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Claus Offe on Capitalism - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas IV 508
Capitalism/Offe/Habermas: C. Offe expressed the tension between capitalism and democracy from the point of view of competition between two contrary principles of social integration in the following paradox: Capitalist societies are not distinguished from all others by the problem of their reproduction: the social and system integration, but by dealing with this fundamental problem of all societies in such a way that they engage in two logically mutually exclusive solutions at the same time: differentiation or privatisation of production and its socialisation or politicisation.
Both strategies thwart and paralyze each other. As a result, the system is constantly confronted with the dilemma that it has to abstract from the normative rules of action and the meanings of the subjects and yet cannot dispense with them. The political neutralization of the sphere of labor, production and distribution is simultaneously affirmed and revoked." (1)
Habermas: this paradox is also expressed in the fact that if parties want to gain or maintain governmental power, they must also secure the trust of private investors and the masses.


1.C. Offe, in: J. Habermas, Stichworte zur geistigen Situation der Zeit, Frankfurt, 1979, S. 315.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Offe I
Claus Offe
Strukturprobleme des kapitalistischen Staates Frankfurt/M. 1972

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-09-22
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