Neoliberal Capitalism: Living and Thinking Like Pigs


29 Sep , 2019  

The title is borrowed from Gilles Châtelet’s book To Live and Think Like Pigs: The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies. What maxim does Châtelet refer to in his book that demands another life instead of a pig’s life? The answer is simple: Always unfold a space that gives everyone the opportunity for justice and that reinforces your own inclinations. Taking up an inclination, or as Tiqqun say, a forme-de-vie, affects not only the inclination itself and its knowledge, but also its thinking, its differentiation, and its enhancement. To live differently, according to Châtelet, means to discover unknown dimensions of existence, or, as Rimbaud says, to define the dizziness (of the system). Whoever does not understand this idea lives like a pig. The neoliberal pig wants, if possible, to design everything in such a way that a profit springs out for itself; it wants everything to be precisely labelled, priced and consumable, and finally all its desires, strategies and projects are geared towards increasing the productivity and profitability of its own human capital. (which it still fails to recognize as freedom, because it is capital as a system that imposes the obligation to maximize profit through competition. Consequently Adorno: “It is the signature of the age that no man, without all exception […] can determine his own life any more”). In addition, one needs an ethics. The authors of the American magazine “Hostis” write: “If the abandonment of ethics leaves one disturbed, it is because ethics is a very personal matter. Today, being ethical doesn’t even mean being reformist anymore – it’s about a politics that pays homage purely to the imagination, a living role-play of those who mean “well. The sphere of ethical life today consists of a world of psychopaths, bawds and creeps who only look to others to prove to themselves that they have personally made the right choice with themselves. “Ethics exploits for itself the power of active intentions while leaving the systemic destruction of globally integrated capital completely intact. In other words, it is fuelled by the elitism of “better-than-other-being”.
For Châtelet, thinking sleeps today in the temporal continuum that is fading away, but there are always singularities that are just waiting to be reactivated in order to invent and update virtualities in the folds of time. The maxim of non-piggy thinking is: Activate your virtuality! (For Deleuze, virtuality is not everything possible, but what is possible, was possible or will be possible in a specific time-space. The virtual has enormous effects in the real, and at the same time the virtual always proves to be the effect of an effect because of its connection to empirical causal mechanisms. It functions as an incorporeal quasi-causality, whereby the virtual can also remain out of date and thus assume the status of a reserve.) To think like a pig, on the other hand, means to kill virtuality in itself and instead to imagine that one is always a well-balanced, enviably successful person, i.e. a functional psychopath. Paradoxically, this kind of psychopath constantly focuses his attention only on himself. Pigish thinking does not look for meanings for its existence, but only for the exactness and efficiency of its dimensions. Châtelet, on the other hand, invites you to something completely different when he writes: “Be the dandy of your ambiguities and when you are afraid of losing yourself, keep only what exceeds you. Or be the rebel-in-person, as Laruelle puts it. Or let’s take a remark by Félix Guattari: “The work of the revolutionaries is by no means to convey words, to have things, or to transport or transmit models and images. Their task is to tell the truth without exaggeration or tricks. But how can this search for truth be recognized? It’s very simple and it always works: the revolutionary truth is something that doesn’t piss you off, something you want to be involved in, that takes away your fear, that gives you strength, that strengthens your tendencies, no matter how, even if it kills you. The truth is not the same as the theory or the organization. The theory and the organization begin when the truth appears.”
