PSPD People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
The Role of NGOs in the Democratic Transition
- 2001.01.31 (00:00:00)
The Role of NGOs in the Democratic Transition
by Hee-Yeon Cho
1. Authoritarian Developmental Mobilization Regime, its Characteristics and Crisis
Many Asian countries are now on the road to democratic transition. Authoritarian regimes, which have looked so strong, have come to an end and many of them are in the process of the democratic transition. This paper aims to show the role of NGOs in the democratic reform of the old regimes, which becomes an important task in the democratic transition, focused on South Korea.
It is presumed that the aim of the democratic movement was already accomplished with the emergence of the civilian electoral government. However, its emergence is not the end but merely a start of the democratic reform to realize democratic society. In this sense we have to think that democracy is not an event but a process in which the democracy is realized through diverse social and class struggles.
Here I want to start with the analysis of the old regime, which is the object of the democratic regime. I define the old regime as 'the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime'. This is a 'statist' regime in that there has been strong state initiative in mobilizing the whole society toward societal growth. It is 'authoritarian' in that the political form of the regime has been dictatorial and undemocratic. It is also 'developmental' in that it is singularly devoted towards economic growth. In this sense, it is a regime of a peculiar combination of developmentalism, authoritarianism and statism.
An irony is that this regime is very much effective in mobilizing the whole society towards growth on the one hand, but it also implies serious structural distortion on the other hand, which is the object of the democratic reform.
Taiwan, Province of China and South Korea share similar historical changes in modern times. As is well known, two countries have experienced civil war and division, which resulted in the Cold War-like confrontation between divided regions, i.e. North and South Korea, and the Mainland China and Taiwan, Province of China. This situation has made possible the peculiar modernization regime initiated by the developmental state, which has led to the expansion- and export-oriented industrialization. This kind of developmental state has been very much authoritarian. Later this authoritarian modernization regime was confronted with internal opposition and, by the help of this opposition, its democratization process was initiated. As its result, the authoritarian regime has been changed to civil electoral government, which has the democratic reform of the authoritarian regime as its task. In this sense we may speak about a dialectics of civil war, modernization and democratization in South Korea and Taiwan, Province of China.
In order to show the characteristics of the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime, we have to lay down its precondition, that is what I would call 'the anticommunist regimented society.' The smooth functioning of the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime was helped by the anticommunist regimented social situation and has been made possible by exploiting and amplifying such a situation.
If social regimentation means that a certain society is regimented in a way to promote disciplinarization of social and political behavior to be accommodated to the dominant rule, factors, which contribute to this social regimentation, can come from many sources (e.g. Confucian culture, militaristic confrontation with foreign country, a specific historical experience, a certain ideological situation). By the concept of 'the anticommunist regimented society', I would like to imply that such regimentation in East Asia comes mainly from a societal confrontation with communism, although many other factors were involved.
"The anticommunist regimented society" in postwar South Korea can be defined as one in which the Cold War logic was, through the historical experience of the civil war, transformed into an internally consensual one and it regulated social relations and behaviors of the populace, resulting in labor discipline and popular acquiescence.
The formation of the anticommunist regimented society brought with it the reversion of the power in capital-labor relation in favor of the former, and the reversion of the power in state-civil society relation in favor of the former, that is the strong state vs. weak civil society. In such an anticommunist regimented society we can see a great imbalance between both the state and civil society and between capital and labor, facilitating both statist mobilization and authoritarian integration.
Under the condition of the anticommunist regimented society, the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime went on to perform the statist mobilization and authoritarian integration from the early 1960s. The statist mobilization and authoritarian integration for growth happened in the following way. First, concerning the statist mobilization of the whole society towards growth, the state intervened to support export-oriented companies and give massive support to the birth of new capitals. State intervention activities, directed to constructing capital itself and valorizing constructed capital, were economic on the one hand but also political-social on the other. The state exploited all possible policy measures to support exporting enterprises and the accumulation of the capital. To use Amsden's term, it included getting all 'fundamentals' wrong in favor of growth and export). As is well known, it took the form of 'industrialization drive policy', especially 'export drive policy'. For this, the state intervened in the form of one-sided allocation of all economic resources towards export(e.g. allocation of credits to targeted industries and infant industries). It led the market, not merely follow it, especially through 'industry-specific' policies. The state actively led a strategic allocation of socio-economic resources to target industries and enterprises.
The statist mobilization in favor of export-oriented industrialization extended beyond economic policy to 'getting the whole society wrong'. Here we can indicate diverse ideological interventions to inculcate social norms that fitted with incipient capital accumulation and that promoted new identities in its favor.
