Δευτέρα, 5 Ιουλίου 2010

AMERIKANISMUS UND GLOBALIESIERUNG. Die Ökonomie der Furcht und des Verfalls



AMERIKANISMUS UND GLOBALIESIERUNG

Die Ökonomie der Furcht und des Verfalls

 
(Esay über die sozialen Funktionen und die ökonomischen Nebenwirkungen der Furcht, als auch über die Rolle der Linke unter den Bedingungen der Globalisierung)

(Kurze Zusammenfassung)

Von Dr Kostas D. Lambos



Die natürliche Furcht hat sich während des letzten Jahrhunderts, von individueller, biologischer und gelegentlicher lebensrettender Alarm zu einem globalen machtgierigen lebenstötenden Albtraum umgewandelt.
Wir fürchten uns nicht mehr der Gefahr entgegenzutreten oder unser Leben zu retten, sondern wir werden ununterbrochen und systematisch bedroht und eingeschüchtert.
Wir werden beängstigt, um uns zu unterwerfen. Wir werden beängstigt, um uns beherrschen zu lassen. Wir werden beängstigt, um uns ausbeuten zu lassen, damit die reiche zu unserem Lasten reicher werden. Und schließlich wir werden beängstigt, um ständig und überhaupt Furcht vor jedem Machthaber zu haben. Wir leben schon lange her im Zeitalter der Furcht, wir leben in eine Furchtzivilisation.
Vor wen und warum haben wir aber Angst? Ich meine, dies kann nur die bisherige Geschichte der Menschheit beantworten. Gleichzeitig glaube ich aber, dass es nicht das Schicksal bzw. die Zukunft der Menschheit ist oder sein darf.
Deswegen versuchen wir mit diesem Buch die Zusammenhänge zwischen Furcht und Macht, Reichtum, Armut und Verfall zu untersuchen. Wir untersuchen alle Fürchte. Sowohl die kleinen als auch die großen und die ganz großen, d.h. die Weltfürchte bis auf die Furcht der neoliberallen Globalisierung. Und wir untersuchen sie von allen Seiten. Von innen und von außen. Allgemein und speziell.
Warum befassen wir uns mit der Furchtuntersuchung? Einfach um die Furcht zu überwinden. Um uns vor irgendwelcher Macht nicht mehr zu fürchten. Vor nichts und vor niemandem, auch vor der Furcht selbst. Um zu lernen ohne Furcht, frei und glücklich zu leben und zusammenleben.
Lesen Sie dieses Buch, wenn Sie Furcht haben, sei es auch Angst oder Phobie, vor Leben, Tod, Gott, Krieg, ‘Grossen Bruder’, Pax Americana, ‘Fremden’, Arbeitsgeber, Spiegel, eigenem Schatten und zuletzt, aber nicht als letztlich vor Armut, Zukunft, Freiheit, Ungerechtigkeit und vor allem vor den kleinen und/oder vor den großen, legalen oder illegalen Mafia, die unser Leben hemmungslos und systematisch ruinieren...und falls Sie etwas besseres vorzuschlagen haben, dann behalten Sie es nicht nur für sich allein. Diskutieren Sie darüber, protestieren, beanspruchen, widerstehen und fangen Sie sofort an, an eine bessere und gerechtere Welt zu träumen und für sie zu kämpfen.
Sie können sogar, ab sofort, als der Mensch von Morgen und nicht der von Gestern versuchen in diese Neue Welt, soviel wie möglich, wirklich zu leben. Aber ab Heute und nicht ab Morgen, denn der Morgen wird Übermorgen Gestern sein. Deshalb beeilen Sie sich, frei und glücklich, ohne Furcht und mit viel zukunftskreativem Pathos zu leben und mitzuleben.

Kurz über den Inhalt und die Architektur dieses Buches:
Furcht und Ökonomie: Hier werden die Zusammenhängen zwischen Furcht und Macht, die sozioökonomischen Funktionen, sowie auch ihre Folgen, wie Hunger, Durst, Krieg und Umweltkatastrophe der unter Globalisierung sich befindeten Menschheit untersucht.
Furcht und Verteilung des Weltreichtums: Hier wird die Furcht des Amerikanismus, als Furcht vor der Globalisierung bzw. vor der Pax Americana und ihre Rolle bei der Verteilung des Weltreichtums, sowie die Furcht des Antiamerikanismus, bzw. des weltweiten Widerstandes gegen Amerikanismus untersucht.
Einige Nebenwirkungen der Furcht zur Umverteilung des Einkommens in Griechenland: Hier werden die wichtigsten Gesichter des griechischen ‘mafia economic systems’ und seine Nebenwirkungen zu einer weiteren Umverteilung des Familieneinkommens der Armen zugunsten tagtäglichen Mafiosen, die die Furcht erwecken, organisieren und verwalten, untersucht.
Die Furcht des Gesetzes: Dieses Kapitel befasst sich mit der Natur der bürgerlichen Gesetzgebung, der in ihr verkörperten Furcht und strukturellen Gewalt, sowie mit den Konsequenzen dieser ‘ungerechten Gerechtigkeit, bzw. gerechten Ungerechtigkeit’.
Die Furcht der Freiheit: Hier wird versucht die historisch bedingte Furcht der Menschen vor dem Neuen, vor der Zukunft, vor der Freiheit zu beleuchten.
Kampf für einen Neuen Ökumenischen Humanismus: Die Antwort zur Furcht: Hier wird versucht einen Ausweg von der zentral und gewaltig strukturierten Furchtzivilisation des Kapitalismus, bzw. von der „Zivilisation des Todes“, zu der glocal (global+lokal) strukturierten Ökumenischen Humanistischen Kultur, eine Kultur ohne Furcht, die «Kultur der vergesellschaftlichten Menschheit» zu beschreiben.
Ein furchtfreies Werk, mutig, realistisch und überzeugend dokumentiert.
___________________________

Herausgeber: PAPAZISIS PUBLICATIONS, ATHENS 2009, GREECE










AMERICANISM AND GLOBALIZATION. The economics of fear and decay

AMERICANISM AND GLOBALIZATION

The economics of fear and decay

(Short summary)

(Essay on the social functions and the economical side effects of fear, as well as on the role of the Left Party under conditions of Globalization)



By Dr Kostas D Lambos





During the last century, the natural fear -which used to be an individual, biological and occasionally live saving alarm- has been converted to a global live-killing nightmare with a greed for power.

