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Contemporary Bourgeois Thought

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What is the point of philosophy in a contemporary capitalist world dominated by destruction and where humanity has been pushed to the edge of the abyss? Ideologues of capitalism create an illusion that the ruling relation to reality is based on a certain way of thinking, that it has a rational nature. Philosophy has become a “rational” echo of destructive capitalist irrationality. It is but one of the humanist masks of an inhumane and destructive civilization and, as such, is advertising for capitalism. It provides and strengthens a way of thinking that, like religion, is deprived of critical self-reflection and prevents man from becoming aware of the tendencies of global development and the objective possibilities of liberation that through subjective practice (political struggle) can turn into real possibilities for freedom. At the same time, “philosophizing” is reduced to the creation of a network of formally and logically consistent concepts that are supposed to mediate between man and the world. Philosophy has become a means for confusing reason and distracting it from the crucial questions. Contemporary bourgeois philosophers disqualify reason as the most authentic and most important human means for ensuring survival and freedom. It is reduced to an instrumentalized ratio and has become the means for mystification of the existing world and for the destruction of a visionary consciousness that offers a possibility for overcoming capitalism and creating a new world. Philosophy has become a technical subject and, as such, is a means for turning concrete existential and essential questions into abstract theoretical questions. Instead of a revolutionary concept, the dominant concept is that of conformism. Instead of a fight to eradicate the causes of non-freedom and destruction, a theoretical discussion about consequences is being imposed. The bourgeois theory offers a critique of capitalism which does not question it and which seeks to “perfect” it. “The essence of capitalism” acquires an idolized dimension and becomes the basis for criticizing capitalist reality. Thus the mythologized past becomes the basis for criticizing the present. Everything that might and should happen has already happened. A struggle for the future becomes a struggle for the past. The bourgeois intelligentsia multiplies the “field of research” by creating numerous “grey areas”, primarily to expand its space as much as possible. It acts like the market: it produces increased quantities of intellectual goods with ever-lower quality, which are sold in the form of books, lectures, studies, and reports.

                Max Horkheimer came to the conclusion half a century ago that serious philosophy was nearing its end and that society was becoming an anthill. Philosophers contribute to that state of affairs by not developing a philosophy that is grounded in the emancipatory legacy of civil society and national cultures, they rather adapt to a ruling order that, rather than a wise man, needs an stupified consumer. Philosophy becomes an entertainment skill and, as such, is a part of show-business, while philosophers become the “jesters” of capitalism. The philosophical mind is being integrated into capitalism by the destruction of its emancipatory potential and by turning philosophy into another commodity in the marketplace of consumer society. The amount of the commission fee becomes the “measure” of the quality of the philosophical thought. Even when significant matters are communicated, they are expressed in such a manner as to lose their political dimension and obtain an entertainment or clownish dimension. Philosophers like Slavoj Zizek and Bernard-Henri Lévy are typical examples of “Coca-Cola” intellectuals. Their “reflections” are being tailored to provide “philosophical” legitimacy to the ecocidal and genocidal activities of the stakeholders in the “new world order”. Their thought represents a philosophical merit badge on the chests of the capitalist executioners who obliterate nature and humankind. At the same time, the leftist bourgeois intelligentsia, headed by Jürgen Habermas, Oskar Negt and Oskar Lafontaine, create an illusion that capitalism could be “brought to reason” by means of enlightened thought. It does not address the workers, but an abstract “citizen”, a petty bourgeois who has been degenerated by the consumer way of life and who can not be bothered with radical social changes that might jeopardize his consumer’s standard of living. “Bringing to reason” does not imply the development of combative sociability and the nullification of the capitalist order as it is reduced to the “pacification” of workers and the technical development that implies the obliteration of man as a social being and of nature as life-generating entirety. Even when the ruling political circle (alienated from the citizenry) is being threatened by an insistence on the necessity of the direct participation in political life of the largest possible number of citizens, this is performed in a manner that does not stand for an appeal to the citizens to fight against the ruling order. The “social peace” needs to be preserved at all cost in order to prevent economic crisis and the ensuing social crisis – without which the petty bourgeois consciousness and its “consumer society” cannot be eliminated. At the same time, a critique of capitalism is increasingly present. But it is of an academic nature and is deprived  of any  political, change-creating dimension. It does not address the destructive nature of capitalism and is not moved toward a vision of the future based upon a radical step away from the capitalist world.