What does all this have to do with what is commonly called “neoliberalism” today? Philip Mirowski goes longer in his book The Undead Live Longer. Why neoliberalism is even stronger after the crisis after a neoliberal form of subjectivation, an entrepreneurial self endowed with changing identities (which we call Dividuum). This entrepreneurial self still understands every conceivable happiness or misfortune as a consequence of self-responsible risks and as a consequence of its right or wrong investment decisions. (The individual acting in this way today always has a tendency towards functional psychopaths.) The discursive mouthpieces of the new middle class sound exactly the same today when they say that one can decide freely between these or those lifestyle offers, although all decisions practically always amount to the same thing, namely that they are ultimately capitalized. In order to imagine oneself as a unique individual, one must permanently inject into the performance of life difference, better still singularity in the style of authenticity1, in the course of which one ironically insists that one is what one eats, that one is what one works, that one is what one consumes, that one is, What one performs, that one is, what one invests and so on and so forth – everything to drive the sacralization of one’s own ego so far, especially in everyday life, that it can be forgotten how working and consumption habits remain under the imperative of “change yourself” under that of the economization of the self. The trick of neo-liberalism is simply to sell this kind of freedom program, namely the mere possibility of being able to freely choose between various offers of work and consumption (for example, in the offers of food intake from Countercuisine to Slow Food and Vergan), as a strategy against the outdated first modern age, against its allegedly industrialized food, which it was not before the 1980s, whereas today it remains industrialized, especially in the creative economy. The seemingly incommensurable and extraordinary, the almost sacred, is vehemently attacked by members of the creative economy and the new academic middle class against hierarchies, coercion, and encrusted and ossified systems, a self-initiated “cultural struggle, which, however, is not directed against the system, but serves the steel-hard enforcement of one’s own hegemony of recognition, with which everything, be it goods, objects, subjects and events that are in relation to the elite and upper middle class, is provided with the attribute “unique”. If, however, one perceives the compulsion to which one is still subjected as freedom, then nothing more than the end of real freedom is called for.
Today we can start with two overlapping processes of subjectivation: Individualization and Dividing. The digital work is fragmented; the individual – a cellular form – experiences a recombinant fragmentation in modular segments that can be recombined in the digitalized production processes. We are dealing here with an immense increase in depersonalized working time, inasmuch as capital is increasingly moving over to renting different temporary work packages for eight hours instead of a worker, in order to then recombine them (out- and crowdsourcing) – and this, of course, regardless of their exchangeable and thus more or less random carrier. The “self” fluctuates as a fluid residual ego and is recombined in ever new relations, and Ulrich Bröckling compares this formation with a kaleidoscope, “which shows a new pattern with every shaking”.
According to Mirowski, it was Foucault who was the first left-wing intellectual (with all his limitations) to pay greater attention to the debates of liberal and neoliberal scientific circles, think thanks, and other organizations, from the German Ordoliberals to the Chicago School around Milton Friedman, with Foucault paying comparatively little attention to the neoliberal foster-father, Friedrich Hayek (Hayek functions above all as a link between the two teachings). One could now say with Foucault that, in addition to fragmentation and division, the entrepreneurial design of one’s own person, which is supposed to have a multitude of interlocking companies, plays an important role. According to Foucault, the neoliberal subject is capital, source of income and producer for itself. No matter what it does, its entrepreneurial activities are to be extended beyond the economy to all areas of society. Geltung and S soll flow into each other. According to Foucault, the model of homo economicus, which as a well-constructed piece of human capital is finally completely governable, concerns not only the economic actor, but the actor in general, who, for example, cultivates his love life like a dating machine (maximizing the return on his investment in feelings, time and money), who calculates the benefits of a crime or his friends evaluates how he evaluates his jobs and who finally calls his feelings his private property in order to stage his being alive, that form of lifestyle Frankensteinism that is more familiar from horror films. The designer’s office, radicalized into a form of life, in which everyone is listening to everyone around the clock, is today the last resort to deter redundant employees from doing away with themselves. And so life is extended beyond its end, people change into living corpses, their social death behind them, their physical death in front of them. The practical truth, that the meaning of life is life itself, has made life a drip and turns the living into vampires, whose aimless desire is active euthanasia, following the example of Frankenstein’s redemption.
