Sir …. – Yes, Milord ….
And one surely could enter with this a more or less exciting excursion on the use of the different salutations, the hierachies and also the ways in which forms or substance is carried over different eras. Don’t we all know the landlord? And don’t we all appreciate the awareness of the home as the castle? (and if it is the case, don’t we all appreciate our status as client, protected and looked after by the patron, hoping for the lord being our servant?)
Sure, plays with words; and nevertheless not only a matter of play in the sense of Schiller’s ascendence to a state of freedom, the elevation from the blunt realm of need, reaching the realm of insight, and foresight and re-sight …, ops: the sight is here spectation, the term is then respect.
It is beyond this play also a matter of the rules of disguise, the permanent crossing of borders and at the end the loss of ground. The world is a stage – and occasionally we may loose out of sight if we are moving in the real world or on a stage, or if the world is actually truly not more than a stage.
Frequently this had been an issue for me not least in reflections on the current changes of the economic system – in its very fundamental patterns, going far beyond neoliberalism and austerity policies etc. – for instance when reflecting on the Ode of Joy and the Tragedy of Europe
The difficulty of fully understanding what is going on in the political-economic development, the social policy and the emergence of new mechanisms of governing ad governance – mechanisms that emerge in front of our eyes as New Princedoms is not least one of being ‘tempted by disguise’.
Capitalism today is at least not hesitating in any way to step into any saucer standing in the way in order to allow the impression that this capitalism is not capitalism anymore but the renaissance of politics dominating the economy, accumulating power rather than capital – and actually not accumulating it but appropriating it by the means of violence and sham.
Indeed, have a look: he is a chip of the old block.
But still, there is one thing that deserves further thought: arts in the olden times had been more a matter of showing monetary wealth and ‘investing’ excess money. Today it is not least a means of making money.
The analysis still needs to be completed. Not least as it would be much too easy to look at it out of context. Rather, this just a tiny piece of a jigsaw. Another piece can be seen in something that is at first sight rather distant: a new law, currently initiated by the Geman government. It is about empowering private security firms to protect ships sailing under German flag – not such a new thing as private security firms are alreaday since some time employed with matters that had been strictly defined as state duty. This new advance is not about anything more or less than the transport of such ‘liberalisation’ into ‘international realms’: Like the self-elected currency watchdogs of IMF and World Bank we find now the erosion of state sovereignty in a different realm.
But again not a simple thing to assess. At first glance it is of course something that has to be rejected. However, we may also ask: why should the military forces continue participating in ‘private wars’. Finally we have to recognise that acts of priacy against the merchant fleet is … a private matter. So in any case we are facing a dilemma. This dilemma is about the very principle of sovreignty which is in the ‘modern’ state itself deeply engraved by an irresolvable contradiction: the people as supposed sovreign is governed by the state … which is (a) sovreign. Even in a ‘perfect democracy’ this cannot work without problem. – Even more so, it is doomed to fail in the light of another move across borders: one of the supoosed achievements of modernity is the separation of powers as we usually see it based in the ideas of Montesquieu. But looking at his ‘ideal state’ of balanced control we have to acknowledge two other important moments: Montesquieu himself had been equally important in his emphasis of the ‘new individualism’ – he had not been thinking of a state as people but a state of people. And not less important is the fact that he errected his vision on the ideas of Bodin who outlined a little bit earlier (1576) in his Six Livre de la République the state (république en Franch and Commonwealth in the English translation [I cannot access the Latin version now – could be interesting]) being the sovreign over both what would be the civil society Hegel had been talking about (i.e. the bourgeois economy) and also the ‘private realm’ or what we name civil society in the spirit for instance of Tocqueville. Remember, for Jean Bodin the state is characterised by centralisation of teh structures of decision, th bureaucratisation of the channels of decision and the emergence of a structured legal order – in particular the latter being a point of reference for Montesquieu.
Be it as it is – and that means: be it something that needs to be further explored in depth, we should be aware of what is centrally development before our eyes: it is not primarily about the scandals, it is not so much about the obvious impoverishment or the elitism of particular systems – well designed by the new nobility and badly defended by self-nominated noblemen who think they can cure educational systems with a sclapel. It is about the fundamental change of the mode of production. Naming and shaming this as neoliberalism and austerity policies would, I am afraid, be garment dyeing.
– And some scepticism may be allowed when new Robin Hoods claim to serve as rescuers.