complements to bubble economies

Sure, some debate is needed on it; and on the conclusion and the needed conclusions have to be brought on the agenda. Not least the various strategies of exploitation that stand behind impoverishment.

 

But at least we see: more bubbles, a failing system of global policies complementing the bubble economies, and even more: making them possible.

Annunci

Between Worlds – Between Times

It is some time ago now, I made a trip which was a bit like time travel – France – Catalonia – France and going on from there …
Well, I can say I escaped those days that massacre of Barcelona, though having been very close to the crime scene. At stake is, however, not spatial closeness – what makes me still trembling, and at times near to crying, is something else – it is the same shock that followed me for some time, after having left the French embassy in Rome on the 7th of January 2015, the day of the ‘Charlie Hebdo shooting’. It is a bit like history condensing, being forced into a nutshell, feeling the need to discard the fetters that are lurking around the corners of uneven development.
****
Indeed, it is some time ago now,I made that trip which was a bit like time travel, leaving the massacre for a while aside …
Two days or so after what happened …  sitting in the TGV, the Train à Grande Vitesse, … everything went according to plan, and I am sitting on the prenotated seat, looking a bit out of the window, trying to accommodate myself in the passing life … – again and again startled by the rattling, caused by some parts of the train. I remember the first trip I made with a TGV, many years ago: fast, not mentioning the slightest movement – and those days not the noise of neighbours playing with or loudly speaking over their phone: pling .., announcing arriving — swoosh …, accompanying the sending of a message. Then it had been a brand new train, with all comfort, cleanness and newness [today’s TGVs had been inaugurated in 1981]. I remember a friend, while looking out of the window, asking:
And when will it be driving with this amazing speed?
I replied
Don’t look out of the window, look at the speed-announcement over the door.
Yes, it had been over 300 km/h.

A few days later: the Thalys from Brussels to Amsterdam, later again, the ICE bringing me to Munich …: all of them smooth trips, comfortable actually, as they had been launched later than the TGV, a bit cleaner, still a bit more comfortable … Still, using now the CRH in China – very clean, the train seems to ‘stand still’ while driving its constant 307 km; quiet – though one has to cope with phone …. announcements of food for sale, the latter standing a bit in the way of the claimed  和谐号 – harmony, as the name of these trains suggests. – The new generation, i heard, is now moving smoothly with 400 km/h …

Possibly I will remember at some stage, several years ahead, a train trip between Wuhu and Najning, everything going according to plan, while I will be sitting on the prenotated seat, looking out of the window, trying to accommodate myself in the passing life … – frequently startled by the rattling, caused by some parts of the train when it will then be a somewhat old train, old as in some parts of the world already completely other means of transport will be in place … – or it may be more likely that I do not remember it anymore, actually it may take long enough that I do not remember anything anymore and only some people remember me, while now sitting there, thinking about the old 和谐号 – harmony, perhaps then sitting relaxed in a train called 超验 – transcendence … – seemingly transcending time and space, rarely being aware of the fact that the time we live in is already past time as soon as we are getting are of this worldly dimension if transcendence.

***

Isn’t part of being between worlds also about being between times, experiencing the accords and discords that are at the centre of globalisation that depends on unevenness, of which contradictions are permanent and necessary part – where welcome is supposed to be a threat. Yes,

we in the West need to think about a whole new relation to the so-called “Third World” if we want to prevent hate, hostility and attacks. This can also effectively contribute to fighting the reasons for flight and escape.

