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Post – komunistična nočna mora: Brodski – Havel (angl.)

‘The Post-Communist Nightmare’: An Exchange
Joseph Brodsky, translated from the Czech by Paul Wilson, reply by Václav Havel FEBRUARY 17, 1994 ISSUE

Dear Mr. President:

I’ve decided to write this letter to you because we have something in common: we both are writers. In this line of work, one weighs words more carefully, I believe, than elsewhere before committing them to paper or, for that matter, to the microphone. Even when one finds oneself engaged in a public affair, one tries to do one’s best to avoid catchwords, Latinate expressions, all manner of jargon. In a dialogue, of course, or with two or more interlocutors around, that’s difficult, and may even strike them as pretentiousness. But in a soliloquy or in a monologue it is, I think, attainable, though of course one always tailors one’s diction to one’s audience.

We have something else in common, Mr. President, and that is our past in our respective police states. To put it less grandly: our prisons, that shortage of space amply made up for by an abundance of time, which, sooner or later, renders one, regardless of one’s temperament, rather contemplative. You spent more time in yours, of course, than I in mine, though I started in mine long before the Prague Spring. Yet in spite of my nearly patriotic belief that the hopelessness of some urine-reeking cement hole in the bowels of Russia awakens one to the arbitrariness of existence faster than what I once pictured as a clean, stuccoed solitary in civilized Prague, as contemplative beings, I think, we might be quite even.

In short, we were pen pals long before I conceived of this letter. But I conceived of it not because of the literalness of my mind, or because our present circumstances are quite different from those of the past (nothing can be more natural than that, and one is not obliged to remain a writer forever: not any more so than to stay a prisoner). I’ve decided to write this letter because a while ago I read the text of one of your most recent speeches, whose conclusions about the past, the present, and the future were so different from mine that I thought, One of us must be wrong. And it is precisely because the present and the future—and not just your own or your country’s but the global one—were involved that I decided to make this an open letter to you. Had the issue been only the past, I wouldn’t have written you this letter at all, or if I had, I’d have marked it “personal.”

The speech of yours that I read was printed in The New York Review of Books and its title was “The Post-Communist Nightmare.”* You begin by reminiscing about a time when you would be avoided in the street by your friends and acquaintances, since in those days you were on dangerous terms with the state and under police surveillance. You proceed to explain the reasons for their avoiding you and suggest, in the usual, grudge-free manner for which you are justly famous, that to those friends and acquaintances you constituted an inconvenience; and “inconveniences”—you cite the conventional wisdom—“are best avoided.” Then for most of your speech you describe the post-Communist reality (in Eastern Europe and by implication in the Balkans) and equate the deportment of the democratic world vis-à-vis that reality to avoiding an inconvenience.

It is a wonderful speech, with a great many wonderful insights and a convincing conclusion; but let me go to your starting point. It occurs to me, Mr. President, that your famous civility benefited your hindsight here rather poorly. Are you so sure you were avoided by those people then and there for reasons of embarrassment and fear of “potential persecution” only, and not because you were, given the seeming stability of the system, written off by them? Are you sure that at least some of them didn’t simply regard you as a marked, doomed man, on whom it would be foolish to waste much time? Don’t you think that instead of, or as well as, being inconvenient (as you insist) you were also a convenient example of the wrong deportment and thus a source of considerable moral comfort, the way the sick are for the healthy majority? Haven’t you imagined them saying to their wives in the evening, “I saw Havel today in the street. He’s had it.” Or do I misjudge the Czech character?

That they were proven wrong and you right matters little. They wrote you off in the first place because even by the standards of our half of the century you were not a martyr. Besides, don’t we all harbor a certain measure of guilt, totally unrelated to the state, of course, but nonetheless palpable? So whenever the arm of the state reaches us, we regard it vaguely as our comeuppance, as a touch of the blunt but nevertheless expected tool of providence. That’s, frankly, the main raison d’être behind the institution of police, plainclothed or uniformed, or at least behind our general inability to resist an arrest. One may be perfectly convinced that the state is wrong, but one is seldom confident of one’s own virtue. Not to mention that it is the same arm that locks one up and sets one free. That’s why one is seldom surprised at being avoided when one gets released, and doesn’t expect a universal embrace.
Such expectations, under such circumstances, would be disappointed because nobody wants to be reminded of the murky complexity of the relations between guilt and getting one’s comeuppance, and in a police state providing such a reminder is what heroic deportment is largely about. It alienates one from others, as any emphasis on virtue does; not to mention that a hero is always best observed from a distance. In no small measure, Mr. President, you were avoided by the people you’ve mentioned precisely because for them you were a sort of test tube of virtue confronting evil, and those people didn’t interfere with the experiment since they had their doubts about both. As such, you again were a convenience, because in the police state absolutes compromise each other since they engender each other. Haven’t you imagined those prudent people saying to their wives in the evening: “I saw Havel today in the street. He’s too good to be true.” Or do I misjudge the Czech character again?

That they were proven wrong and you right, I repeat, matters little. They wrote you off at the time because they were guided by the same relativism and self-interest that I suppose helps them to make a go of it now, under the new dispensation. And as a healthy majority, they no doubt had a significant part in your velvet revolution, which, after all, asserts, the way democracy always does, precisely self-interest. If such is the case, and I’m afraid it is, they’ve paid you back for their excessive prudence, and you preside now over a society which is more theirs than yours.

There is nothing wrong with that. Besides, things might easily have gone the other way: for you, that is; not for them (the revolution was so velvet because the tyranny itself by that time was more woolen than ironclad—otherwise I wouldn’t have this privilege of commenting upon your speech). So all I’m trying to suggest is that by introducing the notion of inconvenience you quite possibly misspoke, for self-interest is always exercised at the expense of others, whether it’s done by individuals or by nations. A better notion would be the vulgarity of the human heart, Mr. President; but then you wouldn’t be able to bring your speech to a ringing conclusion. Certain things come with a pulpit, though one should resist them, writer or no writer. As I am not faced with your task, I’d like to take your argument now where, I think, it could perhaps have gone. I wonder if you’ll disagree with the result.

“For long decades,” your next paragraph begins, “the chief nightmare of the democratic world was communism. Today—three years after it began to collapse like an avalanche—it would seem as though another nightmare has replaced it: postcommunism.” Then you describe in considerable detail the existing modes of the democratic world’s response to the ecological, economic, political, and social catastrophes unraveling where previously one perceived a smooth cloth. You liken these responses to those toward your “inconvenience” and suggest that such a position leads “to a turning away from reality, and ultimately, to resigning oneself to it. It leads to appeasement, even to collaboration. The consequences of such a position may even be suicidal.”

It is here, Mr. President, that I think your metaphor fails you. For neither the Communist nor the post-Communist nightmare amounts to an inconvenience, since it helped, helps, and will for quite some time help the democratic world to externalize evil. And not the democratic world only. To quite a few of us who lived in that nightmare, and especially those who fought it, its presence was a source of considerable moral comfort. For one who fights or resists evil almost automatically perceives oneself as good and skips self-analysis. So perhaps it’s time—for us and for the world at large, democratic or not—to scrub the term communism from the human reality of Eastern Europe so one can recognize that reality for what it was and is: a mirror.

For that is what human evil always is. Geographic names or political terminology provide not a telescope or a window but the reflection of ourselves: of human negative potential. The magnitude of what took place in our parts of the world, and over two thirds of a century, cannot be reduced to “communism.” Catchwords, on the whole, lose more than they retain, and in the case of tens of millions killed and the lives of entire nations subverted, a catchword simply won’t do. Although the ratio of executioners to victims favors the latter, the scale of what happened in our realm suggests, given its technological backwardness at the time, that the former, too, run in the millions, not to mention the complicity of millions more.

Homilies are not my forte, Mr. President; besides, you are a convert. It’s not for me to tell you that what you call “communism” was a breakdown of humanity, and not a political problem. It was a human problem, a problem of our species, and thus of a lingering nature. Neither as a writer nor, moreover, as a leader of a nation should you use terminology that obscures the reality of human evil—terminology, I should add, invented by evil to obscure its own reality. Nor should one refer to it as a nightmare, since that breakdown of humanity wasn’t a nocturnal affair, not in our hemisphere, to say the least.

To this day, the word “communism” remains a convenience, for an -ism suggests a fait accompli. In Slavic languages especially, an -ism, as you know, suggests the foreignness of a phenomenon, and when a word containing an -ism denotes a political system, the system is perceived as an imposition. True, our particular -ism wasn’t conceived on the banks of the Volga or the Vltava, and the fact that it blossomed there with a unique vigor doesn’t bespeak our soil’s exceptional fertility, for it blossomed in different latitudes and extremely diverse cultural zones with equal intensity. This suggests not so much an imposition as our -ism’s rather organic, not to say universal, origins. One should think, therefore, that a bit of self-examination—on the part of the democratic world as well as our own—is in order, rather than ringing calls for mutual “understanding.” (What does this word mean, anyway? What procedure do you propose for this understanding? Under the auspices of the UN, perhaps?)

And if self-examination is unlikely (why should what’s been avoided under duress be done at leisure?), then at least the myth of imposition should be dispelled, since, for one thing, tank crews and fifth columns are biologically indistinguishable. Why don’t we simply start by admitting that an extraordinary anthropological backslide has taken place in our world in this century, regardless of who or what triggered it? That it involved masses acting in their self-interest and, in the process of doing so, reducing their common denominator to the moral minimum? And that the masses’ self-interest—stability of life and its standards, similarly reduced—has been attained at the expense of other masses, albeit numerically inferior? Hence the number of the dead.

It is convenient to treat these matters as an error, as a horrendous political aberration, perhaps imposed upon human beings from an anonymous elsewhere. It is even more convenient if that elsewhere bears a proper geographical or foreign-sounding name, whose spelling obscures its utterly human nature. It was convenient to build navies and defenses against that aberration—as it is convenient to dismantle those defenses and those navies now. It is convenient, I must add, to refer to these matters in a civil manner, Mr. President, from a pulpit today, although I don’t question for a minute the authenticity of your civility, which, I believe, is your very nature. It was convenient to have around this living example of how not to run things in this world and supply this example with an -ism, as it is convenient to supply it nowadays with “know-how” and a “post-.” (And one easily envisions our -ism, embellished with its post-, conveniently sailing on the lips of dimwits into the future.)

For it would be truly inconvenient—for the cowboys of the Western industrial democracies specifically—to recognize the catastrophe that occurred in our part of the world as the first cry of mass society: a cry as it were from the world’s future, and to recognize it not as an -ism but a chasm suddenly gaping in the human heart to swallow up honesty, compassion, civility, justice, and, thus satiated, presenting to the still democratic outside a reasonably perfect, monotonous surface.

Cowboys, however, loathe mirrors—if only because there they may recognize the backward Indians more readily than they would in the open. So they prefer to mount their high horses, scan the Indian-free horizons, deride the Indians’ backwardness, and derive enormous moral comfort from being regarded as cowboys—first of all, by the Indians.

As one who has been likened often to a philosopher king, you can, Mr. President, appreciate better than many how much all of that happened to our “Indian nation” harks back to the Enlightenment, with its idea (from the Age of Discovery, actually), of a noble savage, of man being inherently good but habitually ruined by bad institutions; with its belief that improvement of those institutions will restore man to his initial goodness. So to the admission previously made or hoped for, one should add, I suppose, that it’s precisely the accomplishment of the “Indian” in perfecting those institutions that brought them to that project’s logical end: the police state. Perhaps the manifest bestiality of this achievement should suggest to the “Indians” that they must retreat some way into the interior, that they should render their institutions a bit less perfect. Otherwise they may not get the “cowboys’ ” subsidies for their reservations. And perhaps there is indeed a ratio between man’s goodness and the badness of institutions. If there isn’t, maybe somebody should admit that man isn’t that good.

Isn’t this the juncture at which we find ourselves, Mr. President—or at least you do? Should “Indians” embark on imitating “cowboys,” or should they consult the spirits about other options? May it be that the magnitude of the tragedy that befell them is, in itself, a guarantee that it won’t happen again? May their grief and their memory of what happened in their parts create a greater egalitarian bond than free enterprise and a bicameral legislature? And if they should draft a constitution anyway, maybe they should start by recognizing themselves and their history for the better part of this century as a reminder of Original Sin.

It’s not such a heady concept, as you know. Translated into common parlance, it means that man is dangerous. Apart from being a footnote to our beloved Jean-Jacques, this principle may allow us to build—if not elsewhere, then at least in our realm, so steeped in Fourier, Proudhon, and Blanc at the expense of Burke and Tocqueville—a social order resting on a less self-flattering basis than was our habit, and perhaps with less disastrous consequences. This also may qualify as man’s “new understanding of himself, of his limitations and his place in the world” you call for in your speech.

“We must discover a new relationship to our neighbors, and to the universe,” you say toward the end of your speech, “and its metaphysical order, which is the source of the moral order.” The metaphysical order, Mr. President, should it really exist, is pretty dark, and its structural idiom is its parts’ mutual indifference. The notion that man is dangerous runs, therefore, closest to that order’s implications for human morality. Every writer is a reader, and if you scan your library’s shelves, you must realize that most of the books you’ve got there are either about betrayal or murder. At any rate, it seems more prudent to build society on the premise that man is evil rather than the premise of his goodness. This way at least there is the possibility of making it safe psychologically, if not physically (but perhaps that as well), for most of its members, not to mention that its surprises, which are inevitable, might be of a more pleasant nature.

Maybe the real civility, Mr. President, is not to create illusions. “New understanding,” “global responsibilities,” “pluralistic metaculture” are not much better at the core than the retrospective utopias of the latter-day nationalists or the entrepreneurial fantasies of the nouveaux riches. This sort of stuff is still predicated on the promise, however qualified, of man’s goodness, of his notion of himself as either a fallen or a possible angel. This sort of diction befits, perhaps, the innocents, or demagogues, running the affairs of industrial democracies, but not you, who ought to know the truth about the condition of the human heart.

And you are, one would imagine, in a good position not only to convey your knowledge to people, but also to cure that heart condition somewhat: to help them to become like yourself. Since what made you the way you are was not your penal experience but the books you’ve read, I’d suggest, for starters, serialization of some of those books in the country’s major dailies. Given the population figure of Czechia, this can be done, even by decree, although I don’t think your parliament would object. By giving your people Proust, Kafka, Faulkner, Platonov, Camus, or Joyce, you may turn at least one nation in the heart of Europe into a civilized people.

That may do more good for the future of the world than emulating cowboys. Also, it would be a real postcommunism, not the doctrine’s meltdown, with the attendant “hatred of the world, self-affirmation at all costs, and the unparalleled flourishing of selfishness” that dog you now. For there is no other antidote to the vulgarity of the human heart than doubt and good taste, which one finds fused in works of great literature, as well as your own. If man’s negative potential is best manifested by murder, his positive potential is best manifested by art.

Why, you may ask, don’t I make a similar crackpot suggestion to the President of the country of which I am a citizen? Because he is not a writer; and when he is a reader, he often reads trash. Because cowboys believe in law, and reduce democracy to people’s equality before it: i.e., to the well-policed prairie. Whereas what I suggest to you is equality before culture. You should decide which deal is better for your people, which book it is better to throw at them. If I were you, though, I’d start with your own library, because apparently you did not learn about moral imperatives in a law school.

Yours sincerely,
Joseph Brodsky

Václav Havel replies:

I am honored that you chose to reply to the speech I delivered at the George Washington University, later published in the New York Review of Books as “The Post-Communist Nightmare.”

You go into so many serious and distressing matters concerning not just the recent past in Eastern and Central Europe, but the present and future of the whole world, that to give you an adequate response I would have to write an essay at least as long and detailed as yours. At the moment, though, this doesn’t seem productive, for two reasons. In the first place, however tempting it may be to discuss such matters now, it would be irresponsible without first undertaking a closer and more comprehensive study of the issues. In the second place, the world is changing from hour to hour, compelling us constantly to reassess our views. Look at the Middle East, or the former Yugoslavia, or many places in the old Soviet Union, or South Africa, or even relatively peaceful Central Europe.

But my main reason for suggesting that we postpone a more thorough discussion of these matters until sometime in the near future is this: our minds appear to be working on the same problem, but using a different set of facts. As you point out, our views are shaped by experiences that coincide on some points, and differ significantly in others. We each lived under totalitarianism, but in different surroundings, and we lived that reality through feelings, thoughts, and instincts that were of a different nature.

The strongest impression I have from your letter is that a misunderstanding has occurred between two people who essentially understand each other. To put it another way: we don’t really disagree at all, we merely have a different way of thinking about commensurate experiences that vary in their details.

I will mention only one example. You say that under the totalitarian regime, I was not so much an “inconvenience” for my friends and acquaintances as “a source of…moral comfort, the way the sick are for the healthy majority.” This observation is clearly based on your experience with totalitarianism in Soviet Russia. The Czech experience was somewhat different.

Though we were subjected to varying types and degrees of totalitarianism over a long period of time, it was not long enough for this experience to sink as deeply into the consciousness of several generations as it did in Russia, and other parts of the Soviet Union.

Some members of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, at least from Stalin’s death onward, silently ran their lives with a mixture of personal pragmatism and opportunism. Even some who were not Party members managed to maintain relatively well-paying careers as long as it didn’t come out that, privately, they told too many jokes at the expense of the Party leaders or that they were sometimes highly critical of the system.

By the late Seventies, this phenomenon had existed for a long time, and it was only at the end of the decade that we coined an expression—“the gray zone”—to describe it. The term applied mainly to a stratum of educated people—some Party members, some not—who were aware that the system, should it continue, would eventually destroy us, both morally as individuals and professionally as artists, scholars, and intellectuals. At the same time, these people felt that the right thing to do under the circumstances was to continue working in their laboratories, publishing houses, research institutes, and so on, so that they themselves would not forget their subjects, and so that their professions and areas of expertise would not atrophy.

But what could historians, poets, or writers do? Such a compromise was not open to them. They couldn’t publish and earn a living in their field without going against their consciences and denying their own understanding of reality. They chose instead, therefore, to wash windows, to work as night-watchmen on construction sites, or as stokers in heating plants, or as technicians measuring water flow in remote parts of the country.

These people formed the core of those who signed the human rights initiative, Charter 77. They were not, just as I was not, a “comfort” to those secret critics of the regime in the “gray zone,” but were indeed an inconvenience, a living reproach. Their very existence prompted those in the gray zone to ask if there wasn’t more they ought to be doing to hasten the regime’s demise than simply complaining about it in secret.

In Soviet Russia, opposing both the brutal power of the state and the ingrained beliefs of most citizens must have required great moral power, a brave intellect, and special talents. I can imagine, for instance, that after you were sent to prison many people expressed their relief in a way you suggest some Czechs might have done in my case, by dismissing you and your cause as lost: “He’s had it!”

But there is a difference. For ordinary people in your country of birth, any change aiming at a freer system, at freedom of thought and action, was a step into the unknown. Thanks to your moral strength and talent, you and a relatively small number of other authors continued the work of the great Russian poets, novelists, and essayists of the nineteenth century, and of that handful of irrepressible artists with names like Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam, Babel, Zoshchenko, and even Pasternak and others.

You longed for freedom, and you won it. When your friends, both intimate and distant, saw you go off to prison to pay for that victory, they might well have said that they were in no danger of experiencing the inconvenience of freedom. Perhaps they gained some dark satisfaction from that.

By contrast, Czechs and Slovaks enjoyed a considerable degree of freedom and democracy in the late nineteenth century under the Austro-Hungarian constitutional monarchy, and even more during Czechoslovakia’s First Republic. The traditions of those times live on in family life and in books. Thus, though the renewal of freedom is difficult and inconvenient in our country too, freedom was never a completely unknown aspect of time, space, and thought. Several generations of people here know it as a living and inspiring experience. That is what made our struggle so different from your practically private—and pioneering—struggle to win freedom of thought and action.

I repeat: I am heartened by your response. But it seems to me that the special circumstances of this discussion—the fact that despite the similarity of the language we use, we are not really talking about the same thing at all—can only be resolved in direct personal conversation.

Let’s set a date to meet sometime in the near future to try to understand better why thoughts as parallel as those expressed in your open letter and my speech have caused a disagreement which may be no more than a misunderstanding.

—Translated from the Czech by Paul Wilson

1 evro investiran v kulturo jih vrne 7

Arts ‘contributes £7 to GDP for every £1 subsidised’, report finds
The Arts Council has responded to Maria Miller’s call for an “economic argument” for funding, publishing a report claiming the arts sector makes a £7 contribution to GDP for every £1 of government subsidy.
Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Photo: EPA
Hannah Furness By Hannah Furness7:00AM BST 07 May 2013 Comments7 Comments
The Arts Council, which plans to distribute £2 billion of government and lottery funding to organisations across the UK before 2015, has argued the culture industry is an “undeniably vibrant sector”, which provides “impressive” returns on investment.
It has today published an independent economic analysis, which found the sector currently makes up 0.4 per cent of GDP compared with just 0.1 per cent of investment.
While it does not make a causal link, it found that for every £1 of subsidy provided to the arts and culture industry, the sector made a £7 contribution to GDP.
This, the report found, was a higher return than that by the health, wholesale and retail industries, with a turnover of £12.8 billion.
Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, today hailed the findings, saying the industry could now “confidently confirm the impressive scale of the arts and culture industry and its distinctive strengths and contribution”.
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Angleški Arts Council neuspešno prepričuje konservativno ministrico za kulturo o tem, danes že splošno znanem dejstvu. Pri tem so enako neuspešni kot smo mi že vseh 23 dolgih let slovenske neodvisnosti. Šparanje je prtveč omamna misel za možgane, ki ne zmorejo misliti onkraj gospodinjske logike kot edinega instrumenta gospodarske politike.

