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Reflections on the occasion of the Annual EUROMEMO-Conference in Athens, end of September 2017

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Abstract

Reflections made on the occasion of the Annual EUROMEMO-Conference in Athens, end of September 2017, asking for a more radical shift in thinking, and acknowledging the fundamental character of political implications. The point that is made concerns the need to look for policies and politics that are not accepting the capitalist structures as complete determination of future development. Instead, it is pointed out that we reached economically and politically a stage that is not simply showing the fragility of capitalism today but also provides germs that can be unfolded for progressive change.
Peter Herrmanni
Reflections+on+the+occasion+of+the+Annual+EUROMEMO4Conference+in+
Athens,+end+of+September+2017+
Notes&on&occasion&of&the&Euromemogroup’s&annual&conference,&end&of&September&in&
Athens&
Reflections made on the occasion of the Annual EUROMEMO-Conference in Athens, end of
September 2017, asking for a more radical shift in thinking, and acknowledging the fundamental
character of political implications. The point that is made concerns the need to look for policies and
politics that are not accepting the capitalist structures as complete determination of future development.
Instead, it is pointed out that we reached economically and politically a stage that is not simply
showing the fragility of capitalism today but also provides germs that can be unfolded for progressive
change.&
This&years&topic&of&the&annual&conference&looked&at&the&question&
Can$the$EU$still$be$saved?$The$implications$of$a$multi8speed$Europe!
Wittgenstein!once!wrote:!
For! that! would! appear! to! presuppose! that! we! were! excluding!
certain& possibilities,& and& this& cannot& be& the& case,& since& it& would&
require& that& logic& should& go& beyond& the& limits& of& the& world;& for&
only&in&that& way&could&it&view& those&limits&from& the&other&side& as&
well.&
We&cannot&think&what&we&cannot&think;& so&what&we&cannot&think&
we&cannot&say&either.1&
And!later!he!concludes!his!tractatus!with!the!words!
6.54& My& propositions& serve& as& elucidations& in& the& following& way:&
anyone& who& understands& me& eventually& recognizes& them& as&
nonsensical,& when& he& has& used& them—as& steps—to& climb& up&
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1!! Wittgenstein,!Ludwig,!1921:!Tractatus!Logico=Philosophicus;!Translated!by!D.!F.!Pears!and!B.!F.!McGuinness!With!an!
introduction!by!Bertrand!Russell;!London/New!York:!Routledge,!1974:!68!
beyond&them.&(He&must,&so& to&speak,&throw& away&the&ladder&after&
he&has&climbed&up&it.)&
He& must& transcend& these& propositions,& and& then& he& will& see& the&
world&aright.&
7&What&we&cannot&speak&about&we&must&pass&over&in&silence.2&
Bertrand!Russell!summarises!in!his!Introduction!that!
What&we&cannot&think&we&cannot&think,& therefore&we&also&cannot&
say&what&we&cannot&think.3&
This!may!leave!us!in!a!state!of!paralysis!when!it!comes!to!the!need!of!change;!but!
it! may! also! lead! us! to! use! the! mistakes! we! make! as! some! form! of! beauty:! as!
challenge!and!opportunity!to!work!on! unknown! paths!–!not!simply!as!path!we!
did!not!know!before,!but!going!beyond!this,!a!path!we!did!not!even!imagine!that!
they!would!exist.!How!does!this!link!to!the!question!if!the!EU!can!still!be!saved?!
Paradoxically,!the!search!for!new!paths!means!to!start!from!what!is!really!given,!
unveiled! from!abstract!thoughts!and!political=economic! frameworks,!
transcending!the!tight!institutional!framework!and! starting! from! real& reality&as!
fundamental!truth,!and!develop!things!from!there.!
In!my!understanding!this!may!be!seen!as!an!important!guideline,!a!challenge!!as!
matter! of! looking! for! what! we! actually! cannot! formulate,! cannot! even! know!
about!as!long!as!we!use!the!conventional!wisdom!and!the!exiting&givens&as!point!
of!reference.!Even!if!we!take!an!empirical!perspective,!we!have!to!acknowledge!
that!many!terms!and!concepts!that!had!been!traditionally!at!least!within!a!given!
framework! somewhat! appropriate,! lost! meaning:! for! instance,! re=establishing!
competitiveness!and!orientation!of! productivity! does!not!make!any!sense! if! we!
consider! that! the! framework! for! competitiveness! is! dissolved! and! that! the!
meaning! of! productivity! changed! in! a! far=reaching! way! due! to! fundamental!
changes!of!the!means!of!production!and!also!the!specific!forms!of!socialisation!of!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2!! ibid.:!89!
3!! Russell,!Bertrand,!1922:!Introduction;!in:!Ludwig!Wittgenstein,!1921:!Tractatus! Logico=Philosophicus;!Translated!by!
D.!F.!Pears!and!B.!F.!McGuinness!With!an!introduction!by!Bertrand!Russell;!London/New!York:!Routledge,!1974:!XX!
productive! processes! ! the! latter! consists! of! attitudes,! the! organisation! and!
coordination! of! the! overall! productive! processes! and! not! least! the! further!
sectorial! shifts.! –! Even! these! formulations! are! in! danger! of! misleading! our!
thinking,! linking! it! too! close! into! the! framework! that! is! not! only! changing! but!
that!also!needs!to!be!changed.!
Coming!directly!to!the!question!we!have!to!see!first,!of!course,!if!Europe!actually!
should!be!saved,!and!moreover:!what!this!Europe!is!really!about.!
No!place!is!more!appropriate!than!Athens!to!engage!in!this!reflection.!
!
The!panoramic!view!shows!a!large!strand!of!the!history! that!is!claimed!to!be!at!
the!outset!and!at!the!core:!stepping! down!from!the!‘elevated!city’!–!this!is!what!
the!translation!of!Acropolis!stands!for!–!to!the!forests!that!offered!spaces!for!the!
houses! of! philosophers! and! householders! and! teachers! –! remembering! a! brief!
walk!there,!few!years!ago,!makes!me!again!aware!of!what!it!was!–!at!least!in!my!
imagination:! an! area,! an! era! and! a! life! that! had! been! very! much! offering! the!
‘integrated!life’!!a!bit!of!the!society!we!find!captured!much!later!in!the!words!of!
Marx,!a!society:!
where& nobody& has& one& exclusive& sphere& of& activity& but& each& can&
become& accomplished& in& any& branch& he& wishes,& society& regulates&
the& general& production& and& thus& makes& it& possible& for& me& to& do&
one& thing& today& and& another& tomorrow,& to& hunt& in& the& morning,&
fish& in& the& afternoon,& rear& cattle& in& the& evening,& criticise& after&
dinner,& just& as& I& have& a& mind,& without& ever& becoming& hunter,&
fisherman,&shepherd&or&critic.4&
No!reason!to!get! excited! over!this:!the!greatness,! without!denying!it,!depended!
on! the! smallness! of! the! social! space:! the! citizens! during! those! times! had! been!
only!a! small! number,! depending! on! the! non=citizens:! the!excluded! insiders!as!
slaves,!women!and!children.!
The! conventional! wisdom! suggests!this!as!root,!allowing!us!to!see!only!the!
beauty,!the!integrity!!closing!the!shutters!against!the!excluded,!actually!making!
from!here!an!expansionary!move,!that!Maria!Mies!interpreted!as!a!Europe!being!
established!on!abduction!and!rape.!
According& to& the& Greek& myth,& Zeus,& the& ThunderVGod& residing& on&
the&Olympus,&in&the&shape&of&a&bull&abducted&Europa,&the&daughter&
of& the& Phoenician& king& Agenor& and& carried& her& over& the& sea& to&
Crete.& Agenor& sent& his& sons& out& to& search& for& their& sister.& One& of&
them,& Kadmos,& landed& in& Greece& and& was& told& by& the& oracle& of&
Delphi&that&he&should&wander&around,&armed&with&his&spear&till&he&
reached&the&cowherd&Pelagon&in&the&land&of&Phokis.&He&should&kill&
Pelagon& –& the& man& of& earth,& “born& to& die”& –& and& choose& the& cow&
with&the&sign&of&the&moon&on&both&her&flanks&and&follow& her,& till&
she&would&lie&down,&with& her&horns&on&the&ground.&On&this&hill& he&
should&kill&and&sacrifice&her&to&the&earth&Goddess&and&then&found&a&
big&city&on&this&spot,&Thebes.&
Kadmos&followed&the&oracle&and&became&the&founder&of&Thebes.&He&
married& Harmonia,& the& daughter& of& Ares,& the& War& God,& and&
Aphrodite&(…).!It&is&not&clear&from&the&myths&whether&he&killed&the&
moonVcow,& obviously& his& sister& Europa,& or& not.& In& any& case,& one&
does&not&hear&of&her& again.& She,& the&raped&and&abducted&woman&
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4!! Marx, Karl, 1845: The German Ideology. Critique of Modern German Philosophy According to its Representatives
Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner, and of German Socialism According to its Various Prophets [1845-46]; in: Karl
Marx/Frederick Engels. Collected Works. Volume 5. Marx and Engels 1845-1847; London: Lawrence&Wishart: Electric!
Book!2010:!47!
was&only&the&means&to&lead&the&warrior&and&new&culture&hero&into&
the&foreign&land&and&to&his&greatness.5&
So,!if!we!speak!to!day!about!re=foundation,!we!have!to!reflect!first!what!exactly!
this! is! about,! if! it! is! about! returning! to! those! foundations! or! if! it! is! about!
something!else.!Any!re=foundation!has!to!start!with!the!question!of!the!purpose,!
the!objective,!the!spirit!–!going!far!beyond,!no:!being!entirely!different!from!any!
utilitarian!thinking!in!terms!of!a!rational=causal!link.!
When! we! speak! to! day! of! a! multi=speed! Europe,! we! may! usefully! turn! first! to!
something! else:! a! multi=setting! and! multi=directional! Europe.! The! different!
conditions,!but!also!the!different!ideas!about!the!very!general!question:!
What!is!good!life!about?!
and!
What!is!a!decent!way!to!archive!the!means!needed!for!a!good!life?!
are!actually!relevant!–!general!by!no!means!meaning!abstract.!
Can!we!speak,!can!we!think!about!pluralism!in!this!context?!
Looking!at! actual! policies! we! surely! cannot:! paradoxically,! multi=speed! Europe!
means!to!enforce!a!one=directional!Europe!!the!situation!changed!and!today!we!
are!not!speaking!of!a!non=communist!manifesto!as!Walt!Whitman!Rostow!did.6!It!
is!probably!fair!enough!to! say!that!we!cannot!be!entirely! sure!about!where!we!
are!going!!better! to!say:!where!the!leading!forces!want!to!go.!Although!we!can!
speak!in!strategic!terms!about!an!authoritarian!state!in!the!Polulantzian!way,!we!
have!to!acknowledge!as!well!that!what!he!said!about!the!lack!of!a!clearly!defined!
hegemon,!with!the!‘one!and!clear! concept’!about!what! such!hegemony!is!about.!
So,! the! piecemeal! strategies! we! face! today! are! concerned! with! re=establishing!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5!! Mies, Maria, 1999: Europe in the Global Economy or the Need to De-Colonize Europe; in: Peter Herrmann (Ed.):
Challenges for a Global Welfare System: Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.: 153-171; here: 160 f.!
6!! Rostow,!Walt!Whitman,!1960:!The!Stages!of!Economic!Growth.!A!Non=Communist!Manifesto;!Cambridge:!Cambridge!
University!Press!
and! maintaining! a! kind! of! imagined! community,! a! most! conservative! project,!
referring!to!the!need!to!“Reform!that!we!may!preserve”7!
The!political!advances!we!find!today,!not!least!Macron’s!Initiative!for! Europe.!A!
sovereign,!united,!democratic!Europe.!From!September!20178!are!expression!of!
such!conservative!notion!and!this!means! not! least:! they! are! about! maintaining!
power!relations!that!lost!any! rational! –! supposing!that!they!ever!have!had!one!
that!had!been!legitimate.!We!can!understand!Yanis!Varoufakis!in!this!sense!when!
he!speaks!of!Schaeuble=ism:!
Wolfgang& Schäuble& may& heave& left& the& finance& ministry& but& his&
policy&for&turning&the&eurozone&into&an&iron&cage&of&austerity,&that&
is&the&very&antithesis&of&a&democratic&federation,&lives&on.9&
And!all!this!is,!in!a!nutshell,!about!securing!the!established!hegemony!while!the!
world!is!obviously!still!changing!massively:!
After! the!‘victory!of!global! capitalism’,! global! power! relationships! came!
under!massive!pressure!and!still!did!not!settle!at!all.!
The!so=called!financial!crisis!is!a!crisis!of!the!mode!of!production!–!and!it!
can!be!well!captured!with!reference!to!John! Maynard!Keynes!who! wrote!
in!his!opus!magnum!–!which!is!actually!a!shortish!book:!
Speculators& may& do& no& harm& as& bubbles& on& a& steady& stream& of&
enterprise.& But& the& position& is& serious& when& enterprise& becomes&
the&bubble&on&a&whirlpool&of&speculation.10&
And!he!continues,!in!this!way!underlining!the!‘rationale’!of!Schaueble=ism:!
Enterprise& only& pretends& to& itself& to& be& mainly& actuated& by& the&
statements& in& its& own& prospectus,& however& candid& and& sincere.&
Only&a&little&more&than&an&expedition&to&the&South&Pole,&is&it&based&
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7!! Babington! Macaulay,! Thomas,! 1st! Baron! Macaulay,! 1831:! Debate! on! the! First! Reform! Bill! (2! March! 1831);!
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Babington_Macaulay,_1st_Baron_Macaulay;!04/10/17!
8!! Présidence! de! la! République,! Service! de! Presse,! 2017:! Discours! du! President! de! La! Republique.! Initiative! Pour!
L’europe! Paris! La! Sorbonne! !Mardi!26!septembre!2017;! http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/26.09_=
_discours_du_president_de_la_republique_=_initiative_pour_l_europe_transcript__cle0cfdbe.pdf;;!02/10/17!
9!! Varoufakis,! Yanis,! 2017:! Schäuble! leaves! but! Schäuble=ism! lives! on;!
https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2017/09/28/schauble=leaves=but=schauble=ism=lives=on/;!02/10/17!
