pay for part-time jobs

What is the pay for a part-time job on call?

The other day, booking a flight, I was browsing a bit, also looking at the options of seat-reservation. Another time that I was thinking about this strange construct of today’s economy, reading

The passenger named above has chosen a seat in an emergency exit row. In the unlikely event of an evacuation they will be expected to assist in the opening of the emergency door.

One interpretation is that one pays for some extra space – for more comfort, for medical reasons – or perhaps even to force oneself to store the hand-luggage properly in the overhead bin.

Another interpretation: I see myself as part-time casual worker, serving the airline on demand (sure, in the unlikely event they stress), actually even giving up the extra comfort) … – and I pay for it.

Now, a silly remark you may say – but is it really silly? As far as it is known some airlines “offer the opportunity to fly as co-pilot”, the payment being the hours needed to secure the validity of the license.

This “pay-to-fly” principle is sometimes applied at the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair too, according to insiders. Young pilots are not paid for flying, but have to pay for the pleasure of sitting in the cockpit, making flying one of the only jobs you actually have to buy.

To which extent is all this part of a wider move towards something new, i.e. a new capitalism? Surely this will also come up as part of the presentations I had been asked to give in the near future, the first of them next Wednesday.

paradoxes of jurisprudence

  • All right, but also all just?
Recently I received a mail (see below), calling against ending the discriminatory practice of the AirBnB-business, namely the difficulties of “foreigners”, namely potential customers with a foreign, non-european name (see here an article in Le Monde, here in the Guardian). For the organisation that sent the mail, la Maison des Potes – Maison de l’égalité, reason to argue against the discrimination – and up to some point there is nothing wrong with such complain.
But then … there is a point: AirBnB is one of those “sharing-economy” ventures that are in fact not sharing anything. On the contrary, they contribute to ruining local accommodation markets, make housing unaffordable to many due to the fact that speculators are buying apartments, blocking them for normal use as it is more profitable to use the space for “quasi-hotel”-business and forcing ordinary citizens to live in some subordinate quarters … or even on the streets.
So, the constellation becomes weird when looking at it from the legal side:
calling for the protection of people who want to rent, legitimising this way indirectly AirBnB, and thus contributing to a situation that is too often contributing to eviction … then, however, the legal system is reluctant to protect the homeless.
– All right, but also all just? – below a documentation of the mail
– Before another and (for me) similar contradiction – economic and political issues, political-economic issues aren’t different: the immediate personal encounter during the Economic Forum in Krynica – with (not only) the Polish Vice-capo and a high-level politician from Hungary’s fidesz had been simply shocking – as much as seeing who was providing the stage: not only KPMG:
and the “excellence” in performing Panem et Circenses as means of establishing and maintaining hegemony. But even there remarkable: during the same panel the voice of a multi:
“Nationalism is bad for you!”
So there will be and are somewhat strange coalitions again – again, as all this is of course well known from history. – Hegel’s Cunning of history?
In the following the mail mentioned above:

Cher(e) ami(e),Selon une enquête de France Info diffusée la semaine dernière, de nombreux utilisateurs d’Airbnb estiment que leurs demandes de location ont été rejetées en raison de leur nom à consonance étrangère.

Certains particuliers qui mettent en location leur bien sur ces sites web annulent la location lorsque la consonance du nom du locataire ne leur plait pas. La preuve de cette discrimination est apportée par des opérations de testings : lorsqu’un ami présente sa candidature avec un nom à consonance plus européenne, le bien lui est loué sans problème.

Pour la Maison des Potes ce type de comportement discriminatoire, prouvé par ces opérations de testings, peut être et doit être condamné par les tribunaux. La Maison des Potes épaulera chaque victime de discrimination pour l’action en justice à mener et se constituera partie civile à ses côtés.

Si vous avez utilisé ces sites web et que vous avez le sentiment d’avoir été écarté d’une location du fait de la consonance de votre nom nous vous invitons à nous contacter le plus rapidement possible par e-mail ou par téléphone au du Lundi au Vendredi de 10h à 18h.

Des testings pourront être organisés suite à vos signalements.