                 The purposefulness of philosophic thought is determined by whether this thought poses concrete historic questions. Today, in a world that faces an ever more realistic possibility of destruction, that principle means concrete historical questions might be the last questions posed by man. It is this quality that makes a difference between today’s concrete historical questions and all earlier such questions. The development of capitalism as a totalitarian order of destruction imposes the question of survival as the most important concrete historical question. Actually, by bringing humanity to the brink of destruction, capitalism ”has answered” all crucial questions. Bearing in mind the intensity of the capitalist destruction of life, all questions come down to one: what can be done to prevent the destruction of humanity? The only meaningful thought is of an existential character, that is, it creates the possibility for a political (changing) practice that will prevent the world’s destruction. In that context, philosophy is meaningful as a critique of capitalism and a visionary projection of a future world. There is a need for creating an integrating critical and visionary thought with an existential nature, which will contain the emancipatory legacy of civil society and national cultures. Humanity will again appreciate the importance of serious thinking when people return to the basic existential questions. The seriousness of those questions will make people serious: crucial existential issues will eliminate any trivial ways of thinking and direct the mind towards the essential issues. Riding the wave of the French bourgeois revolution, classical German philosophy shaped the self-consciousness of modern man. Today, the humanist intelligentsia should shape a thought that will guide the last revolution in the history of mankind. It is not the hoot of Minerva’s owl in the twilight, but the war cry of a man who has been awakened and who is ready not only to liberate humanity from oppression, but to prevent its destruction. Ultimately, what is philosophy if it is not capable of answering the questions that are of vital importance to human destiny?

                The 1854 letter from the Chief of the Seattle tribe to the American President Franklin Pierce indicates the important limitations on modern philosophy with respect to basic existential issues. It is a sobering fact that modern man does not turn to the greatest thinkers of the modern age to find solutions to the critical existential issues but, rather, to someone who, by the predominant criteria for evaluation, is considered a “savage”. The Indian Chief’s letter indicates that all modern Western thought has gone astray. It depicts the true nature of capitalism, and the basic tendency of its development, better than all the philosophical and sociological thinking of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Chief’s letter, at the same time, indicates that the question of being, as one of the central “traditional” philosophical questions, can no longer be viewed at the essential level. Being, as a symbolic source of authentic humanity and the mirror in which man can see his authentic human image, above all, is the affirmation of man’s life-creating powers acquiring a concrete historical dimension with respect to capitalism as a totalitarian destructive order. The fact that the letter was written in the mid-19th century is of primary importance as it refutes the claim that at that time it was not possible to see the ecocidal nature of capitalism. The words of the Indian Chief not only show the limitations of Western scientific and philosophical thought, but also that it is not necessary to have science and philosophy in order to recognize the true nature of capitalism. The truth that capitalism is an anti-existential order is based on immediate empirical evidence. This was the guiding thought of Fourier when, in the early 19th century, he questioned (capitalist) “progress”, suggesting that it is based on the destruction of forests, fields, sources of water, climate…

                A specificity of the contemporary historical moment, that is, a specificity of capitalism as a system of destruction, also conditions the specific view of the past. The ruling ideology sterilizes the libertarian and change-oriented charge of philosophical thought and reduces it to a lifeless “history of philosophy”, which becomes a vehicle for the destruction of the libertarian and life-creating power of reason. Critical theory, based upon existential humanism, needs to create the possibility for “reviving” the creative and libertarian spirit of our ancestors by engaging it in the fight for survival and for the creation of a new world. In the struggle for humankind’s survival, the thinking of the past has to realize its own humanistic, i.e., existential and libertarian, potential. The deepening existential crisis forces man to focus on the basic existential issues and, in that context, to integratethe libertarian and cultural heritage of humankind and to rid it of any “tails” that only weaken it in combat and drive the mind astray. The “fullness of humanity”, in the sense of perceiving man from a historical perspective, is conditioned by increasingly dramatic existential challenges. The libertarian past needs to become a source of man’s life-creating energyin the struggle for the survival of humankind. A “return” to the mythological past is justified only if it is to revitalize libertarian and life-creating myths. Otherwise, it amounts to driving reason astray and has, regardless ofpersonal motives, an anti-existential nature.                                                                    

