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(en) caban arquista: Domination by the debtor-creditor relationship in financial capitalism - Part 1 By Vitor Mateus, FAG / CAB activist (ca, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 1 Sep 2020 08:55:21 +0300


The production of individualized subjectivities ---- When considering the current moment in the rise in the cost of living and in the narrative of the crisis , it is essential to take into account the role that fulfills what we can call the debt mechanism . Essemecanismo began to be developed in the 1970s and developed based on neoliberal government techniques, culminating in the subprime crisis in 2008 and reinventing itself (with an even more violent practice of expropriating the wealth produced collectively and increasing poverty at the national level). global) since then. ---- Contrary to what the news from the media oligopolies portrayed, the fact that, in Brazil before the Coronavirus pandemic, more than 60% of the families were in debt (a number that has been increasing during the pandemic, approaching 70% ) is not merely a one-off issue, nor is it simply a reflection of the "crisis" that the Brazilian economy has been experiencing in recent years (by "crisis" here we refer to the relatively low growth of national GDP). On the contrary: the high indebtedness of the lower-income population is part of a project that unabashedly favors the accumulation of wealth on the part of that richer 1%, which fosters the construction of a subjectivity that individually internalizes the oppressive mechanisms and allows the capture of the future, of the future, of indebted subjects. In other words, mass indebtedness is not a reflection of the crisis, but its constitutive basis; it is the premise of debt that allows subjection to the adjustment policies imposed by the neoliberal model of government, which cut deep into the flesh of the poor people and socialize the risks assumed by the financial adventures practiced by market agents.

É válido relembrar que o acesso ao crédito foi amplamente popularizado do final dos anos 1990 pra cá (no Brasil), com uma ampliação no acesso ainda maior durante os governos petistas. Em boa medida, essa chamada "democratização do crédito" supriu, inclusive, as demandas por reajustes salariais, uma vez que a capilarização da lógica do consumo tornou equivalente (de maneira equivocada) o acesso a bens antes inacessíveis com o sentimento de melhora nas condições de vida. Tal fenômeno contribuiu também para o fortalecimento da subjetividade individualizante apregoada pelo neoliberalismo, o famoso "empreendedor de si mesmo". Se antes, por exemplo, a luta por moradia era coletiva, com a profusão das linhas de crédito imobiliário (beneficiadas por incentivos estatais que corriam diretamente para o caixa dos grandes bancos) a conquista da casa própria tornou-se uma realização individual; do mesmo modo, garantir uma geladeira ou uma televisão em casa não dependia mais de um salário digno, mas apenas da capacidade individual de manter em dia o pagamento dos boletos ou do cartão de crédito. Em suma, com a ampliação do acesso ao crédito, a luta coletiva foi substituída pela lógica do "se I organize my bills just right, you can pay ".

With this individualizing process, which calls for a struggle that should be collective, there is also an internalization of the feeling of responsibility. In other words, the responsibility for ensuring the payment of debts incurred rests solely with the individual - it is mine . In addition to the economic aspect, the moral aspect is added. There is nowhere to turn if the debt payment is not respected - at most, to the family, with the risk of indebting close relatives.

It should be noted that this moral element in the debt complex is heavily worked on, including linked to issues such as honor (mainly in the constitution of masculinity, which leads, when the debt is not " honored ")", To extreme attitudes such as suicide and even the murder of a partner and children). And it is precisely this moral demand that guarantees the payment of the debt, which, in other words, means the compromise of future income - that is, of the future itself. Structures such as credit restriction in case of negative registration (via credit restriction agencies - SPC, Serasa, etc.) and information sharing between financial institutions (through which the "customer" risk is rated, influencing the interest rate applied and conditioning the release of credit) guarantee the exclusion of the individual who does not respect the debt commitment to the alleged improvement in living conditions (understood as access to the consumer market).

Thus, from the guarantee of future payment with installments to be lost sight of, renewed by others as soon as the first are paid off (and thus in an infinite logic), the financial sector of society appropriates the income of the popular classes, the slice competence over the total wealth they themselves produce. It is through the collection of interest that this financial elite guarantees the multiplication of their fortunes, implementing a logic that allows the expropriation of the small part that reaches the hands of the working class of the socially produced wealth.

If, on the one hand, the raptors in the financial sector understood the potential that the debt mechanism has to plunder downstairs, on the other, they also understood that this same mechanism has its potential expanded from the state apparatus. Through taxation, the state structure gathers figures above those of any company, stoking the greed of those who do not tire of filling their pockets 1 . For this reason, the government model advocated by neoliberalism sacralizes a single expenditure in the entire public budget: the payment of public debt. To guarantee this payment, all other variables are subject to adjustment, including social spending on health, education, security, public transport, etc. - these are linked to an improvement in general living conditions. Regardless of the party that assumes the management of the State, the neoliberal primer is imposed by autonomous institutions (such as the IMF, World Bank, autonomous BCs, etc.), managed to guarantee the economic model in vogue, decreasing more and more the scope for those who still believe in ruptures through bourgeois democracy.

Thus, as a cycle that closes in perfect sync, the general subjectivity in favor of paying the debt tends not to question this sacralized variable. On the contrary, the tendency is not to question it, raising it to the highest priority - either in the public budget or in the family budget. More than that, with the lack of investments in the social areas, public services go through a process of scrapping, raising general suspicion about its efficiency. On the other hand, by providing feedback to the imaginary of individual solutions to collective problems, the solutions presented fall into the private sector. Examples of this logic are the emergence of capitalization and private pension systems (instead of a general social security system), the expansion of health plans (to the detriment of a single public system),

In other words, in addition to capturing the future (through income) of the oppressed sectors, the debt mechanism accentuates the worsening of living conditions through the appropriation of general income through the tax system of the state machine - a fact which, in Brazil, is aggravated by a regressive tax system, extremely unequal in tax collection (disadvantaging classes with less purchasing power).

To be continued.

1 We are not here entering the debate about the role of public debt in financing public investments, nor are we discussing different taxation mechanisms. We mention national sovereign debt as structuring of financial markets and the relationship that more or less liberal governments have with it.

http://cabanarquista.org/2020/08/27/a-dominacao-pela-relacao-devedor-credor-no-capitalismo-financeiro-parte-1
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