Strengthening the European Social Model by Going Beyond

The following are the notes of the closing remarks during the conference “Rafforzare il Modello Sociale Europeo. Il contributo della Qualità Sociale alla coesione del sistema comunitario”, Venerdì 31 Ottobre 2014 presso la Sala Polifuzionale, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Rome

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I want to thank all participants for their contributions – they had been especially in their diversity a major challenge for me to think about the tasks ahead. The actual challenge is – another time – to overcome the contradiction between what we know and what we do. And it is probably correct to say that there is a general good will and acknowledgement of the virtues as we know them already since ancient times. And nevertheless we fail acting accordingly.

I will keep it short and will not develop the long story which we know from Pinocchio:

Pinocchio’s legs were so stiff that he could not move them, and Geppetto held his hand and showed him how to put out one foot after the other.

When his legs were limbered up, Pinocchio started walking by himself and ran all around the room. He came to the open door, and with one leap he was out into the street. Away he flew!

Of course, you may also refer to the work for instance of Max Weber, Niklas Luhmann and many others.

It seems today that we are facing a similar story: Europe had been established as system based on values as – amongst others – peace and justice. And now it seems to go entirely stray, following its own ways.

Already in the mid 1990s a large number of academics called for a focus on social quality as central parameter for future politics. In a declaration in Amsterdam it had been stated in 1997:

Respect for the fundamental human dignity of all citizens requires us to declare that we do not want to see growing numbers of beggars, tramps and homeless in the cities of Europe. Nor can we countenance a Europe with large numbers of unemployed, growing numbers of poor people and those who have only limited access to health care and social services. These and many other negative indicators demonstrate the current inadequacy of Europe to provide social quality for all its citizens. We want, in contrast, a European society that is economically successful, but which, at the same time, promotes social justice and participation for its citizens.

And actually there had been a very positive reception, the then commissioner for employment and social affairs highlighting the importance of focussing on social quality.

The two crucial points claimed had been the need to arrive at a policy design

  • that accepts the complexity and interdependencies of society. This meant to overcome a departmentalised approach, aiming on a new integrity which is not subordinated under rules of a de-socialised model economics
  • that goes beyond standard parameters of measuring economic success in quantitative terms, taking social quality as reference, and looking at peoples real and everyday’s life.

This merged in the claim concerned with politics, i.e. the need to develop policies beyond finding technical and short-term solutions.

I do not want to discuss the Lisbon strategy which stated in 2000

  1. The Union has today set itself a new strategic goal for the next decade: to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion

Leaving a structural analysis aside, THIS Europe had not been able to address the crisis, and actually it can be seen as part of a global political arena, leading straight into it, deepening and accelerating it. In actual fact we find today major challenges – most of them well-known and often discussed.

A major reason for the failing of the debates and analysis had been and is that the complexities and interdependencies had not been sufficiently considered: a matter of power, interests and of Pinocchio running his own way, even if they may have – or claim to have – the same vision.

Proposals for alternatives had been made from different sides, too often limited to models and dreams, simply based on abstract values. However, the reality needs to go beyond this. One of the major steps had been shown in November 2013, coming from an angle that had been perhaps unexpected by many, Pope Francis, writing about an economy that kills. More important than this statement had been another sentence in that paragraph, asking

How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.[1]

Indeed,

  • exorbitant growth of capital and productive potentials is going hand in hand with decreasing GDP and an increasing inequality instead of socio-economic security for all
  • growth is translated into production of waste, speculation and privatisation of public goods – which translates into “values” equal “consumables” instead of providing a foundation for social cohesion
  • employment is loosing its productive dimension – and also its function of “making a living”. Precarity is the norm instead of suggesting a new take on socially meaningful activities and cooperation that secures social inclusion
  • migration is not a problem – though it is made being a problem as long as it is an answer to which individuals are forced by the externalisation of costs of production instead of seeing the major potential for social empowerment.

All this can be put into a nutshell – at least people living in Rome will understand immediately and others probably just have to replace the names of places and streets. And it is only a rephrasing of what Francis said:

How is it possible that we ignore the homeless people and “celebrate excessive consumerism”: go to Termini station at 4 o’clock in the morning – and in the afternoon have a look at excessive luxury on the Via dei Condotti and even the Via del Corso.

Indeed, all the answers will remain a torso as long as we do not manage to re-embed all policy areas into one guiding principle, that orient on

the interaction between people (constituted as actors) and their constructed and natural environment. Its subject matter refers to people’s interrelated productive and reproductive relationships.[2]

The objective conditions of making use of the potentials will allow to translate social justice (equity), solidarity, equal valuation and human dignity, the normative factors presented in the framework of social quality, into meaningful parameters of an analytical tool and an instrument to systematically develop alternatives.

Urgently needed is in this light the confrontation of some major flaws of current politics:

Excessive cheap production and low fare trade, being a major feature of quantitative growth strategies are established on the strategies of sheep advertising and “low fair production”.

But we urgently need

  • planning
  • public responsibility
  • solidarity enshrined in rights
  • making people themselves the public

What else remains to be said? Since several years now there is a label on cigarette now: Smoking kills Perhaps we should think about this in connection with the words of Pope Francis and public responsibility.

Demands

EU

The EU has to refocus policies: instead of adjoining welfare policies to a growth oriented strategy of competitiveness, policies have to be focused on the social as people’s interrelated productive and reproductive relationships in everyday’s life as the true aim of policy making.

National Governments

National governments have to commit themselves to the same goal, strongly considering their action as part of their global responsibility.

Municipalities and Regional Bodies

It is necessary to orient local and regional policies on strategies that take overall sustainability into account, and allow for participative approaches that foster the interaction between people (constituted as actors) and their constructed and natural environment.

Trade Unions

It is necessary to develop new understandings of syndicalism, thoroughly analysing the critical developments on labour markets and in society, putting more emphasis on the representation of men and women in atypical employment and the societal contributions made outside of labour markets.

Civil Society

The role of civil society is to provide a glue between the different levels and realms of society and to link particularistic interests into the wider context of an overall sustainable society

Academic World

Interdisciplinary orientation cannot be a catchword alone but has to be implemented and a permanent guideline of academic world – be it in teaching or research. For this the academic world has to be open for heterodox approaches, a truly open debate and a non-competitive working climate that is rooted in discourse and exchange.

Our Commitment

We as European Observatory on Social Quality commit ourselves

  • to further elaborate the theory and practice,
  • to contribute with concrete analysis of living conditions and daily life in a comprehensive understanding
  • to develop a network of and link between academics, politicians and civil society
  • to provide services that foster the overall aim of moving towards a society that is based in the orientation on overall sustainability and social cohesion.

