whereabout …?

The other day I talked with Turkish colleagues – one mentioned the Ankara Agreement, making emigration easy and apparently gaining a new momentum: the opportunity to make use of a quasi-free movement being taken up by many young, qualified people (that is hat I had been told).

https: //www.swissinfo.ch/image/37930398/3×2/640/426/43d81eaeeb4ba567a36be455ccee7930/Ci/chappatte_immigration-37930404.jpg

It is funny then in the sense that young people from all countries emigrate: Turks to various EU-countries, Hungarians to the UK, Chinese to down under, Italians to Ireland, Irish to Poland, Yanks to China … though leaving it as open question to where they really move at the end … – a question if we do not accept that “somewhere” is the mental state of precarity of different forms is.

Migrants of all countries, you are united!

Though there remains the challenge of developing a truly “portable citizenship”, i.e. to become migrants not only by themselves but also for themselves.

where legal scholars and economist (should) sit at the same table

And of course, they should be joined by political scientists and politicians …

As usual, i am working on different projects, the one being the preparation of the workshop on The political economy of right wing populism, the other the question of digitisation and, of not anything else: continuing the work we started in February as part of the International scientific and practical seminar: “Occupation: Russian practice and international experience”: the book I am editing together with Vyacheslav Bobkov – we will discuss this further during the International Scientific-Practical Conference

“Instability Of Employment: Russian And International Contexts Of Changing The Legislation On Labour And Employment”

commencing tomorrow at the ФГБОУ ВПО “РЭУ им. Г.В. Плеханова” in Moscow

where I arrived a few minutes ago, coming from Anhui.

The following paragraph – the draft of a co-written contribution, that links to the different projects mentioned – may be worthwhile to be published here – taken out of its original context, valid in various contexts that characterise in my view much of the current situation in which economic greediness and acquisitiveness, political populism, and so-called hedonism alike are finding futile ground. So the para is the following:

… this is about the ‘major conflicts’ but also about the small print. One example may do suffice – in fact it is one that also shows that we are facing a thorough interpenetration, already going on for a long time, reaching seemingly unrecognised into the mentality: the common law tradition is increasingly eroding for a simple reason: “modern business” needs reliable frameworks for “mathematised rationalities” and “protestant ethics” – something that common law does not guarantee to the same extent as civil law (Romano-Germanic tradition). This is a particularly interesting example as it clearly shows the way in which accumulation regime and mode of regulation are entangled. This is expressed not only expressed in the fact of the legal regulations ‘for business’ as a system of systematic compilation and deductions (Leges Duodecim Tabularum or Duodecim Tabulae) but also in the regulatory system itself establishing the tradition of the “constitutional state” (Rechtsstaat).

Interestingly, this comes right now under pressure and is in different ways qualified, hollowing out the scope and degree of liability of the state,[1] the emphasis of individuality (including corporate social responsibility) and the accentuation of ‘governance’ as systematic deregulation of government. Such shifts can be found by way of “Global Governance”, characterised by different strands, entangled like the threats of a rope: (i) international and global organisations play increasingly a role and in tendency even openly contesting state power; (ii) not strictly “statutory” in character, there is a tendency of strong think tanks developing power positions that go far beyond the traditional role of opinion leaders: the World Economic Forum, The Bilderberg Conference and the Club de Madrid are examples, all characterised by the fact that leading representatives of big business, [former] members of governments and some mainstream ‘trendy’ academics are part of these undertakings; (iii) the traditional lines of division and distinction are frequently blurred and contested – here it is about socio-economic strata but also about boundaries of states, regions etc.; (iv) non-binding, often “think-tank-like” left-intellectual-liberal proposals; (v) critical and clientelist claims (iv) new ethics also being brought forward in organisations as the WEF, IMF, WB and Bilderberg. – It has to be said that all this does not replace objective societal structures and division; much of the effect can probably be seen as reflection of changing processes of politisation: the trend of a flattening can be seen on the one hand, establishing mechanisms of ‘presentationalism’ as dominant feature, supporting the emergence of a post-factual; on the other hand we find the push and pull effects when it comes to redefining politics as administrative issues, solely bound to factuality and rules.[2]

