Uploaded also this text now, dealing with the Vatican Spring on ‘my’ researchgate-site – kind of old stuff, though still of interest I suppose, reflecting on the limits of a ‘new catholicism’. As such it is also relevant as reflection of the limited meaning of religious ‘revolutionary claims’.


revista interdisciplinar revistaentelequia.wordpress.com

Peter Herrmann *



Tanto en los discursos de —o acerca de— la economía como en los discursos de —y acerca de— la ética se puede observar una evidente abstinencia mutual, y esto independientemente de la orientación política. Y si un lado reconoce la existencia del otro, suele ser más para identificarlo como su antagonista. Este prefacio, que se centra en la pregunta de si un ‘nuevo fantasma recorre el mundo’ desde la elección de Jorge Mario Bergoglio como máximo Pontífice —el espectro de una orientación católica fundamentalmente renovada— se propone discutir ese ‘despertar’ sugerido por muchos comentaristas desde una perspectiva más amplia. Al adoptar un punto de vista más amplio, llegamos a la conclusión de que existe una cierta necesidad de increpar al individualismo y al economismo desde una perspectiva ética, pero que esos reproches quedan muy cuestionables mientras no analicen y critiquen los fundamentos estructurales de tales ‘aberraciones’. Y concluye que seguramente existe la necesidad y el espacio para un ‘renacimiento de la ética’, pero que esto sólo se puede alcanzar por medio de la intervención colectiva y de procedimientos legislativos, no por la dicha de la oración. Si el cambio pretende ser sostenible, deberá de ser drástico, mucho más que ligeros rasguños en la superficie; y si el cambio pretende ser justo, deberá de ser estructural en lugar de moral.

Palabras clave: Iglesia Católica, ética, economía, reforma, sociedad.


Of course, there is never then side or the other only, never the ‘deep-black’ or the ‘bright-white’[1] – and there remains and increases the concern when it comes to Mr Trump. There is another concern – and the reader may know that it haunts me in very general terms.

Trump then …, or actually today not but Francis and both in Rome. We learn from telesurtv

Trump curiously gifted the Pope a book of Martin Luther King’s writings, while the Pope returned the gesture by giving the U.S. president a copy of his climate change encyclical.

Now I am posing the question again: honesty, symbolic politics and meaning: what is the possible meaning of a pope’s words on climate change, as long as he allows a person like Trump to cross the doorsteps? A person, passing on words of a pacifist who pursued the ideas of non-violence, while building violent walls of nationalism against his opponents. And actually the formulation should be more precise: as long as the Vatican is itself a fortress, securing its ‘monarchial power’ behind a high and barely surmountable wall (leaving aside that I occasionally walked in and out without hassle, though hardly entering its centre).

– BTW, it should not be forgotten that a large part of the ‘black movement’ in the USNA actually pursued the ideas of a strong world power, however one that is black and white … obviously a long way to go for the really colourful for all.


It may be seen as tiny detail, though of huge interest – symbolically. Looking at Frances schedule for the 24th we see the following:


What does it say? First the leaders – then the people. And in the rome case, ‘audience’ means two sides speaking, in the other it means: one side talking, the other listening … – In the one case it had been about

… cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations …

In the other case it was about bringing two brothers together:

Il segreto della strada che conduce a Emmaus è tutto qui: anche attraverso le apparenze contrarie, noi continuiamo ad essere amati, e Dio non smetterà mai di volerci bene. Dio camminerà con noi sempre, sempre, anche nei momenti più dolorosi, anche nei momenti più brutti, anche nei momenti della sconfitta: lì c’è il Signore. E questa è la nostra speranza. Andiamo avanti con questa speranza! Perché Lui è accanto a noi e cammina con noi, sempre!

– may be as excuse for previous meeting or may be as hoping for the cunning of reason?

Well, walls …

  • —-

[1]            not talking about bride, bribe bridling ….

forward, right- or upwards or where should we go?

Yesterday we stood a step back from the abyss … – today we are looking for The progressive way, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the EU.

It is frightening that the linked article, explicitly claiming a social democratic orientation, is even opened by a photo, making direct reference to the pattern that has in the meantime even a name: Trumpism or Trumponomics.
Is this really the way to go?
All this, including the address with which the pope addressed yesterday the heads of state of a somewhat crumbling EU-member states, comes just in time while I am preparing both, the teaching of an intensive course on European Integration at the University of Vienna, department of political science end of the coming month, and a debate at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foudation to which I want to contribute later this year.
There are some short reflections and questions that come to my mind.
  • Why can’t we move back, taking up on the traditions?
  • But do we really have to move forward instead, forgetting about the old wisdom that characterises linearity in economic thinking
  • There is more to be done, and in particular there is still some serious thinking to be done, resisting a subjectivist and voluntarist turn – be it to the right or also left populism, the one aiming on making nations great again, the other on making the EU great again.
  • And it is surely also about the rejection of platitudes, equalising right and left populism in a way in which earlier in history the thesis of totalitarism was put forward – there is surely left populism though it is surely an issue that needs some reflection – interesting is at least when ISI [import substitution industrialisation] is rejected while such sides rarely question the manifold ways of subsidies and new indirect protectionism of multi-speed policies. And equally interesting that such proposal of an entrepreneurial state is indeed something that made an earlier proponent, namely J. A. Schumpeter and his opus magnum highly contestable.
My tiny and humble contribution, planned to make the next 60 years something of which the positive results, which surely had been made already, are more then appreciated side effects of a structurally defunct model are outlined in the following:
Some of this employs my thinking in the realm of economics, under the title
– in close cooperation with Vyacheslav Bobkov from the Plekanov University in Moscow, currently as well with the College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou and it is also playing a role in some preparation of this years G20, I have to do.
Another strand is employing me already now, and especially from September onwards, when taking up work at the Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik/Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy under the title
Still, at the moment it is about teaching students economics – and a decisive challenge remains to resist the number-crunching mind snatchers in a tiny village at the coastline of Wales, even unable to communicate, but trying to creep into the CORE.
see also here for some small but important action

Spring …

A short text – published in German language – is titled

Frühling nach dem Winter – oder Trost in der Eiszeit?

and published in the recent edition of future2. Zeitschrift fuer Strategie & Entwicklung in Gesellschaft und Kirche (Journal for strategy&development in society and church)

The article is in particular discussing more recent developments of the catholic church. It does not aim on providing a systematic analysis. Instead, the aim is to look for the potentials of different societal movements to join forces aiming on societal change.
The abstract reads as follows.
Die Gedanken lassen sich zwar auf Religion und Kirche insgesamt beziehen, hängen sich aber vor allem an einigen jüngeren Entwicklungen der katholischen Kirche auf. Ziel ist nicht eine systematische Analyse, die weit mehr Platz benötigen würde1. Mehr geht es darum, einige Fragen aufzuwerfen, deren Beantwortung ein gemeinsames Handeln verschiedener gesellschaftlicher Kräfte ermöglichen.
Other contributions on this topic can be found here on Social Pedagogy and Liberation Theology and on The Vatican Spring.

New Publication: Social Pedagogy and Liberation Theology

Social Pedagogy and Liberation Theology; in: Kornbeck, Jacob/Úcar, Xavier (eds.)
Latin American Social Pedagogy: Relaying Concepts, Values and Methods between Europe and the Americas
Approaching the topic liberation theology is of some difficulty as for the non-catholic layperson the tension is actually located on a level that stands at the very core of reflection about theology. Two completely different positions can be brought forward: on the one hand it may be proposed that theology and liberation are in some fundamental way exclusive as much as religion is seen being in principle non-emancipative  … On the other hand then we find the position that we are actually dealing with a unit, or even identity of theology and liberation …
See for more details:

The Murderer and the Victims

In particular in recent times remarks are concerning in particular the catholic church … . Though there is on the one hand the fear when it comes to religious fundamentalism, many initiatives taken by the current pope are celebrated – and indeed I joined a little bit in, asking in the title of a contribution for the Primavera vaticana?, i.e. Vatican Spring. Now there had been the one celebrated ‘Spring’ in the recent times which turned out to be the beginning of a hot autumn. And though there are the surely critical remarks and initiatives as not least in the Evangelli Gaudium and the Laudatio Sì and also the recent proposals in connection with abortion and divorce, one should not overlook that these can well be a threat: on the one hand a kind of Trojan horse; on the other hand a suicidal fuse, provoking fundamentalist catholics to start a palace coup. Well, in any case, much could be said and documented, also on the modern way inquisition – I found an article recently, and of course did not store it, post it …

With all this, I find another thing pretty interesting point: I received a hint on a BBC cast, specifically on China, even promising the unveiling of the Secrets of China. A young presenter. Indeed, she reveals some interesting stuff, gives some insight into real life of some people. I think she is much too positive in some way: on young people, the gambling addiction etc, youth issues – too positive and somewhat naïve. So I checked up on the presenter as I found it interesting to see such a young presenter being so …, well, in some instances ‘critical (which can be translated into conservative) about how young people live today’, the life of her own generation. The result – if this is her: she walked some … let’s say: ‘strange paths’, and if she would not have been as lucky as she has been, she would be at this stage in prison, undergo a drug detox treatment or already at the stage of addiction therapy – or worse: without it; in some way she is still behaving in the same way though she has now other ways with exactly the reputation these starlet producers provide and is now starting a career as ‘everything’: documentaries, fashion, activism …, as a veil and wrap of nothing else than the old habits, now ‘authorised’ by the Holy grail of BBC, fashion magazines and others ….

There is no reason to contest what is stated; and there are also some moments where one mentions the genuine approach and ‘empathy’ of the documentarist. The actually shocking about this is that it is not really about China: it is a ‘slow motion picture’ of many developments [including cosmetic surgeries, gaming and computer addiction, drugs, a lost youth, the pressure from careerism and (threat of) unemployment] which in western societies are now regretted, and faced with helpless despair, currently in part taken over in China, where inequality can easier be seen as ‘we’, the folks in the wild west are usually somewhat used to it, intoxicated by the Hello-press or to overlook it or are not able to see it easily as they happen in secret corners or where we cannot see them due to ‘commercial censorship’. We are somewhat used to it to such an extent that we often do not even hesitate when reading the paper like the Corriere della Sera: The edition of September 3rd showed on page 6 an article on Le tragedie in uno scatto, horrible photos, including the famous from the Vietnam war, showing the naked child, screaming and running away from the US-Napalm-bomb source of its pain and on page 7 we see an ad: Emporio Armani. – Yes, if reading the name it may sound a bit like the story about an armed empire, the arms being those of designer and finance capitalism – and we know that ‘this economy kills’ as Francis said. Sure, if you ‘join the wrong forces’ and are on the losers end, they will still gain, literally make profit after sending you to jail – saying all this in connection with a critique of the China-series is just saying this and has nothing to do with China, let alone the defence of any political past or presence. Still, it is worthwhile to read the ‘official critique‘ of the series … – there is surely some good reason for stating that


‘Professional media practice,’ the Xinhua commentary reads, ‘should be to interview sociologists… and education experts to give authoritative explanations; but the BBC has not done this.’ Instead, they say the programme ‘selectively uses non-mainstream phenomena to give subjective judgements the impression of objectivity.’

What we can learn from the series, though not necessarily outspoken, is that there is a China that is now kept out of the roundelay of the centre states in different ways. Andre Gunder Frank’s thesis, suggesting the Development of Underdevelopment has surely not completely lost its value also for analysing today’s (under)developments. And surely the series could have shown (it is stated in parenthesis) that it is exactly this fact leading to many of the problems: an over-stressed youth extreme inequality and so on: the attempt to build another armed empire or even to take over the existing one even if the arms are not the traditional ones but now those of brands and designs. But when it comes to talking about empires, it is still too often forgotten that the Most Violent Nation is indeed to be found in another corner of the world – and the violence there is really penetrating the entire society, coined by a high degree of feeling supremacy as ultimate characteristic of the state and the nation. This surely is somewhat different to what we read in the Diplomatic Words of Wisdom.

It may be far fetched, but interestingly: the UN-resolution on Debt Restructuring (I did not find it, only reports on it) had been adopted by a majority but against countries where the most important forces are referring to be servants of religious faith, in particular USNA and FRG. And it is a country where Christianity plays a major role, also in the reference of the relevant power holder (Hungary), now beginning to move military forces to the border to ‘solve’ the problem of migration. And …, well, it was also the Christians who did not allow critiques in West Germany of the 1970s entering state services, Christians who are again attempting to close Corvinus university in Budapest (or at least the relevant part of critical work there) while they are putting up barbed wire and engaging the army against migrants … and who make (with reference to god and the good will and hope) empty promises which let people end up on the street…

Surely a beginning only

It is surely not a complete analysis of the encyclical letter which is due to be published today. But one thing seems to be striking: it continues to dichotomise economy and ecology, only demanding taking responsibility FOR nature. 

Quando si analizza l’impatto ambientale di qualche iniziativa economica , si è soliti conside- rare gli effetti sul suolo, sull’acqua e sull’aria, ma non sempre si include uno studio attento dell’impatto sulla biodiversità, come se la perdita di alcune specie o di gruppi animali o vegetali fosse qualcosa di poco rilevante.

(Para 35)
Shouldn’t we move further, looking for responsibility IN nature?
Indeed there are several instances in the letter that suggest a too technical understanding to the real social responsibility, i.e. a responsibility that sees nature as an inherent part of the social existence.

Difficult questions and the surely important contribution of the 






will offer many impulses for a hopefully productive debate.
… Camminare insieme … 

con tutte le nostre differenze 

The Beauty and the Beast – or: Variations on the Seemingly Eternal

I admit, I did not expect that the question of the Beauty and the Beast would have so many different manifest facets, but I would always have assumed many hidden facets and we rarely think about them, and perhaps even barely recognise them. Some of these meanings may come across in a modern-dusted gown, others in old fancy dresses – of course I am aware of such formulation standing against the general expectation which usually sees dust on the old and fanciness with the new.

Be it so, I suggest starting with some patchwork snippets.

* The Beauty and the Beast – Crusades: the world of lords, knights, foot-soldiers, peasants: suggesting the fancy world of a suggested good: the One Lord reigning eternity, a holy empire for secularity, being an empire of holiness with gods, angels, gnomes and fairies …, presenting itself as mystical for some, but as simple and massive power block for others.

* The Beauty and the Beast – it is[1] about palaces and hovels: the world of glory, of glamour, first derived from gods; then derived from people’s votes; and frequently based on pure violence, all being seen as matter of power: the possession of ultimate control, all this standing against the corners, hidden, though they do not have anything to hide, suppressed though people are already living very much on the bottom, first supposed by gods as “his will” is that we are deprived from material goods which would distract from god; then seen as consequence of people’s decisions: the lack of work-ethics, the failure to show eagerness …, the refusal to serve the goods in form of commodities, and the adherence to the gods, seen as values of humane existence, worshipping justice and hoping for solidarity; and very often based on pure violence: open or structural, the force of competition of the pure market-society, people deprived from rights as much as labour is deprived from its social character – a disembedded economy.

– We may halt for a second as there seems to be another side to it: the lonely emperor, suffering from his old clothes, and the rich peasant, not controlling much, but at least controlling the little according to the own will. Much had been said about the happiness and the paradoxes, not only starting with the work presented by Richard Easterlin and the critique of the same – but too little had been said that the rat race is, or becomes at some stage purely capitalism as perversion, and nothing else: the production of waste, the perversion of its own rules and the perversion of people’s life – further topped by celebrating such perversion by a kind of exhibitionism.

* The Beauty and the Beast – new identities: in the society of No Logo the logo counts, and though there is still value to things in terms of their use, this use is shifting increasingly to a symbolic instance, the so called positional goods – the use of defining and allocating oneself, thus generating the social on a secondary, derived level: not the direct interaction as production and reproduction of everyday’s life as metabolism with nature, but the possession of goods: commodities, power and control over nature is “what counts”.

The old economy is “factory based” and “capabilities driven” and hence “production-focused” an manufacturing actual products

– and we should not forget: also on enjoying these products, nor should we forget that all this is also about hard work and suspension of gratification and satisfaction and maintaining, even reinforcing the Victorian distinction between the deserving and the non-deserving poor

while the new economy is “consumer based” and “consumer-focused” and hence concerned not with manufacturing products but “creating brands”.[2]

There is surely much to be discussed in the connection with all this and some had been pointed out earlier: the supposed facts, the analysis and the interpretation. Not least we have to consider

[t]hat defence [of traditional livelihoods] is easily supported by an anticapitalist Left in opposition, and has been adopted by the current World Forum Movement: ‘We do not want development. We just want to live’, declared a front-stage banner at the World Social Forum in Mumbai in 2004.

(Therborn, Gøran, 2008: From Marxism to Post-Marxism?; London/New York; Verso: 35)

As already stated elsewhere,

Of course, we should not overlook the inherent danger – and in particular looking back to Ireland as one of the pronounced EUropean countries or also looking at countries like Brazil one should not overlook what is easily forgotten: Pleading for more equal societies cannot mean ‘equality on unbearable levels of subsistence. The ‘old Irish poverty’, people likely saying ‘we are all poor’ may have had something tempting in its simplicity of suggested equality,[3] but it surely did not have anything tempting with respect to living standards, living conditions and simply in terms of bare existence.[4]


It seems that all this found a point of culmination recently – at stake is a place of adoration: La Cappella Sistina, a place of stunning beauty and a place of spiritual elevation which is second only to the Vatican catacombs and there Confessio[5] and the private chapel where the popes supposedly begin their days with a private celebration of a mass[6]. The latter has this meaning at least in terms of the spiritual elevation (in modern language it translates to something like it the meeting room where the boss [= god] provides everyday the guidelines to one of the top CEOs, the branch manager of the Catholic section of human kind – it is widely unknown if and where he meets the CEOs of other branches, let alone that we any idea if and where he meets the CEOs of other planets).

Now there is a “new access”: The Vatican opened the Chapel for “the public”, another public, namely that public that is able to pay: in this case a Porsche club, accessing the chapel supposedly as part of a charity event. The Vatican rejects that it is a business issue and claims the charitable character standing at the very centre.


Still, one may ask if this is the right point for surely needed disenchantment – or perhaps the question should be put forward in a different way: if this is the right way for such disenchantment. Asking this is not about religious issues: the justification of the claims of mystery that is usually connected with religion. But it may admittedly be a matter of the valuation of arts and the excitement of really experiencing the immediate and “private” confrontation with such masterpiece – I have am lucky and privileged in having some personal experience standing behind this statement, though linked to van Rijn’s Nightwatch and Picasso’s Guernica. Such experience – standing in front of such piece just by way of a “private encounter”[7] is truly unique and actually the opposite of private: it is about delving into the public, social world of another era: an era of unbelievable grandess and construction in the one case; an era of unbelievable dehumanisation and destruction in the other case.

Thinking about the “nuova porta santa”, I am torn between different interpretations: disenchantment of religion and arts by commodification of another realm; the need of money to appreciate something special or the availability of money as making something special – visiting the chapel because it is expensive, because others cannot do it (this way); and finally the interpretation that all this actually the return of (though not religion so at least) the institutionalised “modern” church to its very existence, while wearing a new dress. History gives surely some clues, the two most important: first, the sale of indulgences can be seen as taking a new form: “doing good”, paying for charity and being allowed to experience the extraordinary even during this life; second, the role in particular of the Medici, somewhat alternating between the two roles of being banker of the Vatican and being pope. Indeed and cum grano salis we may refer to the famous passage

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

This is surely a question about religion, the self-understanding of the Vatican, institutionalised religion and so on. But it concerns also a much wider issue. One commentator brings it to the point

Ma si! Affittiamo pure il Colosseo per fare di nuovo i giochi gladiatori. Renzi contro Berlusconi non sarebbe male! Sai i soldi che farebbe la RAI trasmettendo il duello in mondovisione!

It would also fit well into my considerations about World’s New Princedoms. Critical Remarks on Claimed Alternatives by New Life.

And even the recent posting on the Finnish Babybox plays a role.

Finally, is it true then… ? Can progress only be obtained for the price of exclusion ….? How do we define the backyards and the yards of the courts – and how do the rulers of the courts define us who are living in the backyards, occasionally being allowed to have a glimpse over the fence?

Disenchantement. Enlightenment suggested it in different versions as “pure reason”: The French rational citoyen; the German rational bourgeois, the Scottish rational market citizen – all moving rationally forward by the “pursuit of Happiness”.

This had been well summarised a long time ago:

This sphere that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. There alone rule Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller of a commodity, say of labour-power, are constrained only by their own free will. They contract as free agents, and the agreement they come to, is but the form in which they give legal expression to their common will. Equality, because each enters into relation with the other, as with a simple owner of commodities, and they exchange equivalent for equivalent. Property, because each disposes only of what is his own. And Bentham, because each looks only to himself. The only force that brings them together and puts them in relation with each other, is the selfishness, the gain and the private interests of each. Each looks to himself only, and no one troubles himself about the rest, and just because they do so, do they all, in accordance with the pre-established harmony of things, or under the auspices of an all-shrewd providence, work together to their mutual advantage, for the common weal and in the interest of all.

Now, disenchantment has also some other dimension, bringing dialectically two issues together: It had been said that

[m]en make their own history.[8]

And it had been said that

[t]he philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

In this light, thinking about progress has to mean to change the conditions under which we make our history, i.e. to control these conditions under which we make history.

Finally, isn’t it true?

There are no supreme saviours

Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.


[1]            Keep also Buechner’s Hessian Courier in mind.

[2]            Barber, Benjamin R.: Consumed. How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole; Bew York/London: W.W. Norton&Company: 169 f., with reference to Marc Gobé, 2001: Emotional Branding. The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People; New York: Allworth Press: XIV

[3] Leaving aside the fact that such equality surely had been at no stage absolute.

[4]            Social Policy – Production rather than Distribution. A Rights-Based Approach; Bremen/Oxford: EHV Academicpress; 2014: 89

[5]            Rarely open to the public

[6]            Of course, more or less never open to the public – here religion finds the only location it should be allowed to claim: the private realm.

[7]            Yes, there had been security …

[8]            Yes, women too – just one example for Marx thinking in this way comes from a letter to Kugelmann, written in 1868:

“I think that German women should begin by driving their husbands to self-emancipation.” Actually there are many other references, taking up the immediate role of women and also the reference to assessing progress by looking at the emancipation of women.

A new spectre is haunting now the world??

Vatican Spring?

The following is the abstract of an article that is nearly completed, to be published in a book edited by Arno Tausch, and being concerned with the development of catholicism. A pre-version, i.e. an unedited version will soon be sent on request.


Both, discourses in and about economy on the one hand, in and about ethics are very much caught in mutual abstinence. This applies independent of the political orientation. If the one side is acknowledged by the other it is more in vein of a counter-spirit. The following, of which the focus is the question if there is, following the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope, a new spectre haunting the world – the spectre of a fundamentally new catholic orientation – tries to discuss this supposed awakening in a wider perspective. By taking a wider view it comes to the conclusion, that there is surely the need for a rebuke of individualism and economism from an ethical perspective, but that such reprimand remains questionable as long as it does not analyse and criticise the structural foundations of such ‘aberrations’. And it concludes that there is surely need and space for ‘renaissance of ethics’, but that can only be reached by collective intervention and legislative procedures and not by praising joy. If change aims on being sustainable, it has to be drastic instead of scratching at the surface; if change aims on being just, it has to be structural instead of moral.

Time – On Whose Side?

The problem surely is one of change, and thus of time – and this, metaphorically, may be seen in the change of art. There is the famous failure of Leonardo: the fresco, applying a wrong formula. The problem with the technique is that one is not allowed to make any mistake: the paint goes immediately into the ground and nothing can be changed. Leonardo (as far as I remember for reasons of time pressure), wanted to take a short-cut to a majestic goal – and a short time after he finished his most beautiful painting it “collapsed”. Compare Zivny with this: there is now majestic goal – a modest one of creating, or even only shaping ephemeral beauty:

“Sand is one of the few materials I work with, and I like that it is ephemeral and the sand sculpture disappears.”

The tension, it only comes right now to my mind, is one of fascinating depth: it is the tension between living for the majestic goal of humankind and the ephemeral vision of individuals.

Sure, both have their value, and beauty …. – or at least truth.

But the challenge an question is: (How) Can we bring this together? – The other day I read in an article by John L. Allen Jr.

Americans await things to happen immediately, and generally interpret delay in terms of denial, incompetence, of cover-up. Rome[1], to put the point charitably, is a culture that puts a high premium on patience, and often interprets ‘rapid response’ as immaturity, superficiality, or going off half-cocked.[2]

And just having read



How much is Enough? Money and the Good Life

recently, I am wondering if there is really not more to say than directing moral appeals? After economics – as matter of science and politics – obviously failed, the only way out seems to be in some kind of prayers and quest for morality?

The reality came (another time) to my mind when I went for my earlyish round – the 1st of May 2014, about sixish passing Termini, the central train station:

All fine, but … – Italy, the country of kisses and light heartedness – but at that time in the morning at the said place: facing the homeless; if one leaves the shops at day time – the shops for ordinary people or those where people buy who do not know what to do with the money – it means too often looking into the faces of beggars; if one then is getting aware of the country’s lack of a revolution, the nobility still having the remote places for their festive gatherings (which in fact are part of daily life), …

Well, May-Day then: a huge people’s gathering, in the park. At least something: free sunshine for all.

No, I do not blame anybody: at least not those who enjoy as long as they can enjoy.

And though I am seemingly talking about Italy and Rome, I actually do not really talk about this place. What makes it – perhaps – special is a higher degree of visibility of certain problems …, problems that are also visible in other places, “wiped away” by some kind of “silent militarism”: the war that is at the external borders arguing with noisy sabre-rattling, has many disciplinary forms when directed internally. Later this year I will address this during a conference against militarism. My part will be looking at

The inner mobilisation of Europe – youth unemployment, racism and modernised forced labour.

Enough is enough – indeed it is not such a difficult-to-answer question: enough of violent policies, of policies that are utilising human beings as a kind canon fodder for profit-first-economies.

A reminder, a famous passage in a footnote in Chapter 31 of the first volume of Capital

―Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent. will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent. certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., positive audacity; 100 per cent. will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated.‖ (T. J. Dunning, l. c., pp. 35, 36.)


[1]            meant to be the catholic church

[2]            John L. Allen Jr., 2013: The Church’s Message and The financial World: Lost in Translation; in: Institutions, Society and Markets: Towards a New International Balance?; A Cura di Alberto Quadrio Curzio/Giovanni Marseguerra; Vatican City: Libreria Editirice Vaticana: 141-155; here: 141 f.