The goal then will not be paradise – but a proper use of the resources we have.

 

[1]            Pope Francis, 2013: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, consecrated persons and the Lay Faithful on the proclamation of the gospel in today’s world; Città del Vaticano; Libreria Editrice Vaticana; http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html – 28/10/14

[2] van der Maesen, Laurent J.G./Walker, Alan, 2012: Social Quality and Sustainability; in: Van der Maesen, Laurent J.G./Walker, Alan (eds.): Social Quality. From Theory to Indicators: Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 250-274; here: 260

The Beauty and the Beast – or: Variations on the Seemingly Eternal

I admit, I did not expect that the question of the Beauty and the Beast would have so many different manifest facets, but I would always have assumed many hidden facets and we rarely think about them, and perhaps even barely recognise them. Some of these meanings may come across in a modern-dusted gown, others in old fancy dresses – of course I am aware of such formulation standing against the general expectation which usually sees dust on the old and fanciness with the new.

Be it so, I suggest starting with some patchwork snippets.

* The Beauty and the Beast – Crusades: the world of lords, knights, foot-soldiers, peasants: suggesting the fancy world of a suggested good: the One Lord reigning eternity, a holy empire for secularity, being an empire of holiness with gods, angels, gnomes and fairies …, presenting itself as mystical for some, but as simple and massive power block for others.

* The Beauty and the Beast – it is[1] about palaces and hovels: the world of glory, of glamour, first derived from gods; then derived from people’s votes; and frequently based on pure violence, all being seen as matter of power: the possession of ultimate control, all this standing against the corners, hidden, though they do not have anything to hide, suppressed though people are already living very much on the bottom, first supposed by gods as “his will” is that we are deprived from material goods which would distract from god; then seen as consequence of people’s decisions: the lack of work-ethics, the failure to show eagerness …, the refusal to serve the goods in form of commodities, and the adherence to the gods, seen as values of humane existence, worshipping justice and hoping for solidarity; and very often based on pure violence: open or structural, the force of competition of the pure market-society, people deprived from rights as much as labour is deprived from its social character – a disembedded economy.

– We may halt for a second as there seems to be another side to it: the lonely emperor, suffering from his old clothes, and the rich peasant, not controlling much, but at least controlling the little according to the own will. Much had been said about the happiness and the paradoxes, not only starting with the work presented by Richard Easterlin and the critique of the same – but too little had been said that the rat race is, or becomes at some stage purely capitalism as perversion, and nothing else: the production of waste, the perversion of its own rules and the perversion of people’s life – further topped by celebrating such perversion by a kind of exhibitionism.

* The Beauty and the Beast – new identities: in the society of No Logo the logo counts, and though there is still value to things in terms of their use, this use is shifting increasingly to a symbolic instance, the so called positional goods – the use of defining and allocating oneself, thus generating the social on a secondary, derived level: not the direct interaction as production and reproduction of everyday’s life as metabolism with nature, but the possession of goods: commodities, power and control over nature is “what counts”.

The old economy is “factory based” and “capabilities driven” and hence “production-focused” an manufacturing actual products

– and we should not forget: also on enjoying these products, nor should we forget that all this is also about hard work and suspension of gratification and satisfaction and maintaining, even reinforcing the Victorian distinction between the deserving and the non-deserving poor

while the new economy is “consumer based” and “consumer-focused” and hence concerned not with manufacturing products but “creating brands”.[2]

There is surely much to be discussed in the connection with all this and some had been pointed out earlier: the supposed facts, the analysis and the interpretation. Not least we have to consider

[t]hat defence [of traditional livelihoods] is easily supported by an anticapitalist Left in opposition, and has been adopted by the current World Forum Movement: ‘We do not want development. We just want to live’, declared a front-stage banner at the World Social Forum in Mumbai in 2004.

(Therborn, Gøran, 2008: From Marxism to Post-Marxism?; London/New York; Verso: 35)

As already stated elsewhere,

Of course, we should not overlook the inherent danger – and in particular looking back to Ireland as one of the pronounced EUropean countries or also looking at countries like Brazil one should not overlook what is easily forgotten: Pleading for more equal societies cannot mean ‘equality on unbearable levels of subsistence. The ‘old Irish poverty’, people likely saying ‘we are all poor’ may have had something tempting in its simplicity of suggested equality,[3] but it surely did not have anything tempting with respect to living standards, living conditions and simply in terms of bare existence.[4]

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It seems that all this found a point of culmination recently – at stake is a place of adoration: La Cappella Sistina, a place of stunning beauty and a place of spiritual elevation which is second only to the Vatican catacombs and there Confessio[5] and the private chapel where the popes supposedly begin their days with a private celebration of a mass[6]. The latter has this meaning at least in terms of the spiritual elevation (in modern language it translates to something like it the meeting room where the boss [= god] provides everyday the guidelines to one of the top CEOs, the branch manager of the Catholic section of human kind – it is widely unknown if and where he meets the CEOs of other branches, let alone that we any idea if and where he meets the CEOs of other planets).

Now there is a “new access”: The Vatican opened the Chapel for “the public”, another public, namely that public that is able to pay: in this case a Porsche club, accessing the chapel supposedly as part of a charity event. The Vatican rejects that it is a business issue and claims the charitable character standing at the very centre.

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Still, one may ask if this is the right point for surely needed disenchantment – or perhaps the question should be put forward in a different way: if this is the right way for such disenchantment. Asking this is not about religious issues: the justification of the claims of mystery that is usually connected with religion. But it may admittedly be a matter of the valuation of arts and the excitement of really experiencing the immediate and “private” confrontation with such masterpiece – I have am lucky and privileged in having some personal experience standing behind this statement, though linked to van Rijn’s Nightwatch and Picasso’s Guernica. Such experience – standing in front of such piece just by way of a “private encounter”[7] is truly unique and actually the opposite of private: it is about delving into the public, social world of another era: an era of unbelievable grandess and construction in the one case; an era of unbelievable dehumanisation and destruction in the other case.

Thinking about the “nuova porta santa”, I am torn between different interpretations: disenchantment of religion and arts by commodification of another realm; the need of money to appreciate something special or the availability of money as making something special – visiting the chapel because it is expensive, because others cannot do it (this way); and finally the interpretation that all this actually the return of (though not religion so at least) the institutionalised “modern” church to its very existence, while wearing a new dress. History gives surely some clues, the two most important: first, the sale of indulgences can be seen as taking a new form: “doing good”, paying for charity and being allowed to experience the extraordinary even during this life; second, the role in particular of the Medici, somewhat alternating between the two roles of being banker of the Vatican and being pope. Indeed and cum grano salis we may refer to the famous passage

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

This is surely a question about religion, the self-understanding of the Vatican, institutionalised religion and so on. But it concerns also a much wider issue. One commentator brings it to the point

Ma si! Affittiamo pure il Colosseo per fare di nuovo i giochi gladiatori. Renzi contro Berlusconi non sarebbe male! Sai i soldi che farebbe la RAI trasmettendo il duello in mondovisione!