[1] This is still relevant even if we accept that even the Rechtsstaats-traditon strongly emphasised “The Limits of State Action” as the title of the work by Wilhelm von Humboldt suggested (see Humboldt, Wilhelm von, 1792: The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action); London: John Chapman, 1854)

[2] one has to acknowledge that there is ontologically and epistemologically a close kinship between post-truth and evidence based politics and policies, both dissecting complex truth.

… and frequently overlooked

After saying yesterday Easily Condemned, it may be time to think about what is easily overlooked, especially while sliding apparently elegantly on the surface.

The title in the Huffington Post says

Deutsche Bank è maggior fonte di rischi sistemici al mondo

and A FT-briefing tells us

Deutsche Bank hit by IMF hazard warning A report has branded the German lender as the riskiest globally significant bank on the back of its failure to pass another US Federal Reserve stress test.

Sure, there are good reasons to distrust these rankings and stress tests. But on the other hand, what comes to mind is the obvious failure of German (misled EU-) policy of externalisation. The exsanguination especially of Greece (though we should not forget Ireland, Portugal,  Spain) is not a limited strategy against one (or a few countries), but it is part of a systematic bloc-building: strengthening the centre in order to  establish and tighten a fortress that finally culminates in a complex network of systematically fostered “unequal development” (in line with TISA etc.). Andre Gunder Frank’s thesis of the “Development of Underdevelopment” finds a new confirmation, now on the changed global scale.

What Britain actually did is not so different from the EU- and German strategy: a strategy of externalisation, aiming on limiting the cost (which had been very small when considering the increasing strangulation of arms of social EUrope), while redistributing the resources as it already started, considering (so the FT-briefing) that

companies with overseas earnings or in haven sectors have benefited most, while others have announced job cuts and profit warnings

and the chancellor announcing a new easing, while Cameron now pleads for “looking beyond”, aiming on big business for big business: China, India, US and Commonwealth as fields for new harvest.

– And it still is the old story: never tidy up your own places as long as there are fields that can be devastated, i.e. fields that allow you to dump your waste. Will it work? Well, coming back to the article in the Huffington Post it is remarkable to see that

Secondo l’istituto di Washington, inoltre, il sistema bancario tedesco pone il maggior grado di rischi di contagio esterni in proporzione ai rischi interni (seguono Francia, Regno Unito e Usa).

In other words, the supposedly strong economies are not only the culprits in terms of being a danger to solidarity, but they are also the real hazard when it comes to global economic disintegration. An interesting measure that is different, seemingly of national scope only, can be found in India:

India’s 10m civil servants The government has approved a 23 per cent rise in salaries, allowances and pensions for current and former civil servants. The once-in-a-decade increase will cost about $15bn and is aimed at boosting private consumption.

Such step is likely to be globally more responsible than the European and British and American fortress building.


Two presentations coming up on the 19th of February 2016, another attempt to contribute to understanding a world (‘s development) that is apparently increasingly difficult to be comprehended – but perhaps it is easier than we think.

The one is on:

Space – A Category between Physical Extension, Economic, Re-Production and Understanding the Self

the other looks at

Precarity as Socio-Economic Transformation – New Perspectives on Social Policy

The video of the presentations will be published later.


