2014-09-16

Struggles

The essential incompatibility between democracy and capitalism is particularly pronounced in neoliberalism. If in a few places and epochs something like the welfare state have been possible, this happened above all because of a series of exceptional factors that forced the capital to cede to the citizenship's rights. As Giorgio Agamben showed, the rule of law is the exception, and the state of exception is the rule (State of Exception, 2005). By contrast, in the so-called "neoliberal" regime, there is a shift from the state primarily protecting the people's rights to the capital's. For this reason the term "neoliberal" is a fallacy, considering the high degree of state intervention that favors the large corporations and the finances.

In these circumstances, it is logical that, under the neoliberal regime, the welfare state 
increasingly becomes a police state, and the security forces act more and more in the service of the capital rather than in that of citizens. Thus, the confrontation of the riot police and the unemployed, the marginalized and the outraged, symbolizes today better than any other phenomenon the notion of class struggle at the point of its greatest tension. (The other one would be the war).

But this confrontation is also that of the capitalist state
machinery against the human emotion, the bureaucratic discipline against the collective creation, the profit calculation against the spontaneity and the cooperation. Also that of the toreador against the bull... Or as Jean Baudrillard put it, class struggle as the "sub-humans struggle against their status as beasts, against the abjection of the caste division that condemns them to the sub-humanity of labour" (Symbolic Exchange and Death, 1976). 

But in fact these distinctions are not as sharp as we said. Because, as in mythical struggles, the hero and the monster in fact swap their characters (Heinrich von Kleist, On the Marionette Theater, 1810). In such a way that only the one who is able to mimetize with his enemy, to metamorphose, deserves the victory.

Image after Austrian Archives/Corbis' Adolf Hitler and others at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin [fu/fd], riots in Greece [ua-fu/fd] and Postales Alcalá's bullfighting scene.