                What provides a certain thought with a concrete historical dimension is the actual historical position toward it. Only a life-creating critique of the existing world, from the point of view of a future (humane) world, can “revive” previous thoughts. Bourgeois thought does not revive but sterilizes the legacy of reason in an analytical, mythological or some other form. It exterminates its effective historical potential, which deprives it of its mutative charge and turns it into a lifeless thought. A typical example is the position of Leszek Kolakowski toward Marxist thought  (Main Currents of Marxism). His analytical approach to the development of Marxism does not open up but rather closes down the horizons of the future.  The “balance” principle, which he asserts as the starting point of his theoretical (political) analyses, is formally logical, of abstract nature. What sort of “balance” could be offered to capitalism if it has already become a totalitarian destructive order? Kolakowski’s “balance” has no existential and, in that context, no libertarian nature, but, rather, it has a politically compromising and, therefore, an anti-existential nature. Kolakowski’s  contradiction between “skeptical” and “utopian” philosophy is of a formally logical character. It represents an obvious example of the failure to perceive phenomena in the context of their actual historical development and of the creation of an abstract reflective stance toward reality. Kolakowski does not comprehend that the concrete idea of the utopian is conceivable only when related to the ruling capitalist order with its destructive nature, or in other words, that turning capitalism into a totalitarian destructive order preconditions the nature of the utopian as a political confrontation with capitalism. The utopian does not merely imply the creation of a new world, but also the preservation of life on the planet. Kolakowski opted for the “objectivist” critique of Marx, which is based on the bourgeois ideology within which “democracy” does not have a concrete historical nature, but rather a mythological nature. His point of departure is “democracy”, which represents just one of the ideological forms in which capitalism presents itself, and not the actual nature of capitalism. He also insists on a false antipode: “democracy” v “totalitarianism”, which counterfeits the actual historical antipode: capitalism v humane (communist) society. In that context, he fails to indicate the emancipatory and life-creating potential of the Marxist thought with respect to capitalism as a totalitarian order of destruction.                        

                The gradual deviation of the civil thought toward the right well suits the development of capitalism which, by the means of the “consumer” way of life, has integrated a majority of workers into its own existential and moral orbit. At the same time, in order to impede the class-based organizing of workers and the ensuing class struggle, the bourgeois intelligentsia has adapted the “nature” of capitalism to the political project for which it advocates and has thus hindered the development of an adequate critical consciousness for a political struggle against capitalism. Bourgeois philosophy is a form within which the mind is alienated from man and made to serve as an intermediary between man and reality. It blurs the image of the world and creates an optical distortion that keeps man from perceiving the truest course that leads toward the future. Bourgeois thought is a theoretical form of ideation within which capitalism suppresses or annihilates the political struggle of the oppressed and their endeavors to prevent the destruction of the world. The bourgeois intelligentsia has been, and still is, a mace in the hands of the capitalists, a weapon wielded for the elimination of the libertarian and visionary consciousness of the working class. It neuters the mind as a force in the political struggle against capitalism and pulls it off its historical course. In that way, it buys some additional time for capitalism and contributes to the destruction of the world. When capitalism turned into a totalitarian order of destruction, bourgeois thought became an anti-existential thought, and the bourgeois theorists became the horsemen of the apocalypse. The obliteration of the emancipatory possibilities of bourgeois society also implies the destruction of the emancipatory potential of the civil thought. By annihilating the effective historical nature of bourgeois society, capitalism sterilizes bourgeois philosophy and turns it into lifeless thought. Capitalism marginalizes the bourgeois intelligentsia and turns it into a “cleaner” of its own bloodstained crime scenes. Capitalism, thus, devours its own (spiritual) children.                      

                In becoming a totalitarian order of destruction, capitalism has imposed the necessity for a new (possibly a final!) historical “reading” of the philosophers whose thoughts have defined the contemporary epoch. The authentic humanistic potential of their thinking stands in stark contrast before an increasingly gloomy background of capitalist nothingness. It seems as if great thought no longer exists. What currently is nonexistent is any political movement capable of providing a great idea with an appropriate practical (change-creating) dimension. However, the deepening existential crisis created by capitalism conditions the inception of such a global political movement as would be capable of eliminating capitalism and creating a new world in which “spiritual riches will be the measure of human wealth” (Marx). The true historical quality of the critical thought is represented by the width of the aperture it opens on reality.

