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

Is Capitalism at an End?

by Walter Listl Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

The capitalist system in its current form is no longer fit for today's world. The system that led us into crisis has long been ourdated. The brave new world of neoliberalism lies in ruin. Surveys show that a majuority of people regard capitalism as unjust and unsocial.

IS CAPITALISM AT AN END?



By Walter Listl



[This article published on November 2, 2013 is translated abridged from the German on the Internet, http://www.isw-muenchen.de/download/kapamende-wl-20131102.pdf.]



Is capitalism at an end? Even representatives of the capital class raise this question. On 1/25/2012 Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was quoted in the Financial Times of Germany: “The capitalist system in its current form is no longer fit for today’s world… The system that led us into crisis has long been outdated. We deny this to our own disadvantage…”



Is capitalism “in its current form” at an end?



In March 2009 the Rosa Luxemburg foundation lamented: “The brave new world of neoliberalism lies in ruin. Its riches proved to be robbery, appearance and deceit. The promised freedom has become general insecurity and widespread poverty. Its wars are lost. Hunger increases and global warming accelerates.’ This is also the opinion of many people. They are convinced life cannot continue this way.



Social inequality increases. The fates of hundreds of thousands of people are decided on the financial markets. The growing state debts consist of unpaid taxes of the richest one percent who have 99% of the wealth. A capitalist growth doctrine and an excessive profit system steers this globe to an ecological catastrophe.



We witness the spreading of poverty, hunger and destruction of the natural foundations of life in the midst of record-profits of corporations and stock exchanges. All areas of life should be subordinated to the capitalist market laws. These market laws buried the starving work-slaves under the concrete structures of textile factor5ies in Bangladesh.



In view of such developments, there is an unaddressed rage of many persons, a feeling of powerless helplessness toward anonymous financial markets and the multiple crises. A powerful industry of unconsciousness veils its causes.



We face crisis phenomena of a capitalist that was already criticized as the “imperialism of international financial capital” in the 1931 papal social encyclical “Quadragesimo anno.”



We should bid farewell to the notion that crises are quasi the forerunners of the imminent end of capitalism.



Capitalism did not die in its crises – capitalism makes others die



- in the refugee mass grave the Mediterranean Sea



- in Greek hospitals that cannot supply their patients



- in resource wars for oil and strategic dominance



- in civil wars through weapons of the world export master



- or in the hunger regions of this world. Hunger is the most frequent cause of death on the planet and kills more people than all current wars combined.



Crises in capitalism are above all formative transformation processes in which the capitalist system adjusts to new conditions, new production relations and productive forces and simultaneously shifts the costs of this change to working people and nature.



The new isw-report 94 describes this process of the formative change of capitalism. The authors grapple with the questions: how is overcoming capitalism conceivable? (from Marx and Engels to today’s theories of transformation) How are the different crises connected? What do “great crises” and “systemic crisis” mean? How differently has the crisis affected the diverse regions of the world? What dislocations are caused by the different development models? Does capital have the power for a “passive revolution” in Gramsci’s sense, for a transformation and further development of capitalism? Who are the subjects of the urgently necessary revolution?



I will address two ranges of problems:



1. Why are so few stirred in Germany and who are the gravediggers of the working class? and

2. Combining the distant goal socialism with the immediate target of concrete reforms under the term transformation…



The field is open for a conservative middle class interpretation of crisis, integrative efforts and even nationalist, religious-fundamentalist and other ideologies that deepen the division among the victims of austerity policy and fuel the war of the poor against the poor.



Without this class-oriented analysis of the causes of crisis, it is very harmless for the rulers, when Bild newspaper lists the names and assets of the richest 500 Germans, when UNESCO includes the first volume of Capital by Karl Marx in the “memory of humanity” and the Handelsblatt paper of October 15, 2012 included Marx’ work in the 50 most important economic books of all time.



People will only be mobilized to overcome this system when the knowledge is accepted that the logic of capital exploitation immanent to capitalism is responsible for the defects of this society, not “lazy Greeks,” “foreigners,” greedy bankers or their own incapacity.



Lack of consciousness about the social and ecological catastrophe caused by capitalism is not what helps the imperialist dominance most.



On the contrary surveys show that a majority of people regard capitalism as unjust and unsocial. However neoliberalism has successfully convinced society – above all the lower classes and sectors – that there is no alternative.



Today’s neoliberalism is based more and more on resignation, division , extortion, fatalism and the anxiety of many people of losses in setting out for new territory than on the active support of subordinate sectors. This makes difficult thinking of an alternative.



Thirty years ago Floh de Cologne described this in a text:



“Seeing hope in socialism

is hard

to people who accustomed themselves to abandon hope

in capitalism



Seeing the human in socialism

is hard

to people accustomed to enduring the inhuman

in capitalism



Seeing the solution in socialism

is hard

to people who accustom themselves

to not expecting any solution in capitalism



Seeing the answer in socialism

is hard

to people accustomed to not raising any questions

in capitalism



Seeing the future in socialism

is hard

to people accustomed to living in the past

in capitalism.”



