Objectification Of Social Partnership System: Philosophical And Economic Analysis

Abstract

The article is devoted to the analysis of the objectification of social partnership in the works of M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky, E. Mounier, M. Buber, S. Kierkegaard, M. Heidegger, V. Solovyov, and others. Various modalities of public-private partnership, local partnership within the framework of corporatism, interclass partnership, etc. in varying degrees determine the dynamics of the sociocultural development of society and an individual. The subject of the analysis is social partnership. The basis of the study is formed by phenomenological and analytical methods. The authors consider the “internalist” and “externalist” theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of social component. There is a certain discrepancy between the idea of transition to an organic society and social partnership, between E. Mounier and M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky. The motivation of social partnership is the most important aspect of this problem. The new objectification of social partnership system implies the abandonment of things and the recognition of spirituality as the basis of social interaction in a new organic society. The judgments in the article show that equal rights are not identically equal. This is a key principle for social partnership. The results of the study can be applied in the areas of socio-political and economic analysis of the processes occurring in society and social forecasting and design.

Keywords: Internalistexternalisteconomicsocial interaction

Introduction

According to the authors the most important institutional prerequisite for the functioning of the social partnership system is the priority of the interests of labor as a source of aggregate wealth in relation to the interests of capital. In our opinion, here we should proceed not from the formal consensus of the interests of the participants of social partnership system, and especially not from the consensus of the interests of the participants in labor-capital system, but from an understanding of special importance of labor in shaping national wealth. Labor activity in the life of both an individual and society as a whole plays a key role. Labor itself is estimated by economists as the basis and cause of the formation of civilization. And since the system of social partnership implies exactly the degree (measure) of the civilization of society, the priority of the interests of labor is the imperative of the development of civilization itself. Labor is traditionally regarded as an economic category in terms of utility, profits, benefits, income, profitability, etc. Nevertheless as the basis of the civilization of society, labor must also be considered as a social category, according to the social essence of a person. In other words, the concept of labor and labor relations should be considered in the context of the self-realization of a personality of a worker, social peace and stability in society, and constructive social interaction. This is exactly what social partnership system is necessary for; therefore, the study of social partnership system remains relevant.

Problem Statement

Effective social partnership is a condition for increasing the dynamics of the development of society. However, the various modalities of this phenomenon (public-private partnership, local partnership within the framework of corporatism, interclass partnership, etc.) in varying degrees determine the dynamics of the sociocultural development of society and an individual. The five main modes of the social partnership phenomenon that the authors have identified, tracked at six socially ontological levels, indicate a rather diverse morphology of this phenomenon, which requires its further substantive research. Since labor is not just a part of material and social life of a person, as many authors (Durkheim, 1994; Buber, 1999; Marshev, 2015; Smith, 1993) believed and still believe, but the basis of material and social life of people, the priority of labor interests in social partnership system is self-evident. Depending on the theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of social institutions, all modern researchers are divided into “internalists” and “externalists”: the first ones consider the institutes to be the subject of a purely public analysis; the second ones believe that the institutes determine the structure and content of a personality itself. During the research the authors conducted a comparative analysis of the “objectification” of social partnership in the works of Tugan-Baranovsky (1996), Mounier (1999), Buber (1999), Solovyov (1999).

Research Questions

In general, in many studies of Russian authors on this issue, the social partnership is understood as a purely civilized form of social relations (Ivanov, 2012). Considering this phenomenon as a product of civilization outside the cultural context, S. A. Ivanov generally sees the place of this phenomenon only in social and labor sphere, as a tool to harmonize and protect the interests of an employee, employers, authorities and local self-government by reaching agreement on the socio-economic problems and political development. Nevertheless it is known that the methods of such coordination can be fundamentally different. One of the most recognized developers of the theory of optimal contract, S. Saussier, for example, considers contracting almost a universal way of coordinating the interests of all participants in social partnership system. However, he ignores the fundamentally different starting conditions in which the contracting parties are located. Highlighting conditional and free contracts, he continues the well-known tradition established by J. Commons (1862–1945), who believed that a contract (labor contract) is the most effective tool for achieving a compromise between labor and capital (Oleinik, 2015).

