|The crisis of polymorphous capitalism|
|The Labour Movement-Economy|
The vicious circle of institutional, bond-holding, and profiteering capitalism and the impasse of commercial and industrial capitalism
The crisis of accumulated capital, together with the crisis of competition-induced shortage and the actual gamification - that is, that profiteering based on the gamifying of the markets and the forces of production - has definitively entered upon a new cycle and acquired a new horizon in the direction of the future. In this crisis, the great capitalist states are gradually taking on a different role, while the anthropological factor, and demographic, technological, and environmental magnitudes form an additional factor which is calling for this shift.
The competitiveness of profiteering capital and governments in the extreme gamification in the state bonds market and in the institutionalisation of the economic system
The straitened nature of the field of competitiveness because of saturation and extreme exploitation to the point of exhaustion has imposed a greater 'differentiation of roles' on the players in the world's economy. The capitalist states are altering their strategies, but this is not necessarily an indication of adopting other principles and values.
Germany, for example, has long specialised principally in industrial capitalism, and now, with the economic crisis, has begun to invest in the 'logic' of an institutional capitalism which is being infiltrated by corruption and the strategic world economic distortions of the markets. In one sense, Germany is an 'ideal' developed capitalist country. Nevertheless, even Germany is under extreme pressure and is experiencing the gradual retreat from the social targets of development and the disappointment of promised expectations.
Why the crisis has become generalised
It has now been proved that the limits - social, environmental, and cultural - of 'healthy' capitalism have been reached - if there has ever been such kind of capitalism. At the same time, however, it has become clear that the economic limits of the health of capitalism, in all its polymorphism, are being reached, and that what is now needed is a new approach, so that a profound systemic change and development free from state or private totalitarianisms there is. This issue is of concern not only to the leaderships and governance, but is a responsibility borne by all citizens. It is a responsibility whose fulfilment starts out from a new and more profound understanding of the economic field - among other things.
At the same time, however, the saturated strategically competitive field acts as a generalised domino in the institutions of international relations and in the inner further evolution of societies and politics - and elsewhere. Conditions are not shaped by calling attention to principles and values, but by highlighting gamised strategy games of survival and dominance. Thus, in spite of possible local, or more widely diffused, recoveries in development, the crisis will become generalised and will deepen tragically. For these reasons, the economy reflects the total framework of the broader and more fundamental crisis in the evolution of the human species. In certain local and special cases, the crisis will reveal exceptionally tragic polymorphous prospects.
The surrender of capitalism to profiteering regulation and institution
After the War, there was a Keynesian and corporatist regulation. This corporatist regulation found itself at a critical crossroads after the debilitation of the student and alternative movements. And as a result, there was no social transformation. Corporatist organisation and mentality has remained, while, at the same time, the cultural, technological, and consumer framework of recreation, dominated by the society of spectacle and advertising, has rendered more distant any progressive prospect of transcending it.
Keynesianism and the technological apportionment of development have given rise to those conditions of the concentration of capital which have detached state bonds and state investments from corporatist Keynesianism and have linked them it to the profiteering cycle of capital. The popularisation of stock-market investment has wiped out any prospect for corporatist recycling of development as well as institutional restraints. There is now a 'crisis of corporatist regulation of capitalist development'.
In the meantime, there has been the crisis in the progress of the replacement of the previous regulatory framework and its developmental character. The corporatist regulation of the production / labour cost has become untimely, and capitalism has surrendered to profiteering regulation and institution. The generational and demographic composition of the productive and consumer forces of the economic system are far removed from the point of a specific investigation of a new institutional demand and is not going to find it soon, since corporatism, or another form of divisiveness and its consumer alienation, is dominant and is repressive of any new sharing.
The cultural background of the crisis
The new economic generation, its orientation and incorporation are in systemic terms unthinking and a blunt instrument as regards an alternative proposal. In this field, profiteering condensation and the spread of transactions to an increasing number of countries - in spite of all the spasmodic regulations - is the principal feature of the economic dynamic, in which an inability, in an institutional context, to diagnose and deal with its abusive characteristics is basic.
The absence of an alternative proposal was something which was encouraged by the adoption of the one-dimensional prospect of a 'belle époque of globalisation', the historical, social, cultural, and political collapse of totalitarian socialism in practice, by the clientelist and corporatist and systemic degeneration of Keynesianism, by rhetorical criticism, the general corruption of civil society, sterile academic thought, and other secondary factors. In essence, we have not yet apprehended that field of deeper and systemic comparative advantage which can give rise to a new field of institution, systemic quality, and organisation development.
Up to now, emphasis has been given to individual comparative advantages - in terms of the market and not in terms of the system. By the term 'system', we do not mean the outdated historical experiment of the Soviet economy. Thinking and policies within the system have been hitherto one-dimensional.
Cultural, social, and environmental Keynesianism, or the collaborative and holistic leverage of development, quality and its functional orientation
The labour movement has degenerated in many respects and has not sought unselfish objectives as persuasive and alternative perspectives. Neither Rousseau-style political philosophy and awakening nor Gramscian alternatively liberating education and culture have not truly been given expression in the past.