It would also fit well into my considerations about World’s New Princedoms. Critical Remarks on Claimed Alternatives by New Life.

And even the recent posting on the Finnish Babybox plays a role.

Finally, is it true then… ? Can progress only be obtained for the price of exclusion ….? How do we define the backyards and the yards of the courts – and how do the rulers of the courts define us who are living in the backyards, occasionally being allowed to have a glimpse over the fence?

Disenchantement. Enlightenment suggested it in different versions as “pure reason”: The French rational citoyen; the German rational bourgeois, the Scottish rational market citizen – all moving rationally forward by the “pursuit of Happiness”.

This had been well summarised a long time ago:

This sphere that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. There alone rule Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller of a commodity, say of labour-power, are constrained only by their own free will. They contract as free agents, and the agreement they come to, is but the form in which they give legal expression to their common will. Equality, because each enters into relation with the other, as with a simple owner of commodities, and they exchange equivalent for equivalent. Property, because each disposes only of what is his own. And Bentham, because each looks only to himself. The only force that brings them together and puts them in relation with each other, is the selfishness, the gain and the private interests of each. Each looks to himself only, and no one troubles himself about the rest, and just because they do so, do they all, in accordance with the pre-established harmony of things, or under the auspices of an all-shrewd providence, work together to their mutual advantage, for the common weal and in the interest of all.

Now, disenchantment has also some other dimension, bringing dialectically two issues together: It had been said that

[m]en make their own history.[8]

And it had been said that

[t]he philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

In this light, thinking about progress has to mean to change the conditions under which we make our history, i.e. to control these conditions under which we make history.

Finally, isn’t it true?

There are no supreme saviours

Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.

 

[1]            Keep also Buechner’s Hessian Courier in mind.

[2]            Barber, Benjamin R.: Consumed. How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole; Bew York/London: W.W. Norton&Company: 169 f., with reference to Marc Gobé, 2001: Emotional Branding. The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People; New York: Allworth Press: XIV

[3] Leaving aside the fact that such equality surely had been at no stage absolute.

[4]            Social Policy – Production rather than Distribution. A Rights-Based Approach; Bremen/Oxford: EHV Academicpress; 2014: 89

[5]            Rarely open to the public

[6]            Of course, more or less never open to the public – here religion finds the only location it should be allowed to claim: the private realm.

[7]            Yes, there had been security …

[8]            Yes, women too – just one example for Marx thinking in this way comes from a letter to Kugelmann, written in 1868:

“I think that German women should begin by driving their husbands to self-emancipation.” Actually there are many other references, taking up the immediate role of women and also the reference to assessing progress by looking at the emancipation of women.

Reality – perversion, reversion, revision 

The discussion on privatisation, retrenchment, alteration, economisation, marketisation etc. is not new – nor is it a matter that can be easily access when looking at the figures. Actually we find contradicting figures, and it is frequently emphasised that the problem is not “less spending” but diverted spending.

Looking at the figures, and concisely analysing them as matter of facts and trends, is surely of utmost importance, finally we are talking about the future, and that means not least that we are talking about out children.

Apropos children: European societies claim, though in different ways, to be especially child friendly: indeed, nostri carini bambini; Children, our future; and even the notion that we only borrowed the world from them …
Here, social care and social security is also a crucially important issue. And as much as the state is still often represented in the figure of Leviathan, the Vater Staat (state as father), Uncle Sam, the personification of a sovereign that actually can only claim his sovereignty from the people as legal sovereigns, there is of course also a mother to all of this, and of course: the caring part, looking after the children and not only considering the blunt material aspects but reaching out with her TLC – the tender loving care.
Part of it is in Finland the Edelliset äitiyspakkaukset, i.e. Maternity Package. It is part of the Finish policy, nowadays seen as part of the national culture and surely there are many things that can be discussed (including the fact that the 2014 package contains condoms which may be misunderstood in this context). More serious, the point that it had been known for a ling time as MATERNITY package, instead of being seen as package for the children or Parental Package …
Now to globalisation: This package had never been free. Actually (terms and conditions apply) people could chose this package or a cash payment of 140 Euro, and trusting the figures, approximately 95 % chose the good value for money instead of the money pure – as said: there is the “cultural dimension” to it.
Anyway, that it is much appreciated can also be seen in the initiative by three young fathers: namely Anssi, dad of Otso, Anton, dad of Thilde and Max and Heikki, dad of Ronja and Joel.
Oh yes, we see, Finish men can also develop this TLC-attitudem, act as “mother state” to its citizens. And they offer it globally:

GET YOURS FOR $459 (limited time pre-order offer)

Much can be said – among the many things ultimately: there is a serpent creeping around Europe, filling every pore with he toxic venom of consumerism, commodification of everything … — and it will only be stopped by reviving the specter that had been haunting Europe in the middle of the middle of the 1800s.

mutation effects of globalisation?

Have a look at this, the nice and vivid young people, enjoying life and living …, shown in this SKYPE ad, I recently received – and then make a rough count of country/region of origin.

I do not really know the target group of this ad in terms of country or region – but I remember that on a recent visit to China I had been somewhat surprised when looking at the large poster ads: many, especially female “exhibits” looked very “Western”.
Nothing wrong with looking Western or looking Eastern, still remarkable how globalisation apparently changes even how we look and who we are (supposed to be) , isn’t it?

Privacy – there is more to it

I got recently a mail from a colleague from a place where I worked for some time during my professional existence – it had been sent to colleagues and some others, being concerned with data security issues in connection with dropbox. This mail provoked some wider contextualisation from my side which I sent as reply – this is reproduced in the following.

 

Thank you …, good to hear from you – though in ways not the best things.
Though personally I am not sooooo concerned in some way (the experience of having been permanently surveyed when I lived in West Germany at least in the 60s, and 70s and having faced some of the consequences of the 72-“administrative decree known as Berufsverbot did have a somewhat numbing effect) we are surely facing a frightening development: not least as personal data are used by war mongers, by business sectors for the war of consumerist terror and by individuals and groups who hack into personal e-mail accounts, using them for sending SPAM. There is however another dimension to all this which may – and I think should – require a minute of thought.