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The report follows a call from culture secretary Maria Miller for the arts sector to make an “economic argument” for its continued funding ahead of a spending review.
Speaking to an audience of museum, theatre and gallery directors last month, she said: “I know this will not be to everyone’s taste but in an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year outlined a 30 per cent cut in grant aid for the Arts Council from £452 million to £350 million by 2014/15.
The new study, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, used data from the Office of National Statistics to calculate revenues, costs of production and “value-added” across the arts, including theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, music and museums.
It found businesses in the arts and culture sector generated an aggregate turnover of £12.4bn in 2011, with £856m of that coming from tourism alone.
The sector supports 110,600 full-time employees across UK, with £1 paid in salaries returning £2.01 in the wider economy.
The report also highlighted the importance of investment on communities, and suggested the arts help to boost national productivity by developing “critical thinking”, “creative problem-solving” and communication.
Mr Davey said of the sector: “It is an undeniably vibrant sector with strong links to the wider economy and a key part of our economic future.”
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Smrad iz RTV Slovenije

O strupenih sadežih
Oddaja Uroki Depale vasi bi sodila v strankarske medije in tam še vedno ne bi bila poštena, temveč natanko to, kar je: agitka.
Ključne besede: [Delosled] Depala vas, [Delosled] Dimitrij Rupel, [Delosled] Igor Bavčar, [Delosled] oddaja, [Delosled] Uroki Depale vasi
Spodbudilo me je pisanje kolege Petra Kolška na prvi strani Dela in rekel sem si, da si to oddajo moram ogledati: Uroki Depale vasi avtorja Jožeta Možine. Naj takoj razočaram strankarske megere . Glede Depale vasi si v svojih sodbah nisem premislil, z leti sem le uvidel, da niso mogoče črno-bele interpretacije vpletenih, kajti pokazalo se je, da v tej politični igri domala ni nedolžnih. Toliko o tem, mogoče grafična ponazoritev in poziv, naj si javnost ogleda, kje sta stala ter kakšne argumente sta tedaj glede Janše imela Dimitrij Rupel in Igor Bavčar in kaj govorita danes.
Zapustimo torej strogo politično polje tega dogodka in se poukvarjajmo z žanrom in profesionalnimi okoliščinami oddaje, ki kot taka predstavlja dno vsega, kar v pošteni profesiji velja za normalno. Vsaka avtorska oddaja takega tipa predpostavlja subjektivno oceno avtorja, in to je normalno, zato pa zahteva kar najbolj objektivne argumente, nepristranskost in osebno poštenost. Vse skupaj je podobno tistemu, kar na sodišču rečejo samoizločitev sodnika zaradi osebne kontaminacije ali ker so dokazi in argumenti sad zastrupljenega drevesa. Oddajo sem si ogledal in za uvod lahko ugotovim vsaj troje: prvič, da gre za izdelek nacionalne televizije, ki jo strogo zavezujejo profesionalni standardi argumentiranja, drugič, da gre za oddajo, ki pravzaprav ne sporoča o dogodku, ki ga opisuje, temveč je po žanru agitpropovska oddaja o potrebah povsem aktualne politike oziroma oblika pritiska in nespoštovanja pravosodja za potrebe enega politika, ki bi moral iti v zapor, pa upa na politični obrat pri ustavnem sodišču. In tretjič, da gre za avtorja, Jožeta Možino, ki je onkraj dvoma sad zastrupljenega drevesa, saj je v aktualne politične dogodke in ideologijo SDS vpleten povsem neposredno.

Če povzamem vse tri ugotovitve, rečem: ta oddaja je pod vsemi profesionalnimi standardi. Je klasična agitka, ki si dvajset let stare dogodke v arhivu RTV izposoja za montažo nove zgodbe v ezopskem slogu prikrite govorice za potrebe politike tega trenutka. V oddaji prikrito usmerja argumente iz propagandnega arzenala ene stranke in njenega propagandnega stroja. Taka oddaja bi sodila v strankarske medije in tam še vedno ne bi bila poštena, temveč natanko to, kar je: agitka. S tem se kritika izdelka lahko konča, kajti, res­nici na ljubo, si kaj več ne zasluži. Odprejo pa se drugi vidiki.

Kaj sporoča nacionalna televizija, ko v svojem programu, programih in informativnih oddajah nenehno uporablja formulo medijskega uravnoteženja namesto profesionalne etike in korektnosti? Kilogram smrdečih in razpadajočih rib in liter kakovost­nega parfuma zmešano in deljeno z dve ne pomeni srednje vrednosti dišav, temveč dva kilograma smrdeče gmote. Uravnoteženje, ki se je Slovenije prijemalo tudi v primeru ideološke razprave v šolstvu, ima še en problem, namreč, kdo je tisti, ki postavlja metapozicijo, točko gledišča, s katere se presoja, kaj se sploh uravnotežuje. V SDS je bilo to vedno brutalno jasno: s pozicije moči in oblasti se postavljajo kriteriji za uravnoteževanje in tega so se naučili od LDS, ta pa od KPS in praks nekdanjega režima. Spomnimo se samo nespodobnega dopisovanja med Borutom Pahorjem (SD) in Antonom Ropom (LDS) z naslovi Dragi Borut, dragi Tone, v katerih sta si naravnost očitala, kdo obvladuje nacionalno RTV.

Velja se spomniti nedavne bitke za odgovornost v nenamenskem poslovanju vodstva RTV in na kravjo kupčijo nenačelnosti, v katerem je svet RTV problem pometel pod preprogo. Boris Vezjak je opozoril na politično kuhinjo v svetu RTV, zadnjič v petek v Mladini, in njegova poanta je bila v nizanju dokazov, kako sta dr. Mitja Štular in Jože Možina vseskozi vpletena v aktualno politično dogajanje, proteste in gibanja, ki nedvoumno paktirajo s SDS. Spomnimo se zapletov z Natašo Pirc Musar, ki bi že morala direktorovati na RTV, pa so se na lepem našli vidiki, zakaj ne in da bi se raje uravnoteževalo in delilo plen. Razvojni potencial nacionalne RTV, ki jo plačujemo vsi odjemalci električne energije, si politični pirati prisvajajo, kakor da bi jo plačevali oni in kakor da avtonomni ljudje mimo njih ne obstajajo in ne znajo misliti. Iz take predpostavke nastajajo take oddaje.

Toda ne glede na vse, čeprav so kravje kupčije tega tipa in izpogajane vsebine (Jože Možina se kaže kot del tega projekta) že same po sebi nesprejemljive, si nacionalna televizija ne bi smela privoščiti, da z enakimi sredstvi kot propagandni stroj SDS dvomi o legitimnosti slovenskega pravosodja. Natanko to je storil Jože Možina in nihče na RTV mu tega ni preprečil. Možina je imel sijajen »uravnoteževalski« argument: vse, kar mi boste rekli, bom razglasil za cenzuro. Kaj reči na to?

Če bi se uredniki iz svoje brezpogojne profesionalne avtonomije zmogli sklicevati na novinarsko etiko in profesionalizem, bi tako oddajo odplaknilo že ob pregledu scenarija.

Predčasne volitve – nedostojne razlage ustave

Pred predčasnimi volitvami
Andraž Teršek
Andraž Teršek27. 05. 2014
Kdo sem? Kaj sem? Kaj delam tukaj? (Butnskala)
Marsikatero pravno, predvsem pa ustavnopravno vprašanje bi bilo strokovno razrešeno, še preden bi se kot problem pojavilo v družbeni praksi, če bi obstajalo pristno, dobroverno, obveščeno, odgovorno, pozorno, akademsko dostojno, razsvetljeno, pronicljivo, napredno, pluralno in etično prepričljivo, torej resnično svobodno pravoslovno razpravljanje. Samo tako se lahko oblikujeta in razvijata optimalna strokovna in intelektualna kakovost, nenazadnje pa tudi moralna verodostojnost nacionalnega pravnega reda in prava kot kulture. Pravniki bi morali biti ljudje odprtega duha. Še posebej tisti s privilegiranim javnim statusom, predvsem akademskim in javnooblastniškim.

Tudi mimo in počez

Skala nam ne sme pomeniti več kot simbol. Mi iščemo tisto, kar je za skalo, za simbolom.(Butnskala)

Dokler pravne identitete, ki vključuje vse vidike pravniškega izobraževanja in pravnih praks, ne opredeljuje takšen razpravni proces, ne gre preveč zameriti predsedniku države, če skliče predstavnike pravoslovja, ki jih šteje za ugledne in verodostojne, preden se javno podpiše pod točno določeno razlago ustavnega reda. Demokratična javnost sicer upravičeno pričakuje, da bodo imeli nosilci politične oblasti tesno ob sebi ljudi, ki jim bodo omogočili suvereno sprejemanje najpomembnejših odločitev brez prepogostih javnih posvetovanj. Po drugi strani pa ista javnost verjetno upravičeno pričakuje tudi, da se bo nacionalna pravna kultura krepila in razvijala prav v dostojnem, odprtem in naprednem razpravljanju predstavnikov pravniških poklicev. Rezultat takšnega razpravljanja bi morali biti že izdelani strokovni predlogi in konceptualne rešitve aktualnih sistemskih vprašanj; sprejeti s konsenzom, kadar je to mogoče. Lahko bi zmanjšali število po vsebini preveč različnih javnih pravniških komentarjev, dnevno spremenjenih stališč nekaterih vplivnih pravnikov, pa tudi pogostost pravniškega komentiranja na mah, brez (kot se zdi) predhodne študijske priprave.

Nekateri primeri površnega in nedomišljenega spodkopavanja posameznih ustavnopravnih tez ali konceptov, ki so sicer temeljni elementi v učenju ustavnopravne teorije, so presegli mero, ki bi si jo katerikoli ugledni in vplivni predstavnik pravniške stroke smel privoščiti. Na primer izražanje dvoma v obstoj in vsebino koncepta pozitivnih obveznosti države, ki zadeva objektivno in iztožljivo pravno odgovornost države za nedelovanje pravnega reda, slabo zakonodajo, nesprejeto zakonodajo, napake pri delovanju javne uprave ipd. Ali pa v obstoj in vsebino doktrine o stopnjevanju sankcij, po kateri lahko ustavno sodišče, ki že desetletja ni več zgolj negativni zakonodajalec, sankcionira nespoštovanje ustavnosodnih odločb s strani parlamenta tudi s posegom na pozitivno-zakonodajno področje. Ali pa o tem, da se referendumskega predloga ne presoja samo po besedilu referendumske pobude, ampak tudi po dejanskem namenu predlagateljev referenduma. Ali pa o pomenu in vsebini koncepta fiktivne nezaupnice, ki ne dovoljuje, da bi premierova koalicijska večina v parlamentu le navidezno, torej fiktivno, glasovala proti premieru le zato, da bi omogočila hitrejšo pot do predčasnih volitev.

Veliko je primerov, ko se je javno govorilo o pravu ali se je javno komentiralo aktualna družbena vprašanja, pa ne mediji in ne javnost niso opazili strokovne površnosti ali celo konceptualne deplasiranosti izraženih stališč. Drugačno razumevanje pravnih vprašanj in konceptov je nekaj povsem drugega kot njihovo nepoznavanje, pa tudi nekaj drugega kot očitna odsotnost študijske pozornosti določenim vprašanjem.

Tudi zdaj, ko gre za vprašanji razpustitve parlamenta in predčasnih volitev, se v določenem obsegu dogaja podobno. Pravniki nis(m)o ne predsedniku republike ne drugim političnim akterjem in ne javnosti ponudili predhodno konsenzualno izoblikovanih in konkretnih ustavnopravnih rešitev. Pa bi jih lahko. Celo morali bi jih.


Ustava ne zahteva in ne dovoljuje ne-umnosti

Smo empirična družina, ki išče spoznanje v božanski svetlobi.(Butnskala)

Pot do predčasnih volitev po odstopu predsednice vlade se ne zdi težko ustavnopravno vprašanje. Vseeno pa je lahko javnost dobila drugačen vtis, ko je spremljala različne komentarje pravnikov.

Najprej se je pojavila pravna razlaga, da bi moral predsednik države na vsak način bodisi trideset dni paberkovati s poslanskimi skupinami, kako ne želijo nikogar predlagati za novega mandatarja, bodisi bi se moral trideset dni kratkočasiti, ker bi dobil jasno zagotovilo, da poslanske skupine ne bodo nikogar predlagale za mandatarja. Nekateri, ki so sprva kategorično zagovarjali takšno nerazumno razlago ustave, so kasneje malo popustili. Po drugi strani pa je preteklo kar nekaj časa, da se je razširil odmev pojasnila o pomembni razliki med ustavnim institutom, da lahko predsednik države v pogovorih s poslanskimi skupinami trideset dni išče primernega kandidata za mandatarja, na eni strani in na drugi strani institutom štirinajstdnevnega roka, ki sledi omenjenemu roku trideset dni in v katerem lahko tudi poslanci iščejo in predlagajo mandatarja – ker je to njihova ustavna pravica. Dopustnost skrajšanja prvega roka ne pomeni, da je dopustno skrajšati tudi ta, drugi rok, ali da se je tej drugi pravici dopustno odpovedati, npr. z zbiranjem podpisov poslancev. Razlika naj bi bila prepoznavna in razumljiva.

Potem so se začele pojavljati pravne razlage glede volitev v času poletnih počitnic. Najprej se je povsem spregledalo, da obstajata osemnajst let stara ustavnosodna precedensa o tem, da predvolilne aktivnosti in volilno dogajanje ne sodijo v počitniški čas. Potem se je začelo razpravljati, ali trije ustavnosodni precedensi, zadnji z letnico 2014, o tem, da predvolilna kampanja in volitve ne sodijo v čas poletnih počitnic, sporočajo to, kar sporočajo: da predvolilna kampanja in volitve ne sodijo v čas poletnih počitnic. Četudi se o tem ne razpravlja dovolj strokovno, pa se o tem še vedno javno govori kot o negotovosti v objemu meglice. Zakaj? Kaj je glede tega ostalo nerazumljivo?

Zadnje vprašanje v nizu teh javnih branj ustave pa je uresničitev skrbi, da se utegne zgoditi nekaj posebej politično neprijetnega in pravno nedostojnega. Glavni akterji so se še enkrat znesli nad ustavo. Kot bi jo bili pripravljeni teptati, mečkati in žaliti. In kot bi se takrat, ko to počnejo, sami in javno, pred nami, spraševali vse, ali vsaj nekaj od tega:

kako izvajati kampanjo in voliti takrat, ko se to ne sme;

ali se to, da se tega med poletnimi počitnicami ne sme, res ne sme, če se to ne sme;

kdo je rekel, da se to ne sme in zakaj se ne sme, če je to rekel tisti, ki to lahko reče;

kaj storiti, da bi se to smelo in kako to storiti, četudi se ne sme;

ali bi se smelo, če bi se smelo, kar se še ne sme;

kdaj bi se smelo, razen takrat, ko se ne sme in ko se sme, ker tedaj, ko se sme, ni več takrat, ko se ne sme;

koga vprašati o tem in ali vprašati tistega, ki je na to že odgovoril, ker je za to pristojen;

kaj je z ustavnimi roki, če je kaj z njimi;

kateri so ustavni roki, ki so, četudi se ne ve, ali so;

kako vemo, da so to ustavni roki, če ni jasno, da so;

zakaj to niso ustavni roki, četudi se govori, da so;

kako slepa je ustava za roke;

kako neumna je ustava, če ji obraz prekriješ z roki;

kako iskati mandatarja, ki ga ni;

kako najti mandatarja, ki se ga ne išče;

kako najti fiktivnega mandatarja, ker ga je treba iskati;

kako še bolj neumna je ustava, da ne bo prepoznala fiktivnosti iskanja mandatarja, ki ga ni, išče pa se ga le zato, da se bo spoštovalo roke, ki niso takšni, kot jih prikazujejo tisti, ki želijo s koledarjem in fikcijami poneumljeno preslepiti slepo ustavo, ki po njihovem vidi samo gole roke in dovoljuje politično pretvarjanje?

Itd. Nekdo je zapisal: Butalandija!


Nejasnosti? Ni jih!

Butn, butn, butn, butn, butn, butn, butn …(Butnskala)

Predpostavimo, da se išče mandatarja, ki ga ni in ga ne bo. Za izhodišče vzemimo dejstvo, da se vse poslanske skupine zavežejo, da ne bodo ne iskale ne predlagale in ne podprle kogarkoli za mandatarja. Predpostavimo torej, da se ga dejansko ne išče, ampak se samo uprizarja, da se ga išče. Zatorej se fiktivno išče fiktivnega mandatarja. Domnevno pa se ga išče zato, ker naj bi bilo menda samo tako mogoče premostiti koledarski počitniški čas do dneva volitev. Četudi glavni akterji niti ne vedo točno, kdaj naj bi bil čas za volitve.

V naravi ustave ni in ne sme biti nič takega, kar bi se lahko razlagalo s formalistično kratkovidnostjo in konceptualno neumnostjo. Ustava ni skupek pravniških neumnosti in kot celota ni prikaz konceptualne razbremenjenosti umnosti. Fiktivno pretvarjanje, da se nekaj počne, četudi se to dejansko ne počne, ni metodologija za pravilno razlago ustave. Ustave niso pisali neumneži. Ustava ne zahteva, da bi jo ljudje razumeli brez soli v glavi in tudi ne sme biti odvisna od razlag, ki bi bile razbremenjene zdrave pameti. Ustava ne zahteva politikantskega ali pravničarskega poneumljanja, da bi se ostalo zvesto ustavi. Ustava tega tudi ne dovoljuje.

Vse početje pri poskusih uresničevanja ustave v praksi, ki je očitno in dokazljivo fiktivno, ni uglašeno z ustavnim redom. Fiktivno iskanje mandatarja, ki je le v funkciji dnevnopolitičnega uprizarjanja, je ustavno nesprejemljivo. Ustava ne zahteva, da bi se tako pravilno prebrodil predpočitniški ali počitniški čas. Ustava ne zahteva takšne, četudi zgolj navidezne zvitosti in premetenosti, ne zahteva pretvarjanja in dnevnopolitičnega blefiranja. Ustava tega tudi ne dovoljuje. Ustava zahteva, hkrati pa dovoljuje le razumno, logično, ustavniško pronicljivo in sistemsko uravnoteženo politično odločanje in pravno razlaganje.

Ustavno sodišče je trikrat odločilo, da volilne kampanje in volitev ne sme biti v času poletnih počitnic, predvsem ne avgusta. Dokler ustavno sodišče svojega načelnega stališča ne spremeni, do tedaj ne sme biti ne predvolilne kampanje ne volitev v času poletnih počitnic, zlasti ne avgusta. Dokler ustavno sodišče tega stališča ne spremeni, volitev tudi v septembru ne more biti. Odločbe ustavnega sodišča, s katerimi se razlaga ustava, so-določajo in po-določajo vsebino ustavnega reda. Vlada, parlament in predsednik republike morajo upoštevati in spoštovati ustavnosodne precedense kot sestavni del ustavnega reda. Njihovo spreminjanje je možno, a le ob prisiljujočih družbenih okoliščinah, kot rezultat premišljenega in prepričljivega institucionalnega diskurza o ustavi. Dokler takšne spremembe ni, obstaja tisto, kar obstaja: ustavnosodni precedensi in njihova razlaga ustavnega reda, ki je vsebina tega ustavnega reda.

Na dlani je, kaj je mogoče storiti. Obstajajo poti, ki bodo ustavno sprejemljive in razumne. Lahko se preveri stališče ustavnega sodišča o tem, ali so nastopile posebne okoliščine, ki dovoljujejo vdor vsaj določenega dela volilnih aktivnosti v čas poletnih počitnic. Če ustavno sodišče tega ne prepove, bi bile lahko volitve 13. julija. Razpust parlamenta in razpis predčasnih volitev bi se namreč lahko zgodil 19. dan po tem, ko odstop premierke dobi pravni učinek v parlamentu. Če volitev ne bo 13. julija, ustavnosodni precedensi pa ostanejo nespremenjeni, potem kampanje in volitev ne sme biti niti avgusta. Če jih ne bo ne julija in ne avgusta, ker ustavno sodišče ne bi spremenilo svojih precedensov, je povsem razumljivo, da jih ne more biti niti še septembra. Če bi ustavno sodišče dovolilo, da se lahko volilne aktivnosti začnejo že ob koncu avgusta (malo verjetno), bi bile lahko volitve konec septembra.

Če ostanejo ustavnosodni precedensi nespremenjeni, postane očitno in razumljivo, da se je vzpostavilo mirovanje volilnega časa v obdobju med poletnimi počitnicami. Namreč, če v določenem obdobju predvolilne kampanje in volitev ne more biti, ker jih ne sme biti, ta čas kot čas za te aktivnosti ne obstaja, na koledarju je prečrtan. Volilne aktivnosti, ki jih ni mogoče začeti pred začetkom poletnih počitnic, predsednik republike razpiše za konec poletnih počitnic, torej za začetek septembra. Predsedniku, ki bi tako deloval, nihče ne bi mogel očitati, da je zlorabil svoje pristojnosti in kršil ustavni red. Navsezadnje pa tudi o tem vprašanju odloča ustavno sodišče. To isto ustavno sodišče, na čigar precedense se sklicuje predsednik, ko se odloča.

Zaplet in nejasnosti? Ne prepoznam jih. Prepoznam sicer vprašanja, o katerih se lahko institucionalno in ustavnopravno razpravlja in dogovarja, tudi odloča. Ne prepoznam pa ustavnega razloga za mandatarske fikcije in golo formalistična rokovna raztegovanja z dnevnopolitičnimi dramskimi uprizoritvami. Pravo je, naj bo in mora biti kultura. Ustavno pravo, utemeljeno z ustavniško filozofijo kot vedo o razmišljanju o ustavnih vprašanjih in o mišljenju sistema skozi ustavno pravo, pa je izhodišče pravne kulture.

Zasebnost na udaru – prisluškovanje in Snowden

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless
US National Security Agency

Eben Moglen
Tuesday 27 May 2014 11.00 BST
In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.

Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.

That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”

The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.

We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.

The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.

Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.

The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.

When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.

In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.

Last century we desperately fought and died against systems in which the state listened to every telephone conversation

The regime that we built to defend ourselves against nuclear annihilation was restructured at the end of the 20th century. In the first place, the cold war ended and the Soviet Union dissolved. An entire establishment of national security repurposed itself. We no longer needed to spy upon an empire with 25,000 nuclear weapons pointed at us. Now we spied on the entire population of the world, in order to locate a few thousand people intent on various kinds of mass murder. Hence, we are told, spying on entire societies is the new normal.