10!! Keynes,!John!Maynard,!1935:!!General!Theory!of!Employment,!Interest,!and!Money;!!
on& an& exact& calculation& of& benefits& to& come.& Thus& if& the& animal&
spirits&are&dimmed&and&the&spontaneous&optimism&falters,&leaving&
us& to& depend& on& nothing& but& a& mathematical& expectation,&
enterprise& will& fade& and& die;& –& though& fears& of& loss& may& have& a&
basis&no&more&reasonable&than&hopes&of&profit&had&before.11&
We!may!add!that!in!this!instance!micro=!and!macro=level!follow!the!same!
animalist!spirit.!!
The!change!of!productive!factors!!technological!changes!can!be!found!to!
an! extent! that! goes! beyond! a! reform! of! labour! processes.! Much! more!
relevant!are!features!that!are!marking!a!new!stage!of!capital!formation,!
including! new! division! of! labour,! new! distribution! of! power,! new!
structures!of!dependence.!A!small!example!may!be!presented!by!pointing!
on!discussions!about!mergers!of!Ikea!and!TaskRabbit.!
The!demographic!development!–!also!one!of!migration,!qualification!and!
change!of!capital!structures!which!includes!issues!of!living! regimes! that!
are!caught!in!the!tension!of!increasing!openness!and!stricter!segregation.!
However,! we! can! only! fully! understand! this! if! we! analyse! it! also! against! the!
background! of! a! secular! change:! a! new! generation! coming! to! power! –!not!
anymore!coined!by! the!experience!of!war! and!post=war;!but!by! recovery,!boost!
and! upraise.! It! is! coined! by! and! caught! in! the! tension! that! we! know! about! in!
social! science,! without! knowing! how! to! develop! an! integrated! view:! the! one!
speak! of! the! ‘internalisation! society’,12!others!of!the!‘externalisation! society’,13!
and!still!others!refer!to!issues!of!lifestyle,!even!though!claiming!to!interpret!it!in!
a!wider!societal!context,!called!‘mode!of!life’.14!
Coming!back!to!the!question!of!austerity!policies,!we!have!to!move!a!bit!further,!
suggesting!to!speak!of!austerity!politics,&aiming!on!establishing!austerity!as!living!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11!! ibid.!
12!! Opielka,! Michael,! 2017:! Soziale! Nachhaltigkeit.!Auf! dem! Wege! zur! Internalisierungsgesellschaft;! München:! oekom!
Verlag.!Gesellschaft!für!ökologische!Kommunikation!
13!! Lessenich,!Stephan,!2016:!Neben!uns!die!Sintflut.!Die!Externalisierungsgesellschaft!und!ihr!Preis:!Berlin:!Hanser!
14!! Brand,!Ulrich/Wissen,!Markus,! 2017:!Imperiale! Lebensweise!! Zur!Ausbeutung! von!Mensch! und!Natur! in!Zeiten! des!
globalen! Kapitalismus;! München:! oekom! Verlag.! Gesellschaft! für! ökologische! Kommunikation;! see! also! Brand,!
Ulrich/Wissen,!Markus,!2012:!Global!Environmental!Politics!and!the!Imperial!Mode! of!Living:!Articulations!of!State
Capital! Relations! in! the! Multiple! Crisis,! Globalizations,! 9:4,! 547=560;!
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2012.699928.:! ;! talking! to! one! of! the! authors,! it! was! admitted! that! an!
integrated!approach,!thoroughly!looking!at!the!political!economy!of!such!mode!of!life!is!missing.!
regime,!in!analogy!with!the!changing!accumulation!regime.!It!means!in!concrete!
terms! that! we! are! witnessing! a! shift! of! responsibility! towards! the! bottom! of!
processes!that!constitute!societal!structures.!
If! we! look! against! this! background! at! the! developments! at! the! recent!
developments!in!Greece,!the! UK,!Catalonia!and!Germany,15!it!is!easy!to!see!that!
we!are!not!dealing!with!questions!of!power! in!the!institutional!sense!but!in!the!
sense!of!the!quest!for!re=balancing!control!over!ones!own!life.!This!sounds!easy;!
though! looking! at! it! as! matter! of! tuning! and! fine=tuning! coordination! and!
correspondence!between!accumulation!regime,!mode!of!regulation,!living!regime!
and!mode!of!life,!which!are!defined!in!the!following:!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15!! The!gagging!of!a!country,!Brexit,!Catalonian!regionalism! and!Germans!loss! of!a!supposed! right=wing!innocence!!on!
the!latter!see!e.g.!Broening,!Michael,!Sep!15,!2017:!Germany’s!Anti=Populist!Exceptionalism:!in:!Project!Syndicate.!The!
World’s! Opinion! Page;! https://www.project=syndicate.org/commentary/german=federal=election=populist=parties=
by=michael=broening=2017=09:!03/10/17!
ACCUMULATION!REGIME!