We are not any longer afraid to face the danger or save our lives, but we are continuously and systematically threatened and intimidated.
We become frightened in order to submit ourselves. We become frightened to control ourselves. We become frightened to let ourselves be exploited, in order for the rich to become richer to our detriment. Finally we become frightened to constantly fear every master. We already live for a long time in the age of fear, we live in a fear civilization.
But why and who are we afraid of ? I think this question can be answered only by the hitherto existing history of mankind. At the same time, however, I believe that this situation is not and it should not be the destiny or the future of mankind.

Therefore, we try with this book to analyze the relationships between fear and power, wealth, poverty and decline. We examine all kinds of fear. The small, the large as well as the very large ones, i.e. from the world-fears up to the new-liberal fear for globalization. And we will examine it from all sides. Internal and external. Generally and particularly.
Why are we concerned with the investigation of fear? We do it simply in order to overcome the fear. So that we do not any longer fear any supremacy. Anything and anybody, even the fear itself. In order to learn to live freely and happily together, without fear.
Read this book if you have a fear, even if it is a fright or phobia, of life, death, God, war, “big brother”, Pax Americana, “strangers”, employer, “Spiegel”, one’s own shadow and last but not least of poverty, future, liberty, injustice and particularly the small and/or the big, legal or illegal Mafia, which ruin our lives unrestrained and systematically and if you have to suggest something better, then don’t keep it only for yourself. Discuss it, protest, claim, resist and begin immediately to dream of a better and fairer world and fight for it.
You can even try immediately, as humans of tomorrow and not yesterday’s, to live in this new world as much consciously as possible. But do it from today on and don’t wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be yesterday the day after tomorrow. Therefore hurry up to live without fear, free and happy and with a lot of creative pathos for the future.

Brief summary of the content and the structure of this book:
Fear and economics: Here are investigated the relationships between fear and power, the socio-economic functions, as well as its consequences, like hunger, thirst, war and environmental disaster of mankind which remains under globalization conditions.
Fear and distribution of the world wealth: The Americanism, as fear of the globalization and/or of the Pax Americana and their role in the distribution of the world wealth, as well as the fear of anti-Americanism, and/or the world-wide resistance against Americanism is examined here.
Some side effects of the fear for the redistribution of the income in Greece: The most important faces of the Greek “mafia economic system” and its side effects to a further redistribution of the poor-family income in favour of day-to-day Mafiosi, which arouse, organize and administrate fear, are examined here.
The fear of the law: This chapter is concerned with the nature of the civil legislation, its embodied fear and structural force, as well as with the consequences of these “unfair justice” and/or “fair injustice”.
The fear of liberty: A try is given here to highlight the historically caused fear that the humans have of something that is new, of the future and of freedom.
Fight for a new universal Humanism: The answer to the fear: An attempt is made here to describe a way out of that central and enormous structured civilization of fear and/or of the “Civilization of Death”, to the glocal (global+local)-structured universal Humanistic culture, a culture without fear, the "culture of the socialized mankind".

A book free of fear, courageously, realistically and convincingly documented.



Publisher: PAPAZISIS PUBLICATIONS, Athens 2009, Greece







FEAR AND ECONOMY

The role of Fear
in the global distribution of Wealth
And some side-effects
in the re-distribution of Income in Greece

(Summary)

Dr Kostas Lampos





For a long time now, Fear has been transformed, from a coincidental personal feeling, to a permanent social behavior. The causes of this mutation are the deliberate use of Fear for power, imperialism and domination as well as the relevant with these reasons generalization of permanent hazards and menaces of the system.






All of us, rulers and ruled, lead our lives in the Century, Society, Economy and therefore in the Civilization of Fear.






This essay examines, first of all, the social functions of Fear and its role in the distribution of global Wealth, under the conditions of neoliberal globalization, which is expressed as Americanism, thus provoking Anti-Americanism.






In the second and most detailed part, this essay examines the economic side-effects of different kinds of Fear in Modern Greece, such as the Fear of God, of Death, of strangers, of Big or of Small Brother, of the Law, etc. as integral parts of a Mafia Economic System.






The essay concludes with a brief quest of an ‘Answer to Fear’. The writer states his belief that for the liberation from Fear, Humanity must generate successive ‘storms’ of a modern Enlightenment, gradually creating and fulfilling the vision of a New Ecumenical Humanistic Civilization, where the Humanism of the ‘socialized Humanity’ will consider as greatest principle ‘Man and Nature’ and not ‘Gods and Profits’.
____________________

Published by MONTHLY REVIEW, 49/01.2009, Pages 56-73, (Greek Edition)





HUMANISM or CAPITALIST BARBARISM

FROM EUROPEAN HUMANISM



TO CAPITALIST BARBARISM

or

TO ECUMENICAL HUMANISM?

 

By Kostas Lampos, PhD



There is an undisputed reality. It is the fact that the idea and ideals of Humanism have been born in Europe, developing and sealing –to a greater or lesser extent- the civilization of all European countries, and hence of global developments. There is, however, another reality: a reality that is being shaped today by the imperialistic Capital, which promotes an inhuman neoliberal globalization, spearheaded by Americanism. Finally, there is a third reality: This one has brought humanity at a crucial crossroads, where it is called upon to choose between two things: capitalist barbarism in the form of American hegemony on the one hand and Ecumenical Humanism, in the form of direct democratic self-determination and equal peaceful cooperation of all people in this planet on the other hand. As far as this is concerned, we shall approach the history of European Humanism and the position of contemporary Europe vis-à-vis this dilemma, which humanity is facing.



