All the Same – All Being New. Basic Rules of Capitalism in a World of Change

All the Same – All Being New. Basic Rules of Capitalism in a World of Change

Finally I am really working on this book⏎ , meaning: I am working on finalising the work. It is only editing a book, writing just one contribution myself. The work with the contributors: commenting and you know what is involved is done. And there is some time to come I concentrate on it: after the recent workshops and conferences and … and the visit to Vilnius to where I had to go for two PhD-students, well, since then: two doctors (they are now. Right though – never really get over the confusion with doctors, medical doctors, PhDs …).

Anyway, though an extremely short trip, leaving Munich around Lunch time on Tuesday, returning around lunchtime on Thursday, had been sufficient time to visit also the Opera House, staging Otello. Seems I entered a contemporary piece:

Esultate! L’orgoglio musulmano sepolto è in mar *

And leaving the love story aside, the “Shakespeare/Verdi collaboration” is very much also about the definition of a very specific hegemony – in a nutshell we my say that Shakespeare’s piece is about a crusade without talking much about religion. There is a tiny point that is, in some respect, too small to be even recognised: real hegemony exists only where its reason does not need to destroy the other – be it that it is already completely diminished or for the simple reason of being consistently … , well …., tamed is probably the appropriate, at least the commonly used term. Is it by chance that this is probably in some way Verdi’s most innovative opera, not working with highlights of the grand arias, not aiming on the da capo but following throughout the entire piece, nearly disrespecting even the of the (surely existing four) distinct acts.

– It is worth to mention in a side remark that going to Lietuvos Nacionalinis Pperos ir Baleto Teatras was again the special pleasure of that place: surely a stage that can well keep up with some of the most famous places, offering especially exciting arrangements. And indeed it had been a performance that surely did justice to Verdi’s strive to maintain a permanence of the tension, going through the entire performance – the accomplished hegemony as the domestication is with this something that is and that is not: a feature of daily life of which we are not aware due to its lack of highlight. We complain, protest, justify, defend positions only when it comes to the headscarf, the cross in classrooms, the war again terror … – and accept exactly these tensions because they are deeply engraved. However, there is a BUT …. as

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow’d.

So, looking at the origin, namely Shakespeare he presented another reality – another facet of the reality. (Likely) a year after publishing Othello, he published in 1623 The Taming of the Shrew

A harshly misogynistic piece? Or a piece that works with a kind of alienation, ridiculing a reality … ?- Leaving aide if it is misogynistic or not, the topic is surely going much beyond, and at the same time is closely linked with others – gender, …, and surely the modern crusades follow all the same principle, suggesting a war against evil, Goethe’s words unwillingly capturing in his Erlkoenig.

“Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.” —
“Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!**

One year between Shakespeare’s two pieces …, Goethe writing these words in 1782, roughly 150 years later and perhaps they can both seen culminating in Verdi’s opera. Why this: 1871 had been the year of national upheavals in Italy and elsewhere, the era of nation building – and this is surely nothing else than striving for hegemony, for (redefining it).

And this is currently the ‘grand narrative’, against defiance of postmodernist ‘openness’ and vacillation. The attempts and failures of establishing a new hegemonic order – looking for its structures by looking at the clash of civilisations, by looking at the structurations by accumulation regimes and the role of financialisation – and by confronting ourselves with the topic:

All the Same – All Being New. Basic Rules of Capitalism in a World of Change

All this is surely not least a question of openly dealing with nearness and distance – Petruchio telling his friend Hortensio of his strive for seeking the future

farther than at home/Where small experience grows”

The words are taken from The Taming of the Shrew but would surely be most appropriate also somewhere in Othello.

Indeed (from Otello again): 

Questa è una ragna dove il tuo cuor casca***

And being caught in such spiderweb it arises as phenomenon of a very peculiar kind that we may not even know about it, moving with it and along its single single fathom, perceiving the glutinous support as savour … – as one of the PhD-candidates lauded: ‘We are experience only 20 years of independence …’, not even thinking about the following:

By totalling up pages in the many volumes of the EU’s Official Journal of legislation we found that the EU has passed a staggering 666,879 pages of law since its inception in 1957.