‘stabilization!over!a!long!period!of!
the!allocation!of!the!net!product!
between!consumption!and!
accumulation’!which!‘implies!some!
correspondence!between!the!
transformation!of!both!the!
conditions!of!production!and!the!
conditions!of!the!reproduction!of!
wage!earners’16!
LIVING!REGIME!
conditions!of!the!reproduction!of!
wage!earners!as!over!time!
stabilised!relationship!between!
subordination!under!systemic!
requirements!and!the!wish!for!self=
realisation!
MODE!OF!LIFE!
personal!‘life!style’!as!adaptation!
to,!combination!of!and!
interpretation!of!different!
requirements!and!options!which!
includes!the!established!and!
establishing!of!explicit!
relationships!
MODE!OF!REGULATION!
‘a!materilization!of!the!regime!of!
accumulation!taking!the!form!of!
norms,!habits,!laws,!regulating!
networks!and!so!on!that!ensure!the!
unity!of!the!process,!i.e.!the!
approximate!consistency!of!
individual!behaviors!with!the!
schema!of!!reproduction’17!
In!any!case,!the!important!thing!we!all!have!to!recognise!–!and!in!my!opinion!it!is!
also!something!that!is!still! an! unfulfilled!challenge!for!what!is!nowadays!called!
heterodox!economics!–!is!dealing!with!the!fact!that!the!political!is!economic!and!
the!economic!is!political,!going!much!further!than!being!a!matter!of!conventional!
thinking! about! political! economy! and! also! going! much! further! than! looking! at!
policies.! Furthermore! we! have! to! accept! the! relevance! of! the! personal! being!
political! and! the! political! being! personal! –! the! message! from! the! 1960s! which!
been! unfortunately! by! and! large! forgotten,! only! the! ‘right=wing’! and! ‘populist’!
powers!still!maintaining!it.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16!! Lipietz,! Alain,! 1986:! New! Tendencies! in! International! Division! of! Labour:! Regimes! of! Accumulation! and! Nodes! of!
Regulation,!in:!Production,!Work,!Territory;!Scott,!A.J./Storper,!M.!(eds.);!London:!Allen!Unwin:!16=40,!here:!19!
17!! Lipietz,! Alain,! 1986:! New! Tendencies! in! International! Division! of! Labour:! Regimes! of! Accumulation! and! Nodes! of!
Regulation,!in:!Production,!Work,!Territory;!Scott,!A.J./Storper,!M.!(eds.);!London:!Allen!Unwin:!16=40,!here:!19!
The! notion! emphasised! by! Varoufakis! –! the! orientation! on! a! democratic!
federation!–!is!not!least!relevant!in!this!respect!though!it!does!not!deal!with!the!
urgent!quest!to!clearly!define!such!democratic!federation.!
If!crisis!means!new!opportunity!it!cannot!mean!securing!to!look!for!new!means!
in! order! to! secure! the! existing! relations! and! or! framing! these! patterns! in! new!
ways!–!they!had!been!also!established!as!a!kind!of!“economic!federalism”!in!the!
sense! of! establishing! a! system! of! federations! –! substantial! amalgamations! –!
which!would!depend!on!each!other,!but!at!the!same!time!suggest!independence.!
Sociological! analysis! suggests! functional! differentiation,! however! thus!
downplaying!the!interdependency.!Core!issues!we!are!dealing!with!today!are!
Employment!
Immigration!
Digitalisation!
Network!industries!
But!shouldn’t!we!talk!instead!about!
Work!as!meaningful!activities!
Global!migration!
Relief!
Cooperation!
If! we! take! a! wider! view! and! historical! view! we! can! refer! to! the! following!
perspective!as!rough!!scheme.!
PAST18+
PRESENT+
FUTURE+
life=long!full!time!
employment!normal!
working!days!
unemployment!
work!as!meaningful!
activity!
national!citizens,!with!
firmly!excluded!
exceptional!foreign!
workforce!
immigration!
global!migration!
mechanical!and!
assembly=line!work!
digitisation!
relief!
enterprise=centred!
employment!
network!industries!
cooperation!
!
In!this!context!democracy!and!the!so=called!governance!are!emerging!not!as!new!
issues!but!as!issues!that!need!urgently!be!revisited,!as!part!of!emerging!changed!
modes!of!regulation.!
One!of!the!problems!is!that!dangers!are!
on!the!one!hand!linked! to! majority!rule!–!which!is!actually! very! much!a!
matter!of!‘seize’!
on! the! other! hand! they! are! emerging! from! the! fact! that! the! suggested!
openness! of! governance! –! which! is! very! much! a! matter! of! ‘scope’;!
participation! and! new! management! structures! are! often! enough! very!
much!veils!of!new!feudal!structures!of!power!based!in!personal!relations.!
