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February 24 2013

Les populations superflues

En Grèce, « forcée de fournir le portrait anticipé de ce à quoi vont devoir ressembler les sociétés occidentales, remaniées sous la férule du néolibéralisme déchaîné » se dessine « une nouvelle biopolitique de l’espèce », « chargée d’assainir le corps social de toutes les existences parasitaires ». Par Dimitris Vergetis, psychanalyste, directeur de la revue grecque αληthεια.

 

[...]

 

À cet égard, la réponse qui nous semble s’imposer est la suivante : les politiques appliquées à la Grèce sous prétexte de redressement économique visent à mettre en place un nouveau paradigme de société entièrement transitif aux automatismes du capital et aux lois du marché. La technicité de leur langage d’exposition ne fait qu’écran à leur objectif qui consiste à réterritorialiser l’ensemble du lien social sur la forme-marchandise. Le projet expérimenté en Grèce aspire à neutraliser, et à la limite à éradiquer, la politique comme instance de médiation entre l’économie et le social, à démanteler tendanciellement tous les dispositifs de protection sociale, à privatiser la prise en charge de tout risque de la vie et à abolir le droit du travail, pour créer des zones spéciales d’exploitation – formes dérivées des « camps », mais hautement rentabilisées, et charitablement humanisées. Ces zones de développement spéciales constituent une illustration paradigmatique de ce que Badiou a isolé sous le terme de « zonage ».

 

Les dirigeants européens répètent en chœur et à satiété que la Grèce est un cas particulier. En fait, loin d’être traité comme un cas particulier qui fait exception à la norme européenne qu’elle devrait impérativement intérioriser, la Grèce est forcée de fournir le portrait anticipé de ce à quoi vont devoir ressembler les sociétés occidentales, remaniées sous la férule du néolibéralisme déchaîné. Tout en restant dans le cadre du mode de production capitaliste, nous sommes donc au seuil d’un changement d’époque. Or celui-ci s’annonce sous des auspices littéralement macabres en tant qu’il couve une nouvelle biopolitique de l’espèce. Il importe d’en restituer la pente et les mécanismes d’accomplissement.

 

[...]

 

Avec la mondialisation et la mobilité forcée des travailleurs, les « ressources humaines » sont désormais renouvelables à vil prix. Il est facile et hautement profitable d’importer non seulement de la main-d’œuvre mais aussi du personnel très qualifié formé dans des contrées lointaines. Le coût de la formation d’un informaticien aux États-Unis, depuis sa naissance jusqu’à l’acquisition de ses compétences, est cent fois supérieur à celui de la formation de quelqu’un né aux Indes. Il est aussi hautement profitable de délocaliser pour aller capter sur place une force de travail privée de droits et à prix dérisoire. Bref, la machine capitaliste peut se procurer de la marchandise humaine à prix très avantageux, sans avoir à se soucier de sa formation et de sa reproduction. Le cas de la Grèce, de l’Espagne et du Portugal, pour rester dans le contexte actuel, qui voient leur jeunesse hautement qualifiée aspirée par l’Allemagne, pays en dépérissement démographique, fournit une démonstration exemplaire de ce processus.

 

[...]

 

l'article complet: http://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/210213/les-populations-superflues



February 05 2013

Is a revolution in economic thinking under way?

Our current situation is conducive to revolutionary thinking, if not yet in politics, then maybe in economics.

 

The BoE has spent £50 billion over the past six months to support bond prices. That could instead have financed a cash handout of £830 for every man, woman and child in Britain, or £3,300 for a typical family of four. In the United States, the $40 billion the Fed has promised to transfer monthly, with no time limit, to banks and bond funds, could instead finance a monthly cash payment of $500 per family – to be continued indefinitely until full employment is restored.


// oAnth: What sounds on a first glance quite marvelous, needs in my opinion to consider who is paying here to whom by which kind of interests and conditions.  The question where these huge amounts of money are coming from seems to be not even noteworthy.

The states' fiscal sovereignty is completely questioned. It's an open revolution not in economic thinking, but in the foundations of the state's authority. In so far this discussion continues the neoliberal agenda on a less hidden manner as a clear opening to the area of neofeudalism and proves an ongoing obvious power shift.