This statist mobilization was supported by authoritarian integration. The pre-existing legal institutions(e. g. the law such as National Security Law) were crucial to the state's intervention in reproducing a stable production system based on low-wage labor, and suppressing the opposition to such a system.
In summary, the authoritarian developmental regime was based on the anticommunist regimentation. It means that anticommunism formed a kind of social basis for the developmental regime in Taiwan, Province of China and South Korea. In this sense, the developmental regime can be called the 'anticommunist' developmental regime. This means that anticommunism and developmentalism were combined and interacted each other in the Taiwanese and South Korean contexts. In addition, if we look at their mode of operation, we can confirm that it has operated in the way of statist mobilization and authoritarian integration. The maximal statist intervention and authoritarian integration were basic characteristics of the operational mode of the Korean developmental regime. In these two countries, developmentalism was combined with statism and authoritarianism. Therefore, we can say that the developmental regime is anticommunist, statist and authoritarian one, in that political and social reorganization of South Korean and Taiwanese societies towards a growth orientation was made possible by anticommunism and was reproduced in a statist and authoritarian mode. In other words, the developmental regime is characterized by the regime of statist mobilization and authoritarian integration based on the anticommunist regimented society.
However, the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime was confronted with crisis with democratization. Despite the comprehensive intervention of the state, helped by the anticommunist regimented social situation, a crisis of the developmental regime began to be manifested in the mid- and late 1970s.
From the early 1970s, opposition to the authoritarian developmental regime began to expand. The weakening of the regimentation effect of the anticommunism contributed to a revival of oppositional struggles, specifically opposition to authoritarian integration of the working class. In addition, opposition to various interventions of the state in one-sided favor of the capital expanded. Diverse struggles began to be manifested around such issues as increasing inequality, preferential treatment of business, corruption, environmental degradation, harsh and long-term dictatorship, restriction of freedom, exploitation of women and etc., all of which looked as if they were necessary for development. Opposition to this situation activated diverse social struggles and developed increasingly into political struggles, which had been restrained in the first stage of economic take-off. Such a development of the opposition necessitated the democratic change of the former developmental regime. It meant that the Taiwanese and South Korean societies were on board the democratic transition.
2. The Structural Distortion of the Authoritarian Developmental Regime and Tasks of Democratic Reform--Distorted State and Market
The main reform agenda in the democratic transition is to reform the structural distortedness fixed under the authoritarian developmental regime. I would define the structural distortedness as 'distorted state'(authoritarian developmental mobilization regime) and distorted market('vulgar' capitalism). They are exemplified as over-monopolistic market, corrupt relation between economic and political actors, marginalization of people's welfare, speculative character, authoritarian character, exclusive party structure, power concentration on the information agencies and so on.
The democratic transition is the process of struggle over the democratic reform of the distorted state and market. The change to the ruling party and the former opposition party was made possible basically by the activation and mobilization of the civil society and people repressed under the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime, although it was also made possible by chance factors such as the division of the former ruling party, historic-specific factors such as ethnic conflict. As a result, it becomes an important issue how to reform the former regime fundamentally, based on this strengthened power of civil society.
Concerning the characteristics of the reform, I would express it as 'the radical democratic reform' of the old regime, which is the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime, concretely speaking, radical democratic reform of the distorted state and market.
Firstly, we can refer to the reform of the distorted market, that is reform of the vulgar capitalism. Aforementioned, the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime has been effective in mobilizing the whole society toward growth on the one hand, but effective in giving rise to distorted structural distortedness.
The authoritarian developmental regime was characterized by the comprehensive role of the state in raising and allocating economic resources and concentrating those resources in a few selected areas and companies, if we focus on the South Korea. A kind of selectivity in this state role has existed. In this mobilization and allocation, special relations were formed among the government bureaucrats, big companies, banks and other actors concerned. In the early rapid economic growth, this special relationship could save the 'transaction costs' among different economic actors. During that period, the special relationship has been a trade-off relation of subsidy on the side of the government, and economic performance on the side of the capital). A kind of tension between the capital and government existed.
However, as the developmental regime degraded to become a long-term dictatorship, more authoritarian and politically unstable, such a relation became a relation of political trade of corrupt political funds and economic subsidy. The government bureaucrats and politicians gave some companies economic preference, including banking loans, and the latter gave, in return, political slush money to the former. Here we can see the so-called 'crony' capitalism or 'corrupt' capitalism, which means rampancy of such a distorted and irrational relation among government, banks, entrepreneurs and so on. In the process of growth, this distorted relation has been more fixed and structured.
