Artikel-Schlagworte: „Giorgio Agamben“

Thorsten Hinz: State of Emergency

by Thorsten Hinz

„Ausnahmezustand“, october 16, 2011,

Translation by Google, revised by MKH

The question of the future government practice in Europe, recently raised by Heino Bosselmann, has found a first response with the bailout Act,  approved on 29thSeptember : We are in an undeclared state of emergency! The state of emergency includes the total or partial suspension of civil rights. Having pledged the German welfare state,  the Bundestag has actually suspended our property rights. Moreover, the state of emergency means transferring legislative powers from parliament to the executive (government). The current special feature is that the government is instructed directly by the „financial markets“.

If in case future bailouts the federal government requires a „special urgency“ to be declared, „(…) the participation rights of the Bundestag and the Budget Committee will be exercised by a small commission of Budget Committee members  to be elected by the Bundestag for a legislative period. The number of appointees is the smallest possible allowing  each fraction to nominate at least one member and maintaining the majority ratios. In the case of an emergency measure requiring the purchase of bonds on the secondary market in order to prevent contagion, a particular urgency is regularly to be supposed. “

Budgetary rights shrinking to pro forma competence

De facto, the government has a constant breakthrough right bypassing the Parliament. Its „sovereign right“ – the budgetary right – shrinks to the pro forma competence of  constitutional monarchs. These have the right to be informed , to be heard, to advise, and to warn. But the latter (see the Pofalla-Bosbach controversy) please not too loud! A special committee of nine members shall take the place of the Bundestag. CDU / CSU and SPD are represented by three, FDP, Greens and Left by one representative each. As top officials of the party state they themselves belong to the executive rather than to legislature. They are welded together by the „Operation maintain power.“ Together and with criminal negligence, they have pushed through the disastrous €-concept, now they are united by their interest to obfuscate the disaster and their own responsibility.

The substitute body is much smaller than the „Joint Committee“, which takes over in case of emergency or in a war nuclear bunker as deputy of the Bundestag and Bundesrat. This includes 48 members. In the SED Politburo at least 22 comrades were involved, and a handful of candidates were added. The concentration of power now agreed upon shows how serious the situation is considered!

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, in 2003, published  the writing „State of Emergency“. It was written under the impact of the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, an area of legalized lawlessness. In all Western democracies, he writes, „the official declaration of the state of emergency is increasingly being replaced by an unprecedented expansion of the security paradigm as a normal technique of government“. Supplementing the safety paradigm by the banking paradigm, we have formulated the current and future government technique.

Convulsions of the financial markets decide on the measures

For Carl Schmitt, extensively quoted by Agamben, the state of emergency was actually still an exception. It was imposed if the legal order could no longer be saved by lawful means.  But it remained the reference point and the goal of policy. Agamben goes beyond Schmitt, forecasting an undeclared state of emergency in permanence. The „permanent bailout“ to be established from 2013 confirms the prognosis. The law state needn’t be overridden, it is simply reshaped by the measure state. Previously there were racial or social utopias, which defined the specific measures, now there are the convulsions of the financial markets.

Leafing through the books of the G.D.R. civics lessons, I noted that their caustic remarks about the illusory character of bourgeois democracy and the dependence of the politics on the financial oligarchy may contain much more truth than I ever would have admitted. And I find myself a little bit regretting Erich Honecker: Because he didn’t live long enough to see this happen!