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Re: <nettime> Are we in 1935 Germany or 21st Century Netherlands?
Brian Holmes on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 10:09:15 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Are we in 1935 Germany or 21st Century Netherlands?



On 06/27/2011 10:57 AM, Florian Cramer wrote:

> Of course, this is just a small part of a larger development. The
> bigger picture is that Europe, and the Western World, is rapidly
> moving towards the model of Chinese politbureau capitalism where
> governments act as supreme CEO boards, and public budgets are business
> investment money. Only that for the Western economies, its not
> investment into growth, but into preventing the ship from sinking.
> What started with the bail-outs and nationalization of the financial
> sector is now growing like virus into the rest of the economy. Instead
> of mobilizing all production means for a military war, it's the total
> mobilization for the global economic war.
>
> It seems to be the perfect fulfillment of what Rudolf Hilferding
> described in his 1910 book "Das Finanzkapital" ("The Financial
> Capital") as "state monopoly capitalism".

That's extremely well put, I agree. Neoliberalism is over, there is
nothing "liberal" in Dutch policy anymore, neither the appeal to a
free market nor the attempt to integrate a libertarian counterculture
to the informational economy. We have a moved to a command phase in
the relation between government and the economy, and China is setting
the standard. By now everyone has probably read Wen Jiabao's recent
declaration, "How China will reinforce the global recovery":

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e3fe038a-9dc9-11e0-b30c-00144feabdc0.html

However the point that Ibrahim makes is all the more serious. In the
US, neoliberalism shifted to its command phase at the end of the
dot-com bubble in 2001. Bush simultaneously militarized the budget and
nationalized the discourse, while at the same time engineering a new
bubble that lasted precisely the length of his mandate. The results
are extremely negative across the board. There is no "recovery" in
the US and more global financial chaos is on the horizon. Therefore
Chinese methods become even more attractive. This is not 1935 Germany,
it's the 21st century. But the fate of Weimar democracy has a lot to
say to the 21st century.

best, BH




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