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Legitimation Problems in Late Capitalism - Essay Example

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Legitimation Problems in Late Capitalism

The term 'legitimation' is derived from Weberian sociological tradition, whereas the term 'crisis' is a derivative of and from the Marxist analysis of Capitalism (Ramussen.1976). Let us first attempt to discuss the key terms 'legitimation and crises and how these terms although derivatives of earlier thought have been given new meanings through Habermasian analysis. It needs to be understood that Habermas has drawn critical distinctions, blurred but distinct boundaries between sociological evolution on the partly historical and partly sociological continuum. His estimation of advanced Capitalism is different from what Karl Marx analyzed and prophesied about. Marx had analyzed the Capitalism of liberal capitalism variety which functioned without state intervention; an Adam Smithsonian Laiisez-Fare capitalism. It had its own crisis, which Marx analyzed and perhaps predicted. Whereas the object or rather subjective focus of Habermasian analysis is modern, advanced capitalism with its unique attributes of state intervention and its concomitant urge for a value structure of its own, it therefore has its own particular form of crisis relating to 'legitimation and eventually motivation' (ibid. pp.350). The term Legitimation has its roots in the Weberian tradition, 'in weberian usage the term occurs with its counterpart of domination' (Ramussen.1976), a legitimate stratification of order and for order in the society, expressed in the form of legal system, a codification of dominant values, whereas Habermasian Legitimation is devoid of its excess baggage of domination, and is based on 'communicative competence' (Habermas. 1975).
Having discussed the key terms and their basis of occurring in the Habermasian analysis, let us now move on to attempting to trace the roots of this conceptualization. It may be argued that Habermas's point of departure about history of development of social theory is derived from Aristotle's distinction between episteme and phronesis, between science and prudence (Ramussen.1976). This distinction provides a useful preserve for politics from the stark and empiricist basis. Because ' the philosophy modeled on (pure episteme) would give priority to an elitist control, as natural science sought to control nature'(ibid). Therefore it may be understood that the precedence of phronesis over episteme forms the basis of core assumptions for Habermas. Moving further from these premises a brief reference can be made to Habermas's critique of Marx in interpretation of relationship of philosophy and science. The relationship between the two has been termed as ambiguous at best (ibid). However the Habermas does not seem to agree with Marx's assumption that science itself would provide the grounds for the salvation of modern society. In Habermas's own view 'it is necessary, in light of the adjudged failure of Marx's analysis, to continue the quest of a critical theory of society which will eventuate in human liberation' (Habermas. 1976).
It is now pertinent to take recourse to what Habermas has conceptualized. At the outset the argument begins with the stated purpose of achieving " A Social scientific Concept of Crisis" inimical to " State-regulated capitalism" (Habermas.1976.pp.1). Initially a theoretical framework is defined based on 'an ...Show more

Summary

This conflict (within Capitalist Society) has the following form: on the one hand, the priorities set under the economic imperatives cannot be allowed to depend upon a discursive formation of the public will- therefore politics today assume the appearance of a technocracy…
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Legitimation Problems in Late Capitalism essay example
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