The nomenklaturas of the 'intelligentsia' and of journalism - in general terms and with exceptions - have not served to bring enlightenment, but, on the contrary, have acted selfishly and irresponsibly, whether they were paid to do so or not. This proves that there were no powerful existential motives or stimuli behind the nomenklaturas of the intelligentsia or journalism, compared with the other anthropological drives.
The post-War welfare state of the developed - in terms of capitalism - states and the self-deception of the Soviet solution have served as opium, as an analgesic, in spite of the dramatic interventionary crises in the Tropics of underdevelopment and the misleading tension of the Cold War.
We have faced a many-sided and evolving crisis with a multi-faceted immaturity.
1. The environmental crisis calls for a reduction in and a rationalising of demand or consumption and of production or supply.
2. The restoration of a healthy relation between supply and demand requires that an end should be put to the multiform primacy of supply and the concentration of capital.
3. The need for peace demands an in-depth regulation and co-operative transformation of economic competitiveness and the market.
4. The concentration of power, the domination and the worship of it, which play a distorting role, must gradually be forsaken.
5. At the same time, effective policies for the completeness of local markets and economies are needed.
6. Policies aimed at completeness - and not totalitarianism or a closed system - must be policies for completeness not only in the economic, but also in the social, cultural, and environmental field.
7. The shortage of means - which curtails the dominance and abusiveness of desires and power - should not become an alibi for totalitarianism, autocratic power, or fundamentalism.
We are in need of another model for life, society, the economy, civilisation, the environment, and education, for a different, unselfish man, without self-idealising narcissistic dealings, and for a new humanity on an evolving sustainable planet. The inertias of the consciousness, of the experiential relationship, of the apprehension of the cosmos, and of responsibility on the part of all of us constitute a fundamental problem as to how to give a correct response to the crisis and to need. Our apprehension is marked by a fundamental existential failure to take up a stance and form a relation.
A systemic crisis is observable in parallel with the exceptionally widespread crisis of individualism. It is a mistake from us not to comprehend this anthropological dimension of the crisis, of need, and its interconnected dynamic. Delving into this systemic and cultural crisis does not mean, of course, that there should not be immediate and radical economic reforms.
Three radical economic initiatives
There are three items which can and must be the on-going priorities of the economy:
first: an end must be put to the vicious circle of distorted debt-based development and consumption, which nurtures the development of the deficit and of the accumulation of debt both in the public and in the private sector, thus burdening the economy with policies of austerity and recycled recession and ruining its social role;
second: capital and stock-market scope for profiteering must be institutionally controlled, even if a political price must be paid;
third: a new, more just, safer - socially, politically, culturally, and environmentally - economic model must be built, with the broadening of a sustainable policy of Seisachtheia and rescue, on terms which will not refuel the distorted development and consumer model.
The economy must become a field of the development of correct human relations and af their existential agreement and affirmation on the social and psychological plane. It must become a field of 'healing of the nations', of mankind, and of the environment, or a field of good will, co-operative sharing, discriminating creative freedom, and 'moral sentiments'. It must become a field for the development of will for the common good.
However, apart from the politico-ideological or the social and institutionally justice-based dimension, the Gordian Knot of collapse must be severed with the sword of just intervention. This has two extremes:
1. on the one hand, overindebtedness and the depression of the overindebted;
2. on the other, the bankruptcy of creditors or bond-holders in their desire for rescue, with - as intermediate regulators - the international framework, merciless in its inertia and contradictions, and the insatiable strategic and systemic profiteering players who exploit to the full the choices and behaviours of panic and the possibilities for blackmail.
Conditions for the taking of a final decision
The present systemic crisis is a symptom of a disease which has been allowed to become chronic, with frequent relapses. We must find other, new, and healthier methods of therapy for the problems, servicing of needs, and discriminating creative and co-operative progress.
It is necessary for peoples to know that however many measures their governments take - even in a correct direction - in conditions of emergency and 'intensive' therapy, these will not be sufficient and will not change the broader cultural and political framework and models if these are not looked for. Otherwise, these peoples are lost in the private and selfish individualistic demand for the servicing of their needs. The 'moral sentiments' of peoples are interconnected; they are one body with the 'Wealth of Nations' and the health of their financial state, which is achieved by the discovery of the 'Middle Way' and of the 'Lost Logos'.
This path of change must then reach as far as a profound change in the culture of work and in the culture of ownership, so that the institutional and social regulation can be brought out in the economy and the market can be shown up as a harmonising, orchestrating organisation which will ensure prosperity for all and will play a part in meeting the needs of society.
If in the longue durée we again become caught by cupidity in credit and consumer traps, we shall enlarge to gigantic proportions the distorted basis of a dominant and unjust economic system and the totalitarian strength of powerful players in the market. Such an outcome will be fatal and incalculably tragic for everyone.
Yiannis Zisis, writer