Friday, June 24, 2011

Mészáros speech in Brazil

[forgive the brutal Google translation from the Portuguese]

István Mészáros: "It requires the eradication of capitalism"

Passing through Brazil, the Hungarian philosopher István Mészáros has had on its agenda the conference session "structural crisis requires structural change" in the Main Hall of the Chancellery of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) in the last 13 days. He was greeted by a packed audience with enthusiasm and applause sound.

Mészáros begins his speech by making clear that anything he is proposing can be seen as a "realizable utopia" and to transform this so-called impossible in reality it is essential that the crisis of capitalism is properly evaluated. "Without an assessment of the economic and social crisis of our day, who can no longer be denied by supporters of the capitalist order, even though they reject the need for a major change, the probability of success in this regard is negligible," says the philosopher .

Nature of the crisis

Meszaros to the crisis facing the world is a "deep structural crisis and increasingly severe, which requires the adoption of comprehensive structural remedies in order to achieve a sustainable solution." Although the crisis is commonly presented as 'current', Mészáros disagrees that it has originated in 2007 with the bursting of the housing bubble in the United States.

The crisis had begun more than four decades and in 1971 he wrote in the preface to "The Theory of Alienation in Marx" that the riots of May '68 and its aftermath "dramatically emphasized the intensification of global structural crisis of capital."

Because it is a structural crisis, not just cyclical, this crisis can not be solved in focus that generates that there is no change of the structure that created it. Mészáros reinforces the difference between cyclical and structural crisis, distinguishing them by the impossibility of this system feedback, reshape themselves from a new form also the bases of the capitalist system. This, however, does not mean that economic crises can present even more violent than the structural crises.

"The non-explosive nature of a prolonged structural crisis, in contrast to the severe storms, in the words of Marx, through periodic economic crises which they themselves can release and resolve, can lead to fundamentally misconceived strategies as a result of the interpretation erroneous absence of storms, as if such absence was impressive evidence of the indefinite stability of 'organized capitalism' and 'integration of the working class, "says Meszaros.

What this crisis (which is not new) would have the characteristics that define how structural? Mészáros identifies four main aspects: the universal (ie is not restricted to one branch of production, or strictly financial, for example), the truly global scope (not only involves a limited number of countries), time scale and extensive continuous ("if you prefer, permanent," Meszaros added, emphasizing that it is not more than a cyclical crisis of capital) and, finally, so gradual unfolding ("in contracts with the eruptions and the most spectacular and dramatic collapses of the past" , says the philosopher). So the scenario is constructed that would qualify this as a structural crisis, with the impossibility of solving the "storm" within the current structure.

Capitalism destructive

Another point raised by Mészáros - and with expressions of support received by the audience - was to delineate the "absolute limits" of capitalism. One of these limits is the role of labor in society, which is seen as a necessity, both for individuals when they produce for society as a whole. A situation where the work is seen as a problem, or worse, as a failure, is itself a limit to be resolved. Capitalism to Meszaros, "with its dangerously growing unemployment" (though the issue is not purely numerical), presents the work of its limits.

Meszaros also draws attention to other evils of this structure. The first question presented by the philosopher would be in focus that the capital has been pointed out, the "parasitic sectors of the economy." To illustrate what is that, Mészáros points to the runaway speculation that the economy has experienced (and that when sin in its results, is appointed as an individual failure, belonging to a particular group, while for the philosopher, should have the system as a major culprit, as he should answer for what he produces to oxygenate) and a "sleight institutionalized."

The wars and its military-industrial complex apparatus appears as a waste to which the authoritarian society submits capital. This point is discussed by Meszaros as a "destructive and devastating criminal operation of a permanent arms industry, along with the wars necessarily associated with them."

This systematic production of conflicts and encouraging a military production would result in another limit destructive capitalism, although it is not just a result of this, the ecological destruction that would be "a dynamic monopoly military grounded even had to take the form of two devastating wars world, as well as the total annihilation of humanity implicit in a potential third world war, in addition to the dangerous destruction of nature that has now become evident in the second half of the twentieth century. "

Create the future

"There is and there must be hope," says the philosopher. Despite the picture of destruction presented by Mészáros and experienced daily within the capitalist structure of society, it is the effort to consider the future, not only as a desire dreamer, but as a necessary task to change the system.

The solution to problems posed by capital have been featured in earlier historical moments. Mészáros rescues the solutions presented to capitalism. Recalling the liberal John Stuart Mill, Mészáros points as inconceivable that capitalism comes to a "steady state economy", as Mill argued, it is part of the ever-expanding capitalist logic of capital and its accumulation.

Returning to the point of the edge of ecology, are more visible the illusory character of a brake on capital, since 2012 will be held at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which aims to engage the nations in a sustainable project growth. Attempts to create projections for rates of carbon, for example, always present in environmental guidelines would be to Meszaros, evidence of incompatibility between the capital and the brake also between capital and non-destructive in nature advance.

Meszaros also points to solutions already tried in history: social democratic output, evolutionary socialism, the Social Welfare State and the promise of the highest stage of socialism. "The common denominator of all these attempts failed - despite their major differences - is that they all tried to achieve their goals within the structural basis of sociometabólica established order." Thinking to change without eradicating the capital, therefore, would leave the possibility of latent capital return, to be "restored". Change for Meszaros, structural and needs to be radical, as he specified for the audience, wiping out capital at the root.

The hole in the U.S. economy, with an alarming rate of $ 14 trillion, is for the philosopher, the mark of a waste. Seeing the restlessness of the capitalists in China and its "three trillion [dollars] in cash," capitalism is already thinking about a "better use" for that amount. "And what is the best use? On the back of the hole they made in the United States? "Asked Meszaros.

How was generated and how they can ensure that a proportion of this gap in history does not repeat questions are intertwined structural nature of the crisis and, in consequence, the structural response necessarily requires it. Crisis is stumbling in its endless wars, devastation of nature destructive and continuous production.

With Brazil Fact

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