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"Villa, Volvo and vofs" and the technological innovations 

The European Participation Crisis – Major Power Politics, Mass Participation and Ideology in the 20. century
Forfatter: Curt Sørensen
Forlag: Frydenlund (Danmark)
Demands for continued economic growth on a limited planet have caused the global and systemic crisis.


Despite growing global inequality, a continued increase in CO2 emissions, and several larger complex crises in the world, the development of corporate technology systems continues to grow.

This unsustainable technology and innovation has a value system expressed in neoliberalism and the ruling consciousness as the basis: Demands for continued economic growth on a limited planet have caused the global and systemic crisis. Global because the economy as the basic driving force has occupied the entire planet as a dominant and hegemonic force. And systemically, because the "crisis" can only be exceeded if it happens in a new paradigm.

As a contribution to overcoming the crisis, the state is constantly supporting the introduction of more advanced technological innovations. From childhood, we incorporate technologies as natural and this shapes our worldview. The design of concepts, processes, cultural objects and increasingly complex information systems – language use, the written word, the alphabet, the printed press, the radio, television, the computer – are all milestones in the development of a modern humanity as the technological inventions of mankind.

Rosa Luxemburg called it a period of "convulsive convulsions, conflicts, war and disasters."

Life's oldest and most powerful technologies are our language usage and application of concepts. It allows us to map contexts and gain experiences from the development of consciousness, so that we can act on a "meta design" level. It provides an opportunity to influence community formation. Of course, there will be a difference between whether we view the world and humans in the light of a class struggle, or whether we choose to focus on the systemic crisis and future challenges for communities, communities and ecosystems.

A new beginning. It cracks in the joints and bonds of society. This is how Marx wrote in the introduction to The Communist Manifesto. The time in which we now live also does not express an order of progress, peace and harmony, but can be characterized by what Rosa Luxemburg called a period of "convulsive convulsions, conflicts, war and disasters" and as an introduction to a new historical period. This has given author and researcher Curt Sørensen the opportunity – most recently – to illuminate Europe's dramatic recent history.

The work The European Participation Crisis – Major Power Politics, Mass Participation and Ideology in the 20. century is a single-volume work a compilation of the author's previously published three-volume work State, nation, class, but now focusing on 20th century political movements, ideologies and regimes.

The theory of uneven and combined development permeates the work. After half a century of research, Sørensen has presented his own research results – in an interdisciplinary and international collaboration with bases in Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Aarhus and with ongoing contact with 23 research centers. The work "enters into a beginning and international reflection and discussion on Europe's dramatic recent history and problematic future".

As the focal point of his work, Curt Sørensen has chosen "the double European participation crisis".

Contestant Crisis? In the light of the entire history of civilization, it is not long since Europe was characterized by local social struggles and a rising capitalist class's struggles over territories, resources, power and influence. Subsequently, our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents were "included" in the community by the struggle for participation and influence as the first participation crisis. The second such crisis involves the conflicts between the great powers of the late 19th century international political system to the present day.

From the fact that the rulers had been able to rule relatively sovereignly locally, the 20th century became dramatic. The inclusion and introduction of a new mass policy did differ in the various countries and regions of Europe, but there were violent and conflict-filled events everywhere. These provoked strong tensions between elites and populations and also clashes between the new mass movements among themselves.

We know today the whole system of sovereign nation states, founded in a modern industrial economy with a modern rational-bureaucratic state and with nationalism as a binding cement and driving force. These nation-states, according to Curt Sørensen, have their background in the Berlin congresses in 1878 and 1885. With the modernization efforts of the nation-states, a mutual competition developed in conflicting alliances – triggered in World War I and with subsequent structures – that came to dominate the rest of the century.

The double participation crisis ended in an explosion of war, mass murder and extermination.

The dual participant crisis, which includes the inclusion of population masses and of this mass policy as well as the shaking between European societies, took place partly simultaneously. Such a development is underpinned by the intensified globalization of new technologies, which has a bearing on a conflict-ridden political process in the individual nation states. But also afterwards through cooperation between the nations, such as the one after World War II in the reconstruction of Europe.

For European development history up to World War I, political mass participation in Europe evolved into two main forms, a democratization process and a nationalist development with a more or less marked radicalized anti-Semitism: the democratization process – as the most peaceful – unfolded with "inclusiveness" and "liberalization" »(Focusing on electoral rights) as the focal points, and nationalism focusing on« the sovereign people »as well as the common history and culture (partly also ethnicity).

The bloody and violent period of 1914–1945 was extremely crisis-prone. Furthermore, the upper class and the dominant elites felt threatened by the beginning democratization and the rising socialist working class. The period was characterized by a complicated game between masses and elites, between elites among themselves and at the bottom of society, with elites who could not "act without a significant mass affiliation".

Rational choice. In Russia, where war fatigue had surfaced, the Bolsheviks came to power in a complex relationship between elite and mass and with "elements of spontaneity, self-organization and what one might call a kind of mass choice" rational choice ". Not to implement socialism from above, but to "chop the chain into its weakest links" in a Europe ravaged by imperialism and war. Not Russia, but Europe as a whole, was ripe for revolution. As a "revolutionary internationalist" – at the time – Lenin (and Trotsky) believed that a revolution in Russia could become the spark that caught on.

With Lenin's involvement in the Russian Revolution, it was meta-design that was to blast the "coalition of barbarism" and pave the way for a socialist development based on workers' councils. The chain could be chopped over with the prospect of a paradigm shift.

The actuality of the revolution? The conditions for a revolution are not present today. Dot. For example, the avant-garde that can articulate the dissatisfaction of the general population is absent. In the wake of the Marshall Aid, the working class in Europe has further benefited from a substantial increase in inclusion into "villa, Volvo and sausages" and technological innovations over a long period of time.

The double participation crisis ended in an explosion of war, mass murder and extermination. The door of the revolution in Lenin's and Trotsky's edition seems now closed. But with the prospect of a mega environmental disaster and a not unlikely unfolding of "the so-called human nature's plasticity", there is a need for metadata design and for "bigger picture" activism.

As the liberation of the working class was the work of the working class itself, it must be obvious on behalf of civilization: Which social strata and elites today take responsibility and design a vision and strategy for the survival of civilization?

Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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