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

Governing against the People

by Friedhelm Hengsbach Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007 at 1:02 PM

The dream of 1989 that democracy and capitalism can be reconciled fades.. Elected governments orient their decisions in trans-national groups and global finance markets.


By Friedhelm Hengsbach

[This article published in: Frankfurter Rundschau, 10/28/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, . Friedhelm Hengsbach is the director of the Brunning research institute.]

200,000 dependent employees took to the streets in 5 cities to protest the growing poverty risk, the increasingly shaky working conditions and the political deformation of solidarity by the rulers. Their reaction mirrored a well-known pattern: there is no alternative to this policy. It is right and just. We have to explain it better to the people.

Does the black-red coalition govern against the people? Does it confirm the explosive word “post-democracy” used by political intellectuals?

“Post-democracy” is a code word for scattered perceptions. The dream of 1989 that democracy and capitalism can be reconciled fades. More and more citizens stay away from the elections. Elected governments cut rights of participation and freedom of the sovereign. Parts of their mandate are stored in commissions and experts as well as supra- and international organs. Their decisions are oriented in the interests of transnational groups and global finance markets. They act as “territorial entrepreneurs” called to make their own people fit for the global competition and urge and promote the output of a weakly motivated population without orientation. Women’s policy and family policy are connected to a population policy for producing more talented efficient children.

The emphasis on “post-democracy” in the political careers of Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder shows how a democratic spectacle can be staged in the media. However its analytical weight and normative power deserve criticism.

Firstly, the simplistic juxtaposition of direct rights of participation and representative procedures sounds romantically idealized. Majorities that come about at pleasure are not the people. Currents of public opinion foaming with rage are not the common interest. Professional analyses of functioning economic rules and feedback could reveal the unintended repercussions of political decisions.

Secondly, the powerlessness of national state organs in relation to the corporations and financial markets is not as true as it is often claimed. Actors and addressants of global competition are businesses, not states. Germany and France do not compete with one another like VW and Peugeot. Their choice of location is oriented more in market conditions than tax rates, wages and fees…

Thirdly, democracy is not a value-neutral subject. Whoever recognizes human rights grants a preferential place to democratic forms of rule and life. Therefore conflicts between social movements and the governing are necessary for a fair distribution of economic wealth and appropriate participation in economic decisions.


By Friedhelm Hengsbach

[This article published in: Frankfurter Rundschau is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, .]

Twenty years ago a respected economist and financial manager from Frankfurt claimed the same laws were in force for the labor market as for flowerpots, oranges or aluminum scrap. Labor is only purchased by businesses when its value is higher than its price. This is not degrading since people fall out the window with the same velocity as flowerpots.

In the meantime, the public debate has changed from labor to health care. “More market in the public health system” mutates patients into come-of-age customers. Market radicals classify the need to be healthy in the scale of their needs, calculate rational costs and benefits of a medical treatment and determine autonomously what share of disposable income they spend for food, industrial goods and public health services. The sickness risk is estimated like the risk of an auto accident.

“More competition in the public health system” has become an appeal to hospitals, nursing institutions and treasuries. These institutions should get an unmistakable profile and compete for additional markets and customers. An administrative agency should force actors and institutions to adjust the costs of individual therapy to precisely defined treatment goals. Standardized diagnoses and therapies should make the decisions of the actors transparent. The expert competence of doctors should give way to a corporate economic management.

However the asset health hardly suits the current market- and competition games. Firstly, health is not an asset like many others. The modern enlightened person deals very irrationally with his health because it directly concerns his person. Being sick can be experienced as a brutal crash and existential threat through which balanced ways of life are completely impossible. The normal person underrates health as long as he or she is healthy and overrates it as soon as sickness strikes.

Secondly, the asset health belongs in the series of trusted goods. An unequal relation of competence and information exists between those offering this good and those demanding it. In a democratic society, a proper provision with health goods should be guaranteed independent of income and performance.

Thirdly, the ostensible health market is an extremely politically charged market. The competition between medical and therapeutic institutions can degenerate when the distribution of profitable risks is fought over, not better services or cost pressure is shifted to workers. The quality of personal services performed and judged according to the standard of industrial productivity has disastrous consequences. Hospitals and nursing stations are not homogeneous suppliers of goods any more than the insured are exchangeable customers with the same risks. The current wrangling over structural equalization of risks that must be continually calibrated around the risks of age and gender, the form of economy and the income situation, is evidence of these disastrous consequences.

Fourthly, health risks are among those risks caused by social conditions, not individual lapses. This is confirmed by the class-specific and income-dependent appearance of syndromes. As a result, market control in the public health system is secondary compared to solidarity protection from health risks.


By Friedhelm Hengsbach

[This article published in: Frankfurter Rundschau is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, .]

Annette Schavan stuck the label “responsible community” on the Federal Republic of Germany. Does she know what she is talking about?

She may be recalling a book by Amitai Etzioni titled “Verantwortungsgesellschaft” (Responsibility Society). The “family” is stylized as a “responsibility community” with which Ronald Pofalla justifies a responsibility of well-off children for jobless parents.

A second impulse leads to the project “New Social Market Economy,” the mutuality of politics and come-of-age citizens which Angela Merkel promoted in 2001 with a quotation from Ludwig Erhard: “I will stand the test from my own strength. I will bear the risk of life and be responsible for my fate myself. Be concerned, O state, that I can do this.”

A third assumption leads to the middle class church milieu. In the summary of the 1997 Joint Declaration of the churches, the “priority of personal responsibility” annulling the subsidiarity principle was accepted. In an impulse paper of prominent Catholics published at the end of 2003, the welfare state was reproached for paralyzing personal responsibility.

Ms.Schavan found a beautiful and pleasant pen name for welfare state cuts and the withdrawal of the state from public necessities.

The word “Verantwortung” (responsibility) did not occur in the Duden dictionary of 1968. In the meantime, it has been promoted to the key term of moral communication. Some appeal to Max Weber who developed the responsibility ethic. Others refer to Dietrich Bonhoeffer who described the calling as the “place of responsibility” and designed a “structure of responsible life.” In 1984, Hans Jonas introduced the “principle of responsibility” for a necessary survival ethic of technical civilization.

Who bears responsibility? Responsibility was originally a personal category. Whoever assumes responsibility answers for the intended and predictable consequences of his conduct. To that end, he must have adequate alternative possibilities of action. The range of individual responsibility is different for the German government minister or the head of the commerce bank than for a worker in an auto plant, a physiotherapist in a clinic or a steelworker fired for operational reasons. Whoever speaks of responsibility should identify the subjects of responsibility. The Federal Republic of Germany is not such a subject.

For what does someone bear responsibility? The “individualization” of responsibility is obviously a moral trap. Much systemic feedback of individual conduct is unintended and unexpected. Conversely the careful waste sorter cannot stop the change of the climate. The patient who postpones a doctor visit does not relieve the public health system. Individual afflicted persons are not responsible for social risks like unemployment, grave illnesses, poverty and environmental destruction.

Should democratic societies be forbearing in dealing with risks due to individual lapses? A selective delimitation between individual and collective responsibility often fails. In case of doubt, solidarity protection has a priority over private provision. Did Ms. Schavan recognize the priority of social responsibility?

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

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