                In relation to man, the capitalist world has become a totalitarian and destructive power to such an extent that it has lost any need for scientific knowledge, and it has become, in the hands of the capitalists, an anti-humane and anti-living power. At the same time, an escape from knowledge becomes an escape from any responsibility for the world’s survival. The realization that a group of capitalist fanatics can in an instant destroy the world, along with an awareness of the increasing possibility of environmental destruction and, thus, the end of humanity, itself, bring man, mired in the quicksand of “consumer society”, to the brink of madness. An escape from knowledge is a “natural” defense mechanism. The predominant science reduces the reality of capitalism to certain “facts” that enable a “scientific view” according to which there is no alternative to capitalism, that all “problems” can be “overcome” by capitalism, itself, through technologically “perfectioning”. The capitalist vision of the future has a “scientific” character. The myth of the “omnipotence of science and technology” has become a means for the creation of a capitalistically degenerated religious consciousness and, in that context, the image of the future. The vision of a “paradise”, in which the “souls of the deceased are reunited in God”, is replaced by the vision of a “perfect technical world”. Everything is mediated by money; everything acquires a trivial dimension – including the individual’s relation to death. Ideologues of capitalism promise man (the rich “elite”) “immortality”, which will be provided by creating technical devices that will enable the “revival” of frozen corpses. Scientists have become the capitalists’ contract killers and the driving force for the destruction of the world. A vast majority of scientists are engaged in the production of weapons of mass destruction, devices for mass control, the genetic distortion of man, the destruction of nature, the manipulation and idiotization of people… Scientific knowledge has been deprived not only of its human purpose; it has acquired an anti-existential motive.

                Since manipulation of peopledoes not proceed only in the realm of ideology but, more importantly, in the psychological sphere, art, reduced to a technique of using images and symbols for manipulation, becomes of the utmost importance. Its primary role is not to create a “cultural” decor for the ruling order, but to distort man and all the symbols by which he can reach his libertarian, creative, life-creating and social being. Capitalistically degenerated art mutilates the human being with an “artistic” form given a spectacular dimension. The “spectacle” does not only serve to deceive – it does not only prevent man from seeing the important – but it kills in him his humanity and, thus, any possibility of ever seeing the important. A blind man is not blind. Blind is the man who cannot see humanity in the other. Capitalism eliminates from culture the esthetic criteria for an evaluation based on traditional forms of artistic expression and the emancipatory legacy of civil society – the traditional need to confront formalism and the destruction of the human. Instead of something new, a variety of the same old same-old is offered. Instead of ideas opening a space in the future, new techniques are offered that destroy man’s need to fantasize along with his visionary consciousness. Capitalistically degenerated art has become a spectacular kitsch. Its value is determined not according to esthetic value but to market impact:  so, the success of an advertising campaign sets the “value” of a work of art, while depriving money of any value equivalent. As for the “globalist culture”, how can universal cultural values be ascertained if the legacy of national cultures is discarded? The emancipatory legacy of national cultures is not only the source of people’s esthetic heritage, but also of their libertarian and life-creating consciousness. The superseding of national cultures by a universal human culture is possible only through the development of the emancipatory legacy of national cultures. As to the relation between universality and collectivism, there need be no counter-opposition here if collectivism, rather than being based on “the masses”, is based on emancipated personalities. Universal human values should be the basis for collectivism, whereas collectivity should not mean the elimination of individuality, but, rather, the establishment of a community of emancipated human beings. At the same time, universality cannot be the privilege of individuals who perceive themselves as an “elite”. It is, in actual fact, a class principle, but veiled by a “struggle for the individual”. A typical example is found in Nietzsche, who speaks of a “Superman” as the anthropological manifestation of “a new nobility”, of a new ruling class (plutocracy). Walter Benjamin believed that technical means can obviate the elitist character of art and bring it closer to the workers. A capitalistically degenerated technique has deprived art of its elitist exclusivity by depriving it of its humane essence. It has destroyed man’s creative being and thus does away with art’s aura, that human emanation, which contains the emancipatory heritage of humanity and suggests what has not yet been but might come to be. The development of an “esthetical sense” has been achieved by destroying the sense of the human. It turns out that there is no point in making art as a means for changing the world if it is not an integral part of a comprehensive political movement seeking to create a new world. Thus a distinction should be made between a false (capitalistically degenerated) art and a libertarian and genuine art. The role of libertarian art is to unmask the true nature of capitalism; to create a vision of the new world; to indicate objective possibilities for the creation of a new world and, most importantly, to develop man’s need for his fellow man – as the basis for a genuine socialization without which no political movement can save the world from destruction. As for art as a reflection of human misery, which is, as such, an alienated form of de-alienation: a vision of life appears as an artistic act where man’s social being realizes his libertarian and creative being.