Divergence! and! multispeed=Europe! can! be! seen! as! matter! of! ‘transferred!
stipulation’! of! old! patterns! of! the! regional! and! local! division! of! labour,! the!
establishment!and!assignment!of!the!new!granaries!within!Europe!and!beyond.!–!
Mind,! and! allow! me! this! side! remark:! In! pre=1930=Germany! this! kind! of!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18!! One!should!not!forget!that!this!never!really!existed!
inequality! was! a! major! factor! behind! the! emerging! strength! of! the! German!
powers!in!the!world.!
Multi=level! and! multi=speed! means! also! that! we! have! to! look! at! the! multi=
regulatory!system.!Of!course,!and!keeping!the!mentioned!background!of!the!one=
directional! Europe! in! mind,! major! challenges,! closely! linked! to! the! core! of! the!
changes!in!the!socio=economic!sphere,!are!around!
Employment!law!
Labour!law!
Social!insurance!
Social!provision!
And!these!need!to!be!addressed!with!highest!priority,!simply!securing!life!and!
living.! However,! one! of! the! difficulties! is! that! dealing! with! these! challenges! as!
urgent!issues,!easily!pre=empts!further!debates!on!more!fundamental!challenges:!
De=growth!and!alternative!growth!
The!complexity!and!integrity!of!production:!manufacturing,!consumption,!
distribution,!and!exchange!
Production!of!control!over!life!
With!this!the!issue!of!use!value!
And!the!need!of!ambiguities,!also!in!connection!with!lengthened!chains!as!
emerging!with!modernity,!even!further!lengthened!with!new!technologies!
–!although!they!open!also!ways!to!establish!new!immediacies.!
From! here! we! may! return! to! the! two! issues! around! democracy! that! had! been!
mentioned! earlier;! seize! and! scope.! Indeed,! these! are! by! no! means! new!
questions.!
The!first!gained!special!attention!in!the!debates!on!the!first!US=Constitution!and!
was! specifically! addressed! in! the! Federalist! Papers.19!In! The! Federalist! 10,!
dealing!with!The&Union&as&a&Safeguard&Against&Domestic&Faction&and&Insurrection,&
Madison!writes!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
19!! Earlier!this!was!already!issued!for!instance!by!Plato!in!his!Republic,!talking!about!the!Majority!Tyranny.!
The& smaller& the& society,& the& fewer& probably& will& be& the& distinct&
parties& and& interests& composing& it;& the& fewer& the& distinct& parties&
and&interests,&the&more&frequently& will&a&majority&be&found&of&the&
same&party;&and&the&smaller&the&number&of&individuals&composing&
a& majority,& and& the& smaller& the& compass& within& which& they& are&
placed,&the&more&easily&will&they&concert&and&execute&their&plans&of&
oppression.&Extend&the&sphere,&and&you&take&in&a&greater&variety&of&
parties&and&interests;&you&make&it&less&probable&that&a&majority&of&
the&whole&will&have&a&common&motive&to&invade&the&rights&of&other&
citizens;&or&if&such&a&common&motive&exists,&it&will&be&more&difficult&
for& all& who& feel& it& to& discover& their& own& strength,& and& to& act& in&
unison& with& each& other.& Besides& other& impediments,& it& may& be&
remarked& that,& where& there& is& a& consciousness& of& unjust& or&
dishonorable& purposes,& communication& is& always& checked& by&
distrust& in& proportion& to& the& number& whose& concurrence& is&
necessary.20&
And!he!continues!by!stating:!
The&influence&of&factious& leaders&may&kindle&a& flame& within&their&
particular& States,& but& will& be& unable& to& spread& a& general&
conflagration& through& the& other& States.& A& religious& sect& may&
degenerate& into& a& political& faction& in& a& part& of& the& Confederacy;&
but& the& variety& of& sects& dispersed& over& the& entire& face& of& it& must&
secure&the&national&councils&against&any&danger&from&that&source.&
A& rage& for& paper& money,& for& an& abolition& of& debts,& for& an& equal&
division&of&property,&or&for&any&other&improper&or& wicked&project,&
will& be& less& apt& to& pervade& the& whole& body& of& the& Union& than& a&
particular&member&of⁢&in&the&same&proportion&as&such&a&malady&
is& more& likely& to& taint& a& particular& county& or& district,& than& an&
entire&State.21&
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
20!! Madison,!1778/1788:!!The!Federalist!10!=!The!Same!Subject!Continued!(Madison)!(The!Union!as!a!Safeguard!Against!
Domestic! Faction! and! Insurrection);! http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786=1800/the=federalist=papers/the=
federalist=10.php;!03/10/17!
21!! ibid.!
The!other!point!had!been! issued! not! least!by!Samuel!P.!Huntington,!suggesting!
that! democracy! is! jeopardised! if! the! expectations! onto! it! are! too! high! –!or!too!
vague.!It!is!captured!in! a! different! way! in! the! well=known! words! by! Winston!
Churchill:!