In the second place, the nature of human communication changed. We built a system for attacking fixed targets: a circuit, a phone number, a licence plate, a locale. The 20th-century question was how many targets could be simultaneously followed in a world where each of them required hack, tap, steal. But we then started to build a new form of human communication. From the moment we created the internet, two of the basic assumptions began to fail: the simplicity of “one target, one circuit” went away, and the difference between home and abroad vanished too.

That distinction vanished in the United States because so much of the network and associated services, for better and worse, resided there. The question “Do we listen inside our borders?” was seemingly reduced to “Are we going to listen at all?”

At this point, a vastly imprudent US administration intervened. Their defining characteristic was that they didn’t think long before acting. Presented with a national calamity that also constituted a political opportunity, nothing stood between them and all the mistakes that haste can make for their children’s children to repent at leisure. What they did – in secret, with the assistance of judges appointed by a single man operating in secrecy, and with the connivance of many decent people who believed themselves to be acting to save the society – was to unchain the listeners from law.

Not only had circumstances destroyed the simplicity of “no listening inside”, not only had fudging with the foreign intelligence surveillance act carried them where law no longer provided useful landmarks, but they actually wanted to do it. Their view of the nature of human power was Augustan, if not august. They wanted what it is forbidden to wise people to take unto themselves. And so they fell, and we fell with them.

Our journalists failed. The New York Times allowed the 2004 election not to be informed by what it knew about the listening. Its decision to censor itself was, like all censorship and self-censorship, a mortal wound inflicted on democracy. We the people did not demand the end at the beginning. And now we’re a long way in.

Oak Ridge, Tennessee Women working on the Manhattan Project at a secret plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during the second world war – when the enemy was clear. Photograph: Ed Westcott
Our military listeners have invaded the centre of an evolving net, where conscriptable digital superbrains gather intelligence on the human race for purposes of bagatelle and capitalism. In the US, the telecommunications companies have legal immunity for their complicity, thus easing the way further.

The invasion of our net was secret, and we did not know that we should resist. But resistance developed as a fifth column among the listeners themselves.

In Hong Kong, Edward Snowden said something straightforward and useful: analysts, he said, are not bad people, and they don’t want to think of themselves that way. But they came to calculate that if a programme produced anything useful, it was justified.

It was not the analysts’ job to weigh the fundamental morality for us.

In a democracy, that task is given by the people to the leaders they elect. These leaders fell – and we fell with them – because they refused to adhere to the morality of freedom. The civilian workers in their agencies felt their failure first. From the middle of last decade, people began to blow whistles all over the field. These courageous workers sacrificed their careers, frightened their families, sometimes suffered personal destruction, to say that there was something deeply wrong.

The response was rule by fear. Two successive US administrations sought to deal with the whistleblowers among the listeners by meting out the harshest possible treatment.

Snowden said in Hong Kong that he was sacrificing himself in order to save the world from a system like this one, which is “constrained only by policy documents”. The political ideas of Snowden are worthy of our respect and our deep consideration. But for now it is sufficient to say that he was not exaggerating the nature of the difficulty.

Because of Snowden, we now know that the listeners undertook to do what they repeatedly promised respectable expert opinion they would never do. They always said they would not attempt to break the crypto that secures the global financial system.

That was false.

When Snowden disclosed the existence of the NSA’s Bullrun programme we learned that NSA had lied for years to the financiers who believe themselves entitled to the truth from the government they own. The NSA had not only subverted technical standards, attempting to break the encryption that holds the global financial industry together, it had also stolen the keys to as many vaults as possible. With this disclosure the NSA forfeited respectable opinion around the world. Their reckless endangerment of those who don’t accept danger from the United States government was breathtaking.

The empire of the United States was the empire of exported liberty. What it had to offer all around the world was liberty and freedom. After colonisation, after European theft, after forms of state-created horror, it promised a world free from state oppression.

Last century we were prepared to sacrifice many of the world’s great cities and tens of millions of human lives. We bore those costs in order to smash regimes we called “totalitarian”, in which the state grew so powerful and so invasive that it no longer recognised any border of private life. We desperately fought and died against systems in which the state listened to every telephone conversation and kept a list of everybody every troublemaker knew.

Snowden spied on behalf of the human race. As he said, only the American people could decide if his sacrifice was worth it.
But in the past 10 years, after the morality of freedom was withdrawn, the state has begun fastening the procedures of totalitarianism on the substance of democratic society.

There is no historical precedent for the proposition that the procedures of totalitarianism are compatible with the system of enlightened, individual and democratic self-governance. Such an argument would be doomed to failure. It is enough to say in opposition that omnipresent invasive listening creates fear. And that fear is the enemy of reasoned, ordered liberty.

It is utterly inconsistent with the American ideal to attempt to fasten procedures of totalitarianism on American constitutional self-governance. But there is an even deeper inconsistency between those ideals and the subjection of every other society on earth to mass surveillance.

Some of the system’s servants came to understand that it was being sustained not with, but against, democratic order. They knew their vessel had come unmoored in the dark, and was sailing without a flag. When they blew the whistle, the system blew back at them. In the end – at least so far, until tomorrow – there was Snowden, who saw everything that happened and watched the fate of others who spoke up.

He understood, as Chelsea Manning also always understood, that when you wear the uniform you consent to the power. He knew his business very well. Young as he was, as he said in Hong Kong, “I’ve been a spy all my life.” So he did what it takes great courage to do in the presence of what you believe to be radical injustice. He wasn’t first, he won’t be last, but he sacrificed his life as he knew it to tell us things we needed to know. Snowden committed espionage on behalf of the human race. He knew the price, he knew the reason. But as he said, only the American people could decide, by their response, whether sacrificing his life was worth it.

Listening devices used at Bletchley Park during the second world war. Listening devices used at Bletchley Park during the second world war. Photograph: Martin Argles
So our most important effort is to understand the message: to understand its context, purpose, and meaning, and to experience the consequences of having received the communication.

Even once we have understood, it will be difficult to judge Snowden, because there is always much to say on both sides when someone is greatly right too soon.

In the United States, those who were “premature anti-fascists” suffered. It was right to be right only when all others were right. It was wrong to be right when only people we disagreed with held the views that we were later to adopt ourselves.

Snowden has been quite precise. He understands his business. He has spied on injustice for us and has told us what we require in order to do the job and get it right. And if we have a responsibility, then it is to learn, now, before somebody concludes that learning should be prohibited.

In considering the political meaning of Snowden’s message and its consequences, we must begin by discarding for immediate purposes pretty much everything said by the presidents, the premiers, the chancellors and the senators. Public discussion by these “leaders” has provided a remarkable display of misdirection, misleading and outright lying. We need instead to focus on the thinking behind Snowden’s activities. What matters most is how deeply the whole of the human race has been ensnared in this system of pervasive surveillance.

We begin where the leaders are determined not to end, with the question of whether any form of democratic self-government, anywhere, is consistent with the kind of massive, pervasive surveillance into which the United States government has led not only its people but the world.

This should not actually be a complicated inquiry.

For almost everyone who lived through the 20th century – at least its middle half – the idea that freedom was consistent with the procedures of totalitarianism was self-evidently false. Hence, as we watch responses to Snowden’s revelations we see that massive invasion of privacy triggers justified anxiety among the survivors of totalitarianism about the fate of liberty. To understand why, we need to understand more closely what our conception of “privacy” really contains.

Our concept of “privacy” combines three things: first is secrecy, or our ability to keep the content of our messages known only to those we intend to receive them. Second is anonymity, or secrecy about who is sending and receiving messages, where the content of the messages may not be secret at all. It is very important that anonymity is an interest we can have both in our publishing and in our reading. Third is autonomy, or our ability to make our own life decisions free from any force that has violated our secrecy or our anonymity. These three – secrecy, anonymity and autonomy – are the principal components of a mixture we call “privacy”.

Edward Snowden during an online Q&A Edward Snowden during an online Q&A. Photograph: ITAR-TASS/Barcroft Media
Without secrecy, democratic self-government is impossible. Without secrecy, people may not discuss public affairs with those they choose, excluding those with whom they do not wish to converse.

Anonymity is necessary for the conduct of democratic politics. Not only must we be able to choose with whom we discuss politics, we must also be able to protect ourselves against retaliation for our expressions of political ideas. Autonomy is vitiated by the wholesale invasion of secrecy and privacy. Free decision-making is impossible in a society where every move is monitored, as a moment’s consideration of the state of North Korea will show, as would any conversation with those who lived through 20th-century totalitarianisms, or any historical study of the daily realities of American chattel slavery before our civil war.

In other words, privacy is a requirement of democratic self-government. The effort to fasten the procedures of pervasive surveillance on human society is the antithesis of liberty. This is the conversation that all the “don’t listen to my mobile phone!” misdirection has not been about. If it were up to national governments, the conversation would remain at this phoney level forever.

The US government and its listeners have not advanced any convincing argument that what they do is compatible with the morality of freedom, US constitutional law or international human rights. They will instead attempt, as much as possible, to change the subject, and, whenever they cannot change the subject, to blame the messenger.

One does not need access to classified documents to see how the military and strategic thinkers in the United States adapted to the end of the cold war by planning pervasive surveillance of the world’s societies. From the early 1990s, the public literature of US defence policy shows, strategic and military planners foresaw a world in which the United States had no significant state adversary. Thus, we would be forced to engage in a series of “asymmetric conflicts”, meaning “guerrilla wars” with “non-state actors”.

In the course of that redefinition of US strategic posture, the military strategists and their intelligence community colleagues came to regard US rights to communications privacy as the equivalent of sanctuary for guerrillas. They conceived that it would be necessary for the US military, the listeners, to go after the “sanctuaries”.

Then, at the opening of the 21st century, a US administration that will go down in history for its tendency to think last and shoot first bought – hook, line and sinker – the entire “denying sanctuary”, pervasive surveillance, “total information awareness” scheme. Within a very short time after January 2002, mostly in secret, they put it all together.

The consequences around the world were remarkably uncontroversial. By and large, states approved or accepted. After September 2001, the United States government used quite extraordinary muscle around the world: you were either with us or against us. Moreover, many other governments had come to base their national security systems crucially on cooperation with American listening.

By the time the present US administration had settled into office, senior policymakers thought there was multilateral consensus on listening to other societies: it could not be stopped and therefore it shouldn’t be limited. The Chinese agreed. The US agreed. The Europeans agreed; their position was somewhat reluctant, but they were dependent on US listening and hadn’t a lot of power to object.

Teenagers during their induction to the Korean People’s Army in Pyongyang, North Korea. Teenagers during their induction to the Korean People’s Army in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photograph: Eric Lafforgue/Barcroft Media
Nobody told the people of the world. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a gap opened between what the people of the world thought their rights were and what their governments had given away in return for intelligence useful only to the governments themselves. This gap was so wide, so fundamental to the meaning of democracy, that those who operated the system began to disbelieve in its legitimacy. As they should have done.

Snowden saw what happened to other whistleblowers, and behaved accordingly. His political theory has been quite exact and entirely consistent. He says the existence of these programmes, undisclosed to the American people, is a fundamental violation of American democratic values. Surely there can be no argument with that.

Snowden’s position is that efforts so comprehensive, so overwhelmingly powerful, and so conducive to abuse, should not be undertaken save with democratic consent. He has expressed recurrently his belief that the American people are entitled to give or withhold that informed consent. But Snowden has also identified the fastening of those programmes on the global population as a problematic act, which deserves a form of moral and ethical analysis that goes beyond mere raison d’état.

Hopelessness is merely the condition they want you to catch, not one you have to have
I think Snowden means that we should make those decisions not in the narrow, national self-interest, but with some heightened moral sense of what is appropriate for a nation that holds itself out as a beacon of liberty to humanity.

We can speak, of course, about American constitutional law and about the importance of American legal phenomena – rules, protections, rights, duties – with respect to all of this. But we should be clear that, when we talk about the American constitutional tradition with respect to freedom and slavery, we’re talking about more than what is written in the law books.

We face two claims – you meet them everywhere you turn – that summarise the politics against which we are working. One argument says: “It’s hopeless, privacy is gone, why struggle?” The other says: “I’m not doing anything wrong, why should I care?”

These are actually the most significant forms of opposition that we face in doing what we know we ought to do.

In the first place, our struggle to retain our privacy is far from hopeless. Snowden has described to us what armour still works. His purpose was to distinguish between those forms of network communication that are hopelessly corrupted and no longer usable, those that are endangered by a continuing assault on the part of an agency gone rogue, and those that, even with their vast power, all their wealth, and all their misplaced ambition, conscientiousness and effort, they still cannot break.

Hopelessness is merely the condition they want you to catch, not one you have to have.

So far as the other argument is concerned, we owe it to ourselves to be quite clear in response: “If we are not doing anything wrong, then we have a right to resist.”

If we are not doing anything wrong, then we have a right to do everything we can to maintain the traditional balance between us and power that is listening. We have a right to be obscure. We have a right to mumble. We have a right to speak languages they do not get. We have a right to meet when and where and how we please.

We have an American constitutional tradition against general warrants. It was formed in the 18th century for good reason. We limit the state’s ability to search and seize to specific places and things that a neutral magistrate believes it is reasonable to allow.

That principle was dear to the First Congress, which put it in our bill of rights, because it was dear to British North Americans; because in the course of the 18th century they learned what executive government could do with general warrants to search everything, everywhere, for anything they didn’t like, while forcing local officials to help them do it. That was a problem in Massachusetts in 1761 and it remained a problem until the end of British rule in North America. Even then, it was a problem, because the presidents, senators and chancellors were also unprincipled in their behaviour. Thomas Jefferson, too, like the president now, talked a better game than he played.

This principle is clear enough. But there are only nine votes on the US supreme court, and only they count right now. We must wait to see how many of them are prepared to face the simple unconstitutionality of a rogue system much too big to fail. But because those nine votes are the only votes that matter, the rest of us must go about our business in other ways.

The American constitutional tradition we admire was made mostly by people who had fled Europe and come to North America in order to be free. It is their activity, politically and intellectually, that we find deposited in the documents that made the republic.

But there is a second constitutional tradition. It was made by people who were brought here against their will, or who were born into slavery, and who had to run away, here, in order to be free. This second constitutional tradition is slightly different in its nature from the first, although it conduces, eventually, to similar conclusions.

We face two claims. One says: ‘It’s hopeless, privacy is gone, why struggle?’ The other: ‘I’m not doing anything wrong, why should I care?’. These are actually the most significant forms of opposition we face.
Running away from slavery is a group activity. Running away from slavery requires the assistance of those who believe that slavery is wrong. People in the United States have forgotten how much of our constitutional tradition was made in the contact between people who needed to run away in order to be free and people who knew that they needed to help, because slavery is wrong.

We have now forgotten that in the summer of 1854, when Anthony Burns – who had run away from slavery in Richmond, Virginia – was returned to slavery by a state judge acting as a federal commissioner under the second fugitive slave act, Boston itself had to be placed under martial law for three whole days. Federal troops lined the streets, as Burns was marched down to Boston Harbor and put aboard a ship to be sent back to slavery. If Boston had not been held down by force, it would have risen.

When Frederick Douglass ran away from slavery in 1838, he had the help of his beloved Anna Murray, who sent him part of her savings and the sailor’s clothing that he wore. He had the help of a free black seaman who gave him identity papers. Many dedicated people risked much to help him reach New York.

Our constitutional tradition is not merely contained in the negative rights found in the bill of rights. It is also contained in the history of a communal, often formally illegal, struggle for liberty against slavery. This part of our tradition says that liberty from oppressive control must be accorded people everywhere, as a right. It says that slavery is simply wrong, that it cannot be tolerated or justified by the master’s fear or need for security.

So the constitutional tradition Americans should be defending now is a tradition that extends far beyond whatever boundary the fourth amendment has in space, place, or time. Americans should be defending not merely a right to be free from the oppressive attentions of the national government, not merely fighting for something embodied in the due process clause of the 14th amendment. We should rather be fighting against the procedures of totalitarianism because slavery is wrong. Because fastening the surveillance of the master on the whole human race is wrong. Because providing the energy, the money, the technology, the system for subduing everybody’s privacy around the world – for destroying sanctuary in American freedom of speech – is wrong.

Snowden has provided the most valuable thing that democratic self-governing people can have, namely information about what is going on. If we are to exercise our rights as self-governing people, using the information he has given us, we should have clear in our minds the political ideas upon which we act. They are not parochial, or national, or found in the records of supreme court decisions alone.

A nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, enslaved millions of people. It washed away that sin in a terrible war. Americans should learn from that, and are called upon now to do so.

Knowing what we know, thanks to Snowden, citizens everywhere must demand two things of their governments: “In the first place,” we must say to our rulers, “you have a responsibility, a duty, to protect our rights by guarding us against the spying of outsiders.” Every government has that responsibility.

It must protect the rights of its citizens to be free from intrusive mass surveillance by other states. No government can pretend to sovereignty and responsibility unless it makes every effort within its power and its means to ensure that outcome.

In the second place, every government must subject its domestic listening to the rule of law. The overwhelming arrogance of the listeners and the foolishness of the last administration has left the US government in an unnecessary hole. Until the last administration unchained the listeners from law, the US government could have held up its head before the world, proclaiming that only its listeners were subject to the rule of law. It would have been an accurate boast.

For almost nothing, history will record, they threw that away.

Card indexes of the former East German Stasi secret service are seen in Berlin. Card indexes of the former East German Stasi secret service are seen in Berlin. Photograph: Jan Bauer/AP
To the citizens of the United States, a greater responsibility is given. The government is projecting immensities of power into the destruction of privacy in the world’s other societies. It is doing so without any democratic check or control, and its people must stop it. Americans’ role as the beacon of liberty in the world requires no less of us.

Freedom has been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe has been bullied into treating her like a stranger and Britain would arrest her at Heathrow if she arrived. The president of the United States has demanded that no one shall receive the fugitive, and maybe only the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, wants to prepare in time an asylum for mankind.

Political leaders around the world have had much to say since Snowden began his revelations, but not one statement that consisted of “I regret subjecting my own people to these procedures”. The German chancellor, though triumphantly re-elected with not a cloud in her political sky, is in no position to say, “I agreed with the Americans to allow 40m telephone calls a day to be intercepted in Germany; I just want them to stop listening to my phone!”

The US listeners are having a political crisis beyond their previous imagining. They do not like to appear in the spotlight, or indeed to be visible at all. Now they have lost their credibility with the cybersecurity industry, which has realised that they have broken their implicit promises about what they would not hack. The global financial industry is overwhelmed with fear at what they’ve done. The other US government agencies they usually count on for support are fleeing them.

We will never again have a similar moment of political disarray on the side that works against freedom. Not only have they made the issue clear to everybody – not only have they created martyrs in our comrades at Fort Leavenworth, at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and at an undisclosed location in Moscow – not only have they lit this fire beyond the point where they can piss it out, but they have lost their armour. They stand before us in the fullness of who they really are. It is up to us to show that we recognise them.

What they have done is to build a state of permanent war into the net. Twelve years into a war that never seems to end, they are making the net a wartime place forever. We must reimagine what a net at peace would look like: cyberpeace. Young people around the world now working on the theory of cyberpeace are doing the most important political work of our time. We will now have to provide what democracies provide best, which is peace. We have to be willing to declare victory and go home. When we do, we have to leave behind a net that is no longer in a state of war, a net which no longer uses surveillance to destroy the privacy that founds democracy.

This is a matter of international public law. In the end this is about something like prohibiting chemical weapons, or landmines. A matter of disarmament treaties. A matter of peace enforcement.

What if every book for the past 500 years had been reporting its readers at headquarters?
The difficulty is that we have not only our good and patriotic fellow citizens to deal with, for whom an election is a sufficient remedy, but we have also an immense structure of private surveillance that has come into existence. This structure has every right to exist in a free market, but is now creating ecological disaster from which governments alone have benefited.

We have to consider not only, therefore, what our politics are with respect to the states, but also with respect to the enterprises.

Instead we are still at a puppet show in which the people who are the legitimate objects of international surveillance – namely politicians, heads of state, military officers, and diplomats – are screaming about how they should not be listened to. As though they were us and had a right to be left alone.

And that, of course, is what they want. They want to confuse us. They want us to think that they are us – that they’re not the people who allowed this to happen, who cheered it on, who went into business with it.

We must cope with the problems their deceptions created. Our listeners have destroyed the internet freedom policy of the US government. They had a good game so long as they could play both sides. But now we have comrades and colleagues around the world who are working for the freedom of the net in dangerous societies; they have depended upon material support and assistance from the United States government, and they now have every reason to be frightened.

What if the underground railroad had been constantly under efforts of penetration by the United States government on behalf of slavery?

What if every book for the past 500 years had been reporting its readers at headquarters?

The bad news for the people of the world is we were lied to thoroughly by everybody for nearly 20 years. The good news is that Snowden has told us the truth.

A server room at Facebook Our secrets in their hands: one of four server rooms at the Facebook data centre in North Carolina. Photograph: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty
Edward Snowden has revealed problems for which we need solutions. The vast surveillance-industrial state that has grown up since 2001 could not have been constructed without government contractors and the data-mining industry. Both are part of a larger ecological crisis brought on by industrial overreaching. We have failed to grasp the nature of this crisis because we have misunderstood the nature of privacy. Businesses have sought to profit from our confusion, and governments have taken further advantage of it, threatening the survival of democracy itself.

In this context, we must remember that privacy is about our social environment, not about isolated transactions we individually make with others. When we decide to give away our personal information, we are also undermining the privacy of other people. Privacy is therefore always a relation among many people, rather than a transaction between two.

Many people take money from you by concealing this distinction. They offer you free email service, for example. In return, they want you to let them read all the mail. Their stated purpose is advertising to you. It’s just a transaction between two parties. Or, they offer you free web hosting for your social communications, and then they watch everybody looking at everything.

This is convenient, for them, but fraudulent. If you accept this supposedly bilateral offer, to provide email service to you for free as long as it can all be read, then everybody who corresponds with you is subjected to this bargain. If your family contains somebody who receives mail at Gmail, then Google gets a copy of all correspondence in your family. If another member of your family receives mail at Yahoo, then Yahoo receives a copy of all the correspondence in your family as well.

