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extremist political movements...”.15 The gap between neoliberal economic efficiency (although
that is also becoming increasingly questionable) 16 and social deprivation has reached
such a level that, as Boaventura Santos notes,17 democracy in a number of countries is
becoming irrelevant for the social well being of citizens. Thus, according to him the coexistence
of „political liberalism and social fascism” has become a realistic possibility. This leads
us to another paradox.
It is related to the fact that the protection of human and minority rights rose to the
pennicle of the hiararchy of values, at the same time the neoliberal project was promoting
a pessimistic anthropology, defining greed and fear as the main motivating forces of
human beings. Apsolutizing individual egotism, delegitimizing the welfare state and the
principle of solidarity, placing the blame on the poor for their plight, was occuring at the
same time when the protection of the human rights above and beyond the sovereignty
norm were celebrated as the axis of an emerging cosmopolitan order. In other words, moral
interdependency as the basis for relativizing the sovereignty norm, was being proclaimed
at the same time, when solidarity and common good, as a fundamental precondition of
freedom (Z. Bauman), were being erased. The different moral and practical implications of a
project based on greed and egotism, and a project based, at least in principle, on solidarity
and empathy, tended to be overlooked. However, the defining principles of the two could
not be implemented simultaneously without producing incoherent practices, turning the
protection of human rights into an additional instrument of domination, among else, into a
basis for selective, arbitrary, external interventionism. The power mechanisms operating
and being reconstituted on the basis of the neoliberal agenda, did not produce prudent
caution (at least among the idealists) in the advocacy of the legitimacy of the
interventionist politics based on the new ethics of human rights. The advocacy of the new
responsibilities was carried out as if coherent economic and political preconditions for a
transition to a cosmopolitan order were laid down, as if the neoliberal and human rights
agenda have together become a moral imperative. It was promoted as if safeguardes
against the possible abuse and „frightening arbitrariness” (Hanna Arendt) by the enlighte-
15 Gill, op. cit. p. 140
16 As Ha-Joon Chang, points out, and the current economic crisis confirms, neoliberalism has failed to produce
expected results, increasing income inequalities and economic instability, and above all, not generating the
promised faster growth. Nevertheless, the neoliberal project is far from being dismantled.
“The world’s per capita income was growing at 3.1% during the ‘bad old days’ of 1960-80, but it has been
growing at only 2% during the neoliberal period of 1980-2000. Growth of per capita income in developing
countries has decelerated from 3% to 1.5% between these two periods.” Ha-Joon Cheng, op. cit. p. 2.
17 Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, „Beyond abyssal thinking“,

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