In this transition crisis, the absence of an alternative concept of society, the weakness of a workers’ movement, the separate struggles of different progressive forces and a bizarre everyday consciousness opens up possibilities to capital for reactionary nationalist expedients.



The increasing fragmentation of the working class makes difficult class insights and common action.



Mario Candeias from the Rosa Luxemburg foundation speaks of a disintegration of the working class, a division into a “bled white precariat,” an “individualized cybertariat” and a “more or less organized residual proletariat” along ethnic, national and gender lines.



Unions – the central organization of the working class – have less and less as potential share in a transformation process when they see their function mainly in defending the interests of core employees.



The “crisis corporatism” practiced by unions like IG Metal (H.-J. Urban) and its connection to the “export offensive” lead to tensions with modern European unions and hinder the overdue Europeanization of union policy.



Berthold Huber, chairperson of IG Metal on Germany radio 10/11/2011: “We are the winners of the euro and as the Federal Republic of Germany must be anxious that this euro is maintained. I feel somewhat united with employers.”



The social protests have clearly increased with the crisis that has no continued for six years. This is especially true for the “peripheral” countries of the EU. Of the 118 general strikes in EU countries, 83% occurred in five southern European countries: 50 strikes in Greece, 22 in Italy, 13 in France, 8 in Spain and 5 in Portugal. Conversely no general strikes took place in this time period in five European countries: Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Great Britain.



However general strikes with millions of actors in Greece, Portugal and Italy in the past could not force any change in direction or prevent the crisis consequences being exacted on wage-earners and the socially excluded.



A common action of the working class is lacking in Europe, a vision of an alternative concept of the economy and society and a connection of the workers’ movement and the new social, democratic and ecological movements.



The enterprise is the main battlefield. The living conditions of people in areas where unions are not active are influenced more and more: education, media, culture, pensions, social policy, tax policy and energy supply.



Unions must claim a political mandate and insist these areas include the excluded and the precariously employed excluded from the work process.



The absence of a utopia of a post-capitalist social order capable of a majority and difficulties in showing a way there can make this capitalist system seem as though there are no alternatives.



I come to another aspect of the isw-report: the dialectic of reform and revolution – combining the long-term objective of socialism with the immediate target of concrete reforms.



From the end of the 19th century to today, the workers’ movement was deeply divided by the supposed contradiction of reform or revolution.



In his 1889 book “The Requisites of Socialism and the Tasks of Social Democracy,” Edward Bernstein defended the idea that the goal the socialist revolution was irrelevant and reform work was crucial. His motto was: the movement is everything and the goal is nothing.



Ten years later Rosa Luxemburg wrote in her book “Social Reform and Revolution”: “For social democracy, an inseparable connection exists between social reform and the socialist revolution since the struggle around social reform is the means while social revolution is the goal…”



The past failure of the separated ways leads to the discovery cited in isw-report 94: “…what is central is not either-or but a process in which the weaknesses of both alternatives are overcome and their strengths accentuated in a process of transformation…” (Dieter Klein)



The term transformation refers to attempts at overcoming the gulf between the long-term objective – a solidarity society and a democratic socialism – with the immediate target of concrete reforms.



Thus transformation means a process where the life situation of people is improved and people themselves change with the struggle for possible goals. The result of these struggles over reforms within the system can only be the furtherance of the resistance potential. The general outcome of the struggle over reforms is the advancing unification of the forces of resistance, self-empowerment and emancipation of people.



We read in the isw-report, “If only reforms remain for transformationists as a way to a better society, these reforms must have the depth of a revolutionary quality.”



The idea that one could gradually grow into a democratic socialism through reforms without a revolutionary breach is ridiculous. The opponents of a system change always knew how to oppose something powerful to this peaceful/contemplative gradualism.



Initiating a transformation process is only possible through struggle in times of crisis: social redistribution (of wealth, work and power!), socio-ecological reorganization, comprehensive democratization (“They want capitalism without democracy; we want democracy without capitalism”) and a real peace policy. This thesis is defended by the authors of the Rosa Luxemburg foundation.



Within these political areas, gateway projects could develop in a transformation process.



However successful gateway projects in a socio-ecological transformation assume the broad alliance of all the victims of neoliberal policy or all who feel threatened by this policy. This requires a closer cooperation of the workers’ movement and its unions with the new “social” movements.



If such gateway projects are realistic, become feasible in manageable time periods and lead to immediate improvements of the living conditions of the majority, these projects have the potential of mobilizing and displacing experiences of failure and feelings of powerlessness. This is an essential presupposition for a breach with capitalist conditions.



One of the problems in searching for solutions is that the way to a post-capitalist society must be sought and pursued under the conditions of the rule of capital over the economy and politics while simultaneously no solution can be expected within this system.



An alternative arises – if at all – in future struggles whose themes and character cannot be known today and whose actors are not yet formed today.



The way out of the dilemma of present conditions needs theory, utopia, fantasy and literature to make rebellion into political praxis – though we may not find a solution at a leftist literary festival.



Karl Marx called this “real rebellious movement” “communism.”

more at www.freembtranslations.net

Report this post as:

Local News

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

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

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