But even more so, we, who are ready to take globalisation seriously on the agenda, have to think about a whole new relation between the real people of the real world if we want to prevent hate, hostility and attacks. It must be a world where fighting the reasons for flight and escape equals fighting for the freedom to explore the real variety that is emerging from unity and commonality. Not simply as matter of being together but by accepting being one in time – which then also means overcoming claims towards superiority of ‘some time’. Leaving the many facets aside that stand behind massacres, some calling their own massacres unconvincingly ‘war against terror’, there is one thing that strikes me: the difficulty of historising issues. One of the explicit arguments of the murderers of Barcelona was about reclaiming part of the old Islam empire – and indeed, the Islam plaid a major role in Spain – but can that serve as foundation of any claim today? A similar notion had been put forward in Paris, rejecting the touching of the untouchable – while Charlie Hebdo claimed the right to touch, even if only with the stroke of the pencil of a cartoonist; and the various wars against terror following very much the same idea of defending a world order that is historically obsolete and moreover: of which the underlying criteria of nationality, economic growth, private property, hegemonic rights, charity etc. definitely lost their foundation [if they ever have had a stable foundation]. The good old times did not exist anywhere and need to be confronted with a world that has open eyes and ears.
Il silenzio mi aiuterà a smettere di pensare a te che sei fatto di vento.- Silence will help me to stop thinking about yourself as being made of wind. – Something cultures have to accept when looking at their history …, something that is valid and where the new generation of TGV-trains changes only very little.
L’oscurità chiude gli occhi, non mi permette di vedere e di apprezzare che le lettere di oggi saranno presto le lettere dei tempi antichi. – Darkness closes the eyes, not allowing me seeing and appreciating that the lettering of today will soon be the lettering from ancient times.
… Come together, real and close – that is what time needs – everytime …, also in order to find a way that allows dealing with the fact that some of the perpetrators are simply victims themselves, requiring to overcome the terrible pain at least I carry with me again; and even being ready at least to ask if and to which extent we as victims may be perpetrators … – we, the good-doers, teachers, administrators, opinion leaders …, not least we, who easily hastily come to conclusions and easily forget …
having difficulties to act in a genuine way …
Reflections made just before leaving the PRC, while waiting to move on to Moscow, theФГБОУ ВПО “РЭУ им. Г.В. Плеханова”
The short presentation, I made on occasion of the
International Conference of Indigenous Sports Culture in Asia Wuhu, Anhui Province, China
under the heading
The Particular and the Universal – Indigenous Sports for the Integrity of the Global Village
will soon be announced on this blog as recording should be available.

visibility – tangibility

Of course it can be seen in different lights – another time division and separation and inequality, as many of the comments suggest

– but can that be sufficient reason for renouncing the right to make so obvious what is obvious. – It is interesting that it requires this kind of real-life-‘Verfremdung’: Everyday we ‘accept’ the pay gap, even if only by ignoring it; and it needs such reversal that makes us fully aware of the actual existence and its meaning.

teaching about realities?

Sometimes, when teaching about harsh realities, I admittedly ask myself if I am not exaggerating, making things looking worse than they are. Sometimes, when writing about economic and social facts, I am wondering if it is really about facts or about vested interests that are suggesting some biased interpretation. At least, when looking at the OECD-countries there is the assumption – or proposition –  that we are living in enlightened countries, developed on the basis and for the sake of wealth and well-being of their people, now even ‘thinking-tanking’ about an Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index 2017. And indeed, reading what the OECD member-states suggests as Our Mission suggests that we can put our minds to rest – rest assured that things are not perfect but at least moving towards perfection:

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. We measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends. We set international standards on a wide range of things, from agriculture and tax to the safety of chemicals.
We also look at issues that directly affect everyone’s daily life, like how much people pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time they can take. We compare how different countries’ school systems are readying their young people for modern life, and how different countries’ pension systems will look after their citizens in old age.
Drawing on facts and real-life experience, we recommend policies designed to improve the quality of people’s lives. We work with business, through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), and with labour, through the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC). We have active contacts as well with other civil society organisations. The common thread of our work is a shared commitment to market economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the wellbeing of all citizens. Along the way, we also set out to make life harder for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmen and others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.

Well, often the small print is overlooked, when putting minds resting assured …, so often it is overlooked that people, humans are put to rest – or even more: that people are not even considered to be human beings. So we read for Australia, on of the OECD-countries:

In the past, Australia’s Indigenous communities were administered under fauna and flora laws, according to Reuters.

Indeed, teaching about realities is not only a matter of teaching about more than models – it is also about teaching something that can be very different.

May-Day

or: learning and living and teaching Europe …

To be more precise: it is not May-Day but the evening before the 1st of May – Uli said the other day: it is in Vienna a special cultural event and if you are around you have to go to the town hall … – surely not the same as one year ago when I gathered on the Plaza de la Revolución in La Havana.

Indeed, I am around, teaching European Integration – latest on the 9th the recordings should be here.

So, may-evening then – I am sitting in a tiny park, munching my Simit while I am waiting for the volksoper – the people’s opera – to open its door.

Thoroughly enjoying the moment – anticipating the tale of the

Man from La Mancha

Sitting there, I am also thinking about the programme of the next days – teaching, writing, rushed trip to Bremen for a presentation and  … Vienna again …

Le nozze di Figaro

…. the upcoming performance …. – while waiting that day for the doors to open, I will most likely sit in the small resto-bar opposite of the venue, sipping some wine, tasting a canapé …

… May-Evening …. And I am asking myself if I am wondering or not: why is the one place named people’s opera, the other – the one for the higher echelons of society, the bourgeois – is called state-opera.

Les Distinctions

as Pierre Bourdieu called them – hadn’t been small at the end (as the German translation suggests) …, they had been about the nearness, even the identification with the centres of power.

