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<nettime> Digital leftism in a globalised world?
Alexander Bard on Sun, 29 Jan 2017 18:57:46 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Digital leftism in a globalised world?


Dear Carlo

Thank you for an excellent expose of your position on world politics and
your defense of the term "neoliberalism".

I would however like to offer strong but friendly disagreement.
To begin with, hardly any mainstream politicians today propose the
free-for-all hell that you paint in your presentation. The fact that they
in reality have to follow a pseudo-liberal market is simply a result of the
collapse of nation-state power to a global libertarian netocracy. Silicon
Valley et al is not elected by the people. But their basic ideology is no
different from yours. We can call it "balanceism" if you like. The
explosion of heavy and costly financial and market regulation following
2009 proves my point. Thatcher and Reagan did die in 2008. Didn't you
notice?

We are rather offered a variety of pragmatic either centre-right or
centre-left proposals fitting somewhere between traditional social
liberalism and social democracy.

Against this at least decent political middle (Angela Merkel, Barack Obama
et al) stands a populist extreme right promising ethnically cleansed
paradises that will never materialise (so once they start winning
elections, prepare yourselves for the births of the even worse thru voters'
disppointment, say Aryan State etc). And a populist left stuck with
identity issues and so far removed from proper Marxist class analysis and
economics that it is a best toothless and at worst just the Hegelian
negation of the extreme right (against this blue collar white male I offer
you this black lesbian anarchist, so who  is to be most pitied on Twitter
etc?) and therefore no better. Possibly even worse. Let's say I'm not
impressed with Podemos in Spain for example.

What scares me in all this is not environmental disaster (it is horrible
but the Chinese have woken up and invented cheap solar power as a result)
as much as the dissolution of the very fundament of a high-taxing
nation-state; Picketty's darling too and rightly so, Picketty is a Marxist
proper, albeit pragmatially speaking one in the wrong millennium. After
all, I live in Picketty's ideal state, Sweden.

No, the real scare should now be the collapse of taxation as such (where
trade barriers is one tax among many, and one of the least constructive).
The real enemy being bitcoin and other crypto currencies, undermining the
very possibility of taxation. How the hell do you tax a world of ultrafast
financial transactions on Tor browsers? Let's not be naive here: Tax
authorities are aware of the problem and have no clue have to solve it. Can
you help them with your anti-neoliberalism? If so, we are on the same side.
But moralising complaints will not suffice, solutions are needed.
The thing is that selfish libertarians can easily sacrifice the Virgin
Islands now for what awaits them next, the tax-free online paradises to
come.

Now this is where I would like to ground contemporary digital Marxism. Not
absurdly claiming that African population growth is a result of
neoliberalism. Since it is not. It is the result of decades of hard work to
stop African mothers from dying at childbirth. And if Europe as expected
will need their children, migration is not something a Marxist should
oppose (I expect that from Heideggerians but not from Marxists) but rather
support.

We must then arm these African workers with smartphones, credit cards,
online forums, and fresh copies of "Das Kapital". Or they will do it
themselves. That's where hope resides.

With open ears and all the best intentions
Alexander

2017-01-28 20:15 GMT+01:00 carlo von lynX <lynX {AT} time.to.get.psyced.org>:

> On Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 08:40:28AM +0100, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> >    Dear Carlo
> >    My excuses for being rude in my response to you. And please understand
> >    moderators took notice too.
>
> In retrospect I am unsure if replying publicly was actually useful
> from my side as I believe in patient but solemn moderation and do
> not believe in any attempts of public shaming: chances of injustice
> are too high. So my apologies for not choosing the path of private
> mails with the moderators and you.



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