You see here an article under the heading
EU Citizen Science Initiative Asks Us All To Do Our Part
in the journal research*EU results magazine 35, page 17 f. – looking at the date mentioned at the end of the article it seems to be obsolete. However, the question is not so much about this specific initiative. The point is that we are increasingly – and uncritically – justifying with our research approaches without considering their ambiguity. In particular, we are in many cases making ourselves to string puppets, eager to collect data, getting more descriptive research done etc. while at the same time fading out the actual use of the overall research or of the data. This goes far beyond the personal sensitive stuff of staff, students etc. I discussed issues around this recently, participating in a conference against militarism and war where relevant issues had been tabled not least in connection with so-called double use patterns of technologies like drones (BTW: cheap offers for private use, already from some “good stuff” available for about 400 Euro).

Keeping things short, there is also from this side the need to develop more critical strategies – the “more” as matter of quality: more fundamental, more principal and accepting in more serious ways our role as educators instead of seeing the work we do as providers of “pure” knowledge and skills. Looking at this, the shocking part is not only starting when it comes to extremes like the development in Hungary (where direct government intervention in teaching is “reasonably” common). The shocking part is not only starting when it comes to developments where (as in Lithuania) a social policy department is now renamed as department for social technology. The really dangerous part is where we are not critically taking up our responsibility and remain stuck in the cocoons of individualist reseachers, unwilling and unabled (sorry, the term should exist, against Microsoft’s will) to collaborate in a sound and integrated and radical way.
Sure, part of it is that we cannot change the situation as individuals though we have to change the individuals in order to change the situation. And part of it being the ambiguity of working towards a process of change itself: Apparently we are fighting for “the social” as individuals.  Sure, all this includes the challenge that we have to get off the pedestals that are still characterising academia: as we chanted in the late 60s

Under the gowns / Is the musty odour of a thousand years

(see another potential abuser of data processing – wikipedia, here in German on the slogan and in English on the context the context)

All this is, of course, not least linked the the loss of readiness to think of contradictions as driving force of development – already the notion of dialectical and historical materialism is whipped out, even in “progressive” thinking, unfit for being squeezed into slide-thinking of presentations which are always not least self-presentations. In this context, I hope that the science shop (as it had been called those times) is developing in a direction which is not moving and moved further against the intention which I have had when I co-initialised the work.
All the best and enjoy the weekend – camminare insieme 😉
Peter

Die Soziale Mobilmachung Europas

Peter Herrmann[i]

Die Soziale Mobilmachung Europas

Notizen im Zusammenhang mit einem Beitrag aus der Antikriegskonferenz in Berlin, 3.-5. Oktober 2014

„Es gibt viele Arten zu töten. Man kann einem ein Messer in den Bauch stechen, einem das Brot entziehen, einen von einer Krankheit nicht heilen, einen in eine schlechte Wohnung stecken, einen durch Arbeit zu Tode schinden, einen zum Suizid treiben, einen in den Krieg führen usw. Nur weniges davon ist in unserem Staat verboten.“[1]

Einführung und Grundführung

Krieg und Nichtkrieg – darum geht es ja bei einer Initiative wie der hiesigen – war und ist immer eine Frage um Grenzen. Und es erscheint es als eine Frage von physischen Grenzen zwischen Staaten bzw. Nationen. Zu sagen, es handele sich um eine Frage von Staatsgrenzen, richtet schnell den Blick auf einen Ausdruck, der verschiedentlich den Staatsbegriff in metaphorischer Weise verwendet und damit – wohl ungewollt – den Blick auf einen wesentlichen Teil des Problems richtet: die Rede ist vom Staat im Staate.

Dieser Begriff findet sich vor allem in zwei wichtigen Verwendungen. Zum einen als Bezeichnung für eine „konspirative Herrschaftsorganisation“, die die innere Ordnung sichert und dabei in eigenartiger Weise die beiden Dimensionen, die Gramsci für Hegemonie benennt, zusammenbindet: Nicht zuletzt geht es um das Militär als Staat im Staate. Zum anderen geht es um eine mögliche Gegenmacht: nicht zuletzt war die frühere Sozialdemokratie mit dem umfassenden Netz von der Wiege bis zur Bahre auch als Staat im Staate klassifiziert – das war freilich pejorativ gemeint. Ob es sich dabei um eine Art innere Emigration handelte, um die Kopie von Herrschaftsstrukturen oder anderes handelte, muss hier nicht interessieren. Wichtig ist, dass auf diese Weise die Klassenstrukturen als Kern des Problems genannt sind. Denn immer, wenn es um militärische Auseinandersetzungen ging und geht, steht die Soziale Frage mehr oder weniger direkt im Begründungszusammenhang.

So oder so, diese kurze Diskussion zeigt, dass es im Kern eben nicht um einen kapitalistischen Staat als einen homogenen Block geht, der einen ebenso homogenen Block entgegensteht. Ich schlage folgende Gliederung für die weitere Analyse vor:

  • Die Kernkräfte des mehr oder weniger direkt gewaltorientierten Herrschaftsapparates
  • Die eher globalistisch orientierten Hegemonialkräfte
  • Die formierten Gegenkräfte
  • Die – scheinbar – Passiven

Die Metapher vom Staat im Staate soll im Folgenden nicht weiter verfolgt werden. Nun ist auch nicht jede „soziale Ungerechtigkeit“ gleich eine Kriegserklärung. Wohl aber lässt sich derzeit davon sprechen, dass die alte soziale Frage heute genau diesen Zusammenhang wieder Bedeutung gewinnt: Es geht um die Neudefinition der entscheidenden Grenzen. Wichtig ist daher, die komplizierte Überschneidung verschiedener Interessensphären auch in räumlicher Hinsicht:

  • Traditionale Nationalstaatlichkeit
  • „Regionale Staatlichkeit“ – hier und gegenwärtig insbesondere die EU
  • Die subnationale Regionalebene, die wieder verstärkte Bedeutung gewinnt und dabei nicht zuletzt eine neue Form von Antimilitarismus begründet – Schottland ist als jüngstes Beispiel hier zu nennen
  • Eine virtuelle Globalität – trotz des virtuellen Charakters haben wir es dabei aber mit sehr realen Ansätzen zu tun:
    • dem globalen Kapitalismus, der real, aber zugleich in diffusen Formen auftritt
    • der globalen Anti- und Alter-Globalisierungsbewegung mit ihren äußerst heterogenen Formen der Erscheinung und Äußerung.

All dies ist nun vor dem Hintergrund zweier weiterer Momente zu sehen, die die Neuordnung der Welt bestimmen – es handelt sich im Grunde um die zwei Seiten einer Medaille:

  • Die radikale Herausbildung einer neuen Stufe der Produktivkraftentwicklung
  • Die auf eine neue Stufe gehobene Akkumulation durch Enteignung.

