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

The Capitalism of Hopelessness

by Rudolf Sturnberger Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2011 at 3:19 AM
mbatko@yahoo.com

The capitalism of hopelessness is a capitalism where the enemy is lost, where capitalism can no longer fulfill its promise of prosperity for the people as in the 1960s and where capitalism neutralizes all utopian energy and alternatives. Public jobs must be created in the emergency.

THE CAPITALISM OF HOPELESSNESS

The enemy and the dynamic of capitalism are lost. Capitalism flows into a society without utopia and political alternative

By Rudolf Sturnberger

[This article published in the German-English cyber journal Telepolis 8/29/2011 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.heise.de/tp/druck/mb/artikel/35/35385/1.html.]

New times require new terms. When things change, thinking commonly lags behind until people understand what is happening. At present many things seem to be at an end and much is in a state of flux. We see the sinking postwar epoch and new conditions arising from the ocean of history. Or are they only the specters of the past believed to be dead? Three concepts or abstractions are offered here as an attempt at classifying the new phenomena: the capitalism of hopelessness, the barbaric modern and the genesis of the communal sphere.

The capitalism of hopelessness is a capitalism where the enemy is lost. After more than 300 years of its history, capitalism stands suddenly victorious but alone. In former communist countries like Russia or China, it experiences an unexpected prosperity. A working class that wants to seize capitalism by the throat does not exist any more.

All alone and without the corrective of a powerful opposition, capitalism begins to destroy itself with continuing and persistent crises. Its favorite occupation, the permanent vaporization of old conditions and the permanent revolution of the productive forces occurs in a volatile and unbridled way like a moving steamroller without a driver. Firstly, this capitalism is hopeless because it can no longer fulfill its promises of prosperity for the people as in the 1960s. Rather the production of wealth in the old industrial countries is uncoupled from the living conditions of the producers. Precariousness in the midst of prosperity is the new sword of Damocles that hovers over the superfluous of the neoliberal age. The growing number of “under-achievers” can hardly hope any more for the approval of the “achievers” (Sloterdijk).

This capitalism is also hopeless for another reason because it sucks up and neutralizes all utopian energy in the universe of ideas like a black hole. Thus the promise of prosperity and the picture of any alternative fade in the horizon of concrete capitalism. If comfort is the mitigation of suffering, there are no promises of salvation any more in this horizon. Only the absurdity of the German “Riester pensions” still waits.

Capitalism’s dynamic was continuously accompanied by attempts at its negation or at least its taming since the origin of the capitalist economic form in the England of the 18th century. Capitalism was always like the Yin and Yang of Taoism. With its force, it always produced a counter-acting force. The steam engine and the factory produced the working class and its organizations agreed up to the 20th century that capitalism would be overcome. Through its cyclical crises, capitalism produced those permanent conditions that press for its repeal.

Across the centuries, worker parties labored on that repeal. Capitalism was suspended in several revolutions. This undertaking was not really successful since the vaporization project of unrestricted capitalism was channeled somewhat through social legislation and other regulations. Regulated capitalism reached its peak in the class compromise of the 1960s when representatives of workers could join in the leadership of the steamroller and turn the screw a little.

UNCONDITIONAL DEVOTION

The compromise was over at the beginning of the 1990s. “The wonderland has burnt out,” Rio Resser said. In any case the working class had long become merely a “social class on paper” as the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argued. Like the English Labor party, the SPD under Gerhard Schroeder was devoted to the project of making persons fit for concrete capitalism.

Unconditional devotion now replaces the earlier overcoming and then taming of this economic form. Social democracy was reduced to the demand that everyone receive the same running shoes before entering the race in the current evaporation phase of capitalism. There is nothing else. The nearly obscene devotion of Schroeder and ex-vice-chancellor Josef Fischer from the Greens to capital in the form of director- and advisor-posts after their political careers is the biographical dimension of this intellectual capitulation.

Workers continue to exist in hopeless capitalism. In Germany, around eleven million earn their money with manual work. They are divided in the worker aristocracy who are corrupted by lucrative supervisory posts and occasional pleasure trips and the regular personnel in the mammoth automobile firms and medium-size enterprises. They profit from the past achievements gained by fighting like reasonable pay, vacation money and protection from unlawful termination. They are subject to the booms and busts of business logic. “One” is in competition with other nations, regions and locations. Lastly, there is the increasing precariousness of subcontracted workers, insecure employees and the “uncoupled” (cf. the French sociologist Robert Castel) of the Hartz IV realm (Hartz IV is the German welfare reform that combined income support and unemployment benefits, radically reduced the duration of benefits and was recently declared inhuman by the German constitutional court).

These workers do not represent a threat to capitalism any more and no utopia is associated with them. Rather capitalism threatens itself. The financial crises and stock market crashes seem changed into normality. No explanations on the irrational movements of the financial markets occur to the socialized “economic experts.” No air bubbles leak anymore from the autistic system of theories of neoliberal economics as cheap comfort. Flash mobs, running amok, individual mass murders, burning parts of town and pillages are the post-political phenomena of a society without utopia and political alternatives. Where social democracy only served the neoliberal “austerity logic” as in Hungary, forces are ready to cook their little reactionary, anti-foreigner, Islamophobic, racist and ethnic soup.

RIDING THE TIGER

If the picture of the steamroller stands for the inexorability of the “evaporation” process, the dynamic of the capitalist mode can be compared with riding a tiger. For around 30 years, the Chinese leadership has insisted what happens in China shows the raging dynamic of this tiger. In contrast, the socialist planned economy seems like a clumsy and sluggish turtle even if the building years in the Soviet Union of the 1930s had a capitalist dynamic. Still this ride on the tiger is full of dangers. The price for economic dynamism is high. Since the reins are too loose, the tiger devours its rider.

Nothing remains of the great social experiment of commu8nal socialism with the exception of North Korea. Perhaps all previously socialist-defined countries like Vietnam and Cuba will try to exploit the tiger for themselves after the collapse of the former eastern block. From the bubbling laboratory of the old concrete capitalism in the West, this escape route to the left toward worker power and national economic planning is historically antiquated. The socialist blueprints and plans have faded. Since the catastrophe of National Socialism, the rightwing end of “organic” economics in the framework of an “ethnic community” in which the opposition between capital and labor is supposedly annulled is ideological and blocked by mountains of corpses.

Retrospectively the tamed Rhine capitalism as the “social market economy” of the 1960s and 1970s – the tiger powerfully fenced in – appears to us today as a lost paradise (which it was only very conditionally). What is left when we look at the austerity dictatorship of capital carried out in Euro-Europe given the debt crisis is a historically unique and ideological hopelessness.

Whether a new regulation of capitalism can stabilize the system again, whether the working multitudes in Asia’s factories take the path of social emancipation as in the Europe of the 20th century and whether and how the western democracies can be renewed in view of the crises and ward off an ethnic, anti-social nationalism as in Hungary remain open questions. The protest movements of the young on the Spanish plazas and elsewhere need immediate answers to their questions and demands so hopelessness can give way to hope.

www.progressive-economics.ca

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

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

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

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