If someone in your family uses Gmail, then Google gets a copy of all your correspondence. If someone in your family uses Gmail, then Google gets a copy of all your correspondence. Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA
Perhaps even this degree of corporate surveillance of your family’s email is too much for you. But as Snowden’s revelations showed, to the discomfiture of governments and companies alike, the companies are also sharing all that mail with power – which is buying it, getting courts to order it turned over, or stealing it – whether the companies like it or not.

The same will be true if you decide to live your social life on a website where the creep who runs it monitors every social interaction, keeping a copy of everything said, and also watching everybody watch everybody else. If you bring new “friends” to the service, you are attracting them to the creepy inspection, forcing them to undergo it with you.

This is an ecological problem, because our individual choices worsen the condition of the group as a whole. The service companies’ interest, but not ours, is to hide this view of the problem, and concentrate on getting individual consent. From a legal perspective, the essence of transacting is consent. If privacy is transactional, your consent to surveillance is all the commercial spy needs. But if privacy is correctly understood, consent is usually irrelevant, and focusing on it is fundamentally inappropriate.

We do not, with respect to clean air and clean water, set the limits of tolerable pollution by consent. We have socially established standard of cleanliness, which everybody has to meet.

Environmental law is not law about consent. But with respect to privacy we have been allowed to fool ourselves.

We’ve lost the ability to read anonymously. Without anonymity in reading there is no freedom of mind, there’s literally slavery
What is actually a subject of environmental regulation has been sold to us as a mere matter of bilateral bargaining. The facts show this is completely untrue.

An environmental devastation has been produced by the ceaseless pursuit of profit from data-mining in every legal way imaginable. Restraints that should have existed in the interest of protection against environmental degradation have never been imposed.

There is a tendency to blame oversharing. We are often told that the real problem of privacy is that kids are just sharing too darn much. When you democratise media, which is what we are doing with the net, ordinary people will naturally say more than they ever said before. This is not the problem. In a free society people should be protected in their right to say as much or as little as they want.

The real problem is that we are losing the anonymity of reading, for which nobody has contracted at all.

We have lost the ability to read anonymously, but the loss is concealed from us because of the way we built the web. We gave people programs called “browsers” that everyone could use, but we made programs called “web servers” that only geeks could use – very few people have ever read a web server log. This is a great failing in our social education about technology. It’s equivalent to not showing children what happens if cars collide and people aren’t wearing seat belts.

We don’t explain to people how a web server log captures in detail the activity of readers, nor how much you can learn about people, because of what and how they read. From the logs, you can learn how long each reader spends on each page, how she reads it, where she goes next, what she does or searches for on the basis of what she’s just read. If you can collect all that information in the logs, then you are beginning to possess what you ought not to have.

Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist who said reading was the pathway from slavery to freedom. Photograph: J R Eyerman/Time & Life Pictures/Getty
Without anonymity in reading there is no freedom of the mind. Indeed, there is literally slavery. Reading was the pathway, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote, from slavery to freedom. Writing his memoir of his own journey, Douglass recalled that when one of his owners tried to prevent him from reading, “I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty – to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man.”

But what if every book and newspaper he touched had reported him?

If you have a Facebook account, Facebook is surveilling every single moment you spend there. Moreover, much more importantly, every web page you touch that has a Facebook “like” button on it which, whether you click the button or not, will report your reading of that page to Facebook.

If the newspaper you read every day has Facebook “like” buttons or similar services’ buttons on those pages, then Facebook or the other service watches you read the newspaper: it knows which stories you read and how long you spent on them.

Every time you tweet a URL, Twitter is shortening the URL for you. But it is also arranging that anybody who clicks on that URL will be monitored by Twitter as they read. You are not only helping people know what’s on the web, but also helping Twitter read over everybody’s shoulder everything you recommend.

This isn’t transactional, this is ecological. This is an environmental destruction of other people’s freedom to read. Your activity is designed to help them find things they want to read. Twitter’s activity is to disguise the surveillance of the resulting reading from everybody.

We allowed this system to grow up so quickly around us that we had no time to understand its implications. By the time the implications have been thought about, the people who understand are not interested in talking, because they have got an edge, and that edge is directed at you.

Commercial surveillance then attracts government attention, with two results that Snowden has documented for us: complicity and outright thievery.

The data-mining companies believed, they say, that they were merely in a situation of complicity with government. Having created unsafe technological structures that mined you, they thought they were merely engaged in undisclosed bargaining over how much of what they had on you they should deliver. This was, of course, a mingled game of greed and fear.

What the US data-mining companies basically believed, or wanted us to believe they believed until Snowden woke them, was that by complicity they had gained immunity from actual thievery. But we have now learned their complicity bought them nothing. They sold us out halfway, and government stole the rest.

The headquarters of the US National Security Agency. The headquarters of the US National Security Agency. Photograph: Trevor Paglen/Rex
They discovered that what they had expected by way of honesty from the US listeners, the NSA and other agencies, they hadn’t got at all. The US listeners’ attitude evidently was: “What’s ours is ours, and what’s yours is negotiable. Unless we steal it first.”

Like the world financial industry, the great data-mining companies took the promises of the US military listeners too seriously. That, at any rate, is the charitable interpretation of their conduct. They thought there were limits to what power would do.

Thanks to Snowden, for the data-miners, as for the US listeners, the situation is no longer politically controllable. They have lost their credibility, their trustworthiness, before the world. If they fail to regain their customers’ trust, notwithstanding how convenient, even necessary, their services may seem to us, they are finished.

Environmental problems – such as climate change, water pollution, slavery, or the destruction of privacy – are not solved transactionally by individuals.

It takes a union to destroy slavery. The essence of our difficulty, too, is union.

Another characteristic of the great data-miners is that there is no union within or around them.

They are now public corporations, but the union of shareholders is ineffective in controlling their environmental misdoing. These companies are remarkably opaque with respect to all that they actually do, and they are so valuable that shareholders will not kill the goose that lays the golden egg by inquiring whether their business methods are ethical. A few powerful individuals control all the real votes in these companies. Their workforces do not have a collective voice.

Snowden has been clear all along that the remedy for this environmental destruction is democracy. But he has also repeatedly pointed out that, where workers cannot speak up and there is no collective voice, there is no protection for the public’s right to know.

When there is no collective voice for those who are within structures that deceive and oppress, then somebody has to act courageously on his own. Before Augustus, the Romans of the late republic knew the secrecy of the ballot was essential to the people’s right.

In every country in the world that holds meaningful elections, Google knows how you are going to vote. It’s already shaping your political coverage for you, in your customised news feed, based upon what you want to read, and who you are, and what you like. Not only does it know how you’re going to vote, it’s helping to confirm you in your decision to vote that way – unless some other message has been purchased by a sponsor.

Without the anonymity of reading there is no democracy. I mean of course that there aren’t fair and free elections, but much more deeply than that I mean there is no such thing as free self-governance.

And we are still very ill-informed, because there are no unions seeking to raise ethical issues inside the data-miners, and we have too few Snowdens.

The futures of the data-miners are not all the same. Google as an organisation has concerned itself with the ethical issues of what it does from the very beginning. Larry Page and Sergey Brin [the founders of Google] did not stumble randomly on the idea that they had a special obligation not to be evil. They understood the dangerous possibilities implicit in the situation they were creating.

It is technically feasible for Google to make Gmail into a system that is truly secure and secret, though not anonymous, for its users.

Mail could be encrypted – using public keys in a web of trust – within users’ own computers, in their browsers; email at rest at Gmail could be encrypted using algorithms to which the user, rather than Google, has the relevant keys.

Google would be forgoing Gmail’s scant profit, but its actions would be consistent with the idea that the net belongs to its users throughout the world. In the long run it is good for Google to be seen not only to believe, but to act upon, this idea, for it is the only way for it to regain those users’ trust. There are many thoughtful, dedicated people at Google who must choose between doing what is right and blowing the whistle on what is wrong.

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg wants privacy for his family. Photograph: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa US/Rex
The situation at Facebook is different. Facebook is strip-mining human society. Watching everyone share everything in their social lives and instrumenting the web to surveil everything they read outside the system is inherently unethical.

But we need no more from Facebook than truth in labelling. We need no rules, no punishments, no guidelines. We need nothing but the truth. Facebook should lean in and tell its users what it does.

It should say: “We watch you every minute that you’re here. We watch every detail of what you do. We have wired the web with ‘like’ buttons that inform on your reading automatically.”

To every parent Facebook should say: “Your children spend hours every day with us. We spy upon them much more efficiently than you will ever be able to. And we won’t tell you what we know about them.”

Only that, just the truth. That will be enough. But the crowd that runs Facebook, that small bunch of rich and powerful people, will never lean in close enough to tell you the truth.

Mark Zuckerberg recently spent $30m (£18m) buying up all the houses around his own in Palo Alto, California. Because he needs more privacy.

So do we. We need to make demands for that privacy on both governments and companies alike. Governments, as I have said, must protect us against spying by other governments, and must subject their own domestic listening to the rule of law. Companies, to regain our trust, must be truthful about their practices and their relations with governments. We must know what they really do, so we can decide whether to give them our data.

The president must end this war in the net, which deprives us of civil liberties under the guise of depriving foreign bad people of sanctuary
A great deal of confusion has been created by the distinction between data and metadata, as though there were a difference and spying on metadata were less serious.

Illegal interception of the content of a message breaks your secrecy. Illegal interception of the metadata of a message breaks your anonymity. It isn’t less, it’s just different. Most of the time it isn’t less, it’s more.

In particular, the anonymity of reading is broken by the collection of metadata. It wasn’t the content of the newspaper Douglass was reading that was the problem – it was that he, a slave, dared to read it.

The president can apologise to people for the cancellation of their health insurance policies, but he cannot merely apologise to the people for the cancellation of the constitution. When you are president of the United States, you cannot apologise for not being on Frederick Douglass’s side.

Barack Obama: the president has the only vote that matters concerning the end of the war on privacy. Barack Obama: the president has the only vote that matters concerning the end of the war on privacy. Photograph: Sipa USA/Rex
Nine votes in the US supreme court can straighten out what has happened to our law. But the US president has the only vote that matters concerning the ending of the war. All the governmental destruction of privacy that has been placed atop the larger ecological disaster created by industry, all of this spying is wartime stuff. The president must end this war in the net, which deprives us of civil liberties under the guise of depriving foreign bad people of sanctuary.

A man who brings evidence to democracy of crimes against freedom is a hero. A man who steals the privacy of societies for his profit is a villain. We have sufficient villainy and not enough heroism. We have to name that difference strongly enough to encourage others to do right.

We have seen that, with the relentlessness of military operation, the listeners in the US have embarked on a campaign against the privacy of the human race. They have compromised secrecy, destroyed anonymity, and adversely affected the autonomy of billions of people.

They are doing this because they have been presented with a mission by an extraordinarily imprudent US administration, which – having failed to prevent a very serious attack on civilians at home, largely by ignoring warnings – decreed that it would never again be put in a position where it “should have known”.

The UK government must cease to vitiate the civil liberties of its people. It must cease to deny the freedom of the press
The fundamental problem was the political, not the military, judgment involved. When military leaders are given objectives, they achieve them at whatever collateral cost they are not explicitly prohibited from incurring. That is why we regard civilian control of the military as a sine qua non of democracy. Democracy also requires an informed citizenry.

About this, Snowden agrees with Thomas Jefferson [the chief author of America’s Declaration of Independence], and pretty much everybody else who has ever seriously thought about the problem. Snowden has shown us the immense complicity of all governments. He has shown, in other words, that everywhere the policies the people want have been deliberately frustrated by their governments. They want to be protected against the spying of outsiders. They want their own government’s national security surveillance activities to be conducted under the independent scrutiny that characterises the rule of law.

In addition, the people of the United States are not ready to abandon our role as a beacon of liberty to the world. We are not prepared to go instead into the business of spreading the procedures of totalitarianism. We never voted for that. The people of the US do not want to become the secret police of the world. If we have drifted there because an incautious administration empowered the military, it is time for the people of the United States to register their conclusive democratic opinion.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, should focus less on her mobile phone and more on whether it is right to deliver all German calls and text messages to the US. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, should focus less on her mobile phone and more on whether it is right to deliver all German calls and text messages to the US. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
We are not the only people in the world to have exigent political responsibilities. The government of the UK must cease to vitiate the civil liberties of its people, it must cease to use its territory and its transport facilities as an auxiliary to American military misbehaviour. And it must cease to deny freedom of the press. It must stop pressuring publishers who seek to inform the world about threats to democracy, while it goes relatively easy on publishers who spy on the families of murdered girls.

The chancellor of Germany must stop talking about her mobile phone and start talking about whether it is OK to deliver all the telephone calls and text messages in Germany to the US. Governments that operate under constitutions protecting freedom of expression have to inquire, urgently, whether that freedom exists when everything is spied on, monitored, listened to.

In addition to politics, we do have lawyering to do. Defending the rule of law is always lawyers’ work. In some places those lawyers will need to be extremely courageous; everywhere they will need to be well trained; everywhere they will need our support and our concern. But it is also clear that subjecting government listening to the rule of law is not the only lawyers’ work involved.

As we have seen, the relations between the military listeners of the United States, listeners elsewhere in the world, and the big data-mining businesses are too complex to be safe for us. Snowden’s revelations have shown that the US data-mining giants were intimidated, seduced, and also betrayed by the listeners. This should not have surprised them, but it apparently did. Many companies manage our data; most of them have no enforceable legal responsibility to us. There is lawyers’ work to do there too.

In the US, for example, we should end the immunity given to the telecommunications operators for assisting illegal listening. Immunity was extended by legislation in 2008. When he was running for president, Barack Obama said that he was going to filibuster that legislation. Then, in August 2008, when it became clear that he was going to become the next president, he changed his mind. Not only did he drop his threat to filibuster the legislation, he interrupted his campaigning in order to vote for immunity.

We need not argue about whether immunity should have been extended. We should establish a date – perhaps 21 January 2017 – after which any telecommunications operator doing business in the US and facilitating illegal listening should be subject to ordinary civil liability. An interesting coalition between the human rights lawyers and commercial class action litigators would grow up immediately with very positive consequences.

The people of the United States are not ready to abandon our role as a beacon of liberty to the world. We are not prepared to go instead into the business of spreading the procedures of totalitarianism
If non-immunisation extended to non-US network operators that do business in the United States, such as Deutsche Telekom, it would have enormous positive consequences for citizens of other countries as well. In any country where de facto immunity presently exists and can be withdrawn, it should be lifted.

The legal issues presented by the enormous pile of our data in other people’s hands are well-known to all systems of law. The necessary principles are invoked every time you take your clothes to the cleaners. English-speaking lawyers refer to these principles as the law of “bailment”. What they mean is, if you entrust people with your stuff, they have to take care of it as least as well as they take care of their own. If they fail, they are liable for their negligence.

We need to apply the principle of trust in bailment, or whatever the local legal vocabulary is, to all that data we have entrusted to other people. This makes them legally responsible to us for the way they take care of it. There would be an enormous advantage in treating personal data under the rules of bailment or its equivalent.

Such rules are governed by the law where the trust is made. If the dry cleaner chooses to move your clothes to another place where a fire breaks out, it doesn’t matter where that fire happened: the relevant law is the law of the place where they took the clothes from you. The big data-mining companies play this game of lex loci server all the time: “Oh we are not really in country X, we’re in California, that’s where our computers are.” This is a bad legal habit. We would not be doing them a grave disservice if we helped them out of it.

Nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll: the US and USSR eventually agreed to ban such tests. Nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll: the US and USSR eventually agreed to ban such tests. Photograph: US air force
Then there is lawyering to be done in international public law. We must hold governments responsible to one another for remedying current environmental devastation.

The two most powerful governments in the world, the US and China, now fundamentally agree about their policy with respect to threats in the net. The basic principle is: “Anywhere in the net there is a threat to our national security, we’re going to attack it.”

The US and the Soviet Union were in danger of poisoning the world in the 1950s through atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. To their credit, they were able to make a bilateral agreement prohibiting it.

The US and the government of China could agree not to turn the human race into a free-fire zone for espionage. But they won’t.

In any country where de facto immunity presently exists and can be withdrawn, it should be lifted
We must pursue legal and political redress for what has been done to us. But politics and law are too slow and too uncertain. Without technical solutions we are not going to succeed, just as there is no way to clean up the air and the water or positively affect global climate without technological change.

Everywhere, businesses use software that secures their communications and much of that software is written by us. The “us” I mean here is those communities sharing free or open source software, with whom I have worked for decades.

Protocols that implement secure communications used by businesses between themselves and with consumers (HTTPS, SSL, SSH, TLS, OpenVPN etc) have all been the target of the listeners’ interference.

Snowden has documented their efforts to break our cryptography.

The US listeners are courting global financial disaster. If they ever succeed in compromising the fundamental technical methods by which businesses communicate securely, we would be one catastrophic failure away from global financial chaos. Their conduct will appear to the future to be as economically irresponsible as the debasing of the Roman coinage. It is a basic threat to the economic security of the world.

The bad news is that they have made some progress towards irremediable catastrophe. First, they corrupted the science. They covertly affected the making of technical standards, weakening everyone’s security everywhere in order to make their own stealing easier.

Edward Snowden in Moscow after revealing the scale of state surveillance. Edward Snowden in Moscow after revealing the scale of state surveillance. Photograph: AP
Second, they have stolen keys, as only the best-financed thieves in the world can do. Everywhere encryption keys are baked into hardware, they have been at the bakery.

At the beginning of September when Snowden’s documents on this subject first became public, the shock waves reverberated around the industry. But the documents released also showed that the listeners are still compelled to steal keys instead of breaking our locks. They have not yet gained enough technical sophistication to break the fundamental cryptography holding the global economy together.

Making public what crypto NSA can’t break is the most inflammatory of Snowden’s disclosures from the listeners’ perspective. As long as nobody knows what the listeners cannot read, they have an aura of omniscience. Once it is known what they cannot read, everyone will use that crypto and soon they cannot read anything any more.

Snowden has disclosed that their advances on our fundamental cryptography were good but not excellent. He is also showing us that we have very little time to improve our own cryptography. We must hurry to recover from the harm done to us by technical standards corruption. From now on, the communities that make free software crypto for everyone else must assume that they are up against “national means of intelligence”. In this trade, that is bad news for developers, because that’s the big leagues. When you play against their opposition, even the tiniest mistake is fatal.

It’s as though every factory in our society had an advanced fire safety system – while everybody’s home had nothing
Second, we must change the technical environment so it is safer for ordinary people and small businesses. This is largely about spreading technologies big businesses have been using for a decade and a half. Far too little has so far happened along these lines. It’s as though every factory in our society had an advanced fire safety system – smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, sprinklers, high pressure hoses, fancy fire extinguishers – while everybody’s home had nothing.

We must commoditise personal uses of the communication security and privacy technologies that businesses have already adopted. This has to be as simple as installing a smoke detector, hanging a fire extinguisher on the wall, talking to your kids about which door to use if the stairs are burning, or even putting a rope ladder in a second-floor window. None of this solves the problem of fire. But if a blaze breaks out, these simple measures will save your child’s life.

There are many software projects and startup companies working on these measures. My FreedomBox is one such non-profit project. But I am particularly delighted to see we are beginning to have commercial competition. Businesses are now aware: the people of the world have not agreed that the technology of totalitarianism should be fastened on every household. If the market offers them good products that make this spying harder, they will buy and use them.

We must commoditise personal uses of the communication security and privacy technologies that businesses have already adopted. If the market offers them good products that make this spying harder, they will buy and use them.
Snowden’s courage is exemplary. But he ended his effort because we needed to know now. We have to inherit his understanding of that fierce urgency.

Our politics can’t wait. Not in the US, where the war must end. Not around the world, where people must demand that governments fulfil the basic obligation to protect their security.

We need to decentralise the data. If we keep it all in one great big pile – if there’s one guy who keeps all the email and another guy who manages all the social sharing – then there isn’t really any way to be any safer than the weakest link in the fence around those piles.

But if everyone is keeping her and his own, then the weak links on the outside of any fence get the attacker exactly one person’s stuff. Which, in a world governed by the rule of law, might be optimal: one person is the person you can spy on because you’ve got probable cause.

Email scales beautifully without anybody at the centre keeping all of it. We need to make a mail server for people that costs five bucks and sits on the kitchen counter where the telephone answering machine used to be. If it breaks, you throw it away.

Decentralised social sharing is harder, but not so hard that we can’t do it. For the technologically gifted and engaged around the world this is the big moment, because if we do our work correctly freedom will survive and our grandkids will say: “So what did you do back then?” The answer could be: “I made SSL better.”

Snowden has nobly advanced our effort to save democracy. In doing so he stood on the shoulders of others. The honour will be his and theirs, but the responsibility is ours.

It is for us to finish the work that they have begun.

We must see to it that their sacrifices have meaning. That this nation, and all the nations, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.

• This essay is built from the “Snowden and the Future” talk series
delivered at Columbia Law School, which is available at It
is released under the CC-BY-SA licence.


Vattimo, EU in “hermenevtični komunizem”

Ne bi rad umrl s kalašnikovko v roki, (če bo nujno, pa se jo bom naučil uporabljati)
Intervju s filozofom in (za zdaj še) evropskim poslancem Giannijem Vattimom
28. april 2014 ob 06:15,
zadnji poseg: 28. april 2014 ob 07:41
Strasbourg – MMC RTV SLO
Če si danes za Evropo, to “pomeni, da si konservativen, reakcionaren in kapitalist” in pa v teh razmerah “ne morem ne biti komunist”. To sta dve značilni misli za razmišljanje filozofa in evropskega poslanca Giannija Vattima, s katerim sem se srečala ob zadnjem plenarnem zasedanju Evropskega parlamenta pred majskimi evropskimi volitvami.

