09.01.2020, 11:50


Dilara Muslimzadeh
Institute of Philosophy of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences


The article is devoted to the study of the institution of civil society. The article analyzes the role of the civil society institution and provides a broad analysis of this institution in Europe and Azerbaijan.
In modern reality, the “rule of law”and “civil society”are not only integral parts of a single whole, but also determine mutual development. The interaction of the “rule of law”and “civil society”occurs in accordance with the action of the universal philosophical category of “content and form”. In this case, the rule of law acts as a “form”, an external shell, within which civil society exists as a “content”, internal content.
The concept of “civil society”is as old as the concept of “state”. For more than two millennia, these two phenomena of objective realityexist and interact. All this time scientists who sometimes put forward contradictory theories about their origin and existence have studied them.

Also,in the article, based on a comparative political and legal analysis, the role of state bodies in the development of civil society is investigated. Analyzing the formation of the ideas of civil society in Europe and Azerbaijan, it concludes that civil society, as an ideal type is the differentiation of state and public life, the differentiation of general and private interest, the differentiation of law, religion, morality and individual morality. The problems of differentiation of public, state and private life actualizes the problems of necessary (or sufficient) consolidation by the state, which does not abolish public, corporate, individual freedoms and options for public consolidation.
Keywords:Azerbaijan, society, comparative analysis, the idea of civil society, philosophical.

The prospects and problems of the idea of civil society in Azerbaijan are of particular interest in Azerbaijani political philosophy and journalism. Our study proceeds from the importance of the following areas of search: firstly, a philosophical, ethical and political analysis of the formation of the idea of civil society in Western theory, its correlation with the ideas of Azerbaijani intellectuals. Secondly, the formulation of the concept of “ideal type” of civil society. Thirdly, the comprehension of the prospects of the idea in Azerbaijan, in the context of the relations of the main types of consciousness to the moral values of civil society on interest-consciousness constructs: “I-society, I-state”. With the presence and prospects of consciousness that differentiates these constructs, the prospects of the idea of civil society are connected. Ignoring these issues suggests that the mere creation of political and economic institutions can change the consciousness of the community, regardless of its values and priorities, as if based on the fact that national consciousness is inert.
Thus, this position leads to the fact that in the public consciousness is formulated attitude to the public consciousness as a monolithic phenomenon, which is static and passive. That is why it is necessary to understand the consciousness of the nation, as the configuration or relationship of various types of consciousness, to try to comprehend the ways of turning the idea of civil society into a mainstream consciousness of at least one layer of society. An analysis of the actions and consciousness of the political elite in politics and economics indicates that they are contradictory, but it is aware of its economic interest and is not able to radically hinder the differentiation of interests and consciousnesses. In our opinion, understanding the significance of this differentiation in philosophical reflection gives impetus to the development of the idea of civil society and the search for an adequate legal and political-economic model for the development of society. This approach allows us to answer the question about the prospects of civil society in Azerbaijan. But the formulation of such an approach becomes possible only with an understanding of how, in the procedural sense of the word, Western philosophy formed the idea of the importance of differentiating interests and consciousnesses, and the need to find ways for their subsequent non-violent (within the framework of morality and law) consolidation. For the development of the ideas of civil society, the rule of law and a market economy, a philosophical reflection of this type is important, which will lead to an understanding at active levels of public consciousness of the internal relationship between individualmorality, the intrinsic value of individual choice and civil morality, and law.

An analysis of the formation of the idea of civil society leads us to the conclusion that civil society as an ideal type is the differentiation of state and public life, thedifferentiation of general and private interest, the differentiation of law, religion, morality and individual morality. The problems of differentiation of public, state and private life actualizes the problems of necessary (or sufficient) consolidation by the state, which does not abolish public, corporate, individual freedoms and options for public consolidation. This idea of civil society was formed as a result of the development of European philosophy and morality with its special attitude to privateproperty, individual freedom, and free choice of the individual. In fact, the question for the Azerbaijani consciousness now stands like this: is it possible to have a civil society idea without a special “sacred” attitude of the authorities to the private property of all, that is, to individual freedom and choice. Theideaof a civilsocietywithoutthesevalues isnotfeasible.
