Political Sociology: Democracy and Dictatorship: Their by Zevedei Barbu

By Zevedei Barbu

First released in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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DIDEROT FREEDOM A N D ORDER As HAS been pointed out in the first chapter, democracy is closely related to an empirical attitude to life. Such an attitude implies primarily that the flow of life is very little, if at all, hampered by pre-established norms or patterns. One can even say that the only sense of direction in the life of the individual, or of the group, is to be found in the stream of experience. Thus, an empirical attitude to life involves the highest degree of freedom for the individual, freedom which is circumscribed only by the limits of its own experience.

For their fulfilment, no socio-cultural factor is required, no particular faith, no particular ideology, no 27 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DEMOCRACY status, save two factors inherent in the ends themselves: money and intelligence. Intelligence is purely formal in character, its main function is to weigh and organize any circumstances of life which may lead to the chosen end. The individualizing tendencies in the economic order are expressed first of all in the system of ownership. Max Weber considers, for instance, the expropriation of workers from the means of production, taking place at the beginning of the modern age, as one of the main aspects of the rationalization of economic activity.

Thus the relationship between employer and employed is in principle not one of domination-submission, but one of a formal and impersonal system of obligations on both sides. E. Money has considerably intensified the process of individualization which is so characteristic of the modern way of life. Work, ability, consumption, etc. when expressed in money become so flexible that one could fix the place of every individual in the dimensions described by them. This makes it possible to differentiate between the individual members of the group, and consequently brings a high degree of formal freedom.

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