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Grachev N.I., Popov V.V. Evolution and the Main Content of the Concept of Civil Society: from Antiquity to Postmodern

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2018.3.2

Nikolay I. Grachev, Doctor of Sciences (Jurisprudence), Professor, Department of Civil and International Private Law, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Viktor V. Popov, Candidate of Sciences (Jurisprudence), Associate Professor, Department of Theory of Law and Human Rights, Volgograd Academy of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation, Istoricheskaya St., 130, 400089 Volgograd, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Introduction: among the political and legal values of the modern democratic state the idea of civil society occupies a special place. However, as the practice shows, few ordinary citizens can really explain what it is. They do not understand its main meaning and content. And in the real social life, they do not find the analogues of the phenomenon that received this name in Western political science and law. All the more, in the scientific literature, both in domestic and foreign one, the concept and structure of civil society are not interpreted unambiguously. The purpose of the study is to determine the authentic content of the modern concept of civil society based on the analysis of the evolution of its idea and the state development practice. Methods: the methodological framework consists of a set of methods of scientific knowledge, among which the main is the synthesis of formational and civilizational approaches in the system analysis of the major trends of developing sovereign statehood in the modern world. Results: civil society is a capitalist society of private owners, which has a specific culture (egoism and consumption cult), which is a serious obstacle to real democracy, effective self-government and the building of a socially oriented state. In the 21st century its evolution leads not to the rule of law, but to the formation of a neoliberal corporation state that expresses the interests of a young and predatory fraction of the world capitalist class of corporatocracy, whose main tasks are: competitiveness at the global level; redistribution of national income in favor of a narrow group of persons belonging to corporatocracy; minimization of social and economic costs at the national level. Conclusions: if the volitional way on the basis of the “revolution from above” does not change the existing socio-economic model, formulate new life meanings and construct an image (project) of a more just society and adequate organization of power and government, able to implement this project in practice, and if necessary to protect its results with the help of military force, then the corporation state with its democratic facade will most likely be replaced by the “iron heel” of the global empire of transnational corporate structures – an open
class rule of corporatocracy.

Key words: society, civil society, legal state, neoliberal corporation state, liberalism, human rights, corporatocracy, state power.

Citation. Grachev N.I., Popov V.V. Evolution and the Main Content of the Concept of Civil Society: from Antiquity to Postmodern. Legal Concept, 2018, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 11-20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2018.3.2

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