The neoliberal subject is no longer a classical entrepreneur, but as human capital is subject to the multiplication of the corporate form across all social areas. As a subject to be capitalized, it ultimately has to invest in itself in such a way that its capital or portfolio value increases in all social fields and/or investors become aware of its creditworthiness. It condenses into a bundle of mental qualities, whereby its calculation of interests remains embedded in an extremely talkative emotional economy. In his text on neoliberalism, Mirowski quotes a speech therapist: “It doesn’t matter if someone knows what he’s talking about, as long as he’s willing to talk a lot”. The sovereign action tendentially destroyed by digitized work must be constantly reconstructed by simulating it, through the interplay of semiologies, infectious communication, and the cognition that complements them, this game taking place in the mode of the endless loop that Kroker/Weinstein described as postmodern ideology: “I could stay here forever and talk to you further. This is the attitude of those people who hang around at MC Donald’s: the ideal speaking community that already exists, but has been overlooked by Critical Theory.” In addition, the neoliberal refrain (Communicate! Act like an entrepreneur! Become an asset! Carry a risk!), the Dividuen with functional, efficient relations, so that they can exist in the capitalized space times and in the competition with the other players. All you have to do is place the babble of voices on the Internet at the right time, stubbornly pray in the early stages of a marketing campaign and select a strategy for the waning interest at the end of the campaign. Everything becomes a stupid anecdote, can be updated at any time to be simultaneously de-updated as a sign.
The neoliberal dispositives, however, not only produce the entrepreneurial subject, but also the surplus population, which remains excluded in the sense of an inclusive exclusion, and so the surplus population is also part of the neoliberal dispositives, but only as an element that is rejected.
According to Hayek, the market is the optimal one driven by competition (and not exchange), the complex and invisible one, the information processor that functions most effectively for all eternity. For Foucault, it must be constantly reconstructed as the place of veridiction, the production and circulation of truths. The belief of the cybernated thermostat citizen, as Châtelet calls the self-regulating neoliberal subject, negates that the perfect communication corresponding to perfect competition no longer communicates anything, for there is complete transparency, although in the age of data excess there is a severe asymmetry of data access. Robinson’s particles, as Chatelet calls the classic liberal legal subjects, have been raised in neoliberalism to become halfway peaceful people in two camps: Either that of supply or that of demand, organized by a processor that constantly produces equilibrium prices, i.e. everyone profits from the instantaneous and free information that supposedly makes any speculation and overreaching impossible. In reality, however, neoliberal capitalisation has created an economic model for practices that affect companies, households and states alike and require comprehensive risk management to increase portfolio values and the ratings and rankings of the respective actors. This implies that almost everything mutates into the raw material for the market or the underlying for a derivative, whereby the current thing can be replaced at any time by a better, more volatile matter that allows an even faster shortcut from money to more money. And this in a system of fades and superpositions: A table may be a thing to do is to provide a meal, but when factors such as interest payable on the loans of the table producing company, options and insurances on the price of wood and finally currency fluctuations are superimposed with the corresponding factors in production, and this in the context of the production of further goods and services, a global feast of monetary capital is placed above the extremely modest table (as a physical object).
The possibility of benefiting from one’s own risk management in the long run is stronger than ever in the continuous exploitation of arbitrage (also the exploitation of the arbitrage of others, the exploitation of the smallest differences that generate volatility), and this as a preferred way of financialized subjectivation. Such a motivated arbitrage trade enables the denial of dependence, which is instead propagated as liberating competition that can be exploited individually sovereignly, as if this competition could be measured solely from the perspective of individually controllable inputs and outputs, or, to put it another way, some win, some lose. And this in turn means that some are saved while others are thrown away or trampled underfoot. Shit happens. Thus current financial biopolitics include the constant modulation of risk as well as the statistical sorting of the population, namely into those who are successful in the face of risk and those who are definitely not – and nothing else means being at-risk. Freedom is the turbid brew in which the market behaviour of companies and subjects is reflected.
