The planetary market of death

Image: Ales Uscinau
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By TARSUS GENUS*

Wars today are rational extensions of financial globalization, creating and extinguishing markets

In the small village of Zimmerwald, in September 1915, due to the dissent in the Second Socialist International on the War of 1914, the Italian and Swiss parties convened a Conference to examine the seriousness of the world crisis and seek a strategic political definition of that hecatomb. Lenin, one of the leaders of social democracy present there, advocated denouncing the war as an “imperialist war” and calling on the proletarians of the respective countries in conflict to refuse to fight and protest against the war.

Roberto Grimm was the centrist leader, the majority in the meeting, who wanted only a pacifist proclamation to come out of there, in the abstract, opposing a concrete demonstration against the concrete war, covering up his “patriotic” position with the defense of the reactivation of the Socialist International. Lenin was frontally opposed to both Grimm's abstract pacifism and his refusal to strongly condemn the concrete war that would open the bloody XNUMXth century.

For Lenin, it was impossible to live with political currents complacent with the ongoing carnage, which promoted the slaughter engendered by national governments, which disputed spaces of imperial domination, sowing the fields and mountains of Europe with millions of corpses from all nations involved in the conflict. . With the bombs that moved tectonic plates and the poisonous gases that created the conditions for the emergence of Nazism and the tragedy of World War II.

This moment in European history can be considered a milestone that materialized the difference in principles between socialism and liberal-representative democracy – which is today, on both sides of Russia's war against Ukraine. But neither Robert Grimm with his abstract pacifism nor Lenin with his concrete rejection of imperialist wars are present on both sides.

“War is the continuation of politics by other means” (Clausewitz) says the celebrated definition, originating from those who thought about it as a science. Observing it rigorously, however, does not guarantee that – if the definition was correct at the time of its issuance – it can be repeated as true forever. In the different historical cycles, wars acquire certain contours, which require changes in the judgment about their dynamics. In current times, everything indicates that politics has become, predominantly, “war by other means”.

They are short times of dirty and “clinical” wars, presented as “clean”, which soon insinuate themselves as virtual games. In these, the distance between the belligerents and the spectator has no temporal connection, in which death is visualized: everything seems – at the same time – fiction for leisure and painless cruelties, which do not bring us closer to the human, which becomes just a part of a playful and perverse show.

The endless succession of wars proliferates “almost compulsively, despite the fact that most human societies consider and defend peace as a universal value”. It is what makes politics – today – a “continued war”, asserts Fiori. If it is true that “wars are a catastrophe” and that, in principle, they constitute an “evil” for Humanity, it is also true that they can be formally just and defensive, unleashed against unjust aggression.

The search for peace, in each concentrated time of war, materializes an opposition of values ​​(aggression x peace – conquest or defense) that make the political action of the parties, in the war, decisive to conquer the legacy that comes from their barbarism. The biggest problem, however, lies in the “engine” of war, as a political and military decision that justifies it in civilizing terms: how does it legitimize itself to arouse the militant emotions that are in the aggressive basements of the people's unconscious?

The question arises: where do actors in the global economy derive social and political legitimacy for their strategic decisions?”, asks Gilberto Dupas in Actors and powers in the new global order (Unesp). And he answers: the nature of the mandate of these actors comes from “economic rationality and commercial success”. I conclude: the masses of soldiers and the feelings of the majority, which make up the historical background of war, are always manipulated

Next, Dupas recalls – with Urlich Beck – that the mandate of the global economy (or “global democracy”) “is based on the economic vote of shareholders, which is manifested by the rises and falls of stocks in the world's financial markets. Consumers, he says, “would only have one organized way of expressing their right to vote, namely, to buy or not to buy”. Reagan's War Keynesianism, which fueled the American economy in his time, thus returns with full force in the planetary market of death.

Integrated by very concrete interests, in this war what matters more is “which market I'm fighting in”, than “why I'm fighting”, contrary to what happened in the two Great Wars of the last century. With different forms and arguments, protagonists of even opposing political positions understand – in a critical or apologetic way – that it is necessary, “to maximize the power (of the shareholders), to maximize (also) the connections between capital and law”.

This immediate connection between capital and law demands speed from political actors. Not only to promote, in each country, constitutional and ordinary legislation reforms, to make wars between markets viable, but also to open gaps in the Rule of Law, through “exception” decisions, more moderate or radical, to subordinate the State to the market.

There is an International Law that governs war and protocols that try to humanize what is impossible to make human. The inhuman demands, in its facticity, the death of innocents, the perversion of the recognition of the other only as unequal and is not moved by the funeral rows of dead children, nor by the supreme degradation of nature: war will always be closer to the “ state of nature” than the “human state”, agreed by the ideology of virtue and justice.

It is in this historical context, today, in which real communist “blocs” on the one hand and, on the other hand, imperialisms of industrial expansion are no longer opposed – in this context – is that wars take on another aspect. They are no longer expanding national or international projects through planned military clashes, but rational extensions of financial globalization, creating and extinguishing markets, dominating and freeing the virtual reproduction of the speculative money that feeds them. And in all markets young people and children die and the hydra of fascism thrives!

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).

 

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