Political and economic differentiation is underway in Azerbaijan, private interests are being formed and moved beyond the shadow economy (very slowly). And although the above-mentioned values have not yet been perceived by, the public, corporate and individual consciousness, but trends have emerged and they are aimed at further differentiation. So far, protolayers are emerging, whose interests and consciousness can contribute to the adoption of the ideas of civil society, the search for non-violent means and consolidation (based on the principles of mutual benefit) and forms of public and legal control over the authorities. Much in this process depends on the behavior of the bureaucratic class. The state is a phenomenon necessary for consolidation and simultaneously, in the post-Soviet space, it traditionally acts in the role of only power and strength. The sociological measurements that we carried out among citizens, the middle bourgeoisie, opposition political forces, managers, scientists, and students indicate that the consciousness of these layers can be described as proto-civil consciousness, which are close to these ideas, but they are confronted within themselves by a conflict of their private interests and representations (myths) of public consciousness.
Civil society in the philosophical, political, economic and moral sense, the concept is an answer to the challenges ofconsciousness itself to itself, its desire for cooperation, not confrontation. His desire for cooperation determines the rethinking of many absolute concepts such as: truth, morality, justice, a proper model of the state, fair power and price in the category of relative, contractual, accepted by society. This comprehension was phased and lengthy for Western philosophical thought, finding its reproduction through educational programs and in the minds of Western civilization.
Something similar is happening in Azerbaijan. True, the idea of a civil common is transmitted here from the outside, but the process of creating institutions and values is ongoing, although the public consciousness as a whole does not yet perceive this process as a challenge. The processes here can be considered in the context of positive-negative in relation to this idea. Among the factors contributing to the perception and development of this idea, we note the following: a) translation from the external international environment (world economic processes, political and strategic conditions and relations, “the spirit of the times”); b) the establishment of a democratic state based on the idea of separation of powers and the development of national factors, a sense of national identity; c) economic differentiation and awareness of its inevitability, the search for the legal and moral foundations of life in these conditions, as the degree of “modernization” of the consciousness of society; d) so far, that the tendency is to develop thesocial-class structure of society and an understanding of the problem of the relationship between classes; e) the development of elements of civil sociocultural factors; f) the development of such political factors as the interaction of parties of socio-political movements and interest groups, including those organized in accordance with new political institutions, the consent of political actors with proto-democratic procedures, political ethics; g) individual political and psychological factors (knowledge, professional preparedness of the urban population, awareness, specific actions and volitional decisions of key political authors).
The following can be attributed to the negative ones: a) insufficient knowledge, both at the popular and scientific levels, about the history of the development of the idea of civil society in Europe, the prevalence of vulgarly Marxist, often critical ideas about civil society among the main layers of the population and, above all, the bureaucratic class, indifference of education systems to the basic postulates of the idea of civil society; b) the expansion of the size of the shadow economy and politics, which has led to the fact that real political and economic relations have become an obstacle to the disclosure and verbalization of private and corporate interests; c) the idealization of political and economic relations affirms or re-creates the idea of the state as an apparatus that protects exclusively integrated interests, and impedes its understanding as a tool forconsolidating various interests. In the ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, differentiation of political and economic interests has been established in Azerbaijan.It created a serious problem for public consciousness: how to maintain order and consolidation in the conditions of differentiation, how to determine the necessary level of consolidation, what should be the state, whose interests and whose consciousness should be dominant in society. Discussions about the answers to these questionsdid not formulate a justified answer, providing the necessary consensus among the political public, the political elite. Such an idea could be the idea of civil society, as a mechanism for horizontal and vertical consolidation of society. The idea of civil society is popular in literature, which is distributed in Azerbaijan on political and philosophical topics, both in English and Russian, a lot of it in the Azerbaijani language. Opinion polls conducted on this topic indicate that certain ideas about the idea of civil society are among active people, among students, scientists, political activists largely than among educators and entrepreneurs(Mammedzadeh1995: 14-15).We note right away that differences in the level of knowledge about civil society are associated not only with the immediate interests of the respondents, but also with the educational level, political preferences, and age. Analysis of the data of opinion polls, content analysis of the press, legal documents, both governmental and oppositional, in both Russian and Azerbaijani languages of scientific and popular publications indicates that the idea of civil society is popular, but knowledge is not strongand not deep. In scientific works, as a rule, the idea of civil society is associated with the presence of the middle class, civic consciousnessand not the formation of the middle class as it determines the locality of the idea. Values, moral representations, the role of consciousness and individual interests in the dissemination of ideas are not taken into account. We emphasize that equality is taken between freedom and equality, tradition is chosen between traditions and innovations, common are chosenbetween individual and common interests, which are preserved in the role of fundamental value categories. Naturally, all the moments in economics, politics and morality that lead to differentiation, or justify the need for awareness of the significance ofdifferentiation, are often perceived negatively even in scientific works. In the publication of Azerbaijani scholars, the tone of the idea of civil society is determined by the appeal to the ideas of Aristotle, Hegel, K. Marx, K. Popper (Aristotle1937:540;Hegel1932: 4-8;Popper1992:49-80), the appealto the liberal versions of the idea is associated with an analysis of the early liberalism of J. Locke (Locke1988).