Translated from Serbian by Vesna Todorović (Petrović) and  Svetlana Đurić. English translation supervisor Mick Collins

New Social Compact

Human Security Perspectives on Hate Speech

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As readers of this article, including myself as the writer, we have all likely encountered hate speech, sometimes without even realizing it. The way each of us perceives hate speech can vary, and its impact on individuals may also differ. This recognition leads us to acknowledge that both you and I have been victims of hate speech at one point or another. The challenge arises in whether we can classify what we’ve experienced as ‘hate,’ or if it was simply ‘speech’ that caused discomfort. Regardless of its nature, severity, or impact, hate speech is harmful and acts as a barrier to the well-being of our society.

What is hate speech?

What constitutes hate speech? According to the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, it is defined as ‘any form of communication in speech, writing, or behavior that attacks or employs derogatory or discriminatory language towards an individual or group based on their characteristics, such as religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender, or other identity factors.’ The strategy emphasizes that there’s no universally agreed-upon definition of hate speech within international human rights law. Furthermore, it clarifies that hate speech can take various forms of expression, including images, cartoons, memes, objects, gestures, symbols, and can be disseminated both offline and online.

Digital age as a challenge

In contrast to the past, today’s society is deeply entrenched in the digital realm. Consequently, social media has emerged as a prominent platform for communication. However, not all forms of communication on these platforms promote healthy discourse. Due to their wide-reaching usage, accessibility, and constant availability, even radicalized individuals, terrorists, and separatists have harnessed these platforms to further their agendas. While some employ social media to express genuine emotions, foster unity, and engage in constructive debate, others employ it to manipulate, mock, belittle, or denigrate individuals and specific groups.

As noted by Research Outreach, ‘The digital age has facilitated the sharing of online speech and content, often anonymously and without considering the consequences. While online publishing is instant, the mechanisms designed to regulate speech are frequently cumbersome and slow. In traditional media, editorial oversight from someone other than the author has historically served as an effective check on hate speech—a safeguard that doesn’t apply to self-published content on social media platforms.’ Additionally, as highlighted by Thorleifsson and O Düker, ‘Online environments have proven to be fertile ground for violent extremism, enabling socialization, recruitment, and accelerated radicalization. These digital spaces are often referred to as “virtual communities” or “radical milieus,” where information dissemination and involvement are actively encouraged. Even lone actors find connections within these virtual communities, sharing their worldviews and interpretations.

Impact of hate speech on human security

Before delving into what is hate speech and its impact on human security, it is pivotal to discuss briefly what human security is. Undoubtedly, society has changed and evolved and due to that reason concerns and priorities have also taken a change. Unlike in past, where military security is about the military forces and protection from intervention, at present security, includes notions which deal with human existences, such as human rights, food, water, energy, cyber and politics. As per the (Human Security Handbook, 2016), In 2012, the adoption of General Assembly resolution 66/290 marked a significant moment in the promotion of human security. The resolution outlined Basic Rights which means that people have the right to live in freedom and dignity, without getting subjected to poverty or despair. These rights apply to all, particularly vulnerable groups, ensuring freedom from fear and want and equal opportunities for all. The approach is as follows people-centric, context-specific, and prevention-focused. In addition, it is important to merit attention to Interconnectedness, where Human security recognizes the interconnected nature of peace, development, and human rights, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Another point is, it is Distinct from the Responsibility to Protect and is Non-Coercive. Another important element is, National Ownership, as Human security is based on national ownership, acknowledging the diversity of conditions across countries.