Categories such as profit and capital, including the class concept, thus disappear from the discourses; instead, risk is chosen as a general imperative for action, even though the neo-liberals ultimately always want the market to decide, among other things, on individual risk management. In neo-liberalism, risk functions as a guiding value to which one has to surrender oneself stormily and which is only surpassed by that of freedom (of the entrepreneur). As the trademark of the entrepreneur who no longer needs to weigh up probabilities, it is a matter of pure ecstasy to surrender to risk and the market that controls it, but to a market that exceeds everything we can think of and to which we give a strange surplus of trust, as the clerics may once have done with God. Unconditional devotion to risk, which is ultimately shaped like an invisible hand by the market and at the same time demands unconditional competition, is regarded as the most important method of changing identity and maximising the value of one’s own life. Mirowski writes about this: “It borders on nonsense to praise the advantages of a market that offers people what they want, if at the same time one attributes to them the urge to become that kind of person who wants exactly what the market offers them”.
The neoliberal Minister of Propaganda says: “The risk is a drug that paradise promises you, they simply take it”. This has little to do with the economic structures of capital at first, it is a discursive construct of the neoliberals, which not only places the relations between state, politics, subject and economy under the dominance of economization and market rationality, but also wants to transform spheres, things and desires that have not yet been economized into processes of capitalization,
And this has consequences that Adorno foresaw farsightedly: “With the dissolution of liberalism, the actually bourgeois principle, that of competition, has not been overcome, but has passed from the objectivity of the social process into the condition of the thrusting and pushing atoms, as it were, into anthropology”. It must also be noted (also against Foucault) that it is not primarily neoliberal government rationality and reason, but capital in the last instance that structures, constitutes and dominates today’s worlds and subjects through its operations, mechanisms and strategies. And in this respect, risk-taking and at the same time responsible investment in the entrepreneurial subject means its submission to capital, the state and technologies. Inevitably, self-preservation and self-utilization in the sense of preserving and increasing one’s own creditworthiness must be subject to the state’s governance and the health of capital and its growth imperatives and financialization requirements, its business cycles and crises, its bubble formation and accumulation movements.

If the market points downwards, this is due to incorrect assessments by the risk players, whose failure is of course always self-inflicted. People are constantly motivated to treat their own lives like a portfolio, and life may collapse once in a while, then the individual himself is responsible for it and is demonised. Just as the obligation to be classified in the national community once persisted as a silent coercion, today it is the practice in risk management that insists as a silent coercion. The ideal type of the entrepreneurial actor not only does everything voluntarily and without compulsion, he may even think himself to be rebelling against the system, but this kind of gambling simulates life only for training purposes, with which he completely surrenders to market processes. (Whether in a street in the city centre, in a subway station or in a group of work colleagues: the perfection of the surveillance device lies in the very absence of the surveillance person, Tiqqun says. These are algorithms that manage the data flows that are obtained from the smartphones of users and their travels, sensors and movements, in order, for example, to develop the smart city, i.e. the performance-oriented use of space in the city, which pushes the individuals back and forth as comprehensible and steerable mobilities until they generate the maximum return. Or, to put it more precisely, the perfection of control consists in the processing of all personal behavioral data by algorithmized machines that still make every communication, laugh and fart indexable in order to achieve even better prevention, predictability and pattern recognition of behavior and then to modify it and send it into profitable channels, but also to eliminate any deviant behavior through targeted interventions. (If insurances are not paid, the door of the car remains locked.) Today, companies and individuals are no longer checked for their creditworthiness on a case-by-case basis, but on the basis of uniform quantitative indices.
Consider, for example, the development of life insurance, which has become a tradable financial product through the methods of securitizing loans and securities. In the 1980s, companies were set up in the USA to purchase policies for HIV sufferers on the basis of lump sums. The insurance company assumed the patient’s contribution payments in the expectation that his imminent death would minimize the costs in relation to the sum insured. Today, policies are bundled in asset-backed securities and sold to institutional investors who do not have to be aware of the sometimes macabre outgoing transactions. While even people who are still terminally ill are encouraged to intensify their entrepreneurial activities, the companies that securitise their policies only take calculated risks, i.e. on the basis of insurance categories and knowledge of fixed customer identities. In general, the ecstasy of market readiness qua credit cards, student loans and mortgages as counterparts requires the operationalisation of actuarial and mathematical parameters such as class affiliation and fixed identity.