The close connection itself among the government bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, banks, and politicians, formed by the successful intervention of the state in mobilization and allocation of resources itself, could have inherently the potential for such distorted and corrupt relation. In reality, South Korean state has been developmental one, on the one hand, and on the other, a state degraded to be a predatory, even rent-seeking, one. It is exemplified by the fact that former president Roh Tae-Woo collected as much as 600 million dollars in slush money from the big companies. In this sense, the simple distinction between the predatory and developmental states is blurred. In a sense, we have to talk about the 'predatory' characteristics of the 'developmental' state.
This kind of problems can be expressed differently in diverse countries. If we compare South Korea and Taiwan, Province of China, the former became confronted with more serious economic crisis, which originated from the former's stronger big business bias. In South Korea, where there has been a stronger big business bias in statist mobilization and in the allocation of resources, the problems became more serious and threatened the whole economy more decisively, when debunked. In South Korea, in which the policy bias was in favor of big companies, Chaebol continued to be strong and the monopolistic economic power of Chaebol has been greater than in Taiwan, Province of China, with the result that it brought a greater and more sudden crisis to South Korean economy.
The structural distortedness of the vulgar capitalism was expressed in distorted relation between state and capital, among bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and politicians, between business and banks and so on, which is the main agenda of reform in the democratic transition. Secondly, we can say about the distorted state, which has been an undemocratic order established under the old regime.
The emergence of the first opposition party government in nearly 50 years in Taiwan, Province of China and South Korea is a meaningful change for the democratic reform. However, we have to keep in mind that, "although emergence of the opposition party government by election means one country went through the most difficult condition of the procedural democracy", it is a starting point for the expected democratic reform.
The radical democratic reform of the distorted state implies the disjointing reorganization of the former undemocratic order, dismantling it to the maximum. Here the reform of the distortion of the state implies firstly that of anti-democratic political structure, which comprises marginalization of the parliament as representative institution, exclusiveness of the institutional politics, big influence of the military in the civil issues, centrality of the repressive information agencies such as state information agencies, prosecutors office, military information agencies and the police and etc. The new reform should include dismantling of these kinds of apparatuses in terms of personnel's and institutions.
The authoritarian state is composed of diverse repressive state apparatuses and conservative personnel, working for such apparatuses, which have been expanded during the old regime. In a sense, a new opposition party government might be expressed as 'a small tip of an iceberg'. The change in the president did not bring with it automatically a change in the former conservative and repressive characteristics of the state and its personnel's and apparatuses. The reform process is that of struggle for achieving such structural change.
The reform of the distorted state includes that of the conservative media, especially the press. Generally the media has functioned as a power agency, not 'reporting' agencies, under the authoritarian developmental regime. The media tried to make the civil society to be accommodated to the authoritarian regime on the one hand and infuse the developmentalism to the people on the other, with the result of smooth working of the authoritarian developmental regime.
In the democratic transition, the power of the media might be strengthened because democratization brings with it weakening of the authoritarian state. In this sense, it is one of the most important reform agendas to reform the media and make it 'undistorted' field of public opinion formation and representation of the civil society. Without the reform of the media, no success of the democratic reform would be possible.
In addition, the anticommunist order should be reformed, which has been the social basis of the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime. Aforementioned anticommunist regimented social situation has legitimized the authoritarian developmental regime and regulated the opposition to the regime. The disintegration of the former 'over-militarized' society should imply reform of the ultra right-wing ideology, over-expanded military and the militarization of the economy, big military-economy complex, pseudo-wartime anticommunist social control apparatuses, so-called 'red complex', and so on.
The reform of the old regime includes that of the distorted reproduction of the ideological reproduction structure. In this sense, disintegration of the anticommunist dominant discourse should be tried and its related apparatuses should be dismantled. This reform issue is related to that of the conservative community of knowledge elites. In the Confucian culture, the intellectuals play an important role in reproducing the consensus for the conservative domination. The conservative intellectuals contribute to the reproduction of the dominant rule in the form of taking an 'impartial position', disguising themselves as 'unbiased' intellectuals. The reform's success depends on how much the former dominant intellectuals could be marginalized, who have contributed to the dominance of the former authoritarian regime and the conservative intellectual discourse could be overcome.
In addition, the reform of the distorted state includes the reflexive change of the civil society and general citizens' consciousness. The negative factors coming from anticommunism, authoritarianism or developmentalism became internalized into civil society culture and citizen's life culture, social relation or consciousness. The exclusive familism, patriarchism, Confucian elitism, regionalism, academic cliquism became the indispensable element of the vulgar capital accumulation and conservative politics under the authoritarian developmental mobilization regime. In this sense, the reflection and alternative action of the distorted civil society itself should be encouraged.
