The two emblematic thinkers of these years might indeed be said to illustrate, each in his own way, the validity of Lepenies’s diagnosis, exhibiting the reconciliation of culture and power in a pacified German democracy. They shared, appropriately enough, a common American point of departure in Talcott Parsons’s Social System— a work which nowhere else in Europe enjoyed such a reception.

Habermas’s huge Theory of Communicative Action, which appeared in 1981, supplied an affirmative variation on Parsons, developing his idealist emphasis on value-integration as the basis of any modern social order into a still loftier conception of consensus, as not only the hallmark of a political democracy, but touchstone of philosophical truth. Niklas Luhmann offered a saturnine variant, radicalizing Parsons’s account of differentiated sub-systems within society—economy, polity, family etc.—into a theory of their complete autonomization as self-reproducing, self-adjusting orders, without subjective agency or structural interpenetration, functioning simply to reduce the complexity of the environments outside them. Though less palatable to polite opinion, Luhmann’s tacit construction of the Bonn Republic as a matter-of-fact complex of so many mechanisms of technocratic routine disavowed any critical intent. If Habermas told his readers that things could be as they should be—and, under the protection of the Grundgesetz, mostly were—Luhmann’s message was dryer, but no less reassuring: things were as they had to be.

Perry Anderson “A New Germany?”

De modo que soy un hipster al intentar leer esto (es un aburrimiento de cuidado)…

Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media. This is true not only of our knowledge of society and history but also of our knowledge of nature. What we know about the stratosphere is the same as what Plato knows about Atlantis: we've heard tell of it. Or, as Horatio puts it: 'So have I heard, and do in part believe it.' On the other hand, we know so much about the mass media that we are not able to trust these sources. Our way of dealing with this is to suspect that there is manipulation at work, and yet no consequences of any import ensue because knowledge acquired from the mass media merges together as if of its own accord into a self-reinforcing structure. Even if all knowledge were to carry a warning that it was open to doubt, it would still have to be used as a foundation, as a starting point. Unlike in the gothic novels of the eighteenth century, the solution to the problem cannot be found in someone secretly pulling strings behind the scenes, however much even sociologists themselves would like to believe this to be the case. What we are dealing with – and this is the theory to be elaborated in what follows - is an effect of the functional differentiation of modern society. This effect can be comprehended, it can be the subject of theoretical reflection. But we are not talking about a mystery that would be solved once it is made known. Rather, one could say that modern society has an 'Eigenvalue' or an 'Eigenbehaviour'- in other words, recursively stabilized functional mechanisms, which remain stable even when their genesis and their mode of functioning have been revealed.

Si alguien se siente interesado por si explica como funcionan dichos mecanismos para que sigamos creyendo a los medios de comunicación, advertimos que a las dos páginas de esta parte, dicha pregunta se descarta por estar mal planteada.

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