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The “neoliberal age” is over, some people are saying these days.
“Neoliberalism has failed” – some are stating.
“The world wide liberation of supranational trade relationships from state bonds is a great success story” – others are saying.
The nature of the oxymoron per se in the jungle of multiple disseminated “fragmented truths” concedes a point to both
“opinions” as a start at this juncture.
Perhaps just, when the “Occupation of the Presence”, as Heiner Müller called it in 1990, Slavoi Zizek’s recourse to Francis
Fukuyama’s “End of History”, which then should lead over to the “End of Capitalism” and that way the “Trouble in Paradise”
from 2015 “somehow has refined and clarified us” we somehow might be able to continue with the “historical evaluation of the neoliberal age”.
Sergi Cutillas in an exciting analysis of that “momentum of frozen time at the end of the neoliberal age” claims, that “the
European left should start planning more consistent strategies with a progressive and humanist ethics”, which “transforms Europe into a region that respects Human Rights above all“.
Insofar, Cutillas continues “It is not surprising then that the lack of progressive perspectives inside of the current institutional architecture of the EMU and the EU, motivate movements requesting a Plan B that thinks of a political and economic alternative to the EU of neoliberalism.“
The fact, that Cutillas there settles the scores with all “currently really existing models for fighting the Euro crisis” and names “the dogma of austerity” by Schäuble and the “5 Presidents’ Report” as much as Yanis Varoufakis’ “ Modest Proposal for Resolving the Eurozone Crisis” as „of neoliberal origin“ – this shows even once more dramatically everything said here – and the necessity of “moving forward unification processes ‘left of the center’ before the area-wide take over of reactionary right-wing parties and their partners in Europe become manifest.”
And – just the other fact, that Sergi Cutillas is speaking of “progressive and humanist ethics” in connection with the crisis shows, that he at least is one step further than other “models for tackling the European crisis”. Models, which in their often vain complacent unilateral approach – resistant against any advice regard and “intend to sort out the crisis” just as an “economic” or “political” or “institutional issue”, but lately “just want to sell “dangerous half way or even quarter way knowledge as the ‘gist of the matter’”. It’s getting much deeper though – it’s about “existential values of enlightenment and democracy”, which altogether require a “new European architecture”.
And – there it’s also about “taking the people with you”.
The last bigger protests in Germany in 2010 actually were the demonstrations against a “centenary building project” at Stuttgart – they also were supported by “Swabian housewives” – ordinary citizens, who are becoming peevish by “the dogma of austerity” and venture capital accumulation for all too frequently criminally acting banks – accounted for by minister of finance Schäuble. And quite often they are becoming “right wing protest voters”.
A “Europe of the regions” presumably will emerge only out of these regions themselves in urban centers in a dialogue with their surroundings and that way might move forward the “political, institutional and economical construction and rebuilding process”.
“Transition models” and starting with that steps out of and across the shades approaching each other are required within the “spectrum left of the center”. Watching beyond one’s own nose is essential for finding “intersections of left-wing – thus green and red and with that also social democratic answers” to the many scenarios at the “end of the neoliberal age”.
It’s quite remarkable to watch “the red-red-green spectrum” - how everyone is holding fast to “habits, which mostly aren’t considered any more” and the “knee-jerk defense reaction towards the other group amongst each other, which continuously prevent any kind of unification process.
And this even more with regard to elections in France and Germany in 2017. Thus – soon facing elections in the countries of the “partnership of destiny in the core of ‘Old Europe’”. Does a splintered left once more leave the field to right-wing reactionary populists in Europe with their recipes, which aren’t really able to sort out the big issues at all?
Will Denayer lets us hear the NASA climate research veteran “Doc” James Hansen with some once more dark prophecies of “The way the world will end”. In consideration of “local limits of perception” many measurements really get stuck in the marginalized border area of what really is required on the field of environmental and climate protection.
Will asserts, that “Politicians do not act, not efficiently anyway, and many experts lose themselves in details. The big questions need to be addressed. How is human civilisation going to survive?“ he’s asking and emphasizes “the extreme urgency“ of finding answers to these questions.
It is most essential to see, that “crisis” also shall mean “chances”.
The tense mood though again and again lets come up “excessive sensibilities”, which once more point out, how deadlocked and completely frontal discussions quite often are.