A short historical background to the concept of Humanism



There is a misunderstanding, or even confusion, regarding Humanism and New Humanism, which some find repulsive and others find provocative. For those who study -unfortunately the very few- the idea of Humanism -like all ideas, ideologies, philosophies and scientific theories- evolves, as it monitors the evolution of human civilization. Depending on the era and the strengths [of the idea] that are determined by its depth, this idea is either rejected in the historical process, or it survives, because of its ability to change, evolve and improve in quality, by adapting to new realities, exerting its own –big or small- influence.



Although the term Humanism (Humanismus) was coined in 1808 by the German philosopher Fr. I. Niethammer (1766-1848)(1) , and was confined to issues of training substance and education in general, it has been historically confirmed that the pillars of Humanism lie in the ancient Greek education and literature (2).



Protagoras’ worldview «Man is the measure of all things»(3) the humanist values on which the ancient Athenian democracy was built, like the ones described in Pericles’ Epitaph, as well as the teachings of Plato, Aristotle and other classical ancient teachers, have all been forgotten, becoming political “prisoners” to the obscurantist myths of Christianity, of the crusades and of the Holly inquisition. Therefore humanity has been deprived for centuries of the benefits that could have been brought about by a further development of the ancient Greek humanistic civilization. This situation stopped during the post-Byzantine period, when humanity decided to put an end to the medieval barbarism, hence the works of Greek classical literature resurfaced –at least those which survived the destructive madness of the Christian priesthood. During that era, the progressive disintegration of the Feudal system left a margin for Europe’s bourgeois transformation and the Renaissance movement was gradually replacing the -cunning and useless- “saints” with humanitarian educated men. The Renaissance was almost perfectly identified with Humanism and this led the intellectuals of early 19th century Humanism to suggest as synonyms the term «Hellenismus» (Hellenism) –German historian Johann Gustav Droysen, (1808–1884) and «Kultur der Renaissance» (Renaissance Culture) –by the Swiss Art & Civilization historian Carl Burckhardt (1818-1897)(4). The idea of Humanism remained dominant in central European countries for the whole of the 19th century in every discussion on education. Hence, through this discussion, it influenced the other sciences and society as a whole. This was enough to force the domineering religions, as well as the secular power structures, to add a touch of “Humanism”, in the form of “morality” and “philanthropy”, to their obscurantist myths and their hypocritical political ideologies of the ruling class. As a result of this, the discussion ceased to focus on Humanism as the substance of education and became a battleground for atheists versus priesthoods and religious fanatics, in a conflict that excluded -and still excludes- Humanism from the real society.



The French philosopher –one of the founders of the science of sociology- Auguste Comte (1798–1857) referred for the first time to “social humanism”, the main objective of which was to ensure the development -through a comprehensive human development- of the purely human element inside men, which is not conceivable without a complete departure from any religious myth.



The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), made a further step forward and defined Humanism, as a humanistic social project of ecumenical nature, which will gradually liberate humanity from the capitalist barbarism in the following words:



«The supersession of God, is the advent of theoretic humanism... the supersession of private property, is the advent of practical humanism… (both are) a necessary premise for positive Humanism»(5). With these two influential interventions to the evolution of the humanism idea, Humanism resurfaces as a social-ecumenical Humanism, it rediscovers its humanist essence and re-enters the social domain as a driving force, as a vision for the forces of Labour, Science and Culture, for a better world, a world of Equality, Freedom, Peace and Humanity.



2. The 20th Century Humanism and capitalist barbarism



All great wars in the history of humanity took place for one of the following reasons: “holy faith” in some god or prophet, for the benefit of “some motherland”, the “benefit” of humanity, or the cause of “eternal peace”. All great wars in human history derailed humanity from its course towards Humanism and Ecumenical Humanism and led it to today’s capitalist barbarism, which acts in the following manner:



a. It is hostile to nature and thus it destroys it,



b. It is hostile to Humanity and thus it limits its freedoms and condemns it to poverty, hunger and degradation,



c. It is hostile to human civilization and is thus scheming to impose global fascism,



d. It is hostile to life itself and thus destroys the means for its existence on planet earth.



To fulfill their goals, the forces of neoliberal capitalist barbarism must defame, discredit and overcome the idea of social Humanism and Ecumenical Humanism, especially after the revelation of the capitalist nature of the so-called “actually existing socialism”, which sparked again the interest on Humanism(6) . The reactionary forces seek to fulfill their goals by using any means at their disposal, underlined below:



a. Using the recruited -in its majority mentally castrated- bourgeois intelligentsia and its tendentious pseudo-scientific theories,



b. With the use of narcotic substances, the new “religion of football” and the racist nonsense with which they empty the pockets, brains and social-class conscience of the naïve,



c. With the ideological propagandas with which the “intellectuals”, the “artists”, the “party officials”, the controlled media and religious priesthoods brainwash, day and night, all the people -rich and poor- with strong doses of lies and fear, until they manage to persuade a majority that the world wars took place for the benefit of humanity. In the same spirit, the pre-emptive wars designed for a violent imposition of Americanism and of capitalist globalization took place “due to God’s will” or “for humanitarian purposes”.



The resulting confusion takes a large percentage of humanity away from the sphere of Reality, i.e. objective Reality, and into the sphere of controlled imaginary, i.e. artificial reality, forcing them as a result to give up their humanistic vision and acknowledge capitalist barbarism as the fate of humanity. It is obvious that the forces of the New Medieval Ages resist.



3. The “Humanism” of the “only truth” and of the Gulags (7)



In the end of the 18th century it became evident that the bourgeois revolution (1789), replaced the inhuman regime of feudal bourgeoisie with the power of the new bosses of capitalist plutocracy, who disproved their declarations of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity. The freedmen, who fought for the regime change, quickly understood that they were condemned to earn their miserable living as industrial workers and as “jobless reserve industrial army” in conditions of illiberality, offensive inequality and hostility that resembled the conditions of a Civil War. The workers decided to deal with this new reality with unions, class solidarity and class struggles, demanding to be recognized as human beings in accordance with the indefeasible rights of humanism. A new vision was being shaped amid those conditions. The vision of Socialism and Communism, to which leading cultural, artistic and scientific personalities from all over the world contributed their ideas, was adopted by certain traditional political parties as well as by many new, anti-capitalist, revolutionary socialist and communist movements. Among the theoreticians who contributed to the socialist vision, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are the most distinguished ones. Through their analyses on capitalist economy and the bourgeois system, they provided the progressive leftist labour movement with arguments on the need to abolish capitalism and found Socialism. It is evident nowadays that their work received many interpretations and caused intense conflicts among their successors, some of which took the form of destructive civil wars, within the context of personal, class and ethnic interests. The October revolution took place in the name of Socialism, as a preliminary phase of Communism and with Humanism and Classless Society being the ultimate end. The main slogan was, “All power to the Soviets” (Labour Councils). Lenin, and hence the Bolshevik party as a whole, understood this power held by the Labour Councils, mainly in his work “The State and the Revolution” and seized power, with the help of the Red Army, in the form of the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”. He clashed, not only with the Russian workers, soldiers and sailors who supported the Soviets, but also with many of his former comrades, “Bolsheviks” and “Mensheviks” alike, as well as with most European socialist and communist parties, which spoke of a certain “Democracy of the Proletariat”, or a certain “Council Democracy”, advocating Socialism for the whole society, i.e. self-management of the Economy and Direct Democracy.



History, as historical juncture and international balance of power, “vindicated” Lenin and thus the October Revolution transformed the semi-feudal Czarist Russia into a “socialist country”, in which salaried work was not abolished –i.e. capital as a social relationship- and the productive wealth was not communized but instead became “state property”. Thus, the leadership of the October revolution intentionally identified socialism with nationalization and merely substituted the “free market” capitalism by capitalist entrepreneurs with “planned economy”, which had the “Soviet state” as its sole manager-entrepreneur, in other words a collective capitalist. In this way, from the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, the October Revolution gave way to the “Dictatorship of the Soviet Union Communist Party”, which was crudely mythologized, as socialism was violently detached from society while at the same time the “party” was exalted to the skies, and Stalin became a godly figure. All this ended up in the “Dictatorship of the only truth”, the brutal dictatorship of state monopoly capitalism, not simply Stalin’s dictatorship.



In reality, all the powers were being gradually transferred -upon Lenin’s orders, and utilizing the Red Army’s violence under Trotsky’s guidance- from the Soviets to the hands of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and hence the management of factories -which in the beginning was controlled by the workers- was now transferred to party commissars. From that moment onwards, the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” became a dictatorship of the “collective capitalist” and the Soviet society and proletariat were reduced to simple spectators and victims of the brutal state monopoly capitalism, which claimed to be “socialism”, was recorded as “actually existing socialism” and ended up as “former actually existing socialism”. Finally, today it is behaving like manic capitalism; now, whatever is left of it seeks to find historical alibi either in the “Stalinism phenomenon” or the “betrayal of Trotskyism”.



The defeat of Nazism and of the fascist axis in the Second World War, which came as a result of self-sacrifice on the part of all the European people –the Soviets included- was sealed with the bargaining of the so-called “Yalta agreement”, which in essence was an agreement of global capital at the expense of Labour and the victorious peoples. In this way, the imperialist annexing of the Eastern European countries inside the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence shaped the so call “Eastern bloc”, COMECON and the Warsaw Pact. The “actually existing socialism” was thus formed. Acting like capitalism, set as its target to “keep pace with, and even outpace, the (western) capitalism” in terms of production, wealth, military power etc.



As a consequence of this choice, society was further destabilized and Labour was being exploited in a more intense manner. Also, any civil liberties were suppressed even more and the peoples’ standard of living tumbled down so much that the socialist nature of the “actually existing socialism” –which the new ruling class, the nomenclature, together with all its dependent western communist parties, even called ‘Humanism’- came to be largely disputed. The peoples of Soviet Union started to push for socialism, more real socialism, and the actually existing socialism’s nomenclature responded with a return to the “free market” capitalism, i.e. with more capitalism. Just as the story of the October Revolution ended, the myth of the actually existing socialism’s ‘humanism” also ended.



The violent neoliberal capitalist globalization, which promotes global fascism and a globalized capitalist barbarism on a daily basis, forces the peoples of the whole planet to organize and resist this threat, seeking an anti-capitalist path which will lead them to a better world. Amid these conditions, the vision of Humanism, of Classless society and of Direct Council Democracy springs back to the people’s historical memory.



It becomes obvious that the vision of a New Humanism cannot bear any resemblance to the pseudo-humanism of the obscurantist priesthoods, the urban “philanthropic” hypocrisies, the Americanism of the ‘Guantanamos’ and the Stalinism of the Gulags. In order for the vision of new Humanism to be truly humanistic, it must be ecumenical in its conception and implementation. A contemporary revolutionary Left may act as catalyst towards this; a Humanist Left that will not settle -like the bourgeois social democratic and the traditional, 3rd and 4th International Left does- with being on the sidelines of the bourgeois Parliament. Instead, it will reach out to society, not to manage the capitalist power on behalf of the plutocracy, but to denounce the capitalist barbarism and to rally the forces of Labour, Science and Civilization, turning them into a force for Enlightenment, in order to overthrow capitalism and build an Ecumenical Humanist Civilization.