L’état c’est moi

Not yet …. The evening of the first of May ….
…. And I am teaching about European Integration …. Indeed

Commodification of labour power and appropriation of surplus value cannot be thought of without an outside, by which they profit in social, economic and  ecological terms
(Brand, Ulrich/Wissen, Markus: imperiale lebensweise; Muenchen: oekom: 63)

Which is another formulation of what Dulcinea probably meant:

The world is a dung heap and we are grubs walking through …

So it is a long way until we will say

Je suis e aussi moi es nous sommes le peuples

 

The power of love – the love of power … The need for genuine truth

I am sure many of you know it:
– apparently “one of these videos”, going viral … (sorry, it is youtube but you may manage – or look for “What Did I Do Is For Your Own Good」 – Shanghai Rainbow Chamber Singers”
Can make somebody who is working in third level education thinking …, about “towards what” are we teaching, and also thinking about the doctor and professor uncles and aunties …
There it is also said it would be about love … or something this way. And sure it is: love of people, love of the job and career in terms of “commitment” and “inner devotion”, what Max Weber had in mind when he speaks of personal calling (see e.g. in Economy and Society in the paragraph on Prophet versus Priest; and of course, when he looks as Politics as Vocation and Science as Vocation.
And this is surely something we – as students and teachers (i.e. eternal students) – have to emphasises: it is the love to truth. Something that means also the readiness to engage, eve if it possibly painful at times.
I was thinking about this the other day, when reading an article, dealing with Trump’s “real moves” now.
No, nobody can claim “But I did not know.” And we all have it remember

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Last Sunday I spoke to a friend, also saying: yes, he is dangerous – but sometimes I think the many distractions we saw for instance as determining the recent Davos-Agenda are more dangerous, hiding the agenda  behind …, yes, exactly, behind words of love …..
And yes, harshness of Trump makes if too often forgetting what is behind some of those declarations, makes us forget that others standing the second row, calling for a new leadership. And it makes us equally easily forgetting or overlooking that it is still relevant to speak about
and how they work today, in the supposed of the open community, with the five rules of providing encyclopedic knowledge, written from a neutral point of view, (re)presenting free content – free to us, edit and distribute – offered by people who treat each other with respect and civility, without firm rules, and available where we find all the Wisdom of the Wide World — may be that, while I wrote on “New Princedoms“, I should have asked as well if these New Princedoms are also about repulsing women’s status on a new level.
Power and love is not only a topic for feminism (just some ideas are outlined here;  but .., yes, also for where we, the old and the young want to go together.
Anyway, all the best for the new year …, the year of rooster …, we have to give the bird some wings …!! And talk also about power again … – and the contradictions of hegemonic systems, systems where we can apparently only succeed by using those instruments against which we fight …

the wealthy continue to gain, for most of the others it remains pain

Or: fiscal policy as social policy may sound as provocation … though Robbie Pye and Owen Parker rightly state

A greater array of social and labour policy areas have been subsumed within macroeconomic coordination (as discussed further in the following section), wherein they are decided by economic and finance actors in DG ECFIN and the Economic and Finance Council (Copeland and James, 2014; Oberndorfer, 2015; Schellinger, 2015: 6). DG ECFIN has, moreover, repeatedly proposed increasing its own powers of oversight of member state ‘competitveness’ (EPSC, 2015) – conceived problematically in terms of ‘structural reform’ and labour market flexibility – in ways that critics have rightly asserted would amount to the Europe- anisation of the MoU approach and the significant further erosion of social rights (Oberndorfer, 2015: 199).
In this light it does not really matter “who” is delivering – as I stated myself in various contributions on social policy, EUropean integration and Social Quality: the problem is not about weighing social ad economic policies, the problem is what kind of economic policy do we ask for.
Anyway, for Germany it is now apparently getting even clearer what this subordination means – the Bundesbank reviving an old proposal and asking for retirement at 69 – though it still seems to be disputed. Anyway, one sentence from the article in French language
deserves special attention, so my translation follows:
Life expectancy in Germany is 78 years for men and 83 years for women, climbing stubbornly.  … – the legal age (for retirement) is already moving gradually from 65 to 67 years, though the effective age of end employment is approximately 62 years – that’s a lot of years to spend in retirement. Financed through contributions of those who work … and this is a a decreasing number, aging population is under pressure.
At least three questions remain on the table.
* If we are referring to an insurance principle, it is strange that people pay into the system …, and do not get the “premium” paid out
* If it is about solidarity between generations, it remains to be answered if solidarity is a matter killing pro rata temporis
* If it is about global justice and human rights, the most fundamental question remains why there is still this one percent that is allowed to expose the most parasite behaviour and even may fly in their jet for presidential candidature
– For those who like the more sober analysis, may read Branko Milanovic’s book on Global Inequality also showing some interesting global shifts behind this. Indeed, the wealthy continue to gain, for most of the others it remains pain.