Pravzaprav sem imela srečo. Prvi namen je bil intervjuvati Jean-Luca Mélenchona; nekaj zaradi osebne naklonjenosti do njegove kandidature za francoskega predsednika in sploh do njegove politike, nekaj pa tudi zato, ker sem med evropskimi poslanci iskala sogovornike, ki izhajajo iz humanističnih znanosti, predvsem iz filozofije. Pa se ni izšlo. Po pogovoru z njegovo asistentko, dekletom, ki drugače kot večina parlamentarnega osebja naokoli teka v kavbojkah in čevljih Dr. Martens in ki mi je zagotovila enourni intervju z g. Mélenchonom v Parizu ali Bruslju (“Že naslednji teden, če vam ustreza?” “Ja, seveda, hvala …”), ne pa med zadnjim plenarnim zasedanjem, sem bila tudi zaradi nenehnega izgubljanja po parlamentarnih kuloarjih v prvih treh urah svojega prvega obiska v strasbourški izpostavi evropskih ‘dvorov moči’ precej obupana.

Nato pa sem skoraj s posmehom svoji lastni naivnosti oborožena z internim imenikom vseh 766 poslancev, kar na slepo poklicala v pisarno italijanskega evroposlanca, sicer pa znanega filozofa s štiridesetletno kariero profesorja estetike in teoretske filozofije na univerzi v Torinu Giannija Vattima. Oglasil se je … on … v nekoliko počasni, ampak pravilni angleščini in takoj privolil v intervju, za katerega povod je bila tudi objava zadnjega osnutka novega zakona o visokem šolstvu. Ja, da o razvoju akademske sfere in sistema visokega šolstva pa res rad vedno govori, je dejal in potrdil intervju.

Pravzaprav je Vattimo nenavaden filozof in tudi nenavaden politik. Pripada postmodernistični misli in pravzaprav je celo njegovo delo in življenje tudi vsaj malo podobno postmodernističnemu “pasticciu”. Vsaj večina bi tako komentirala njegovo izhodišče v katoliški mladini, ki se je obrnila na levo (Vattimo je bil v petdesetih letih del katoliškega gibanja odpiranje na levo) in da je kmalu nato postal odkrit marksist; pa to, da sta zaledje njegove filozofije Heidegger in Nietzsche (študiral je tudi pri Gadamerju), da je bil član Radikalne stranke, ki so jo levičarji obtoževali desničarstva, desničarji pa levičarstva in ki se je dejansko zavzemala za liberalni položaj v ekonomski politiki, da je leta 2004 vstopil v italijansko komunistično partijo; pa da je bil eden prvih javnih intelektualcev v Italiji, ki je odkrito priznal istospolno usmerjenost …

Evropski poslanec je Vattimo prvič postal leta 1999, drugič leta 2009. Meni, da je zaradi politične prakse postal boljši filozof, saj se je že za študij filozofije odločil, ker je želel nekaj narediti za družbo ali z njegovimi besedami: “Nisem se hotel specializirati na področju zgodovine in na primer preštevati, koliko gumbov je imela Kantova tunika. To nekateri počnejo. Filozofijo sem študiral, da bi jo uporabil v družbenem življenju.” Vseeno se na univerzo ne namerava vrniti; že zato ne, ker bo kmalu star 80 let, še bolj pa zato, ker ga motijo strogi urniki, ki se jih morajo vedno bolj, predvsem z uvedbo bolonjske reforme držati profesorji. Ja, univerza je postala preveč birokratska; pa tudi preveč podobna poslovnim ustanovam. Zato se bo po mandatu raje kot na univerzo podal v Latinsko Ameriko, za katero pravi, da je zaradi mnogih žarišč nove postmarksistične misli in pa novih modelov organizacije družbe trenutno najbolj razburljiv del sveta. Naj bo to izhodišče za vstop v pogovor z Vattimom.

Ravno danes (z Vattimom sem se srečala 15. aprila) je v javnost prišel zadnji osnutek novega zakona o visokem šolstvu. Kritiki zakona najprej omenjajo, da novi zakon odpira vrata komercializaciji javnega visokega šolstva. Kako je s to problematiko v Evropski uniji in v vaši domovini Italiji?
Javne univerze imajo tudi v Italiji velike težave. Tudi reforme, ki so bile nedavno sprejete v Italiji, so bile oblikovane po modelih zasebnih univerz. To so univerze, ki dajejo več poudarka znanstvenim raziskavam, ki pa veliko stanejo. Denar zanje pa želijo pridobiti s šolninami in tako iz visokega šolstva izločijo veliko ljudi. Zato je po mojem mnenju na področju visokega šolstva treba poudariti dve ali tri temeljne stvari. Prva: ohraniti moramo javno univerzo, ki mora biti brezplačna. Študenti naj bodo štipendirani glede na dosežke. Ko sem študiral filozofijo, nisem plačeval šolnine, ker sem imel visoko povprečje ocen. To mi je omogočilo študij. V zadnjih letih pa je vse bolj popularna ideja, da morajo državljani plačevati kar vse storitve po vrsti. V številnih evropskih državah so privatizirali celo pitno vodo. V Italiji smo imeli, denimo, referendum, o tem, ali voda (ne) sme postati zasebna dobrina, ki jo lahko prodajamo. Vse to se je zrcalilo tudi na univerze. V tem vidim primer anglosaksonskega vpliva na naš svet.

Kot sem že rekel, italijansko govorim tudi zato, da ne govorim angleško. Italijansko tudi veliko bolj znam. Predvsem pa zato, ker imam dovolj, da se moram prilagajati kulturnim modelom, ki prihajajo iz anglosaksonskega sveta. Anglosaksonski svet pa ne predstavlja večine družbe ali enakosti. Predvsem v ZDA, kjer velike univerze stanejo ogromno denarja itd. Anglosaksonski model se želi uveljaviti tudi v univerzitetni akademski politiki, kakršno si želijo na evropskih univerzah. To pa je: glavni namen univerze naj bi bilo proizvajanje znanstvenikov. Jaz pa sem humanist. Že 40 let se ukvarjam s filozofijo. Kje bom končal? Hočem reči, da anglosaksonski model ni le politično nevaren model, ker gre za model zasebnih univerz. Gre tudi za kulturni model, ki z našo kontinentalno evropsko kulturo nima veliko skupnega, saj gre predvsem za znanstveni, tehnološki model. Sicer mi je všeč, da se razvijata raziskovalna znanost in tehnologija na moji univerzi, vendar želim, da tudi humanističnim vedam namenijo dovolj prostora. Tega pa se na številnih univerzah danes ne držijo. Evropsko kulturo bi lahko zagovarjali tako: evropska kultura bi morala biti vsem dostopna, ne samo elitam. Ne sme biti rezervirana samo za bogate ali revne. Po drugi strani pa mora biti kultura usmerjena tudi k humanistiki oziroma duhovnim znanostim, kot se je nekoč reklo v nemščini. In to je zdaj v nevarnosti.

Vendar pa za številne prav anglosaksonski model univerz in univerzitetnih raziskovalnih laboratorijev predstavlja model, ki proizvede tudi največ inovacij in prebojev v znanosti.
Seveda, ampak je drag in zato brez zasebnega denarja ne more funkcionirati. Toda ker se te univerze financirajo iz zasebnih sredstev, raziskav ne opravljajo več iz znanstvenih, temveč finančnih razlogov. Kdo na primer vlaga v osnovno fiziko? Morda država. Gotovo vanjo ne vlagajo podjetja, ki vložijo v raziskavo in hočejo zaslužiti čim prej, na pa čez sto let. Gre za razliko v tempiranju in za splošne interese, ki se v univerzah odražajo v tem, koliko želijo podpisati pogodbe z zasebnimi podjetji. Tako na primer lahko razvijejo tablete proti debelosti, morda pa ne zdravila za malarijo. Tablete proti debelosti se namreč v bogatih državah dobro prodajajo, nihče pa se ne zanima za razvoj zdravil za malarijo, saj je ta bolezen razširjena v revnih deželah. Sicer je to morda nekoliko trivialen primer, a je žal res tako. Raziskave, ki jih financirajo zasebna podjetja, morajo prinesti takojšnji dobiček. Zato ne morejo vključevati osnovne znanosti in drugih tem, še posebej seveda humanističnih ved, ki jih nihče ne financira, saj z njimi podjetja nimajo zaslužka.

Razvoj akademske sfere presojate tudi na podlagi lastnih izkušenj. Profesor ste postali že leta 1969, naredili ste izjemno kariero in postali eno prvih imen postmoderne misli. Zakaj ste vi vstopili v politiko?
Ja, res sem bil dolgo let predvsem profesor filozofije. Toda politika je bila vedno povezana z mojim delom na področju filozofije. Za študij filozofije sem se odločil iz verskih, političnih in kulturnih razlogov. Nisem se hotel specializirati na področju zgodovine in na primer preštevati, koliko gumbov je imela Kantova tunika. To nekateri počnejo. Filozofijo sem študiral, da bi jo uporabil v družbenem življenju. Zavzemal sem se namreč za opustitev čistega scientističnega umskega presojanja, značilnega za klasično filozofijo iz obdobja od 18. do 20. stoletja. Hotel sem filozofijo, ki bi zajemala tudi verske in politične izkušnje, in ki bi nam omogočila, da ne bi v skupnem življenju uporabljali samo eksaktnih znanosti. Zdaj se na primer ne strinjam s politiko varčevanja v Evropi, saj menim, da ne moremo skupne politike osnovati na trenutni gospodarski znanosti. Gospodarska znanost ni čista znanost, ni metafizika. Razvili so jo strokovnjaki, ki jih plačujejo določene ustanove, ki so bile ustanovljene predvsem na osnovi liberalističnih ekonomskih knjig. To nam je prineslo kapitalizem, gospodarsko krizo, povečanje revščine in tako dalje.

Glede na to, da so začetki vašega družbenega aktivizma povezani s sodelovanjem v levo usmerjenem katoliškem gibanju Odpiranje na levo (to je bilo še v petdesetih letih) in da ste kot filozof dedič Heideggerja in da stojite v liniji hermenevtike, se mnogim zdite nenavaden privrženec marksizma in kritike kapitala.
Politično sem se vedno navdihoval pri vrednotah ljudstva. Zdaj pravim, da sem komunist. Žal mi je, če koga to moti. Kajti v resnici je v zadnjih desetletjih politika na zahodu izgubila vso privlačnost. Če vas zanima, kdo bo zmagal na naslednjih volitvah v ZDA ali Italiji, izračunajte, koliko denarja ima na voljo za reklamo, in vse bo jasno. Skoraj tako kot pri nogometnih moštvih. Naslov prvaka osvoji eno izmed štirih velikih moštev, ki je porabilo največ denarja za nakup igralcev. Za demokracijo se mi zdi to še nevarnejše kot za nogomet.

V zadnjih desetletjih je postalo očitno, da se je moč bogatega dela sveta povečala in da se ta del brani z vedno večjim nasiljem. Neki italijanski sociolog, ki ga zelo spoštujem in ki govori zelo neposredno, je opozoril, da se je v obdobju globalizacije, recimo v zadnjih dvajsetih letih, razmerje med plačo delavca in vrhunskega menedžerja spremenilo z 1 proti 40 na 1 proti 200. Prej je delavec dobil štiridesetino, zdaj pa dvestotino njegove plače. Je to pravično? Ne vem. To, kar se je dogajalo zadnja leta – globalizacija, spremembe v Evropi – nas je pripeljalo do sem. Proti temu se moramo upreti in zaradi tega pravim, da sem komunist. Ljudje so zelo močno verjeli v demokracijo. Jaz sem zrasel kot katolik, rad sem imel Ameriko, a saj nismo priplavali po župi. Žal mi je, da tako govorim.

Ampak nekoč ste se vendar začasno odvrnili od marksizma. Ko so nekateri vaši študenti postali del marksistično-leninistične urbane gverile Rdeče brigade (Brigate Rosse), ki so bile med drugim odgovorne za nekaj hudih dejanj političnega nasilja, tudi za uboj premierja Alda Mora, če navedem najbolj znan primer.
Ključno za mojo vrnitev k marksizmu je bilo to: bogataši so vedno bogatejši, revnih pa je vedno več. Le kako ne bi bil marksist v takih okoliščinah. Marx je tak razvoj predvidel. Ni pa predvidel, da se proletariat ne bo uprl. V Marxovem času ni bilo televizije. V našem času so se povečale ekonomske razlike, okrepila pa so se tudi uspavalna sredstva. To, kar je Marx imenoval opij za ljudstvo, ni le religija. To je postal cel tržni sistem, blago je zdaj bolj dostopno. Niti izbirati ne moreš. Skoraj dolžnost je postalo zapravljati čim več, saj bi drugače celotna industrija zapadla v krizo.

Omenili ste nasilje, ki ga bogati zaradi varovanja svojega bogastva izvajajo nad revnimi. V ta kontekst spadajo tudi prisluškovalne afere oziroma dileme, povezane z novimi sistemi vsenavzočega nadzora, ki jih razkrivajo Assange, Snowden in drugi žvižgači in hekerji. Leta 2001 ste kot evropski poslanec in član posebnega odbora za presojo obveščevalnega sistema Echelon tudi obsodili manijo prisluškovanja in nadzora, ki je po enajstem septembru zajela predvsem ZDA.
Živimo v svetu, ki je za človeka zelo grozljiv, kar dokazujejo tudi vsi sistemi nadzora, ki so se razrastli v zadnjem času. So za to res krivi teroristi? NSA, ameriška obveščevalna agencija, za dejavnost katere smo izvedeli pred kratkim, ve vse o meni, vas in vseh nas. Tak svet se oblikuje za prihodnost. Vedno večji bo razkol med bogatimi in revnimi in vedno hujše bo družbeno zatiranje, saj bodo preprečevali, da bi revni zadavili bogate – kar bi prej ali slej morali narediti, a ne bodo. Takšno je stanje. In zaradi tega pravim, da sem komunist. Ne zato, ker bi si želel obnoviti komunistične stranke ali stalinistično disciplino. Preprosto, če me vprašate, kakšen je moj družbeni ideal prihodnosti, ne morem reči, da se bom bojeval in pustil ubiti za liberalizem. Ste že kdaj slišali, da bi bil kdo pripravljen umreti za to, da bi branil prosti trg? Za vsako ceno se bom bojeval za brezrazredno družbo, v kateri bodo, kot je rekel Lenin, tako elektrika kot Sovjeti. To pomeni gospodarski in družbeni in tehnološki razvoj, ki ga bo nadzirala ljudska oblast, pravi parlamenti, ne pa to, kar imamo zdaj.

Ampak v parlamentu vendar sedite tudi vi. Torej verjetno vsaj malo vendar verjamete v parlamentarno demokracijo in tudi v Evropsko unijo?
Težava je v tem, da je taka Evropa, kot jo poznamo zdaj, v rokah bank. O tem sploh ne dvomim. Po eni strani sem prepričan, da ne moremo brez Evropske unije. V svetu, v katerem se uveljavljajo velike sile, ZDA, nekdanja Sovjetska zveza, torej Rusija, Kitajska, morajo majhne evropske države oblikovati dovolj veliko kritično maso za obstoj in skupno politiko. A zdajšnja Evropa ni v redu. Ta Evropa je postala sovražnik vseh. Če sem v Italiji nekoč rekel, da sem evropski poslanec, to ni bilo nič takega, zdaj pa me zlobno gledajo. Lahko bi mi primazali klofuto v javnosti. No, čez kak teden ne bom več evropski poslanec.

Evropska unija je postala agencija za prenos ukazov mednarodnih bank na evropske države: Grčijo, Portugalsko, Italijo, Španijo, kmalu tudi Francijo. Do kdaj bo Nemčija zdržala? Saj ne more biti dolgo osamljen otok med drugimi, ki se utapljajo. Prepričan sem, da mora prihodnost biti drugačna, a hitrih možnosti za spremembo ne vidim. Kaj se lahko zgodi na prihodnjih evropskih volitvah? Morda se bodo močno uveljavile protievropske in evroskeptične stranke. Tako desne kot leve. Evropske ideje ne brani nihče več, le tisti, ki dobro živijo in branijo obstoječi red. Če si nekoč bil za Evropo, je to pomenilo, da si bil napreden, zdaj pa pomeni, da si konservativen, reakcionaren in kapitalist.

Ampak v tem vedno bolj evroskeptičnem evropskem političnem prostoru se uveljavlja tudi nova levica. Tudi v Sloveniji je prišlo do ustanovitve in tudi že povezave nove levice kot alternative socialni demokraciji, ki se je pravzaprav izrodila in se premaknila na sredino, če ne celo na desno. Tudi vi se ne le v politiki, ampak tudi v teoriji vračate k marksizmu, torej k izvorom tradicionalne evropske levičarske politike; čeprav pri vas vendar ne gre za klasično naslonitev na socializem in njegov teoretski aparat.
Pred kratkim sem objavil knjigo v angleščini pri Columbia University Press. Naredil sem si malo reklame. Skupaj z argentinskim kolegom Santiagom Zabalo. Naslov je »Hermenevtični komunizem«. To pomeni, da je treba oživiti marksistični družbeni ideal in ga osvoboditi znanstvenih zahtev. Stalinova krivda je namreč bila, da je hotel hitro prenesti zahodnjaški kapitalistični razvoj v Rusijo. Hotel je, da bi bila Rusija v 50. letih konkurenčna ZDA pri osvajanju vesolja. Zaradi tega je vodil krvavo politiko, preseljeval je celotne populacije, preganjal kmete. Stalinova krivda je bila, da je hotel biti kapitalist. Če bi bil dober komunist, tega ne bi počel.

Sliši se kot paradoks …
Vse to so do neke mere paradoksi, a problem je v resnici naslednji. Potrebujemo ideal komunistične, kolektivistične družbe, ki pa ne sme temeljiti na mišljenju, da poznamo zakonitosti zgodovine. Tako je bilo v klasičnem, znanstvenem marksizmu. Mi pa hočemo hermenevtični marksizem. Temeljiti mora bolj na medosebnih odnosih kot pa na težki industriji. Danes je to morda mogoče.

Vaš hermetični komunizem se tako zdi izpeljava tistega, kar velja za ključni topos vaše postmoderne filozofije, to je mehka misel (pensiero debole).
Moje razmišljanje o šibkosti ni neposredno povezano s politiko. Glavna ideja je, da politični razvoj in človekova emancipacija potekata prek odtujitve od dogem, prek preusmeritve k šibkejšim idealom. To ni razmišljanje o ljudeh, ki ne zmorejo več in so utrujeni. Pač pa o tem, da ne moremo živeti podrejeni absolutnim zahtevam. Take zahteve spodbujajo verske vojne. Poleg tega spodbujajo ekonomske strokovnjake, da vsiljujejo varčevalne ukrepe Italiji in državam z juga Evrope. Malo moramo popustiti, biti milejši. To se mi zdi danes nujno. Ne vem, ali je to mogoče, a všeč mi je zamisel, ki izhaja od Heideggerja – Verwindung oziroma skoraj ironično izkrivljanje zadev.

Vsako leto je na primer v Bologni – nikoli sicer nisem šel tja – erotični sejem. Tam razstavljajo stroje za povečevanje spolnega užitka. Uporabljajo na primer enake inštrumente, kot jih imajo za trening astronavtov. Čelado, ki si jo nadeneš, a namesto, da bi imel občutek, da si na Marsu, se ti zdi, da si v postelji z Marilyn Monroe. Prav to si mislim o današnji tehnologiji. Treba jo je izkriviti. Našo vodilno tehnologijo, tudi s področja informatike, je razvila predvsem vojska. Moramo jo sekularizirati, služiti mora ljudem, ne pa vojski, vojni, bankam …

To je moje upanje, čeprav to ni lahko. Izkriviti je treba vojno in gospodarsko tehnologijo, služi naj ljudem. Primer z erotičnega sejma je paradoksalen, a prav to je treba narediti. Tehnološka sredstva napredka je treba uporabiti za boj proti uničenju planeta. Pomislite na primer na vso ekološko problematiko. Če bomo še naprej povečevali proizvodnjo tehnoloških predmetov in še povečevali revščino, se v takem svetu ne bo več dalo živeti. Filozofija šibkosti je anarho-ludistična filozofija. Veliko sem pobral od Marcusa, ki je to napovedoval že v šestdesetih letih. Le malokdo se tega spomni, saj moramo varčevati, delati … A v resici ni tako. Delati moramo manj, sicer se bomo zadušili med lastnimi proizvodi.

Prav idolatrija tehnologije ter modernistično priseganje na znanstveno preverljivost vsega in na koncipiranje razvoja družbe na znanstvenih modelih sta po vašem mnenju zgrešena. Pravzaprav se bojujete proti modernizmu in njega ostankom …
Velika težava v današnjem svetu je, da ne smemo dovoliti, da bi nas zadušil tehnološki napredek. Vedno manj je svobode. Naj navedem primer. Če bomo ustvarjali jedrsko energijo, bomo vedno imeli problem jedrskih odpadkov. Nekje jih je treba odložiti, to pa je zelo zahtevno, saj mora odlagališča varovati vojska. Kak terorist bi lahko odnesel kak kos in ga dal na primer v newyorški vodovod. Ves ta tehnološki razvoj pomeni, da je treba družbo vedno bolj nadzirati – in to je prava nevarnost današnjega sveta.

Razviti moramo lahkotnejšo tehnologijo, na primer zeleno tehnologijo namesto jedrske. Pomislite, da bi nekega dne vsak Kitajec – kar je njegova pravica – kupil avtomobil. V Evropi bi se zadušili. Ves dim bi prišel sem. Seveda se da izumiti avtomobil na dušikov oksid, a to je treba narediti. Ne smemo le čakati, da bodo izumili čisto energijo. Veliko stvari je treba spremeniti v tej družbi. To pa je težko. Zaradi tega sem malo pesimističen. Ne vem, ali lahko zeleno, ekološko, socialno revolucijo, zahtevo po manj izkoriščanja, izvedemo po mirni poti. Rad bi umrl v svoji postelji, ne pa na cesti s kalašnikovko v roki. Če pa je že prav nujno, se jo bom naučil uporabljati.

/prevajalec intervjuja iz italijanskega jezika Igor Divjak

Polona Balantič

Alternative TINI (There Is No Alternative)


Catherine Samary

Vir / Avtor:  Kristina Božič, Dnevnikov Objektiv
15. marec 2014
Banke morajo ponovno začeti izpolnjevati svoje družbene dolžnosti in vlogo, večkrat poudari ekonomistka dr. Catherine Samary. Predavateljica na pariški univerzi Dauphine je angažirana intelektualka v žlahtnem pomenu besede. Redno piše za Le Monde Diplomatique, v katerem je lani objavila natančno analizo krize v Sloveniji. Svojo akademsko kariero je posvetila študiju in raziskovanju jugoslovanske izkušnje.
Catherine Samary je revolucionarna levičarka. Govori o evropski krizi in okrevanju, o možnostih upora in utopijah, o evropskih volitvah in korupciji. Njena drža jasno sporoča, da obup in vdanost v vsiljeno resničnost ekonomske in družbene neenakopravnosti preprosto nista med možnimi izbirami.