Ah well, of course
But how obvious is it?
  • We cannot change our core Roman, or were it Greek ? values, as we subdued them by European enlightenment,
  • Smith and Bentham triumphing over Kant and the French tricolore,
  • leveling the field for the yanks who returned with their reinterpretation to Europe and …
  • … and allow today Merkel’s Schäuble to squeeze the Greek like lemons
  • and “allow” Orban’s barbed wires to cut into the veins of migrants who leave war and starvation behind before they can enter Europe
The tricolore did not say that we share with everybody – it only said we have to share something with some — selected. Some – people and countries – have to pay, so said by the slogan of the time:
  • the inner and outer periphery on which the centre can establish its affluence …. –
  • reflecting these values of individual freedom = precarious jobs
  • and equality = not allowing anybody to sleep under the bridges of Paris … – don’t we remember:
La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.
Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894)
  • and fraternity = the soup kitchens that take the place of the rights that the universal declaration of human rights failed to guarantee ….; where fraternity means redefining sleeping rough by offering a “pillow” near to the churches, softening the hardship by the pretension of a better world, the other world – and for the time being through charity, still leaving space for the question: is there a link between the (name of) the train station Termini in Rome and “its offer of sleeping rough in its protection” – the termination of dignity?
Of course, it may be that these – few – examples also “tell of a political reality far removed from Mr Tao Zhang’s “Europe(an) Dream”, inspired by historical “visions” (let’s take Delors or let’s refer to the founding-FATHERS) and believing in claims that gain much of their positivity not from their inherent greatness but from the fact of a lack of today’s power holders that do not allow to even think outside the ideological and physical fortress of the single finance market.
And of course, all this is about the European Dream which people like Riffkin have, putting like Albert the “Rheinian Model” against the rest of the world – a world order that allows and evokes worries about possibilities to continue  selling the same number of Lamborghinis, Porsches and Mercs to the empire of the middle.
Sure, when it comes to education then, we may have to deal with the
difficulty Chinese students face, particularly in the arts and social sciences, is in adopting the critical thinking that the Quality Assurance Agency insists master’s level courses must inculcate
this does, of course, not exist for European students (and lecturers alike) – used to the censorship of peer-reviewed publications and ranking systems that, to a large extent controlled by quasi-monopolist publishing houses, are very much algorithm-ised like google: write what we know, quote what we and our peers stated for many times, contend what is publicly accepted … and redefine harsh principles by using softened and softening frameworks like social investment, knowledge management and the failure of implementation of strategies … – you may easily make a rocketing career as long as you do not question the strategies themselves.
There is a wider perspective, looking at the secular issues and developments – or a perspective that is very narrow: lookig the current debates – you may take it as you like:
It surely opens a field for debate when people call for
indirectly suggesting the possibility of a national democracy which in actual fact is one of the core breaking points: the contention of the principle of nationality and externalisation – this is how the core value of European democracy worked since the ancient city states until the Fortress EUrope.
And this is the core European and EUropean value that asks if
without considering that we will not have a legitimate parliament – national or EUropean – as long as we have an economic system that leads to the permanent
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disiganno – the Triumph of Time and Truth
The critical attitude …. – sure, there is some space, though we should not forget that when Baudelaire first presented Les Fleurs du mal, he was condemned to put them aside, allowed to present them later in a revised version, leaving critique to the space of sympbolism, providing there the framework for talking about the Island of the Death (Boecklin) to where Europe seems to be moving, after facing L’angelo ferito (Hugo Simberg) – the disappointed carriers make look grimly but are not allowed to revive the hope they once have had … – not so much changed perhaps, today’s critics turning away from reality and hoping for the savour from Rome who rightly criticises that this economy kills, a critique that is turned down if and when it comes from others who ask for material changes that allow and enforce liberty, equality and fraternity.
.. stating all this does not mean not acknowledging some of the problems mentioned – it means, however, to say that they are much deeper and profound, not least reflecting the need of confronting issues that emerge from the
centre on China’s Confucian cultural tradition
with the issues that are emerging from a limited understanding of rationality that systematically crucifies its own claims and pretensions and sacrifices “Moral Sentiments” on the altar of the “Wealth of the Nations” …
No, we surely cannot change the values for anybody – not for the Chinese, not for anybody … they will pay anyway …
As long as any nation or region claims today that the specifically national or regional core values cannot be changed for those of anybody else we may easily end up as An Idiot Abroad – abroad being everywhere and anywhere, and we being everybody who is still believing in the old answers suitable for dealing with the new questions, questions that are not yet correctly formulated.


