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

This is not a social state any more

by Christoph Butterwegge Saturday, Apr. 24, 2010 at 2:57 AM

Building community centers (as in Vancouver BC), redistributing income and assets from top to bottom, reducing working hours, expanding the public non-profit sector and accepting housing, education and health care as rights not privileges would be important steps to a bright future.


Interview with Christoph Butterwegge

Poverty is not limited to seniors, unemployed and foreigners. Christoph Butterwegge, professor of political science at the University of Koln, on secret poverty and political shows

[This interview published in: Freitag, 4/4/2010 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

Freitag: The debate over social division and performance justice is more vehement and pointed this spring. Westerwelle’s phrase about “late Roman decadence” may enter the history of political phrases. Westerwelle, the conservative FDP chairperson, has been sharply criticized. What is the greatest social-political problem in Germany?

Christoph Butterwegge: That relative poverty has spread so intensely in a well-to-do country like Germany. In Germany, growing riches on one side face extreme social problems on the other side. I see the great danger of society disintegrating or falling apart – above all when polarization increases in the course of a greater economic crisis.

We have been warned of social division for decades. Isn’t “falling apart” an exaggeration?

No, the situation has changed. Poverty is no longer limited to the classical groups: seniors, unemployed and foreigners (migrants). Today poverty reaches into the middle of society, as seen for example in the broad low-wage sector that did not exist before. Poverty grasps more and more groups of the population and destroys the social-political culture of our country. Hartz IV is depressing for those affected and makes anxious those who fear becoming unemployed and soon sinking to the income support level. The division is real. Some have enough money and can buy social security on a welfare market. Others have no social security and depend increasingly on private charity and food donations of the “food banks.” This has nothing to do with the social state as known in the past.

You once called this the development to the “soup-kitchen state.”

It may sound alarmist but we are heading for a welfare-, alms- and soup kitchen state if no social-political change of course occurs. But the public debate goes in the opposite direction. The stricken themselves are blamed instead of recognizing poverty as a structural problem of a neoliberal society oriented in competition and consumption that leads to the exclusion of a growing part of the population. The social problems of people are not in the foreground but their laziness and social misuse. That is regular propaganda… A new round of social cuts is rung in.

This is in contradiction to political campaigns like the “European Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion.” What can this initiative accomplish?

At least the European Union is setting the right signal. Even if it is a pure symbolic policy, the initiative is positive in sensitizing people and awakening consciousness for the problem of growing poverty. On the other side, the European Union has a credibility problem since its policy of privatization, deregulation and economizing of the social deepens the gulf between poverty and wealth.

Can promoting individual projects – the German social minister Ursula von der Leyen spoke of “light- towers” change anything in the problems you addressed?

What use is a light-tower when the light goes out behind the dike or levee? The children and youth projects promoted in the European Year are prestige projects. PR-actions and shows in which the female minister sings to encourage the afflicted do not change their miserable situation. A summer c amp for children from disadvantaged families can be very beautiful in the isolated case. But it does not deliver them from their poverty. Such projects are hardly useful when nothing changes in government policy.

Do you have any expectations for the European Year against Poverty?

I hope poverty will not be whitewashed, glossed over, relativized and ideologically de-contaminated in the public realm, the media and academia as in the past. Only persons who take the problem of poverty seriously can combat the social division in their own country.

Christoph Butterwegge, b. 1951, is one of the best known German poverty researchers. The political scientist teaches at the University of Koln. His last book is titled “Poverty in a Rich Land. How the problem is trivialized and repressed” (Armut in einem reichen Land. Wie das Problem verharmlost und verdrangt wird,” Campus Verlag).


Report this post as:

Local News


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

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

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

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