Dies sind allgemeine Bestimmungen, die einen Rahmen abstecken, gegen den eine Bestimmung und Analyse verschiedener Politikmomente möglich ist. Es wird vor diesem Hintergrund auch möglich, die Widersprüchlichkeit zu erfassen, und ebenso die tatsächliche Gefahr der gegenwärtigen „inneren Mobilmachung“ bzw. „inneren Aufrüstung“ zu erkennen – Dabei ist eine Art Paradox festzustellen: die Aufrüstung hängt von einer pervertierten Abrüstung der Arbeitskräfte bzw. Ware Arbeitskraft ab. Der „Staat über dem Staat“, von dem Liebknecht gesprochen hat, hat eben auch eine andere Seite: die (un-)soziale Unterfütterung, die das Militär, der Militarismus und allgemein die Bereitschaft, Gewalt als eine inadäquate Antwort auf politische Fragen anzuerkennen, gesellschaftsfähig zu machen.

Zwei Seiten einer solchen Mobilmachung sind zu unterscheiden: die generelle Verunsicherung, mit der Entfachung eines „Kampfbewusstseins des Jeder-gegen-Jeden“. Zum anderen die Fortsetzung des Überwachen, Kontrollieren und Intervenieren, wie von Volker Eick vorgestellt.

Jugendarbeitslosigkeit

Meines Erachtens greift es zu kurz, wenn wir immer wieder allgemein von Neoliberalismus sprechen – insbesondere der Blick auf das Problem der sog. Arbeitsmarktpolitik sollte uns weiter aufhorchen lassen – wir müssen es ernster nehmen, wenn von einem fundamentalen Umbau gesprochen wird. Die Zahlen sind allemal erschreckend. Dies bezieht sich auf die absolute Höhe, aber auch die zunehmende Anzahl von Nicht-Standardisierten Arbeitsverhältnissen.

Ein kleiner Überblick in Zahlen:

The figures are alarming. Some 5.2 million young people are out of work in the EU today. The youth unemployment rate, which stood at 23.5% in 2013, is thus over twice as high as that for people of working age in general. A staggering 7.5 million of people aged 15-24 are not in employment, education or training (NEET). One third of young unemployed have been jobless for more than a year. Even when they find a job, young people often find themselves trapped at the precarious end of the labour market: 42.7 % were on temporary contracts in 2013 compared with 13.8 % of the over- all population of working age.[2]

Speziell mit Blick auf befristete Arbeitsverhältnisse ergibt sich folgendes Bild:

Over the three years 2009–2012, the proportion of young people in work with temporary contracts of employment rose in 20 of the 28 countries. The increase was particularly large in a number of countries which were most affected by the crisis – in Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and Italy. The proportion of young people employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones was larger in 2012 than in 2007 in all but nine countries, despite the initial reduction in the number of fixed-term contract jobs in many cases in the recession years.[3]

Dabei fällt neben der schlicht erschreckenden Höhe auf, dass es nun zunehmend auch die sog. bildungsnahen Schichten sind, für die die im Marktselbstlauf versprochene rosige Zukunft eine Illusion ist. Dies wird verschieden interpretiert – und nicht zuletzt von einem zunehmend verängstigten Mittelstand als Gefahr angesehen. Aber genau hier liegt eines der großen Probleme. Es handelt sich in gewisser Weise um eine Normalisierung des Kapitalismus: zeitweilige Privilegien sind nun unter Druck geraten. Die für viele schwer akzeptierbare Crux ist eben, dass vermeintliche Normalitäten nun durch tatsächliche Normalitäten eingeholt werden. Daher ist das Nachtrauern um eine verlorene Mittelstandsvergangenheit selbst schon eine Art akzeptierte Kriegsvorbereitung: die Kriegsbegeisterten waren ja vor allem immer diejenigen, die den inneren System-Krieg verloren haben.

Nun ist es freilich doch ein wenig komplizierter: Hinter dem Verlust von Privilegien stehen zwei Faktoren: zum einen waren diese durch einen zeitweisen Überschuss möglich – das nicht auf Deutschland begrenzte Nachkriegswunder ist nun auf den Boden der weniger wunderbaren Alltagsrealität zurückgekehrt. Zum anderen haben sich aber die Bedingungen des Kapitalismus selbst mehr oder weniger grundsätzlich gewandelt; vor allem der Wandel der Produktivkräfte und Produktionsweise – in engem Zusammenhang mit einer spezifischen Ausprägung von Globalisierung – sind hier zu nennen.

Die spezifische Ausprägung der Globalisierung ist ein zweiter wesentlicher Punkt: Schaut man sich die Zahlen zur Jugendarbeitslosigkeit genauer an, so fällt eine enorme regionale Disparität auf. Wichtig ist, dies als eine neue Definition von Peripherie und Semi-Peripherie zu sehen.

Fasst man beides zusammen, kann es auf einen einfachen Nenner gebracht werden:

Auf dem Altar der inneren und äußeren Neuordnung der Welt werden bestimmte Gruppen und bestimmte Regionen zur Opferschlachtbank geführt. Eine entscheidende neuere Entwicklung ist, dass diese Opfer zunehmend auch von der „alten Mitte“ gefordert werden. – Damit sind zwei weitere Fronten errichtet.

Rassismus

Die EU-Politik ist in dieser Hinsicht „erfolgreich“: Betrachtet man die Politik, die mit Blick auf Rassismus relevant ist, so ist sie zunächst als Fortsetzung der Festungspolitik zu sehen. Begleitet wird dies von verschiedenen weichen Maßnahmen, die eher appellativen Charakter haben.

Ein zweiter Punkt besteht in der Entsolidarisierung – unabhängig von den Details: Ein Land wie Italien steht dabei allein vor einem massiven Problem: ein Problem, weil Einwanderung „einfach passiert“, ein Problem auch, weil eine globale Entwicklung nationalisiert wird: ein Nationalstaat soll allein eine Antwort finden.

Einige wenige Zahlen zu der L’emergenza, der „Notlage“, wie es il sole 24 ore bezeichnet

1.889 Morti e dispersi

Stima Onu di morti e dispersi in mare per raggiungere l’Europa da gennaio 2014

108.172 Sbarchi in Italia

Stima Onu degli arrivi via mare sulle

coste italiane da gennaio 2014

453 Scafisti arrestati

Dati del Viminale, da ottobre 2013

ad agosto 2014[4]

Der Streit um FRONTEX-plus und die Gegenüberstellung dieser neuen EU-Initiative gegen die italienische Initiative Mare Nostrum erscheint dabei zynisch:

E il ministro dell’Interno, Angelino Alfano trona a parlare di Frontex plus che partirà dal primo novembre: a quel punto «chiederemo al governo di chiudere l’operazione Mare Nostrum».[5]

Aber dann finden sich auch Hinweise, dass es eben nicht um einen Ersatz gehen könne, dass es ein Ergänzungsprogramm sei etc. – dies wird dann als Beschwerde vorgebracht, oder aber als resignierte Feststellung. Allemal muss bedacht werden:

De plus, si Frontex doit prendre le relais, son mandat doit être clarifié. Parce que pour l’instant il s’agit d’une agence spécialisée dans le contrôle et la dissuasion des migrants.[6]

Teil einer EUropäischen Lösung wäre in der tatsächlichen Implementierung der Dublin-Regelungen zu sehen:

La solution c’est que les états européens qui ne sont pas sur la frontière méditerranéenne acceptent de partager la prise en charge de ces personnes. Certaines dispositions de Dublin III sont inexploitées ou mal interprétées. Le règlement permet de transférer des personnes vers des états où elles auraient des attaches familiales, linguistiques ou culturelles.[7]

– Freilich, dass man nun als Linker eine Einlösung einer letztlich konservativen Regelung fordern muss, zeigt, wie degeneriert die Situation bereits ist. Ein Punkt, der in diesem Zusammenhang auch Erwähnung finden sollte ist in der Klassifizierung der Scafisti, der Menschenhändler bzw. Fluchthelfer zu sehen.[8] Außerdem ist FRONTEX und sind die verschiedenen Regelungen vor allem immer in dem Doppelcharakter zu sehen, dass sie einerseits strikt der Sicherung der Sicherung der äußeren Grenzen dienen, andererseits gewisse humanitäre Momente beinhalten.

Dabei ist ein weiterer Punkt zu berücksichtigen: Tatsächlich wird ein bemerkenswerter Teil der Wirtschaft, nicht zuletzt der Einzelhandel, von Migrant(Inn)en getragen. Es entsteht eine seltsame – und allemal gefährliche – Gemengelage von mafiösen Abhängigkeiten, Abhängigkeiten von Billigprodukten und teils Konfrontationen zwischen „Wir“ und „Ihr“: Wir erscheinen nun abhängig von den anderen, die, anders als wir, ihr Glück machen. Wahrheit spielt dabei keine Rolle. Und so kann die verlorene wirkliche Solidarität ersetzt werden durch eine Scheinsolidarität gegen die MigrantInnen.

Das Gewalt insgesamt bisher nur eine relativ geringe Rolle spielt, haben wir der permanenten, teils in den Köpfen selbst stattfindenden (Selbst-)Überwachung zu verdanken (siehe den Beitrag von Eick). Diese Selbstüberwachung nimmt dabei nicht zuletzt die Form der vollkommenen Individualisierung an, die sich als Neudefinition des Sozialen ausdrückt. Und es ist der Tatsache geschuldet, dass ein Grossteil der Gewalt an die Außengrenzen verlagert ist. – Und wie der Beitrag von Susann Witt-Stahl gezeigt hat, auch in ein Außen des Selbst: Computer-Spiele töten nicht unbedingt, aber wenn das Leben selbst gleichsam zum Computerspiel verkommt, wird das Töten gleichsam zum Spiel.

Modernisierter Arbeitsdienst

Von einem modernisierten Arbeitsdienst zu sprechen, weist auf unterschiedliche Dimensionen:

(i) Konzepte der sogenannten Aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik haben vielfach den Charakter struktureller Gewalt. Die Lebenssicherung erfordert zu einem Grossteil Selbstverleugnung. Diese entsteht nicht zuletzt durch die Verbindung mit einer Sozialpädagogisierung und einer Art von Therapeutisierung von Maßnahmen. Verschiedentlich wird von der Unmöglichkeit von empowerment gesprochen, weil das Konzept eine strukturelle Ungleichverteilung von Macht voraussetzt. Dies kann man selten so deutlich sehen, wie in diesem Zusammenhang: betroffene werden zunächst einmal zumindest psychologisch entmündigt, um sie dann zu „ermächtigen“ – Councelling wird dabei explizit in den Maßnahmekatalog einbezogen.

(ii) Der Aspekt des „Modernen“ bei diesem Mechanismus verdient hervorgehoben zu werden. Entscheidend ist nicht so sehr, dass es um neue Formen geht, sondern dass diese neuen Formen in ausgearbeiteter Weise auf den Grundmechanismus des selbstverantwortlichen und selbst-schuldigen Individuums aufbauen. Der autoritäre Charakter ist gerade auf einer Art selbst-beschuldigendem Individualismus aufgebaut, der dann in pervertierter Form in Resignation oder Gewaltbereitschaft auftritt. Wir sollten nicht unterschätzen, welche Rolle Resignation und in der Folge Duldung im Zusammenhang mit Militarismus spielt. Solidarität ist nicht nur unerwünscht – und teils verboten (s. etwa das Verbot von Gewerkschaften ….); Solidarität ist zunächst auch kontraproduktiv, gleichsam unmenschlich, denn menschlich, so wie es die Moderne sieht, ist der eigene Zwecke verfolgende, individualistisch bzw. egoistisch handelnde Mensch. Und hier treffen dann die Worte Karl Jaspers:

Gleichgültigkeit ist die mildeste Form der Intoleranz

und damit eines der Saatbetten für Militarismus. Wenn Horst Köhler dann sagte,

[e]s wird wieder sozusagen Todesfälle geben. Nicht nur bei Soldaten (…) man muss auch um diesen Preis sozusagen am Ende Interessen wahren.

sollte deutlich werden, dass Militarismus, Krieg gleichsam zum Kulturgut aufsteigt, auch wenn wir es scheinbar mit „weichen Formen“ in der Gesellschaftsentwicklung zu tu haben: governance, Rechte des Individuums etc.

