We are witnessing a diffuse interaction of economics, national security and social upheavals in Austria and Europe. Our time is shaped by phenomena which can be described as an expression of uncertainty – the crisis ladden developments of capitalism are becoming ever more apparent. The easy answer of many people to these developments is the longing and desire for a “strong leader” which should bring about stability. “Rather less freedom than chaos” is the commonly accepted notion.
This desire is activated and accelarated by many different sides, the authoritarians are in the offence: no matter if FPÖ, “Bloc Identitaire”, Turkish or Polish nationalists, islamistic and jihadi groups: they all promise a different political order meaning an uncompromising governing for their own “nation”, respectively. This “nation” is defined along the lines of nationality, ethnicity and/or religion.
The activation and acceleration of this desire is also due to the government: we are witnessing a normalization of political demands which used to be occupied by right-wingers. Not only the tightening of national security policies, massive surveillance, the reduction to the point of abolition of the right to seek refuge, but also the general authoritarian worsening of governmental action is mostly, if not being applauded, at least accepted as a new kind of normality.
In times of an obvious crisis, refugees – and others, which are not perceived as part of the national community – have to serve as the originators of societal problems. And when “foreigners” are made responsible and blamed for everything, the state is called upon as a protector of the national community.
But the state cannot prevent crises in capitalism from arising. It will not save us, because the state is part of the problem/issue/calamity. And it uses its force and authority, through laws, increasing armament and intimidation, if its legitimacy is challenged in crises ladden times. It needs to distract from its obvious helplessness in the face of global economic developments.
Antisexist, antiracist and antifascist fights continue to be necessary, but our critique needs to start at the root of the problem. Patriarchal capitalism as a complex system, which influences many different areas of all of our lives and regulates the rules of our daily interactions, must be attacked. The values of our inhumane achievement-oriented society are so extremely deeply rooted that it’s almost impossible to imagine a different practical experience let alone the possibility of a different society.
The campaign ” Escape the lethargy/helplessness/impotence” wants to encourage and mobilize everyone to organize activities and events against capitalism, the state and its authoritarian forming. If we want to escape the rat race of lethargy/helplessness/impotence, the continuous battles of defence, increasing isolation, separation and marginalization, we need a broad and strong radical left, capable of acting! Only if we organize ourselves and express our critique in actions and words transparently and comprehensibly, make it accessible to people and thus grow as a radical left, is change conceivable.
For a great life for everyone!