Not in so many words, but effectively. Here is what [Bank of England Governor Mervyn King] says: the City is responsible for the crash, and the ensuing bank bailouts; these, between them are responsible for the recession and the parlous government finances; these mainly effect people who had nothing to do with what caused them; he is surprised there isn’t more anger about this.

How could this be? That hoary old Marxist nugget, false consciousness, basically seems about the only workable solution as to why the anaesthetized population of Britain refuses to adequately express anger at what amounts to a massive screwing over by the wealthy on everyone else...

The only other factor might be trends noted by the sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Zygmunt Bauman. Bourdieu introduced the idea of precarization, the making precarious of people’s positions as a means of social control, expressed perhaps most perfectly in the shifting of power within labour relations in favour of capital. Bauman extends and expands this in his idea of liquid modernity, a place where relations of all kinds lose their fixity and become mobile...

Where labour remains tied to location, capital has become innately mobile, and uses the constant threat of withdrawal as a means of control, shattering the symmetry and destroying the necessary accord, and so stacking the cards entirely in its favour such that it can do as it pleases. The locationally grounded is trumped by the locationally loosed. Bauman was writing this in about 2000; what is incredible is quite how naked this process has become. It is the constant explicit threat: if you don’t like we what we are doing, or make any steps against us, we will leave. The divorce between the locationally tied masses and the elite mobility of capital is quite openly outlined, the gun of tax haven decamping is an ever present one held hard against the head of the populace. This is contemporary capitalism.

From Michael Bhaskar's 10 Membranes blog, written on the 3rd of March.

Worth quoting, I think, because even though the 26th March demonstration showed that people are angry, the continuing cuts programme show that we are not nearly angry enough...

Readers Comments

Leave a Comment

If you have not posted a comment on RSB before, it will need to be approved by the Managing Editor. Once you have an approved comment, you are safe to post further comments. We have also introduced a captcha code to prevent spam.




Enter the code shown here:   [captcha]

Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above image, reload the page to generate a new one.