- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Elmar Altvater
Saturday, Oct. 08, 2005 at 3:54 AM
Another world is possible. This is directed against the famous and thoughtless assumption of the impossibility of alterna-tives at the "end of history".. The substance of societies is tapped for financial institutions.
ON THE RELATION OF NETWORKS AND POWER:
STRATEGIC DILEMMAS OF ATTAC
By Elmar Altvater
[This article published in June 2005 on the Attac-Austria website is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.attac.at/1761.98.html. Elmar Altvater is an emeritus professor of political economics at the Free University of Berlin.]
On one side, attac is a rather successful educational movement in the example of Pierre Bourdieu who emphasized “economic literacy” as one of the most important challenges of the global justice movement. The criticism of neoliberalism in its different facets by attac and attac circles has not gained “sovereignty over the air” in academic discussions. However, it has offered intellectual and political resistance to the neoliberal ideology. Think tanks with enormous funds support this ideology. “Steady drops” can hollow out the stone. That the SPD chairperson Muntefering touched the harsh tobacco of capitalism criticism to collect points in the election campaign reflects the de-legitimation of the global financial markets and their excesses enraging many people. Attac has criticized these excesses for years.
Political influence does not keep pace with developments but falls considerably behind. This is clear in the gap between theoretical strength and institutionally secured positions at German universities. This gap also appears in the relative strength of non-parliamentary positions and in the weakness of global justice positions in the parliamentary realm. Perhaps this has to do with the political form of attac. The (social) forum movement and formation of networks on and between local, national and global planes make possible intensified communication between activists of different groups. However this communication and activist positions and demands are not converted in power politics. Campaigns are organized in the hope that the political public can be influenced and the campaign goals adopted sometime or other in the parliamentary arena or by the government. The relation of networks and power must be defined more exactly in the global justice public.
Power is exercised on different planes from local and national to European and global. Therefore a political initiative is hard to localize and make imperative since many planes and many actors are involved. Political initiative is multi-dimensional and resists simple approaches. In relation to Europe, this means for example: confrontation with the Lisbon strategy that completely follows the concept of positional logic in deregulated global competition, defense of a European social model against Anglo-Saxon shareholder capitalism and the conflict around the constitution that sets the future framework in which alternatives can be conceived and realized.
A second dilemma results from the motto that has accompanied attac since its inception: Another world is possible. This was directed explicitly against the famous and thoughtless assumption of the impossibility of alternatives at the “end of history.” In the understanding of neoconservative ideologists, the end of history means the eternity of the institutional system of capitalism, that is of formal (not social), procedural (not material) political democracy, market economy and pluralist society commanded by the large owners of capital and their media. In this institutional triangle, the capitalist formation of society will spread in all eternity. This is the end of history.
If another world is possible, the question is immediately raised whether this different world can be conceived within the institutional system of capitalist social formation or only beyond capitalism. If the pluralist society allows the difference and diversity of social subjects, how far can the market be regulated and complemented by political planning of the economy? Is a material, social democracy possible in political, social and economic space as economic democracy under institutional capitalist conditions as Joseph Schumpeter envisioned more than fifty years ago?
The dialectic of reform and revolution should be discussed again. This task is certainly on today’s agenda. Re-reading Rosa Luxemburg could be helpful. However the question is more drastic than a century ago. The following problems will be on the agenda in the next years and decades: The fossil energy regime comes to an end, firstly on account of the greater scarcity in oil and secondly on account of the consequences of the burning of fossil energy for the world climate. The effects on transportation systems, consumption patterns, gender and generation relations, international relations and on war and peace will certainly be enormous even if no exact predictions are possible. The question about growth or shriveling will also be raised when the fuel of the industrial model is no longer as abundant as in the past 200 years of capitalist history since the industrial revolution. Perhaps the question about an alternative to capitalism will arise through these natural limits even by those who speak of the end of history or implicitly of the eternity of capitalism. Preparing str4ategically for this is vital. Is a post-fossil regime compatible with the capitalist mode of production?
Another question aims at the plundering character of modern capitalism that is discussed under the term global “expropriation economy.” Because of the mechanism of the global financial markets, high profits had to be posted (Ackermann wanted to gain 25% for the shareholders of Deutsche Bank while dismissing hundreds of employees). As a result, the substance of societies is tapped to benefit financial institutions. The global financial markets, e.g. derivatives and other financial innovations, the concept of shareholder value, offer the mechanisms of this plundering or expropriation the hedge- and private equity funds maximizing profits for their clientele of owners of financial assets at the expense of labor. A very good reason for regulation on the global plane exists that goes far beyond the necessity of immediate crisis resolution (Asian crisis).
Beginnings of a “solidarian economy” have formed in niches and at the edges of the capitalist economy, based on very different experiences and with very different claims. The (German) economic advisory board analyzed the potentials in the solidarian economy to give strategic weight to this field. The question how far a political project can arise out of the beginnings of a solidarian economy is central. This project refers to different planes and includes the role of supra-nation-state and nation-state regulation. The question is also to what extent a counter-project is developing against the extraordinary aggressiveness of neoconservatism.
What does all this mean for attac’s advisory board? First of all, themes for theoretical work and strategy development result from this analytical approach. The wheel obviously doesn’t always have to be reinvented. There is already much expertise inside and outside the advisory board that is available. A reader on solidarian economy in cooperation with attac France and attac Austria, Switzerland and Italy could help in the strategy debate.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...