imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: 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
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Ideology and Morality: What the Financial Crisis teaches about functioning of democracy

by Patrick Schreiner Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 at 5:45 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Moralizing is a form of argumentation found in many ideologies and academic systems of thought.. State interventions, we were taught, are bad because they run counter to the objective laws of the market.. The market is a social institution that we interpret in different ways..

IDEOLOGY AND MORALITY: WHAT THE FINANCIAL CRISIS TEACHES ABOUT THE FUNCTIONING OF DEMOCRACY

By Patrick Schreiner

[This article published November 15, 2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.annotazioni.de/post/1013.]

Ideologies always contain statements about facts. When these statements do not match reality, there is moralizing: a condition does not exist but should. This is now shown by how neoliberalism appears in discussions of the current financial crisis. The lesson is that democracy is always a dispute over its interpretation, never a conflict around facts.

For the mass of workers, improvements in the here and now were on the day’s agenda, not visionary demands of a better future or historical laws. To simplify, the reaction of dogmatic Marxism was moralizing. A moral “the working class should be” came out of “the working class is.”

Moralizing is a form of argumentation found in many ideologies and academic systems of thought. When practical or objective statements turn out “incorrect,” these become imperative statements. Morality replaces facts. In this way, one’s own ideology is rescued despite opposing facts. Ideology obviously needs morality when facts no longer match the ideology.

For many, Marxism is now regarded as a failed philosophy since the defeat of communism in the competition of the systems. Neoliberalism is seen as its victorious opponent. However the current financial- and economic crisis actually shows that dogmatic Marxism and dogmatic liberalism have one thing in common. Liberalism moralizes as the basic ideology of the market economy and capitalism when the facts no longer match the ideology. That was the case with the collapse of the international banking- and financial system.

Dealing with Greece is a very insidious example. In a moralizing way, it is said Greece is not fulfilling its “promises.” The assumption here is that a budget deficit could be reduced by cutting state spending. If a state cuts its expenditures, the economic output collapses – and the deficit often increases – as is now happening very massively in Greece. The economic facts in the country contradict the ideology of the Schwabian housewife. But moralizing occurs instead of correcting the ideology. In the summer, an article worth-reading appeared in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper [1] on priggish language in the relation of politics and media with Greece.

This moralizing seems to be a basic pattern in confronting the current financial- and economic crisis. The market functions according to laws, it was preached for decades. Supply and demand regulated prices. Whoever is not efficient or economical disappears from the market. Whoever is efficient will be rewarded. State interventions or obligatory economic conduct for the common good are bad, we were taught, because they run counter to the objective laws the market. Those in the circles of the (neo-) liberal high-priests were (and are) skeptical about unions, collective agreements and minimum wages. Even if these theses are defended more quietly since the financial crisis, they were loudly proclaimed for many years in the political debates…

It is interesting to see how the debate has turned since the latest intensification of the banking- and financial crisis. “Greed” and “megalomania” are now suddenly denounced as though pursuit of gain and the growth orientation were not seen for years as necessary and good behavior on the market. “Mis-management” and “unprofessionalism” are criticized as though failure on the market was not represented for years as completely normal and necessary. “Casino-mentality” and “fraud rampage” are decried as though speculation on future profits was not propagated for years as the mainspring or driving force of all free enterprise prosperity. As with dogmatic Marxism, morality should save ideology here. The core of the argumentation is that ideology is the correct description of reality but some people act contrary to this reality.

The moralizing criticism of the speculation rampage was represented by the former German finance minister and current chancellor candidate Peer Steinbruck (SPD). The questionable financial products are only dubious because there is too much speculation. Former German president Horst Koehler also saw the “economic elites” obligated in a moralizing way. They must relearn moderation and liability. Only maximization of profits occurs to them. For years, maximization of profits was justified as the task of “economic elites” even if bank employees were dismissed.

In the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung newspaper, the former FDP-head Wolfgang Gerhard was quoted as saying”market, character and attitude” are equally significant and important. He also spoke in a moralizing way of a “business virtue of modesty” and of “civilized virtues.” The former head of Deutsche Bank Josef Ackermann moralized confidently: “The market economy has always learned from crises and become better. That will also happen this time.” Only Gerhard and Ackermann know how this is compatible with the ideology of the market economy as a purely rational process full of laws that run automatically. The stock market newspaper also recently discovered the morality in capitalism.

Where are the unquestionable practical necessities, the pure facts and unavoidable laws of the market now? The answer is simple. They do not exist just as the historical laws of dogmatic Marxism do not exist. The market is a social institution that we interpret in different ways – like capitalism as a system.

In a democracy, we argue over the arrangement of the market as we argue over the organization of the German army and the themes of education programs. The market can be questioned like the German army. The market does not run simply automatically and rationally. Pursuit of gain is not a natural law but is itself a morality that is cautiously contrasted with other moralities.

On this background, the talk about practical necessities or constraints and laws that we had to hear intensively since the end of system competition turned out to be very undemocratic. This argumentation is undemocratic because it contributes to the conflict of opinions and does not appear as an opinion. It wears the robe of the inevitable and lawful and claims a higher truth-content – and yet is only morality and opinion. In the austerity orgies in Southern Europe, morality and opinion are rising from the ashes.

