Taxation can be substituted by inflation or credit systems. In all cases, present payments for explosively increased expenses are substituted with future costs. Hence the temporal management, of trade-offs between present suffering and future sacrifices, is the contested battlefield of present warriors and future payers: who will be the losers?
According to Luhmann ff , the symbolically generalized medium of payments codifies repayments as a diabolically generalized medium. After WWII US could develop the credit further, substituting gold with dollars and developing the network of credit institutions into still more layers. As systems theoreticians Dirk Baecker and Elena Esposito have shown, banks trade with trust and time.
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In history, they concentrated in the greatest cities since these centers synchronized communication about information, social trust and future credibility and accountability Braudel ; Germain ; Fontaine ; Ferguson Banks, from the Fuggers over the Rotchilds and to modern bankings systems develop networks of arrangements as forms that trade short term payments with long term loans. Already the medium of money is possible because present purchases are replaced symbolically with the possibility of future purchases.
In contrast to the extremely increasing US Economy , the economy and production of Soviet Union immediately decreased in , especially in the food production Collingham ; Harrison Albeit Soviet established some war obligations, the debt circus went the other way around and turned into a negative debt, it had to use starvation and probably more than 20 million Soviet citizens starved to death; probably million Soviet citizens died Sokolov , of which 17 million civilians. Another cost of war and negative debt is accounted for in the structural coupling between the war system and the psychic systems of the war veterans, including their relatives.
In fact, the sharp distinction between military organization systems and the war systems allows for observations of the organizational unhandled experience of soldiers. In a short formula, war veterans get caught squeezed in-between systems, including their own traumatized psychic systems that has to cope with experiences which do not fit into normal narratives Luhmann a; b; Journal of Traumatic Stress ,1.
Biographical narratives do rarely structurally couple thought and communication. The Christian theology about sin, guilt, shame and belief developed under the Crusades and in a binary dichotomy to such described problems the noble semantics of honour developed as well. With Napoleon, some social care was invented for war veterans; yet before, Swedish soldiers had a far more organized system of care. The Krim War invented nurses as better off women not whores.
Shortly after, the US Civil War got an aftermath with millions of traumatized and disabled soldiers. Physically disabled were recognized, far more in France and Germany than in Great Britain, but the problem came with the traumatized, who especially in Germany also officially had lost the war. In Germany, voluntary help agencies were dissolved right away from in favor of professionalized top down health and welfare expertise.
This led to the fatale experience of humiliation and lack of recognition. Hence, several non-social democratic veteran organizations turned into fascist and Nazi radicalization Geyer ; Cohen German lawyers, as indeed Luhmann, should only include veterans according to universal positive law — and it functioned. The fact was that by far the major part of US soldiers served in logistics and the minor part did not fit well into the care systems, but care was there and was taken serious. The Vietnam War traumatized the Vietnam population.
Yet among US soldiers after Vietnam, more veterans committed suicide than those who were killed in Vietnam In , more than 8. Hence, the individualization of traumas follows along with the individualization process of modern society since the Crusades, the Renaissance, late Enlightenment and in generational changes throughout the 20 th century Coker Exactly this becomes increasingly difficult for the war veteran, who so often, since the non-obligatory recruitment came in use after the Vietnam War, is told that war experiences will strengthen the personality.
Strong evidence demonstrates that the opposite is the case Glantz , ; Holmstedt ; Veteran experience is about temporal narratives. The past, the present and the hopes for future do not integrate. The veteran seems split and cannot cope with the differentiated functional systems and their organizations. The systems seem remote and he or especially she cannot communicate in their codes. Even families and former friends seem remote.
A piece of theater is going on and the veteran is on the scene but without the ability of acting and playing his role. Hence, social systems theory can describe the split between uncoupled systems and also how communication, thought, feeling, bodily experience operate in different temporalities. Luhmann finds that the speed and integrated — or disintegrated — thoughts are overwhelmingly faster than the much slower speed of communication, especially talking, not to say writing. Luhmann himself was a war veteran after having been soldier from his 15 th to his 17 th year. To him, a society can establish a war with itself and even form and transform war into a self-referential system.
Yet, the psychic system stays at the outside observing the conflict and quarrel society has with itself. Before, Thukydid, in the Melior dialogue, described how moral codes were used to judge what is possible in war jus in bello and to allow for war jus ad bellum. With the Crusades, the legal codifications developed still more and even so in Islam law Khadduri ; Tuck Peace re-enters into war in the form of law. The Pax Dei was justified as a code of moral used in courts to judge if killing was accepted, in the narrowest form: no killings of noble ladies in churches on Sundays!
