EconoFiction

Forderungen/Demands

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28 Jan , 2016  

Demnächst erscheint auf NON ein Interview mit den Autoren.

Der vorliegende Band setzt die mit »Mehr Geld« (Berlin 2008) begonnene Analyse und Prognose zur andauernden Finanz- und Politikkrise fort. Wenn Schulden Forderungen sind, dann müssen die Kredite weiter wachsen, um die Vermögen zu erhalten. Nach Industrie und Konsumenten bleiben Staaten und Notenbanken als letzte Kredit-Nehmer und Geld-Schöpfer. Sie müssen sich opfern, heisst es, um die Vermögen zu retten.
Andere Lösungen sind möglich. Wir können eine andere als die gegenwärtige Welt fordern. Sie ist weder die beste, noch die einzig denkbare. Aber welches »wir« ist es, das diese Welt fordern kann? In welcher Erzählung erfindet es sich? Andere ökonomische und politische Ordnungen lassen sich mit und ohne Marx auf der Grundlage jüngerer Wirtschaftstheorien denken, im Kapitalismus oder gegen ihn, und mit den Techniken und Medien unserer Zeit. Vielleicht ist Geld dann nicht mehr das Mittel der Wahl, um Arbeit und Güter gut zu verteilen.

 

Table of Contents
Introduction
The Reign of Devils
The Task of Nation States
Financial Feudalism
Revolution and Administration
Three Utopias
Full Employment
Basic Income
Post-Monetary Economy

Abstract
In the end, we may arrive at an economy without money – without a general equivalent, but with multiple value dimensions and a globally networked matching of gifts. But for now, financial feudalism reigns. It craves for massive wealth for the few and precarity, poverty, or life in outright zones of disaster for the rest. Demands considers the dystopia of our near future and confronts it with three utopian solutions.

The first chapter of the book investigates how things will develop if everything just keeps going: how financial feudalism continues to create infinite fortunes; how a growth of wealth is related to falling yields; how central banks prop up asset prices; how the struggle for remaining profits produces violence while dividing the world into zones of wealth governed by low interest rates, zones of growing inequality and zero opportunities for the precarious, and areas of disaster merely left to be looted. But any attempt to overcome the unfoldingdisaster must engage various ways of transformation, of which revolution is only one.

Within our current political situation, other forms of transition are much more likely. Each possible way out is linked to a specific administrative practice. Hence, on the horizon, we find three utopias, one based on state power, one rooted in the financial regime, and one growing out of networks and algorithms. State-based solutions call for a Keynesian intervention, or, more recently, with Modern Monetary Theory, a job guarantee that can ensure full employment. For the financial sector, helicopter money in the guise of a basic income might be the last resort to preserve financial feudalism. Networks, finally, call for a very different solution. If economy is a question of the
allocation of work and the distribution of goods and services, its task can be reformulated as a network problem. The medium of money then only represents one possible solution. Since the capacity of databases allows for the tracking of all transactions, we may invent algorithmic solutions without money and even, more generally, without any need for a general equivalent whatsoever. This entails asymmetrical transactions, i.e. non-exchange-based, self-governing intelligent objects that imply the impossibility of accumulating disproportionate wealth.

Viewed in a broader historical perspective, we have witnessed the failure of the state. We may try to reinvent it, but it will always bow to the financial regime – unless it re-erects itself through a war. In the meantime, the financial regime will do everything that is possible to preserve financial feudalism, even including seemingly progressive strategies like the introduction of a basic income. But a post-monetary framework will grow from the niches of networks, from clandestine corners, be they the new digital precariat or hackers or gamers.

Erschienen bei Merve

Foto: Berhard Weber

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