The currently assigned risk subject is not passive, but must constantly act actively and strategically as part of its risk management and even plan its future in a coaculatory manner. It goes something like this: you can become anything you want, you just have to want it, even though Google tells you what you want to do and what you will do tomorrow, and believe me, you will do it. Rewards or penalties are the result of permanent management of the risks to be calculated. Mirowski describes the risk as the oxygen of the entrepreneurial self, a small capital that should be used effectively and multiformly in all areas of life. This requires that one understands ignorance and uncertainty as constitutive for one’s own life and its relations to one’s job, family, insurance and consumption. And the entrepreneurial self functions best when it generates itself as a functional psychopath. The neoliberal risk subject is simultaneously the company, the customer, the product and the raw material of his life. The distinction between consumer and producer dissolves here in favour of a subject that coincides with a small amount of capital. The neoliberal risk subject has to treat its characteristics, projects, skills and abilities like capital and assets that must be maintained, managed and multiplied. It also includes the liabilities that must be managed at all costs, otherwise there is a risk of their extinction. Of course it is better to be on the side of the insurance policies are the necessary form to regulate the fluctuations that occur. Finally, the neo-liberal subject is mutating into a plaything of derivative transactions, on which it depends how it has to maintain, consolidate and make more effective them at the same time with the highest readiness for alarm or flexibility. There is no fixed hierarchy between the different roles that have to be filled; instead, they are filled according to current requirements, and it is precisely this type of flexibility that requires permanent self-control. Emotions, techniques and procedures change constantly, and who actually orchestrates this is not quite clear (think of Adorno and his remark, how impudent it actually is to say I), but there must still exist an integral, as provisional as it may be, if the neoliberal subject does not want to drift completely into the pathological. Opportunism simply consists in constantly exchanging, in relation to oneself, the figures who administer that self, by experimenting with new techniques, changing emotional bonds and affects according to one’s prospects of success. Integration and dissolution are the components in which this takes place.
Every lived experience is replaced by a conglomerate of lifestyles, where one has to endure the tension between a close sense of belonging to a trend group and individuality, just in such a way that both characteristics can be short-circuited in certain moments. Tiqqun write: “Frenchman, excluded, woman, artist, homosexual, Breton, citizen, firefighter, Muslim, Buddhist or unemployed person: everything is right as long as only everyone can bawl out the wonderful “I AM…” in this or that tone of voice and with a transfigured look into infinity.” Most of the time it’s only about conjuring up one’s own nothingness or, as David Foster Wallace says, about the pathological cultivation of one’s own meaninglessness, which today is most successfully demonstrated by celebrities A to C. The most important thing about this is that it’s a matter of the pathological cultivation of one’s own meaninglessness.
The towers made of glass and steel, in which the financial markets condense into hubs, are high-security wings of risk calculation. Permanent access, fast access. The Broker & Sales Managers normally calculate acceleration and deceleration demands in monetary terms; there is clearly a risk involved in every conceivable trade, but no completely incalculable or incalculable risk. In terms of subjectivation, the obsessive manipulation of subjective acceleration techniques à la zen-oriented concentration training as well as the devoted economization of one’s own subjective time stand for this. Last but not least, brokers like to experiment with preparations such as Ciprexilex or Zanosar without medical diagnoses of mental disorders being available to most actors. This is about the self-knowledge, recursively produced in self-therapy, that one justifiably indulges in a possessive individualism that somehow also distinguishes one from the other colleagues, because everyone is indeed unique, but unique in the sense of the cynical self-exploitation that puts one’s own censor on autopilot when it comes to the sadistic annihilation of the idea that one could do something with the narcissistically induced clichés or Stereotypes of oneself until one is finally about to agree to the absorption of the self by the socio-psychological imperatives of control by the telemetric financial markets, with all the procedures of individualization and modulation that the financial powers set in motion, which by projection makes it possible to place oneself in the center of the job world.