Si vous souhaitez nous aider à réaliser ces opérations de testings pour combattre ces discriminations, nous vous invitons à nous contacter en vous inscrivant sur ce formulaire :

Amitiés antiracistes

Corporate irresponsibility ?

Tomorrow, in the framework of the ‘hour of contemporary issues’, organised at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, Amalienstrasse 33, Peter Herrmann will give a presentation titled

The Comedy of Big Data, Or: Corporate Social Responsibility Today, While Corporations wither away?

The following gives some idea what the presentation is about.

Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility requires at least a bit of historical clarification: it would be surely misleading to attribute any kind of entrepreneurial ‘social activity’ to the array of Corporate Social Responsibility. However, such review will be only briefly introduced in order to classify certain activities as related to what may be called social responsibility, the emphasis on the corporation as actor. What, however, if we come to the conclusion that certain shifts in the economy lead – in some digitization industries – to forms of the classical corporation withering away, being successively replaced by a new formation of which we cannot see clear, elusive contours. Are we moving towards revived arbitrary systems of socio-charitable controls, Lidle financing professorships, Aldi and Lidl presenting themselves as supporters of social housing and Facebook controlling elections?  Or can we foster a model which leans towards inherent publicness?

Protestocatholicism …. or … Cathoprotestanism …

Teaching is over now – most of the exam papers corrected and time …, to look forward. Teaching always is caught in the tension: dealing with the ‘real realities‘ on then hand and with ‘clear’ theories and the supposed ‘objective, value-free’ analysis of the reality on the other hand – and in economics it is even worse than other disciplines: the ‘objective reality’ being the reality of rational individuals. If it would be only for my neighbours and colleagues: I know that humans are not rational actors. Some are not acting, some are solely actors, some are not rational – and the worst category are the irrationally acting actors …
Well, leaving this aside …, or actually no: taking it from here, there is always also the point that even the ‘rational systems’, as central banks, money, exchange values etc are never following the books – it is not because they have their own lives but more because text books create ‘an own life’: the life of a world as it should or could be, the life of a world that had been imagined by some as political programs etc.
Two issues, the one like to pure doctrine when it comes to banking and central banks: be they independent or not, they are usually considered to be public bodies, committed to the common wheal etc. Still, in one way or another, i.e. more or less explicit, these banks serve – in most if the cases – public AND private interests, usually without being specified.
However, sone specification can be seen in the generally agreed upon ‘holy trinity’: maximisation of employment, stabilisation of prices, moderating interest rates.
But ….. where is the challenge addressed that Dani Rodrik poses as irresolvable trilemma: we cannot have democracy AND sovereignty AND global integration.
In fact – this is indeed part of the story –  we see that over the recent years and even decades the overall goal of controlling inflation is positioned over the goal of maximising employment. Stating this, it is necessary to ask as well: why maximising employment if we are already producing large surpluses?
From there it is worthwhile to look at the second issue: the question of value, valuation and valorisation. It haunts me for a long time, always asking myself and perhaps even more so: talking about values, calling for living along the lines of the cardinal virtues …- beh, forgotten what the quarterly reviewer said?
“Capital is said … to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital es- chews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vac- uum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent, will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent, certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., posi- tive audacity; 100 per cent., will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave trade have amply proved all that is here stated” (T.J. Dunning, 1. c, [Trades’ Union and Strikes,] pp. 35-36; from: Marx, Karl, 1867: Capital; Volume I; in: Karl Marx/Frederick Engels. Collected Works; Volume 35; London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1996: 748, footnote 2)
Still, working currently in the ‘mainstream’ [or to be more precise: trying to swim against it], I am looking at questions of digitisation, all the new economic forms emerging in that context, linked to primarily in the issues about technical developments but more about relations of procession and the mode of production. Profitability plays a role and …, exactly the issues around value, valuation and valorisation. in the context of a paper I am still developing not least in connection with the preparation of the G20-discussions I am wondering of it is time to change perspectives in political economy. Famously Max Weber centre-staged an issue that was already issued – more en passant – by Marx: the question of the protestant ethics. Marx saw it, of course, as matter of the superstructure, without denying its importance whereas Weber saw the emergence of this ethics system as driving force.
My question is a different one at this stage: instead of counterpoising catholicism and protestantism, we may have tops of a merger, we may call it
Protestocatholicism …. or … Cathoprotestanism …
The reflection behind it? Well, quoting from the paper – work in progress –
Early capitalism was characterised by the fundamental ambition to follow the principle of exchange of equivalents – inequality existed at the point of departure but after ‘free individuals entered the economic sphere of exchange – they had been equals. The ten new capitalism stood against the feudal system that was based on violence. However, looking at the situation today, we see that the foundation is not simply and solely about the different points of departure. The economic process of the data economy is itself a violent relationship that has little to do with equivalence: it is the violence of withholding information, utilising the directional power of information, the enforcement of conditions, perfectioning of control etc.
A world which has lost much of the foundation in reality and where, indeed, values seem to be virtual, even if they are presented by concrete numbers as Peter Wahl pointed out already some time ago:
Even if every business transaction was protected by derivatives, the real economy-based proportion would still be less than 5%. Therefore, by far the largest portion is used for speculative trading. Buyers and sellers no longer have anything to do with each other. Dealers with not the slightest interest in wheat purchase large quantities of grain forwards in order to sell them profitably when the contract matures. Only a very small proportion of this business actually refers to material objects such as grain, gold or oil – the BIS assumes this proportion to be approximately 1%. The predominant proportion concerns financial products. There is practically no end to fantasy in developing derivatives: meanwhile, the system has achieved such a complexity that there are derivatives dealing with derivatives of derivatives.
Protestocatholicism …. or … Cathoprotestanism … – just another form of indulgence payments, from old violence to new violence.
And in any case, this violence is real.


