The Slavery of “Radical Democracy”

In the comments section of Part 1 of Hans-Peter Raddatz’ article, our Canadian correspondent Rembrandt Clancy provided some useful explanatory background for the complex academic material that informed Dr. Raddatz’ essay. To give his exegesis the widest possible distribution, it is republished below in a slightly edited version:

As pointed out in the introduction, Dr. Raddatz writes for a scholarly periodical (Die Neue Ordnung), hence there appears to be a certain expectation that readers will be familiar with the background concepts. Sometimes his words appear simple enough, but there is much more behind them.

]I will attempt to explain some of the expressions which appear in the above quotation offered by JBP. Overall, the quoted section is describing a political development which moves from a constitutional republic to a (partisan) party state, then to peoples’ democracies and finally to the EU system, which is slowly taking on the characteristics of “radical democracy” (Habermas). The most important concept to be discussed here is “radical democracy”.

But let us start from the beginning. JBP’s excerpt begins: The “party state as a decadent form of the constitutional state” (K. A. Schachtschneider). German readers will wish to follow the above link which goes to Schachtschneider’s “Public Affairs are the Peoples’ Affairs”. It is the source for the above quotation and also for the paragraph which follows immediately.

For the “party state” Dr. Schachtschneider actually uses the term “partisan party” state (parteiliche Partei: an ideologically driven party), by which he means that government and citizenry have become separated. In the republic, by contrast, the real politicians are the citizens, a condition which is not subject to “dogmatisation” (presumably, ideologisation). When the identity between ruler and citizen is lost, the essence of the constitutional republic is gone; what remains is the party state, a decadent form of the republic.

Dr. Raddatz’ context is the journalistic corruption described in his previous paragraph. The level of state indoctrination implemented by the press identifies today’s Germany as an example of a decadent form of the republic, a party state. For by the act of indoctrination it identifies itself as “partisan” and sets itself against the citizen. It is well known that all five parties in Germany’s Bundestag have largely the same ideology and policies on important matters; for example, Islamisation and the implementation of the EU dictatorship.

The next expression in JBP’s excerpt is “the road to democracy”, which according to Raddatz, is an expression that has been used “monotonously” since the “Arab Spring”: It refers to “…a system of government which is in the process of radicalising and anonymising the elites” (Europe and the Coming Caliphate, Introduction, Section 1). Our quoted JBP paragraph tells us that this anonymous form of “democracy” (discussed below) is prefigured by the “people’s democracies” (Volksdemokratien) of which the German Democratic Republic was an example, but the party state concept also embraces Nazi-Fascism, Bolshevism and also Jacobinism. The EU is the “Islamic-inspired successor version” of the peoples’ democracies, and Dr. Raddatz understands it as a fourth wave of totalitarianism starting with the Jacobins.

But the EU system is now a developing “radical democracy”. Radical democracy is “a disguised discipline of obedience, which — with decades of pluralisation — metamorphosed into ‘voluntary obedience’ and emerged as communicative action, correctness, excellence and self-reflexivity (Selbstreflexivität)…” (Europe and the Coming Caliphate, Introduction, Section 1). Among these undefined terms, the most pivotal is “self-reflexivity”, as found in the expression “self-controlling mass society” (sich sellbst kontrollierende … Massengesellschaft: cf. section 5 of Part I of the current essay).

Self-reflexivity literally refers to the dynamic of a “reflex”, as opposed to reflection (Reflexion: thought, contemplation). Reason and self-reflection are replaced by automaticity, especially at the communicative level, hence “communicative action” (Habermas). ‘Action’ is of course behaviour, hence the term suggests the absence of a conscious subject, unless it is outside of the communicative system itself.

For readers in the English speaking world, Behaviourism constitutes a mechanistic system which roughly parallels this type of reflexivity (the operantly conditioned reflex), although it is much less abstract than Habermas’s system, but Behaviourism also represents a type of automatic communication. Behaviourism’s reward system is modelled after the mechanistic theory of Natural Selection: those behaviours which are consistent with the environment (reward or reinforcement) automatically increase, otherwise they become automatically extinguished (analogue of Darwin’s “extinction”). The exclusive focus on behaviour rules out consciousness, hence Behaviourism’s de-subjectivisation of the individual.

