Open links in new window


Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Redefining World............

Sociologist Ulrich Beck presents seven theses to combat the global power of capital

The nationalist perspective - which equates society with the society of the nation state - blinds us to the world in which we live. In order to perceive the interrelatedness of people and of populations around the globe in the first place, we need a cosmopolitan perspective. The common terminological denominator of our densely populated world is "cosmopolitanisation", which means the erosion of distinct boundaries dividing markets, states, civilizations, cultures, and not least of all the lifeworlds of different peoples. The world has not certainly not become borderless, but the boundaries are becoming blurred and indistinct, becoming permeable to flows of information and capital. Less so, on the other hand, to flows of people: tourists yes, migrants no. Taking place in national and local lifeworlds and institutions is a process of internal globalisation. This alters the conditions for the construction of social identity, which need no longer be impressed by the negative juxtaposition of "us" and "them".

For me, it is important that cosmopolitanisation does not occur somewhere in abstraction or on a global scale, somewhere above people's heads, but that it takes place in the everyday lives of individuals ("mundane cosmopolitanisation"). The same is true for the internal operations of politics, which have become global on all levels, even that of domestic politics, because they must take account of the global dimension of mutual interdependencies, flows, networks, threats, and so on ("global domestic politics"). We must ask, for example: How does our understanding of power and control become altered from a cosmopolitan perspective? By way of an answer, I offer seven theses.

Globalisation is anonymous control
First thesis

In the relationship between the global economy and the state a meta power play is under way, a struggle for power in the context of which the rules concerning power in the national and international system of states are being rewritten. The economy in particular has developed a kind of meta power, breaking out of the power relations organized in terms of territories and the nation state to conquer new power strategies in digital space. The term "meta power play" means that one fights, struggles for power, and simultaneously alters the rules of world politics, with their orientation to the nation state.

The pursuit of the question as to the source of the meta power of capital strategies brings one up against a remarkable cirucumstance. The basic idea was expressed in the title of an eastern European newspaper which appeared during a 1999 visit by the German Federal Chancellor, and which read: "We forgive the Crusaders and await the investors." It is the precise reversal of the calculations of classical theories of power and control which facilitates the maximization of the power of transnational enterprises: the means of coercion is not the threat of invasion, but instead the threat of the non-invasion of the investors, or of their departure. That is to say, there is only one thing more terrible than being overrun by the multinationals, and that is not to be overrun by them.

This form of control is no longer associated with the carrying out of commands, but instead with the possibility of being able to invest more advantageously in other countries, and with the threat potential opened up by such opportunities, namely the threat of doing nothing, of declining to invest in a given country. The new power of the concerns is not based on the use of violence as the ultima ratio to compel others to conform to one's will. It is far more flexible because able to operate independently of location, and hence globally.

Not imperialism, but non-imperialism; not invasion, but the withdrawal of investments constitutes the core of global economic power. This de-territorialised economic power requires neither political implementation nor political legitimacy. In establishing itself, it even bypasses the institutions of the developed democracies, including parliaments and courts. This meta power is neither legal nor legitimate; it is "translegal". But it does alter the rules of the national and international system of power.

The analogy between the military logistics of state power and the logic of economic power is striking and astonishing. The volume of investment capital corresponds to the fire-power of military weaponry, with the decisive distinction, however, that in this case, power is augmented by threatening not to shoot. Product development is the equivalent of the updating of weaponry systems. The establishment of branches by large corporations in many different countries replaces military bases and the diplomatic corps. The old military rule that offence is the best defence, now translated, reads: States must invest in research and development in order to fully maximize the global offensive power of capital. Growing together with research and educational budgets (or so it is hoped) is the volume of a given state's voice in the arena of world politics.
Read more..

Posted by Ajay :: 5:20 PM :: 0 comments

Post a Comment



http:// googlea0b0123eb86e02a9.html