The figures as such …, who knows if this is really the total – and do numbers really matter? Doesn’t another fact matter much more? The fact of seeing this as independence – a “this” which is a true hegemon standing against the people, the demos as the supposed sovereign?

Sure, it may sound strange, but after enjoying Verdi on Wednesday in Vilnius and just having left a most enjoyable performance of  The Taming of the Shrew on Sunday in Munich, strange people may leave the Bavarian State Ballet, return to the office, thinking that it may be time to return to Kant’s works, looking at his Reflections on Anthropology rather than Habermasian good-will-voluntarism. In volume 15, containing the Handschriftlicher Nachlass: Anthropologie he contends:

We are inclined to wish that vice faces more obstacles. But authoritarian and other extrinsic force would be noxious in this case before the way of thinking is generally improved. Philosophers are already by their undertakings most independent of statutes. They have to make true conventions general. Their pupils, the clergy have to mould their religion accordingly. And the education of the rulers. Rulers will attempt to institute world peace. After that the inner establishment of freedom, law and power. Subsequently educations will follow under the auspices of the common character.

Sciences do not belong to the determination of the individual but to that of humankind. The individual being has his primary determination by animalism. However, the species finds it in completion of reason, braking with the first. ****

Idealism, sure – but allowing to enter the search for realism … – enabling it to stand on its feet by looking what actually is the same and what did really change. Surely we should be careful: Muley Hassan‘s bitterness, saying

Der Mohr hat seine Arbeit getan, der Mohr kann gehen *****

is only the answer on the arrogance of one who claims to be the one rather than  being just one of many others. And such bitterness needs … education – something to be looked at one of the next days.

The only thing that remains for a while – for me – is the memory of two most beautiful events and the privilege  to be one of the cobblers, working with others for the shoes of such peace which at some stage may allow people to live a life, being educated to live it like an untamed dance ….


⏎ TOC so far

Peter Herrmann: Deciphering Globalisation – An Introduction

Paul Boccara: “We must incriminate the basic rules of capitalism

John Bellamy Foster/Robert W. McChesney: Monopoly-Finance Capital and the Paradox of Accumulation

Arno Tausch: Paul Boccara’s Analysis of Global Capitalism

Paul Boccara: The Global Crisis and Africa : Struggles for Alternatives – Alternative Financial System for North and South and Struggles to Master the Market, and for Common and Public Services or Goods, from Local to Global Levels

Judit Csoba: Goals and tools of Public Employment Programs in Hungary

Paul Boccara: Labour market, employment and unemployment policies in the European Union

Paul Boccara: What needs from Marxism?


* “Rejoice! The Mussulman’s pride is buried in the sea

** “I love you, your beautiful form entices me;
 And if you’re not willing, then I need force.”
 “My father, my father, he’s grabbing me now!
 Erl king has done me some harm!”

*** This is a spiderweb in which your heart is caught”

**** Denn wir sind schon so dazu geneigt zu wünschen, daß dem Laster mehr in den Weg gelegt würde. Aber der obrigkeitliche und andere außere Zwang würde schädlich hiebey seyn, bevor die Denkungsart allgemein verbessert würde. Die philosophen sind durch ihre Geschafte schon am meisten unabhangig von statuten. Sie müssen die wahre Grundsatze allgemein machen. Die Geistliche, ihre Schüler, müssen die Religion darnach modeln. Und die Erziehung der regenten. Regenten werden den Weltfrieden zu stiften suchen. Hernach die innere Einrichtung der Freyheit, des Rechts und der Macht. Und denn werden die Erziehungen auch unter den Augen des gemeinen Wesens geschehen.

Die Wissenschaften gehören gewiß nicht zur Bestimmung des einzelnen Menschen, aber zur Bestimmung des menschlichen Geschlechts. Der einzelne Mensch hat seine vornehmste Bestimung auf die Thierheit, aber das Ganze Geschlecht auf die Verstandesvollkommenheit, doch mit Abbruch der ersteren.

***** The moor has fulfilled his duty; the moor can leave.

Un pensiero riguardo “All the Same – All Being New. Basic Rules of Capitalism in a World of Change


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