[OPE] Did we love Hertz?

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Mon Mar 02 2009 - 12:35:38 EST

Dr Noreena Hertz is currently Visiting Professor of Globalization at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and engaged to Danny Cohen, who is BBC3 controller for youthful audiences. Her argument is:

"I believe that the conditions are in place for a new form of capitalism to arise from the debris - co-op capitalism, with co-operation, collaboration and collective interest at its core." http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5798645.ece

Goodbye Gooshe shoes. On the other hand, British journalist Lucy Kellaway argues:

"The latest Harvard Business Review contains an 11-page article telling us that the best way to survive financial meltdown and global recession is to be like Muhammad Ali when he met George Foreman for their Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa, Zaire. (...) The HBR article brings to an end 15 years of peace, love and political correctness by the purveyors of management metaphor. It is the first evidence I have seen from the management guff industry that "soft" is finally on its way out and "hard" is on its way in." www.ft.com/kellaway http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/040cfe6a-04ed-11de-8166-000077b07658.html

As you can see, Ms Hertz emphasizes "cooperation", while Ms Kellaway emphasizes "competition" (think of Mohammed Ali's IQ).

Question then is: who is right?

Well, both of them are.

The reason is that without cooperation, capitalism breaks down. But without competition, it also breaks down.

Both cooperation and competition have always been part of capitalism, although in bourgeois ideology, cooperation is rarely acknowledged in economic theory (we are all supposed to be unconnected Smithian individual agents pursuing self-interest in the marketplace), only in management theory (somehow we have to be made to unite, to enrich the boss), and competition is said to exist, where in reality there is none (cf. Iraq).

What the crisis does is, that it intensifies competition, as more people scramble to grab fewer resources. But, as poverty begins to bite, people also become more dependent on each other to survive, and thus it also drive them together. It's just that "yesterday's friends are today's enemies", and "yesterday's enemies are today's friends", depending on whether you are upwardly mobile, or downwardly mobile.

Dialectically considered, it becomes important to know who your friends really are.

So, next time you hear the chatter, keep this in mind. The thing to understand about the chatter in the bourgeois press is, that what they mean is, just that "love is money". That's all it is.


Love hurts, love scars, love wounds
And mars, any heart
Not tough or stong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain
Love hurts... ooh,ooh love hurts

- Rod Stewart, "Love Hurts"

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Received on Mon Mar 2 12:37:46 2009

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