  • but top of what? in which way?
  • top – the top people, world leaders meeting in Hangzhou?
  • top – the sheer audacity, ignorance and injustice?
  • top – as matter of separating issues, discussing at most single issues?
  • top – as matter of education, research … – all the excellence-centres, defined by extreme specialisation, which is result of division of labour and results in further division of labour?

Being modest, not talking about any top but the bits and pieces, and looking at them scattered … – and scattering may be another issue. So, off we go:


the apple scandal – it is the story of humankind in Christianity … – the general appeal to modesty and austereness as which it may be interpreted, was suggested to be a guiding line, guided by responsibility. And as said: claimed to be general. And many now the story of the first incidence: the rejection of the rule, and the punishment that followed.

But it seems that in the Apple-story today (see also here) things have turned around: apples made themselves to gods, not being eaten but eating … And to remain in the metaphor, it is remarkable how the US-multinational-Apple makes the Irish-snake to its priest, collecting the obulus from the people. In which way ever, and even considering the laudable EU-judgment against tax evasion, the real problem is that superpowers today are the representatives of a system that once stood up against the feudal system – then progressive in their claim for liberty, now being oppressors of any kind of freedom, clandestinely selling our friends. A more or less small thing  if it would not solve the entire problem, it surely would avoid much of its emergence: Big enterprises, paying taxes, not “fair taxes”, but according to what they owe, would surely help – a point I recently ventilated elsewhere.


Another splinter: the same Commission that calls “against” (really against????) Ireland to act against tax evasion as it sees unfair competition, sets up a programme that is similar to the Irish on a mich larger scale:

Commission proposes €5.3 million from Globalisation Fund for former Microsoft workers in Finland

Doesn’t that propose exactly the same, factually proposing you make the profits as long as toucan make the profits …, and then you leave a desert behind, turn the back to a Dantesque calamity, leaving the clearing of the place to others?

Trinity …

The third point then … bits and pieces … – splinters … shivers making us shivering …


Apple, Microsoft, and the summiters … they may let us ask how they managed. It had been said in Genesis 3

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened,

So far so good, but then the story continues

they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

This is what todays summiters do not face: they see themselves beautifully dressed, not hiding between trees but on the contrary: exposing their wealth which they gained by standing on the shoulders of dwarfs …. . dwarfs as long as they believe that it had been the snake, and then the women … . As long as they did not really come to terms with the fact that

There are no supreme saviors,
Neither God, nor Caesar nor tribune;
Producers, let us save ourselves,
We decree common salvation!
So that the thief should offer us his throat
So that spirit be wrested from its cell,
Let us fan the forge’s flames ourselves
And strike while the iron is hot.