4. Initiative Dialogue for a New Ecumenical Humanism of the 21st Century.



The thinking citizens of the 21st century, all free thinking people, searching throughout History and visualizing its’ illuminating path, from the origins of civilization up to the present dark days, know that defending Humanism is a pre-condition for the salvation of Humanity. And being down-to-earth people, they are aware of the fact that the world will not change from the top, by messiahs and prophets; rather, it will change from the bottom, whenever the peoples themselves decide.



In this document we are merely expressing our views on the necessity, feasibility and nature of the change that humanity needs today. We call upon each fellow human who shares the same thoughts to do the same. Our purpose is obvious: The need for a Dialogue for a New Humanism to be understood by as many people as possible. In turn, these people will form similar Circles for Dialogue and Thinking, in the hope that this phenomenon will start spreading until a global combined force is created, that will be able to creatively overthrow capitalism, and that force will also act as an architect for a better world.



Therefore, 21st century Humanists know that the hard core of the local and global plutocracy eagerly seeks –and often fabricates- “new parties”, as soon as the old ones reach their expiration date and cannot be further consumed. Hence, Humanists do not seek a “New Party”; they are trying to form a New Humanist Vision which will rescue humanity from the impasse of capitalism, leading it to the New Freedom of Mankind.



They also know that in recent years many movements spring up, bearing the brand name “Humanism, New-Humanism” etc. Most of these “movements” mainly focus on the bipolar conflict between “atheism” and “religious – fanatics”. They are confined to this superstructure without dealing with the substance, i.e. the structure, which is the socio-economic system.



Very few movements by atheist “neo-humanists” touch upon the political-systemic issue, albeit with a pretentious anti-communist and anti-socialist manner and a pretentious moralist love for “holy property”, i.e. capitalism. Their purpose is the following:



a. to further improve capitalism, with the help of an abundance of state-funded, highly-sponsored “humanist non-governmental organizations” which give shelter to a variety of people, from wannabe saviors to secret service agents or representatives of shady financial interests.



b. To present some of the mega capitalists as “philanthropists”, through tax reductions for the profits of their corporations, so as to conceal their true repulsive face and their hideous role in the function of capitalist barbarism, e.g. George Soros, Bill Gates (!!) and many others. Finally,



c. To trick people into believing in the ‘alleged’ good intentions of capitalism, the same intentions that have condemned the vast majority of the planet’s population to misery, poverty and death by famine or by the “humanism of weapons”, as they now call the imperialist war’s latest form: the pre-emptive regional wars towards a violent neoliberal globalization of capitalism.



Contemporary Humanists, in contrast to the above, do not denounce any part of the global progressive movement’s history, not even the history of the -hypocritical- humanism of the bourgeois and the church. They are aware of humanity’s tribulations during its difficult historical course. Hence, they are not interested in deleting or re-writing any of the human history. What they are interested in, is for obscurantist priesthoods and exploitative power hubs to cease to exist, so that the liberated forces of Labour, Science and Civilization are able to write the future chapters in the history of Mankind.



This is why they want to look into the future of humanity without any ideological prejudice. They want to look into today’s reality, based on modern capabilities, needs and visions. This modern reality does not fit into yesterday’s visions, not even those of the greatest thinkers of yesterday. Humanity bows before them and acknowledges their great contribution to the Arts, Sciences and Literature, without which there would have been no potential for New Visions.



Our era possesses an abundance of intellectual wealth that cannot be measured, a huge amount of scientifically proven and socially useful knowledge, a fantastic technology and a succulent civilization. All these are products of countless sacrifices by the human race, from distant cavemen to the great researchers of molecular biology and astrophysics, to the astronauts who walked on the moon. These elements can today create GLOBAL PROSPERITY, DIRECT ECUMENICAL DEMOCRACY and ECUMENICAL PEACE. An Ecumenical Humanist Civilization can be achieved once the majority understands this capability and organizes its life in a different -rational- manner, based on the principle, “rational social economy for man and not chaotic catastrophic economism for profits”.



It is pretty obvious that behind most of these moves of hypocritical bourgeois and church humanism, lie certain suspicious interests which aim to disorient the people and take the place of the New, inevitable, Ecumenical Humanism(8) which puts forward the following proposals:



a. Total rejection of capitalism in every possible form, through procedures of radical Enlightenment expressed by the forces of Labour, Science and Civilization,



b. The overthrowing of the bankrupt means of production through a direct, democratic, fertile and creative ideological procedure, that will put an end to the domination of capital on the means of production, destroying the planet, brutalizing humanity and threatening life itself. Finally,



c. Gradual building of a better -meaning more humane- world, free from the economic selfishness which usurps social wealth and brings about social, regional, ethnic and wider inequalities, inevitably leading to catastrophic conflicts, which seek to find alibis in the “ideological-political fanatism”, the “religious fundamentalism” and the supposed “clash of civilizations”.



We are certain that, in this pursuit, we are not the only ones who keep a clear mind and think without selfishness, working to shape a new optimistic, realistic and effective humanist vision, a New Leap for Humanity, to set it free from the capitalist neoliberal, social democratic barbarism and towards a New Ecumenical Humanist Civilization.



Ultimately, the 21st Century Humanism can only mean the yearning, the effort and ability, as humanity, to dry those tears from Mather-Nature’s eyes and turn our life again into a work of art, which will become a source of creative happiness and an eternal jewel in this endless and glorious Universe.



With these initial and necessary clarifications, we continue the Dialogue on the 21st Ecumenical Humanism, in the hope that it will be enriched with the views of many other people and will spread around the world, becoming everybody’s issue, including the forces of Labour, Science and Civilization, once they are liberated from the obscurantist beliefs and authoritative ideologies. This is the only necessary condition for the New Freedom of Mankind, and the Ecumenical Humanist Civilization.