Na trenutke se zdi shizofreno. Prevladujoča govorica pred evropskimi volitvami je o okrevanju gospodarstev in umiku krize. A za mnoge se situacija ne izboljšuje, napovedujejo se nove milijarde dolgov – orodja moči in obvladovanja – ki jih bodo družbe morale plačati za reševanje bank. Kako razumeti sedanji trenutek?Vselej obstajajo poraženci in zmagovalci. Živimo kombinacijo kriz. Krizo institucij in stare ideje o Evropi, pa globalno krizo kapitalizma, ki še ni končana. Zelo pomembna je okoljska kriza, ki jo prevladujoče politike le še poglabljajo. Na različnih celinah je situacija različna. V EU se je bančno-finančna kriza preoblikovala v dolžniško. Podružbljenje bančnih dolgov in varčevalni ukrepi, s katerimi se nadaljuje, delajo sedanjo krizo unikatno. Ničesar, kar bi bilo podobno New Dealu, ni na obzorju. Sedanji kapitalizem ob krizi le še zaostruje odnose med družbenimi razredi in močno slabi položaj delavstva v najširšem smislu, od nezaposlenih do nekdanjih delavcev. Temu lahko dodamo krizo levice in tudi sindikatov. Zato skupin z močjo, vplivom in bogastvom ni strah. Ne bojijo se upora. Krizo izrabljajo za krepitev neoliberalnih politik. Njihov cilj je zlomiti še zadnja jedra evropskega upora v javnem sektorju, kajti tam so se še ohranile določene družbene pridobitve, ki so ostanek nekdanjih bojev.

Danes med političnimi načrti ne najdemo načrta krepitve drugačne, bolj socialne in družbene Evrope. Edini cilj je povečati konkurenčnost. Bodimo konkurenčna Evropa pred Kitajsko v krasni globalizaciji, je njihov moto.

Kaj to prinaša?Tisto, česar nikoli ne prinese, je znižanje dividend delničarjev, rent lastnikov in dobičkov. Tudi to je všteto v cenah, ki naj bi na vsak način morale biti konkurenčne. Sedanji finančni sektor pobira velikanske dobičke. Konkurenčnost pa se dosega le z zniževanjem plač delavcev. Zasleduje se dva cilja: prvi je privatizacija področij, ki še niso privatizirana. Pri storitvah gre tu predvsem za višje šolstvo in zdravstvo ter preoblikovanje pokojninskih blagajn, da bi se lahko za privatni žep špekuliralo s sredstvi, ki jih ljudje in država tja naložijo. Drugi cilj je preoblikovanje zakonodaje na delovnopravnem področju, ob zatrjevanju, da se želi doseči višjo ali celo polno zaposlenost. Ključno vprašanje pri tem je, o kakšni polni zaposlenosti govorimo: gre za statistično zaposlenost, ki prikriva velik del prebivalstva, ki je zaradi dolgotrajne brezposelnosti izstopil s trga dela in ne išče več zaposlitve. V tej množici prevladujejo ženske, ki se ponovno pogospodinjijo, spet drugi se odločijo vrniti h kmetovanju, tretji preprosto emigrirajo. Kombinira in uvaja se »nemške« reforme ter zaposlitve za en evro, rezultat pa je popolna fleksibilnost in teptanje dostojanstva vseh in vsakega delavca. Ponuja se le vse večjo prekernost, ki postaja prevladujoči del globalnega sistema.

Kaj potem pomeni govor o okrevanju gospodarstev?Okrevanje je izraz liberalnih ekonomistov. Temelji na indikatorjih, vezanih na BDP. A okrevanje, če obstaja, je šibko in zelo neenakomerno med članicami EU. Hkrati rast BDP ne pove nič o tem, kako je bila rast financirana, kakšne družbene in okoljske posledice prinaša, niti kako se rast BDP razporedi v družbi. Lahko imamo gospodarsko rast, merjeno z BDP, pa hkrati vse večjo revščino, družbeno neenakost in brezposelnost.

Neoliberalna politika je vse od sedemdesetih let naprej vseskozi konsistentna. Temelji na washingtonskem konsenzu in sloganu TINA (There Is No Alternative), ki je zaslovel z Margaret Thatcher. Odziv na strukturno krizo dobičkonosnosti v osrednjih kapitalističnih državah je bil načrt, kako uničiti dediščino New Deala in družbena razmerja moči iz časa gospodarske rasti po drugi svetovni vojni. To je pomenilo uničiti moč delavskega, sindikalnega upora, česar so se lotili z ukrepi, ki so de facto zmanjševali članstvo v sindikatih, z uvajanjem in krepitvijo novih netipičnih oblik zaposlitev ali s slabitvijo njihove pogajalske pozicije. Glavni cilj je bil obuditi dobičkonosnost. Za to so bila potrebna nova področja za investicije, ki se jih je hkrati pogojevalo z zahtevo, da so plače delavcev strošek, ki ga je treba čim bolj zmanjšati, saj zmanjšuje dobičke. Kako znižati plače? Delavce je treba diferencirati, čim bolj individualizirati njihov položaj in pogoje dela, povečati negotovost. To stre kolektivni upor. Z govorjenjem, da so brezposelni sami krivi za svoj položaj, ker so preleni ali pa hočejo preveč zaščite in previsoke plače, se je povečeval ideološki pritisk.

Nikoli se ne omenja deleža znotraj cene ali stroškov, ki gre za dividende, rente in izplačilo dobičkov ter nagrad. Tako v starih kot v novih kapitalističnih sistemih, denimo na Kitajskem, se meri le možne dobičke. Te pa se uporablja za špekulacije v finančnem sektorju. Današnji kapitalizem teži k čistosti, ki bo dosežena, ko bodo tako narava kot delavci le še ena od surovin.

Kakšne politične posledice to prinaša?Nastajajoči kapitalizem je lahko le nedemokratičen. Kajti ni res, da imamo več trga in manj države, ampak imamo več trga in več ter vse močnejšo liberalno državo. Njena naloga je, da vsiljuje trg ljudem. To ni novo. Zgodovinsko gledano ni nikoli obstajala človeška družba s trgom, če ni bilo državnega aparata, ki bi trg in komodifikacijo ljudi, denarja in narave uveljavljal med ljudmi.

EU je bila model, v katerem so mnogi videli možnost alternative in upora proti neoliberalnim politikam globalizacije. Toda po letu 1983, s še zadnjim obratom proti neoliberalizmu v Franciji in med evropskimi socialdemokrati, se je zgodilo ravno obratno. Ta obrat se je leta 1989 le še radikaliziral in izkristaliziral, v devetdesetih pa so ga zapisali in utrdili z maastrichtskim sporazumom. Na obzorju je le tekmovalnost. O solidarnosti, o socialni zaščiti ni ne duha ne sluha. Morda je na obzorju celo razpad EU, saj gre za neuravnoteženo tvorbo s skupno valuto, a brez realnega skupnega proračuna, ki bi lahko blažil neenakosti med regijami. Tekmovalnost pa te le še povečuje. Ključne odločitve sprejemajo demokratično neodgovorni organi, od evropske komisije, Evropske centralne banke do Mednarodnega denarnega sklada. Imamo več tekmovalnosti, manj demokracije in vse več protidružbenih ukrepov.

Sistem je po eni strani močan in avtoritaren, a hkrati nekonsistenten in na robu eksplozije. Sedanji alternativi sta dve. Prva zagovarja prelom z EU in ponovno uveljavitev nacionalnih valut v imenu večje konkurenčnosti. Ta možnost ohranja prevladujočo tekmovalno logiko odnosov med ljudmi, ki šibi možna sodelovanja. Gre za skrajno desničarske alternative, ki zagovarjajo odmik od EU, a brez solidarnosti in z veliko sovraštva do vseh drugačnih.

Druga možnost lovi ravnotežje med ohranjanjem ideje Evrope, a hkrati ne čaka na velike spremembe na ravni EU. Gradi na nacionalnih uporih in nepokorščini zoper nepravične ter neučinkovite ukrepe. Kajti vsi smo v vrsti, da se neoliberalne ukrepe v celoti uveljavi tudi pri nas.

Zato mora biti upor grajen v množini; na vsebinskih, idejnih temeljih, ne na formalnih, normativnih delitvah. Vsi delavci, tudi nemški, smo močno na udaru. Evro je pomembno orodje, a ni ključni dejavnik teh procesov. Priboriti si moramo nazaj skupne javne storitve, skupna javna dobra, med njimi tudi denar…

… denar?Denar spada mednje. Ne more biti privatno orodje, ampak mora biti javna dobrina za oblikovanje družbenega in gospodarskega razvoja. Bančni sistem s centralnimi bankami na čelu mora delovati v okviru skupnih okoljskih in družbenih ciljev. Zato ni pomembno, v kateri državi ste, ali imate evro ali ne. Državne meje so umeten konstrukt in v različnih okoliščinah pomenijo različne stvari. Ste na Balkanu ali v EU; država evra ali država v krizi; periferna država ali močno povezani z jedrnimi državami? Zavezništva prihodnosti ne morejo biti med narodi, ampak med akterji. Med delavci, študenti in upokojenci. Kajti grški upor ne povezuje vseh Grkov in Grkinj, povezuje pa interese večine v Grčiji z interesi 99 odstotkov Špank, Slovencev, Nemk in Francozov.

V vseh državah imamo močne, vladajoče sloje, ki so zelo zadovoljni, da lahko uporabijo evropske načrte proti lastnim delavcem, intelektualcem, učiteljem… Zavezništvo mora biti prioriteta in med glavnimi programskimi cilji.

Neoliberalni radikalizem želi določiti na eni strani temeljne družbene odnose, na drugi pa, kako je organizirano gospodarstvo. Nekatera vprašanja so globalna: bomo ubranili univerzalne pravice do šolanja in zdravstvene oskrbe za vse, denarja, ki mora služiti družbenim ciljem, gospodarstva, ki mora biti podrejeno okoljskim in družbenim učinkom, ki jih pušča za sabo? V EU so pred nami tudi vprašanja o demokratičnosti postopkov in o pravici do samoodločbe za vse ljudi – ta zajema dejanski ljudski nadzor nad odločitvami ter pravico do svobodnega zavezništva, skozi katerega se lahko oblikujeta resnični upor in alternativa globalnemu udaru neoliberalne tekmovalnosti.

Prej sva govorili o gospodarski rasti kot merilu konca krize. Koliko je kriza spremenila razmerja moči, ki vplivajo na to, kdo bo imel koristi od rasti?Obstaja ideologija, da lahko vsak posameznik poskuša po svojih najboljših močeh biti briljanten in priplezati čim višje po družbeni lestvici. Imamo posamične zgodbe o uspehu, ki jih propagandisti vselej postavljajo za zgled. A pogoji za plezanje po družbeni lestvici so danes v neprimerno večji meri odvisni od tega, v kakšno družino smo se rodili, ali so naši starši zaposleni, ali nam lahko omogočijo izobraževanje in primerno zdravstveno oskrbo, kot pa od naših sposobnosti. Pogoji so hudo neenaki.

Ob tem današnja zelo majava rast, kjer in če obstaja, večinoma temelji na spremenjenem razmerju trgovinske menjave, kajti industrijski kolaps, strmoglavljenje plač in krčenje domače potrošnje so sovplivali na zmanjšanje uvoza in morda skromno krepitev rasti v izvozu. Dolgovi in finančna odvisnost ob bančni krizi, ki v gospodarstvo ne pripusti potrebnega kapitala, skupaj z zahtevo po proračunskem varčevanju pomenijo nižanje življenjskega standarda za veliko večino. Če že, se viša davke, kot je DDV, kar najbolj prizadene prav najrevnejše. Hkrati se še vedno oglašajo zahteve po znižanju davkov na kapital in dobičke, saj naj bi le tako lahko pridobili tuja neposredna vlaganja. To je še vedno dominantna logika, ki je popolnoma nesmiselna. A za majhno skupino ljudi ima jasne koristi, in ti postajajo vse bogatejši.

Maja bodo volitve v evropski parlament. V Grčiji je profesorica, ki je leta 2009 kandidirala na listi socialnih demokratov, razlagala, da se je treba navaditi na globalizirani trg, da smo živeli preko svojih zmožnosti, da danes protestira razvajeni srednji razred. Kako odgovoriti na to?Reakcije ljudi so pragmatične. Toda če ne bomo prenehali s širjenjem dogme konkurenčnosti, slej ko prej pridemo do sistemskih ovir in omejitev. Ljudje bomo razdeljeni ob dilemi zapornikov, prisiljeni v odločanje med slabimi možnostmi. Edina rešitev je, da podremo zapor.

Konkretno: zapor je logika TINA-politik, da je varčevanje in večanje fleksibilnosti ter konkurenčnosti delavcev neizogibno, ker obstaja globalizem. Ta zapor je utvara. Lahko se odločimo za sodelovanje. Lahko poenotimo boj, za kar pa potrebujemo gradnjo novih alternativnih rešitev in sistemov. Oblikovati moramo sodelovanja, ki razbijajo konkurenčnost in tekmovalnost. Medsindikalna in politična zavezništva so pomembnejša kot kdajkoli prej. Hkrati potrebujemo ideološki protinapad v brk socialdemokratskim in sistemskim argumentom, ki sprejemajo tekmovalnost kot naravno danost, konkurenčnost pa kot neizogibno. Tekmovalnost je konstrukt, politična izbira majhnega števila posameznikov z veliko močjo sprejemanja odločitev. Ljudi izolira, omeji njihove možnosti in jih postavi drugega proti drugemu. Če nam ponujajo le barbarske izbire in racionalnost sistema ponuja le krivične možnosti, prek katerih iz 21. stoletja skačemo v 19. stoletje, moramo zavrniti ta sistem.

Vidite kje zametke tega?V Grčiji to zagotovo razume Syriza. Argument je preprost: dosedanji ukrepi z varčevanjem na čelu so nepravični in neučinkoviti. Prioriteta morajo biti javne storitve, javne službe ter zmanjševanje brezposelnosti z odpiranjem kakovostnih delovnih mest.

A vse to nasprotuje sedanjim sporazumom in sistemu. Ekonomski ukrepi, ki jih vlada uvaja in vzdržuje, so neučinkoviti! Podpreti moramo Grke in Grkinje, ki se temu upirajo. Kajti skupaj živimo v evropski uniji bank, državnih elit in lobijev. Potrebujemo pa unijo delavk in delavcev različnih narodnosti, ki zavračajo, da bi tekmovali drug proti drugemu, ki ne verjamejo, da je drugi prelen ali da si ne zasluži enake socialne zaščite.

Je to naivno in utopično? Nič bolj kot sedanji načrt EU, da se evropske družbe preoblikuje v »svobodne ekonomske cone«, ki le še tekmujejo druga proti drugi. Ta utopija je reakcionarna in nazadnjaška, v spregi s ksenofobno in nacionalistično opozicijo sedanjim politikam. Moja izbira je progresivna utopija s konkretnimi cilji in vrednotami.

Konkretnimi?Se spomnite kampanje za javno zdravstvo v Španiji in bele plime? Kampanja poteka že drugo leto, v desetih državah. Španski odpor je preprečil privatizacijo šestih španskih bolnišnic in se širi. Se spomnite lokalnih kampanj proti privatizaciji vode v Italiji in Grčiji? Ljudje so razumeli in jasno povedali, da javno-zasebna partnerstva prinašajo manj učinkovito oskrbo in dražijo dobavo osnovne življenjske dobrine. V vzhodni Evropi vidimo upor proti privatizaciji tovarn, ki jo je zaznamovala korupcija. Ljudje verjamejo, da imajo »slab kapitalizem« in da se jim je zgodila »kriminalna privatizacija«. Ni res. To je kapitalizem. Privatizacija, kot se je zgodila, je točno to, kar zahteva kapitalistični sistem. Ni šlo za napake in nepravilnosti, ampak za jasen odsev drobovja sistema, v katerem živimo. Korupcija ne živi le na vzhodu in na periferijah. Gre za vsesplošen pojav, vgrajen v kapitalizem, vezan na finančno ogrodje sistema.

Boj za povrnitev dostojanstva delavcem in zagotovitev dostojnih pogojev dela v proizvodnji pomeni tudi novo kritiko sedanjih odnosov produkcije. Kritično je treba oceniti vlogo bank. Potrebujemo javni bančni sistem in ni treba, da ponovimo napake preteklosti. Podružbljenje bank in pluralistični javni nadzor nad delom vseh javnih institucij pomenita, da se nismo več pripravljeni zanašati na sedanje državne strukture, da bodo rešile krizo za nas. One so nas vendar v veliki meri pripeljale vanjo. Potrebujemo nove, alternativne, samoorganizirane oblike gibanj in delovanj delavcev, sindikatov, lokalnih skupnosti…

Kot bi rekel Antonio Gramsci, potrebujemo protihegemonsko ideologijo, ki bo ljudem jasno povedala, da niso ničesar krivi, niti se ne motijo, ko zahtevajo spoštovanje svojih pravic, dostojanstvo in določeno socialno zaščito.

A pogosto slišimo, da države preprosto nimajo denarja, niti ga ne morejo dobiti na finančnih trgih. Grčiji nekateri ekonomisti predlagajo oblikovanje notranje valute kot edino možnost izhoda iz krize. Kako realen je argument, da države nimajo denarja?Ni. Države imajo vsa orodja, da pridobijo potrebna sredstva. Če nič drugega, lahko dvignejo davke, in pri tem mislim na davke na kapital in dobičke, ne na krivične davke, ki prizadenejo najšibkejše. Nova, vzporedna valuta je mogoča, a tudi brez nje imamo možnosti. Prerazporeditev denarja na družbene, ne pa na finančne in bančne prioritete ter reforma obdavčitve bi zadostovali za zagotovitev več delovnih mest in socialnih varoval. Res pa je, da bi bilo vse to učinkoviteje, če se izvede na evropski ravni.

V ekonomiji govoriti, da ni izbir in alternativ, je podobno neumno, kot če sedite z nekom pred televizijo in vam ta govori, da ni druge možnosti, kot da gledate program, ki ga on izbere. V demokratični družbi se moramo skupaj odločiti, za kaj naj se denar, ki ga država pobere prek davkov in iz drugih virov, porabi. Bo šel v celoti za reševanje bank ali bomo zagotovili univerzalno kakovostno oskrbo najmlajših in starostnikov? Seveda gre tu za stalen konflikt. A vsak od nas mora imeti možnost, da sovpliva na določitev teh prioritet. To niso, ne morejo niti ne smejo biti odločitve kluba privilegiranih.

Ampak kaj pa francoski primer poskusa visoke obdavčitve milijonarjev in beg kapitala?V Franciji imamo socialdemokratski model vladanja, ki je postal de facto socialno-liberalni model. François Hollande uvaja ukrepe, ki si jih želi desnica. Po volitvah je pozabil na vse bolj socialne obljube, ki smo jih slišali med kampanjo.

A vendar ostaja dejstvo, da politična volja temelji na družbeni moči, ki odraža družbena gibanja in pritisk. Problem je, da smo v Evropi videli množične proteste in poskuse boja, pozitivnih rezultatov pa je bilo zelo malo. To je demoralizirajoče in zato je skrajna desnica vse glasnejša.

Le družbeni upor in boj ne bosta dovolj. Slej ko prej naletimo na zid političnih ukrepov in sistemskih politik. Ko mislimo politične alternative, moramo graditi strukture, ki bodo prisiljene v nenehen stik z gibanji, upori in ljudmi in bodo pod njihovim nadzorom. Drugače bomo po volitvah zelo hitro spet soočeni z dominantnimi razmerji moči in »realističnimi« političnimi ukrepi, kar bo na koncu pomenilo, da bodo snedli besedo in spremenili smer.

Zdi se, da imajo različne države v EU različen manevrski prostor, koliko slediti diktatu iz Bruslja. Kaj je odločujoči dejavnik suverenosti notranjih politik članic EU?Pomembna sta družbeni pritisk in podpora. Če imajo politiki na oblasti občutek, da imajo iskreno podporo volilcev, ne bodo sprejemali neumnih odločitev. Problem je, da danes v Evropi težko najdemo politike, ki ne bi manipulirali.

Drži, da današnji vladajoči sloji različno vidijo razvoj njihove države znotraj neoliberalnega sistema. Ponekod se krepi in spodbuja inovativnost, poskuša upočasniti pavperizacijo delavstva ter nekoliko omejiti bančni in finančni sektor. Nacionalni upor v tem pogledu seže najdlje.

Poglejte, lahko pristanemo na tržno tekmovanje pri čevljih ali stolih, a konkurenčnost ne deluje, ko govorimo o zagotavljanju javnih storitev in dobrin. Te temeljijo na drugih načelih in zasledujejo druge cilje. Prav tako ni res, da je za Evropo najpomembnejši konkurent Kitajska. Največ trgovanja se konec koncev zgodi znotraj Evrope, med članicami. Tudi večinski del neposrednih tujih investicij pride iz drugih evropskih držav.

Res je le, da tisti, ki jih zanimajo le čim višji dobički, opletajo z nesmiselnimi primerjavami kitajskih in evropskih plač delavcev. A logika, ki temelji na dobičkih, ni naravna danost. Lahko jo omejimo in ustavimo. To je politična odločitev z ekonomskimi posledicami. Lahko omejimo dobičke in okrepimo notranjo trgovino ter izmenjavo, lokalno in regijsko proizvodnjo, ki navsezadnje tudi bolje odražata lokalne in regijske potrebe. To zmanjša absolutistično naravo tržnih kriterijev in konkurenčnosti ter vzpostavlja drugačna, na sodelovanju utemeljena merila.

