Author: Marcin Kilanowski
Year of publication: 2017
Source: Show
Pages: 50-62
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2017.01.03
PDF: kie/115/kie11503.pdf

It can be striking for us today that when so little divides us there is still so much that separates us from each other. We observe the fragility of social cohesion and witness the degradation of social capital even though some say that our religious belief as well as material conditions or differences in political rights no longer divide us. In the light of critical observations, one can say that there is a need to reconcile people with each other, to establish bonds between us, that we need to establish civil society. When trying to establish a well-functioning civil society we have to ask ourselves a few crucial questions. These questions include: How can Western individualism be combined with the values of community and social solidarity? What are the necessary conditions for freedom and solidarity among people? To answer these questions it is worth reaching the philosophical thought of John Dewey and Roberto Unger. In his text Roberto Unger points out that today’s social and political order is not something solid and stable. Even our democratic order that I was referring to in this paper faces challenges that may undermine its base. Without the right preparation to face these challenges-through responsible and critical public participation and deliberation-it is possible that instead of us having some sort of possibility of steering the growth of our societies and having an impact on political and economic evolution, the evolving situations will steer us. If this happens, we will be left behind, being unable to grasp and handle the different new situations.

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