If life, as it is, is once again to be given a meaning that promises eternal freedom without alternatives, then submission to ant-like toil, stupid occupation and renunciation must appear to be self-inflicted, a lack of competence or insufficient willingness to take risks, which must be remedied as quickly as possible for each individual. The silence of the masses, which is anything but harmless, has been turned over to the primitive economism of the middle class and the elites, whose leading figures are the accountants and grocers – every cent counts – who in turn are fired by an administrative spirituality that today is celebrated in particular by the inspectors of finance. From a subjective point of view, the hunt for every cent is neither greed nor avarice. The depreciation of every kind of goodwill that accompanies it rather refers to the unconditional competition (once described by Adorno as the “cameraery of jostling”), into which panic constantly mixes, a kind of latent melancholy blended with a lot of madness. “Think positive, eliminate the problem and maximize (your capital value)” is the imperative of the global neoliberal middle class, which wants to enjoy the end of history in all its detail.
Today’s individual is constructed as a modular construction kit and nothing should stand in the way of its success. Fragmentation then reaches its lonely climax when the divisor affirms that it is not only a temporary worker, an employee or unemployed, but a product to be sold, an advertising poster, a manager of his CV, and that he is also allowed to imagine himself as an artist of his motivations. The individual still counts his own averageness as merit. From a temporal point of view, it is under the dictate of Futur 2, the “it will have been”. The past is regarded as a cost factor, which must be reduced in the course of a calculation that is completely oriented towards the future. At the same time, as Mark Fisher insists in his book Ghosts of My Life. Depression, Hauntology and the Lost Future, the past, driven by the pop industry, today overrepresented. Every arbitrary past is recapitulated, just as George A. Romero staged it in his classic zombie film The Night of the Living Dead. If it gets too cramped for the dead in hell, they have to go back to earth. But this is only one side of the temporalization in neoliberal capitalism. The ominous occupation of the future by speculative capital, which at the same time corresponds to a monstrous annihilation of every anti-axiomatic surprise and virulence, can only be written from Futur II, although even this time wants to be overcome again and again by capital. On the one hand, capital holds fast to rushing towards its future, so that the present per se is measured against the future, on the other hand it constantly also overtakes its own future, the trauma par excellence that wants to be caught up with and yet cannot be caught up with by futurizing capitalization, which paradoxically at the same time relies on absolute self-presence. In this social situation, not only the economic processes but also the political and social movements seem to wander around erratically and aimlessly, so that the arrow of time finally begins to spin, although the dictate of eternal youth continues to prevail. The Burner in the media are at present child women, who are highly emotional and touching to tears and above all engaged without any consequences for or against anything. With the constantly changing yet persistent youth authenticity delusion, one could forget the cynicism of a capitalist scenario that resembles a rubber cell in its flexibility, resilience and youthfulness. Alain Badiou has pointed out that, with regard to the imperative of eternal youth, there are only two possibilities for the subjects: on the one hand, there is the budding youth terrorism due to demographic developments and underdeveloped areas in which the circulation of money is reduced, and on the other hand, there is the affirmation of the maxim “Have Fun” in the capitalist metropolises. In so doing, he certainly underestimates the need to constantly model himself as a profit-oriented risk subject, at least in the metropolises. At the same time, the youthful design of life in the metropolises correlates with a death production that Deleuze/Guattari described as follows: “The only modern myth is that of the zombies – deadly schizos that, brought back to reason, are good for work. In this sense, the savage and the barbarian, with their way of coding death, represent children to modern man and his axiomatics (it takes so many unemployed, so many deaths, the Algerian war kills no more than the weekend traffic accidents than the planned murder in Bengal … ). Modern man is even more delirious. His delusion resembles a telephone system with thirteen telephones. He gives orders