Therefore, hate speech violates human rights since it impacts the dignity and rights of human beings. The impact of hate is disastrous. The word “hate” itself is derogatory since it is prejudicial, angry and also condescending. The words “hate speech” go a step beyond. Some hate speech can be made at an instance, some can be more systematic, coordinated and pre-planned. Hate speech’s impact is multi-faceted and it is hard to rank it since hate speech is psychological. Firstly, it is crucial to note that hate speech affects the mentality of the person. According to, (Pluta et al, 2023) “the widespread ubiquity of hate speech affects people’s attitudes and behaviour. Exposure to hate speech can lead to prejudice, dehumanization, and lack of empathy towards members of outgroups”. According to (SELMA partners,2019) “more specifically, victims of online hate speech may show low self-esteem, sleeping disorders, increased anxiety and feelings of fear and insecurity”.

The said hate speech does not stop from inflicting pain on the mind only, it goes beyond. The reason is, that hate speech can be against a specific ethnicity, race, gender or religious community, which will result in division resulting in the erosion of social cohesion. In addition, the violence incurred on the mind of the individuals transcends to physical violence where hatred will result in riots and bloodshed.

An example of hate speech based on race is the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which involved ethnic discrimination. According to the United Nations, decades of hate speech exacerbated ethnic tensions in Rwanda. This was achieved by spreading unfounded rumors and dehumanizing ethnic Tutsi citizens. The hate propaganda was disseminated through the infamous Radio Libre des Mille Collines, which incited the Hutu majority to commit violence against their fellow Tutsi citizens. Another example can be found in the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The role of hatred and disinformation campaigns in inciting and legitimating war crimes during the Bosnian war (1992–1995) has been established. In Serbian majority areas, constant nationalist propaganda was disseminated through party-controlled media. This demonized the Bosnian Muslim population and other groups, portraying them as violent fundamentalist enemies plotting against the Serbs.

Another example involves hate speech directed at gender. One prominent instance is Gamergate, an online harassment campaign that occurred in 2014–15, targeting women in the video game industry. This campaign was mainly attributed to white male right-wing gamers who opposed the increasing influence of women and feminism in the industry. Notably, Gamergate acted as a recruitment tool for the emerging alt-right movement and played a role in propagating the online “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which later gave rise to the broader QAnon conspiracy movement. Another instance of hate speech related to culture and ethnicity is the Christchurch Mosque Shootings. Just before his deadly attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, the perpetrator posted a 74-page manifesto on 8chan titled “The Great Replacement.” This manifesto referred to a conspiracy narrative outlined by Renaud Camus in his book ‘Le Grand Replacement.’ In the manifesto, the attacker justified mass murder as necessary to defend Europe against what he saw as an ongoing “cultural and ethnic genocide” caused by multiculturalism and mass immigration. In his post, he urged others to spread his message, create memes, and engage in online activities. This serves as a stark example of how virtual platforms can be exploited to promote hate speech.


Internationally as well as domestically there are laws against hate speech. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), in Article 19(1) states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference”. 19(2) mentions about “freedom of expression”. In addition, this can be “either orally, in writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. However, these rights can be curtailed as provided by law and are necessary, (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others, (b) For the protection of national security or of public order or public health or morals. Article 20 states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Article 4 mentions that “States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” In Sri Lanka, there are four laws against hate speech. Namely, the International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights Act 56 of 2007, The Penal Code Ordinance No. 2 of 1883, The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 Of 1979 and regulations under it as well as the Police Ordinance (No. 16 of 1865).

There are social media regulations as well. For example, Transparency Center, states that on  Facebook, “We’re committed to making Facebook a safe place. We remove content that could contribute to a risk of harm to the physical security of persons. Content that threatens people has the potential to intimidate, exclude or silence others and isn’t allowed on Facebook.” An example of a global imitative is, the United Nations Population Fund. It is a (UNFPA) “global movement to address gendered hate speech online. It co-convenes the Advisory Group to the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse, and issued the UNFPA Guidance on Safe and Ethical Technology for Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices.”. An example of another global initiative is, Social Media 4 Peace, which was “Initiated in January 2021 in three pilot countries, with the support of the European Union, this UNESCO project aims to strengthen the resilience of societies to potentially harmful content spread online – in particular hate speech inciting violence – while protecting freedom of expression and promoting peace through digital technologies, notably social media.”