With respect to Dr. Raddatz’ mention of the sociologists Habermas and Luhmann, it is sufficient to note here that their theories are also radically mechanistic after the fashion of the theory of Natural Selection, to which they too show some correspondence. Dr. Raddatz represents these mechanistic theories as models of communication and interaction which “de-subjectivise” man, for the theories emphasise interactions which become reflexive rather than reflective. “Change”, for example, is a highly valued word. It becomes an end in itself, or more literally translated, it becomes its own purpose (Wandel zum Selbstzweck werden läßt, Cf Part II of this essay.). Mechanism, or automatic change, is an unconscious process and not within the conscious power of the individual as a person. In Part II, Dr. Raddatz refers to the expression used by Angela Merkel and others, that there is “no alternative” (to the Euro currency). He points out that when there is “no alternative”, there is only power. It is within the vacuum thus created by “no alternative” that a passive mass emerges which is subject to a radical determinism, a de-subjectivised system (“Kommunikation als entsubjektiviertes System” (cf. Kirsten Reich: Luhmanns Entsubjektivierung des Konstruktivismus, “Luhmanns de-subjectivisation of Constructivism”).

Parallel to self-reflexivity is “self-dressage”, the training for radical democracy. For Dr. Raddatz, the “dialogue”, which has its beginning in Vatican II, is a training procedure en route to radical democracy, and it too has the character of reflexivity, hence he refers to it as “self-dressage”. “Dressage” is Dr. Raddatz’ metaphor for the automatic and reductive training character of the “dialogue”, hence he mentions it in connection with self-reflexivity which is apparent in the definition of dressage as horse training: “…it [the horse] walks, trots, and canters …, all in response to barely perceptible movements of its rider’s hands, legs, and weight.” (Dressage: Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Dr. Raddatz: “The self-dressage [Selbstdressur] of the ‘dialogue’, in accordance with the dogma that Islamic peace consists in the elimination of all that is non-Islamic, envisions its objective of salvation as now being on the path toward another kind of democracy; namely, “radical democracy”, which is associated with the sociological dogma of self-reflexivity” [Selbstreflexivität] (Europe and the Coming Caliphate, Section 3 ).

As a good example of how the dialogue works as dressage, in section 2 Dr. Raddatz mentions French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, whom he quotes as saying that “Muslims have brought God back to Europe.” Dr. Raddatz has “the dialogue” in mind here, for Cardinal Tauran is president of the “Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue”, a discastery of the Roman curia which appears to be oriented mainly to “dialogue” with Islam. The Cardinal is reported to have said the following:

‘Islam makes people afraid: It is a fact. For many people, Islam is reduced to fanaticism, holy war, terrorism, polygamy and proselytism, all preconceptions that circulate in the Western world,’ he said.

‘Should we be afraid of Islam? No, certainly not,’ he said. But only dialogue allows people to overcome such fear, by informing them about the religious traditions of the others, identifying what unites and what separates them, and cooperating as much as possible in the societies where they live, he said. (Catholic News Service)

As an aside to the Tauran reference, Dr. Raddatz, immediately following the mention of Cardinal Tauran, mentions that “Pope Francis gave different signals, suggesting rather an abatement of the excessive political ‘dialogue’.” This ‘abatement’ is far from apparent after reading the recent interviews the Pope has given. Consider the one to La Repubblica‘s founder, Eugenio Scalfari on 1 October 2013: ‘The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.’

With respect to “social-technical coding” (mentioned at the end of JBP’s quoted paragraph), this term further accentuates the de-subjectivised world of sociologists such as Luhmann. For Luhmann, “systems (social, political, economic etc.) have reference only to themselves (self-referential) and are self-producing. Each system, money for example, is marked off from its environment by its own specific binary code, in this case “pay/not-pay”. In the legal system, the code is just and unjust. Government and business have different codings which relate to efficiency. ‘Coding’ comprises a complexity reduction, which lends systems a higher order in respect of themselves, albeit a reduced one vis-à-vis the environment” (Reich, Kersten: Die Ordnung der Blicke. Band 1; Kapitel II.2.5).

There are highly specialised elites which permit the otherwise isolated and differently coded systems to communicate with each other at their point of contact. These elites are called “differentiation parasites” (Armin Nassehi), a term which is not necessarily construed negatively by its inventor. Due to the high level of complexity at the coding level of operation, differentiation parasites remain invisible, hence a reference to the anonymity of the elites mentioned above. For Dr. Raddatz’ application of the concept of coding, the point of contact for the operation of the parasites is the interface between the general mass and the elites. Here we have the separation of state from the governed, which once again defines Dr. Schachtschneider’s decadent “partisan state”.

The dynamic of a binary code, which is peculiar to each social system, contributes to its specialised automaticity (unconscious functioning). Having noted this same reflexive character in respect of ‘radical democracy’, what we have here is the technologisation of human relationships (Source: Eliten als Differenzierungsparasiten, “Outline of a Research Programme”).