It must be emphasized that Muslim philosophy took Aristotle and Plato as the author of“The State”, but did not know his work “Laws”, Marxism was quite tolerant of Aristotle, Hegel, but this did not lead to an understanding of the meaning and significance of the idea of civil society. In our opinion, the ideological and theoretical understanding of the idea implies understanding and knowledge that the idea of civil society was spread in Europe through a discussion between statist and liberal versions of civil society and for the statist direction of the concept of civil society, the ethics of individualism were not conceptual concepts. For example, it was important for T. Hobbes, Hegel and K. Marx to integrate the idea of civil society into the concept of the state, and I. Kant -the state considers through the prism of individual moral and economic consciousness, freedom and the concept of civil morality, civil development. This conceptual reorientation of the approach allows us to perceive the state, if it is the most important, then not the only mechanism for consolidating private interests, in addition, it leads to the formulation of the idea of legal regulation of the government itself. The rule of law as an invariant of such power generally minimizes the integrating functions of the state.Understanding the meaning and significance of this discussion only helps to determine what we call the “ideal type” of civil society, a certain core of the idea of the primacy of individual and social life, which feels its need for freedom, property and self-regulation. The concept of the “ideal type” of civil society should be translated into society through educational programs. In theoretical terms, it is important to develop and understand, firstly, the concept of Plato, set forth in his work "Laws". Its comprehension and recognition of the inevitability and significance of differentiating individual interests and, as a consequence of this, the search for the religious and political consolidation of the Greek policy, which was counter-narrative in this context to Aristotle's ideas. Secondly, Augustine’s idea of “two cities”, which developed the concept of absolute and relative, absolute and relative justice, leaving the scope of the absolute idea of “God's city”. The separation of the concepts of absolute and relative truthmakes it possible to distinguish between morality and law, natural and civil morality and determines the meaning of contractual relations built based on relative truth. The formulation of the concepts of relative justice and the inability of the state to comprehend absolute truth sets the stage for the mind to control the political sphere and the state. Moreover, the task of the state is not to allow a person to sin, but it is not able to help him lead a virtuous life.This depreciation of the state is of serious conceptual importance for understanding the genesis of the idea of civil society. These ideas were the counter-ideas of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Hegel. Thirdly, the difference in the views of I. Kant from Hegel’s concept on civil society and the formal legal state, his criticism of the state of general good and the construction of the state on the idea of happiness. This appeal allows, in essence, restoring the connections that existed between these versions and at the same time, to understand the role of Christian geology in influencing the philosophy of civil society. We assume that understanding this discussion will only make it possible to comprehend neoliberalism, the modern sounding of the idea of civil society and, in general, the plurality of political culture. Of course, Azerbaijan, as a country of the traditional spread of Islam, as a country dominated by Soviet totalitarianism, must necessarily find in itself some spiritual forces in order to interrupt or supplement the traditions of excessive statism and domination with the ideas of differentiation of cooperation and freedom. It seems to us that this spirituality may lurk in comprehending the role of philosophy, the ethics of cooperation (conventional) and freedom, in creating educational systems open and built on this philosophy and ethics, in a special orientation to the layers capable of cooperation. The possibility of this insight creates the initial perspective of civil society in Azerbaijan. It should be borne in mind that broadcasting from the outside by the civil society institution is positive only when the presence of interests, consciousnesses, values that are able to recognize this positivity is reinforced. Lack or lack of consciousness “inside” can lead to a persistent from a position in society to this broadcast. The orientation and hopes that only political differentiation, referring to the division into the ruling and opposition elites, will lead to the development of civil society and the rule of law, in our opinion, do not fully reveal the essence and meaning of consciousness that can realize the significance of differentiation. In addition, the fact that political differentiation did not always lead to a plural political culture was already recorded in various non-Western countries. The elite in Azerbaijan so far does not act from the standpoint of their corporate (private) interests, but proceeding from their ideas about public goals.