However, such rules spread bottom up and met universal rules top down which lead to the so-called peace of land law Landesfrieden Jannsen a; b; Fisch Before the 16 th century, however, war was all over and there was no strong distinction between times of war and times of peace Cornette ; Genet Yet the German Landesfrieden in established a law codex beyond opposed confessions.
The abstract idea of an eternal natural law got a reasonable form beyond its theological formulation, of course belonging to Christians, but the pure idea continued: In the same word, with the same God, with one Ocean, could some abstract coherent code of co-existence be justified, if not established. It should be eternal and at the same time synchronic to the partners: recognized in the co-present time simultaneously and in whatever will come in the future as contingencies.
Table of contents
The organizational revolution, which began in the 16 th and culminated in the 17 th century did establish the reference for a law of nations. Hugo Grotius could describe how jus in bello and jus ad bellum became an external affair for empires. In addition, from — , from the Peace of Westphalia to the Peace of Aachen, to transgress state borders violently with armed forces became illegal.
Since war is an increasingly organized and violent competition for the better places in the finite world, war evolves into systems that are still more complex. Hence, military organized states have to differentiate as described by Montesquieu and military departments from tax departments, credit systems, educational systems and especially legal systems Behrens Taxes have to be administrated legally, in order to avoid tax costly rebellions.
Yet states copy each other. Hence, they converge into still more similar forms and their cooperation capacities evolve. Accordingly, whole networks of cooperation facilities will develop in the future. A world state would be a failure, but a complex network of cooperation and systems of diplomacy and peace was possible; the future was possible in the past. Conclusion: The structural coupling to politics and the risk structure of modern society.
The mythology of a direct structural coupling between war and politics is strong Luhmann c. It probably has several sources. One is the unified justification that authorized war with the word of a unified God. Another is a bit more secularized and used the king as mediator at the same time as the king was a legal sovereign, and became head of the protestant churches and was leader of the army as well as the prime financial supplier.
With the Enlightenment, however, a more modern version got some reality with Fredrick the Great and Napoleon. Both were the undisputed political sovereign leaders of their states and both were the undisputed leaders of their armies as well as the most professionally informed tactical leaders in history to that moment. To Jomini war became the planned tool and controllable instrument of the political system. Later, other political generals would follow, Mao, de Gaulle, Eisenhower, even Colin Powell, and in some respect Churchill who had an officer career.
However, a number of dilettantes have also disturbed the world Hitler, Mussolini, Rumsfeld.
Yet, there is a trap in-between the political system and the war system Huntington ; Vandergriff This disturbing risk is the military organization system and the problem is not the blind spots of a professional officer corps. Often, officers very well observe the risks of military campaign, albeit they seldom are responsible for the explosive financial costs and risks of wars and often close their eyes towards those veteran traumas that would impede recruitment of soldiers to their armies if officers told recruits about the risks of psychic traumas.
The risk is in the codes of administrative control that ever since Bodin and Colbert are so celebrated in the political system. The opposition has to demand for control and — together with the mass media — overloads the government for claims of control. The government exposes how much it controls and if caught in failure, claims that it already reforms the control measures. With such long path dependencies, the organizational system lends itself to control by the civil political order Huntington This certainly became the narrative for modern military organizations western style and even to the Red Army; Bellamy Furthermore, the parliamentary political system operates with the short term temporal binding of risks until the next elections.
Hovewer, parties as organizations are bound to the much longer temporal binding of careers Luhmann a: At the same time, politics is structurally coupled to the mass media that cope with the shortest of all temporal bindings, the code of news and sensations Luhmann They overload the political system with demands for conflict- and problem-solving measures Easton ; Luhmann ff.
Organizations communicates with organizations. Accordingly, the military organizational system, itself divided into army, navy and air forces compete with itself to pose problem-solving measures even without being sure about the question and the problems: it has the solutions. In the Jomini-instrumental form dependency, it tells: that it has the hammer and accordingly the world, the environment to the system, is made of nails.
This has been the ruling narrative from over to Its form-dependencies of semantics, codes, communications, narratives Smith and mythologies have lasted even longer. It seems to lack structural coupling with the realities of war and especially to the double costs of war. War systems are not subject to steering, only to delimitation Herberg-Rothe The Iraq war probably turned about times as expensive as planned Kaysen ; Stiglitz The second cost is humane.
