Wednesday, 3 March 2010


In 1821, Hegel wrote "When the activity of civil society is unrestricted, it is occupied internally with expanding its population and industry." As a result "the accumulation of wealth increases ....But on the other had, the specialisation and limitation of particular work also increase, as do the likewise the dependence and want of the class which is tied to such work .....the inner dialectic of society drives it go beyond its own confines and look for consumers, and hence the means it requires for its subsistence, in other nations  which lack those means of which it has a surplus or which generally lag behind it in creativity etc". This process leads to the development of international trade, with all its "fluidity, danger and destruction" and to the establishment of colonies for the surplus population of civil society.
Accordingly unrestrained civil society generates a series of systemic dysfunctions - growing divisions between rich and poor, a shortage of markets and a tendency towards external markets which is both liberating and destabilising.

from Social Theory, A Historical Introduction by Alex Callinicos

1 comment:

  1. it is so good to be home and back with my catch up. i so enjoyed your blog it is fab for me to know how things are going I often feel very cut off from you all as I just cant access orange where I am in Brecon and no chance of WIFI Still it is a good job all in all in helping others, just draining on me. love as always Gill