Persisting issue

In spite of all the measures in place, the prevalence of hate speech in our daily lives continues to escalate, and this is a genuine tragedy. Therefore, it is imperative that we do not merely react to hate speech but take proactive steps to prevent it from occurring. Addressing hate speech in the 21st century requires a multifaceted approach that involves all stakeholders and paradigms. To enhance the effectiveness of hate speech prevention, several additional measures can be employed. For instance, governments worldwide should prioritize media literacy, enabling individuals to critically evaluate information. Furthermore, it is essential to promote counter-narratives to counteract hate speech campaigns. Additionally, educational initiatives should be strengthened to instill good practices and nurture empathetic individuals.

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New Social Compact

Robotization and the Future of Humanity

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Robotization is the final form of capitalist degeneration of humanity. Capitalism does not transform robots into humans, but humans into robots. Instead of human evolution having a historical character, it takes on a technocratic character. Capitalism destroys man’s personality and reduces him to a functional component of technical processes through which capitalism destroys the human and living world. Marx’s concept of “reification” (Verdinglichung) points to the prevailing tendency of world development. Capitalism abolishes man as a human and natural being and turns him into technical means for the development of capitalism.

     Robots are a projection of the capitalistically degenerated humanity. Capitalism abolishes interpersonal relationships and, in doing so, abolishes man as social being. Society becomes a crowd of atomized individuals reduced to a labor-consumer mass. People lose the need for human connection. Man no longer seeks humanity in another man, but in virtual worlds, pets and technological devices. Robots become a substitute for human beings.

     Measured by capitalist criteria, one of the most significant advantages of robots over humans is that robots, as technical “beings,” can constantly be improved based on the productivist efficiency that has a profitable character. The rate of capital turnover is the driving force behind the robotization of humans and the technization of the world. In the end, the process of robotization comes down to the development of capitalism, which involves the increasingly intensive destruction of man as a human and life-creating being. Robotization indicates that there are no limits to the capitalist future.

      This is especially significant when it comes to the “conquest of space.” The technocratic approach to space and to the cosmic future of humanity is conditioned by a dehumanized technocratic mind. Man is abolished as a historical being, and thereby as a unique and irreplaceable cosmic being. Rather than endeavoring to create a humane cosmos, man is instead, through technical means, abolished as a human and natural being and reduced to cosmic processes that have an energetic and mechanical character.

      Robots are an organic part of the technical world, and their characteristics are conditioned by the nature of capitalism. They are mass-produced and, as such, disposable commodities. Robots are not social or historical beings; they lack emotions, mind, libertarian dignity, cultural and national self-awareness, moral criteria, rights, they don’t get sick, they work 24 hours a day as programmed, they are replaceable, and can be instantly turned off and destroyed…

      Capitalists do not strive to create robots that are increasingly similar to humans in their qualities but rather humans who are increasingly similar to robots. Humans are not the role models for robots; robots are the role models for humans. Through the spectacular model of robots, capitalist propaganda machinery imposes on people the image of the capitalist man of the future. In reality, robots are surrogates of humans turned by capitalism into ideal slaves.

      Sport is an area where the robotization of humans in the existing world has reached its highest level. The human body has become a technical means to achieve records, and the “quest for records” is based on a productivistic fanaticism with a technical and destructive character. This is what defines the personality of an athlete, as well as their relation to the world and the future.

      Considering that capitalism is increasingly destroying the living conditions in which man as a natural and human being can survive, the distinctive ability of robots to function in environments that are deadly to humans becomes of paramount importance. The destruction of the living environment devalues man as a human and natural being and further encourages the process of robotization.

      Robotization suggests that capitalism can survive without humans. In the capitalistically degenerated world, humanity is not just superfluous; it has become an impediment to “progress.” With the development of consumer society, which means capitalism’s becoming a totalitarian order of destruction, capitalism has come to the final reckoning with the living world and with man as a human and natural being. Man has become an “obsolete being” that is to conclude his cosmic odyssey in the capitalist landfill.

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New Social Compact

Talking tolerance in polarised societies

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EU research projects provide fresh insights into what it takes for communities to accept different religious and world views.


Ann Trappers harnessed a shock in her native Belgium to help heal social wounds across Europe. 

