This introduction to Tomasz Konicz’ “On the Search for Alternatives to the Permanent Capitalism Crisis” (2014) is translated from the German. “The disintegration of the capitalist world system began long ago in its periphery… Capitalism perishes in its hyper-productivity and suffocates in the whole mountain of goods.”
Capitalist contradictions and dislocations are not the last word. That labor is the basis of wealth and yet is degraded as a cost-factor is one contradiction. Shareholder value, setting profit above labor, the environment and the future, is another contradiction. Economics is a plural enterprise; capitalism has many forms ranging from the flexible to the brutal. Counter-measures to exploding inequality and generalized insecurity are possible. The empire could be replaced by the republic as excess could be replaced by access and more by enough.
to read “Ways out of Crisis” by Tomasz Konicz, click on
Thy Kingdom Come by Friedrich Schorlemmer
Friedrich Schorlemmer was born in 1944 in Wittenburg. Since the beginning of the seventies, he was engaged in the peace- and environmental movements of the DDR (east Germany). From 1970 to 1978, Schorlemmer was a university chaplain in Merseburg. From 1978, he has been a preacher at the castle church in Wittenburg where he joined ina grassroots group. In 1988 with his group, Schorlemmer presented the “20 Wittenburg theses” critical of the regime at the Evangelical church day in Halle. Today he is an academic director at the Evangelical Ac ademy of Saxony and since May 1990 SPD chairperson in the Wittenburg city parliament.
Schorlemmer was a co-founder of the citizen movement “Democratic Awakening” (Demokratischer Aufbruch). In 1989, he was honored with the Carl-von-Ossietzsky-medallion of the International League for Human Rights. He is a member of the west German PEN and belongs to the German UNESCO commission. In 1993, he received the peace prize of the German book industry.
This sincere and courageous man who sought to forge swords into plowshares strengthens through his example fellow human beings in the hope that “gentle water can break the stone”.
A man of integrity, Friedrich Schorlemmer lived in the DDR and struggles today for the removal of new inner walls with a language borne by a readiness for reconciliation and understood by people in the East and West. With the whole strength of his personality marked by truthfulness and pensiveness, he admonishes the restoration of inner unity as a condition for successful outer unity. He contributes to overcoming the problems that Germans have in dealing with one another in the process of reunification and at the same time contributes to the preservation of inner and outer peace in Germany and the world.
Thy Kingdom Come
Happy is the one who can pray: “Thy kingdom come”. Because he has not given up all hope, he prays. Because he can pray, he has not abandoned all hope. His eyes are not sealed up. He sees what is and what oppresses. While reading the low and high tide reports and the “prosperity of desert growth”, he also sees what can develop and grow.
What we hope and desire appears in and throught he little things of life.
Free Internet Book: The Neoliberal Crisis, ed. by Jonathan Rutherford and Sally Davison, 2012, 108pp, published by Soundings
A collection of essays that seeks to understand the current financial crisis as a potential moment of rupture in the neoliberal regime
The model of the person in economics is the so-called homo oeconomicus who perfectly surveys the market, clearly foresees the future development and then rationally decides upon an action, optimally adjusted to all relevant data, that creates the greatest economic advantages for him. This homo oeconomicus is also the basic figure of all marginal theories like the marginal benefit- and marginal cost schools. However the marginal figure is a chimera. Neither this know-it-all or this predict-it-all person exists nor a person who makes purely rational economic decisions.
The homo oeconomicus cannot be our hope and is not desirable or future-friendly. The economic benefits for the capitalist entrepreneur are in contradiction to nature and to the person…
We face completely over-sized financial markets today that have uncoupled from the real economy creating value. In 2010 the volume of financial transactions amounted to 75-times world production. When financial businesses offer profits of 10 to 30% while the economy only grows 1 to 3% per year, an ever larger part of wealth is sucked up in the largely unproductive financial sector. This economy liquidates itself. Therefore Hickel and others urge the rigorous regulation of the financial sector and many support the conversion in to public, democratically-managed property. Only a democratic financial management can ensure more democratic control of the economy.
to read the articles by Conrad Schuhler and Rudolf Hickel published in September and November 2014, click on
Here’s a link to “Dark Legacy,” a one-hour video on the Kennedy assassination:
“The person exists as an end-in-him/herself and not merely as a means… On the other hand, the principle of the worldwide market economy is based on treating persons and their needs as means to the end of profit realization… The belief in the self-healing powers of the market has greatly lost persuasiveness…
The condemnation of states to compensations to international corporations whose profit chances were denied ont he basis of investment protection agreements represents a questioning of democratic rule and not only a turning away from the traditional dogmatics of property protection. Such a strain of state budgets obviously limits the possibilities of constitutional organs for creative interventions in the economy…”
Martin Kutscha is a professor of public and administrative law in Berlin.
to read his article “Victory of the Economy over Democracy and the Constitutional State” published in October 2014, click on
to read “Learning from Roosevelt: His “New Deal” by the Austrian economic researcher Stephan Schulmeister, click on
In the first phase Roosevelt concentrated in three areas: firstly, the social-psychological side of depression, combating despondency and despair, secondly, the strict regulation of the financial sector and thirdly, the stimulation of the economy by creating jobs and combating deflation and foreclosures.
The Civilian Conservation Corps helped overcome the basic pessimistic mood in society. Within a few months, 500,000 young persons had hope again. The government should intervene in case of an economic emergency (“widespread unemployment and disorganization of industry”)…The Public Works Administration was the largest New Deal organization…The Social Security Act (1935) introduced unemployment and pension insurance and set up additional measures for the socially weak… The National Labor Relations Board sought to prevent intimidation of employees by employers and promote the process of collective bargaining.
Between 1933 and 1937 the real GDP of the US increased 43%… The unemployment rate fell from 25% to 14%
more at www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.onthecommons.org and www.therealnews.com
The IMF’s austerity policy of the last years was misguided. That austerity policy led to intensified growth declines and increasing unemployment and did not reach its goal of permanently calming the financial markets. Public investments could raise economic growth both in the short- and long-term. State expenditures have a considerable influence on employment and growth.
to read the articles by Philipp Heimberger and Sebastian Gechert, click on
A Post-Keynesian theory of economic policy – filling a void” by Arne Heise, professor of economics at Hamburg University, 13 pp, March 2008
Arne Heise is a professor of economics at the University of Hamburg. To read “A Post-Keynesian theory of economic policy – filling a void” published in 2008, click on
To sum up: Post Keynesian theory of economic policy emphasizes the need and efficiency of quantitative, interventionist policies, yet does not ignore the limitations to ‘controllability’, i.e. it results in a strong plea for what might be termed ‘constrained feasibility’ between the extremes of Cartesian ‘controllability’ and Hayekian ‘non-decisionism’ – a ‘market participation theory of economic policy’.
And it is this critical knowledge about the limits to policy control on the one hand and the acceptance of a quite different ‘pattern prediction’ as compared to Walrasian and Hayekian economics on the other hand which renders the following critique unfounded:
Political-economic decisions decide over the life and death of people. These are the misguided decisions of politicians and managers sacrificing people in the US, Russia, Thailand and Greece. The New Deal stands for an effective debt reduction, not only lower mortality and growing average incomes…
The poorest and weakest persons must always pay the price for misguided political decisions. Germany was active driver of austerity.