On a street festival at the “Center for action, culture and communication” here I recently also spoke with a father, who handed out flyers for promoting a “democratic school”. I said, that some children need more guidance – particularly thinking of my son, who definitely needs to gain some more “basic trust” and “soil underneath his feet” and initially at his school enrollment would be overloaded with a “completely free concept of learning”. Soon it seemed, that I was labeled as an “authoritarian right-winger” in the eyes of that father, who was that deeply convinced from the idea of a “democratic school”.
Some day in a conversation my father once
“The Greeks – they even don’t have a land register!” I smiled and replied:
“Do you actually know, what your son did in Afghanistan 2009 / 10?”
After a short silence of embarrassment I added:
“The cadaster – particularly following German standards worldwide rather is the exception than the rule.
And – lacking legal basic laws particularly regarding land and water rights are significant reasons
for conflict and war on all levels – worldwide.”
At Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh I once met a Scottish land surveyor, who was assigned by the EU to move
forward the “digitalization of Bangladesh”. Without any fundamental building and land ownership laws enabling
according negotiations in a country, where still safety standards for garment factories haven’t really been improved
after the Rana-Plaza-Complex collapse causing more than 1000 dead people in spring 2013 a rather halfhearted -
not really efficient measurement.
Legal systems – better – systems for protection and safeguarding fundamental security standards for all –
European citizens and humans all over the world aren’t an easy target. But – after the END OF THE “NEOLIBERAL AGE“
and alongside that the END OF THE “clash of civilisations“ there are enormous vast fields for
“international and inter-cultural collaboration” – also for a “Europe of the regions”.
Particularly in connection with headliners like “fighting and preventing ecologic catastrophes” and “energy transition”.
Thereto we should move forward as an avant-garde, which isn’t that easily thwarted any more and most of all we should operate into the red-red-green party spectrum. Because of its “demographic majorities” – its everywhere overaged population structure the “old continent” on one hand requires a courageous rebuilding of well-known “entities” – on the other hand the fast, but well-planned and controlled “setting of new and broadly trustworthy structures”.
Themes for that shall be deepened in the next part of that article.
What has been named “structural change” in recent decades with regard to the reduction of jobs in the mining and steel industry and other core areas of the 1st and 2nd industrial revolution for many workers at such sites rather turned out to be a one way street into long-term unemployment - poverty and lack of perspectives.
Today, in the course of the overlapping covering of the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution no job, no education guarantees continuous prosperity and security any more. Insofar “structures for protection of acquired possession” are active in a much stronger and more subtle offensive way. In addition to that – the 1st and 2nd industrial revolution – thus coal, the steam machine and later oil and telecommunication and the 3rd and 4th – thus “renewable energies” and “digitalization” are all somehow fragmented and interpenetrating each other: In the South of Europe the 1st and 2nd industrial revolution at some places hardly occurred – Southern Italy, the Spanish South-West, Greece and many other regions not only in South-East Europe mostly stayed embossed by agrarian structures – and are ruled by and with feudal fragments.
3rd and 4th industrial revolution now offer many chances particularly for these regions – especially in exchange with ruined regions in the
procrastinated “structural change” of the coal and steel industry in the North. If then such an exchange and rebuilding process also is wanted and encouraged.
Keywords with it: Solar cadaster, energy funds, roof area funds or – cooperatives as offers for participation for house-owners as much as for tenants, adjustment of the “reconstruction backlog” and instead innovation stimulus while doing “structural alteration works” and adaption and renewal of infrastructures.
Premises for such labored common efforts when working on “energy transition” and “fighting climate change”:
Thus it’s also about overcoming some “rules” from the phase of “deregulation of markets”:
All these “strategies and programs“ – offers for the people in Europe – to date particularly in “Germany’s flourishing landscapes” it was that way, that the ones, who made systematic proposals for improvements in the “model country ruled without any alternatives” and that way also suggested, that someone maybe might have made mistakes – maybe just has been overloaded automatically was ignored and excluded. The coverage of all those “things lacking any alternatives” by the media caused the fact, that now everyone is asking completely perplexed, wHO might now be able to change what and how? For many years all “alternatives” could sort of be “thwarted” and “locked away” by the “invisible hand”. To their composers mostly just the same thing happened.
