Competition of capitalists
Chapter II
Accumulation of capital: Expansion of production and commerce

In the market economy, growth is an officially and quite generally recognized necessity. It is taken for granted that the growth of the economy is the precondition for prosperity; when growth slows down or actually stops altogether, there is a risk of want and need. Those who warn that continuous economic growth is an absurdity go more or less unheard in the culture section. Critics who maintain that a growth geared solely to immediate economic performance is too narrow a focus for society’s well-being and who call for broader criteria and values to be included are suspected of being anti-consumerist or anti-progress, or accused of ultimately having no idea of human nature and inherent human needs. Even the most sober reference to “natural limits of growth” will face the accusation of being divorced from reality. And indeed it is — reality being that those in charge of business definitely do not know or recognize any ‘natural limit’ that could thwart the economic purpose that is in effect and being practiced: a market economy needs growth. The only question is why? Where does this absolute necessity come from?

Populism
Six remarks on an alternative way of exercising democratic rule

It’s strange how so-called populists have acquired the reputation of being a danger to democracy. The list of their sins includes stirring up discontent as grist for their mills, dividing the people and declaring themselves to be their only true representative, telling the people what they want to hear, making unrealistic promises to them and offering ‘simple solutions’ to complex problems, engaging in nationalistic and xenophobic rabble-rousing, cultivating an authoritarian personality cult and showing no respect for the rule of law.

It’s strange because populists carry on so extremely democratically. It’s as if one knew of a democratic competition of political parties other than one where good democrats with a pronounced will to power not only seize on popular discontent wherever it is loudly proclaimed, but also track it down, dig it up, and incite it in order to direct it against the those in office and in favor of themselves. It’s as if one didn’t know very well that a democratic politician shows no limits to his shame when it comes to going from on high among the masses in order to be celebrated as one of them.

Competition of Capitalists
Chapter I
The elementary determinations of capitalist business: Social production for private profit

Those who run businesses are said to have certain tasks, expected to achieve this and that, and sometimes accused of neglecting their duties. However, the members of this profession don’t perform any of the positive or negative functions attributed to them unless they do their job. And that is to increase the wealth at their disposal — regardless of whether a nation’s public credits them with creating jobs or blames them for destroying jobs, whether public opinion says they are protecting the environment or damaging it, contributing to growth or jeopardizing it…

The system of free competition and what it is about

It is well known that in this world “competition prevails”; it is ubiquitous as the principle of the way people deal with each other and as an imperative, anonymous law shaping the behavior of modern individuals.

Politicians show their respect for this fact when providing their citizens with equal opportunities, whether in education or in the economic world, where an antitrust law and an antitrust office make sure that the power of money is competed for properly. But they also do so when they decree reforms to the nation they govern and justify them as a service to their business location, which is facing the challenge presented by other business locations. And they do so especially in all their decisions aimed at security — i.e., in the questions that states and their leadership are so intent on because they face a trial of strength that must be won with the will and ability to use force.

In the economy, which sees to the production and distribution of wealth — not only within nationally delimited societies but, in the age of globalization, all over the world — there is nothing at all that the people in charge do without regard for competition. Setting prices and wages, calculating costs and surpluses, creating and eliminating jobs, introducing new production methods — in short, all aspects of investing are both reactions to the course of competition and actions aimed at succeeding in the contest of businessmen and business spheres. Businessmen or managers are always concerned with their company’s competitiveness; the lack of it is what’s to blame for any failure, unless government obstacles or other adverse business conditions have made it utterly impossible to be competitive. A competitor’s success is of course often evidence that it has violated the principle of genuine, free competition. Putting the comparison of products and prices, productivity figures and returns into practice is the reason for and the purpose of the decisions that management makes in banks and companies large and small; and the current market-economy theorists also regard any real or supposed limitation of this business practice as a harmful restriction of freedom.

The American world power and its kindred Chinese counterpart
Trump gets down to business — and so does Xi!

President Trump's “America first!” targets the whole world. But the degree to which the US is affected by the politics in other states comes down to more than the differences in numbers that the President loves to read from the figures of America’s negative bilateral trade balance. There is one rival above all others — actually just about the only one — that is ultimately incompatible with “America first!”: the People's Republic of China.

‘Honesty first!’
Trump renovates the moral standards of democratic rule

The journalists of the world have two closely related adjectives for Trump’s style of rule: unseemly and undemocratic. The editors of GegenStandpunkt do not want to make the new resident in the White House more decent than he is. But a look at his conduct in office during his first hundred days shows quite clearly that there is nothing un- or even anti-democratic in Trump’s style of rule; and the standards that the guardians of democratic decency bring against Trump are not one bit better.

The West after a year of Trump

America's president has never left any doubt that he means what he says and does what he means. He has announced ad nauseam that the guiding principle of his presidency, “America first,” will mark the start of political offensives on several fronts. He wants to give a boost to domestic capital growth, not just out of cronyism with the rich and super-rich in the country, but for strategic reasons:

“A growing and innovative economy allows the United States to maintain the world’s most powerful military and protect our homeland.”

To this end, he wants free but above all fair world trade; by this he means a substantial correction to the global flow of goods and money, to the effect that the heaps of money other nations have one-sidedly earned in and on the USA and have accumulated in the form of American debt to such an extent that on balance America actually has no money at all, flow back to their country of origin and true homeland. This includes recovering from its partners and allies funds that America has spent protecting them militarily. The strategic goal pursued by the President is rather clearly stated in the strategy paper quoted by his government: the United States has to remain the most powerful military power in the world.

The social network Facebook
The new home of the bourgeois individual

Facebook, the social network, has been extremely popular with its members: 900 million registered users worldwide tap away at their keyboards, making the site one of the most visited on the web. Facebook, the company, is no less in demand among investors: they look forward to its IPO, estimating its value at $100 billion.

But there are also critical voices: politicians and the media denounce the lack of data protection. The German Consumer Protection Minister has indignantly deleted her user account while warning users to be more careful with their data.

Meanwhile, the “Facebook generation” is said to have instigated the revolutions in the Arab world that have been named after it, thus having advanced global democracy a great deal. The Pirates, the recently founded German internet party, has congratulated them on it.

Why and how the United States wants to get Iran to give up its nuclear program
[Translated from the analysis of the GegenStandpunkt Publishers on Radio Lora, Munich — March 5, 2012

While the American espionage and subversion agency, the CIA, announced just last week that, on the basis of their information, it would be unlikely that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon, President Obama used the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the occasion for an overt threat of war, which he garnished with a promise: “I do not bluff!”

Rupert Murdoch and the phone-hacking scandal:
On the scandalous achievements of the mass media in a democracy

The motherland of democracy is proud of its independent media: “British journalism has been — and is — some of the best in the world” (Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader, speaking for all in the New Statesman, July 8, 2011). Now one branch of this free press, headed up by the left-liberal Guardian and public broadcaster BBC, has revealed that another branch, a paper owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has broken the law. Some reporters at News of the World (NoW), the Sunday tabloid owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, obtained their stories by intercepting mobile phones and bribing policemen. For months on end, an excited public has indulged itself in exposed details of the ‘phone-hacking scandal,’ the deceptive manufacturing of opinion, and the intimate relationship between Murdoch’s media empire and British administrations. It has even been suggested that as a result of this intimacy, the decisions made by the government over four decades under Thatcher, Blair, or Cameron have been determined by a ‘media mogul.’ Right.

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