . He is a revolutionary communist who claims to be French Jacobins. To carry out his revolution, he intends to rely on the nascent Russian proletariat. He takes up the idea of MARX and ENGELS of a “vanguard party ” (the Bolshevik party), made up of professional revolutionaries capable of training the masses in its wake. He is not reluctant to violent actions, t to public executions and to large-scale purification. The Bolsheviks took power in October 1917. The Cheka, ancestor of the KGB, is set up and its staff increases exponentially. However, famine rages on the territory where all the private farms have been integrated into large collective units (the Kolkhozes ) which mainly stand out for their inability to feed the population.
Lenin understands that a little freedom (of capitalism) must be reintroduced into the system by launching his new economic policy (NEP). The famine immediately subsided but the process was denounced by the pure Marxists of his team. STALINE will definitively bury this idea and cause famine to resurface.
For Lenin , there is only one truth, an absolute truth: that given by MARX . So any opposition party or press becomes useless. The Bolshevik dictatorship is thus justified.,
Léon TROTSKI (1879-1940)
The Marxism is only valid if it is authentic. TROTSKI was Lenin’s companion in 1917. Between 1917 and 1922, he reorganized the Red Army. When LENINE died in 1924, STALINE imposed a state dictatorship. For TROTSKI , it has diverted the essence of communism. Stalin’s absolutist bureaucracy led, instead of the dictatorship of the proletariat (wanted by MARX ), to the dictatorship of one man, thus crushing all hope of a mass revolution, a permanent revolution that TROTSKI called for the preservation of the achievements of socialism. MARXcalled for an international revolution, a necessary condition for the success of his project. TROTSKI notes that STALIN very early on renounces this ideal by plebiscite « communism in one place », thus confiscating for its benefit the Soviet Union. In 1937, TROTSKI feeling threatened went into exile in Mexico. For TROTSKI , STALIN reinstalled the worst of absolutism, regenerated « the fetish of power » and created a new aristocracy. These crimes are those of this new aristocracy, of a nomenklatura against the masses. For TROTSKI the means (including the most violent repression) are justified only when they aim to increase the power of man over nature and to abolish the power of man over man. He was assassinated on the orders of STALINE in 1940.
Giovanni GENTILE (1875-1944 – Dottrina del Facsismo)
It is striking to see in the writings of the negro of MUSSOLINI, the similarities between the Fascist ideology and Common site (as defined by MARX ). In the Dottrina del Facsismo, he banishes individualism and advocates collectivism. It extols human values beyond materialism. For GENTILE , the nation must have priority and thus everything must be subordinate to the State.
In the program of the National Socialist Deutsche Arbeiter Partei by Adolf HITLER , there is also a desire to deny the individual for the benefit of the nation. The masses, educated very early on by power, must act with the same objective: to restore the nation to its power.
The Nazi State and the Communist State eventually tend towards the same totalitarianism: indoctrination, suppression of individual liberties, prohibition of the opposition press, establishment of the single party, cult of personality, camp for opponents, economy planned, collectivism, installation of a political police (GESTAPO and KGB)…
The end of illusions
TROTSKY had affirmed that the dictatorship of the proletariat should only be one step in the long march towards communism: if the need for a political police were to persist, it had to be recognized that the theories of MARX and EENGELS were false. For having stated this evidence, STALIN had him murdered in 1940. KHROUCHTCHEV , in his famous report, was the first to denounce the Stalinist crimes. He was landed by the heirs of the Georgia ogre. This strange mixture of humanism and dictatorship that communism constituted for almost a century found its epilogue in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. A man embodied the twilight of the communist ideal: Mickaël GORBATCHEV, the man from perestroika who became first secretary of the PC of the USSR in 1985. Had he read Tocqueville ? He understood that the equality imposed between all men generated frustration, loss of motivation, spirit of initiative and, height of irony, famines in the most fertile regions (in particular STAVROPOL of which GORBATCHEV was a the leader under BREJNEV ). The race for technology, in particular the military one, imposed on the USSR in the early 1980s by Ronald REAGAN with his star wars project, sounded the death knell for the Soviet empire whose economy had all the characteristics of those of the Third World. GORBATCHEVembarked on a social democratic turning point by introducing the market economy, authorized the press and the opposition parties. By thus releasing the bridle, he started a forward march which he could not control causing, under the impulse of Boris ELTSINE , the dislocation of the USSR.
In general terms, the objectives of perestroika are: free economy, free politics, end of isolationism and integration of the country into the concert of civilizations. The fundamental principle, if you look at the philosophical level, is the rejection of any pre-established model (he thinks of MARX and ENGELS ), caught in good intentions and imposed on society by superior forces. The goal is to release the energies, the vital forces to develop the spirit of initiative to create well-being, each on its side, but also all together. And this path should not be built on dogmas, but on simple and universal human values that have guided human progress for centuries. Mickael GORBATCHEV.
Friedrich Von KAYEK (1899- 1992 – The road to bondage)
VON HAYEK seems to explain the intuitions of GORBATCHEV (predicted by Alexis de TOQUEVILLE ) For VON HAYEK , centralized planning cannot meet the specific and changing needs of each individual. A consumer knows in real time what he needs, a planner sometimes but more often than not he is wrong! Planning involves controlling people’s lives and leads to totalitarian government.
Only a totalitarian government can satisfy the demands of the right to material equality. Friedrich VON HAYEK.
For VON HAYEK, only the free market makes it possible to adjust, through the price mechanism, demand to production. This mechanism is inherent in the functioning of society, it regulates its functioning.
Hannah ARENDT (1906-1975 – The origins of totalitarianism)
The manipulation of facts is not, for Hannah ARENDT, the prerogative of totalitarian regimes. It denounces the falsification of the facts, including in the great democracies like in the United States, for political ends, even to justify violence.