“Market conformism” and the “consolidation of social security systems” under the Agenda 2010 do limit the view beyond the noses of obviously overloaded politicians
and citizens. A look into an increasingly void space.
Because of the fact, that officials won’t admit that they are overloaded also facing “potential competitors” about the own job and also seem to want to continue like that the images of “frantic stagnation” and “frozen time” seem to the point.
A system paralyzed in common inertia and inactivity. The view beyond the own nose at most people – officials, politicians and citizens already causes unlimited fear. But – wE will have to plan – and to do first tentative steps.
A linear continuity of events being on the horizon under these circumstances that way will lead to a creeping transition from “neoliberalism” and “neo conservatism” to “neo feudalism” – and to fascism. The shattered spokes of the wheel of history, which has been halted by force much too long hardly allow any other possibility any more.
For green, red and social democratic parties and movements that way unfortunately a creeping decline – a pathway to meaninglessness at least is very evidently becoming apparent. And – the “leading staff” there cannot and must not close their eyes facing these perspectives any more.
Because – for Europe as a whole this is a rather fatal development.
A development, we should prevent.
An assignment of red-red-green competences and targets suggested and described here though needs to be solicited by open leaders’ circles in an appropriately credible way. Also in the media – also in common shortened formats – talk shows and similar. Therefore the basis has to “wake up” the leading circles and if necessary has to obtain a relief of leadership.
The fact, that more and more people mistrust the “political new speech”, which is continuously spread by the media on one hand let arise some hope. A speech, wherein for example present “problems” or “crisis symptoms” continuously are projected into the future for distracting from the fact, that one cannot at all encounter the accumulation of that problem. That way the voter and citizen is sent to walk straight into the trap. Finding of “answers” though on the right side spells out the weakness of left- wing and progressive forces.
Regarding NATO’s and in an extended sense also the EU’s increasingly evident completely split war policy voices are becoming louder, which apply for a renunciation of a short-sighted “policy”, playing off the peoples not only in the Middle East against each other.
“Has the Kurdish Moor done his duty?” - Georg Restle from the first state
television magazine “Monitor“ is asking
after the Turkish invasion in Northern Syria as a consequence of a “change of strategy by the US government”,
that “more or less outlaws the Kurdish people in Syria”.
Yesterday’s friends, today’s enemies – the dirty game change of terror threats did not prevent any war
in the past and just gave birth to new wars – if it was in Afghanistan, in Iraq or now in Syria.
No good perspectives for a future in the Middle East.”
Filmmaker and Berlin resident and for sure one of the smartest commentators of events – Manfred Hulverscheidt from Aachen also says, that with regard to short sighted – thus reactionary war policy of the German government there in consideration of 4 million Turks and amongst those 800 thousand Kurdish people living in Germany the “war against terror” sooner or later will arrive here in Central Europe in this way or the other.
Between Germany and Central Europe and Turkey though the Balkan and the “Turkish archrival Greece” are located.
The necessity of a “change of policy” – a “renunciation from the priority of the military” and a more accurate and better look on “civil re- and new building” also
is illustrated by the experience of Afghanistan. Although wealth and influence of the old feudal aristocracy in Germany already seemed to be broken as a consequence of the revolution after WW 1 in
1918 this should be emphasized here once more – under these conditions Germany after WW 2 would never have rebounded again.
In addition to that – the “beginning pact with the lords of the coal and steel industry of the Ruhr area” following
Hitler’s speech at the Industrials’ Club at Düsseldorf also shows, where to also the “new elites” soon then were moving.
Anyway – the best times of the US and us here in Central Europe – particularly in war torn and humiliated Germany as friends and partners were the immediate Post war years. And many – not only US-soldiers – soldiers from all countries – for stressing that once more – also Russian soldiers particularly in “asymmetric wars without any clear frontlines with civilians permanently threatened to
end up in captivity on battlefields characterized by unclear margins and netcentric warfare” often are also some kind of
“armed social workers”.
And – many of those “armed social workers” not only are shocked by the chaos, sufferings and hardship of that World War 3, which definitely was as much avoidable as World War 2 – if one had listened to voices such as the smart assessment of the Versailles Peace Treaty by John Maynard Keynes in 1919.