The sacrifices and traumatizations have returns for generations. The Cold War began as a misperception of the strength of the Red Army and the Russian supplies, the Western powers did not observe the miserable state of the Soviet Empire including Eastern Europe. The Red Army literally had no capacity to fight another war and especially absolutely no motive, only it had learned from the First and Second World Wars that attack is less costly than defense. The Western strategists did not observe this vulnerability and risked to turn the world into the Almighty hell on that account.
Yet in the future, private military companies and drones may become alternatives Harste b.
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Kohl, Tobias Kuchler, Barbara Lind, William et al. Luhmann, Niklas Luhmann, Niklas a. Luhmann, Niklas a, a, a, a. Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik Band 1—4 , Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Luhmann, Niklas b. Luhmann, Niklas c. Luhmann, Niklas f.
Strassolde; G. Luhmann, Niklas d. Luhmann, Niklas e. Reden und Schweigen , Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Mack, Andrew Mann, Michael , His debates with such theorists thus place him close to the centre of widespread discussions on the nature of politics, on political legitimacy and the law, and on the theoretical preconditions of political humanism.
Against this background, this essay has three primary intentions. First, it seeks to give an account of the political-philosophical foundations of systems theory. Finally, it focuses on the relation of politics to law in his sociology, and in this respect it connects his work — both conceptually and politically — with the treatment of law and legitimacy in the writings of Martin Heidegger.
Against classical metaphysics, he dismisses all claims that a structure can be imputed to human society which is not autonomously produced by the evolution of the particular systems that form society. In short, he opposes all attempts to interpret modern social systems in light of causes, values or attributes which can in any way be stabilized or universalized in contrast to the temporary emergence of these systems. Most especially, however, he sets himself against all variants on the original metaphysical claim that there is a distinct underlying order to events in society, and that this order can be isolated in the form of law either causal or moral.
His theory of social systems hinges on the argument that each system of society is a closed or autopoietic unity of operations, and that no system is permeable to normative perspectives from outside it. Each system obtains a code, which enables it to differentiate itself from its environment, and to develop its own operations as an autonomous unity of self-referential, entirely contingent sense. The political system constitutes itself by developing the code of power, and then by applying this to themes which are relevant to power.
No system can formulate its relation to its environment, or react to problems in its environment, except in the binary options of its own internal code. This is not to say that systems have no means of learning about their environment. Contrary to cruder renditions of his sociology, Luhmann clearly states that each system possesses facilities for learning, which allow it to register malfunctioning in its relation to the environment, and, where necessary, to alter the applications of its code.
However, learning within a social system can only occur through the options which that system incorporates, and it cannot result from externally deduced information or instruction. He rejects normative sociological or political perspectives, which argue that social agency can be regulated by theoretically sustainable moral axioms, and which place ethics externally to the local composition of meanings and expectations.
This rationality, however, is never determined by criteria not produced in the system itself. In his political ethics, likewise, he claims that political legitimacy, and above all legitimacy in law, does not result from theories about right order. Legal theory, he intimates, is the most common bearer of quasi-metaphysical misconceptions. This is apparent above all in its tendency to detach law from social facticity, and then to burden it with the expectation that it might impose invariable norms and values justice, equality etc.
In fact, however, law is simply a self-reproducing complex of norms, which has assumed positive functional autonomy in the course of the evolutionary development s of modern society. Modern law is a medium that allows distinct systems and especially the political system autonomously to formalize their relations to their environments, and thus to gain positive, contingent legitimacy for themselves.
Legal legitimacy derives merely from the success with which it secures acceptance for itself. The legal system, he argues, only operates effectively because it is not political. Power and law are held together in a differentiated interdependence of second-coding , in which law derives content from power, yet in which law also formally limits power, or opposes its own counter-power Gegenmacht to the power communicated by politics. In short, Luhmann sees legislation as a neutral process of transmission that communicates in the form of law the decisions which the political system produces, but for whose processing politics on its own does not possess adequate resources.
Legislation is thus the moment in the decision-making of the political system which connects politics to its addressees the public , which externalizes the relation of the political system to its public, and through which the political system secures its own long-term legitimacy. Instead, legislation is a complex process of systemic self-stabilization, in which the political system secures its own legitimacy through administration. Legislation is simply that multiformed process which occurs wherever administration picks up decisions made in politics, and confers on these a medium law , which might be recognized and accepted by the public.