to the world. He doesn’t love the ladies. He is also good. He is decorated with all his might. In man’s game, the death instinct, the silent instinct, is safely inserted, perhaps at the side of selfishness. It occupies the field of zero in roulette. The casino always wins. Death too.” The zombies described by Deleuze/Guattari are certainly not those of Romero, who designs the scenario of a city in which the rich have settled in a tower where they enjoy the usual luxury, while the masses under the tower vegetate in misery. This type of class structure can only be maintained because the land is occupied by zombies who threaten any escape from the Tower with death. The zombies described by Deleuze/Guattari are certainly not those of Romero, who designs the scenario of a city in which the rich have settled in a tower where they enjoy the usual luxury, while the masses under the tower vegetate in misery. This type of class structure can only be maintained because the land is occupied by zombies who threaten any escape from the Tower with death. The zombies of Deleuze/Guattari also sit in the luxury tower itself, designing their lifestyles like digital dolls on the screens and at the same time pursuing their work as usual. Among them there is actually another kind of zombies, but they hardly threaten the luxury zombies in their world ghettos. It consists of the mass of working nomads for whom global capital has no use whatsoever. It is a beautiful madhouse, life in late capitalism.
And what about those agents who won in the face of risk and those who failed? Mirowski writes: “Since the 1990s not only the rich, but almost everyone who still has a job, have been following with electrifying malicious joy how the executors of austerity make thousands of cruel cuts in the welfare state. The fact that the poor, as argued above, are no longer regarded as class makes it easier to hate them. They are the waste of the market. These miserable figures, it is said, live from our generosity. That is why they are the ones who owe us something; and that is why we have every right to be spectators in the theatre of cruelty. In this dark pleasure, even low-income people learn to feel like riches in an era of decline.”
Just as neoliberalism presupposes the willingness to self-evaluate, so does the willingness to self-depreciate. The latter stems from the restructuring of the social security systems and the existence of job centres, i.e. institutions that manage the pressure to work and poverty. Retraining programs and a gigantic industry of measures organize the state-subsidized humiliations. As arbitrarily usable material, as persons who have been driven out of every need, the poor today are exposed to constant harassment, coercion and coercion by the state. The customers of the labour institutions are fitted into team-based networks of so-called measures, with which they are tormented in loose order with senseless courses and coaching, or the customers are optionally forced to accept any dirty work, and if they do not parry, they are sanctioned, i.e. driven to hunger. Temporary employment agencies have the right to force customers to do almost any kind of work. An enormous apparatus of dulling, brutalization and threat has emerged, a new panic industry has developed. Hartz IV initiated a development that not only resulted in the nationalization of the labor force, but also in the appropriation of the bodies as biomass by the state, by the political sovereignty of total capital. Hartz IV and Agenda 2010 are the laboratories of panic. This is by no means about the well-founded fear that you can have as a customer of the job centre and that you have to overcome somehow. Rather, the state is concerned with exaggerating real fear into the fantastic and substituting fear with the panic of self-preservation. The production of panic wants the shock, and it produces nothing more than the Nazification of the citizen. Precisely because the citizen knows what he himself is capable of, he trusts his state even more. The production of death becomes consumable again. And one last thing, Badiou has just mentioned it: Even the young suicide bombers are effects of a suppressed or impossible desire. If one stubbornly declares that another world is impossible, then these young people ask themselves why they have no place in this world. If every other world is rejected as impossible, it seems unacceptable to have no place in this world, no place that meets the criteria of this world: consumption, comfort and money. It is precisely this frustration that opens the door to the death drive: what we want, we hate, precisely because we cannot get it. It is precisely in hatred of this world that desire for this world becomes apparent.

translatey DeepL.

Fotot: Stefan Paulus


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