The Labor Code of the Russian Federation defines the concept of “social partnership”: “Social partnership is a system of relationships between employees (employee representatives), employers (employers representatives), state authorities, local governments, aimed at ensuring coordination of interests of employees and employers on issues regulation of labor relations and other relations directly connected with them” (Labor Code of the Russian Federation, 2012). Obviously, this definition is very vague, not specific and, from a scientific point of view, incorrect, since it involves the inclusion of some “other” relations. The relations between lawyers of employers and employees cannot be considered as social partnership. In addition, the “focus on ensuring coherence” is by no means identical to coherence itself.

There is a slightly different understanding of the essence of social partnership. Thus, the authors of the well-known dictionary (reference book) consider the concept of social partnership as “a specific type of social relations inherent in a civilized society with a market economy” (Kiselev & Smolnikov, 2018). However, the authors do not reveal the specifics of social partnership as a system of public relations.

The definition of social partnership as “a specific type of social relations between social groups, strata, classes, communities”, as “the process of creating a unified sociocultural space in which different subjects live in harmony and follow the general rules of the game “Partnership” regardless of differences of interests (Schumpeter, 2017).

This definition focuses on the difference of interests. In this regard, the very basis of the system of social partnership and the general “rules of the game”, which accept actors with different interests remains unclear. With a multitude of understandings of social partnership in different scientific schools, in our opinion, we see more interesting and relevant contemporary reality in the process “objectification” of social partnership in the works of M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky, E. Mounier, M. Buber, S. Kierkegaard, M. Heidegger, V. Solovyov and others.

Purpose of the Study

The article is devoted to the analysis of the objectification of social partnership in the works of M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky, E. Mounier, M. Buber, S. Kierkegaard, M. Heidegger, V. Solovyov, and others. The subject of the analysis is presented by social partnership.

Research Methods

The basis of the study is formed by the phenomenological and analytical methods. The authors consider the “internalist” and “externalist” theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of social component.

Findings

Tugan-Baranovsky (1989) pointed out the fact that cooperation presents a way of economic organization in which there is no exploitation. Thus, cooperation can be characterized as a way of organizing human activities and the entire system of social relationships. But it is not identical to the system of social interaction itself and the system of social partnership in particular. The system of social interaction is a broader concept than social partnership, and the last is broader than cooperation. In the first two cases, there may be and there is a phenomenon of exploitation, some social classes and a contradiction in class interests. Therefore, the unification of people in these conditions always remains formal, temporary and incomplete. Another situation is traced in cooperation. As Tugan-Baranovsky (1989) wrote, “the ideal of cooperation is a non-class ideal, a society that does not know social exploitation”.

According to him, when researches talk about “capitalist cooperation,” they simply replace the concept of “cooperation” with the concept of “partnership.” Here is how he describes cooperation: “Cooperatives are characterized by directly opposite features (compared to capitalist enterprises — auth.). Their purpose is not the greatest profit, but the greatest degree of well-being of the members of the cooperative; they not only do not subordinate a person to capital, but, on the contrary, they are aimed at the saving of a person from such submission. Cooperation is a union of persons, in contrast to the unions of capitalists” (Tugan-Baranovsky, 1989). And further: “The cooperation is completely free - the cooperative does not force anyone to join the cooperative and does not detain anyone in its environment. There is no coercive power in the cooperative. The will of the minority is not at all suppressed by the will of the majority. A cooperative is of an anarchic (i.e., opposite state organization) type. From the point of view of the modern social worldview, which recognized the human personality as the highest value of the world, absolute value, only the freedom of an individual can be recognized as the highest social ideal” (Tugan-Baranovsky, 1989).