Well, there is indeed an easy answer to the question

Why the study of transnational companies should be part of the economics curriculum

It is noted — starting then next week again – trying to educate for building the right normalcy, instead of asking for restoration of one that may well be overcome.

=== PS, Having talked about the top, there is something that deserves as well attention – I read the day after having posted the entry:

The decline in unionization is strongly associated with the rise of income shares at the top.

Economics and Responsibilities …

Teaching economics is of course a balance act – the need to make students familiar with what is available in the poison cabinet of mainstream economics, and at the same time avoiding even during the short available time that anybody gets tempted by the captivating simplicity of the technical formulas (or repelled by the seeming neutrality). – Yes, Milton Friedman had been right, quoting about myths:
Someone once wrote, and I’m not sure who it was, that a myth is like an air mattress. There’s nothing in it but it’s wonderfully comfortable and deflation causes an uncomfortable jolt.
But there is another responsibility when it comes to the small print (if we may say so).
Somewhere, two test questions caught my attention. the one concerns “normal goods”, i.e. goods of superior quality, to be distinguished from “inferior goods”.
The question read like this – and the options for the reply are interesting:

Which of the following are normal goods?

• Sliced, white bread

• Salt

• Strawberries

• Tesco value baked beans

• Caviar
Leaving the branding part aside, suggesting (implicitly) caviar as normal gives some answer to the question “who are the economists”? And if somebody remembers right now the lines about “preaching water, while drinking wine” from Heine’s Germay . A Winter’s Fairy Tale, it may not be by pure accident.
Another question, however, makes me thinking if this is justified. This one, see below (and again leaving the branding aside), reveals, that the understanding of good food did not necessarily arrive in those circles ….

Which of the following goods are substitutes for each other?

• Pizza and hamburgers

• Pie and chips

• Coke and Pepsi

• Salt and pepper

• Bacon and eggs
Well, nobody is perfect  and with such a small-print nobody and nothing will be …

Opening Views against the Closure of the World

Just doing there final work – proof reading etc. – A book under the title

Opening Views against the Closure of the World

should then soon ready for publication at Some overview in the following. 

The contributions collected in this volumes are all centred around challenges we face globally – and saying globally means that they are taking such perspective seriously as one that “concerns us all”. Too often social science remains explicitly limited by understanding the process of globalisation as a matter of (i) maintaining the old developmentalist perspective, presuming the superiority of what is today called global north or (ii) as suspicious, i.e. defending in one way or another indigeneity. A possible further move consists in (iii) claiming some form of merger, the caminare insieme, for which the present pope can claim some fame, is then reduced on some moral statement, translated into demanding collective rationality against greed and the appealing to the mercy, facing the invisible hand with the negative effects of pure individualism. There remains a huge gap here and there – when it comes to developing an understanding that goes fundamentally further, actually seriously discussing the autochthonous mindsests. And saying this, it is also necessary to remind ourselves that these concepts are anything else than autochthonous. History calls for caution – and though the contributions cannot claim the present a radical rupture in thinking, it is at least an attempt to push considerations further into that direction. In this way the book also tries to give space for questions instead of coming up with answers.

TOC (page numbers provisional)

Preface and Acknowledgements……….. 6

Research on demand Academics between self-consciousness and self-chastisement……….. 14

European Policies of Social Inclusion – Fatality of Good-Will……….. 32

Capability and Social Policy – The Search for Social Quality……….. 63

Social Quality – Social Anomie. Two Sides of one Coin?……….. 88

World Systems Theory and Theory of Social Quality as Proposal for a Methodology for Rethinking a World in Crisis and Transformation……….. 105

Environmental Democracy – New Challenges……….. 133

Crisis and no end !?……….. 152

To start with the end …

To start with the end … – The day I am talking about, around the time my little excursion comes to the end, I see a poster:

… Siamo tutte e tutti palestinesi …

one can surely read this in different ways – and the debates during the recent days, driving academics on one of the mailing lists, of which I am subscriber, to the highest levels of irrationality, clearly show the ambiguities.

