Thanks a bunch!

Against integration and exclusion
...umsGanze! Call for Action of the 2011 campaign against Racism and Social Chauvinism

The pitch is getting harsher, government policies even crazier and the prospects for the future ever more brutal. There is every reason to take up arms against these bleak conditions. But instead of this we kick downwards, where we still can. Yet: it cannot stay like this. The communist ‘…ums Ganze’ federation invites you therefore to a pleasant uprising against social chauvinism, racism and capitalism.

Humans: Just raw material in the competition of the world market

How do you contribute to the success of the state you live in? This is a question which everybody is forced to ask themselves nowadays. The continuing crisis has made one thing clear: even in the capitalist centres prosperity is not safe, but rather must be defended against other national economies. Capitalism is a never-ending contest for the maximum increase of capital. Humans are left with nothing apart from the hope of selling the time which makes up their life on an ever tighter labour market. They have to be happy if they even manage to get hold of a job at all, however miserable it may be. Not just the force of the economy, but also the bourgeois state itself jolts its ‘human capital’, i.e. those human-beings under its control, mercilessly into action. It bends everyone towards the goal of creating the optimal conditions for the increase of capital inside its sphere of domination. This aim is the consensus in all political camps; the matter of debate is only about the best possible way to implement it. Everyone is forced by state bullying and social discrimination to adapt themselves to the ever-changing trends of the labour market. We are told, ‘whoever works hard enough will get a job’. But in reality everyone gets bitten, however hard they work.

Most citizens are still in agreement with this standpoint and actively take part in their own disciplining. Social chauvinism is spreading, from the BILD to the philosophy seminars. It is not the capitalist system which is to blame for the misery, but the ‘others’, the ‘layabouts’ and those who refuse to ‘integrate’ – that is the message. This preparatory incitement isn’t enough for the state, however. It presents its population with a long list of its own faults: too old, too inflexible, not prepared for ‘life-long learning’, and, if you please, a few less kids from the ‘uneducated classes’.

Thanks a bunch. But the propertyless can’t help the fact that they will never be able to satisfy the ever-changing demands of capitalist accumulation. Particularly not where fast-paced increases in productive power are making wage-dependents ever more superfluous to the requirements of capital. Which, by the way, doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Only the absurd logic of capitalism makes it a problem that ‘the work is getting short’.

Hate and Incitement

Instead of breaking with this insane logic we continue with ‘all against all’: those with fixed work contracts stress their qualifications in comparison with temp agency workers; those of German origin and EU citizens defend their legal privileges against foreigners; receivers of social welfare get indignant about the alleged laziness of their fellow countrymen, their ‘comrades of fate’; while the educated immigrant elite adds its own chorus to the national lament against those migrants who are ‘unwilling to integrate’. Once beyond the pale figures like Thilo Sarrazin and the blabbering TV philosopher Peter Sloterdijk are considered brave taboo breakers . They confirm an audience of millions in their old prejudices and prove a further time that any talk of a ‘post-ideological era’ after 1989 is just empty words. The people are as crazy as ever.

Until recently ‘managers’ were considered by the cheerleaders of capitalist society to be role models of courage and initiative, the ‘creators’ of the national economy. But their previously praised willingness to take on risks appears after the crash simply as ‘irresponsible excess’. These practices are now condemned by the general public for the first time when they appear to endanger the national economy as a whole. The measure of judgement is not ‘ethical behaviour’ or ‘solid business values’, but always that which corresponds with the national advantage.

Now that the state cannot use the bosses as role models anymore it is inventing new measures for the purposes of our general character training. Instead of handing out cash the state is now offering education and ‘culture coupons’ – subsidised tickets for the theatre, museums and cultural events – to the losers of the ‘social market economy’. The powerlessness of those receiving this attention is deepened; their socially produced exclusion continues to appear as a result of their personal failure.

Thanks a bunch. But we can’t be bothered with this authoritarian policy of carrot and stick. Nor with the concerns of the national economy. We’re not lifting a finger for the national capital and for a social state which merely cements our own impotence.

Those who can do everything but want to do nothing

That public morality begins and ends with the national advantage is shown by the current debate over refugees from North Africa. On the one hand the democracy movements in the Maghreb states have by now been greeted by the European political establishment. But, on the other hand, those humans who also desire the freedom to move beyond the borders of their own state are perceived as a problem, quite as a matter of course. In contrast to the situation of citizens fleeing the GDR in 1989, this time the desire for security and a better material standard of living has not received recognition. Anyone who wants to live within the EU better have something to offer in return: preferably some high-level qualification demanded by the labour market. If this can be demonstrated then even someone from Tunisia or Algeria may be allowed in. That is how human dignity and freedom of movement function in the bourgeois state.