From the above mentioned judgments it is clear why Tugan-Baranovsky (1989) considered cooperation as a special (the third, non-capitalist and non-socialist) way of development of Russia and interpreted it as a kind of socialism, “socialism as a positive teaching” (unlike the ideas of proletarian or utopian socialism). Like the French personalist Mounier (1999), the Russian scientist spoke out against liberalism, which lies at the heart of social partnership. “Liberalism has passed its time” (Tugan-Baranovsky, 1996). This thesis is quite consistent with another: “Liberalism turns out to be utopia”.

The arguments of Russian “legal Marxist” in the early twentieth century and the leader of French personalism in the mid-twentieth century about the new non-capitalist (“organic”) society and its inherent system of social relations and institutions are quite similar. Mounier (1999) revealed the meaning of new organization of social relations in new “organic” society through five basic principles: “1) freedom through institutional coercion; 2) economics in the service of a person; 3) the primacy of labor over capital; 4) the primacy of social service over profit; 5) the primacy of personality, developing in an organic society”. In the context of our research, the first principle takes on special significance, since social partnership is unthinkable without “putting freedom in a certain framework, creating institutions that would prevent similar (non-constructive and anti-social) aspirations” (Mounier, 1999). The main thesis of Mounier (1999) was as follows: “We stand for universal material coercion carried out by the institutions necessary in order to ensure material freedom to all the members of society”.

Hence there is a certain discrepancy between the idea of transition to an organic society and social partnership, between Mounier and Tugan-Baranovsky. If the leader of French personalism still saw the possibility of a transition from capitalism to a new society through material changes, through “universal material coercion,” which in a certain sense makes him even Marxists, then Tugan-Baranovsky (1996) believed that “the collapse of capitalism on an economic basis is impossible, but capitalism still contains an internal contradiction, from which it will perish”. The meaning of this contradiction, disastrous for capitalism, he saw in the total materialism, which contradicts the development of spiritual nature of a person himself and turns him into a “slave of things”.

Nevertheless the problem of the formation and development of the institution of social partnership in modern Russian society lies much deeper than the particular issues of its organization. It consists in the motivation of such a partnership. And here it is necessary to determine the objective nature of the social partnership as a social institution and social phenomenon. It is necessary to distribute the old system of social relations and to implement the objectification of the new system. The system of social relations under capitalism in a market economy was constantly associated with realism. The system of social partnership in a certain sense reproduces its previous “metaphysical”, or rather, material, basis. Liberalism as freedom without borders and things as a cult of wealth - these are two “wings” that determine social partnership. But they are mutually exclusive, since wealth and property imply the restriction of freedom and the imposition of certain obligations (responsibility) on owners. Here the phenomenon of the transition of quantity into quality, volume and scale of wealth and property into a new social dimension is revealed, when their owner no longer considers himself responsible and obliged to follow the “rules of the game” institutional norms, but, on the contrary, dictates it to other people. There are more than enough examples when such nouveau riches try to rise above morality and law, when they believe that their wealth gives them complete freedom.

The materialism in its extreme form of commodity fetishism determined the whole character of the activity of the subjects of social relations. “The first axiom: a bourgeois is a person who has lost the meaning of life. The sensual world no longer enchants him. He walks among the things that do not appeal to him, exist along with him, which can be classified. There are two categories of things — useful things and things meaning; or: activity and lost time. The line as follows: lost time, love of things and a requiem for the world. Lost time is lost because it has nothing to lose in it (Mounier, 1999).