Wenn ich früher gesagt habe, das Soziale wird neu definiert, so ist es genau dies:

  • Das Prekariat wird geschön-deutscht als Ich-AG vorgestellt: Dabei geht es nicht nur um die Individualisierung, sondern zugleich um die Degradierung der Person, die nun eine Art Institution ist und sich selbst instrumentalisiert – die Zuspitzung und Verallgemeinerung des Entfremdungszusammenhanges: man ist außer der Arbeit bei sich.
  • „Soziale Versorgung“ – in den verschiedenen Formen – erscheint in der neuen Definition als Frage des Tausches von sich rational verhaltenden Wirtschaftssubjekten; neben den vielen anderen Punkten ist hier zu fragen, ob man denn wirklich so naiv sein kann, und Arbeitsunwilligkeit als allgemeine Verhaltensregel zu sehen.
  • Bereitschaft zur Selbstzerstörung bzw. Selbstverleugnung wird als selbstverständlich vorausgesetzt. Ein makabres Beispiel besteht darin, alleinstehende ErzieherInnen (Eltern) vor die „Wahl“ zu stellen: Arbeit um den Preis der Vernachlässigung der Kinder oder Sorge für die Kinder um den Preis der materiellen Destitution.
  • Die „Schuldfrage“ wird in all diesen Fällen in gleicher Weise gestellt und gleich beantwortet: Die Ich-AG wird zum Ich-Soldaten; jeder kämpft gegen sich und gegen alle – und wenn nicht Resignation obsiegt, so ist der äußere Feind willkommen.
  • Es findet sich eine Zuspitzung und Verallgemeinerung des Entfremdungszusammenhanges: man ist außer der Arbeit bei sich. Nun muss aber auch das genaue Gegenteil festgestellt werden: die Arbeit wird für einige auch zu einem Feld der Selbstverwirklichung: Politik existiert nicht mehr, Engagement ist – freiwillig oder unfreiwillig – auf Selbstverwirklichung reduziert, und findet als solche nicht zuletzt eine pervertierte Form einer sogenannten Infantilisierung:

Infantilization in this instrumentalist form signals the abandonment of Western civilization’s understanding (not necessarily shared by earlier cultures) of childhood as precious legacy, and children – not yet capable of autonomy or self-defense – as ends in themselves whose happiness and well-being are the ultimate object of the public good. Thus our democracy is little by little corrupted, our republican realm of public goods and public citizens is gradually privatized, and the capitalist economy, once intended to serve democracy and the republican commonwealth alike, is bent and soon likely to be broken.[9]

Freilich ist in diesem Zusammengag einmal mehr an die Gefahren der Debatten um Gemeinschaft und romantizistische Vorstellungen zu erinnern.

Allemal, es bleibt nicht einmal das „Gott für uns alle“, sondern der Boden ist für den Ruf nach dem starken Staat bereitet – der sich ja tatsächlich als stark darstellt. Und – dies scheint fast ebenso gefährlich – er stellt sich als technisches Instrument dar, welches eben doch noch einen Rest an Sicherheit zu geben vermag. – Dass dieser starke Staat dann als eine Art Privatstaat, mit privatisierten Sicherheitskräften, selbsternannten Industriebaronen, Fürsten und Königen daherkommt, kommt durchaus der neuen Gemengelage zugute.

Freilich, dies ist der allgemeine und dominierende Trend der immer noch auf Lissabon 2000 ausgerichteten Politik. Es gibt dann aber auch konkrete Bereiche, die teilweise ein wenig neben der Hauptstrategie stehen und leider schwer in eine linke positive Gesamtstrategie zu überführen sind

  • Einige durchaus positive Momente des Investment in Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs).
  • sowie Teile der Social investment strategy
  • die Durchsetzung von Minimum Wage Regelungen
  • Einige Entwicklungen auch im Care sector

Für eine Gesamtanalyse und ebenso mit Blick auf die Entwicklung von Gegenstrategien muss auf die genuine Integration von Akkumulationsregime, Regulierungsweise, Lebensregime und Lebensweise und entsprechende Desintegrationstendezen geschaut werden. Ein Blick auf die Entwicklungen in den ALBA-Staaten mag hier interessanter sein, als auf Russland oder China zu setzen.

Zusammenschau

Am 1.10. 2014: Treffen von Bürgermeistern EUropäischer Großstädte in Rom – es war nicht ganz leicht, die verschiedenen Sicherheitsstufen zu überwinden, mit etwas Beherrschung der italienischen Schauspielschule gelingt es aber.

Leichtherzige Reden, Versprechungen und allgemeine Selbstverpflichtungen, nicht zuletzt darauf, sich für die „Erhaltung der Rolle der Städte einzusetzen“.

So warmherzig der Empfang dann doch nach Überwindung der Sicherheitskontrollen war, so kalt ist er dann beim Heraustreten:

Ein Plakat zeigt Schiffbrüchige, mit anklagendem Blick:

Nel vi Municipio. Non vogliamo morire di accoglienza. Stop immigrazione. Basta schiavitù.

In unserem Rathaus. Wir wollen nicht am Empfang sterben. Stop Einwanderung. Beendet Sklaverei.

Gezeichnet vom Capogruppo Forza Italia = der Gruppenführer.

Und ob direkt oder indirekt, bewusst oder unbewusst, was dieser Gruppenführer „schützen“ will, ist eben diese Grundorientierung der freien und gleichen Marktkapitalismus:

Western Europe, with 6.4 percent of the population, controls almost 29 percent of expenditures … On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly 11 percent of the population, controls only 1.2 percent of consumer expenditures.[10]

Und weiter – auch wenn es sich um USNA-Zahlen handelt und der Autor meint, in Europa sei die Welt noch in Ordnung, muss ein solcher Optimismus wohl angezweifelt werden:

… the advertising industry in the United States alone spent over $ 230 billion in 2001, which much as $ 40 billion aimed at children (up from $ 2.2 billion in 1968 and $ 4.2 billion in 1984)[11]

Es ist interessant, in diesem Zusammenhang auf zwei Grundrechte zu verweisen, die in den USNA bestehen: der Privat-Besitz von Waffen, und ebenso das Recht eines jeden Menschen, eine Bank zu gründen.

Es ist schwer, einzelne Momente von einander zu trennen. Und es ist sicherlich gefährlich, ein Schwarz-Weiß-Bild zu denken. Aber es ist ebenso gefährlich, die Tendenzen zu übersehen, die ganz fundamental das Sozial-, Denk- und Verhaltensmodell einer individualistischen Marktgesellschaft definieren. Ein kürzlich wieder aufgetauchter Plan kann dies verdeutlichen – wiederum hinkt Europa dabei den USNA hinterher. Es geht um das eigentlich alte System: der Lebensmittelkarten bzw. Sachleistungen, die nun auch im nördlichen Inselreich Europas wieder eingeführt werden sollen. Das Stichwort lautet EBT – Electronic Benefit Transfer.