3. The Role of NGOs in Facilitating the Radical Democratic Reform.
The reform is the creative destruction of the old regime. In the democratic transition, it is most important to achieve 'radical democratic reform' of the old regime. What is kept in mind in relation to this, the reform is not to adopt the reform 'policy' but to confront and dismantle the status-quo forces, which have a stake in the old regime. In this sense, we would say that the reform is the process of the struggle and conflict over the reform. Under the old regime, big status quo and conservative forces have been formed and keep the institutional and un-institutional power. They comprise the main obstacle to the reform.
The basic driving force for breaking through this obstacle and push the reform is the people's power coming from mobilized and activated civil society. Without the activated civil society and NGO's struggle and pressure onto the new government, the reform could be progressed. Here we have to say about the importance of NGO's role for the democratic reform.
The cause for the delay or failure of the democratic reform and its haphazard course is explained firstly by resistance of the internal status-quo forces and secondly by external neo-liberal pressure. As a result, we can say that there are two fronts around the democratic reform.
The first front is formed between the reformers' forces and those of anti-reformers. Generally the civilian electoral government is placed between the old status-quo elites, which are willing to resist against deprivation of their former privileges and reform-oriented forces which are willing to force the radical reform on to the ruling party and government. This is the front around the political and social characteristics of the reform.
The second front is that around the economic characteristics of the reform. The civilian electoral government is located between the global neo-liberal pressure and big capital which wants to encourage the neo-liberal policy line to the government and people's pressure from the bottom to demand expanded welfare and so on. The policy line can vary from very much de-nationalized accommodated orientation to the neo-liberal pressure to the opposite. The important thing is that the spectrum of the policy line depends on challenges of NGOs.
In this sense, the reform of the civilian electoral government can be characterized by the 'surrounded reform'. The reform is surrounded by the conservative old status-quo forces internally and global neo-liberalism externally.
This 'surrounded reform' is more dragged backwards by 'the bureaucratization of the reform', which means that new ruling forces lead a peaceful living with the former status-quo forces, enjoying institutional privileges which come from grip on the state power rather than having the lines of radical democratic reform of the old regime and forces. What makes the reform more complex is that it is frequently haunted by internal conflict among the civilian government forces and some operational mistakes in the reform process.
Aforementioned, the civilian electoral government in nearly 50 years was made possible by the activation of the civil society and so there is some space of mobilization of people for more radical reform, confronting the old force and overcoming their resistance. However, the new civilian government can be more inclined to compromise-like attitude and conciliatory relation with the old forces.
Considering this complex situation, the radical democratic reform of the old regime and forces can be possible only with activated power of the civil society and NGO's strengthened pressure from the bottom. If we see the reform under the Kim Dae-Jung's government, we can identify that the reform goes forward with strong pressure from NGOs and that the reform could lag or go zigzag without such pressure. In this sense, we must not rely on 'the will of the civilian government for reform' but on 'will of the people for reform'.
Here I want to indicate some issues raised in the reform process. The first issue is how to respond to and utilize the expansion of the autonomous political and social space. The democratic transition brings with it expanded autonomous political and social movement spaces. We can call them political and social spaces of general democracy. Under the past authoritarian regime, such political and social spaces were repressed. With the development of democratic movement, these spaces become expanded rapidly, which result in a new social movement situation, that is moderate activists do diverse movement actions and diverse new social movement spring up.
In the South Korean case, the militant democratic movement, which has led the struggle against the military authoritarian regime, did not intervene actively in the expanded political and social spaces. As a result, newly emergent citizens' movement monopolized these new political and social spaces.
In this sense, democratic movement, especially radically oriented movement, should focus on these new areas of social movement and try to incorporate these new areas into radical intervention. We have to think over how to organize progressive practices in the new areas. For example, let's see anti-corruption movement. After the start of democratic transition, a new area of movement is made around the issue of corruption. Militant activists would consider this issue as marginal one or reformative one.
I call the movement change in the democratic transition 'competitive differentiation'. In this new movement situation of 'competitive differentiation', whether this new area will become that of moderate oriented activists or radically oriented activists depends on our attitude. It is important in the democratic transition context to expand the progressive practices to the expanded political and social areas.
Second, it is important in the early stage of democratic reform to get the institution and laws, in which people's power from below can exert its influence on the reform process, institutionalized. For example, Freedom of Information Act, Law of Participation in Management, Anticorruption Law, Whistle-blowers Act, statues as regards NPO, Law of Summons, Law of Concentrate Vote in a General Meeting of Stockholders, Inspection Claim by the Inhabitant, and so on.