All&this&idea&of&a& group&of&super&men&and& superVplanners,&such&as&
we& see& before& us,& "playing& the& angel,"& as& the& French& call& it,& and&
making& the& masses& of& the& people& do& what& they& think& is& good& for&
them,& without& any& check& or& correction,& is& a& violation& of&
democracy.&Many&forms&of&Government& have& been&tried,&and&will&
be& tried& in& this& world& of& sin& and& woe.& No& one& pretends& that&
democracy& is& perfect& or& allVwise.& Indeed,& it& has& been& said& that&
democracy&is&the&worst&form&of&Government&except&all&those&other&
forms& that& have& been& tried& from& time& to& time;& but& there& is& the&
broad& feeling& in& our& country& that& the& people& should& rule,&
continuously& rule,& and& that& public& opinion,& expressed& by& all&
constitutional&means,&should&shape,&guide,&and&control&the&actions&
of&Ministers&who&are&their&servants&and&not&their&masters.22&
In!one!way!or!another!we!may!come!to!the!conclusion!that!we!are!in!actual!fact!
facing!problems!that!do!exist!for!a!long!time!and!that!may!have!gained!meaning!
by!their!seize!and! reach.! However,!we!should!refrain!from! seeing! the!capitalist!
turn,!the!further!capitalist!way!of!tightening!the! screws.! As! important! as! those!
issues! are,! it! is! equally! important! to! acknowledge! the! following! tensions! and!
elaborate!legal!and!economic!strategies!that!allow!to!utilise!it!in!the!spirit!of!the!
thesis!I!put!forward!in!Havana,!namely!that!“the!emerging!precarity!of!both,!the!
global! order! and! the! socio=economic! relationships! are! pushing! towards! a!
breakthrough!for!a!new!world=system:!not!flat,!not!a!pyramid!but!a!real!globe!…!
.”23!The!thesis!emerged!from!the!fact!that!we!are!facing!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
22!! Churchill,! Winston,!1947! November!11th:! Speech! in!the! House! of!Commons;!Parliament! Bill;!HC!Deb! 11!November!
1947! vol! 444! cc203=321;! http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1947/nov/11/parliament=
bill#column_206;!03/10/17!
23!! From!5!giant!evils!to!5! giant!tensions! !the!current!crisis!of!capitalism!as!seedbed!for!its!overturn!!or:!How!Many!
Gigabyte!has!a!Horse?;!Seminar!‘Continuidad!y!Cambios!en!las!Relaciones!Internacionales’!at!ISRI!(Instituto!Superior!
de! Relaciones!Internacionales!Raúl!Roas!García),!Habana;!2016;!
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301815015_From_5_giant_evils_to_5_giant_tensions_=
_the_current_crisis_of_capitalism_as_seedbed_for_its_overturn_=_or_How_Many_Gigabyte_has_a_Horse;! see! as! well!
an!excessive!overproduction!of!commodities!and!quasi=values!that!are!in!
many! cases! detached! from! any! kind! of! wellbeing! or! general! societal!
progress,!
societal!abundance,!though!distorted!by!individual!appropriation,!
a! huge! production! of! knowledge! which! is! devalued! by! its! reduction! on!
skills!of!an!eclipsed!rationality!
the! individualisation! of! problems,! undermining! the! search! of! societal!
solutions!and!
overburdening!of!governance!systems!that!leads!to!lack!of!governability.!
Looking! for! what! is! new,! is! not! least! to! see! the! real! possibilities! as! they! are!
inherent!in!the!new!means!of!production.!New!living! regimes!and!modes! of!life!
are! not! coming! out! of! the! blue,! new! modes! of! regulations! are! not! a! matter! of!
‘simple!power=struggles’!over!hegemony!over!rule=setting.!More!important!–!and!
this!is!indeed!a!very!old!point!–!to!use!these!as!means!to!activate!the!potentials!in!
and!for!the!accumulation!regimes.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i!! Dr.![philosophy]! (Bremen,!Germany)!habil![sociology]!(Debrecen,!Hungary).! Studies!in!Sociology!(Bielefeld,!
Germany),!Economics!(Hamburg,!Germany),!Political!Science/Marxism=Leninism!(Leipzig,!Germany)!and!Social!
Policy!and!Philosophy!(Bremen,!Germany).!
He!lives!and!works!globally!as!social!philosopher!in!various!contexts.!Currently!he!lives!in!Changsha,!PRC,!
working!as! professor!for! economics.!He!is!also!adjunct!professor!at!the!University!of!Eastern!Finland!(UEF),!
Department!of!Social!Sciences!(Kuopio,!Finland),! honorary!associate!professor!at!Corvinus!University!in!
Budapest,!Faculty!of!Economics,!Department!of!World!Economy! and! Visiting!Scholar! at! the! Department! of!
Chinese!Studies!at!NUI!Maynooth,!Ireland.!
He!had!been!teaching!globally!at!several!Third!Level!Institutions;!currently!correspondent!to!the!Max!Planck!
