Europa: de Habermas a Kant pasando por el populismo

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Table of Contents: I. La previsión de Habermas. – II. La estabilidad del mundo de la vida como condición. – III. Foucault y el neoliberalismo como solución. – IV. La previsión kantiana. – V. La imposibilidad de un escenario schmittiano.

Abstract: In the framework of his theory of social evolution, Habermas systemically analysed the legitimacy of State-regulated capitalism, in a dual approach that addressed both its objective material dimension and the subjectivity of the psychic individuals that compose it, showing that the experience of the crisis (accentuated after May 1968) was produced by the contradiction of both spheres. Foucault’s analysis of neoliberalism, filtered by the Habermasian theory, allow us to affirm that it represented a civilizatory revolution, which established a new organisational principle of the social system, capable of overcoming the crisis of late capitalism’s legitimacy, modifying both its objective limits (financialization) and the subjective dimension of motivation (homo œconomicus). However, after 2008 we can say that neoliberalism, whose model is pyramidal and undermines the foundations of the welfare state, has not succeeded it its task of naturalising the crisis and avoiding democracy. It has nonetheless debilitated the public sphere: in the European context, a psychic material of individuals socialised in neoliberalism express their existential restlessness in an expressive and unreflective way, far from the ideal of communicative discursive ethics, through populism. Those concerns are partly fuelled by the problem of public debt, which is at the centre of the mediation between the subjective life and the objective political economy. The imbalances it causes (about which Kant already warned us) generates anti-federal impulses, in a low intensity Schmittianism. To redirect those impulses towards a peaceful federation of European states (the Kantian project) is the political task of the present.

Keywords: populism – neoliberalism – European Union – Habermas – Foucault – Kant.

European Papers, Vol. 3, 2018, No 2, pp. 601-622
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/248

* Catedrático de Filosofía y Director del Departamento de Filosofía y Sociedad, Universidad Complutense de Madrid,


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