Formerly under the authoritarian regime the public opinion and voices in the civil society could not represent themselves into the institutional politics and state. It was a regime of monopolization of the decision making by the same authoritarian forces and exclusion of people from the representative democracy. Democratization means the opening of the state and institutional politics by the strengthened power of the civil society. In order to facilitate this democratization process, the institutional method by which the demands of the citizens can be represented into the decision making of the government and political parties should be newly institutionalized. This kind of diverse institution for democratic participation in the power enables more heightened level of activation of the civil society.
Third, the pressure should be strengthened for the political reform. As discussed above, authoritarian regimes give rise to the exclusion and repression of institutional politics and civil society. This leads to a dwarfed civil society and an underdeveloped representative system of institutional politics. But civil society is revitalized by resistance movements confronting the authoritarian state, while institutional politics is managed by strong cartels of politicians. Thus institutional politics invites enormous distrust and antipathy from the people and subjects itself to demands for reform. This situation of underdeveloped institutional politics appearing in democratic transition may be defined as "political lag." Political lag here represents an underdeveloped operational pattern of politics and political parties amidst rapid changes in economic conditions and civil society. When the parliamentary, representative democracy is underdeveloped, NGOs act as a proxy for civil society's diverse demands. As the government is incapable of duly reflecting the demands of civil society, by way of resistance from either the bureaucracy or vested interests, and as institutional political parties are unable to properly execute representative functions, these roles cannot but be played by non-institutional social movement organizations. I call this phenomenon as "proxy representation."
This proxy representation in response to the political lag can be exemplified in the recent campaign in South Korea. Before the April general elections 2000, NGOs formed 'the Campaign for the General Elections 2000', which intervened in the political parties' candidate nomination process and election campaign. Making public a rejection list of specific politicians deemed to be corrupt and incompetent, the campaign demanded that they be excluded from the candidacy, and if they were nominated, aimed to struggle for their defeat in the election. The rejection campaign may be described as civil society's rebellion against the existing political parties' nonperformance of representative functions, or NGOs' "selection by proxy" to counteract the political parties' crippled screening of candidates. Since the political parties have failed to duly perform their roles as representatives in reflecting public opinion, civil social movement organizations have assumed this role through proxy representation. By this campaign, South Korean NGOs' alliance defeated more than 70% among their list of corrupt politicians.
In the democratic transition, it becomes an important reform task to coerce the political parties to renovate themselves to become more representative organs. The situation that the parliament is dominated by the conservative majority makes it more difficult that reform laws go through the parliament, which prevents a swift repudiation of the former authoritarian order. Diverse civic actions should be organized to press the conservative political parties to reform themselves.
Fourth, it becomes an important agenda of democratic reform to institutionalize substantial provisions for people's welfare. Under the authoritarian developmental regime, the growth has been given priority and people's life and welfare were considered marginally and was given in minimum, only with the aim to preserve the political stability and support of the people for the government. When the emergence of the civilian electoral government is an important turning point of political democratization, it is a new task of NGOs to develop the political democratization for the purpose of socio-economic democratization.
In order to obtain the institution for people's welfare, NGOs should try to expand state welfare and public welfare against their commercialization and commodification by the market. This endeavor of NGOs for expanded state welfare becomes confronted with and challenged by the old growth-oriented forces and the capital, in the name of the government expenditure deficiency. The neo-liberal policy which aims to (re)commodify the public goods cannot be legitimized because the former authoritarian developmental regime was that without welfare, considering that neo-liberalism presupposes the so-called 'overdeveloped' welfare state. Old growth-oriented forces and capital try to make old developmental regime into a new developmental regime by the help of the global neo-liberalism. At the very moment when the people's welfare has to be enriched, the capital tries to induce the civilian electoral government to adopt new policies for international competitiveness.
In addition, the industrial restructuring which has been delayed under the old regime can become precipitated under the neo-liberal stream. The dominant discourse of international competitiveness and flexibilization of the labor market and corporate governance might encourage the neo-liberal policy and newly legitimized growth-oriented regime. In this sense, positive resistance for the social integration-oriented industrial restructuring should be performed.
The change of the vulgar capitalism into a more humane system and positive resistance against neo-liberal transformation of the former developmental regime would be important agenda of NGOs in the democratic transition.
Fourth, the democratic transition brings to the fore the formally marginalized social issues. The main task of NGOs in the democratic transition is to accept these new issues as proper and make 'democratic position' in the Gramscian sense to tackle such diverse new issues.