Thus – it’s also now about curtailing World War 3, which has been made practicable preposterous to any reason and to find the reasons for it and to surrender the culprits. In the dust, the ashes, which have been blown away everywhere there are some hints to be clarified judicially.
In view of “economic warfare” ruling in Europe also by means of “austerity” this subject should be addressed in a much more offensive way with regard to the elections in France and Germany in 2017.
Here is one of the main sources – reasons for peevishness, fear and protest voting for right wing parties to be found. And – the “neoliberal exploitation of data and facts for suppressing desires – perspectives – hopes”.
Social legislation in Germany for more than a decade was based on Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s initiatives from the period of promoterism following the
French-German war from 1871. The German Empire flourished – not least because of the reparations, the French had to pay. The “desires” by the “new industrial proletariat” were growing.
“Bismarck’s long-term intention was safeguarding the government’s authority against that”.
1890 then the chancellor, who had lead the Empire for 20 years was sacked by the young Wilhelm II. –
“Dropping the Pilot” – also, because Wilhelm II. didn’t agree with Bismarck’s now harder course against the socialists.
The laws starting with the National Health Insurance in 1883 and ending with the Social Pension Program in 1891 shaped for long time – until 2005 the foundation for the German Social Security System.
The Agenda 2010 then was adopted by the red-green Federal Government lead by the
Social Democratic chancellor
Gerhard Schröder. Centerpiece there also is “Unemployment money 2”, “ Hartz IV” named after the former VW-Manager
Peter Hartz, who also elaborated this “job market reform” in a leading position. He himself though in 2007 was finally
convicted for “breach of trust at VW.
Also Social Democrats, who are still in leading positions significantly have contributed to that “work of the century”.
During “the neoliberal age” also this “concept” was exploited in multiple ways.
Ramshackle and inefficient – but also rather healthy state structures then in the course of the march towards “market conformism” were replaced by the dominance of private -, respective financial structures with growing “margins of twilight economy”.
A new-formation of Social security legislation now requires equivalent accurate case studies / reality check attempts and their evaluation for better controlling and avoiding uncontrolled growth and abuse in the future.
After 10 years of research, writing, analyzing of situations and project development at some places – the essence from that in so far 6, soon concluding 7 books,
wherein I determined and summarized these things some procedures suggested here to me appear as the only possibilities for preventing the decline of Europe and for starting re- and new building of a
Possibilities, which require intense collaboration. And being ready for unions and networks for enabling multiple changes of paradigms.
A development collaboration between Northern and Central European, assumed “strong” and assumed “weak” national economies in the South in the course of the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution orientated alongside “Equalization Payments in Germany”, the fathers of social market economy had thought of as balance between “structurally weak and strong federal states” therein once more shall be stressed as an example for a sustainable platform.
A progressive increase of the currently frozen top income tax rate of 42 %
and an increase of the property tax in Germany, as
Gregor Gysi explains in a “classic from the Bundestag” referring to Apostle Paulus from the 1st letter Thimoteus and the
Gospels of Luke and Matthew to Christian Democrat Volker Kauder also might emanate to Southern Europe – particularly
to Greece, where the tax evasion of oligarchs definitely also is and was an important factor for the country’s decline. And –
this isn’t only the case for Hellas.
Many measurements and initiatives for a Europe of the regions can also be encouraged and strengthened by town twinning. Most important in all that first of all though is, that functional hierarchies of laws are implemented again – between union, states and communities as much as between the states and countries and regions of Europe. A matter of ethics and the renaissance of humanism at the end of the “neoliberal age” – also here once more looking back to Sergi Cutillas’ initially quoted estimation of the historical situation – thus the chances.
Also following Stephan Schulmeister’s “new enlightenment”, that displays the rise of “neoliberal as an anti-enlightenment –movement as a struggle between two men - Hayek and Keynes. But also “nationalistic anti-enlightenment” as the rather wrong answer is a subject, Schulmeister deals with. A “new enlightenment”, should significantly extend these subjects as objects and that way should radically amplify them. Planting and anchoring them anew.
is “only” a small window of time and opportunity in
the continuous stream of events between
past and present times. A stream, which sadly enough has been completely distorted in the “neoliberal age”.
2016 / 17 at all points is a decisive moment.
When we’re able to achieve that between Northern, Central and Southern Europe – then we’re soon also able to continue with that between Europe and the Near and Middle East.