Running through all these reproaches against the metaphysical legacies in modern social theory is an attack on humanism, or philosophical anthropology. Sociology, he indicates, must always be something quite radically different from anthropology. The widespread belief that this is the case is merely one last, most fateful trace of metaphysics, which transfers the original illusion of ontological order or heteronomy into an equally simplistic model of a world revolving around the autonomous legislative person.
Congruence with formally measurable or legally determinable human needs cannot, however, be invoked as a measure for the legitimacy of modern systems. The major political perspectives since Kant — most obviously, Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, Weber, Simmel, Schmitt and Habermas — all indicate albeit in very diverse terms that legitimate political order must be anchored in a particular conception of the human person, and that the laws of legitimate politics must publicly re-present the essentially human structure of legal subjects.
At the foundation of modern German political philosophy, in consequence, is a coupling of anthropology and representation, which separates out the human being from all previous metaphysical or theological models of political legitimism and causality, and which posits the law-giving person, free of heteronomous determination, as the legal origin of legitimate order.
Fichte sees legitimate law as the practical self-positing of human reason, and Hegel sees it as the historical realization of the innate idea of human freedom. Subsequently, Nietzsche criticized the Kantian legal subject as a malign distillation of economic calculation, and he imagined true existence beyond formal-metaphysical laws, which suppress vital existence. Simmel, too, views legitimate law as a medium in which human existence can decisively articulate its most unconditioned imperatives. In each of these perspectives we encounter diverse types of legal anthropology, which explain the underlying composition of humanity as an independent capacity for obtaining law, and for grounding legitimacy on that original foundation.
Yet each of these arguments still contains halfsuppressed metaphysical elements and is ultimately unable to explain the production of legitimate law as a consistently post-metaphysical operation. In producing law as an autonomous legal subject, humanity simply elaborates its own prior orientation towards legislation.
In each of these instances the shift from metaphysical to anthropological conceptions of legitimacy is not conclusive, and political legitimacy is obtained by faculties of reason or character, whose existence is always conceived as a prior component of the human constitution itself. Legitimate law is nothing more and nothing less than the contingent form of the legal system, and the contingent form of the political system as it externalizes its internal boundary-relation to citizens its environment.
Referring to this term, a view on Heidegger still persists even amongst avowed-ly antiexistential philosophers that sees him as a theorist of transformative subjective exper-ience, and so as a covert anthropological or even quasi-humanist philosopher. This subject, then, as a ghostly universal legislator, is called upon to regulate the conditions for all possible knowledge. His idealism reduces human being to an empty series of legislative operations, in which pure reason regulates the extent of its cognitive validity, and in which practical reason regulates the conditions of ethical autonomy.
The world, in consequence, is the horizon of reality in which human-being interprets its simultaneous relation to, and difference from, Being Sein itself. The communicatively structured forms of the world are ever-changing, as they are not anchored in invariably valid prescriptions. There is no gauge of good praxis outside the world, or outside the local orders of meaning within it: the world, therefore, is both the shared reality and the shared fate of those people whose beginnings and ends are inscribed in it.
In a genuinely legitimate political order, in contrast, human historical consciousness would no longer formally extrapolate itself from being into universal ethical standards or values, but would endlessly produce practical forms adequate to its own conditions. Legitimate political order occurs where human historical consciousness realizes itself in appropriate objective forms, against which no abstract theoretical measure laws can be mobilized.
The legitimacy of historical or political form is for Heidegger, in short, a condition which cannot be predicated on particular or reasoning human beings. It emerges only as the particular or reasoning authorship of law and power recedes, and where this is replaced by commonly mediated, yet substantially relative forms of worldliness, as Dasein. In their responses to the political legacies of metaphysics and metaphysical anthropology, Luhmann and Heidegger evidently have a great deal in common. Both assert that the processes of sense-composition in society have no discernible origin in the particular person, or in particular reason.
The modes of local and practical co-ordination which build the world Heidegger , or the self-referential communications which occur in systems Luhmann , constitute an entire truthful reality, against which no external criterion can be invoked, and whose validity cannot be assessed by any recourse to static human essence. Social realities, they thus suggest, generate and justify themselves not through juridically sanctioned principles of legal subjects, but merely through their own objective contingency.