Institute!for!Foreign!and!International!Social!Law!(Munich,!Germany).!He!holds!position!as!for!instance!that!of!
a! senior!advisor!to! the!European!Foundation!on!Social!Quality!(The!Hague,!Netherlands),!member!of!the!
Advisory!Board!of!EURISPES! –! Istituto!di!Studi!Politici,!Economici!e!Sociali,! Rome,!member!of!the!Scientific!
Board!and!its!coordination!committee!of!ATTAC! –! Association!pour! la! taxation!des!transactions!financières!
pour! l’aide!aux!citoyens,! Associate!Member!of!the!Eurasian!Center!for!Big!History!and!System!Forecasting,!
Lomonosow!Moscow!State!University,!Russia.!He!is!also!full!member!of!the!European!Academy!of!Social!
Science!and!Arts.!
He!held!various!positions!as!visiting!professor!at!different!universities!within!ad!outside!of!the!EU.!He!also!had!
been!research!fellow!at!National!Taiwan!University,!Taipei;!The!Cairns!Institute,!James!Cook!University,!
Australia;!Visiting!Scholar!at!Orta!Dogu!Teknik!Üniversitesi!(ODTU),!Ankara,!Turkey;!Visiting!Scholar!at!the!
Max=Planck=Institute!für!Sozialrecht!und!Sozialpolitik,! Munich,!Germany;!Visiting!professor!at!Zhejiang!
University,!HangZhou,!PRC;!Founding!Professor!at!Bangor!College!CSUFT,!ChangSha,!PRC.!
His!areas!of!teaching!comprise!economics,!political!science,!sociology!and!law.!
He!started!his!work!in!researching!European!Social!Policy!and!in!particular!the!role!of!NGOs.!His!main!interest!
shifted!over!the!last!years!towards!developing!the!Social!Quality!Approach!further,!looking!in!particular!into!
the!meaning!of!economic!questions!and!questions!of!law.!He!linked!this!with!questions!on!the!development!of!
state!analysis!and!the!question!of!social!services.!Since!recently!his!interest!shifted!towards!political!economy,!
globalisation!and!formational!change.!I!this!context!he!is!in!particular!interested!in!questions!around!change!of!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Herrmann,!Peter,!2015;!Crisis!and!no!end?!Re=embedding!Economy!into!life! and!nature;!in:! Environment!and!Social!
Psychology!(2015)Volume!1,!Issue!1:!1=11;!http://esp.whioce.com/index.php/ESP/article/download/01003/pdf_3;!
16/01/16;!Herrmann,!Peter,!2016:!Growth!and!Development!!Complement!or!Contradiction?!Challenges!for!a!Global!
Agenda;! Shanghai! Forum,! China! and! Latin! America.!The! Development! Partnership! of! Trans=Pacific=Section;! 2016;!
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303549291_Growth_and_Development_=
_Complement_or_Contradiction_Challenges_for_a_Global_Agenda!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
labour/work! (‘precarity!as!seedbed!of! a! new!political=economic!formations’,! sustainable!socio=economic!
growth,!socio=economic!sustainability!…).!He!published!widely!on!the!various!topics.!
Contact:!
EURISPES!–!Istituto!di!Studi!Politici,!Economici!e!Sociali!
Prof.!Dr.!Peter!Herrmann!
Via!Cagliari!14!
00198!Roma!
ITALIA!
skype:!peteresosc!
QQ:!2738027550!
!
currently!
Max!Plank!Institute!for!Social!Law!and!Social!Policy,!Amalienstrasse!33,!FRG!!80799!Munich,!FRG!
skype:!peteresosc!
QQ:!2738027550!
===========!
NEWS,!THOUGHTS!AND!PROVOCATIONS!
http://williamthompsonucc.wordpress.com!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Herrmann_(social_philosopher)!
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Herrmann!
https://www.youtube.com/user/esosceu/videos!
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There is no end of the crisis in sight. Even more, the long nightmare of forcing Greece onto its knees during the first half of 2015, using banks instead of tanks, shows the contempt for mankind by established superior powers when it comes to defending their interest in a Hobbesian war, irrespective of subsequent human tragedies. A more detailed and radical analysis is needed, allowing a change of the structures underlying the current situation. One point in question is that the European tragedy was and is part of a global drama. The discussion of main paradigms as growth, nationality, statehood and the like have to be at the heart of any debates, questioning their validity. A radical shift is needed, aiming at a proactive and provocative re-interpretation of the future.
Germany) habil [sociology] (Debrecen, Hungary)
  • Dr
Dr. [philosophy] (Bremen, Germany) habil [sociology] (Debrecen, Hungary). Studies in Sociology (Bielefeld, Germany), Economics (Hamburg, Germany), Political Science/Marxism--Leninism (Leipzig, Germany) and Social Policy and Philosophy (Bremen, Germany).