We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
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

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, Aug. 15, 2012 at 3:15 AM

Regulated capitalism reached its peak in the class compromise of the 1960s when representatives of workers could put the screws on the steamroller CEOs a little. The enemy and dynamic are lost to capitalism. Capitalism flows into a society without utopia and 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.]

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

New times need new terms. When things change, thinking usually lags behind temporally until subjects understand what happened. At the moment, it seems, much is at an end and much is in flux. We see the postwar epoch sink and new conditions arise out of the ocean of history – or are they only specters of the past believed dead? Three concepts can be set against the present social changes in a reflexive attempt to classify new phenomena: the capitalism of hopelessness, the barbaric modern age and the genesis of the cooperative sphere.

The capitalism of hopelessness is the capitalism that has lost its enemy. After more than 300 years of its history, it suddenly stands victorious but alone. In former communist countries like Russia and China, it experiences an undreamt-of time of prosperity without a working class at its throat.

On its own and without the corrective of a powerful opposition, capitalism begins to destroy itself with constant and continuing crises. Its favorite occupation, the permanent evaporating of old relations and the permanent revolution of productive forces occurs unrestrained like a moving steamroller without a driver. This capitalism is desperate firstly because it can no longer fulfill its promises of prosperity for the people as in the 1960s. In the old industrial countries, the production of wealth uncouples from the living conditions of its producers. Precariousness in the midst of prosperity is the new sword of Damascenes that hovers over the superfluous of the neoliberal age. The growing number of “minimum achievers” can hardly hope any more for the approval of the “achievers” (Sloterdijk).

Secondly, this capitalism is bleak because it sucks up and neutralizes all utopian energy like a black hole in the universe of ideas. Both the promise of prosperity and the idea of any alternative grow pale in the horizon of concrete capitalism. If comfort is the easing of suffering, there are no promises of salvation any more in this horizon. Only the absurdity of the “Riester-pensions” awaits the German people.

In particular, since the arrival of the capitalist economic form in the England of the 18th century, its dynamic was continuously accompanied by attempts at its negation or at least its taming. Capitalism was like the yin and yang of Taoism. With its force, it always produced a counteracting force. The steam engine and the factory produced the working class. Up to the 2109th century, its organizations – the Social Democratic party in Germany – were united that capitalism should be overcome. Through its cyclical crises, those conditions were produced that press for its abolition.

Across the centuries, worker parties in several revolutions suspended capitalism from time to time. This undertaking was not successful because the evaporating-project of unrestrained capitalism was channeled somewhat. The steamroller was given a helmsman. Regulated capitalism reached its peak in the class compromise of the 1960s when representatives of workers could put the screws on the steamroller CEOs a little.


At the beginning of the 1990s, it was over. “The `magic land’ is burnt out,” Rio travelers sang. The working class has long been merely a “social class on paper,” as the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu formulated. Like the English Labor party, the SPD under Gerhard Schroeder was devoted to the project of making people fit for concrete capitalism.

Where mastery and then taming of this economic form was the program in the past, unconditional devotion is now the priority. Social democracy meant the demand that everyone receive the same running shoes before competing in the race amid the current evaporation phases of capitalism and nothing more. The nearly obscene devotion of Schroeder and ex-vice-chancellor Josef Fischer of 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, there are eleven million who earn their livelihood with manual work. They are divided into the worker aristocracy who are corrupted by capital through lucrative supervisory posts and occasional pleasure trips. Workers in the big auto firms and medium-size enterprises profit from the achievements of the past gained through struggle like reasonable wages according to scale, vacation money and protection against unlawful termination but submit to business logic come what may. Workers are 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 fields (Hartz IV is the radical German welfare reform combining unemployment benefits with income support and drastically reducing the duration of benefits. The German Constitutional Court ruled that benefits were insufficient for dignified life).

These workers do not represent a threat to capitalism and are not allied with any utopia any more. Rather it is capitalism itself that threatens. Financial, crises and stock market crashes seem changed into normality. Most “economic experts” cannot think of any explanations for the irrational movements of the financial markets. No air bubbles that are more than cheap comfort leak from the autistic system of theories. Flash-mobs, running amok, individual mass murderers, burning parts of town and plundering are the post-political phenomena of a society without utopia and political alternative. Where social democracy only capitulates to the neoliberal “austerity logic” as in Hungary, forces are ready to cook their little reactionary anti-foreigner or Islamophobic racist and national-ethnic soup with the despair of the voters.


If this picture of the steamroller stands for the relentless nature of the “evaporation” process, the dynamic of the capitalist economic mode may be compared with riding on a tiger. For around 30 years, the Chinese leadership has either been hooked or acquired a taste for this. China shows the unbridled dynamic of this tiger. In contrast, the command socialist planned economy ultimately appeared as an unwieldy and slow tortoise and adopted the capitalist dynamic during the construction years in the Soviet Union of the 1930s. However this riding the tiger is full of dangers. The price for economic dynamism is high. If the reins are too loose, the tiger devours its rider.

Nothing remains of the great social experiment of command socialism… This leftward flight of worker power and rational economic planning from the seething laboratory of old capitalism in the West is historically outdated; the socialist blueprints and plans are faded. Even “organic” economics in the framework of a “people’s community” in which the opposition between capital and labor is supposedly annulled are ideologically blocked by mountains of corpses since the catastrophe of National Socialism.

The tamed Rhine capitalism in its form as a “social market economy” – the fenced-in tiger – of the 1960s and 1970s appears retrospectively to us today as a lost Paradise (which it only was very restrictedly). What remains when we look at the austerity dictatorship of capital occurring in Euro-Europe given the “debt crisis” is a historically unique ideological hopelessness.

Whether a re-regulation of capitalism can stabilize the system again, whether the vast number of workers in Asia’s factories will go the way of social emancipation as in the Europe of the 20th century and whether and how western democracies can be renewed in view of the crises and can resist ethnic anti-social nationalism as in Hunger are still in doubt. The protest movements of the young on the Spanish plazas and elsewhere need answers to their questions and demands so hopelessness can give way to hope.


Konicz, Tomasz, “Democracy in Crisis: The Terror of the Economy is a Danger to Democracy,” July 2012

http://www. capitalismhitsthefan.com





Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

bataclone J21 8:08PM


Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM



Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM



Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

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