5. Europe at a crucial crossroads, between Americanism and Ecumenical Humanism



In view of this lethal power struggle for hegemony at the expense of humanity, there is one force which can act as a catalyst for developments: the European Union. In order for the EU to be able to undertake this task, it should:



• Stop acting as the Europe of monopolies,



• Get rid of liberalism and break free from the USA, since, as the American Paul G. Roberts states: “America does not offer anything to Europe, apart from the millions of dollars it pays to bribe European political leaders who betray their peoples»(9) . Forge a New European Identity and re-connect its traditions of humanist struggles with the values and vision of Humanism toward a better world,



• Unite with the movements against Americanism around the world,



• Play a leading part in the struggle to set up anti-imperialist and anti-hegemonic alliances at all levels so as to



• Be able to contribute to this anti-imperialist and anti-hegemonic struggle that aims in safely leading humanity out of capitalism or any other system that produces ill-thinking anti-social ideas and inhuman fascist and global hegemonic systems.



For all this to happen, the EU must stop acting as the Europe of Capital. Instead, it must become the Europe of the Peoples, which means that the European peoples will proceed to make immediate choices to gradually reverse this US-controlled balance of power, which is now taken for granted. This will pave the way for Direct Democracy, a Humanist Self-determination for Europe and for Ecumenical Humanism, the Humanism of the 21st century(10) . Now is the time for the European peoples to take the initiative once more, to lead humanity once again out of capitalist barbarism and in this struggle, the American people themselves, based on their history and sacrifices of the past, cannot but become the most prominent and important social force against Americanism and for a better world, to the New Freedom of Mankind.
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1. Niethammer, Fr. I. , Der Streit des Philanthropismus und Humanismus in de Theorie des Erziehunsunterichts unserer Zeit, F.Frommann, Jena 1808.

2. An analysis can be found in Markandonis and Georgoulis, Humanism, in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Education – Dictionary, Ellinika Grammata, Athens 1989, vol. 1, p.p. 365-371.
3. Μέτρον πάντων χρημάτων άνθρωπος’.
4. Op.cit.
5. Karl Marx, Early Writings, RENGUIN BOOKS, 1992, p. 395.
6. See also, Erich Fromm, Socialist Humanism, Boukoumanis, 1976. See also, Novack, George, Humanism and Socialism, Andonis Livanis Publications, Athens 1978, vol. 22, p.p.365-37
7. The Russian word "ГУЛАГ"( Gulag) is the acronym for Главное Управление исправительно-трудовых ЛАГерей ОГПУ [The Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies], which later came to denote the labour camps used to eliminate the Stalinism enemies. See also, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's (1973) The Gulag Archipelago.
8. Kostas Lampos, For an Ecumenical Humanist Civilization, EXORMISI, 05.01.1997. See also, Kostas
Lampos, The Humanism of the 21st Century is our Humanism, in: www.infonewhumanism.blogspot.com , and www.monthlyreview.gr
9. Cited in, Stylianou M, «The USA offer Europe merely a bribe for its leaders», in the TO PARON newspaper, 24.08.2008, p. 22.
10. Kostas Lampos, Americanism and Globalization -The Economy of fear and decay, PAPAZISIS PUBLICATIONS, Athens 2009.
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Published by MONTHLY REVIEW, 54/06.2009, Pages 44-55






The End of Capital and the Future of Work



The End of Capital and the Future of Work*




 

