The State of Emergency as a Normally Occurring Case
"Der Ausnahmezustand als Normalfall: Modernität als Krise" - Armin Nassehi
In: Kursbuch 170 - Krisen lieben, Hamburg: Murmann.
The modern era originated in the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed Lisbon on All Saints' Day in 1755. The event revived the age-old question of how God could allow such a disaster, leading to a new separation of natural and cultural spheres and the development of science and rationality to explain natural phenomena. The Enlightenment was a response to this crisis, characterized by the need to find new ways to interpret and cope with disasters. The concept of the future as an absent presence was developed as a way to provide hope and overcome the uncertainties of the present, leading to the belief that even irrational events could be overcome through rational means. Ultimately, the modern era was born out of crisis, with the need to reconcile necessity and freedom, reason and irrationality, and ultimately find hope in a better future.
It is challenging to integrate crises into the narrative of modernity. For example, the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century temporarily integrated society through violence.
Functional differentiation is the simultaneous development of different internal logics, expectations, and functions within different societal institutions. This development has lead to the loss of a societal central perspective and the need for one. The potency of modernity lies in the fact that different logics have their own societal significance. This can also lead to a lack of a cohesive solution for societal problems. Neoliberal and other paradigms that attempt to solve problems through a single lens are unable to do so. The crisis of modernity arises from the fact that the available concepts and paradigms are insufficient to deal with the complexity of modern society.
It is necessary to face the crises of modernity with serenity. Modernity, the emancipation of different societal logics from each other, can only be overcome by analogical solutions. The fundamental crisis of modernity is the experience that modernity is ungovernable and that nothing can come to an end. However, this crisis is also the potential that characterizes modernity. The Euro-crisis (2012) is an example of the crisis of modernity. The crisis is not necessarily the issue itself, but the inability to find an end to it. The crisis is the solution. The potential of modernity lies in the provisional nature of events. Modernity is characterized by error-friendliness. The relationship between problems and solutions is multi-dimensional rather than dualistic. The crisis is an opportunity for growth and development. Simple solutions are mostly not effective in solving complex issues!
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