The most severe punishment for capital is when the money it represents is used for private consumption.
Even making generous donations is more acceptable as via taxation etc., the money is not declared being private asset. Thus, there is little surprise in the mushrooming of philantrocapitalism as new form of systemic parasite-ism (see e.g. Planck, Kerstin, 2017: Philanthrocapitalism and the Hidden Power of Big U.S. Foundations; in: Momentum Quarterly; Innsbruck )
Karl Marx, taking up the Aristotelian spirit, stated in the Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58:
Man is a Zoon politikon [political animal] in the most literal sense: he is not only a social animal, but an animal that can be individualised only within society
In an extended version of the text About You, now submitted for a Festschrift of a dear colleague, thinking about developments as expressed in the Hyperindividualist patterns of Tinder and the like I am wondering if it should read now
Man is a Zoon politikon [political animal] in the most literal sense: he is not only a social animal, but an animal that can be socialised only when excessively individualised.
Dear Mr HerrrmannYou received new messages in the postbox of … [name of health insurance]. Do you want to have a look right now? Then click on the following link …With kind regards your [name of health insurance]
Dear [name of health insurance], thank you so much for your kind message which I could read after about 5 mouse-clicks and successfully digging out my insurance number, followed by another mouse-click … – I have to admit that i could have saved the energy (my personal and that of running the computer) as the message does not in any way engage with the message it supposedly answered … Are you interested in my detailed reply right now? Please, come to my flat, I have written it down and may even help you to decipher my handwriting, assuming that you lost some part of your reading skills over the years – as said, the message you sent suggests something like it. 此致
I am serious, especially today, after having met the last group of my students for examination. Part of the discussion had been the question how it is possible that we are apparently all (forced to) moving around in a system that makes us to something worse than jesters? The jester at court had been asked to be critical and provocative, transporting the critique to the kings and lords, the modern jester is being asked to accept eighteenths fooled and to pass critique on to those below … to those below …
There is so much talk and wrong-doing about excellence, high performance striving for exceptional individual results. And there is so much forgetting of the fact that any human performance is part of a process, picking up the seeds and germs, delivered “for free”, often by really great minds, so often greater than the celebrities. Excellence, well understood, is about being part of a wider social and historical performance, not about individuals who – by chance or fierce violence in a competitive strive – are excluding themselves from the cooperative context, possibly even positioning themselves against it.
William Guthrie is somebody who showed by exposing his modesty what this actually means, writing in the second half of the19th century the following words, part of the Introduction and Translators Notes to the translation Savigny’s Private International Law and the Retrospective Operation of Statutes (A Treatise on the Conflict of Laws, and the Limits of their Operation in Respect of Place and Time)
Now, when a considerable portion lies before me completed, I might wish that much of it had been more exhaustive, plainer, and therefore different. Should such a knowledge paralyze the courage which every extensive enterprise requires ? Even along with such a self-consciousness, we may rest satisfied with the reflection, that the truth is furthered, not merely as we ourselves know it and utter it, but also by our pointing out and paving the way to it, by our settling the questions and problems on the solution of which all success depends ; for we help others to reach the goal which we are not permitted to attain. Thus, I am now satisfied with the consciousness that this work may contain fruitful seeds of truth, which shall perhaps find in others their full development, and bear rich fruit. If, then, in the presence of this full and rich fructification, the present work, which contained its germ, falls into the background, nay, is forgotten, it matters little. The individual work is as transient as the individual man in his visible form ; but imperishable is the thought that ever waxes through the life of individuals, the thought that unites all of us who labour with zeal aud love into a greater and enduring community, and in which even the meanest contribution of the individual finds its permanent place.
This is surely part of Marx probably meant when talking about the fact that humans are social beings and can even individualise only in society.Now, when a considerable portion lies before me completed, I might wish that much of it had been more exhaustive, plainer, and therefore different. Should such a knowledge paralyze the courage which every extensive enterprise requires ? Even along with such a self-consciousness, we may rest satisfied with the reflection, that the truth is furthered, not merely as we ourselves know it and utter it, but also by our pointing out and paving the way to it, by our settling the questions and problems on the solution of which all success depends ; for we help others to reach the goal which we are not permitted to attain. Thus, I am now satisfied with the consciousness that this work may contain fruitful seeds of truth, which shall perhaps find in others their full development, and bear rich fruit. If, then, in the presence of this full and rich fructification, the present work, which contained its germ, falls into the background, nay, is forgotten, it matters little. The individual work is as transient as the individual man in his visible form ; but imperishable is the thought that ever waxes through the life of individuals, the thought that unites all of us who labour with zeal aud love into a greater and enduring community, and in which even the meanest contribution of the individual finds its permanent place.
This is surely part of Marx probably meant when talking about the fact that humans are social beings and can even individualise only in society. It is not (only) the dwarf on the shoulders of giants, but (also) the cogwheel without which the entire engine cannot work.