What is civil society as an “ideal type”? This question is either not of interest to Azerbaijani intellectuals, or they answer it like this: private life of citizens, private property of citizens, the rule of law, civic consciousness, and political pluralism sound less often. The rule of law was perceived as a democratic state, a power elected asa result of elections, received a majority of votes, a state that adopted the Constitution, etc. The problem of legitimacy, the attitude of the majority towards the minority is ignored. The role of the minority is reduced to the necessity of submission, it is not realized or comprehended that their interest, their consciousness is part of the general interests of the nation. It ignores the fact that the majority of votes and elections are necessary for democracy, but they are not enough, the presence of the Constitution (laws) is necessary for the rule of law, but not enough. The essence of civil society is revealed in the fact that it is not a form, not institutions, although no one will deny their importance, but a certain consciousness of the individual and society, able to realize and accept the differences and freedom of another, to understand the meaning of what is at the core of common interests and goals is a consensus of interests and its awareness. Civil society, as an idea does not begin in the 18th century, does not begin with the development of the bourgeoisie as a class, but in a certain sense of the word becomes the result of the (conditionally) discontinuous development of thought, plural consciousness, and discussion of ideas. The discussion led to the understanding that the basis of social development is a conflict of interests and its contractual resolution is conflicting. The symbolic words that define civil society as an “ideal type” are: recognition of the inevitability of differentiationof interests, differentiation of morality and law, science and religion, separation of natural and civil morality, morality, science and politics, a split in individual and public (state) morality (note that even J. Locke used the concept of civil societyand the state as interchangeable). The processes of differentiation actualize the issues of consensus and consolidation, the role of the power principle (sovereign national state) in consolidation and, at the same time, the issues of protecting society and the individual from excessive consolidation. This actualization, the search for answers to the challenges of differentiation leads to the separation of economic and political spheres, separation of powers, fragmentation of the political elite, the formation of political ethics, the ethics of civil society and the formulation of the idea of “nation-state”, an idea that S. Huntington calls “healthy nationalism”, and we will call it positive nationalism. In modern Western philosophy and political philosophy, namely, these issues constitute the “field” of civil society.
