Social policy is like politics itself. It is administered to the masses in homeopathic doses, diluted to such an extent that it becomes vanishingly small in relation to the total solution, until it finally disappears, leaving only a trace, so small that it can hardly be perceived, but finally surviving as a simulation (as a policy of well-meaning advice on how to save). If social policy, as the giving of alms, is tied to the donor’s right to control the recipient’s private life en detail, then its simulation no longer needs this control, because it seeps into everything until it has produced the universal consumer-patient.
But if everything is social, then nothing is social anymore. This is expressed in all the surveys that inquire whether the social still exists at all, and in which the masses answer sometimes this, sometimes that. This may be their revenge in the age of the trans-social, but one does not necessarily get full of it, even if oversaturated with information. One thing is undeniable: social problems, treated with increasing triviality, are simultaneously addressed with immense harshness and moral panic in the age of the trans-social.
This is the residue of the social: saving an ever-increasing portion of the population from (economic) neglect by restituting the economic, at least as demand and consumption. There are now government subsidies and relief for poorer households so that they can continue to pay their energy bills at the public utilities, their rents and shop at the discount stores in the climate of inflation. As a producer, this part of the mass has long been eliminated, it is at best the parody of labor or the worker as a hooker wrapped in cellophane (Baudrillard), but as a consumer it must not be abandoned altogether. Capital very soon had to make the proletariat not only work but also consume. Consumption became a strategic element; from now on the proletariat must be mobilized as consumers, their „needs“ become as important as their labor power. Not only because the goods must also be sold, but because the contingency of demand must be abolished in order to initiate a planned socialization for the commodity, the information and the images (for which then advertising and marketing stand, even the one-euro commodity must be advertised week after week in cheap advertising booklets).
Straight one at the edge of the economic neglect is not only consumed, but by bad food obesity produced. In this, the obese are a symptom of the system, they even claim a kind of truth, and in fact they show something of the system, of its empty inflation (which leads to implosion). They are the nihilistic expression of the general incoherence of signs, derivatives, funds and diets in the cellular tissue of the megacity that proliferates in all directions. The over, today, is the sign of exhaustion: overfished, overvalued, overtheorized, overspeculated, overcommunicated, overinformed, overbranded, overaesthetized, overmedicamented, overmonitored, overvirtualized, overmediatized, overheated, and so on.
(Chongqing, China, is an urban area of more than 32 million people where the minimum temperature has not dropped below 32 °C for two weeks and has not dropped below 30 °C for almost three weeks. The daily maximum temperatures have been 41-45 °C. And that’s with 40% humidity and burning mountains in the area. Overheated. For sure the system will implode).
Saving the poor from economic neglect is also necessary because the state cannot completely abandon itself as a legitimizing authority, but must still prove itself to the sub-proletariat. If it fails to do so, it threatens to discriminate against and externalize any social protest as radical right-wing. If one really takes Nancy Faeser’s statement that one can also make one’s opinion known without assembling seriously, then one must speak of blackmail. Even more, the individual is now being taken hostage. Because to take a hostage is to snatch it from a territory in order to sink it in a small cell. The hostage has no territory, so there is no need to gather. One can then sit in front of the screen and hold up posters. This also works because we have become screens ourselves (via smartphone). But that also means that no one believes Fraser’s statement anymore, because the screen doesn’t believe what it records, why should it?
Moreover. The protectionist masquerades are of the same kind as the use of the condom. „Soon we will only think when we are encased in latex. And the data suit of virtual reality is already putting itself on like a condom. Today, people seduce with the condom. He tries to seduce her, she resists, he takes out his condom, she falls into his arms.“ (Baudrillard)
Because the state pursues social policy as a remnant or only in homeopathic doses, it must constantly simulate social policy. This is evidenced by the daily advice of politicians (especially to the poor) on breakfast television, who recommend sparing showers and correct hand washing. This is the same as advising a starving person to eat even less. One-euro showering is the default when social policy is simulated, and such showering also generates the adjunct of saving for the fatherland in order to further weaken the Russian’s economy.
All this happens in a situation of inflation. Prices are rising, especially for electricity, gas and food, and this hits hard all those who have too little money to pay for it. They are threatened with cold or even the cancellation of their apartments, even economic neglect. Allegedly, the Russian is also to blame for this. In reality, it is the financial markets that are speculating on the fear that the Russian will turn off the gas. They speculate on uncertain futures and thus drive up prices. The pricing of oil and gas and their derivatives, is not so much influenced by real shortages with actual supply shortages, but by speculation with possible shortages in the future. The explosion in energy prices, with supply chain disruptions clearly dominating inflation, is driven by speculation in financial markets. Inflation is therefore primarily speculative and profit inflation, which starts in the financial markets and finds its continuation in the price enforcement power of the energy companies. This further drives the impoverishment of parts of the population.
The state must limit this to a certain extent, otherwise it risks the final solution. The Hartz4 and Covid regimes have managed to virtualize the camp, to simulate it as a networked hyperreality by setting up virtual microcells (to each his screen, that is the last human right), transferring the masses into statistical insignificance and hospitalizing them. In the end, man survives as a universal consumer and patient, who is nevertheless somehow supposed to remain active. We thus become hostages of the system: if you don’t participate, if you don’t take care of your health, your consumption and your capital, you destroy yourselves. It’s pure blackmail: if you don’t do this, then ….
But what if the economic capital, which in the primitive neoliberal form consists of everyone becoming an entrepreneur of themselves, is no longer there for some?
Then all the over-saturation, white-washing, prophylaxis and prevention will come to the end of their rope. Then no more chatter will help, as Brecht knew; instead, eating will become purely a function of life, life will become naked.
And for a long time the sword of Damocles has been hanging over the western metropolises, which Karl-Heinz Brodbeck has described as follows: „There is a teleological, but no factual difference between what is produced on the one hand at the global market barriers in hunger, death and misery and on the other hand in the camps of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, as well as the fences and camps of the US empire and its satellites. Certainly, in the camps there is naked and intended violence, directed by the intention to torture and to kill purposefully. The victims of the markets are probably not intended, but they are precise and literal, accepted. The insanity of both modes of action, the production of victims or their acceptance, nevertheless possesses a common form: The enforcement of an abstraction without regard to the means, guided by the stupid pride of a prevailing ignorance. It is therefore no coincidence that an instrumental convergence between totalitarian violence and the abstract rule of money is also emerging more and more, leveling the difference between the misery in the slums and the terror in the modern torture chambers.“
translated by deepl.