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By Zaki Laidi

During this provocative and incisive booklet, Zaki Laidi argues that as our international turns into ever better, our skill to discover that means in it diminishes. With the top of communism got here the tip of the intimate alliance among strength and beliefs. No energy in our globalised international can any further declare to supply which means. In melancholy we glance again to outdated versions (religious traditions, nationalism, ethnicity) to provide us a feeling of id. yet in a globalised global in an enduring kingdom of flux, just how potent are those outdated certainties?

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In his work could be seen a claim to integrate within a single project experience and expectation, ideas and procedures, practical responses and aspiration to a sort of symbolic elevation. The famous ‘need for a tower’ has resisted the end of the Cold War, as shown by the construction at La Défense of a new tower with aspects of Babel and in colours that dissolve into the depths of the sky. All translation of architectural innovation derives from public commissions, in other words, from the state.

To be constructed and take root it needs to be supported by experience that demonstrates in a very practical way that it is superior to any other political ‘state’. In other words, it will succeed in China only when it starts to be identified with order. For that to happen it must be possible to envisage political institutions in a position to manage that order. 8 It is perhaps because of this philosophical gap, rather than a sort of ‘cultural unsuitability for democracy’, that the Chinese democratic structure is so fragile.

Market democracy’ therefore sees its lack of conceptual or philosophical depth as providing good conditions for its universal propagation (‘market democracy’ is suitable for the whole world). It all creates a problem not only for the potential ‘candidates’ but also for Western societies themselves. Indeed, although ‘market democracy’ may acknowledge its weaknesses, and thereby its capacity for improvement, it considers itself primarily a contemporary state changed by everyday experiences, and unburdened by either the constraints of the past or the promises of a better future.

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