An analysis of the works of Azerbaijani intellectuals testifies to the recognition, with reservations, of the role of economic stratification in the development of the state, but there is no understanding of the role of differentiated consciousness. It is necessary to recreate the image of such a consciousness as an (embryo) of civil society, political ethics, as a derivative mechanism of this consciousness. Such an embryonic consciousness of civil society is the recognition of the diversity and many composite consciousness and interests of the community. In Europe, only in modern times is there an understanding that the rule of law civil society ethics and political ethics turn out to be a combination of norms and values that govern the relationship between citizens and those who are involved in the sphere of power and politics as actors and forces. From now on, we can distinguish and use the concepts of traditional political culture, which recognizes the sacred nature of power, and takes plurality and diversity as weakness, regulating the rights of a subject and the rights of power by traditional norms recognized as absolute, and a civic, multicomponent political culture -the culture of “many-many”, the culture of dialogue (G. Almond). Traditional political culture and consciousness do not completely disappear, but in a civil society, a civil, activist, dialogical type of culture dominates. Recognition of diversity is a serious step towards the dominance of a civic type of culture. An analysis of the works of Azerbaijani civil society specialists indicates that they do not formulate differentiation as the basis of the theory of civil society. They are closer to the point of view that the staterecognizes certain freedoms for citizens, as a rule, in the economic and political sphere and they define civil society as limited freedom recognized by the state in the market and in the political sphere.They understand the market itself as a mechanism of economic development, and not a phenomenon whose understanding of the essence fundamentally changes the whole life of individuals. By the way, such an understanding of the market is fixed in one of the articles of the Constitution of Azerbaijan. In our opinion, this understanding, in turn, prevents the study of modern philosophical and political thought of Azerbaijan neoliberalism. In most works, he seems to be rather primitive, as a set of ideas combining an individual’s economic freedom and the need for government intervention in the economy in order to support outsiders through social programs or to finance areas that cannot be funded by individual sponsors. For example, it must be recognized that the meaning of the polemic of neoliberalism and the theoryof discourse (J. Habermas)(Habermas1988: 3-5)is that the general principles (morality and law) determine the conditions of human life. Politics, economics, and even public morality itself are assessed not from the standpoint of profit, but from the conformity with the universal principles. In addition, the difference between neoliberalism and the theory of discourse is that neoliberalism comes from the possibility of changing the consciousness of the community from the outside, and the theory of discourse suggests that intervention from the outside will lead to an unexpected result for reformers. An analysis of the discussion between neoliberalism and the theory of discourse (J. Habermas) leads to the following conclusions: change is the result of theactivity of consciousness; in order to predict change, it is necessary to understand the “modernizing” consciousness must understand itself.
The rule of law, the ethics of civil society and political ethics arose within the framework of the ideas of liberalism (I. Kant), which gave priority to the value of individual freedom over individual happiness and thereby contributed to the establishment of the idea of a formal legal state. Azerbaijani intellectuals do not perceive this moment. It should be emphasized. As the analysis of our polls testifies, this idea is not perceived by the so-called proto-civic consciousness in Azerbaijan. An understanding of the differences between the state as a value and the state as a specific mechanism is not fixed. It is only noticed that the young generation is planning a certain transformation of understanding the role of the state, recognition of the need to limit its role. A state freed from the idea of the absolute, the common good, can turn into a rule-of-law state, a legal mechanism regulating the relationship of free individuals. True, F. von Haek already understands that the functions of the state cannot be reduced to the level of a “night watchman”, that the state reserves some distribution functions, providing a certain minimum wage, functions to ensure order, etc. Of course, in early liberalism the priority was the idea of economic freedom, the freedom of economic life, but it did not come down, as an analysis of Kant's ideas would show, only to that factor.The adoption of these ideas in professional intellectual consciousness led to a strong minimization of the functions and roles of centralized states. Due to this limitation, a civil society proper is created with its ethics and morality with the right to freely control property, the freedom to produce, sell and buy goods and services, with the right to create voluntary associations and organizations that somehow serve the interests of the owner, the interests of free trade. Such a right to be protected from interference by the state (bureaucracy) is proclaimed inalienable, and it exists for the freedom of citizens, and not for the sake of an absolute (unified) ideal of community, goals of community or some kind of theoretical construction.
At the same time, although not in everything, the legitimization of the conflict of interests, an ethics that denies class privileges and proceeds from the political and legal equality of citizens, is simultaneously and symmetrically affirmed. That is, there is a long-awaitedtransition in Europe from the rule of traditional political culture to the rule of activist, civic political culture. The meaning of this transition is to put the vigilant control of civil society under power, that is, to turn the state into a mechanism for limiting power. It should be noted that the synchronization of the process was ensured in England and the USA, slightly less in France and Germany. Therefore, these countries can be called countries of classical civil society. Synchronicity was ensured by the willingness of the public consciousness to assimilate the value of freedom, to accept the idea of civilian to assimilate the value of freedom, to accept the idea of civil society. In Azerbaijan, as in all countries of the “non-Western or catching type”, the process proceeds to the maximum degree asynchronously precisely because of the unpreparedness of consciousness to accept this idea. However,asynchrony does not mean that this idea has no prospects, it is another matter that its present beingness and temporal continuity will differ significantly from classical civil society.