It has IMHO nothing to do with a P2P decentralized economy.


// oAnth: I would like to correct my latest entry in so far, as I have misunderstood the source of the money, which is to spend. If I understand well now, it would be a more or less indirect debt cut by spending money, created by the central bank, directly to the population, but - but as I would instantly like to add,  the incentive to the exploitation circle would nevertheless in a long run only be to tame by additional much higher top income taxes.

    

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

January 29 2012

02mydafsoup-01
[...]

In another cable about Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister being groomed to be India’s next PM, Hillary Clinton is revealingly blunt: “To which industrial or business groups is Mukherjee beholden?”

During Singh’s reign as prime minister, India has also witnessed a strong backlash against globalization among the poor. The most striking instance is the militant Communist movement representing landless peasants and indigenous forest peoples in Central India—these are Indians fighting their dispossession by mining companies that are backed by the Indian government. Early last year, India’s Supreme Court censured the government for creating an informal militia against Communist militants. Claiming that “the poor are being pushed to the wall,” the court blamed increasing violence in the country on “predatory forms of capitalism, supported by the state.”

Since then Singh has also lost his main constituency: the beneficiaries, both real and potential, of “rising” India. Periodicals such as Foreign Affairs, The Economist, and The Financial Times that in 2005 hailed India as a “roaring capitalist success story” now wonder if India is descending into a Latin-American-style oligarchy.

[...]
Turmoil from India to Israel. Will there be peace in 2012? | sriramkhe.blogspot 2012-01-29

July 31 2011

Play fullscreen
La policia de Honduras arrasa con un pueblo
Reportaje desde la comunidad campesina de Rigores en el valle Aguán. Un ejemplo de un desalojo por parte de las autoridades, dejando a más de cien familias sin hogares. Aparte de ello, las autoridades también destruyeron las escuelas, la iglesia, y los cultivos. El gobierno post-golpe sigue favoreciendo los intereses de los grandes terratenientes encima de los campesinos. Realizado por Jesse Freeston.


Play fullscreen
Honduran Police Burn Community to the Ground
Homes, churches, schools, and crops all destroyed as the post-coup government continues to side with wealthy plantation owners over the country's organized farmers


Reposted bykrekkshelekellerabteil

June 14 2011

Chris Dillow: The Importance of Class

What do you think of Chris Dillow's ideas on class, power, and ideology?

Class, power & ideology, Stumbling and Mumbling: “Nothing makes sense without class” says Owen Jones. He’s right, if we understand “class“ in its Marxist sense.

To Marx - though the idea was implicit in other classical economists such as Ricardo - class was not about lifestyle, but about one’s relationship to the economy. If your income comes from wages, you’re working class. If it comes from capital, you’re a capitalist.

You might reply that, by this criterion, we are almost all working class now. True. Even people who think of themselves as “middle class” are in many cases only a P45 away from poverty. They are objectively working class even if they are not subjectively so.

In this sense, Marx was right to predict that capitalism would produce an increase in the numbers of the working class. Remember, 200 years ago the yeoman farmer, the master craftsman, or the comfortably off idle wife were all significant social roles. They are, I suspect, less significant now.

What’s more, class in this sense is correlated with power: capitalists have it, workers don‘t*. This is because economic power flows to scarce resources and capital is scarcer than labor.

This perspective yields answers to three key questions which cannot be answered without the concepts of class and power:

  • why has inequality increased since the 1980s? It’s because a mix of technical change and the emergence of a mass supply of cheap labor from China and India have increased the power of capital relative to labor.
  • why is the pain of deficit reduction falling upon public sector workers and benefit claimants rather than the “rich”? It’s because the “rich” have power and workers and benefit claimants don’t.
  • why did the state bail out bankers but not ordinary workers who lost their jobs? It’s because bankers have power - though the precise source of this is another question.

This raises the question. If class is so central to an understanding of the economy, why is it so little discussed?