It should not be supposed that this characteristic applies only to large owners. “Finally, a real bourgeois is a petty bourgeois.” (Mounier, 1999) Nowadays lumpenization and marginalization, unfortunately, cover large segments of the population and turn them into implicit bourgeois. Envy and cynicism, the pursuit of luxury, imitations of the rich, cultivated greed play their role. In this regard, the words shrill: “The corrupted mentality of the Russian person ... is littered and damaged - ashamed to say - by the “ideals” of consumer society, by “universal human values”, parliamentary jargon and unnatural grimaces of the “blue screen stars”! All that is possible is debased. High spiritual states became a victim of incompetent imitation of unscrupulous pretenders, hiding the emptiness of the soul and the poverty of the mind behind feigned exaltation. Bold banter pretends to be wisdom, lust - love, cowardice - meekness and humility. The ostentatious non- possession hides the abyss of avarice, repentance turns into a screen for hypocrisy and lack of principle” (John, 1995).

Of course, in such a situation any effective social partnership is out of the question. And even its extremely restrictive option in the form of a public-private partnership, in which employees are actually “washed out” from the system of social interaction, in which statecraft constantly manifests itself through the corruption of government officials and lobbying private interests. Thus it cannot give any significant positive effect by definition.

Thus, the motivation of social partnership is the most important aspect of this problem. The new objectification of social partnership system implies the abandonment of things and the recognition of spirituality as the basis of social interaction in a new organic society. Spirituality as a new social objectivity acts as fundamentally new “rules of the game” (institutions) that not only absorb the absolute values ​​of human existence (faith, hope, love, friendship, trust, responsibility, etc.), but also extrapolate their social relations, organizing, directing and generally determining them.

The dialectic of social relations is determined by the dialectic of human vital relations themselves. As M. Buber stated, a person has a three-fold attitude by his nature and position. “The threefold vital attitude of a person is his relation to the world and things, his relation to people, i.e. relation to an individual, human multitude and his relation to the mystery of being, which, although is reflected in the above-mentioned relations, but infinitely surpasses them, to the mystery that a philosopher calls absolute, and the believer - God ”(Buber, 1999).

The completeness and effectiveness of the system of social partnership as a private modality of the entire system of social relations can be institutionalized in different ways. If it is institutionalized exclusively by material relations, then this situation contributes to increased risks and uncertainty in the sphere of social interaction. The limited resources and the duration of the life of an individual turn the partnership into an ineffective way of actualizing social relations. It is a different situation if the system of social partnership is institutionalized through the attitude of a person to the very mystery of his being and is actualized in the process of searching for answers to key questions of being. Such spiritual self-determination of an individual not only contributes to his transformation into a real personality, but also optimally structures the entire system of social partnership. Such self-determination turns life relations from formal into essential. “By giving the essential character only to individual relationships, while others, are treated as non-existent, he (a person - author) does not realize either his nature or his position” (Buber, 1999).

Criticizing the attitude of S. Kierkegaard and M. Heidegger to things as insufficient for revealing human nature and realizing his position in the world, Buber (1999) calls them technical. He writes: “the attitude of Kierkegaard toward things is not enough. He knows them only as resemblance. According to Heidegger, a thing has a practical meaning. However, the technical attitude cannot be essential.”.

Under the technical attitude to things M. Buber means the perception of the material aspects of human life not fully understood and taken out of context of the mystery of being. The fact of a technical attitude to things is reasoned by the fact that “besides the triple vital attitude, a person has another attitude - to his self”, which, however, “cannot rise to the essential vital attitude” (Buber, 1999). In fact, it is a question of the biological determination of our social behavior, which gives rise to materialism under certain conditions (attachment to things, love for things, possessiveness and consumerism). Just as animals are dependent on food sources (a place in the food chain), a social subject infected with things is dependent on their source and opposes itself to the society as a separate owner and consumer.

Hence it becomes clear that the dialectic of social partnership is conditioned by a dilemma that an animal creature never faces, but a person constantly faces it as a social subject, as a social creature: a thing or a spirit. This dilemma was precisely defined by E. Fromm: to have or to be? Extreme forms in the manifestation of this dilemma lead either to altruism or to selfishness. But these polar extremes do not correspond to the very nature of social partnership as a special form of social interaction, in which the main task is to achieve the optimal balance of all participants in the system, and not abandon those or their exaggerated goal setting. The whole problem is to prevent these radical manifestations, since any radical manifestation is the evidence of degradation and social partnership itself. On the basis of radicalism, social partnership is impossible. It degenerates into its opposite - conflicts that become clearly antisocial and destructive.