Thus, civic, participatory political culture and ethics are the result of consciousness that can bring state power under the control of society (self-regulation). Control is carried out with the help of: a) representative democracy; b) implementation of the principle of separation of powers; c) approval of mechanisms for legalizing and resolving the conflict; d) exclusion in excess of the concentration of political and legal power from any institution, group or person. This control, under which there was a powerful structure of the economic interests of individuals and civil society, reflection and morality, with the help of political ethics, completely changed the “sovereign” state, turning it from a “sacred” goal into a management tool.
Political ethics (one of the invariants of philosophical reflection and ethics) demanded self-restraint of power, contributed to the establishment of the rule of law, determined the orientation and norms of activity in a multi-level “machine” of interaction between various authorities and institutions.
We consider it necessary to note two very significant circumstances for understanding the significance of the political ethics of the circumstance. Firstly, such an ethics was formed not from scratch, but by processing the available conscious, spiritual material, and such were the class, aristocratic and bureaucratic ethnic groups of the national absolute monarchies, as well as philosophical and liberal reflection, ethics and morality of individualism (utilitarianism). Secondly, without political ethics and, of course, the conditional outcome of what it has become, the institutions of civil society and a democratic state will not work, even in cases where their significance is transmitted from outside. Understanding the discussion between neoliberalism and the theory of discourse allows us to come to the following important methodological conclusion, the prospects of civil society are connected with understanding the features of the configuration of consciousness that is, revealing the meaning and meaning of the concepts of the plurality of consciousnesses. Therefore, a problem arises for research: disclosing the meaning of concepts that are broadcast from the outside, but is becoming widely used in Azerbaijan.
An analysis of the work of Azerbaijani researchers allows us to draw the following conclusions: the role of political differentiation in society is exaggerated, economic differentiation is underestimated, and the general attitude is generally contrary to differentiation (Aliyev1997: 340;Mammedzadeh1997: 168;Muslumzadeh 2005: 147-152;Ulusel 2005: 11).Society is considered in the context of the implementation of goals perceived as initially set. Therefore, the recognition of any differentiation is often perceived as a concession to external circumstances. Morality and ethics are seen as areas of a proper, genuine national spirit that are ambivalent to politics and economics. Therefore, the idea of protecting and self-preserving the national spirit is being affirmed. Freedom is unambiguously alternative to morality and ethics; it is not a part of ethics and morality, the essence of which is in indivisible unity. Ideally, it is assumed that both politics and the economy should strive for such unity. For example, quite often, scientists use a phrase like: a single scientific policy, that is, there is a division into a single scientific and unscientific policy, which means that in the future, all politics will become scientific, unified. However, the meaning of political differentiation is not in revealing a unified scientific policy, but in the competitiverepresentation of various (primarily economic) interests. It is also common to use the thesis of the priority of sustainable development, but researchers unanswered the question of who will judge what leads to stability and what destroys it. In this context, a serious omission is that Soviet totalitarianism is perceived in the sense of imperial totalitarianism, the dictates of the imperial center, and therefore is not perceived as a danger to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani authoritarian consciousness is not perceived as threats and challenges to civil society, democratic state and market institutions. It must be emphasized that such views, perceptions, approaches are replicated by the media and form the basis of the prevailing consciousness. Unanswered questions are what the configuration of types of consciousness in Azerbaijan is, what proto-civic consciousness is and what are its prospects, the reasons for the rule of authoritarian consciousness.
Theidea of civil society was formed because of the development of European philosophy and morality with its special attitude to private property, individual freedom, and free choice of the individual. In fact, the question for the Azerbaijani consciousness now stands like this: is it possible to have a civil society idea without a special “sacred” attitude of the authorities to the private property of all, that is, to individual freedom and choice. The idea of a civil society without these values is not feasible.
Based on the study, it was concluded that for the democratic and sovereign development of civil society, substantial scientific research is needed. The author examines the issues under which laws a modern civil society should live and develop, how it should be governed, what ideals, social values to profess and how, based on them, to shape its culture and legal consciousness.

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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