Prej ste v kontekstu privatizacije omenili korupcijo. Ta, se zdi, da ni le odraz kapitalizma, ampak ob dolgovih tudi orodje, kako množice držati nemočne in sokrive znotraj neoliberalizma. Hkrati se nekateri bojijo, da odpira vrata avtoritarnim voditeljem. Kakšno vlogo igra govor o korupciji?Korupcijo se lahko kot argument uporablja na zelo sumljive in nejasne načine. Pomembno je razumeti, da korupcija ni eksces, izjema ali napaka znotraj kapitalizma. Je ključni del sistema, ki v koruptivne prakse vpleta državo, podjetja, trg in banke. Nujna je torej transparentna analiza vseh teh odnosov, saj država ni ločena od sistema investiranja ali bančništva, lobijev. Vse je prepleteno. Ne gre torej za zgodbe korumpiranih posameznikov, ampak za sistemsko lastnost, da ni ločnice med logiko dobičkonosnosti in korupcijo. Kapitalistična logika zahteva, da se iz denarja z investicijami ustvari dobiček. Pod kakršnimikoli pogoji že, bolj ko so dobičkonosni, tem bolje. Ker se ceni čim večji in čim hitrejši dobiček in je nadzor sistemsko luknjičav, kapitalistična logika soustvarja sistem korupcije, ki vpliva na vse vpletene. Ustvarja se občutek, da so vsi korumpirani. A tu velja biti natančen in videti izjeme, drugače smo spet znotraj totalitarne TINA-ideje.

Obstajajo mnogi, ki so iskreni in pošteni, obstaja način produkcije, ki se lahko zaščiti pred koruptivnimi praksami. Oblikuje se lahko sistem volitev in političnega organiziranja, ki težje zapade pod korupcijo. Spet smo pred nujnostjo izgradnje alternativnega sistema, ki presega le boj proti kolateralni škodi, ki jo vseskozi ustvarja sedanji sistem.

Rešitev za sedanji trenutek je javna demokratična razgrnitev dela vseh državnih institucij in porabe javnega denarja. Sodelujejo naj različne strokovnjakinje, akademiki, sindikalisti, delavke, uporabniki bank… Poglejmo, ali lahko imamo družbeni nadzor nad vsemi (pro)računi. Kako in za kaj se porablja denar? Kaj so alternativne možnosti? Kakšne bi bile fiskalne posledice? Podobno se lahko naredi za vse zadolžene velike tovarne. Naj sodelujejo delavci, sindikati, porabniki in skupnost, v kateri tovarna deluje. Enako naj velja za banke. Banke morajo spet postati javne institucije z družbenim poslanstvom. Vse to je naše in mora biti stvar našega nadzora, soodločanja.

Izkušnje obstajajo znotraj gibanja za odpis dolgov državam tretjega sveta. Od njih se lahko učimo, z njimi delimo ideje in možnosti. Tako že imamo evropski del gibanja za odpis nelegitimnega dolga in prepoved oderuških obresti, ki temeljijo na špekulacijah in tendenci, da se revnejši in srednji sloj zadolžita skozi sistemsko družbeno obubožanje. Robinov Hoodov ni. Pluralistični demokratični nadzor strank in izvoljenih teles ter javnih institucij je nujen. Preprosto je treba vedno znova iznajti resnično demokracijo. Demokracija se ne more ustaviti na vhodu v tovarno, niti ne more biti skrčena le na glas na volitvah. Gre za transformativen proces, ki se nikoli ne konča.

V Grčiji in Franciji so v nekaterih tovarnah delavci prevzeli nadzor in postavili na noge novo, drugačno proizvodnjo. Vi ste preučevali tudi jugoslovansko izkušnjo. Včasih se zazdi, da je preteklost prej cokla za prihodnost kakor vir dragocenih izkušenj in napak. Kako vidite jugoslovansko izkušnjo v današnjih okoliščinah?Veste, človeška bitja smo vselej soočena s procesi poskušanja in delanja napak. To je normalno. Ni čiste, brezkonfliktne družbe. Vsako razmišljanje o družbi, v kateri ne bo napetosti, je iluzorno. Pomembno pa je opozoriti, da nihče ne govori o oživitvi preteklosti. Govorimo o oblikovanju nečesa novega, pri čemer črpamo tudi iz preteklih idej, napak in izkušenj. Če bi v preteklosti vse delovalo prav, ne bi moglo biti uničeno, ne glede na to, da je šlo v Jugoslaviji za kombinacijo notranjih in zunanjih dejavnikov. Nihče ne išče opravičila za vse, kar je bilo, toda Jugoslavija ni bila le zatiralski sistem ali Goli otok. Ni šlo le za represivnost enovladja. Šlo je za bogastvo izkušenj, ki so danes pomembne.

Resnični demokratični nadzor ljudi in delavcev v samoupravljanju je bil zelo omejevan z vrha ali iz centra, če želite. To je bil problem. Kljub temu sem napisala knjigo Disintegration of Yugoslavia: Lessons for Europe. Kajti vsak projekt, v katerem želite zgraditi večnacionalno skupnost, ki naj spoštuje samoodločbo ljudi in enakopravnost, je postavljen pred podobne izzive. Odnose podrejenosti ali izkoriščanja, vse oblike zatiranja je treba aktivno razkrivati in odpravljati. Priznati je treba razkorak med ideali in realnostjo ter demokratično iskati možnosti izboljšav in poprave napak. Odgovorov ne bomo našli kar na lepem v žepu ali na koncu jezika. A konkretni predlogi jugoslovanske levice v šestdesetih letih so danes lahko dragocen vir razmisleka. Danes vidimo, da se moramo izogibati tako delavskemu upravljanju, ki ga vase posrka država, kot tistemu, ki se podreja trgu. V procese odločanja je treba vključiti vse, ki se jih neka odločitev dotika. Vseh ne zanimajo vsa vprašanja. Za to niti ni potrebe, niti ni to zares smiselno. Misliti velja o razvejanem horizontalnem sistemu mrež, ki se delijo in povezujejo glede na področja in vsebine ter organizacijsko raven – nacionalno, lokalno, občinsko…

Vsaka zveza mora ohraniti transparentnost in demokratičnost. Prek solidarnosti in redistribucije je treba manjšati neenakosti, tako v regijskem razvoju kot ekonomske, a to je treba tudi jasno osmisliti. Vse to so vprašanja, ki vam niso tuja in so danes ključnega pomena za Evropo. Sebičnost, ki jo uvaja trg in ki razjeda solidarnost, je mogoče preseči z jasnim nadzorom in gradnjo zaupanja ter z razumevanjem prednosti in koristi, ki jih enakopravna skupnost prinaša. Veliko se lahko naučimo iz jugoslovanske izkušnje. Iz njenih neuspehov in prednosti. Vprašanja o skupnih javnih dobrih, kaj vse spada mednje in kdo ima pravico o njih odločati, so vprašanja prihodnosti.

Franček Drenovec: Prenova

POTI IZ KRIZE: O NUJNI SKUPNI VSEBINI       [Franček Drenovec, 27.3.2014]

»V Beltincih je bil 1948. jazz bend. Si misliš?! Danes pa narodnjaki igrajo na Prešercu sredi Ljubljane! Noro, a?« (Vlado Kreslin)


Kako neki, da je bil takrat v Beltincih jazz bend? Ali potem v Trbovljah Laibach – medtem ko so danes narodnjaki obvladali že Ljubljano? Kot da bi bili tisti časi ustvarjalni, današnji – v demokraciji in svobodi – pa spet primitivni in zatohli! In od kod v času grobe komunistične represije odlični kazalniki modernosti in liberalnosti socialnih praks in institucij, kakršnih danes ni več, ali materialnega napredka, kakršnega ni bilo pri nas ne prej ne kasneje?


Zgornje vprašanje je treba očitno obrniti: od kod nam naši idiotski klišeji, ki sestavljajo sedanjo slovensko »popularno« zgodovino in ki nam prav preprečujejo, da bi zgodovino razumeli? V čigavem interesu je postal ta bedni nadomestek zgodovine »popularen«? S kakšnimi cilji – in posledicami? No, vsaj slednje že poznamo.


Modernost in ustvarjalnost


V Sloveniji je stekel v šestdesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja razvojni val, ki je bil z manjšim zamikom vzporeden z dinamičnim preobražanjem v vsej evropski periferiji izven sovjetske cone. Naš predtranzicijski vzorec je bil »južnoevropski«, ne »vzhodnoevropski« (in saj je še vedno povsem »južnoevropska« tudi sedanja kriza).


Takoj po vojni so se lotili komunisti osrednjih šibkih točk dotedanjega kapitalističnega napredka. Podeseterili so izobraževalne kapacitete družbe in na tej novi kadrovski podlagi s časom zgradili nov, širok industrijski sektor, s katerim smo se končno (tako kot drugje na periferiji) prebili iz spon vseobvladujoče arhaične kmečke ekonomije. S postopnim liberaliziranjem pa smo se (drugače kot v sovjetski coni) na koncu utrdili tudi kot dobro delujoče, na zahod usmerjeno izvozno gospodarstvo, vklopljeno v moderno socialno (keynesijansko) državo.


V tem velikem razvojnem projektu se je sestava aktivnosti prebivalstva obrnila na glavo; produktivni, ekonomski, socialni in miselni napredki so bili velikanski. Sproščale so se energije in ustvarjalnost, rasla sta samozavest in ponos. V Sloveniji je bila v teh desetletjih v resnici opravljena še ena velika »meščanska revolucija«, še en energičen poseg naprednih, modernizirajočih elit proti vsemu staremu, arhaičnemu, primitivnemu, provincialnemu.


To ni hvalnica. Procesi niso bili idilični. Niso mogli biti – v izhodiščno potapljajoči se periferni družbi, obremenjeni z visoko stopnjo ekonomske, socialne in politične dezintegracije. Komunisti so povzročili tudi veliko škode. Zatirali so preostanke starih elit tja do »kapitalistov« v drobnem sektorju. V začetku so izropali večinsko prebivalstvo, kmete, da so postavili na noge bistveno produktivnejšo industrijo. Stare elite, ugnezdene v starem gospodarstvu, takšnega obrata ne bi zmogle. Tega ne zmore nobena strategija, utemeljena zgolj na trgu in na optimiziranju obstoječega. Preboj iz statične, v zaostalosti zamočvirjene družbe mora vedno vključevati tudi protitržno in protiekonomsko nasilje. Mora! In seveda zamenjavo elit.


Poti razkroja


Nazaj v sedanjost: pred desetletji zagnano preobražanje evropske periferije je še nedokončano. Ostajajo veliki zaostanki v produktivni učinkovitosti in še večji zaostanki v trdnosti javnih institucij (»države«), ki so glavni vzrok sedanje regionalne krize.


Modernizacijski projekti druge polovice 20. stoletja so bili projekti velikega forsiranja družbenih procesov, ki so jih vodile ozke vrhnje elite. V Sloveniji sta stara poganjajoča elita in njen projekt zamrla s prehodom »starega režima« v tranzicijo. Zelo na grobo lahko razločimo pet vzporednih poti tega prehoda.


(1.)  Stari razvojni val je temeljil na državnem poganjanju izvoznega gospodarstva. V tranziciji so te politike razpadle. Alternativno dinamiko je zagotovil razmah tehnološko plitkih storitvenih panog in gradbeništva, usmerjenih na domači trg (ki so ustvarile praktično vso rast zaposlovanja v tranziciji). Poznejše zadolževanje, ki je šlo skoraj v celoti v te panoge, jih je napihnilo že čez vse meje (seveda brez povečanja tej zadolžitvi primerne produktivne učinkovitosti). Zdaj, ko je ta retrogradni vzorec rasti nepovratno mimo, šele vidimo, kako je medtem že opešala dinamičnost izvoznega sektorja. Imamo povsem deformirano produktivno strukturo, ki ni več sposobna »lovljenja« in »dohitevanja«. Če smo prej stalno in zanesljivo presegali povprečne evropske stopnje rasti, zdaj za njimi sistematično zaostajamo.


(2.)  Stare ekonomske elite so vznikale iz kompleksnih razmerij med državo in menedžmenti, predvsem v izvoznem gospodarstvu. Različne kombinacije takšnih navez so poganjale vse tedanje razvojne zgodbe v Evropi, vzhodni Aziji in drugje (kot tudi že vse prejšnje). S prodorom neoliberalizma se je filozofija spremenila: država je postala nepomembna, veljajo samo še interesi kapitala. V slovenski tranziciji je nastajal zasebni kapital večinoma v »domačem« sektorju, po čudnih bližnjicah in s čudnimi ljudmi. Ko je prehajala ekonomska moč z nekdanjih direktorjev na nove lastnike, je prehajala iz tehnološko intenzivnega izvoznega gospodarstva v ta mizerno vodeni, miniaturni, od dvomilijonskega trga odvisni in razvojno impotentni sektor. Razmerja med podjetniki in politiki pa so se skrčila v najbolj primitivno provincialno pajdaštvo.


(3.)  V tranziciji so se delovna mesta preselila množično v tradicionalne storitve in še bolj množično v drobni sektor, v delovna in socialna okolja z bistveno manj vgrajene varnosti, kolektivnosti in integracije. Iz teh okolij ne vidiš širše skupnosti, družbe in države. Težko razumeš, da je »ekonomija« še kaj drugega kot tvoja družinska in vaška ekonomija. Težko vidiš, da mora biti nekje tudi neko zahtevno upravljanje javnih zadev. Politiko razumeš kot bolj ali manj nepomemben cirkus; in greš na volitve kot bi šel na izbor najboljšega klovna.


Ideološki razkroj


(4.)  Ko se je v zadnjih desetletjih 20. stoletja izčrpal fordovski vzorec gospodarske rasti razvitega zahoda, so se (najprej v ZDA) preusmerili od dotedanjega centralno nadzorovanega širokega ekonomskega napredka k uveljavljanju rentništva in parazitizma velikega monopolnega kapitala, s težiščem na financah. Doseganje tega cilja so podprli z agresivnim prostotržnim režimom za podreditev preostalega gospodarstva in družbe (s posebno težo na dobičkih in kontroli, ki jih daje vsiljevanje kredita, doma in mednarodno, po standardni, že večtisočletni recepturi vseh propadajočih ekonomskih ureditev).


Prenos nove neoliberalne ideologije v družbe s še nedokončanim fordovskim razvojem je verjetno glavno skupno ozadje sedanje krize evropske periferije. Državno razvojno poganjanje je zamrlo, v ospredje je prišel nebrzdan razmah financ in drugih monopolov. In če ne prej, se je vsaj zdaj v krizi pokazalo, da je bil v periferijo izvožen zgolj posebni kolonialni neoliberalizem, samo njegova plast podložnih, podrejenih plačnikov rente, brez rentnikov.


V slovenski tranziciji so nastopile s takim eksplicitnim kolonialnim programom že od samega začetka stranke »pomladi«. V drugem desetletju je stekel v njihovi režiji dobro organiziran preboj »mladih ekonomistov«, ki so s svojo prostotržno mantro že krepko determinirali naš lastni »južnoevropski« razkroj pred krizo. Danes obvladujejo že vso strankarsko sceno.


Ne spreglejmo: Slovenija je šla v tranzicijo z normalnim, delujočim, mednarodno integriranim gospodarstvom, brez značilnega »vzhodnoevropskega« kolapsa. Normalnost zahteva normalne ekonomiste, ne ceneno povzpetniško recitiranje ideoloških floskul. V vsesplošnem tranzicijskem razkroju pa je raslo (z denarjem in karierami podprto) povpraševanje po prav teh floskulah; nekdanjo znanost in profesionalnost je nadomestila interesno pogojena ideologija.


(5.)  Kakor koli ocenjujemo našo nekdanjo oblast, pa je ta s časom – z vračanjem komunistov v zavezništvo s staro slovensko liberalno tradicijo ter s poseganjem po tedanjih svetovnih vzorcih ekonomskega in socialnega moderniziranja – le zagotovila Sloveniji delujočo in odgovorno politično elito. Očitno! V tranziciji je to staro nedemokratično elito pobralo. Nadomestiti bi jo morala nova demokratična. Pa je ni. V »mladi demokraciji« je pobralo vsakršno elito.


Slovenija je še »v razvoju«, naše plače dosegajo šele polovico tistih čez mejo. Slovenske elite morajo svojo družbo poganjati in spreminjati, sicer niso elite. Naj so mehanizmi političnega vzpenjanja nedemokratični ali demokratični, v zaostajajoči družbi morajo zagotoviti nacionalno vodenje, ki gre nenehno čez meje obstoječega! Naša začetniška demokracija pa je zgolj posrkala v politiko najglasneje kričeče produkte vsega siceršnjega provincialnega razkrajanja – ki so zdaj življenjsko odvisni od tega, da Slovenija taka zanikrna predpotopna provinca tudi ostane. In se bodo za to borili. Krog zaostalosti je sklenjen.


Zanikrnost in zatohlost

Če povzamemo: v tranziciji je korak za korakom razpadalo vse doslej doseženo slovensko moderno, napredno, neprovincialno. S časom se je na pogorišču starega »sistema« poganjanja in moderniziranja sestavil nov celovit, zaokrožen »sistem« obnovljene slovenske predpotopne, predmoderne zatohlosti.


V tranziciji smo izgubili svoje elite: ekonomske, intelektualne, politične. In z njimi državo. Izgubili smo nacionalno vodenje. Brez tega si pa v sodobnem svetu mrtev. Za vsak primer še opozorilo na pogosto optično prevaro: to, kar imamo, pač ni država. Je samo po neoliberalnih napotkih izpraznjen javni prostor, ki so ga zavzeli zasebni interesi, v brezvladju pač pretežno navaden kriminal. To je prav nasprotje države.


Še en kliše je, ki ga je treba razbiti, ker je v sami srži zamegljevanja sedanje tranzicijske destrukcije: kliše, da je bil potop vgrajen že v sam začetek tranzicije (ki še ni bil pod nadzorom »mladih« ekonomistov in druge današnje navlake). Za ogorčene ljudi je ta enostavna resnica zagotovo privlačna – čeprav je v popolnem nasprotju z dejstvi in podatki.


Spet in spet bom opominjal na to, da je bila v prvem obdobju tranzicije slovenska gospodarska rast med najvišjimi v Evropi; da jo je poganjal pretežno domači kapital; na ravni praktično polne zaposlenosti; v okolju delujoče socialne države; brez primanjkljajev in zadolževanja; in zato z najboljšimi ocenami mednarodnih institucij. To kakovost je še nosila inercija starega razvojnega projekta, starih državnih in strokovnih aparatov in še neokuženega gospodarstva. Denarja takrat ni bilo, veljale so celo stroge omejitve zunanjega zadolževanja. Ampak saj v kapitalizmu ne gre za denar, za »imeti«; gre za »narediti«, za znati narediti. Kapital, ki je zlahka pridobljen, bo tudi zlahka zapravljen. Tudi kapital, tako kot vse drugo, moraš najprej znati narediti. V začetku je bilo to še jasno.


Degradacija produktivnih, ekonomskih, socialnih, miselnih in političnih struktur je bila postopna. Končni sprožilec potopa je bil obrat v vseobsežno privatiziranje. Ko je pritekel pred slabim desetletjem v deželo denar, so ga znale nove »elite« – v zdaj že povsem novem »sistemu« in v procesih, ki so jih zdaj podpirale že prav vse institucije sistema – samo še pokrasti in zapraviti.


Korupcija in prostitucija


Kakšna bosta v takem »sistemu« rast in razvoj? Bodimo realni. Živimo v zatohlem retro svetu, v nazadovanju, ne v napredovanju. Novi »sistem« ni imel nikakršnih možnosti.


Po letu 2008 (po obdobju največjega investiranja v zadnjih treh desetletjih!) je upadla slovenska sposobnost ustvarjanja BDP za več kot desetino. Spet smo tam, kjer smo bili pred slabimi desetimi leti – kot da bi bili že ves ta čas v stagnaciji, s tem da je to raven produktivne učinkovitosti zdaj obremenil še velikanski zunanji dolg. Ko govorimo o vzrokih krize, ne govorimo o kraji, temveč o elementarni destruktivnosti celotne razvejene strukture nove, v »sistem« zapakirane provincialne zanikrnosti.


Kolaps produktivne baze je spremljal kolaps pripadajočih ekonomskih elit. Propadel je skoraj ves novi zasebni kapital izven drobnega sektorja. Preživel je v glavnem samo državni kapital v infrastrukturnih in drugih panogah, ki vlečejo naravno in prostorsko rento, ter tisti v tržnem, predvsem izvoznem sektorju, namenjen podpori teh pomembnih mest domače podjetniške kakovosti. Zdaj bodo zato (samo zato), da se prikupijo tujcem, uničili tudi ta kapital.


Zamajala se je politična nadstavba. V petih letih krize so se zamenjale štiri vlade. Na ulicah je izbruhnila vstaja, padli sta prvi dve politični zvezdi. Ankete kažejo popoln izpad podpore etablirani strankarski nomenklaturi. V politiki so bila to leta beganja in tavanja, vse bolj tudi strahu, brez predstave o tem, kako naprej. Dokler se ni končno našla rešitev. Akcija je stekla nekako v začetku leta 2012 in teče odtlej neprekinjeno (kljub vmesni zamenjavi vlade).


Ko se je bilo treba na neki točki le spoprijeti s krizo, so predali vodenje države tujcem. Niso padli v najbolj grobi bruseljski »varčevalni« program, ker so sprejeli podoben program za izognitev programu. Pomembne javne institucije predajajo v direktno upravljanje tujcem. Državno premoženje bodo prodali tujcem. Glede rasti in razvoja govorijo skoraj samo še o tujih naložbah. Domači kapital so uničili, zdaj gredo – voditelji Slovenije, slovenski osamosvojitelji – pod skrbništvo tujega. Korupcija je prešla v prostitucijo.


Pred kratkim sem prebral, da bodo predali večino preostalega slovenskega državnega kapitala v prosto upravljanje tuji zasebni finančni firmi. Utemeljitev je, da so tako storili v Romuniji (in res dvomim, da še kje drugje). V svojem prvem velikem nastopu so pošiljali »mladi« ekonomisti vladne delegacije v Estonijo, zdaj smo že v Romuniji. Se spomnite, kako smo včasih, še vse do pred desetimi leti, hodili po zglede v Skandinavijo? Kako povsem so degenerirale naše »vizije« – v tem našem majhnem geografskem žepku med dvema najbogatejšima evropskim regijama!


