imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
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

Vulgar Materialism: The Madness of Growth and the Casino

by Ulrike Herrmann Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 at 6:04 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Renouncing on growth or tolerating a shriveling economy is hard. Greece is a shocking example. Many people cut down the last trees because they could not afford heating oil. Nature is the first victim in an economic crisis. Whole generations are traumatized.

VULGAR MATERIALISM. THE MADNESS OF GROWTH AND THE CASINO

By Ulrike Herrmann

[This article “Wachsinn Wachstum” published 12/21/2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.taz.de/1/archiv/?dig=2012/12/21/a0092. Ulrike Herrmann is an economics editor at taz. In 2010, Westend published her book “Hurrah, we can pay. The Self-Deceit of the Middle Class” (Hurra, wir durfen zahlen. Der Selbstbetrug der Mittleschicht.]

Jesus was not a capitalist. Modern capitalism first arose 1800 years after Jesus’ birth. Nevertheless Christmas has long been a symbol of the abundance produced by this capitalism.

The German environmental ministry has counted how many objects the average German citizen owns. They are 10,000. At least half of these things are never used but frittered away to the limit polluting the environment – first in production and then as waste.

LIFE WITHOUT PLUNDER

A simple solution presses. Everyone should only buy half as much. This would be liberation, not renunciation. The plunder that is never tackled would be gone at last. Our capitalist economy would obviously not grow any more but shrivel. Why doesn’t this happen? The environment would be rescued.

This is not simple as the Euro crisis shows. One way out was recommended in unison to the crisis countries: generate growth! Political conflict only rages over the question how this growth can be best produced. Chancellor Merkel demands austerity programs while the French president emphasizes economic assistance. But everyone agrees: there must be a boom in the Euro zone. I have also commented repeatedly that the crisis countries need growth. Many readers sent letters that pointed out: the world is finite and the economy cannot grow infinitely.

That is true. However renouncing on growth or even tolerating a shriveling economy is hard. Greece is a shocking example. Many people cut down the last trees because they could not afford any heating oil. Nature is the first victim in an economic crisis.

It is hardly conceivable that crisis countries will remain democracies when unemployment is at 20 percent and youth unemployment is at 50 percent. Insecurity and lack of perspective is the worst. Poverty is not the worst that can happen though it is terrible. Whole generations are traumatized and may turn to a supposed rescuer if new jobs do not arise soon.

Thus capitalism, functions differently than the advertising suggests. The commodities that we consume and give as gifts on Christmas are not central. The products are only expedients for a higher goal. The ultimate goals are the jobs. We work so others can work. Only the one who works has income, security and acknowledgment. In his book “The Affluent Society,” (1958) the economist John Kenneth Galbraith referred to a strange phenomenon. In an economic crisis, there is never regret that many goods do not arise because the factories are not used to full capacity. No one worries over this loss in material wealth. The declining quantity of goods does not matter. Instead there is only criticism about the jobs that are eliminated in the crisis. We seemingly consume to death but this is a false perception. We produce to death. The goal is full employment, not full consumption.

THE COMMODITY BECOMES THE FETISH

Employees are not the only ones urging growth. Savers and investors also want to see profits. Every German does not have assets as the latest German Poverty- and Wealth report shows. The bottom half of the population has nothing. That the top half accelerates even greater panic hardly means the economy could collapse. The Euro crisis has not come to Germany but real estate is frantically bought.

The commodity becomes a fetish. Different from what Karl Marx thought, security is central, not practical value or exchange value. We produce and invest so an unknown future can be controlled.

HARTZ IV RECIPIENTS DO NOT GO HUNGRY

Thus the task appears insoluble. We must bid farewell to growth if we do not want our environment to be completely ruined. Still every economic collapse triggers existential fears.

This dilemma can only be overcome if society no longer insists every individual is alone responsible for his or her security – by getting hold of a job or “private provisions.” Both force growth. Thus the environment is rescued by the right social- and fiscal policy, not by environmental policy.

What must happen so citizens feel secure? “Security” is an ambivalent concept in rich societies like Germany. Obviously avoiding death from starvation is the main challenge. Hartz IV recipients also have enough to eat. Nevertheless the middle class falls into panic as soon as it imagines it could be counted as poor. The middle class knows it will then lose its dignity, be despised and treated like a child.

People only feel secure when no one can crash them – since poor and rich are not so far apart. Environmental care is only possible with that security, as worldwide comparative studies confirm. The egalitarian Scandinavians lead the way while the polarized US is far behind. How wealth is distributed is important for pollution control, not how rich a society is. It may be surprising but high taxes for top earners are active environmental care. This recalls Jesus who emphasized again and again to his disciples that riches do not create security. As he says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not pile up treasures on earth where moth and rust devour.” Jesus did not know capitalism. Still his commands are current and burning issues if we want to survive. High taxes for top earners are active environmental care.

RELATED LINKS:

Duff McDuffee, “If capitalism is sociopathic, how should we make a living,” December 19, 2012
http://beyondgrowth.net/social-criticism/if-capitalism-is-sociopathic-how-should-we-make-a-living/

Donella Meadows Institute, “Life Beyond Growth”
http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/life-beyond-growth/

http://www.freembtranslations.net

http://www.socialistproject.ca

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism A19 4:08PM

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Pandering to the Corporate Whores of the Storage Industry A09 5:03PM

Lartiste Maestro iTunes télécharger de la musique gratuit et Légalement 2016 A08 3:20PM

Spring 2016 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! A05 2:14PM

KPFK and Pacifica, more doings, reposted here A04 4:18PM

Liberated Political Prisoner Sekou Odinga Speaks Out M11 9:39AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Explanation of Strategy Countering Sacramento Fascism J28 3:35PM

Pepsi Brings Back Aspartame, Partners With Brutal KFC, Continues Monopoly Tactics J28 8:41AM

Biography Blocked By Bullies : ' burro ' ( fbi ), Facebook, Google J28 7:38AM

Social Inequality in the Descent Society J28 4:39AM

About me J27 11:47PM

Paraphysique du révolutionnarisme J27 11:05PM

Fbi hacks my reports as I type them J27 10:12PM

Filthy , foul, felonious ' phrenia ' fbi J27 8:16PM

Cruel monkey farms on trial in Hendry County J27 5:37PM

Senate Faces Puerto Rico Vote Before July 1 Deadline J27 8:07AM

Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation J26 2:56PM

Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporte Slavestate J26 11:07AM

Fbi as human monsters J25 3:59PM

God hacks a border crossing J25 6:00AM

Evidence to indict fbi thugs J24 10:52AM

Mental dwarfs rule our world J23 5:32PM

The Shortwave Report 06/24/16 Listen Globally! J23 4:25PM

Crackbird Yukon misadventure J23 6:28AM

Paraphysique de sismographie politicarde J22 4:44AM

Sur negro / No Borders: new antiauthoritarian Web Series goes live J22 12:50AM

53 Of The Ways The World's Military Harm Animals J21 10:24AM

Non-Profits versus Profit Maximization J21 5:46AM

USA is run by the criminally insane J20 11:24PM

Recent assaults cleverly perpetrated by fbi J19 10:06PM

International Day of Solidarity With Oscar López Rivera J19 8:44PM

Encodage de l'encéphale, encodage du capital J19 12:41AM

Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines supports state burial for Ferdinand Marcos J18 7:10AM

High crimes committed by fbi / cia in the name of Americans J17 6:53PM

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