In the 2008 Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, former government spokesperson Uwe-Karsten Heye (SPD) described this assessment of practical necessities and laws in an interesting way. In a retrospect to Gerhard Schroeder’s term in office, he said: “We must slowly understand capitalism with a human face that considered social interests also perished, not only the DDR (East Germany.” In the 1970s, we did not have to carry out any debate about the minimum wage, not for a second. Capitalism had captivated and enthralled. We – the western world –w anted to show the Eastern block at last that we have the better and more social form of society. Capitalism emerged unfettered from the end of bipolarity. It saw itself as a victor and did not show any consideration any more.

As a reverse conclusion of Heye’s comment, if the DDR still existed, capitalism would have been more social and more human in 1998 and afterwards. Supposed practical necessities were described as what they actually were and are ten years after the assumption of power of the SPD and the Greens: claims and opinions in a battle of claims and opinions excluding one another. In this unequal battle, certain claims and opinions of Heye’s capitalism gained acceptance in an undemocratic way as practical necessities and as far more acceptable.

Perhaps the most important lesson from the current financial crisis for democracies is that the market must be seen for what it is, a conflict field not an automatism full of laws, a conflict field where the interests of employers and capital are marked by subjective opinions and claims just like the interests of employees and the unemployed.

NOTES

[1] http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/finanzkrise/euro-krise-das-maerchen-von-den-griechen,10808234,17172592.html
[2] http://www.annotazioni.de/post/1067
[3] http://www.niedersachsen.dgb.de/-/d5o



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

add your comments



Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

Liberal Majority Passes Sheriff's Civilian Review Board D09 8:40PM

KPFK in fund drive, yet again , but in deeperin trouble D09 12:01PM

INDY lost lots of concerned poster D09 11:27AM

PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN SAN FRANCISCO—AGAIN D07 10:52PM

FREE Silver Lake Consensus, Collaboration & Conflict Resolution Workshop w/STARHAWK D02 8:06AM

Protesting Hewlett-Packard on Black Friday N30 10:48PM

Wayne Pharr, Elder Freeman, Passed On in 2014 N30 2:33AM

Some LA Ferguson Protest Links N27 12:35AM

Protests at fig and Washington N24 11:09PM

LA Protests Grand Jury Decision N24 9:40PM

Chris Dixon on Indymedia On Air N24 6:49PM

NEW INTERVENTION BY FILIPINO WRITER IN FILIPINO N24 6:29AM

REMEMBERING CARLOS BULOSAN N23 6:27AM

RE-VISITING CARLOS BULOSAN N22 1:08PM

Winter 2014 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! N20 11:12PM

#UCLADivest N19 1:46AM

Ferguson verdict Monday? N16 1:42PM

TV LEGEND BOB BARKER FUNDS ‘LION’S SHARE’ OF SUCCESSFUL MISSION TO SAVE CIRCUS ANIMALS IN N13 11:30AM

Veterans Against Foreclosures Marches in San Fernando Veterans Day Parade N11 2:46PM

Disappeared Documentary in L.A N11 2:23PM

Los Angeles Questions Oversized LAPD Response to Million Mask March N07 1:57AM

Ghosts of Wall Street Occupy Hollywood Blvd Halloween Night N06 12:48PM

The "Cleaning Up" of Venice N02 5:16PM

Activists Hold Prayer Vigil for Lexi Dillon and Jonah Rief in Orange County O31 2:32PM

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

EU Parliament Recognizes Palestinian Statehood D17 12:40PM

Review of E San Juan's AMBIL D17 10:53AM

Jeb Bush, Cocreator of 2 Disastrous US Wars, Executioner of 21 D17 10:03AM

Continuing Reports On Crimes By fbi,PI,DPS D17 9:36AM

Jeb Bush Exploring White House Bid D17 6:37AM

Kiev Anti-Russian False Flag Planned? D17 4:46AM

#BlackLivesMatter Massive Lawyer Die-In at Los Angeles Courthouse D16 10:11PM

Plummeting Oil Prices D16 12:44PM

Former Ukrainian Parliamentarian Exposes Kiev Ruthlessness D16 6:55AM

Economics is Onesided and Reactionary D16 4:13AM

Obama's Phony Turning Point D16 2:47AM

Politique de la poésie D16 12:13AM

Politique de la poésie D16 12:09AM

San Francisco Day of Resistance March Occupies Market Street Once Again D15 3:44PM

Knee-Jerk Reaction to Sydney Hostage Siege D15 12:11PM

Herstory of Blacklivesmatter D15 10:16AM

PLO Security Council Statehood Bid D15 7:47AM

For a Different Economics D15 5:00AM

Major Anti-Russian False Flag Coming? D15 3:02AM

Formeer Mossad Head Blasts Netanyahu D14 10:18AM

NATO Delivering Arms to Ukraine D14 7:05AM

US Spending Bill Bonanza for Wall Street D14 3:14AM

Market Euphoria: The Mother of All Ponzi Schemes D13 11:56AM

Academic Groups For and Against BDS D13 7:40AM

Washington's Master Plan: World Conquest D13 2:16AM

Apprentissage irrémissible D13 1:59AM

Chickens Coming Home to Roost D12 12:11PM

Video: "Dark Legacy" (2009) on the Kennedy assassination D12 10:57AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 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