Well, leaving the question of Palestine and the war in that part of the world aside, I may come to the beginning of the day, still dealing with Un sogno di liberta

More or less the very first part a bit strange for me – chatting, catching up with students – though it suggests it is about the question WhatsApp it is actually more about getting an answer …

Off to work then – the more or less regular Sunday morning meeting: about every second week we meet with a small group via internet-phone conference, connecting Australia, China, Ireland, Italy and South Africa. It is a small group, a small research, but at this stage a nice habit: catching up, on work related stuff and occasionally on other things (in this way the Monnet Method work for us: do business and become friends). I stay for a while in the bar – Internet, the nice atmosphere of Trastevere and …, well, still waiting for the answer – but that is another story.


A youngish woman approaches me, holding a map in her hand, trying to cover my phone and the fountain pen next to the computer … . I only say something, … expressing …, well: a kind of sympathy. But Cavallo, sitting at the next table, supposedly academic – economist and giving out against a narrow understanding, and at tenish already emptying at least the second bottle of beer … – Bufallo shouts immediately and loudly.

No, just go away …

And that is what she does, with her the other two …: another young woman, one child …

I am sitting there, feel somewhat paralysed – not because just having escaped the loss of some valuables, but because as I do not like the need to be protective, I do not feel the right which I have: owning something. – Rights, justice …, I wrote more or less a lot on the topic.

Isn’t that protection somewhat a war, imposed on us?


I recall one section of the article I just finalised:

Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen discuss part of this dynamic, stating that

(and I quote)

“Modes of production and consumption that become hegemonic in certain regions or countries can be generalized globally through a ‘capillary’ process, meaning in a broken manner and with considerable gaps in time and space. That process is associated with concrete corporate strategies and interests in capital valorization, trade, investment, and geopolitics; with purchasing power; and with concepts of an attractive mode of living that predominate in the societies into which these modes diffuse by way of the world market. ‘Generalization’ does not mean that all people live alike, but rather that certain, deeply rooted concepts of the ‘good life’ and of societal development are generated and are reflected in the everyday life of a growing number of people, not only symbolically but also materially. The symbolic dimension is important because what is at issue is not only the coherence of the regime of accumulation, but also the emergence and everyday practice of dynamics peculiar to this mode of living – which are of course not separate from the macroeconomic sphere.”[1]

(after the quote I continue)

However, this formulation gives the impression that such mode of living is solely or at least predominantly based on a hegemonic strategy, aiming on establishing a specific lifestyle. Such claim towards life determination is surely an important aspect. However, the present thesis is that we find again a two-layered pattern, the mode of living being based in a life regime which provides a foundation, inherently based in the accumulation regime. Of course, in some way this is also a political question, a question of hegemony – today a statement as “it is the rich who should be ashamed, not the poor”[2] may not even be made in serious terms, i.e. in terms that question the economic dimension of the problem. The mechanism is actually very simple: Those “rich” people are not simply rich in terms of affluence but also in terms of the determination of what is necessary, i.e. the inherent link established by what had been outlined earlier by quoting Erika K. Gubrium and Ivar Lødemel, namely “that having a job is not just a matter of economic security. In a social sense, it is a primary arena for attaining the dignity associated with social normalisation”. This is the firm mechanism, welding accumulation, regulation, life and living together.

This scene in Trastevere makes unmistakably clear what this means …. – the closure of the social: individualism …, but also the mutual protection of the haves against the have-nots.

No, don’t get me wrong: I am grateful in some way: Bufallo saved my property, “saved me”.

But I still would like even more to hear the same outcry against those who permanently steal the property of those who then themselves feel or are forced to steel.


Some more lines from the recent days come to my mind – this time from a mail exchange: Somebody expressed his hope that I would be OK, not effected by the Russian-Ukrainian air battle, conducted on the cost of civilians.

My reply:

Regarding the plane disaster: all fine so far, thank you. Having said this: in some way we are all effected, aren’t we?

And I receive a mail saying

You are absolutely! If one room leaks, the house is at risk. This Israel-Gaza conflict is worrisome!!!!

I continue briefly on this, writing

If it would be only one room, …

May be I am at times too pessimist; may be it is just a personal think (which, in a way, I hope): remaining in the metaphor of leaks …I have the impression we need to think about a new version of the large ship, saving the world. …

Well, not believer …, so failing here again.