Ironically diverse social issues, including environmental issue, diverse life world issues, democratization of information and so-called 'post-materialist' values have been overshadowed by the anti-dictatorial issue under the authoritarian regime. Development itself and transition to democracy bring with it 'new issues'. These new issues need new forms of social struggle. In this sense, NGOs should enrich the progressive movement enough to cover these new issues.
In South Korea, in the 1980s when there was radical democratic movement confronting the military authoritarian regime, social activists approached the movement issues from the viewpoint based on the typology of the reformation and revolution. At that time, the politicians were regarded as having reformative perspective while the radical activists as having revolutionary perspective.
If some kind of revolutionary mood dominated the social movement camp, the democratic transition is encouraging the reformative mood, which meant that the democracy can be brought by intra-systemic moderate struggle, not by revolutionary challenge to the authoritarian regime. In my opinion, a kind of 'revolutionary approach to the reformative issues' is needed, using the expanded spaces of general democracy. In my opinion, NGOs should expand themselves to diverse new issue areas from the radical perspective. In a sense, the strategy of multi-faceted enveloping attack of power and capital is needed, making new positions in response to new issues.
In Western countries new social movements kept a critical position toward institutionalized trade unions and social democratic party government. This means that new social movement did not converge with the labor movement. However, the vulgar capitalism and authoritarian characteristics of the political regime in NICs make 'new' social movements and 'old' class movements converge, which prepares social basis for strategic alliance between the class movement and progressive diverse 'new' movements. In the democratic transition in Asia, progressive NGOs should make new issues as proper and make a new model to form alliance between the class movement and new social movements.
Fifth, NGOs should become the public interest oriented leverage in response to collective behavior by the diverse interest group. The democratization brings with it not only activation of diverse movement politics but also activation of interest group politics.
Under the authoritarian developmental regime, the collective action by the interest group has been repressed. As a result, collective action itself has kept progressive element to counter against the authoritarian regime. However, as democratization proceeds, this repression by the authoritarian regime is being weakened. It is a new agenda of NGOs to empower the public interest orientation and channel these collective behavior not to be indulged in unconditional pursuit of collective interest without any consideration of public interest.
In South Korea, the medical institution was attempted by the government and civic action groups to change to the separation of prescription and dispensation of medicine by doctors and pharmacists. In the past, doctors were able to prescribe and dispense medicine at the same time. Pharmacists were free to prescribe and dispense medicine as well. This change in the institution brought that in the distribution of interest. In this, doctors thought that this change resulted in a new interest distribution in favor of pharmacists. In order to defeat this change and secure their interests, doctors have staged general strike, closing even the emergency service of the hospitals three times from June to December 2000. This strike is a typical case of collective action by an interest group.
The right of strike is a basic one in the democratic society and so strike action should be respected. For example, the strike of the laborers as disadvantaged group should be encouraged. However, the collective action of diverse private interest groups, even privileged groups, should be channeled to fit with the public interest.
A kind of 'state corporatism', in which diverse interest of interest groups was conciliated coercively from above on the condition that open expression of interests is prohibited. Democratization changes this former 'state corporatist' mechanism.
The democratization results in reforming the former institutions, in which interests of diverse group were compromised in certain ways. As a result, democratization brings with it interest conflict around formation of a new distribution system of interest. In this process, interest conflict becomes rampant. How to make a new model for democratic regulation and public conciliation of group interest without any repression of interest expression becomes an important issue. Here NGOs should take an voluntary mediation role in this conflict.
In making a new democratic model of conflict resolution, NGOs should play the role to press the government and political parties to transform themselves on the one hand and to encourage the civic activism to take a progressive direction and conciliate collective interest and public interest by themselves. For this, public voices of public interest-oriented NGOs should be strengthened, with the result to make room for voluntary accommodation of the civil society.
Sixth, NGOs should make an global solidarity and action against global neo-liberalism. We are in front of a new task. It is how the social movement has to confront new capitalist world order formed by globalization of capital movement. Such a globalization is composed of international accumulation regime of capital, global integration of the market and international communication by the help of development of information-communication technology. The problem is that this globalization of capital movement is breaking off the social regulatory mechanism, which was made through social and class struggle within a terrain of nation-state boundary, and includes all the former fragmented areas into the global free market. In this process, the Third World countries are hurt by its sharp blade. Here we see he possibility of the unregulated international capital dictatorship without any public regulatory mechanism.
The most apparent phenomenon of the globalization of capital movement is 'violent' and destructive movement of the global financial capital. The violence of such movement is making speculation an inherent character of the capitalism more serious. Such concepts as casino or Rambo capitalism are catching such a violent aspect of the contemporary capitalism. This kind of change can be defined as transformation and reorganization of the former domination of capital by way of the globalization of capital movement. We are confronted with the necessity of a new reorganization of opposition in this kind of reorganization of the domination.
