Political philosophy is a science
about the most common grounds, boundaries and possibilities of politics, about the correlation in it of the objective and subjective, regular and accidental
, existing and proper, rational and non-rational. The question of the foundations of politics has the difficulty that these grounds are different in the East and the West, in traditional and modern societies. In the East, as in the traditional world in general, the main issue of politics is the issue of ensuring public order and protecting society from chaos. How to ensure order, stability and continuity is the problem of traditional political
philosophy. In the modernized societies of the West, the emphasis is placed not on order in general, but on ways to ensure a democratic order. Instead of a dilemma, order or chaos is discussed a dilemma of a democratic or authoritarian order. Thus, if in the East the policy acts as a procedure for ensuring order, whose carriers are known in advance (since we are talking about hereditary power
and classifying social functions), in the West politics is a procedure for discovering who (which party , the president, etc.) will have to be managed on the basis of the mandate of trust
received from voters.
In a philosophical and methodological sense, this means that the political peace in the East is subject to the laws of rigid “Laplas” determinism, whereas in the West it follows stochastic principles involving risk and uncertainty, not as a deviation and kurtosis, but as a rule. Along with the dilemma of the predetermined – indefinite (stochastic) political philosophy, the traditional philosophical dilemma is nominalism – realism. The political world in the East is revealed in the paradigm of realism – the primacy of the general over the individual. Beyond such a primacy, the main problem – the triumph of order over chaos – can’t be solved. The political world in the West reveals itself in the paradigm of nominalism: if the voters instead of behaving like autonomous individuals who independently make their choice will only reflect the collective group (class) essence or will, the political process will lose the nature of the opening procedure, because . in this case, the majority and minority will be known in advance. Finally, the political philosophy solves the question of the status of the political and the extent of its autonomy about other spheres of social life. In the paradigm of the basic superstructure determinism, politics did not have independent significance. This economic-centrist prejudice is characteristic not only of Marxism, but also of liberalism. Liberal classics proceeded from the fact that a civically respectable way of life is a non-political way of life: self-respecting citizens prefer to solve their problems on their own without placing special hopes on the authorities. The postulates of the theory of rationalization and modernization are connected with the vision of politics as a distorting, irrational factor that violates the rules of equivalent exchange. Politics is perceived as a ploy and refuge for those who have nothing to offer to others in the exchange and who doubt their ability to withstand a natural market selection contest. This, in particular, relates the differences between the Eastern and Western traditions in assessments and politics as such, and the “weak” and “strong” on the political scene.
In the East, politics occupies a leading place in the hierarchy of public practices, and the “weak” ones, who need protection and patronage of power, are recognized in the spirit of the presumption of “bliss of the poor in spirit”. “Strong” is on suspicion because of their ability to lead an existence independent of supreme power and a tendency to be burdened by it. On the contrary, in the West, both politicians and those who appeal to it in search of protection and patronage are rewarded with very different assessments – as bearers of impulses hostile to the principles of civil order and self-activity. Hence the origin of the liberal principle of “state-minimum” and non-interference of politics in normal civil relations.
Another difference in the status of politics in the East and the West can be carried out by a technological criterion. In the West, politics since the time of N. Machiavelli is a triumph of the technological principle of attitude to the world: the latter can be transformed through politics. In this sense, politics can be defined as a risky (non-guaranteed) activity, through which people can improve their positions and status in society. Thus politics acts under the sign of the otherwise-possible – as an alternative to the inherited and developed. Prometheus, a man of the West, who feels himself to be a great marginal of the universe, whose natural norms and limitations do not oblige him to anything, gives the policy a socio-centric interpretation when it is understood as the sphere of human freedom stolen from the Gods. In the East, the political vision is cosmocentric: politics does not violate the cosmic order but embodies it in its specific forms. Therefore, political law-abiding in the East is perceived not in the legal, but in the cosmocentric aspect – as following the highest, sacred order. In the West, a political person, on the contrary, is a kind of technological person with a claim to change the world.
A special problem of the political philosophy is the attitude of the political and the non-political, directly related to the understanding of the subject and object of political theory. The political philosophy is confronted here with a conflict of two paradigms, which, by the name of their modern representatives in the West, can be called, respectively, the paradigm of M. Foucault and the paradigm of G. Becker. The former believed, based on the traditions of French statism, that power is not localized in the actual political sphere, but in the transformed forms is everywhere: in the daily hierarchies of teaching and learning, governing and managing, senior and junior, etc. Therefore, the science of power, if it does not want to be a victim of illusions, must everywhere reveal the sources of violent violence that violates the spontaneity of life. In this light, the main problem of the political philosophy is the question of the correlation of formal and informal, legitimate and shadow practices of power. The subject of political science, thus, is the power dimension of any spheres of social life, and it acts as an interdisciplinary theory that unites political economy, political psychology, ethics, demography, culture studies, etc. Quite a different subject of political science is in Becker’s paradigm. This representative of the Chicago school tends to broadly interpret the liberal principle of the “minimum state”, believing that the development of a normal civil society is accompanied by a continuous gradual reduction of the prerogatives of power. Here, as we can see, the liberal tradition closes with the Marxist, in the bosom of which the theory of the “withering away” of the state and politics has ripened.
Characteristically, the cycles of political life in the West are characterized by a phase change: social democratic (Keynesian), oriented toward a model of a “big” social state, which is more in line with Foucault’s paradigm, and a liberal (monetarist) model-oriented “minimum state” meets the Becker paradigm. Apparently, a correct interpretation of the ratio of these paradigms would be the principle of complementarity. If the relations between politics and economics can be interpreted from certain positions as relations of artificial (deliberate) and spontaneous (self-organizing) orders, then the relations of politics and morality can be interpreted as relations of two non-coinciding types of rationality: by purpose and value (M.Veber). In the first case, the principle of effectiveness is dominant (the end justifies the means), in the second – the authenticity, the “authenticity”. Although authenticity is more difficult to verify in experience than effectiveness, in the long term the criterion of moral authenticity undoubtedly “works” both theoretically and practically. It is characteristic that analysts who assess the prospects of totalitarian regimes, based on the principle of political efficiency, invariably predicted their long life and advantages over “fragile democracies”. On the contrary, those who evaluated the prospects of these regimes, based on the critical ability of moral judgments, turned out to be the best prophets. The substantive (Aristotelian) approach to moral philosophy, which interprets politics regarding the natural good and inalienable human rights, is no less effective than the functional-technological (Machiavellian) approach.