Ni mogoče spregledati, s kakšnim navdušenjem se v vseh krogih establišmenta spet združujejo in konsolidirajo. Kako so videti srečni, ko so Slovenijo končno le uspeli narediti do dna zanikrno in primitivno – končno takšno, na kakršno se edino spoznajo in v kakršni lahko edino preživijo; končno državo po svoji meri.




Svoj obrat pojasnjujejo s tem, da je »očitno, da sami ne znamo«. To je neumnost. Nekoč smo znali to, kar zdaj oni uničujejo in prodajajo, celo sami ustvariti. Še vedno znamo večinoma sami ustvarjati svoj še vedno nemajhen izvoz. In podobno na mnogih drugih področjih. Je pa res, da tega znanja ni v primitivnih, skorumpiranih kadrovskih kuhinjah sedanjih političnih strank – ki so edine, ki imajo pravico nastopa. Nismo kar po naravi kolonija. Nekateri so, mi drugi pa nismo.


Ljudje, ki so naše provincialno pogrezanje prav povzročili, nam zdaj pripovedujejo o slovenski zaplankanosti, ki jo bodo presegli z mednarodnim integriranjem. Menda je jasno, da nekega takega »mednarodnega« bitja v današnjem svetu ni. Obstajajo samo ameriški Wall Street, londonski City, Nemčija in Avstrija. Za te štiri skupine interesov je zdaj v Sloveniji poskrbljeno. Kaj pa za naše? Je predvidena kakšna graditev naših lastnih sposobnosti za naše lastno nastopanje v tem svetu, skladno z našimi interesi? Seveda ni; saj je predvideno prav nasprotno.


Hlapci pod tujim gospodarjem še niso »mednarodni«. Prehod v kolonialno podreditev pa le daje politikom novo, na videz delujočo opcijo odklopa od svoje nezadovoljne domače baze. To ni demokratična opcija. Provincialna zanikrnost se je v slovenski zgodovini že enkrat prevesila v kvizlinštvo in v fašizem. V vzorčnih deželah neoliberalnega kompradorstva, pred desetletji v Latinski Ameriki, so prišli prej ali slej na cesto tanki. V Sloveniji dosegamo novo zgodovinsko dno, ki postaja bolj in bolj primerljivo s tistim iz leta 1941.


Mimogrede še to. Gnili in stagnantni nedemokratični režimi bodo vedno gojili videze modernosti. Vladne in druge službe nekdanjih latinskoameriških banana republik so vodili doktorji znanosti z najboljših ameriških univerz. Jelcinovo Rusijo je spravila leta 1998 v bankrot ekipa tedaj najslavnejših ameriških ekonomistov (ki so jo leta 1991 »pomladniki« pripeljali tudi v Slovenijo, takrat še neuspešno). Prebijanje iz statične, negibne, zaostale družbe pač ni »tehnični« in še najmanj ekonomski problem. Če smo se doslej le kaj naučili, smo se to, da ne sme biti tak projekt nikoli prepuščen ekonomistom (kaj šele – bognedaj – finančnikom).




Pred večino držav evropske periferije je dolgotrajno mrcvarjenje v ekonomskem, socialnem in političnem gnitju. V tem času se jim dogaja (z obilno tujo pomočjo) zgolj utrjevanje in konsolidiranje njihovega novega statusa zavoženih, mednarodno nekonkurenčnih in politično razsutih družb. Ta perspektiva bo presekana, šele ko stečejo – kar v nekem trenutku pač bodo – procesi nujnega velikega, globinskega prevračanja in spreminjanja.


V Sloveniji smo spet v trdem prijemu provincialne negibnosti, tako kot nekoč pred tričetrt stoletja v tedanji evropski kataklizmi. In spet se propadli stari establišment rešuje v kvizlinštvu. Glavni procesi tega novega zgodovinskega kolapsa so še pred nami. Dogajalo se bo marsikaj, naraščala bosta konfliktnost in represija. To je v tem trenutku edino, kar se da reči z gotovostjo.


V takih stanjih ni hitrih rešitev. Rešitve so samo v velikem spreminjanju, s cilji in rezultati šele v desetletnem horizontu. Prenehati moramo razmišljati samo o (nikoli uspešnem) reševanju sprotnih tegob in se preusmeriti predvsem k tem končnim ciljem in namenom.


Povrniti bo treba dinamičnost, gibanje, spreminjanje. Za to bo treba obnoviti družbeno, nacionalno poganjanje – kakršno ne daje nikoli zgolj podpora tržni ekonomiji. Poganjanje mora biti vedno lasten, avtonomen projekt države oziroma politike.


V tranziciji je bil stari slovenski razvojni val iz druge polovice 20. stoletja prekinjen, družba se je sesedla v svojo pradavno provincialno zanikrnost. Stari projekt bo treba obnoviti, zdaj pač na tej višji ravni zahtevnosti: v demokraciji in v tržni, pretežno zasebniški ekonomiji. V Sloveniji, z našo predzgodovino, je bil to že vseskozi edini logični cilj tranzicije (pa se je vse zasukalo drugače).


Prihajajoča leta bodo v znamenju sestavljanja novih elit: ekonomskih, političnih, intelektualnih elit. Počasi bodo morale zapolnjevati praznino, nastalo v tranzicijskem kolapsu in – končno – nadomestiti tiste prejšnje izpred dvajsetih let. Prostor je prazen in čaka, da ga zapolnimo. Vredno se je angažirati, tudi izpostaviti.


V opozorilo naj nam bo vsaj ena, čeprav nepopolna primerjava, tista z letom 1941, ko se je velik del slovenske politike (in cerkve) združil z okupacijskimi vojskami v načrtnem, sistematičnem izbrisu slovenskega ljudstva. Takrat je bila vojna in so bila razmerja prignana do roba, primerjava je pretirana. »Princip« je pa isti. Treba se bo angažirati, tudi izpostaviti. Gre, končno – tako kot takrat –, za najbolj temeljne stvari človeškega dostojanstva in ponosa. In gre – spet – za sámo preživetje. Izbiri sta se zarisali z vso ostrino. Ni več sive cone.


Izražanje večine


Tranzicijski potop je bil absoluten samo v politiki. »Mlada demokracija« je proizvedla zgolj naše prastare klerikalce in liberalce, naš prastari provincialni oportunizem brez državniške pristojnosti in odgovornosti. Kot da bi nekdo zavrtel film nazaj. Ko so s časom zamrli še zadnji ostanki nekdanjega državniškega poguma tistih, ki so zdaj samo še liberalci, so oboji v svojem neizbežnem končnem razkroju odkrili »enotnost«. In iščejo zanjo še enotnost ljudstva, v običajni maniri vseh nedemokratičnih ideologij in režimov. Tej enotnosti se je treba upreti.


Dejstvo je, da smo si v »ljudstvu« spet hudo narazen. Čisto nič nismo enotni. Meje med zadovoljstvom in nezadovoljstvom s provincialno primitivnostjo so seveda drugje, kot so bile pred tričetrt stoletja. Stare izstopajoče ljubljanske elite 20. stoletja (ki so jo v vojni obdali z žico!) ni več, procesi so šli zdaj že v vso geografsko širino in z njimi naše razlike. A so tu. Moramo jih sprejeti in moramo jih izkazati: mi smo mi, vi ste vi! Naj se ve. Nismo isti.


O stanju med »ljudstvom« imamo včasih čudne predstave. Zavajajo nas arhaični, patriarhalni vzorci zelo posebnih ciljnih publik komercialnega medijskega prostora, ter prav takšni vzorci izbranih publik tranzicijskih politikov. Medtem kažejo raziskave, npr. Slovensko javno mnenje, povsem drugačne, normalne evropske vzorce. Življenje v kapitalizmu je postalo za veliko večino ljudi zelo resna in trezna stvar. V naši popolnoma neurbani Sloveniji, preplavljeni z drobno »vaško ekonomijo«, je ta resnost zagotovo še slabo artikulirana, nekako »v iskanju«, a nas je takih le večina – čeprav nas ni nikjer videti. Vidijo se samo oni drugi, čeprav so manjšina.


Na to večino se je treba opreti: na aktiviranje demokracije. Že dvakrat v zadnjem tragičnem desetletju (v dveh »zimah slovenskega nezadovoljstva«, po Ciprasu) je izbruhnil spontan ljudski upor proti najbolj izpostavljeni osebi našega novodobnega pogrezanja v predmoderni primitivizem. Množica – večina – je pokazala, da želi nekaj drugega; in da – večina – išče, kaj, konkretno, drugega. Če hočeš voditi, se ne moreš samo prilepiti na ta neartikulirani upor in mu dodati, kot svoje, le par gesel. Resnim ljudem, ki so v resnem »iskanju«, je treba ponuditi resen, razdelan, v jeziku vsakdanjega življenja razumljiv in oprijemljiv načrt pozitivne alternative.


Izražanje naprednosti


Izvirni greh tranzicije je bil razkroj vsega javnega, skupnega, družbenega. Javna sfera in država sta postali samo še en poseben trg, samo še en prostor za uveljavljanje zasebnih interesov (ki so na koncu predali javne posle kar tujcem). V tem ni nič abstraktnega, manj pomembnega, sekundarnega; je popolnoma konkretno; in bistveno.


Ukinili so »pravno državo« in začeli razstavljati še »socialno državo«. Sisteme za utrjevanje občutenja skupnosti in pripadnosti, ki vzdržujejo družbeno normalnost v vseh (normalnih) majhnih evropskih državah, je začela nadomeščati vizija socialno raztreščenih banana republik svetovne kolonialne periferije. In tretje: že zelo dolgo je, odkar so zamrle tiste državne politike, ki usposabljajo družbe za sodelovanje v svetovnem ekonomskem, natančneje tehnološkem napredku. Te so primarne; v zaostalem in revnem okolju tudi ne bo pravne in socialne države.


Finska, recimo, se razlikuje od, recimo, Romunije, po kakovosti teh treh vrst javnih politik in ne po svobodi trga (ki je zagotovo večja v slednji). V družbah, kakršna je Slovenija, vzniknejo zasebne motivacije in aktivnosti v veliki meri same od sebe. Ozko grlo je vedno sposobnost nadzora, usmerjanja in poganjanja. Obnavljanje navedenih treh družbenih podsistemov bo morala biti osrednja vsebina prihodnjega obnovljenega moderniziranja Slovenije in prva – konkretna, praktična, operativna – naloga prihodnjih vlad.


Mogoče manjka neko pojasnilo. Državne »razvojne politike« niso nikoli nadomestilo za delo, znanje in podjetnost vse velike množice ljudi v družbi. Cilj razvojnih politik je vedno predvsem ustvarjanje pogojev, da bodo ambicije in energije ljudi vodile v želene rezultate; in kot prvo, skrb za maksimalen razvoj ustvarjalnih in produktivnih kapacitet in potencialov ljudi. O tem razmišljamo (in ne o kakšnih genialnih potezah kakšnih genijev na oblasti).




Glavno vprašanje je, seveda, kako sploh sprožiti kakršno koli spreminjanje – v tem, navznoter povsem prepletenem in zaščitenem »sistemu zaostalosti«. Ga je sploh mogoče preseči brez revolucije? Kje so njegove šibke točke, tiste, v katerih je najbolj ranljiv? Pa da so hkrati tudi odločilne, z nabojem, da poženejo še nadaljnje spreminjanje? Kje je mogoče zgrabiti že po prvem manjšem preboju v politiko, kar »subverzivno«: skoraj neopazno, a z velikim učinkom?


Potop v provincialno zatohlost je bil povezan z opuščanjem aktivnega mednarodnega umeščanja. Ta temeljna vizija nekdanje elite, ki je, vgrajena v vsaj nosilne točke ekonomske dinamike, poganjala naš stari razvojni val, je degenerirala v »mladi demokraciji« – okrepljeni z »mlado« prostotržno norijo – v veliko preusmeritev k domači porabi, navznoter, v svojo miniaturno deželico, dokler se nismo v njej (napihnjeni s tujim kreditom) zadušili.


Končne posledice vidimo v sedanjem grozečem usihanju slovenske »konkurenčnosti«, zaradi katerega že znižujejo plače in ubijajo javne storitve. A samo posledice. V njihovem ozadju je usihanje veliko širšega družbenega podsistema, ki mora dajati gospodarstvu (če se omejimo samo nanj) za konkuriranje potrebne kapacitete znanja in ustvarjalnosti.


Recimo takole. Del najbolj neposrednih »makro« determinant podjetniške učinkovitosti je v domeni »pravne države«. Drugi del je pa v tem širokem podjetniškem zaledju, v zaporednih koncentričnih krogih v izobraževanju in raziskovanju; v spodbujanju in usmerjanju mladih; v kanalih prehajanja iz šol v gospodarstvo; v prvem krogu v naravoslovnih vedah, pa vse do nič manj pomembnih krogov v družboslovju; in obrnjenih predvsem v prihodnost, ne v sedanjost, za nujno prihodnje nadomeščanje starega z novim.


Družbeno dinamičnost, gibanje in spreminjanje – na koncu tudi industrijsko in izvozno – daje šele ta sklop državnih ustanov in politik, usmerjenih v nasilno prebijanje siceršnjega, zgolj »ekonomskega« toka stvari. Ne zanemarjamo drugih mest poganjanja, a je ta sklop le osrednji, nujno osrednje žarišče. Ta razvojna bližnjica je že dolgo nesporni prvi recept za preobražanje zaostalih družb. In za ustvarjanje novih elit: da bodo, kot smo rekli, čez deset let vodile naša podjetja, šole in bolnice in državo. (Kar tudi pojasnjuje, zakaj so sedanje »varčevalne« politike naravnane najbolj prav v onesposabljanje tega sklopa.)


V svojem starem razvojnem valu smo v Sloveniji dosegli ravni srednjeindustrijske družbene strukture. V tranziciji se je gibanje v tem »dolgem ciklu« zaustavilo in se že celo obrnilo navzdol. Nov pozitiven obrat lahko zdaj požene samo projekt prehoda v zrelo industrijsko družbo z naraščajočimi postindustrijskimi vsebinami. Odveč je pripomniti, da se to ne bo zgodilo znotraj produktivnih, ekonomskih, socialnih in miselnih okvirov, kakršne daje še vedno prevladujoči srednješolski izobrazbeni standard. V tej sferi je osrednja kritična točka strukturnega prebijanja.


»Dolgi rok«


Še enkrat: kako prebiti »sistem zaostalosti«? Družbenih preobrazb ni, če ne sodeluje kapital, vsaj del kapitala, recimo tisti »naprednejši«. A ne prezrimo koristi, ki jih daje zaostalo okolje tudi dobrim, visokotehnološkim podjetjem. Za njih sedanja skromna ponudba inženirjev idr. povsem zadošča, hkrati pa je zato, ker so njeni skoraj edini uporabniki, vsaj pol cenejša od tiste v razviti soseščini. Zakaj bi podprli politike, ki bi povečale potrebe po inženirjih (in vseh drugih delavcih) še v drugih delih gospodarstva in dvignile njihovo ceno? Kaj bodo svetovali vladi? Ali ni dobrim podjetnikom najbolje, če so redki in izstopajoči?


Večini industrijskih panog nudijo zaostala okolja velike prednosti. Privlačijo tuje neposredne naložbe. Menda je jasno, da je v isti igri tudi domači kapital. Tuji politiki bodo interes svojih podjetnikov (za to, da je Slovenija zaostala in da taka tudi ostane) aktivno podprli. Domači politiki pa istega interesa svojih lastnih podjetnikov ne smejo! No, tu ne govorimo o politikih, govorimo o naših najboljših podjetnikih. Ali so vsaj ti sposobni širšega razmisleka, namreč tega, da je scenarij nasilnega vzdrževanja zaostalosti tudi za njih – na malo daljši rok, ko se bo začelo zato že resno lomiti – zelo, zelo slab? Moramo upati, da so tudi taki.


Kar največja svinjarija bi bila vsekakor obnovitev »razvojne« filozofije državnega investiranja, tistega, ki je bilo med glavnimi povzročitelji slovenske krize. Seveda je na potezi država, ampak s čim? Če bi takrat, ko je bilo denarja v izobilju, namenili samo desetino tistega, ki je bil zapravljen za navadno vlivanje asfalta in betona, ustanovam in politikam, ki zares povečujejo produktivne in ustvarjalne sposobnosti ljudi, bi zdaj naš BDP že lepo rasel in s časom še bolj (in bi svoje dolgove brez težav odplačevali). Ampak na tem področju ni korupcije in kraje in velikega bogatenja. To je področje, ki je povsem zunaj horizontov novodobnih slovenskih »elit«.


Slovenski kazalniki socialne mobilnosti prek izobraževanja – prek znanja – so že na samem dnu evropskih lestvic. Osebni ekonomski in socialni napredek dajejo, poleg skorumpiranega biznisa v politično obvladovanem sektorju, v veliki večini še vedno le delo, marljivost in garanje ter na njih oprto podjetništvo. V današnji Sloveniji so potenciali nadaljnjega razvoja v taki »produkcijski funkciji« že praktično nični. Ljudje razmišljajo zase in za svoje otroke že dolgo prav skozi optiko preseganja te omejitve (očitno neuspešno, ko pa dela država prav nasprotno). Ta »ljudski« pogled je izrazito dolgoročen, celo več kot desetleten, pa je večini popolnoma normalen! Resni ljudje bodo vedno podprli resne politične pobude – ko jih bodo nekoč od nekoga dobili.



Upoštevajmo, da smo v Sloveniji še globoko v »industrijskem načinu proizvodnje«, v kapitalizmu. Poti doseganja kapitalistične zrelosti v zdaj zaostajajočih evropskih družbah bodo seveda (kot je to vedno) drugačne od poti, po katerih so šle vodilne družbe; v Sredozemlju, na primer, zagotovo ne bo uspelo tako podivjano vsiljevanje zgolj materialnega obilja. A dejstvo je, da so ravni slovenskih plač in javnih storitev takšne, da je na dnevnem redu še vedno materialna rast, z vsem, kar jo pogojuje. Še vedno morajo temeljno produktivno in ekonomsko dinamiko zagotavljati – pod nadzorom dobro delujoče države – individualne motivacije in aktivnosti, pod pritiskom medsebojnega tekmovanja, vključno z individualnim podjetništvom.


Če v Sloveniji ta zadeva – »trg« – ne deluje, je to predvsem zato, ker ne deluje njen določujoči drugi pol, »država«. Ne more pa država v Sloveniji trga kar nadomestiti.


Drži, da imamo v zgodovini kapitalizma izrazito pozitivne sekvence s prav ekstremno vlogo države, a samo v kontekstu forsiranega prebijanja blokad kapitalističnega razvoja. Tudi vsi »realni komunizmi« 20. stoletja so reševali primarno problem materialne rasti in razvoja. In v tem kontekstu vidimo nekdanjo izstopajočo slovensko uspešnost: zato, ker je bil uvodni ekstremni nastop komunistične države pozneje tudi zrahljan; ter v obeh obdobjih s posebnostmi, ki so bile naravnane k osvajanju tedaj vodilnih fordovskih struktur kapitalizma. (Na koncu koncev je bilo kardeljevsko samoupravljanje le posebna forma vcepljanja liberalizma v enostrankarski sistem in podjetništva v sistem državne lastnine.)


Po drugi strani pa prav rentniški, roparski neoliberalizem nikakor ni več – po nobeni definiciji, po nobeni teoriji – kapitalizem. Glavni vzrok kolapsa evropske periferije je bila prav ta nasilna predčasna ukinitev kapitalizma (v nasprotju z zdaj verjetno že kar končno krizo kapitalizma v razvitem centru, ki je neoliberalizem tudi ustvarila). Malo poenostavljam, ampak samo malo.


Nujna skupna vsebina


Današnje evropske »leve« vizije nastajajo v družbah, ki so že pred desetletji dosegle vrh kapitalističnega materialnega obilja in v katerih se zdaj že kopiči občutenje potrebe po alternativah. V Sloveniji pa je bil zadnji veliki preskok narejen šele pred nedavnim, in je segel šele do pol poti. Refleksije ljudi so še obremenjene z zadovoljstvom s tem preteklim napredkom. Kolikor pa se s časom le odpirajo pogledi naprej, ostajajo v izraziti večini znotraj horizonta vsega še nedoseženega kapitalističnega: še nedosežene materialne blaginje in še nerealiziranega polnega, »poštenega« dohodka od svojega dela, znanja in podjetnosti.


Če hočeš ponujati ljudem politične rešitve za slovenski potop prek vzvodov demokracije, moraš znati politično artikulirati to večinsko željo in potrebo. Seveda ima politična akcija tudi svoje bolj splošne ali kar populistične plasti, svoja gesla pravne ali socialne države, morda liberalizma in morda socializma. Ampak zraven bodo morale biti tudi te povsem praktične vsebine! Te stvari so fundamentalne, veljavne za vsak ideološki okvir. (Tudi za socialističnega; tudi izvirni kardeljevski sistem je bil usmerjen predvsem v poganjanje elementarnega kapitalističnega napredka. Veljavne bodo tudi če bo, recimo, spet revolucija, in tedaj še toliko bolj.)


Vsi vemo, da rešitev ne bo dal sedanji politični establišment, oziroma da so pogojene prav z njegovim odstranjevanjem. Zgolj delanje nekakšnih novih »strank« pa je tako plehko. Sestaviti bo treba (kot je to vedno) široko »gibanje« političnih aktivistov, ljudi iz gospodarstva, iz prava in z univerz, sindikatov, marketinga, piscev člankov, pesnikov in pisateljev in pop zvezd. Stranke so lahko samo vrh ledene gore. Za vso potrebno širino in globino pa bo moral nastop vseh posameznih skupin vključevati – kot nekakšen skupni razpoznavni znak – tudi skupno vsebino neke take realistične, razumljive in oprijemljive »praktične« paradigme. Ker, oprostite, to niso vaje v narcisizmu in v teoretski veščini; začenja se igra za usodo Slovenije.

(Stališča avtorja so njegova osebna stališča.)