Because capitalism is the free market order, the history of capitalism is generally regarded as that of forming and strengthening the 'free' market. However, when we see that history from people's viewpoint, it has been the history of creating the public mechanism to regulate inhumanity and exploitation of the free market, which has unlimited inertia of maximization of profit as its only goal.
In the 19th century, the demand and struggle for this kind of public regulation has been overshadowed by the overwhelming ideological influence of 'successful' capitalism. But the crisis and over-accumulation of capitalism itself, and struggle against the brutal accumulation process necessitated change in the 'free' market. So-called 'modified' capitalism means such change. The social-democratic welfare state system means emergence of class-compromise system with a certain level of public regulatory mechanism, despite of its limitation. This welfare state system was made possible by equilibrium of class power within a boundary of one nation-state as a terrain of struggle.
However, this kind of system began to be disorganized by globalization of capital movement, helped by such factors as breakdown of socialist system to bring with it a new power disequilibrium between the ruling and ruled, and scientific-technological development to bring with it a new infrastructural condition in favor of 'free' global movement. In this process, the former public regulatory mechanism, made within one nation-state terrain, has began to lose the former regulatory power and the former institutionalized social mechanism began to be disintegrated.) In this sense, a new global capitalism is different from the former capitalist system. Here we are facing a new capital to move more 'freely' beyond a nation-state limit. Before the whole globe has not been a one homogeneous market to capital. However, the whole globe is being covered more and more by capital as one 'free' market without any regulatory mechanism. The neo-liberalism is an ideological expression of this new condition of capital movement and, in its turn, is strengthening the new capital movement. If the old liberalism presupposed that common good could be realized through free market, neo-liberalism presupposes that common good can be realized through global free market. When we say that long-term struggle including the labor movement against old liberalism has succeeded in instituting a certain regulatory mechanism to capitalism, we must now confront a new 'global' task to institute and settle down a new regulatory mechanism to this neo-liberal globalization.
This new institutionalization of the public regulatory mechanism to capital movement on the global level is an issue of how to make a new global democratic rule. The globalization of capital movement against neo-liberalism disintegrates the territorial base of the former democratic rule and weakens the 'social' character of democracy, which has been obtained through struggle. For example, the function of the social security and economy management function is being more and more limited by global condition and becoming an empty shell. The 'politics' and market are divided and the future of the nation is thrown into the floating global market from the will of the voters. Here there is a reason that the neo-liberal globalization threatens the democracy.
This means that globalization 'without' democratic rule have to be changed to be globalization 'with' democratic rule. The global democratic rule should be instituted in two fronts. Firstly, there should be global democratic regulatory rule on the speculation of this contemporary capitalism. Secondly, there should be instituted a new democratic rule on tendency of global bipolarization., which brings with it an increase of unearned income, global and domestic increase of inequality, expansion of monopolistic power of transnational companies, 'globalization of poverty'
For this, the internationalism should be revived in the social movement. In addition, the urgent global issue, that is public regulation of the global economy domestic one should be accepted as domestic one. The concrete way of public regulation might be diverse: resolution of foreign debts campaigned by Juvilee 2000, control of speculative capital by such way as the Tobin tax, 'deposit requirement' in the financial transaction, campaigned by ATTAC, demand for democratic reform of the international financial agencies including IMF, bringing IMF to the international or national tribunal to press the democratic reform, 'reinventing the Bretton Wood' and so on. Campaign for institutionalization of diverse public regulatory mechanism should be pursued by civic movements in solidarity.
4. Intellectual Agendas of New Reflection for NGOs
I would conclude with some remarks on where and in what sense progressive ideas should be expanded and our reflection should be performed.
First, we have to accept the multi-facetedness and multi-dimensionality of repression and contradiction. In response to this, multi-facetedness and multi-dimensionality of liberation movement should be recognized.
There are diverse anti-human repressions, of which class contradiction is the most important especially in the capitalist society, but which cannot be reduced only to that. We have to recognize that the capitalist system implies diverse anti-human contradictions other than class contradiction. We have to look at diverse repressions and contradictions in the everyday life world. We have to worry about the so-called 'colonization of the life world by the system'), as Habermas put it. Microphysics of repression, as Foucault put it, should be incorporated into the social movement agendas.
We have keep in mind that after the socialist revolution and under the socialist regime, there has been patriarchal contradiction not fundamentally resolved and socialist system is not progressive in the environmental policy. In a sense, we have to go over the limitation of the liberation movement in the 20th century, keeping the positive heritage of the people's liberation movement in the 20th century.