We frequently talk about neoliberalism – and the disastrous implication its proponents cause. Indeed, there is the need to criticise these policies. But preparing my presentation for Hungary, soon coming up under the title

Precarity as Part of Socio-Economic Transformation – New Perspectives

 , and of which the abstract can be found already here, I am getting another time aware of the fact how important it is, to overcome the danger not to block oneself by sohrt-termism. I pointed this frequently out, for instance when looking together with Marica Frangakis for The need for a radical ‘growth policy’ agenda for Europe at a time of crisis; or asking  if we face a Crisis and no end?, looking for the Re-embedding economy into life and nature. Already at an early stage I asked Crisis? Which Crisis? aiming on Assessing the Current Crisis in a More Fundamental Way. Ireland as a Case Study.

In empirical terms, some of this may be outdated – actually I am currently preparing also the report for the Max-Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich which I am going to visit during the upcoming weeks – it is the annual report on legal changes in Ireland.

There is one point, we may actually learn from the liberals, expressed by David Lloyd George.

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.

It may well be questioned if he, as liberal, would agree with proposals of today’s liberals – I have my doubts. But in any case, a radical shift in thinking and acting is needed, anything else will mean not more and not less than death, even if it may mean to Die Slowly:

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.
Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

There should be no place for it, for the Lentamente Muore.

Christianity – the Halloween-effect

So far we may consider us as lucky beings — as said: caught in a cage, but knowing by whom, clearly seeing the tamer, being able to find the addressee when considering resistance. Though extremely brutal at times, it is a somewhat simple mechanism, not to say: mechanics … . The cogwheels of the machines that are taking control of the body of the workers are working along the finely Taylored (yes, I know: some would like to see tailored … — I am speaking of Taylored though) lines, producing the car for the ‘Emporio Ford T’. And as much as this is a matter of production, it produces and reproduces itself in all fibres of life and living. As much as the wheels are turning the machines, they are also mechanisms that are securing what had been said before, quoting again Marx’s Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy:

For one thing, the object is not simply an object in general, but a particular object which must be consumed in a particular way, a way determined by production. Hunger is hunger; but the hunger that is satisfied by cooked meat eaten with knife and fork differs from hunger that devours raw meat with the help of hands, nails and teeth. Production thus produces not only the object of consumption but also the mode of consumption, not only objectively but also subjectively. Production therefore creates the consumer.

This is winding up the entire life then:

I wind up a clock, I wind up a chain at the chain of the web at the loom, I wind up the automatic toy: Everywhere it is about mechanical activities, dealing with things: unresisting and lifeless.[1]

This is a short passage from Victor Klemperer, written is his notebook of a philologist, dealing with the LTI, the Lingua Tertii Imperii — and he writes it with reference to the language of the “German Reich”. There the term Aufziehen, winding up had been frequently used to describe the way the fascists had been winding up people, human beings. — Frightening brutality, and still allowing naming the adversary.


words can be like tiny doses of arsenic: they are swallowed without that one is getting aware of it, seemingly they do not show any effect, but some time later the poisonous action is virulent.[2]

Is that the step that stands at the end of such a terror regime? Or is it just the foundation on which another regime is erected, seemingly a completely different one?

I watched a film — Yanis mentioned it once and I thought it could be worthwhile to learn about the Invasion of the body snatchers.

Frightening — especially as I switched directly after the end of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers to the other film, seeing (one may say) the opposite: The human bodies seemingly snatching the body of the machine, though actually being absorbed by it. This does not happen to the body snatchers: they are really “taking over” — a so-called thriller, but extremely weary when confronting it with the Chaplin film which I watched just after the Invasion

Right at the beginning of the Modern Times, at minute 1:13 ff., we see the shift from the sheep brought to the shambles to the workers now being tied into the e ‘Emporio Ford T‘  … .