By Kostas Lampos, PhD





In recent years there has been much discussion about a certain end: Some speak of the “end of history”1, others mention the “end of work”2, while the dark powerful hubs of obscurantism present the “end of the world” in the form of eschatological prophecies by charlatans or Hollywood-style creations by certain “future predictors”.
Work, either in the form of food collection activity, or in the form of classical music creation and scientific research in the field of astrophysics and molecular biology, constituted –and still constitutes- the basic element of organized social co-existence and at the same time the sole power for development, setting in effect the measure for any civilization. Hence, it is only logical for one to wonder whether the “end of history”, or the “end of work”, means the end of organized social co-existence, or even the end of civilization and ultimately, the end of history.
However, if we examine the relevant “theories”, we shall find out that Fukuyama considers “liberal democracy as the final step of humanity’s ideological development and the final form of human governance, in such a way that it constitutes the end of history”3. So, sibly, Fukuyama’s argument is that “liberal democracy”, the political expression of manic capitalism4, is the final, i.e. the superior form, of human governance. According to Fukuyama this means that the human civilization has reached the end of its evolution and hence the end of its history. This theory, to which Fukuyama’s sponsors gave massive publicity, is not only naive and unscientific, but also ends up being an obscene ideological fabrication by someone who acts as the apologist of a neoliberal, globalised, barbaric and disastrous capitalism and who implies that after capitalism there is only chaos. The fact that Fukuyama himself, in response to the flood of negative reviews, tried to refute what concerns the “end of history” 5, without at the same time distancing himself from the basic premises of his theory, does not alter the unscientific and deeply reactionary nature of his attempt to form an ideology.
Now, regarding the “end of work”, Jeremy Rifkin’s theory” is based on the fact that the scientific and technical revolution has led developments to the level of “mass replacement of workers by machines, which will force all nations to re-examine the role of human beings in the social process… the transnational (overnational?)corporations announce that their profits rise steadily while in the meantime the same corporations announce massive job cuts… We are entering a new phase in the global history, one in which fewer and fewer workers will be needed… the end of work… technological innovations and market forces lead us to a world with almost no working hands at all”.6
Rifkin’s mistake is that he identifies work with “working hands”, i.e. the living form of labor. This happens because he misinterprets the fact that the working person –“living labor”- during his historical course creates, for the improvement and efficiency of his productive process, tools, machinery and automation systems, also known as “means of production” (Produktionsmittel). Marx called the means of production, in contrast to living labor (lebendige Arbeit)7, objectified labor (vergegenständliche Arbeit)8, i.e. labor that is not the expression of dexterity embodied in certain materials, but becomes an object, which, to a certain extent replaces living labor -and thus he also calls it “dead labor”, (tote Arbeit)9
In reality, according to this concept, the total available labor, i.e. the “total productive capacity” (Produktivkräfte)10 in a society, in its most simplified form, equals to the sum of the total quantity of living – subjective – labor and the total quantity of the means of production –the dead – objectified historical labor.
During the course of humanity, one form of labor has been violently disrupted by the other and this led to the violent division of society and humanity as a whole into two main classes: the class of the producers of living labor and the class of those who usurp the historical labor. Even today, albeit in different forms in various periods, the total productive activity of each society is being organized on the basis of this division. The history of human civilization has basically progressed using the potential of this relationship involving the living and historical form of labor, in the field of the total economic activity of each society.
These relations, known as “forms of production” (Produktionsformen), or “relations of production” (Produktionsverhältnisse)11 form the “hard core of power” within the framework of a given society, which in turn shapes what we call “socioeconomic system” according to its particular interests. One of the various relations of production which appeared during the historical course of humanity, in particular the one that violently turned the historical form of labor into capital, which came as a “result of the right of the organizers of production (der Kommandeuren der Produktion) to appropriate and dominate the products of labor”,12 took the form of “capitalist relations of production”.13
From a general viewpoint, we are witnessing a never-ending and painful effort on the part of the producers of living labor, i.e. the working people, to create more and better “means of production” –historical labor- in order to be able to satisfy all their personal and social needs with less effort and to achieve more freedom, prosperity and happiness. A process in which “the quantity of utilized living labor (will) steadily diminish as far as its quantity is concerned by the objectified labor itself”,14 so that humanity will leap someday “from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom”, to uninhibitedly quote Karl Marx, who is still as relevant as ever.
Unfortunately, by breaking up the historical form of labor and alienating from its creators, i.e. the producers of living labor, the historical form of labor at the hands of its usurpers is forced to push its creators to the fringe of economy and society. Through this process of constantly increasing substitution of living labor by historical labor we reached the present era: living labor, i.e. the traditional proletariat, becomes a surplus labor force and is excluded from the process of production. Furthermore, as “surplus society”, it is displaced from the historical labor, i.e. the “machines that form the new proletariat.”15
This absurdity of turning science, technology and culture into “proletariats” makes the working humanity obsolete in order for a handful of “transnational (overnational?) companies” to maximize their profits while at the same time turning the dictatorship of capital over labor, i.e. over the working humanity, into “a necessity”. Obviously, this has been a result of the violent activity on the part of the barbaric and manic capitalism, which deceived humanity, as it promised “Freedom, Equality, and Brotherhood”, delivering instead Slavery, Inequality and Hostility.
It is also obvious that in order for the break up of labor to stop and for its unity and autonomy to be reinstated, all forms of ownership of the means of production must stop (i.e. abolition of capital, not as a material thing, object, money or machinery etc, but rather as “social relationship, as historical means of production”)16. The means of production must become communal with the establishment of “relations of self-management, or self-regulation, of unified labor”. These relations will free human civilization from the obscure myths and the various forms of oppressive power and consequently the necessary and proper conditions will be shaped: Conditions that will allow the reunification and immediate self-determination of society, the reconciliation of humanity, and will pave the way for the New Freedom of Man, for a “civilization of Love, Knowledge and Creation”.17
It is important to highlight that Rifkin, together with tens of thousands of scientists and millions of working people, points out that “the high tech revolution could mean fewer working hours and more benefits for millions of people. For the first time in modern history big multitudes might be liberated from long working hours and would devote their spare time to activities that please them”.18
Capital, however, responds with successive attacks of mental and ideological disorientation, increasing –rather than decreasing- working hours and forcing at the same time millions of workers to become unemployed. All this takes place in the name of the so-called competitiveness and naturally at the altar of profit maximization.
The clash of the -arbitrary and lacking any historical justification- capitalist voluntarism with reality, which has been shaped by humanity’s accumulated struggles and sacrifices in thousands of years, is still spreading disaster and leads to the barbarism of neoliberal globalization and US hegemony. Rifkin observes the following, as far as this clash is concerned: “These two totally different ideas regarding the relationship between technology and labor clash more and more on the eve of the new high tech revolution. The question is to whether the technologies of the Third Industrial Revolution will materialize the dream of endless profits or the world’s dream of greater freedom. The answer depends mainly on which of the two visions of humanity’s future is intense enough, so that the next generation devotes to it its energy, talent and passion”.19
It is obvious that Rifkin, being a prominent social democrat, does not challenge capital, and being a scientist who is part of the capitalist system, washes his hands in the name of a pretentious and fake “neutral science”, “tossing the ball outside the field”, where the “next generation” is supposed to be sitting. Of course we need to acknowledge that Rifkin does not exclude the possibility that the Third Industrial High Tech Revolution would not necessarily mean the end of work. Still, he does not make any arguments in favor of this possibility. This however does not reply to the question, since the clash involves work versus technology, according to Rifkin’s rationale, the possibility that “work will not end” means the end of technology or something else, which is not named. This impasse is the result of a false assumption by Rifkin, who sees an opposition between work and technology but not between capital and work.
It is well known, however, that history does not present problems that lack mature solutions. It is also known that in the era of virtual reality there is always a clash between the true self and its appearance. Thus, the problem of the clash between work and capital is presented as a problem of clash between work and “technology”, in essence between the living form of work and the historical form of work. The objective is obvious: capital will remain “innocent”, remaining outside the scene of the clash –hence, if “technology” wins in the form of capital, we are then presented with the “end of work” and the perpetuation of “neoliberal democracy”, in other words of the capitalist system.
On the contrary, when putting the problem into its right perspective, the clash that takes place involves capital and work. On the one hand, capital as a social relationship and as a historical mode of production –which no longer express anybody, except a sad bunch of mischievous warmongers, who commit continuous crimes against humanity and civilization- is incapable of providing solutions to the problems of society and humanity and is also unable to bring progress in the next phase. On the other hand, work as a totality, with all its peaceful and creative forms, represents, as the creator of global wealth and civilization, the whole of humanity. Hence, the resolution of this conflict will unavoidably be linked to the following:
a) the defeat of obscure myths regarding “divine will” and ideological fabrications involving concepts like “free market” and eternity of capitalism.
b) the end of capital as a social relationship and historical mode of production. And consequently,
c) it will be linked to the triumph of the forces that support unified work, socially sensitive science and universal civilization.
These forces will prepare the next steps towards progress in order for humanity to attain a better world, the world of Liberty and Equality, Democracy of Direct Consultation and Civilization of Ecumenical Humanism.20



NOTES



1 Francis Fukuyama, The end of History and the Last Man, Livanis publications, Athens1992., (greek edition).

2 Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era, Livanis publications, Athens 1996, (greek edition).