Of course, talking about Human Rights does not allow making jokes, mocking or any kind of not taking the issue serious. And of course, as with so many things, the first impression is not necessarily the correct one when hearing about a region demanding to be recognised by its central government – and the EU – as the first time- free-zone, overcoming the requirement to apply standard rules of time keeping for instance when it comes to schooling, shop-opening hours and the like. The reason for such a request is simple: a long time during which there is, so to say, only daytime. What had been issued as complex issue, dealing with individual well-being and socio-economic sovereignty apparently had been very much a business-hype, an attempt to attract tourists. Be it as it is, it should not be underestimated that there is a human rights dimension to it, exactly the issue of the right do sovereign decisions concerning the way in which people (in the double sense) are sovereign.Of course, Human Rights are to be understood as universal. Important is also that we are nolens volens talking about international HR – when I had been asked to make this part of my portfolio if accepting the call for a professorship at a law school I had been initially somewhat surprised, perhaps because it seems to be so obvious. However, obvious are in some way the breaches of such international HR-law – although subtle issues arise. A short story may highlight what is at stake – and in which way we are confronted with a contradictory issue, possibly even a minefield.
… He told me all about aid negotiations with EU representatives and the conditions that apply to the various schemes, and how the conditions now include human development indicators. If you want to obtain aid you have to improve your indicator. These development indicators – a fine invention – include school attendance rates. So what happens? He told me that children who used to work with their fathers tending livestock, for instance, traditionally – and this is not exploitation, this is traditional work – an activity that was an ideal way to learn about other things as well, the constellations, botany, family history, etc., are told that they have to go to school instead. There is no money, so they build sheds where they put 200 kids with a teacher who can’t cope, and they say they are attending school. The indicator goes up and they get their aid. The children’s level of education collapses because the only thing they learn is that they went to school and are no longer fit to do the work their parents do.
(The Declaration of Philadelphia Today; lecture by Alain Supiot (Institute for The Declaration of Philadelphia Today; lecture by Alain Supiot (Institute for Advanced Studies, Nantes, 24 March 2010; lecture, part of the ILO century project;
Isn’t the decision on the own way of using time, the right to define time use as matter of appropriateness and im refection of the natural conditions exactly a decision of the same kind: allowing the children to go to school, obtaining advanced education in conflict with decision to obtain the knowledge needed in daily life.
Or using the widely suggested formulation that to
Give a Man a Fish, You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man how TTo Fish, and You Feed Him for a lifetime.
And from here it may be even more important to allow doing it in the way that is appropriate by way of reflecting the given conditions, instead of adapting to the global forces.
It is in some way the right to have rights Arendt puts on the agenda, but now the right of nation states to have rights to remain outside of the global capitalist system – which may still be a better place thanking part of its periphery.
There cannot be any doubt – leaving all qualification aside – the “Me Too Movement” had been necessary and, while equally doubtless there had been flaws and negative effects, it produced many positive results. – As Lewis said
you can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending,
Thus I dare to ask if
did not need another, complementing, movement or had been such double movement, one that said
Unfortunately the Me-Too-Movement had been been necessary by the “detestable behaviour”, women had been confronted with and – at least for some time, surely for different reasons – “lived with without accepting it”. But hadn’t it been also – then – a movement of women who now said “I do not accept it anymore”? And had it possibly also before a lack of men who resisted peer-pressure, following peers and societal images that suggested such assaults being “normal”, at most trivial offences — part of the story reminds me a bit of the debate in Marxism, looking a the development of the class in itself (defined by the situation as such) to the class for itself (defined by the perception and the subsequent joining in with others and acting “solidaristically against the other” (the one class defined by the existence of the other; the raped, abused, disrespected … defined by the rapist, abuser, disrespectful …). And all this is in part a somewhat paradoxical constellation: acting “social” requiring gaining independence from the social settings and environments.
There is this ambiguity – on the one hand, MeToo had been
“a movement about the one in four girls and the one in six boys who are sexually abused every year, and who carry those wounds into adulthood,”
as Tarana Burke said – a much too high number though still a minority. On the other hand she also highligthed
We start by dismantling the building blocks of sexual violence: power and privilege. This starts by shifting our culture away from a focus on individual bad actors or depraved, isolated behaviour.
Without aiming on de-victimising anybody, without aiming on excusing anybody, without suggesting that “all problems are the same, of the same gravity” …. I am wondering if we should not be stronger in building up
Without Me Movements
not just rejecting and detesting What others do, by accusing “them”, but accusing ourselves as long as we bear the role of victims (yes, of course regards from Foucault). So, establishing such movements, in daily life has to be about
not allowing sexual abuse – and not giving in when peers suggest “it is nothing nit fun”,
not accepting precarious jobs and working conditions – though others may suggest that we are lazy, and tough real life suggests that a bird in the hand might be worth two in the bush
not allowing administrations taking the lead in universities, schools and political affairs though we risk rebukes
and not allowing others using the mobile phone, permanently interrupting the communication, not allowing the other to remain without answering and not allowing the mocking, suggesting that parents now, using their e-vehicle to bring the kids to the Friday rally asking for effective climate protection. Isn’t our acceptance to often a neglect easy ending up in rape of minds and praxis? Finally, all this is about self-determination as a fundamental right.