As explained on the 12th of September 2015 in an article

Digital Taylorism. A modern version of “scientific management” threatens to dehumanise the workplace

in the Economist

Taylor’s appeal lay in his promise that management could be made into a science, and workers into cogs in an industrial machine. The best way to boost productivity, he argued, was to embrace three rules: break complex jobs down into simple ones; measure everything that workers do; and link pay to performance, giving bonuses to high-achievers and sacking sluggards.

Seen in this light, next the Emporio Armani comes to mind — and all the similar No Logo empires, tayloring in at least two new ways:

The one may be seen as simple form of “imagined inversion of body-snatching”: wearing the Armani skin, walking on the Nikely across the catwalk, following the time as it is set by Patek Philippe, looking at the Swarovski glamour through Gucci-eyes, the head, carried by the gym-athleticised body, the eyes produly peeping out of the makeup-made up face — who knows what is real what is fake, who can know it as we finally are all critical about GM-food and environmental protection and the logo-industries, now presented on the perfected catwalk that hides behind google-algorithms being against GM-food of course allow us to drive the GM-vehicle. The new show is about ourselves, the new “We”, digitally taylored and finally gaining its real form: the total fiction.

Indeed, the other form of tayloring goes beyond simple body snatching and is about Identity Theft. It can only be understood if we honestly consider our own readiness of giving identity away, in the extreme revealed by the Confessions of a Shopaholic (Just ignore the kitschy Happy End) — the extreme form that most of us can avoid, however, without avoiding the form itself: the fiction of the Pearly Gates replaced, taking the form of the shiny imagination of fictive money within the brute world of fictive capital.

It is reflected by Adorno, stating in his Minima Moralia

The trick consists of certifying and expressing the fact that private property no longer belongs to one person, in the sense that the abundance of consumer goods has become potentially so great, that no individual [Individuum] has the right to cling to the principle of their restriction; that nevertheless one must have property, if one does not wish to land in that dependence and privation, which perpetuates the blind continuation of the relations of ownership. But the thesis of this paradox leads to destruction, a loveless lack of attention for things, which necessarily turns against human beings too; and the antithesis is already, the moment one expresses it, an ideology for those who want to keep what is theirs with a bad conscience. There is no right life in the wrong one.

And indeed, the damaged life about which Adorno wrote was located in the damaged world of the after WWII, the world the post-fascist period — still exposing with Adenauer in Germany, McCarthy in the USNA, Kurt Waldheim in the UN, the world being nearly driven to war as the self-proclaimed world-gendarme felt threatened by the Sputnik, end even more so by the Cubans the womb from which it emerged —, this world was founded in the 80/20 rule, mentioned previously. But even this developed further, the 80/20 replaced, or should one say: refined by the 99/1 rule: the oligarchy of the 1 percent, ruling the 99 percent.

The paradox is that the ruling classes themselves obviously lost control – no sympathy, no pity; though perhaps hope? Wolfgang Streeck importantly asked the question

Has Capitalism Seen its Day?

He points out five aspects characterising a crisis of capitalism that mark the potential end: Core of his definition of capitalism is his reference to a “social order build on a promise of boundless collective progress xyz” And the following are the five aspects highlighted in the presentation.

  • The crisis of growth, giving way to stagnation
  • The increasing inequality of the distribution of the remaining growth
  • The reference of the money economy to a growing mountain of promises that are becoming less likely to become true
  • The at least three major crisis the capitalist centre has undergone since the 1970s, namely a matter of inflation, public finances and private debt
  • The inability of the regulatory system to provide satisfying answers.[3]

— Of course, the imaginary plastic world, the identity theft and body snatching can at least serve as metaphor of such “new world (order)”. Perhaps this is so scary real that we have to distract ourselves by going for something really scary these days.

Coming back to that “wrong life”, we see that it gets even further distracted by the fact that the bodies are snatched, now it is better to say: obsessed by the ideas of a certain omnipotence of the alienated existence: on the one hand it is about replacing real life, real experience, real learning by projection on a canvas. Well, you may learn to fly your DIY-aircraft with your DIY-pilot license and you face a heart-attack because after your DIY-economics course you miscalculated the energy consumption of the plane, now being afraid to crash … — don’t worry, you can solve the problem as you surely attended the course on advanced cardiac life support. It is the blackboard-leaning method par excellence.

Politically we are caught in the idea of globality, a state of immeasurableness — the problem is only that we are limited in our understanding of the actual meaning: “We” claim easily for us, and start screaming, shouting, erecting fences as soon as “they” claim the same right. We still lead the debate on ius sanguinis versus ius soli, mixed with a notion of ius culturae, having difficulties with accepting that the “we” has now a completely different meaning:

Et la voix prononce que l’Europe nous a pendant des siècles gavés de mensonges et gonflés de pestilences, car il n’est point vrai que l’œuvre de l’homme est finie que nous n’avons rien à faire au monde que nous parasitons le monde qu’il suffit que nous nous mettions au pas du monde mais l’œuvre de l’homme vient seulement de commencer et il reste à l’homme à conquérir toute interdiction immobilisée aux coins de sa ferveur et aucune race ne possède le monopole de la beauté, de l’intelligence, de la force et il est place pour tous au rendez-vous de la conquête et nous savons maintenant que le soleil tourne autour de notre terre éclairant la parcelle qu’à fixée notre volonté seule et que toute étoile chute de ciel en terre à notre commandement sans limite.

This so well said by Aime Cesaire in his book on the return to the country of birth. Indeed, such “we” has to have understood in a new way, as I ventilated in an interesting discussion with Nadia early this year after the Thinkshop of Laboratorio Expo “Perspectives on Agency and Participation“, which took place on the 15th and 16th of May at the Institute of Advanced Study (IUSS), in Pavia — as summary of the debates will soon be published under the title

You, me and the ‘WE’: Global Responsibility

on the Feltrinelli/EXPO-site.

There I concluded the considerations, surely very much stimulated and enlightened by Nadia, saying

What I kind of propose is a positive notion at the end. I think it happened on the 15th of May about 400 years ago that the Treaty of Westphalia had been signed, I remember the date, but not the year — 1648 was it? It has basically always been seen as the point of beginning of nation building, of the establishment of constitutions and of the modern nation state. Let’s consider this: before, we did not have a nation state. So the optimist part of this is: we did manage for a long time without the nation state, perhaps it is the time now to say that we can do without the nation state again today. It does not mean falling back in time to before 1600, but it may be that we have to look more at the levels of power and redefine the power of global, international organisations: the European Union, the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations and their regional bodies, the recently declared new Global Goals: there has already been quite some development in this respect and I think through these bodies, taking up what you just said, we need to make aware of the importance, of the content, of the challenge there is. As I said, we cannot do without it, but we have to better define what we want to do with it. And I think this is the point now on which we should focus when talking about urban, environmental or economic sustainability, and of social responsibility.

And talking then about any ius culturae can only be valid when we are ready to think about a new culture, leaving behind, overcoming the arrogance of the centre-right, i.e. the right of the centre to act as standard for the rest of the world. The right has to be one that is not based on centre and periphery, but the right of overcoming those categories. And we may even say the right to overcome categorical thinking. The right of living Multiple Identities as the maestro does …

Do we still not know what Confucius stated as simple principle of learning?

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.

Actually, I think we do know and I saw it the other day in the eyes of 章熟艏. We talked about e-leaning, computer courses and …, then she asked me who would be teaching her next semester. I told her and I saw her joy when I said it would be a human being, not a computer.

It is still time to escape the body snatchers – if we manage to resist them.

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. (Leonardo da Vinci)



[1] A longer quote here from the German text


Ich ziehe eine Uhr auf, ich ziehe die Kette eines Gewebes am Webstuhl auf, ich ziehe ein automatisches Spielzeug auf: überall handelt es sich um mechanische Tätigkeit, die an einem widerstandslosen, leblosen Ding ausgeübt wird.

Vom automatischen Spielzeug, dem drehenden Brummkreisel, dem laufenden und nickenden Tier, führt der Weg zur metaphorischen Anwendung des Ausdrucks: ich ziehe einen Menschen auf. Das heißt: ich necke ihn, ich mache ihn zur komischen Person, zum Hampelmann; Bergsons Erklärung des Komischen, es bestehe in der Automatisierung des Lebendigen, findet sich hier durch den Sprachgebrauch bestätigt.

Gewiß ist „Aufziehen“ in diesem Sinn ein zwar harmloses, aber doch ein Pejorativ. (So nennt der Philologe jede „verschlechterte“ oder verringerte Wortbedeutung; der Kaisername Augustus, der Erhabene, ergibt als Pejorativ den dummen August, den Zirkusclown.) (Victor Klemperer, LTI – Notizbuch eines Philologen (1947) Oktober 2012 in Allgemein, eBooks, Exzerpte und Sprachen

[2]      Or in the original by Klemperer

Worte können sein wie winzige Arsendosen: sie werden unbemerkt verschluckt, sie scheinen keine Wirkung zu tun, und nach einiger Zeit ist die Giftwirkung doch da.

[3]            Sure, it still needs an agent — Streeck does not discuss this. And I will not discuss this shortcoming as it would end not least in a critical debate of social-democraticism.



Crisis – looking forward

Attac Germany (where I am member of the scientific board) published as special contribution (AutorInnenBeitraege) a contribution I had been asked to write for this section. It deals with the crisis – but tries to do so by way of elaborating the needs and potentials of moving forward by going fundamentally beyond the mainstream proposals.

The article is written in German language under the title

Peter Herrmann

Krise und (k)ein Ende

A (not only) translation into English can be requested from the author. A translation into Italian is in preparation

Lost Generation – Finding Future? Challenges for Youth Policy

After just having finished drafting a document under the title

Crisis and a/n/o [and/no] end?

I am now preparing the conference in Moscow later, in a way the application of the topic. It is titled

Lost Generation – Finding Future? Challenges for Youth Policy.

The thesis which I will present is very much reflecting the fact that the current structural crisis means especially for young people total exclusion, establishing a lost generation. However, it may well have another meaning, namely offering a door to overcome the deep structural weakness of capitalism: investment programmes etc may help to reinstall to some extent the status quo ex ante, however such programmes will not be able to make use of the huge productive potential that today’s societies waste: inequality needs to be addressed by fundamental redistribution, redistribution has to be oriented on changing the process of production and opening doors to its real creative potentials overcoming the limited understanding of production, reducing it on a narrow economic understanding of commodity (and profit) production – we have to look the at the processes of producing and reproducing social relationships.

Indeed, another world is possible ….


See in this context the still interesting publication:

Burgess, Paul/Herrmann, Peter (eds.): Highways, Crossroads and Cul de sacs. Journeys into Irish Youth & Community Work. A Reader; Bremen: Europäische Hochschulschriften, 2009


Dear Mr Juncker … ;-)

History is not a matter of repetition; and it is true that at times there are coalitions that would not haven thought of at other times …

The following may be usefully considered when thinking about EU investment policies today

“Forgive the candour of these remarks. They come from an enthusiastic well-wisher of you and your policies. I accept the view that durable investment must come increasingly under state direction. […] I regard the growth of collective bargaining as essential. I approve minimum wage and hours regulation. I was altogether on your side the other day, when you deprecated a policy of general wage reductions as useless in present circumstances. But I am terrified lest progressive causes in all the democratic countries should suffer injury, because you have taken too lightly the risk to their prestige which would result from a failure measured in terms of immediate prosperity. There need be no failure. But the maintenance of prosperity in the modern world is extremely difficult; and it is so easy to lose precious time.
I am, Mr President
Yours with great respect and faithfulness,
J.M. Keynes

from John Maynard Keynes (1938), “Letter of February 1 to Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” in Collected Works XXI: Activities 1931-1939 (London: Macmillan).