The answer lies in another of Marx’s insights - that false consciousness prevents people from seeing how capitalist power operates. In this sense, the cognitive biases research program throws up some new theories that vindicate Marx. For example:

  • the illusion of control causes people to over-estimate the chances of them escaping the working class through their own efforts, and so under-estimate the importance of collective class action .
  • the in-group heterogeneity bias (which is the flipside of the out-group homogeneity bias) causes people in similar economic positions to exaggerate the differences between themselves and so fail to see their common class position.
  • the just world effect causes people to think that victims are to blame for their fate - so, for example, the poor are thought to be stupid and feckless even if the cause of their poverty lies elsewhere.
  • the optimism bias leads people to think they will succeed if only they work hard enough, and so blinds them to the possibility that their class position will prevent them getting the full fruits of their labour.

And here, I part company with Owen. We cannot have a reasonable debate about class, because cognitive biases such as these are ubiquitous. Successful power structures persist in large part because the way in which power is exercised is hidden from us. The importance of class and the lack of discussion of it are two sides of the same fact.

* I’m simplifying horribly here. Many workers - most obviously the bosses who control firms owned by external shareholders - do have power. I’ll leave this for another time, as I don‘t think it much affects the main thrust of my point.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

June 09 2011

02mydafsoup-01

March 31 2011

February 11 2010

02mydafsoup-01
An Open Letter to Dr. Walter E. Massey Chairman, Bank of America President, emeritus, Morehouse College
From William K. Black - Associate Professor of Economics and Law - University of Missouri - Kansas City/MO
February 6, 2010
Betreff: Hans-Olaf Henkel, “Senior Advisor” der Bank of America in Deutschland
[...]
Sowohl die Sarrazin-Tirade als auch Henkels Umarmung, dieser Fanatismus waren wichtige Hauptnachrichtenereignisse in Deutschland. Wenn die leitenden deutschen und europäischen Angestellten der Bank diese Schande nicht zur Beachtung der Geschäftsleitung der Bank gebracht haben, dann erstreckt sich die Fäulnis bis in die Spitze des europäischen Geschäftsbereiches der Bank. Wenn die Hassreden des Herr Henkel durch ihre Direktion zur Kenntnis genommen wurden, warum wurde er nicht sofort aus diesem Grunde entlassen?
Unsere Familie, meine Ehefrau Juni Carbone, lebte 20 Jahre in Nord-Kalifornien, bevor wir nach Kansas City umzogen. Wie Sie sind wir stolz auf die Geschichte der Bank of America. Mr. Gianninis Bank von Italien war stolz darauf, Obst- und Gemüsehändler zu beleihen. Viele dieser kleinen Unternehmer waren neue Einwanderer aus Italien. Wie die “Obst und Gemüse“ Händler, die Herr Sarrazin und Herr Henkel verachten, sahen sie sich oft tiefem Misstrauen wegen ihrer Akzente, ihrer nationalen Herkunft und ihrer Religion (Katholizismus) ausgesetzt. Es war das Zeitalter des “wissenschaftlichen Rassismus” und gut ausgebildete Menschen “wussten”, dass die Zuwanderer aus Südeuropa unterlegen waren. Wie Sie bestimmt wissen, gab es ein Wiederaufleben des Ku-Klux-Klans während der Ära Mr. Gianninis, die größtenteils Einwanderungsgegner und anti-katholisch waren.
Herr Henkel ist nicht einfach ein engstirniger Fanatiker. Seine inhaltliche politische Beratung - Deregulierung und weit höhere Vergütung von Führungskräften - macht ihn zu einem der wichtigsten deutschen Architekten der Krise. Er gab der Bank of America entsetzliche Ratschläge. Aber Herr Henkels traurigster Charakterzug ist die Heuchelei. Er ist ein Serienheuchler, weil sein Fanatismus, die Dinge angreift, die er vorgibt zu vertreten. Sein Sprecher beschreibt ihn als “mutig”. (Er begrüßt Herrn Sarrazins Tirade als Beispiel für Mut.) Im politischen Kontext ist es der Mut, den Mächtigen die Wahrheit zu sagen, auch wenn die Mächtigen diese Wahrheiten nicht hören wollen. Herr Henkel schmeichelt den Mächtigen durch das Evangelium des Sozialdarwinismus.

[...]
US-Medien: “Herr Henkel’s Hall of Shame” || Übersetztung von Richard Schnabl auf Berliner-Journalisten.com - 20100210
Reposted bytosha tosha
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