Power and Civil Society: Toward a Dynamic Theory of Real Socialism

Power and Civil Society: Toward a Dynamic Theory of Real Socialism

Power and Civil Society: Toward a Dynamic Theory of Real Socialism

Power and Civil Society: Toward a Dynamic Theory of Real Socialism

Synopsis

The book elaborates on a proposal of the general theory of political power that confronts it with its classic area of application--the Soviet Union--by offering a series of models beginning with the most abstract. Each subsequent model presents a more complicated network of interconnections that characterize the phenomenon of political power. Whereas most books on socialism are based on either radical or conservative ideologies, Power and Civil Society begins with radical assumptions but reaches rather conservative conclusions.

Excerpt

The first version of this book consisted of lectures which I gave in the fall of 1982 for my cointerned colleagues, the activists of "Solidarity," in Kwidzyn Prison. These lectures were published in 1982 as a small brochure, "O koniecznosci socjalizmu I koniecznosci jego zaniku" [On the Necessity of Socialism and the Necessity of Its Disappearance], edited by an underground firm (Internova: Gdansk-Kwidzyn, 1982, p. 42). a more elaborate version of the booklet appeared under the same title as an article in an independent scientific yearbook, Przyjaciel nauk. Studia z teorii I krytyki spolecznej (Vol. 2, Wroclaw: Aspect, 1984, pp. 105-50). the English version of that paper, A Model of Socialist Society, appeared in Studies in Soviet Thought, Vol. 34 (1987): 1-55.

I received more time to transform the brochure into a book at the beginning of 1985 when the minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education expelled me from my chair in the Department of Philosophy at Poznan University, because of my underground writings. An unintentional result of his decision was the monograph Wladza. Proba teorii idealizacyjnej [Power. Towards an Idealizational Theory] edited by an independent publisher In plus (Warszawa, 1988). the writing of the book was made possible by the fee provided by Spoleczny Komitet Nauki (Social Committee of Science). This independent institution helped many other scientists and students who were in a similar situation to mine in the 1980s.

During 1988-1990 I visited three excellent institutions: the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Wassenaar), the Australian National University, History of Ideas Unit (Canberra), and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. the atmosphere of incessant idea interchange which ruled in all these institutions gave me an opportunity to expand and refine my manuscript. I also profited a great deal from the discussions I had after reading . . .

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