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Beyond the Civilizational Crisis: On Determinism

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image of Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

This article analyzes crisis as part of deeper trends determined in historical development from the perspective of two important theoretical streams: firstly, Analytical Marxism, and secondly, the Critical Theory of Society (the Frankfurt School). It shows both general determinants of historical development and pathological determinants of historical development. Examining Analytical Marxism and its theory of technological determinism, the article explains crisis in respect of situations of systemic changes mainly from the perspective of the relationship between forces of production and relations of production. Examining the Critical Theory, the article clarifies the role of the pathological determinants of instrumental rationality in human history in relation to efforts at human emancipation. In the article, crisis is seen as the superficial appearance of the historical developmental trends where there are inherent permanent tendencies to crisis. Crisis is a temporary eruption of the deeper contradictory development of the capitalist mode of production and other systems within the history of human civilization. The article discusses an issue of determinism as a necessary framework for the interpretation of crisis, and offers an interpretation of the preconditions of crisis not only from the economic point of view, but also, on a deeper level, in a civilizational sense.


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