Talking about ships ..: if you see how immigration is tackled by the EU, people stranding here, if they are lucky ending up on the shores of Italy …, lucky enough to be mistreated and abused here (in Europe) … – or is it that those who drown are more lucky?

Well, back to reality, it is early, a Sunday and I finally drive up the hill and do what I postponed for so many times: a visit in the park that hosts the Villa Doria Pamphilj.

A short message to Birgit, talking about this park:

It is some version of the Borghese park, though less crowded.

I sit down for a while, having to read …

… and I finally go for a small walk: the villa xyz is standing there as massive block: power of admirable beauty, of wealth and of still palpable political power.

Past …, history … and still

The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.[3]

and this is what I feel just that moment, walking, seeing the people enjoying their promenade, their chatting, the kids playing well behaved … and crying when falling off the bike, immediately being rescued by the father (yes, it is Sunday and then fathers can join the rescue team) or mother.


A city of contrasts, indeed – and a city of some astonishing stability – not indicated by the amount of signs of ancient times but by the anxiety, widespread by the visibility of invisible power, the clear lines that divide the city – I have to check if and if so, for how long Antonio Gramsci lived here, in a climate that surely provoked theorising hegemony.

Anyway, though the park is large and had been somewhat underpopulated, the pressure remains … – possibly the work on finalizing the book on precarity, in connection with the heard and unheard cries and screams brings me into this mood. And I have to move, not just home but …

… I really know this place from 吕思xyz’s and 陈旭xyz’s visit – when they came to Rome we met in the park and stayed or a while. And actually I had been happy when Birgit said one day we could go there – the secret project of the comparative study on ice cream.

So again this day: after the Villa Doria Pamphilj, I go now to the palazzo del freddo, wait to be served and feel in some surprising way in one of the most Italian quarters of Rome,[4] an impression that is not changed by the fact that there are many, perhaps even mostly non-indigenous Romans. However, these people did not behave like “the Australians”, like “the Americans”, The KMT-Chinese when they arrived and genocided the indigenous Australians, Indians and for example the Bunun ….. – Just reminds me I have to get in touch with Rayen again, asking how the Mapuche are doing …


Prendo il gelato con me – join the people in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – history here too, tradition: the young girls and boys from Bolivian, China … Venezuela proudly showing off: one dancing dress is more colorful than the other, they are dancing, laughing, fool around … and are crying … in order to get up again before papà (yes, it is Sunday and then fathers can join the rescue team) or mamma arrive.

– There may be a good reason to go more often to the little parks like the Torlonia, or the one in Testaccio – or also the other large parks as the Borghese, much more a people’s park …. Or there may a good reason to finally open the also doors of the Villa Doria Pamphilj …

Sure, in some way many of the small parks, the small places and even backyards lack some of the beauty, magnificence and surely the order of the gardens – be they Pamphiljic or papal. But they have another grandesse which is often overlooked, undervalued: I heard many times people saying that all these nobles: the Medici, the Pamphilj, the Borgehese … returned a good share from the profit they made back to society. And it would surely be foolish to deny the beauty of the works of Michelangelo, da Vinci, etc. . But the others, the unknown, the unnamed, the dwarfs and voles didn’t take anything, in first instance. And that is something that surely has its own grandesse, often remaining unknown, unnamed, existing as dwarfs and voles – finally

[m]en make their own history,

even if

they do not make it just as they please


The tradition of all dead generations …, it is there, but its character as a nightmare is perhaps more hidden, or it may even have given way to a certain jauntiness …

… Siamo tutte e tutti palestinesi … – we are all foreigners in occupied lands, working on soil we do not own, although we may possess it.[5]

– somebody covering it with a map, giving us mobile phones but taking our voices from us ….

