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Re: <nettime> Ten Theses on the Panama Papers
Felix Stalder on Wed, 6 Apr 2016 11:55:31 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Ten Theses on the Panama Papers



On 2016-04-05 20:42, Florian Cramer wrote:

> So what the Panama Papers really are is a warning to whisteblowers
> not to "exclusively" give sensitive data to media companies, but to
> use whisteblower platforms like Wikileaks instead.

Agreed.

> Some crucial questions remain unanswered: Why is there no notable US
> American citizen among the "accused"?

But not for this reason. Much more important, as Brian pointed out,
is at the US themselves have become the largest tax haven, globally.
Why run to Panama (which could get invaded or strong-armed at any
point anyway) when you can go to Delware, Nevada or South Dakota? Well
before the Panama Papers, even Bloomberg already run headline like
"The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States" [1].

[1]
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/the-world-s-favorite-n
ew-tax-haven-is-the-united-states


> Sure, it's never bad when stories about the international financial
> system's obfuscation machinery get out, provoking a political debate
> for -- at least -- a couple of days. That these debate have no
> political consequences, is part of the choreography.

In the short term, yes, but I think what we are seeing here -- and in
a myriad of other cases -- is the continuation of the slow but deep
de-legitimization of an entire socio-political regime, basically,
neoliberalism. This has already gotten so bad, that the only remaining
selling-point is fear. And change in the status quo is fought against
not with a promise (as was the case up from about 1975 to 2005) but
with a threat. Most dramatically, it was on display in Greece last
summer where the choice was: torture or end-of-the-world.

But the more the de-legitimization goes on, the more people become
willing to take risks, to make the jump into the unknown, precisely
because it's unknown rather then well-know hell of living within a
rotten carcass.

At the moment, this opens the way for all kinds of rightwing
demagogues, from Trump to LePen and beyond, and for left-wing
nostalgia, a la Corbyn and Sanders. But it also fuels much more
interesting movements, like the rebel cities in Spain, which are
working towards a new re-regionalization within a united Europe,
which, as Alex Foti pointed out a couple of days ago, seems one of few
vectors of the left that point forward.








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