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Kontekst Kolektiv

Do You Think State Capitalism is Better than the Market? Think Again!
by G. M. Tamás

October 19th 2012, 7pm
Magacin; 4, Kraljevića Marka street, Belgrade

The crisis has inspired a lot of theories about its causes and retail price of zithromax generic about the possible solutions. Like in military conflicts, generals are trying to fight the battles of the last war. He or she who stops looking back at his or her glorious warrior past, wins. Most propositions, in a time-honoured fashion, are trying to return (a) to some kind of Keynesian, welfare-state solution, (b) invoking social justice, (c) blaming finance – and not capitalism as such – for the failure of the system and for the horrible consequences. They ignore the undeniable fact that both major versions of the welfare state, the Social Democratic and the Bolshevik one, have collapsed about a quarter of century ago. And it was not only, and not even chiefly, the neo-conservative turn which caused the changes – apart from the technological and biopolitical transformations – but the movement itself, especially 1968 (in Italy, 1969-79) which wanted to get rid of the conformist, stationary, repressive, heteronormative, authoritarian, nationalist, militaristic society that the welfare state helped to keep this way and has, in part, created.

What had happened, was exactly what Gramsci called a ‘passive revolution’. The subversive, libertarian side of 1968 evaporated, and the new cognitive-digital capitalism, the retrenchment of physical work, the privatisation of almost everything, the massive investment of creativity in production has re-invested the newly won liberty in capital growth. The result is a system which is as inhuman as any of its predecessors, and which has transformed capitalism into a really total environment where there is nothing outside it, as it used to be the case.

But with the obsolescence of the industrial proletariat (and thus, of the workers’ movement) and of the individual entrepreneur (hence, of the bourgeoisie), without a fundamental change in the nature of work and of property, state interference as such is unlikely to help. If there are no counter-hegemonic forces to control it (and there cannot be) the state will continue the present policies and step up intensive repression. People must understand that the present neo-conservative onslaught on everybody’s rights has been implemented by governments, not by the British East India Company or by Goldman Sachs. There is no capitalism without a strong state (and there never has been one), they will aither perish together, or not at all.

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G. M. Tamás is a Hungarian philosopher, politician and publicist. He studied philosophy and classical philology in Romania. He was one of the most important opponents of Hungarian and Romanian real-socialism. He has taught in Budapest (ELTE, CEU) and was a visiting professor at many universities (Oxford, Chicago, Georgetown, Yale, Columbia, a. o.). He also worked as a visiting research fellow in many cities (Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Washington DC). At the beginning of the 90s he was the head of the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy. His works have been translated in 14 languages. His main interest is political philosophy. In the middle of the 90s he became one of the leading leftist intellectuals in Europe. He was the President of the Green Left. One year ago he held a speech on the first night of the occupation of the Philosophical Faculty.

Organization: Other Scene
http://drugascena.wordpress.com/

Support: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation