When organic crises hit, the existing ensembles of social relations start to disintegrate. There is a sequence of apparently unconnected crises, which occur in very different social fields. An organic crisis is a shifting, protracted crisis. Accordingly, the global financial crisis first became an economic crisis, then a debt crisis and a crisis of representation. Right now, as expected (Candeias 2010), the next act of the drama is about to commence: another recession in Europe.
Up to now, the political leaders have refrained from addressing the fundamental economic causes of this multiple crisis, let alone its numerous other dimensions. Their attempts to manage the crisis politically are only about preventing the condensation of the multiple aspects of the crisis, about winning time. And yet, their containment strategy is effectively laying the foundation for the next conjuncture of crisis.
In this text, I will look at three competing strategic projects in emergence. My aim is not to predict future events, but to determine empirical tendencies. I will discuss the political characteristics of the projects, and focus on how they address the organic crisis and its ecological aspects. Who are the social forces or supporters carrying out the projects? What kinds of coalitions are emerging? What are the economic contradictions and socio-ecological implications (scenarios) of the projects? What does all this mean for the current political situation?
Originally published in Candeias, Mario, and Michael Brie (eds.):
Transformation im Kapitalismus und darüber hinaus, Berlin 2012.
Translated from the German by Alexander Gallas.