More Money: The Credit Consumer. Immaterial Labour and the Rise and Fall of the Middle Class

lecture 190109

30.01. Kolkata Bookfair / Max Mueller Bhavan / Goethe Institut
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During the recent years the paradox of ever rising consumption and ever rising revenues was solved by giving the consumer more and more credit. Whilst the production of goods shifted to countries with cheap labour, miracles of marketing multiplied the value of the goods in the consuming parts of the world.
The middle class turned into a machine of spending propelled by immaterial distinction in the worlds of fashion and brands and by a ponzi-scheme of indebtedness.
As recent events show, things start shifting. New credit has to be generated at all costs. Money turns into a gift. The state jumps in where the consumer drops out. But this shift will redefine their roles. Now even former neoliberalists want to turn the state into a general credit supplier, thus approaching socialism in unforeseen twist. The middle class will either remain as a government sponsored entity or it will be extinct, as it has had it’s time and purpose.