Contradictions of the Mosaic Left:
Perspectives for Protests within the Crisis
25. Mai 2010
By Florian Becker & Christina Kaindl
'There is no question that immediate economic crises can in themselves not bring about fundamental changes; they can only prepare more favorable ground for the diffusion of certain approaches for thinking through, posing and solving, the questions that are decisive for the whole further development of the life of the state. ' – Antonio Gramsci, Analysis of the Situation: Relations of Force. Prison Notebooks, 13th Notebook, § 17
When the public became aware of the economic crisis through the collapse of some of the big banks in the Fall of 2008, it took a while before the left and social movements took up the challenge of posing fundamental questions, of shifting “the further development of the life of the state” (Gramsci). Neoliberalism’s legitimation was undermined; still, the question of whether capitalism itself was in crisis was more typically discussed in bourgeois Sunday supplements than in influential groundbreaking strategy papers of the left and social movements.
The left was caught by surprise by the scale of the crisis, and its initial silence shows that analyses, policies and politics were hardly conceived in such a way that its own concepts could become practicable [=wirklich] (or even germane).
Left critique was strong where it addressed the manifestations of the crisis of the neoliberal model of politics and socialization, and stood on the side of the excluded and the surplus population [der Überflüssigen]. There was a lively and forceful critique of the social costs of neoliberalism. In 2003, a (fragile) anti-neoliberal bloc could be organized, in which left wings of trade-unions, anti-Hartz IV protests, the global-justice movement, critical intellectuals and the party Die LINKE formulated – despite all the differences between them – a critique of neoliberalism with a common direction.(more...)