Recognition of multi-facetedness and multi-dimensionality of repression results in that of multi-facetedness and multi-dimensionality of liberation practices. NGOs, organizational form of people's voluntary empowerment, can be expressed in diverse forms. We have to be open to diverse forms of people's self-activity and make a solidarity with them. In this sense, I think that the project of people's liberation is not the 'simple' project but a 'complex' project. Second, we have to look at the inherent repressiveness of the power itself. Every power has self-absolutization) and self-secretization as its characters, which are done through the process of bureaucratization of the power-holders. In this sense, radicals should be committed to monitoring mechanism against the inherent repressiveness of the power as well as overcoming the class character of the power.
Degradation of the 'proletarian dictatorship' shows that anti-power practice or practice of monitoring the power should be accepted as one of the important progressive practices. Under the socialist system, the political parties have been absorbed into the state and state apparatuses became over-expanded, democratic formation of the political will was replaced by the self-programming political system.
This failed experience of the present socialist system, although the socialist ideal is valid to social movements, came from the historical fact that humanization of the power, especially economic power, was approached from the viewpoint which focuses on only the class character of the state and regarded the democratic institutions, civil and human rights and inter-restraint of the power agencies as trivial and instrumental. No regard of the inherent repressiveness of the power, especially state power, made a way for absolutization of the socialist state power, when combined with the lust for power of the bureaucrats.
The counter-power comes from the people's empowerment. The important thing is to make democratic institutional room for peoples' power to be expressed onto the state. In this sense, progressive social movements should think that democracy and democratic process, including participation and monitor of power from below, are unconcedable principle and should be kept in the progressive practices. In addition, positive practices should be encouraged, to check the tendency of self-absolutization and self-secretization of the power and watch against them.
Third, we have to see the importance of strengthening the social power as well as radical overthrow of the state power. When we talk about the revolution, it means that the state power is transferred to oppressed class from the oppressor class. The basic enabler of revolution as a result is the revolutionized power of people. However, after revolution, people are made to become obedient followers of the revolutionary party and revolutionary state.
The overthrow of the state as a result is not important, but the empowerment of people as a precondition of such a change is more important. Social movement and NGOs' activities are to strengthen social power, one of which might be a revolution. The fact that society or social power was subjugated to the state or the state power after the revolution can be best exemplified by Stalinism.
The contents of social power are people's power, working class power, civic power and so on. In my opinion, the viewpoint to focus on the empowerment of social power can go along with the viewpoint to focus on the radical overthrow of the state), not indulged in anarchism. As Poulantzas puts it, I think it is possible "radically to transform the State in such a manner that the extension and deepening of political freedom and the institutions of representative democracy(which were also a conquest of the popular masses) are combined with the unfurling of forms of direct democracy and the mushrooming of self-management bodies). It is no doubt that radical, including socialist movements, should find a new way to combine them with liberating inspiration of new forms of working class organization and new social movement). Social power should remain a basic resource to counter-act the state power and political power.
Fourth, life politics and movement politics should be respected independently of the institutional politics.
The politics, which comprises the democracy, can be constrained to the institutional politics, in the modern thinking. However, in representing the diverse voices and opinions in the civil society, the un-institutional politics can play the important role as well as the institutional politics by the institutional political parties.
In this sense, I think that not only monopolization of politics by the institutional political parties but also the monopolization of politics by the institutional politics should be disintegrated. 'Movement politics' can resuscitate positive aspects of the direct democracy.
Even under the social democratic institutional politics, there is 'unending' discrepancy between the institutional politics and civil society. Therefore we have to set the independent status of the movement politics.
In the democratic transition, the institutional political parties absorb the former opposition figures into the parties to supplement their incomplete legitimacy. So-called 'transformism' ) of the political parties can happen. Transformism means that a former system or parties recruit new figures from the oppressed camp in order to make a new legitimacy and get a new consent from the oppressed. In this transformist process an idea of the institutional politics-centeredness can be strengthened. I think that respectful leaders of civil society should maintain the front of movement politics.
In this sense, elements of direct democracy of the movement politics should be acknowledged, which cannot be reduced to delegative democracy, and should be respected as a corridor, through which people's political will and people's sovereignty are transmitted.
The democratic transition is not a process, the destination of which is not predetermined. Its destination is very much variable, depending on our subjective practical intervention. We, who are committed to NGO's activities in our countries, have to make a new model of social movement development, not imitating the Western model. Let's determine our mind now to create our new path for human liberation through NGO's activities of ours.