 Un sogno di liberta


[1]            Brand, Ulrich/Wissen, Markus, 2012: Global Environmental Politics and the Imperial Mode of Living: Articulations of State-Capital Relations in the Multiple Crisis; in: Globalizations, 9, 4: 547-560; here: 549; 549

[2]            Choudhry, Sohail, 2014: Pakistan: A Journey of Poverty-Induced Shame; in: Gubrium, Erika K./Pellissery, Sony/Lødemel, Ivar (eds.): The Shame of It. Global Perspectives on Anti-Poverty Policies; Bristol/Chicago: Policy Press: 111-132: 126

[3]            Marx, Karl: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. 1852

[4]            sure, one of has to be underlined – I guess there is are many Rome’s in Rome

[5]            Actually the English language makes it difficult to express it: ownership is here understood as legal deed, commonly attested by a notary. Possession, on the other hand, is understood as (f)actual control over something. And of course, we see again, the tricks language plays as the English language, indeed, proposes both as synonyms; and indeed (sic!) jurisprudence frequently refers to “established law”, i.e. a right derived from custom … – To make things even more interesting, there is at first sight no clear distinction between common and customary law, something that is even carried over into positive law that always suggests that judgments are made “in the name of the people”.

Time – On Whose Side?

The problem surely is one of change, and thus of time – and this, metaphorically, may be seen in the change of art. There is the famous failure of Leonardo: the fresco, applying a wrong formula. The problem with the technique is that one is not allowed to make any mistake: the paint goes immediately into the ground and nothing can be changed. Leonardo (as far as I remember for reasons of time pressure), wanted to take a short-cut to a majestic goal – and a short time after he finished his most beautiful painting it “collapsed”. Compare Zivny with this: there is now majestic goal – a modest one of creating, or even only shaping ephemeral beauty:

“Sand is one of the few materials I work with, and I like that it is ephemeral and the sand sculpture disappears.”

The tension, it only comes right now to my mind, is one of fascinating depth: it is the tension between living for the majestic goal of humankind and the ephemeral vision of individuals.

Sure, both have their value, and beauty …. – or at least truth.

But the challenge an question is: (How) Can we bring this together? – The other day I read in an article by John L. Allen Jr.

Americans await things to happen immediately, and generally interpret delay in terms of denial, incompetence, of cover-up. Rome[1], to put the point charitably, is a culture that puts a high premium on patience, and often interprets ‘rapid response’ as immaturity, superficiality, or going off half-cocked.[2]

And just having read



How much is Enough? Money and the Good Life

recently, I am wondering if there is really not more to say than directing moral appeals? After economics – as matter of science and politics – obviously failed, the only way out seems to be in some kind of prayers and quest for morality?

The reality came (another time) to my mind when I went for my earlyish round – the 1st of May 2014, about sixish passing Termini, the central train station:

All fine, but … – Italy, the country of kisses and light heartedness – but at that time in the morning at the said place: facing the homeless; if one leaves the shops at day time – the shops for ordinary people or those where people buy who do not know what to do with the money – it means too often looking into the faces of beggars; if one then is getting aware of the country’s lack of a revolution, the nobility still having the remote places for their festive gatherings (which in fact are part of daily life), …

Well, May-Day then: a huge people’s gathering, in the park. At least something: free sunshine for all.

No, I do not blame anybody: at least not those who enjoy as long as they can enjoy.

And though I am seemingly talking about Italy and Rome, I actually do not really talk about this place. What makes it – perhaps – special is a higher degree of visibility of certain problems …, problems that are also visible in other places, “wiped away” by some kind of “silent militarism”: the war that is at the external borders arguing with noisy sabre-rattling, has many disciplinary forms when directed internally. Later this year I will address this during a conference against militarism. My part will be looking at

The inner mobilisation of Europe – youth unemployment, racism and modernised forced labour.

Enough is enough – indeed it is not such a difficult-to-answer question: enough of violent policies, of policies that are utilising human beings as a kind canon fodder for profit-first-economies.

A reminder, a famous passage in a footnote in Chapter 31 of the first volume of Capital

―Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent. will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent. certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., positive audacity; 100 per cent. will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated.‖ (T. J. Dunning, l. c., pp. 35, 36.)


[1]            meant to be the catholic church

[2]            John L. Allen Jr., 2013: The Church’s Message and The financial World: Lost in Translation; in: Institutions, Society and Markets: Towards a New International Balance?; A Cura di Alberto Quadrio Curzio/Giovanni Marseguerra; Vatican City: Libreria Editirice Vaticana: 141-155; here: 141 f.