In order that those who wish to flee actually stay where they belong, the EU has established FRONTEX – the ‘European agency for operative co-operation on the external borders’. This agency uses the most modern technology and weaponry to prevent the basic right to asylum being made use of too frequently. To this purpose they gladly push refugee boats back on the open sea, or hand over refugees directly to the uniformed colleagues in the states they are fleeing from. Many hundreds, if not thousands, have drowned in the last months, during attempts to overcome the EU border regime. So far that doesn’t seem to have bothered the Europeans very much.

Within the EU states media opinion and the practice of deportation are making it clear to the teenagers whose grandparents once lived in Turkey, the Arabic states or some other place, that they can disappear off to the land of their forefathers, if they’re not planning to be well-behaved and ‘integrate’. In Austria and many other European countries politicians are using openly racist positions to make juicy political gains. In Germany the growing racism of the majority is being represented without problem by the parties of the centre. For the most part exclusion is justified by reference to a supposedly different type of cultural character. On rare occasions it is defended by use of social Darwinist ideas, which stray into the vocabulary of genetic racism. It is smugly ignores that the life of people ‘with an immigrant background’ has been determined more than anything over the last decades by discrimination, which continues into the present day.

Even indigenous Germans are brought into line, if they are not hustling hard enough for the national economy. Whoever is living here and for constitutional reasons cannot be deported should at least make themselves useful. In a sober tone politicians demand the introduction of labour service for recipients of welfare payments – whether in looking after children, shovelling snow or picking up leaves. Those who refuse such jobs would see their payments lowered. Even apart from this the state administration of labour lets barely a chance go by to force welfare claimants through systematic arbitrariness: through endless tests, insane qualification measures, forced changes of residence and many other such things. Through all of this the state supports and demands the moral development of its citizens into self-directed worker ants for the national good.

Thanks a bunch. We can gladly do without being trained to do our bit for the common good. True, no-one can simply escape from the demands of the capitalist order, but there is no reason to willingly carry them out. The mournful privileges of the so-called free world are in any case only possible because others are shut out and out-competed. In this world order everyone is having a bad time, just some more than others.

The political horizons: the state as an end in itself

Unjustly, the phrase ‘there is no alternative’ is the anathema maxim of 2010. It describes very well the character of current state policies. The argument that there is no alternative is supposed to justify the brutalisation of state action. At the same time it makes clear the limited horizons of the ruling ideology. The dismantling of the social state, the interception and expulsion of refugees and the division of humans into ‘useful’ and ‘useless’ are only without alternative under conditions which demand the ceaseless increase of capital and profit. The real lack of alternative, on the other hand, is made clear by the everyday catastrophes of these conditions. This treadmill has to be stopped. For this we need a movement which is based on solidarity and thinks beyond the sum of personal and national interests.

At the present there is no such movement visible in Austria and Germany. The unrest which has been thrown up by various factors in North Africa, Greece and Portugal has not spread to central Europe. The meagre social struggles which we see here only circle around the defence of supposed progressive ‘social rights’. In the parliament they argue about whether state unemployment benefit should be raised by five or eight Euros a month. Whoever is willing to work with such minimum demands has already long accepted the constraints and rules of state domination. Whatever else is needed to bring people in line is done by the ideology of the ’social partnership’ between wage-workers and companies. At the end we achieve reforms that, measured according to the levels of existing productive powers and the possibility of a society based on solidarity, are simply pathetic.

The coming insurrection

In Germany or Austria, therefore, there is obviously no need to fear that Egyptian conditions could suddenly break out. All the same, these states are afraid that their people could dodge the rules of capitalist society. Therefore they control them with ever more high-tech surveillance methods, collect telephone and internet data, have them spied on by administrative agencies and authorities, smuggle undercover agents into left-wing university groups, and so on. Every position which is even half-way critical of society now gets denounced as ‘extremist’, and thereby the thought that the world could be different to the way it is now is also vilified. No longer are we promised ‘a blooming economic future’ and ‘prosperity for all’. The good citizen of today must be able to take their share of blows and to deal them out too. The only problem is that almost no-one manages to succeed in forging their own happiness this way.

Thanks a bunch. The paranoia of the state’s action just makes its desperate situation even clearer. It has to defend capitalism to the last moment, but it cannot find convincing arguments for it anymore. The ideology that state and capital serve the needs of humans is becoming ever less believable. The real existing socialism of the Soviet Union and the other controlled economies of the east has shown that state structures don’t offer any possibility of liberation. State and capital developed together and they can only be fought together.

State and capitalist means of production force everyone to look out for their own survival in constant competition against the others. Crises are unavoidable and cannot be prevented by any ‘banking stress test exercise’. Social chauvinism and racism are the new leading ideologies of this crash-society. They demand assimilation and exclusion to the same extent, and raise the pressure on every individual to look out for themselves.

On the 22nd June the Innenministerkonferenz (conference of German interior ministers) is meeting in Frankfurt am Main. The federal ministers and their colleagues from the states want to arrange new harassment measures and integration requirements. ‘…Ums Ganze!’ is coming too, to make it clear that:

We want to see your order fall, preferably sooner rather than later. We want a society without state, nation and capital – and without immigration authorities either. For communism!