Nochmals: es ist eine Zuspitzung der Politikorientierung durch ein Paradox: diejenigen, die den Krieg Aller gegen Alle verloren haben, werden vollends ausgegrenzt, entmündigt: was früher der Entzug der Bürgerrechte für Kriminelle war, ist heute eine Quasi-Kriminalisierung derjenigen, die mit den Bedingungen des Konsumentenkrieges nicht mithalten konnten. Und die entzogenen Rechte sind nun nicht die Wahlrechte o.ä., sondern die Rechte der freien Konsumentscheidung. Es scheint nur einen Weg zurück zugeben: Sich auf das Schlachtfeld zu begeben. Es ist bezeichnend, dass etwa bei den Französischen NationalistInnen um Le Pen nun auch vermehrt junge Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund auftauchen: If you cannot beat them, join them. And in order to join them you have to beat yourself – and „the other“.

Darin ist neben anderen Faktoren sicher auch ein Moment der Schwäche von sozialen Bewegungen zu sehen.

Schließlich: wenn sich der derzeitige Papst kritisch und mit eindeutigen und scharfen einmischt, ist dies zu begrüßen. Es ist wichtig, die sich warnende Stimme wahrzunehmen, die sagt, dass dieser Kapitalismus tötet. Aber es muss klar darauf hingewiesen werden, dass es nicht nur dieser Kapitalismus ist. Es ist Kapitalismus im allgemeinen.[12]

***********

Wird es Wahrheit, oder ist es schon Wahrheit, was für H.G. Wells noch eine vermeidbare Zukunft erschien?

And very vaguely there came a suggestion towards the solution of the economic problem that had puzzled me.

‘Here was the new view. Plainly, this second species of Man was subterranean. There were three circumstances in particular which made me think that its rare emergence above ground was the outcome of a long-continued underground habit. In the first place, there was the bleached look common in most animals that live largely in the dark—the white fish of the Kentucky caves, for instance. Then, those large eyes, with that capacity for reflecting light, are common features of nocturnal things—witness the owl and the cat. And last of all, that evident confusion in the sunshine, that hasty yet fumbling awkward flight towards dark shadow, and that peculiar carriage of the head while in the light—all reinforced the theory of an extreme sensitiveness of the retina.

‘Beneath my feet, then, the earth must be tunnelled enormously, and these tunnellings were the habitat of the new race. The presence of ventilating shafts and wells along the hill slopes—everywhere, in fact, except along the river valley—showed how universal were its ramifications. What so natural, then, as to assume that it was in this artificial Underworld that such work as was necessary to the comfort of the daylight race was done? The notion was so plausible that I at once accepted it, and went on to assume the how of this splitting of the human species. I dare say you will anticipate the shape of my theory; though, for myself, I very soon felt that it fell far short of the truth.

‘At first, proceeding from the problems of our own age, it seemed clear as daylight to me that the gradual widening of the present merely temporary and social difference between the Capitalist and the Labourer, was the key to the whole position.[13]

(Wells, H.G., 1898: The Time Machine)

***********

[1]            (Brecht: Me-Ti. Buch der Wendungen)

[2]            Social Europe guide 8: 27

[3]

[4]            Romano, Beda, 28.08.2014: Operazione Ue nel Mediterraneo; in: Il sole 24 ore; Giovedì; 02 Ottobre 2014; Aggiornato alle 22:15; http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/notizie/2014-08-28/operazione-ue-mediterraneo-063729.shtml?uuid=ABP9V5nB – 2.10.2014

[5]            Il Sole 24 ore, 16.09.2014: Oltre 800 morti in tre giorni nel Mediterraneo; in: Il Sole 24 ore – Giovedì, 02 Ottobre 2014, Aggiornato alle 22:15; 2.10.2014

[6]            Dubost, Jean-François/ Emilien Urbach, 30. September 2014: Contrôle aux frontières, l’Europe doit changer de cap; in: L’Humanité; http://www.humanite.fr/controle-aux-frontieres-leurope-doit-changer-de-cap-553449?IdTis=XTC-FT08-AJDSFY-DD-8INP-DGZP

[7]            ibid.

[8]            Siehe in diesem Zusammenhang: Nagler, Axel, 2014: Lob der Schleuser: WER MENSCHEN IN NOT HILFT, IST KEIN VERBRECHER; in: RAV: Infobrief 109, 2014: http://www.rav.de/publikationen/infobriefe/infobrief-109-2014/lob-der-schleuser/?PHPSESSID=1b4e09a2df070ef6f6def049b967aac9 – Für den Hinweis danke ich Volker Eick

[9]            Barber, Benjamin R., 2007: Consumed. How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole; New York/London: W.W. Norton: 20

[10]            ibid.: 10

[11]            ibid.

[12]            Siehe in diesem Zusammenhang Herrmann, Peter, forthcoming: Vatican Spring? (working title); in: Tausch, Arno (ed.): The Pope – How Many Divisions Does he have?; forthcoming (in Spanish language)

[13]            Wells, H.G., 1898: The Time Machine

[i]            Dr. phil (Bremen, FRG). Studies in Sociology (Bielefeld, FRG), Economics (Hamburg, FRG), Political Science (Leipzig, GDR) and Social Policy and Philosophy (Bremen, FRG).

Since 2013 he is senior academic at the Osservatorio Europeo Sulla Qualità Sociale, a research unit at EURISPES in Rome, Italy. He is also adjunct professor at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Department of Social Sciences (Kuopio, Finland), honorary associate professor at Corvinus University in Budapest, Faculty of Economics, Department of World Economy and visiting scholar at National University of Ireland Maynooth.

He had been teaching at several Third Level Institutions across the EU and beyond; and had been correspondent to the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law/Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy (Munich, Germany). He holds position as for instance that of a senior advisor to the European Foundation on Social Quality (The Hague, Netherlands), member of the Advisory Board of EURISPES – Istituto di Studi Politici, Economici e Sociali, Rome, member of the Scientific Board and its coordination committee of ATTAC – Association pour la taxation des transactions financières pour l’aide aux citoyens, Associate Member of the Eurasian Center for Big History and System Forecasting, Lomonosow Moscow State University, Russia.. He held various positions as visiting professor at different universities. He also had been research fellow at National Taiwan University, Taipei; The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia; Visiting Scholar at Orta Dogu Teknik Üniversitesi (ODTU), Ankara, Turkey; Visiting Scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik, Munich, Germany.

He started his work in researching European Social Policy and in particular the role of NGOs. His main interest shifted over the last years towards developing the Social Quality Approach further, looking in particular into the meaning of economic questions and questions of law. He linked this with questions on the development of state analysis and the question of social services. On both topics he published widely.

Member of several editorial boards; editor of the book series Applied Social Studies – Recent Developments, International and Comparative Perspectives (New York, USA) and Studies in Comparative Pedagogies and International Social Work and Social Policy (Bremen, Germany); peer-reviewing for several journals in the social area and book series.