After Islamic terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016 left 35 people – including three suicide bombers – dead and more than 300 injured, Trappers and her colleagues at a non-governmental organisation called Foyer sought to rebuild community trust and cohesion. 

No taboos

They used the NGO’s long-established youth centre in the religiously and ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Molenbeek. Their experience fed into a research initiative that received EU funding to explore and foster religious tolerance in eight European countries. 

‘One of the ways in which we worked to counter radicalisation was to ensure it didn’t become a taboo subject,’ said Trappers, programme coordinator at Foyer. ‘We wanted young people to be able to talk about it freely and safely in the setting of the youth centre.’

Concerns about growing polarisation in Europe have pushed the issue up the EU political agenda. 

The portfolio of a vice-president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, includes dialogue with churches as well as religious associations and communities. The portfolio is called “Promoting our European Way of Life”. 

The EU is also putting its weight behind various initiatives – including the Radicalisation Awareness Network – aimed at helping communities in Europe live harmoniously together. 

The EU project in which Trappers was involved ran from May 2018 through October 2022 and was called RETOPEA. It brought together academic organisations from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain as well as non-EU countries North Macedonia and the UK. 

The project explored ways in which religion is regarded in the educational, professional and social realms. It also examined how peaceful religious coexistence has been established over history. 

Past and present

The idea was to use insights gained from the past to inform thinking about religious tolerance today. 

‘It’s not often you get the opportunity as a historian to make your work relevant,’ said Patrick Pasture, who coordinated RETOPEA and is a professor of modernity and society at Catholic University Leuven in Belgium. 

The project delved into more than 400 primary source extracts from historical peace treaties, contemporary news reports and cultural snippets. 

Based on these materials, teenagers from Foyer and other youth associations in each of the participating countries joined workshops to create their own video blog – or “vlog” – about religious tolerance and coexistence. 

The vlogs, available on the RETOPEA website, include interviews with passersby, drawings and other creative work.

Pasture said the act of working together took the focus away from the participants’ differences.

‘The most important thing will always be that people have to learn to talk – to refrain from immediately judging,’ he said. 

Spreading the word

Pasture was struck by the number of students who were unaware of the religious beliefs of classmates and by how open they were to talking about the issue. 

He said most participants were upset about the divisiveness of contemporary discussions of religion and ‘hated’ the rise of polarisation.

Around a year after RETOPEA wrapped up, the results and materials collected are informing actions by interfaith organisations, governmental bodies and European teacher associations. 

The project team is regularly invited to make presentations at teaching workshops and seminars in the EU and beyond – places ranging from Austria and Italy to Jordan and Wales. 

And the European Association of History Educators – established in 1992 to build educational bridges on the continent following the collapse of communism in eastern Europe – includes the RETOPEA materials on its website. 

Middle ground

Another EU-funded research project looked specifically at the notion of tolerance – how it feels for people to push themselves to accept “others” and what it feels like to be “tolerated.” The research relied mainly on questionnaires and online experiments. 

‘People have their own opinions and their own beliefs and we can’t just expect them to give them up and consider everything of equal value,’ said Maykel Verkuyten, who led the initiative and is a professor in interdisciplinary social science at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. 

Called InTo for Intergroup Toleration, the project ran for five years through September 2022.

In conducting studies in the Netherlands and Germany, Verkuyten and his team were pleasantly surprised to find that a clear majority of people regarded tolerance as an important societal value. 

He said that most respondents agreed with, for example, the following two presented statements: “I accept it when other people do things that I wholeheartedly disapprove of” and “Everyone is allowed to live as he or she wants, even if it is at odds with what I think is good and right”.

On a cautionary note, the team also found that it’s far easier to move people towards greater intolerance than it is to make them more tolerant. 

Verkuyten is driven by an interest in the middle ground of the whole subject – where space exists for differing views without any desire either to crush or to celebrate them. 

He said this zone must be promoted through civics courses, human-rights lessons and other educational initiatives to help ensure the health of democracies and multicultural societies. 

‘There is something in between being very negative, discriminatory, and fully embracing all diversity,’ Verkuyten said. ‘That’s essential for a functioning liberal democracy and indispensable for a culturally diverse society.’

Research in this article was funded by the EU via the European Research Council (ERC). This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.

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