imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

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


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org 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

www.indymedia.org 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
mbatko@lycos.com

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.

EXPLOITATION AND PRECARITY

By Werner Seppmann

[This article published in: Ossietsky 23/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://sopos.org/aufsaetze/454fbde809ec2/1.phtml.]




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

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

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

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

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

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

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