The essence of the paragraph quoted by JBP is its end point, ‘radical democracy’. For Dr. Raddatz, “radical democracy” is a resurgent collectivism which is part of a broad “counter concept” to the Judeo-Christian tradition which, to the extent that the latter is still part of Western consciousness, even if it is not literally believed, must be extinguished whatever the cost. As a counter concept to Judeo-Christianity, it is not simply a matter of it extinguishing Christianity as one belief system among others. At the heart of ‘radical democracy’s’ automaticity and reflexivity is its rejection of the Logos, understood as logic, speech, reason and the Word; that is, a rejection of Christ Himself as an historic and cosmic event which, in reality, cannot be reversed at all.

Hence the conflict of our time is between Christianity and a resurgent collectivism, between a hard-fought-for consciousness, and a regression to a pre-Christian condition of the Father (Allah), between the free individual and the natural human condition of slavery (Hilaire Belloc) — a future symbolised and evident in the dhimmitude under Islam.

Previous posts by or about Hans-Peter Raddatz:

2011   Mar   6   Is Secularization Possible in Islamic Countries?
2012   Dec   30   Europe and the Coming Caliphate: The Political-Cultural Scenario
        31   Europe and the Coming Caliphate: European Mufti-ism
2013   Jan   1   Europe and the Coming Caliphate: Dhimmitude versus Islamophobia
        2   The Profit for Islam from the Reduction of Thought
    Aug   6   The Visible, Gradual Surrender of Sovereignty
    Nov   7   Islamic Seasons and “Democratic” Global Policy, Part 1

15 thoughts on “The Slavery of “Radical Democracy”

  1. This is a better “translation”.

    I had a conversation last night with a person who worked on the prosecution of Milosevic and other Serbians in the ICC and The Hague.

    She worked specifically for an Egyptian Muslim who taught in Chicago and set up the war crimes tribunals in the Yugoslavian conflicts in Geneva.

    I caught her out romanticizing Al Andalus, and schooled her a bit on the Reconquista. She was overly sympathetic with Islam without herself being Muslim, she was excessively critical of Christianity and it seemed to come from her technical training in IR and public policy background. It was irreligious and it was technocratic in nature.

    This seemed to confirm Raddatz observations about technocratic radicals. It never crossed her mind that the Egyptian might have had theological reasons for chasing down Serbian warriors and leaders and to have them tried by Judges in another Christian country by essentially athiestic judges.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how buried some people are in specialization, so buried that they don’t think strategically and don’t know when they’re being played.
      Incapable of seeing the intersection of history and the present, they do as they are told without seeing its meaning.
      In the late nineteenth-century, the Austro-Hungarians wanted pliant bureaucrats. Consequently, they created an educational system that was boring to the core, and for the most part, they had pliant bureaucrats.
      And then there were the people who held their breaths and started doing their own things after graduating, sometimes with mere mediocre grades.
      Franz Kafka and Sigmund Freud.
      I can’t help but see a historical analogue between our own society and theirs.
      And we know what happened to the Austro-Hungarian empire.
      The architects of the European union believe they have created something that is going to remain static.
      They’ve bet on snow in July and sun in January.
      And as for the Muslims bringing God back into Europe . . . don’t count on it.
      Muslims have brought back the prospect of drawn out religious conflict and wars. Not war, wars.

  2. Look how scientific dominating the masses became.
    Regarding the extinction of Christianity concepts I can tell you of our experience here in Israel:
    At the beginning the lefties try to do it that way by force, by ridicule, demonitation and other resources. But it did not work. Now they are using a more dangerous way and it is done by altering the meaning of words, symbols etc, keeping the power of them for their proposes.
    This is a much more effective way, that’s how Islam works and proved itself in the past.
    Maybe it doesn’t really matter since the islamist will take it all, the elites and the masses together. Unless they suddenly open their eyes before it’s to late for them, but i don’t think it can happen.
    Of course there is always the possibility of the west to recover it culture and defend itself.

  3. It is so sad to see what the socialists have done to our Western culture. They have consistently hammered at that brilliant construct of the American founding fathers. The individual as free and able to conduct his affairs with a limited government that he controls. Now that this brilliant system has been beaten down it is ready for the domination/submission by Islam and our current “leadership” has no effective defense for it. Our education system has been so despoiled that critical thinking about our culture is but a dim memory, if that.

  4. They ridicule rational faith to replace it with the ghosts of their imaginary friends, all the time denying that this is a war of spirituality. They are not pagans they are heretics and usurpers they are the dead burying the dead in the utopian soil.

  5. An alternative description of EU governance is democratic despotism, in which an all powerful, centralized administrative bureaucracy which ‘happens to have’ member state legislatures whose sole purpose is to exist for the rubber stamping of its legislation and decrees thereby giving an appearance of representative democracy, as it further empowers the far away, and ever increasing administrative state.

  6. It’s paradoxical that Dr. Raddatz should speak so much about self-reflexivity, and yet, his essay involves nothing so much as a reflexive understanding. Dr. Raddatz expounds by analogy, allusion, and metaphor, but not the slightest hint of logic, argument, or testing of a hypothesis. The only understanding gained by a careful reading of Dr. Raddatz is a subjective feeling of comprehension. There is no argument to be made, no supporting or disproving evidence, no case which could even be hinted at to a person not already steeped in the milieu of anti-Jihad. Since there is no logical connection between the arguments, but only additional allusions, there is no pathway to understanding the development or to short-circuiting the process of rule by the elites.

    The main point of Dr. Raddatz’ thesis is intuitively understood by the most unsophisticated member of the EDL: the levers of democracy, the connection between the power of the electorate to vote, and the response by the political classes, are so corrupted, that politicians and bureaucrats in Europe are totally unresponsive to the wishes of their polity. This insight does not need a long chain of dense dialectic to comprehend.

    I’ll summarize my lack of enthusiasm for Dr. Raddatz essay: besides being dense, difficult, and incomplete, it gives no ammunition whatsoever for any real analysis of the problem of the degeneration of political process, and no mechanisms for actions to reverse the process. Furthermore, the most profound understanding of Dr. Raddatz’ dialectic will not give the slightest hint of any future prediction of events.

    So again, what is the point of writing, or reading, this essay?

    Just to illustrate my disgust, I’ll put my ideas where my mouth is.

    It’s obvious that the mechanism for the disconnection between the electorate and the political classes is the degradation of the power of voting. The British always institutionalized this degradation by 1) the mechanism of the House of Lords, which involved a non-elected chamber of legislation. The nearest analogy is the US Senate, as originally conceived by the framers of the Constitution. However, the Senate was elected by a specialized class, the landowners, and subject to the discipline of actual producers of resources. The second mechanism was “pocket boroughs”, where members of parliament could be appointed with no representation whatsoever. Again, the nearest US analogy was party politics, where a candidate becomes highly dependent on the financial and public support of the party leadership. And again, the US political parties were totally dependent on the continued support of the electorate, whereas the British political process became more dependent on the vested bureaucracy and aristocracy.

    The connection between the US electorate and the political process is currently being broken by such mechanisms as racial parity, the requirement of proportional representation by race in the actual legislature, and by gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is a particularly pernicious process, whereby a legislator can bypass the displeasure of his constituency by simply redrawing the district boundaries to shut out the people he has displeased. A further mechanism is the court-mandated weakening of the power of political parties to support or not support their members. The political leadership of a party has a broader perspective than the representative of a single district, and by its power to enforce the principles of the party, provides a continuity and rationality to the political process.

    It is through specific mechanisms such as this that the representation process of political power becomes corrupted, and the wishes and interests of the actual citizenry become systematically ignored by the political leadership. This type of analysis is totally ignored by Raddatz. His essay makes simple ideas complex.

  7. Wow. Rembrandt and Baron, I’m both honored and humbled. My forthright admission was of being a knuckle-dragging backwoods hick, incapable of processing complex sentences that require a moderate ability to comprehend ideas by demonstrating some degree of mental ability. That confession has provoked additional thought and discussion, and I might have picked up a few points. Thanks for the additional explanations.
    RonaldB, I also am disgusted, and frustrated. However not with Dr. Raddatz; it is his choice to write as he sees fit, and his choice to pick the level of audience, etc. If he had chosen to offer some insight or help on ‘where we go from here’, great, but alas, no.
    The description Dr. Raddatz provides of the socio-political situation in various democracies/republics (and Rembrandt’s much clearer exposition) do, as RoanldB says, leave me with “a subjective feeling of comprehension” (I guess that’s what I felt). Again, I don’t decry the lack of a solution being offered. It appears that is not possible right now, and we are on the road to ……something.
    Madison (I think) did an enormous amount of reading on previous nation’s histories in order to help form a government that he felt was at once ‘good for the people’ and yet more immune to the social and political decay that destroyed once-great nations. I do not doubt that if he were here right now he might himself be incapable of offering any suggestion as to how we get out of these messes that are growing. As a powerful statesman or otherwise.
    To quote that wonderful 90’s rock band, “but nothing ever changes unless there’s some pain”. It has been painful getting here, and there’ll be more pain getting ‘there’, wherever in the heck that is.

  8. Pingback: Islamic Seasons and “Democratic” Global Policy: Part II, Section 2 | Gates of Vienna

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