THE EROSION OF DEMOCRACY
Lobbyism. Increasing professional tightrope walking, the opening of the state for influence-peddlers and the Brussels paradise. Lobby Control study group presents ten theses on lobbyism.
By Lobby Control
[The following theses published 6/25/2013 are translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.freitag.de/autoren/der-freitag/die-aushoehlung-der-demokratie.]
In June 2013 the Lobby Control study group presented its “2013 Lobby Report” on the lobbyism debate in the last four years. The report included ten theses on lobbyism in Germany.
1.Lobbyism in Germany and the European Community occurs on the background of growing social inequalities and fortified power structures.
Unequal starting conditions are reinforced. Without political counteracting forces or institutional barrier, this unequal distribution of resources favors big powerful actors and endangers a democratic balancing of interests oriented in the public welfare. The pluralist ideal of a well-balanced and equal representation of interests where the best argument prevails nearly by itself is an illusion.
2.Lobbyism in its present form puts at a disadvantage those with fewer resources or access.
The growing lobby superiority of corporations and business associations threatens to marginalize ecological and social interests. Power structures within and between individual economic branches lead to decisions that are not well-balanced. As one example, the deregulation of the financial sector – as one of the causes of the most recent economic and financial crisis – was accelerated by the financial lobby. However the whole society has to bear the costs of the crisis.
3.Lobbyism has become more diverse, more particular and more professional.
With the government relocation to Berlin and the deepened European integration, the landscape of the lobby actors has expanded and diversified. The classical units lose significance. Instead many large corporations maintain their own lobby office in Berlin to exert a direct influence. Many specialized and highly professional lobby service providers sell their expertise to financially sound customers.
Besides lobby agencies, legal offices, consultants and think tanks financed non-transparently are involved in the political trade. At private universities, lobbyists learn the tools of the trade of modern lobby work… As a result, lobby work has become more expensive and more impenetrable which favors financially strong actors and makes difficult processes of political deliberation.
4.Lobbyism is more than the direct influencing of political decision-makers. Science, media and the broad public have long been the focus of lobby- and PR-campaigns.
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THE AESTHETIC IDEAL OF NEOLIBERALISM
by Roberto de Lapuente
The aesthetic of neoliberalism bids farewell to the bad in its environment. Originality and color disappear. Crud tends to make itself into an inquisition and banishes everything that cannot be adjusted into the trash of the system. Propagating the betting competition of all social monads and glorifying and biologizing this process is part of the crud.
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