14. Juni 2020
Capitalism is a market based economic system free of political values. The system Hitler used was a capitalist system and not a socialist system comparable to the way the Communist Party of China uses this system since Deng Xiaoping declared that he doesn’t care about the colour of a cat as long she is good in catching mouses. American Capitalism is not different. If racism is prohibiting the accumulation of profit the system reacts when it’s ultimate value is in danger. In the late sixties we watched a time when the theory of convergence between the two systems of Socialism and Capitalism had some credibility. But listen the news of nowadays when everybody is concernded how the economy after the severe crisis we awaiting in the years coming could go forwards: A state directing a plannend economy based on market principles relying on the calculations by algorithm preserved by socio-economic research based on mass data provided by personal digital devices and networks could bridge the gap. We are not used to a new paradigma like this. The only experiment we can watch at time is conducted in China and we are scared by their experience without knowing how we manage the change which started more than twenty years ago.
“The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” is a book about the history of science by the philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn published 1962. It’s publication was a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge. It’s about the slow process of change of paradigms which mark the evolution of science and an environment where scientists had to defend the results of their research against the old economic and ideological powers of their time. The empowerment of the new paradigm compares to the sluggishness of the “Überbau” in Karl Marx thinking, when the productive forces mulitiplied and the societies at their time couldn’t stomach the depreviation of their identity still based on religion and patriotic values. He believed a new class of the capitalist economy, the workers and dispossessed small farmers would accumulate enough power to overthrow the old class system. But, he always insisted that this would only possible if the creativity of the Bourgeousie to rise the productivity of the capalist society comes to an end and the economy went into decline, accompanied by a sharp increase of unemployment as well decreasing tax income for the state and his ability to preserve his basic functions to guarantee the welfare of his citizens.
Now, let’s come to nowadays when a virus, only visible for scientists, is threatening the global capitalist organised economy with a greater impact than the invisible consequences of a nuclear showdown from the sixties till today. There seems to be a gap between the progress in science especially since the genom project started in 1990 and was finished in April 2003. It’s just the year when the World Health Organization declared SARS contained on 5 July 2003. Remember the conditions which existed under the nuclear paradigm before declaring the desaster of Chernobyl from 1986 as a singular incident which is meanwhile contained. Since Fukushima we know, that this was not a singular incident. Nevertheless after a short hickup we went on with business as usual.
2019 when SARS came alive again as a mutation and much more aggressiv than it’s precedessor, the global scientific community did not expect it was dangerous enough to disrupt the new globalized world without consequences for most nations economic, social and political systems over the years coming. But coming years will be clouded by economic desaster overshadowed by environmental change which will affect every nation severaly in a time of economic decline, indecisiveness how to manage the change and a resurgence of nationalism and racism while science is still unable to control the ghosts she released without knowing how to control them.
In early 1970 Congress established the Office of Technology Assessment with the Technology Assessment Act of 1972. During its twenty-four-year life it produced about 750 studies on a wide range of topics, including acid rain, health care, global climate change, and polygraphs. OTA was abolished (technically “de-funded”) in the “Contract with America” period of Newt Gingrich’s Republican ascendancy in Congress late 1995. According to Science magazine, “some Republican lawmakers came to view the OTA as duplicative, wasteful, and biased against their party.” While the OTA was closed down, the idea of technology assessment survived, in particular in Europe. The European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network coordinates members of technology assessment units working for various European governments. EPTA never reached the importance of her US precedessor which just vanished.