(Demise; 05-02; p.3)
Applying the functionalist's scheme of the sociologist
Talcott Parsons about subsystems of society, one may find the
following patterns of explanations:
• the economic subsystem does not deliver the goods,
• the political subsystem does not deliver the steering,
• the socio-cultural subsystem does not deliver the integration
and latent cultural pattern maintenance,
a society respectively demands.
Common in this is the non-convergence of demands
and supplies. Whether or not such a difference will be perceived
as "crisis", over again depends on two factors. On the
one hand on the respective structures - functional mechanisms
-, on the other on the individuals acting. This implies that structures
alone do not lead mechanically towards a defined supply, and that
individuals cannot freely achieve something demanded.
Moreover, a crisis in a subsystem had to leap into others or find
some cumulating resonance there to broaden into a crisis of the
overall system of "society" - and once again by recognisable
functional ways and because of individual acts. The strength of
a societal system as a whole lies in its effective ability for
adjustments, which is autopoiesis.
If one compares this functional model to conjurations
of demise or pseudo-materialistic constructs, one may realise
the gain of knowledge stemming from it: conditions at least can
be formulated that otherwise would either not be recognised or
supposed without testing. In other words: phantasms of epochal
demise or dogmas derived from economic structures are based on
a deficit of knowledge which can be made up for.
If one applies in addition patterns of explanation
that are scrutinising ideas, one may find out whether there is
a historic continuity of certain topics like the mentioned assumed
tragedy of the epoch and the suggestion of crisis. And - from
a specific political scientist's point of view - who makes use
of them or hopes to do so respectively. Arguments and thereby
acts of communication become this way recognisable as manipulative
and judgeable from an ethical perspective.
(end of article)