Our Beautiful New Clothes
by Ingo Schulze
Neoliberalism seems to create “clothes no one can see” when it mystifies the market and competition and uses the austerity model, the location model and the adjustment imperative or extortion to turn economics into nature. Ideology makes facts appear as though they were natural laws so we resign.
Ingo Schulze wrote an 80-page cautionary tale “Our Beautiful New Clothes. Against a Market-Conforming Democracy and For a Democracy-Conforming Market.” These excerpts are translated from the German. Democracy means a community that is able to do justice to its responsibility.
The Long History of Human Incapacitation by Politics and the Press
by Wolfgang Jungmann, Feb 3, 17
With the term “no alternatives,” come-of-age citizens who don’t join the mainstream press are incapacitated, stamped as troublemakers and not taken seriously. This policy of coldheartedness allowed no contradiction and led to dislocations like one-euro jobs, Hartz IV, low earners, stockers and poverty pensions… The hunt for the socially weak, the losers of our society oriented only in property thinking was led by the press with terms like social parasites and stories about Yacht-Hans, Viagra-Kalle, Caribbean-Klaus, Mallorca-Karin and the alleged social fraud Florida-Rolf…
Democracy is not sought anymore in a divided country, divided between those above and those below, not between East and West or between capitalist and socialist.
Attempt the Impossible! Theses for a New Left Majority
by the Institute of the Solidarity Modern
The Brexit vote and the American presidential election have dramatically accelerated the crises of classical neoliberal policy. The exit from neoliberalism can only succeed in a social movement and cannot only be a matter of a government or of the parties…
May we have courage to reverse our perspective! The failed elites will not give up without a fight any more than the forces of an authoritarian neoliberalism. “Only we ourselves can free ourselves from this misery.”
Trump versus Truth
John Oliver, Feb 12, 2017, 23 min
Jon Stewart will be back on the air in March!!!
The Lie of the Civilized Western World
by Sascha Pommrenke, Oct 2015
“Terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich,” Peter Ustinov said and thereby contradicted the media picture “we,” the West who had to resist after being attacked without reason by barbarians. The history of the West is sold to us as a success story of democracy, the constitutional state, and capitalism. Actually, it is a history of countless wars and war crimes, state terrorism, torture, exploitation, and destruction.
The so-called western values seem to be military values. Syria is the 14th Islamic country bombed or occupied by the US since 1980. 6 million children die before their 5th birthday every year. 3 billion have less than $2 a day for survival. A person dies of starvation every 3.6 seconds.
War Without End
by Peter Jaeggi, 12/7/2016
The West likes to pose as the moral authority for the whole world. The West overran the world for years with disastrous and illegal wars. Often all the crimes against international law and the crimes against humanity for which the West was and still is responsible are forgotten.
Glyphosate is the Agent Orange of our time. The US accused Vietnam of attacking one of its warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. But this attack was a fiction.
President Trump – We are Witnesses of a Turn of an Era
by Jens Berger, 11/9/2016
Trump managed to stage himself as a candidate waging a crusade against the political establishment. Only 9% of the population still stand behind the elected congress in a country where established politics has hit rock bottom.
Was this a revenge of the degraded? Does politics only give more to the top 1% and lose sight of the remaining 99%? Traditional politics has no answer to these questions… Insulting voters is not competence. Neoliberal politics knows many losers and very few winners.
War on Facts
The Fatal Consequences of Fact Resistance
by Adrian Lobe, 1/26/17
The media that should have upended and embarrassed the propagandist legitimated him with billions of free advertising. The egomaniac could see China as merely the dust on his table and the global world economic collapse as an ocean breeze (translator’s note).
Trump’s War on Facts may leave behind even greater damage than Bush’s War on Terror. While Bush and Rove created a fantasy world, Trump created a never ending nightmare.
The new US president wages a war against reality and not only a war against the media. Trump is a semi-fictional figure from Reality TV. His election promises were fictional like his deportment as a Self-Made man.
Facts are inconstant and transient in his political universe. Trump’s statements should be understood for what they are: fiction. The subversion of democracy begins with the subversion of its epistemological foundations.
2017 Human Rights Report, 704 pp
by Human Rights Watch
The Dangerous Rise of Populism
Global Attacks on Human Rights Values
By Kenneth Roth,
Human rights exist to protect people from government abuse and neglect. Rights limit what a state can do and impose obligations for how a state must act. Yet today a new generation of populists is turning this protection on its head. Claiming to speak for “the people,” they treat rights as an impediment to their conception of the majority will, a needless obstacle to defending the nation from perceived threats and evils. Instead of accepting rights as protecting everyone, they privilege the declared interests of the majority, encouraging people to adopt the dangerous belief that they will never themselves need to assert rights against an overreaching government claiming to act in their name.
The appeal of the populists has grown with mounting public discontent over the status quo. In the West, many people feel left behind by technological change, the global economy, and growing inequality. Horrific incidents of terrorism generate apprehension and fear. Some are uneasy with societies that have become more ethnically, religiously and racially diverse. There is an increasing sense that governments and the elite ignore public concerns.
In this cauldron of discontent, certain politicians are flourishing and even gaining power by portraying rights as protecting only the terrorist suspect or the asylum seeker at the expense of the safety, economic welfare, and cultural preferences of the presumed majority. They scapegoat refugees, immigrant communities, and minorities. Truth is a frequent casualty. Nativism, xenophobia, racism, and Islamophobia are on the rise. This dangerous trend threatens to reverse the accomplishments of the modern human rights movement.
Rethinking Economic Policy!
by Till van Treeck, Fabian Lindner and others
The economic crisis calls for social-democratic answers. The fading mass purchasing power (in Germany) is due to the increasing inequality of income and wealth. Deregulation promotes social problems like precariousness and greater income inequality. In addition, total demand must be promoted more intensely.
Many in the US worry that an enlightened spring may not follow the capitalist winter. If corporations paid the same tax rate as under Reagan in 1995 (%33) instead of the present 22%, all public tuition could be eliminated ($160 billion annually).
If the 2400 F-35 fighter-jets are not built for $290 billion, the Saudis would not bomb Yemen with impunity and the world could breathe again!
It is our duty to hold President Trump accountable. Trump works for us. Calling himself an “environmentalist,” Trump seems above the law, operating under a different law and logic or without any clothes (like the emperor in Hans-Christian Anderson’s fairytale). The fairytale changed after the little boy shouted “But he has no clothes on!”