On the 2018 Day of Labor, many were worried. No one can deny digitalization affects work. Artificial intelligence greatly changes professions and whole branches. Well-paid jobs become scarcer. Rebuilding the social state seems necessary for demographic and digitalization reasons. Capital’s blind flight through history is ending.
Work and Digitalization and A Corpse Governs Society
by Sascha Lobo and Alfred Baumann
According to the ACLU, the Corker-Kaine bill is “broader and more dangerous than the current law.” Article 1 of the US Constitution grants Congress the exclusive right to declare war. The new edition of the AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force) undermines this to the maximum.
China’s 6.9% Growth: The Superiority of the Plan
by Fred Schmid, 1/28/2018
China has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty thanks to the opening of the economy. In 1978, 90% of the 800 million Chinese lived below the absolute poverty line of $1.90 a day. Today, forty years later, there are `only’ 43 million, three percent of the population of 1.4 billion. The hourly wage of workers has tripled since 2006 from $1.20 to $3.60.
Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard offer indispensable perspectives on history and human possibility. Bonhoeffer said the ultimate is the goal of the penultimate and that the language of proclamation enters crossway to the language of time.
We are living in late-stage capitalism where economics eclipses and dominates politics and the part is confused with the whole. Speculation is normalized, the public is overtaken by privatization, tax avoidance is a growing industry, and education, housing, and healthcare become privileges.
The US is in a “running amok” stage where language and democracy are endangered and in the intensive care unit. The wealthiest 400 in the US have more wealth than 150 million! Compromise, concessions and countermeasures are vital necessities after 40 years of corporate subsidies. Profits have exploded while investments have stagnated. Instead of learning from other countries and cultures, the elites seem drunk on exceptionality and see wealth and profit as magic elixirs.
In November, the voters will have the chance to turn from market worship and profit worship to single payer health insurance and a social contract. Elections and the rights and dignity of the poor are tests. Life is turned upside down when only the owners of capital are accorded rights. I see interdependence and humility as strengths and plutocracy as a dystopia. We were warned by Orwell, Huxley, Jesus and the Jewish prophets. We have the horrid example of Hitler who said the world was laughing at Germany and the press was the enemy of the people.
Bonhoeffer said we are inescapably fragments and can only look forward to moments of wholeness and liberation. The key is theology and not archaology, seeing ourselves as part of an infinite evolving reality of wonder, exuberance, mystery, surprise, paradox, irony, and scandal. Hope is like the immigrant, regarded as unnecessary and requiring changing our perspectives! No hay contradicion Christianismo y revolution (Camilio Torres); there is no contradiction between Christianity and revolution!
Hope like the immigrant is inconvenient and calls to new priorities and policies.
Faith is more interruption than custom. One act of obedience, said the German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, can be more important than a thousand sermons.
The dark clouds are starting to howl.
I’m going back to my plough (Elton John).
Elections and the dignity of the poor are tests.
Life and government may run amok when only the owners of capital have enforceable rights and the food stamp necessity is mocked instead of respected and strengthened.
Reducing working hours is key for assuring everyone the right to meaningful work, for increasing time sovereignty and better long-term health! God waits to be gracious to us!
When the state trusts citizens, citizens trust the state, said Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister
The security state is a distortion of the constitutional state and is marked by the generalization of fear, the depolitization of citizens, and demogogic claims of supreme leaders.
Trump created his own reality when he spoke of Iran as a threat to the world and described the 100 missiles as “beautiful missiles.”
The Horror clown could bring the world to the edge of the abyss and doesn’t care about the Syrian people, international law, the Children’s Health Insurance or the rights and dignity of the poor.
There should be robust discussions of pluralist economics and reduced working hours, post-growth, post-fossil and post-patriarchal economies. Progressive taxation, closing tax havens and sharing the benefits of productivity, dignitalization and information technology could create new revenues and new possibilities. Community centers (like the 26 in Vancouver B.C.) have multiplier and cushioning effects!
more at citizen.org, www.openculture.com, www.grin.com and www.onthecommons.org
“In October 1962, John F. Kennedy, a level-headed president, sat in the White House and spoke with the Soviet leader Khrushchev through a “back channel” behind the backs of his generals and secret service and prevented Cuba’s bombing and invasion. Today, the generals must keep their president from panic reactions instead of the opposite.”
The missile attack carried out by the US, France, and Great Britain in April 2018 in Syria was actually again in violation of international law.
Antje Vollmer is a Green politician who was vice-president of the German Bundestag from 1994 to 2005. She urges a robust public debate over the new hard-line German foreign policy that forgets the war and Russian help in German reunification. Detente policy is supported more by the population than by politicians and journalists.
What has the policy of regime change brought? Sanctions are always at the expense of the population, ruin political economies and lead politically to an extreme estrangement between the states.
In what phase is NATO’s confrontation with Russia? Contrary to a promise to Gorbachev, NATO expanded eastward from 16 to 28 states. A military system is built along Russia’s border. Military maneuvers with 10,000 soldiers are staged at Russia’s border. Imagine Russia carrying out such a maneuver at the Mexican border to the US! Why does the US media never mention the US coup in the Ukraine in 2014 or the US regime change in Honduras in 2009?
The market accepts and rejects like a Calvinist God. The market only promises itself. Its highest good is the economic boom. The Christian God’s reign was not of this world. In contrast, market theocracy makes this side into something otherworldly. The cult of money and the commodity eclipses the outlandishness and absurdity of all its predecessors.
In the figure of Bonaparte, the state made itself independent over society at a time when the bourgeoisie lost the capacity to rule the nation and the working class had not yet gained that ability. Aren’t conditions similar nowadays in the many de-industrialized regions of the US, England, Germany or Poland?
Marx traced how the class struggle in France created conditions that enabled mediocre and grotesque persons to play the hero’s role. The whole world cheered him as the deliverer of society, Marx wrote about Bonaparte’s effect in his time.
“Russia acts out of a strategic defensive and does not pursue an aggressive, expansive policy. It will defend itself against a policy of Nato that sees it as aggressive. A policy of strength does not help overcome this dangerous situation…
The steps to detente must start from western states because they clearly regard themselves as wiser and morally superior… That Nato is willing to rethink must be one of the visible signs.”