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Concerning the Ideological Meaning of the Theory of „Social Growth“

(Original title: K ideologickému smyslu teorie „společenského růstu“)
Otázky marxistickej filozofie, 19 (1964), 1, 26-41.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Czech
The „social growth“ theory endeauvours to achieve an integrated and uniform interpretation of the social movement; it is an organic part of the so-called theory of „industrial society“, and represents, at variance with the static momentum of this theory — typology and structurally functional analysis, its dynamic momentum. The aim of the authors of this chapter is to refute the claims of the theory of „social growth“ to be a factor of principal changes in positions occupied up to the present by bourgeois philosophy of history and general sociology. The authors polemize with assertions according to which the theory of „social growth“ revives and deepens the traditions of bourgeois evolutionism in social thinking, strictly objectively interpretes the lawfulness of social development and overcomes the hopelessly pessimistic view on the sense of the historical process. In the first case reference is made to the essential difference between the categories of „growth“ and „development“. The social growth is only a momentum of social development, it does not include principal qualitative changes, and owing to this fact it does not go beyond the boundaries of the essential qualitative destination of a given social system. As to the claims of the theory of „social growth“ concerning a matter-of-fact interpretation of the social movement, the authors state that the emphasis put on the role of the technologicoeconomical factor cannot be replaced by occupying materialistic positions since this factor in not considered to be a determining one, but — to the contrary — it is to be looked at as a factor brought about by the social influence of cultural factors. Similarly, the negative viewpoint of the theory of „social growth“ taken against the pessimism of the speculative bourgeois philosophy of history cannot be considered to be sign of a real and deep historical optimism of the theory of „social development“. It is an optimism purchased by paying the price of an ahistorical approach to history, limitation of the horizont of theoretical aspect by the artificial framework of „industrial society“ into which the entire history of mankind, beginning with the 19th century, is to be crammed in by force. By analyzing the basical ideal features of the theory of „social growth" the authors feel to be entitled to arrive at the conclusion according to which the decisive argument against the rightfulness of the said claims of this theory is its bourgeois class character, i. e., that it is one of the importat moments of the ideological apologetics of state-monopolistic capitalism from which it unsuccessfully tries to create an insurmountable hindrance to social development.
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