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The Beat of Visions :The challenging features of a new global mode of production

Hanappi, Hardy (2010): The Beat of Visions :The challenging features of a new global mode of production.

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Abstract

This paper explores how the visions of a future global political economy might shape its actual emergence. The emergence of powerful visions themselves seems to follow a pattern of discrete steps in historical time; it follows a beat of emancipation. In Europe the fundamental note was provided by the vision of enlightenment after the Dark Ages, which were kept in an ideological stalemate by religions. The beat of Luther’s early protestant secularization, Smith’s paleo-liberalism, Marx’ communism, micro-theological marginalism (Walras, Menger, Jevons), and Keynes’ collection of singular outposts of a more global design – this succession of forceful visions enabled and accompanied the explosion of population, output, and thus of possible visions of the last 60 years. Indeed the most terrible drawback of the 20th century, Hitler’s 3rd Reich, was explicitly based on a vision too: It envisaged 1000 years of dominance of the Arian race. But Hitler failed, and a new step of emancipative evolution could start to unfold. After the bi-polar visions of the bi-polar US-SU world collapsed in 1990, the last 20 years were characterized by an accelerating divergence of contradictions between visions and realities they address. The dominating vision - a footloose, privately accumulating (i.e. capitalist) entity growing in a crudely specified market environment – rather produced less social glue, less integration. And that contradicted the enormously refined, increasing interdependence of socio-economic relations within and across all social strata. The current crisis indicates that the next discrete step towards a common consciousness, anticipated by common visions, knocks at the door. The paper highlights features of this next beat of visions, which are already visible. To name a few examples: • Take the essential features of large scale financial institutions back into the realm of democratically legitimized politics. • Design the proper places for well-specified (different) market-mechanism to do their job as scarcity indicating devices rather than to be misused as dubious element of an even more dubious religion. • Invent and implement advanced bureaucracy control mechanisms that meet the challenges of global administration. In the conclusion the dangers of constructing such a large ship at sea are discussed. The threat of fascist visions conquering considerable parts of populations is eminent – in a sense the forces of WW2 have not disappeared yet. So while the positive and creative side of vision building has to be expanded, the same intellectual project also has to defend what historically has already been achieved – to avoid the barbarism of ‘tabula rasa’, fascist visions.

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