In their common decoupling of human being from metaphysical and juridical form, both Heidegger and Luhmann view time , not law, as the modality in which human life structures itself most adequately. The world does not result from any timeless human preconditions; most especially, it does not arise from the temporally unvaried encasing of human essence in law. Through such double-contingency , systems generate reliable expectations or expectation-expectations , which give a temporal horizon of predictability to human operations.
Heidegger argues that human practical life, as Dasein , creates regions of meaning, which possess their own innertemporal validity, but which are always different from Being itself. However, in its contingent self-differentiation from Being, Dasein is also always related to Being: it is only through the difference of the meanings which constitute the world of Dasein that any knowledge of Being itself is obtainable. No system, he explains, can have knowledge about the truth of its functions in relation to its environment, except in the codes which it produces through its autopoiesis.
A system, therefore, can only gain information about its environment and itself by generating a contingent horizon of internally valid references, through which it negates, selects and constitutes its own outer reality. In this respect, both Heidegger and Luhmann concur quite fundamentally in the insight that no positiveontological claim can be made about the conditions of Being. The political implications of these last points also warrant direct critical comparison.
Both Heidegger and Luhmann imply that human order, either as Dasein or as system, can only ever give to itself a temporal reality of legitimacy, as difference: its legitimacy is this temporal reality. However, this originary founding truth of the polity only actually discloses itself through entities in the world, and so as difference against truth, or as the shine of truth — the shine of legitimacy.
On this basis, Heidegger and Luhmann endorse a political ethic which insists that there is no demonstrable alternative to the objectively formed life of the polity at any given moment in its emergence and evolution. Indeed, in so far as either Heidegger or Luhmann subscribes to any clear political world-view, both might be seen to endorse a political reality which however ironically combines aspects of pluralism and authoritarianism.
Dasein , as the historically differentiated form of Being, cannot be other than legitimate, and its conditions must be accepted as such. Luhmann cannot be seamlessly aligned to mainstream reactionary political thought, and he has little attachment to the characteristic perspectives of European conservatism.
Liebe: Eine Übung by Niklas Luhmann
He does not ascribe any degree of formal dignity to the state as a guarantor of integrative order, and he clearly emphasizes the limitations of politics and of political power, and their restriction by other social media. Indeed, it might plausibly be claimed that he is closest to a post-anthropological form of liberalism. At the heart of his sociology is an implicit insistence on the political value of the conditions of social plurality, differentiation and autonomy which have resulted from the functional de-centration of modern society, and he clearly resists attempts to recentre society on the monistic power of the political system.
Welfare-democratic models of governance and legislation, he states at this point, are invariably based on the erroneous assumption that government can deploy power in the form of law to solve problems which are relevant only to the medium of money. Political intervention in the economy, therefore, is invariably detrimental to both the economic and the political system. It is, rather, a technical arrangement, which enables executive and legislature to operate as functionally distinct subsystems, each following its own rationality criteria.
The legitimacy of legislation thus relies not on its communication of universal norms of reason, but on the protection of the legislature from social overburdening, and on its functional restriction to those minimal tasks which can be securely accomplished through law. This theory of the legislature touches on two especially sensitive points in the theoretical history of the FRG. More pointedly, in fact, he indicates that political democracy cannot coexist with radical democracy or with social democracy, and that excessive concern with social issues rights of participation, material equality, equality of opportunity, etc.
Such people succeed at most in institution-alizing annoying types of bad behaviour within the networks in which power and law are transmitted. In these issues, more generally, we encounter an issue of fundamental importance for postor anti-metaphysical political theory. In the work of Heidegger and Luhmann, the revolt against metaphysics, or against its juridical traces in epistemology and anthropology, is a move towards a plural conception of human validity, which interprets the legitimacy of human-being as internal to its particular locus of temporal operation, and which seeks to detach conceptions of true human reality from all prior juridical formation.
Heidegger and Luhmann both argue that this legal subject cannot account for the manifold and evolving reality of autonomy and legitimacy. Consequently, they correct Kantian political philosophy by developing a conception of socio-historical autonomy which is no longer centred in the legal subject, and in which legitimacy in law is the expression of objectively and temporally realized contingency.
If Kant endeavoured to translocate the origin of law from a classical-metaphysical superstructure into the autonomous realm of human reason, Heidegger and Luhmann actually paradoxically continue and radicalize this primary quest.
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