imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Exploitation and Precarity

by Werner Seppmann Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006 at 4:55 AM

The exclusion processes are actually the result of radicalized capital exploitation strategies.. In the last two decades capital has learned that low-wage zones can be enforced when the collapse zones are intimidatingly present.


By Werner Seppmann

[This article published in: Ossietsky 23/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

Kurt Beck’s relation with the accelerating social catastrophe (‘lower class debate”) was a superb propagandistic feat. Silently ignoring the increasingly crass social inequality, the SPD chairperson used the category “suspended precarity” from a study of the Friedrich-Ebert foundation on the social and political self-assessment of the German population. He focused attention on a partial problem to cover up the whole drama of the development of social contradictions and divert from their structural causes. Since then, the discussion has largely followed his narrowing of the problem. A conceptual vagueness about the exclusion problematic meets us everywhere in the media. A social segment below the lower class is discussed, not the lower class.

The statements in the study about a “suspended precarity” describe the biographical situation of a part of the population: four to five percent in West Germany and 20 to 25 percent in the East. These are the long-term unemployed, Hartz IV recipients and the “working poor” (five percent of full-employed persons in Germany live below the poverty line) who struggle materially and have also abandoned all hope for improving their living situation.

Sociologists know these findings from all metropolitan capitalist countries. They speak of the “uncoupled” excluded from regular paid work who have resigned to their “fate” and see no chance of a re-integration.

After initial phases of subjective rebellion, tendencies of mental and emotional impoverishment dominate among the excluded. Curiosity about the world beyond their immediate living space experienced as hostile and overbearing dies out. In this situation, most lose courage and strength to creatively influence their own living conditions. The psychic reaction-possibilities of crisis victims narrow. Depression and resignation overwhelm them. Therefore the poor die almost ten years earlier than their well-to-do “fellow citizens.”

The consequences of psychic destabilization processes are civilization regression (from illiteracy to social ruin). For example, whoever refuses to free Hartz IV recipients from textbook costs accepts the consequences. In several of Beck’s commentaries, the socially produced “moral misery” is interpreted as individual failure. As Bert Brecht said: their rottenness is thematicized, not the poverty of the poor.

The situation in the social basements would not be so dramatic if a process of social regression were not underway and lack of social perspectives were not spreading. Social insecurity has generalized; social inequalities have increased. Socially produced fear has become a marked social experience.

Spokespersons in the “lower class debate” avoid this view of the overall social state. They admit social dislocations but are silent about the causes, rage and far-reaching consequences of precarity and re-proletarization processes. The poverty rate that was at 15 percent in 2003 has now risen to 17.3 percent. The zones of social endangerment are even larger. Another 20 percent of the German population live in such insecure conditions and have such trifling incomes that they could always lose their footing.

Social insecurity is not a special “lower class problem.” Fears of falling exist even in the ranks of a once “well-situated” middle class. “Performance individualists” and formerly “satisfied social climbers” (as the groups are called in the study of the Friedrich-Ebert foundation) discover their training and will to performance hardly protect them from social regression. The rationalization waves reach white-collar departments. The number of academically skilled who must accept socially unprotected (and poorly paid) jobs grows.

Contours of a three-piece body of society can be recognized in the present reorganization of the class society. If this trend continues, a well-situated third of the population (including the ruling class and their functioning elites) will be affected and another third with reasonable living and working conditions who are permanently threatened with social regression. The last third is left degraded to an economic mass and hardly has any chances of ever escaping the zones of neediness and existential insecurity.

The putrid odor of a backward social development cannot be ignored any more. “A new proletariat is arising to whom collective normal working conditions and welfare state surrogates for the ups- and-downs- of life are increasingly alien. The long term will be marked by the experience of unemployment, precarious job conditions, `second’ and `third’ labor markets and abrupt poverty phases,” Karl-Heinz Roth predicted 15 years ago.

These trends do not result causally from the disciplining pressures “of the market” on which a social science concentrates that does not speak any more of the tabooed, career-damaging words “class society” and “exploitation.” “Market” and “globalization” also serve as justification facades hiding the owners of the means of production and the great assets of their profit-interests – main driving forces of this reorganization of social conditions.

The exclusion processes are actually the immediate results of radicalized capital exploitation strategies affecting workers more than in the past. There is only place for the hundred-percent efficient in the spruced-up exploitation structures. Older ones and persons with shaky health, all who are not “maneuverable” and “flexible” enough will be removed from the world of work. Those no longer needed for surplus value production will be socially marginalized and handed over to the social treasuries. Job cuts and intensification and “condensation” of work are indirect expressions of capitalist exploitation strategies.

The high-tech areas of present capitalism are also developing in a socially destructive way. A growing number of unsteady jobs in the outsourced areas (mostly with supplier status) face a lower number of newly created jobs. Technical reorganization is mostly connected with social division where past employees become “redundant” and precarious job conditions become normal.

The persons forced out of “normality zones” try not to knuckle under despite all the hopelessness and lack of perspective of their situation. But their survival techniques become more defensive.

Nevertheless persons in the marginal social zones are not completely “superfluous” for the ruling class. They represent a potential threat for the (still) integrated reminding them how deeply they could fall if they are not flexible, ready for performance and cut their coat according to their own cloth.

The social downward adjustment (even below the social subsistence level) happens intentionally. In the last two decades of its struggle against the working class, capital has learned that low-wage zones can be enforced without problem and living conditions restructured without appreciable resistance when the collapse zones are intimidatingly present.

Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

Silver Lining J07 12:21AM

The Shortwave Report 07/06/18 Listen Globally! J05 4:38PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy