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Re: <nettime> to the army of "love"
Moritz Geremus on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:28:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> to the army of "love"

On Tue, 2011-10-18 at 22:20 -0500, Brian Holmes wrote:

> On 10/18/2011 03:47 PM, Moritz Geremus wrote (concerning the idea
> that FINAZISM will produce violence):
> > First: The simplification of branding an enemy based solely on
> > material wealth, is something I thought left over for populist
> > right wing-parties (as in "artists swallow up all our tax-money
> > for left hobbies"), and secondly, the radical Marxist materialism
> > of submitting to money obsessively while describing the "greed"
> > of the one's who comparatively have more than themselves as the
> > opposite position of their own.
> Moritz, your posting is heartfelt and I understand your frustration
> with the concept of FINAZISM. Such a concept muddies the waters, for
> sure.
> However I think there is a truth underneath, which the authors
> are trying to point to, and maybe not really reaching with their
> manifesto form. That is that the global reign of money without any
> care for the consequences of its sudden shifts and mathematical
> maelstroms is now producing societal breakdowns, chaos and
> dislocation that ultimately lead to violence. We know this from
> the world wars of the mid twentieth century. It would be horrible
> to have to revist such a sequence, in any way whatsoever. I do
> not think there is really any chance of it happening in Europe or
> America, at least not in the old form of nation-to-nation combat
> as in the previous world wars. But the continued, and indeed,
> reinforced insistence on the unlimited "freedom" of finance capital
> has created a de facto government of the world which cares nothing
> about global inequality and climate change.

Of course there is a certain truth underneath, but this truth is
explained too easy by trying to bring it all down to a 1% group, while
announcing yourselves as angels of justice.

I'll talk from a quite European perspective now: I know and recognize
the peace-empowering idea behind the welfare-state as a mechanism to
preserve conflicts by keeping the division between rich and poor on a
low level. But what has made us materially equal has made us morally
poor. While the relative amounts between the one group may be higher
than the one from the other, I can see the same "capitalist" attitude
of some of the 1% in people being paid by tax money, especially in the
"left" cultural sector with curators and directors talking high salary
wages hiring unpaid artists. There's nothing social about that - it's
actually the most classic Marx exploiter-worker relationship picture I
can think of.

Would enforced robbery as a counter-method by coercing all these
directors and curators to redistribute their money to artists be a
long-term solution?

The whole law-positivism to believe you could save the world by
punishing everybody that COULD exploit someone based on numbers
and statistics has to stop - because it doesn't lower anti-social
attitudes, it increases them. On the one hand because it punishes
people for not doing anything but earning money, getting that way
almost trained in how to be an asshole, and secondly because just
receiving without moving or having gone the slightest meter of the
path that money takes before traveling to you makes hardly anyone
thankful for it, nor being able to produce it yourself, as in the most
ancient metaphor of the spoiled child.

And to get back to the topic - of course we are now in the endangering
situation to have to take a pun, and eventually a quite harsh one, for
other people's actions. But be frank, are we really that different to
the 1%? We have learned and conditioned ourselves to use money and
services to basically run our lives for us at pretty much any point
where we had the possibility for it, and I can't think of anyone in
our time who ever did show himself thankful to a state, institute or a
wealthier person that has to pay more into the pot, to have received
social money from one of the named sources.

> It's the most serious situation I have seen in my lifetime and
> there's a reason to want to do something about it.

I agree with that. This is also why I went to one of the Occupy
demonstrations last weekend, mainly to promote the timebank, an
alternative currency system that I believe in. And because of the open
(or undecided; see it as you like) goal of the protest that doesn't
have a fixed solution yet, you could see all kinds of different people
coming there fed up with greed - which gives new possibilities to
discuss and think about the future.

Now to finalize my statement and show that I share your worries:
The banks need to be disempowered, yes - but not through terrorism
but through a new generation that has the heavy but hopeful burden
to redefine its identity(/ies) and way of living together in a just
society from the bottom up. And here's the good news about power - it
can never stand on it's own, it can only be admitted!

> I don't know where you are from or what you do, Moritz, but it
> sounds like you are deeply suspicious of communism. One can guess
> why. The tendency in the twentieth century toward the reduction
> of every argument to a caricature FOR or AGAINST communism was an
> immense dead-end. And it continues to be a dead end (check out Glenn
> Beck and Ann Coulter, in the abysmal American media-sphere, if
> you want confirmation of this). The same dead-end is found in the
> constant accusations that this or that is Nazism. Finance is pretty
> far from Nazism. But it exerts an increasingly totalitarian rule of
> its own, and that is what Geert and Bifo are trying to get at.

You are right about my problems with Marx. But it's more than that.
What I'm trying to convey here, is that the very attitude that turns
finance into a totalitarian rule is mirrored in their critique of it.

> > Macdonalds and Facebook have become cynically the probably most
> > successful realization of every Marxist dream in that sense -
> > never before in mankind's history where so many people so equally
> > represented and egalitarian in their powers and means in the same
> > place.
> The power we are all equally granted by such a communism of
> capital seems derisory. But interestingly enough, Facebook can
> be used for political mobilizations that are not so ignorant or
> one-dimensionally polemical as in the past. McDonalds, I am not so
> sure!
> best, Brian Holmes

thanks for your interesting and challenging mail Brian,

best Moritz Geremus

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