3 Fukuyama, The end of History, p. 13.

4 See also, William Greider, One World Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, Kastaniotis, Athens 1999, (greek edition).

5 See for example Fukuyama, «No, the end of history has not arrived», interview with Aristotelia Peloni, Ta Nea daily newspaper, 5 April 2006.

6 Rifkin, The End of Work, p.50.

7 Karl Marx, Das Kapital, in Marx-Engels Werke, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1973, vol. 25, pp. 19, 51, 97, 99, 180, 271 and 412, (german edition)

8 Ibid, vol. 25, pp. 18, 99, 180, 223, 225, 227, 236, 249, 271, 392 and 412.

9 Ibid, vol. 23, p. 198.

10 Ibid, vol. 25, pp. 257, 274, 456, 457, 815-818.

11 Ibid, vol. 25, pp. 12, 49, 90, 93, 95, 99, 105, 741-743.

12 Karl Marx, Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1974, p. 215, (gertman edition).

13 Marx, Das Kapital, vol. 25, pp. 884-889

14 Ibid, vol. 25, p. 223.

15 Jacques Attali, Millennium. Winners and Losers in the Coming World Order, Random House, New York 1991, p. 101, refers to Rifkin, The End of Work, p. 64.

16 «Capital is not a thing but a specific social relationship of production, belonging to a specific socio-historical formation and this relationship is depicted as a “thing”, which in this way acquires a specific social character »: Marx Karl, Das Kapital, vol. 25, p. 822.

17 Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Boukoumanis publications, Athens 1974, (greek edition).

18 Rifkin, The End of History, p. 73.

19 Ibid, p. 117.

20 See also, Kostas Lambos, «The 21st Century Humanism is our Humanism», in www.Infonewhumanism.blogspot.com, 21 November 2007 and www.monthlyreview.gr, 30 November 2007.



Athens, 17 August 2008



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* Kostas Lambos (prodial21@gmail.com) holds s PhD in Economics from Freie Universität Berlin. He has taught History of Economic Theories and European Economic history at the University of Macedonia, State and Greek experience of Development, Technology and Labour relations at the National School of Public Administration and also Economic Planning and Cooperative Economy at the Athens Technological Institute (TEI). He is a prolific writer and his articles have been published in the Monthly Review magazine and website since 1982.


In November 2007 he launched the Dialogue for a New Humanism Initiative website (http://newecumenicalhumanism.blogspot.com).



MONTHLY REVIEW, 46/10.2008, Pages 54-60 (Greek Edition)



Social and political leadership

The historical aspects

of social and political leadership

A theoretical approach*

(Abstract)
Dr Kostas Lampos


The conceptual approach of the term ‘Leadership’, arraigns directly to its’ synonyms: Chiefdom, Commandment, Power, Hegemony and it indicates the relationship between the holder of Leadership, the Leader and his subjects, the followers. The means that establish, serve and support this relationship are Force, ‘Charisma’, Charm, Knowledge, Guile, Violence and Wealth –from the side of the ‘Leader’ and Necessity, Fear, Faith and Hope from the side of the ‘Followers’. This relationship is expressed as an informal ‘Contract’ based on the ‘Vision’ or the ‘Plan’ of any Leader, that, in one or another way, in a higher or lesser degree, has been ‘adopted’ by the followers with the expectation of improving their position or even the expectation of some form of ‘salvation’.

The development of the relationship between the Leader and the followers has taken place in parallel with the development of societies and civilizations and has changed forms during time and space via the effect of any given Leader, as he was being formed by the historical circumstances.

The social Leadership has a bidirectional relationship with any class divided and hierarchically structured, authoritative –hence manipulative- society and is being judged accordingly to its capacity to compose and lead the contradictive parts of society in a combined, positive way that can be referred as ‘progress’ in a sense of promoting the ‘public welfare’ and advancing the position of the vast majority of citizens.

Nowadays, in the times of post-capitalism, Leadership is facing a serious crisis. This crisis rises from the fact that the capitalistic system, having already exhausted its historical cycle as a leading power of society -as a result of the decreasing propensity of the average percentage of profit, is taking cover in a fruitless ‘economism’, thus being incapable of and hence necessarily denying the role of the social Leader, confining itself only to the narrow role of class master-exploiter of Labour.

This situation worsens day by day and that is depicted in modern Neo-liberal globalization. The outcome of this is the diminishing of any sort of social characteristics of mature capitalism and the abolishment of national societies and Leaders, by subjugating them to the one and only Leadership of the global Leader, as a last resort for the salvation of capitalism.

Therefore, we are experiencing the crisis of the end of traditional social Leadership. The local and national societies have no longer their own leadership because it has been abolished by the Leader and substituted by his representatives who act as Leadership substitutes.

But this raises the question once again; what kind of a society do we want and what kind of a society are we able to build on the ruins of the one that has failed, along with its various models of Leadership?

The answer that Humanity will give to this question will define what kind of Leadership we need for the New Vision for Humanity, or even if we need any kind of Leadership at all...
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* A Contribution to the 3d Pan-Hellenic conference of Political Psychology, Rethymno, May 2006, Published by MONTHLY REVIEW, 33/09.2007, Pages 70-81.( Greek Edition)