But the reconciliation of the two poles of this dilemma implies the creation of such a hierarchy of vital relations and the system of value orientations in which the highest would not be measured by the lowest, the spirit by things, the meaning of life by the level of consumption, etc. In this regard the need for socially responsible choice is reasoned. A person as a social being faces the problem of self-determination. The questions as follows: To have or to be? To be with and for everyone or to have something for yourself? In this regard, the famous words from Ecclesiastes are recalled: “What is the use of this, that you will gain the whole world, but lose yourself?”

It is necessary to take into account that institutional changes such as changes in the metaphysical sphere of our being, as a rule, precede changes in such spheres of human activity as economic, political, cultural, etc.

Following the logic of V.S. Solovyov that “society is an augmented or expanded personality, and a personality is a compressed or concentrated society” (Solovyov, 1999), the dispute between modern “externalists” and “internalists” seems to be generally baseless. Considering the problems of social cooperation, Solovyov (1999) saw the main task “to ensure decent cooperation between an individual and society”. Thus, the main axis in the system of social interaction in general and social partnership in particular, Solovyov saw between an individual and society, and not between an individual and the state or between the state and employers (individuals). This circumstance is extremely important for the specifics understanding of the formulation of the problem of social partnership in European and Russian philosophy.

The Russian philosophical tradition considered issues of social cooperation, solidarity and namely partnership in the line of “personality - society” until the release of the well-known Milestones compilation (1910–1911), which played its role in translating the problem of social interaction from the “person-society” line to the “person-state” line. Arguing in the context of his own religious worldview about the role of personal beliefs in the development of such social interaction, V.S. Solovyov, for example, noted an important point: “It is a matter of recognizing the religious freedom of all those rights to freedom of expression, which we recognize and demand for our own faith. This principle of equality of religious beliefs, which does not at all encompass recognition of their equality (as civil equality between genius and fool, between a spineless man and a hero, does not imply the equation of their internal dignity) - this principle of equality of confessions, turned into law in all other educated countries, has not yet entered, as we know, neither into our legislation, nor into the rules of our administration ”(Solovyov, 1999).

Conclusion

The above-mentioned judgments show that equal rights are not identically equal. This is a key principle for social partnership. If we take social interaction as a whole, then we see a certain imperfection of social partnership in relation to such a form of social interaction as solidarity. Within the framework of solidarity, equality is equal value. It is solidarity that stands closer to the love that V.S. Solovyov understands as the fundamental principle of social peace and cooperation. According to the religious worldview and religious solidarity, a genius and a fool, rich and poor, a hero and a coward are equal and equally worthy (or unworthy) of the judgment of God. In secular terms, everyone is equal before the law, and a genius and a criminal or a hero and a criminal cannot count on concessions in determining their guilt and imposing punishment. Therefore, it is only the system of social partnership that revealed the fact that all participants in the system seem to be equal to each other, but there are those who are “more equal”. This circumstance allows considering the system of social partnership as an imperfect and far from ideal scheme of social interaction. This fact strictly speaking, involves the improvement of its institutional bases.

The formation in modern conditions of new institutional settings, their rapid change and expansion, the definition of new rules for the behavior of subjects of different activities and the emergence of new participants seems to be the next institutional paradigm, which is likely to determine the very future of social partnership. In this regard, it is necessary to rethink those social institutions that are either already declared or are actively functioning.

The results of the study can be applied in the areas of socio-political and economic analysis of the processes occurring in society and social forecasting and design.

References

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29 March 2019

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Cite this article as:

Sarapultseva, A. V., & Matveeva*, A. (2019). Objectification Of Social Partnership System: Philosophical And Economic Analysis. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1359-1366). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.03.02.157