ECONOMIC CRISES AND POPULAR CULTURE

The economic crises are like the acute and dramatic episodes of the incurable diseases. Yet they donít take place in the human organism but in the body and mind of the capitalist society.

It can be said that an economic crisis is like a renal colic or a heart attack, though not individual but collective. This analogy between human pathology and political economy is neither capricious nor absurd. There even is an obvious link and a cause-effect connexion between them. It has been scientifically proved long time ago, that infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, recognize their origins and diagnosis in the economic organization of society.

However, if any person of average culture -including doctors- is asked for a definition of a contagious infectious disease, their answer will invariably be this: "A contagious infectious disease is the one caused by a germ or microbe that provokes specific clinical manifestations".

Virchow, German doctor and politician, founder of the cellular pathology, constantly insisted on the aetiology or social-economic origin of numerous diseases. Normally, there are diseases of the rich and diseases of the poor that in times of economic emergency become extremely acute. In fact, those that in the opulent part of the planet fall ill or die by the collateral effects of the economic crisis produced by the sudden relative misery are in the hundreds of thousands. Be it because they are thrown into unemployment or by the free fall descent of their real salaries and the bigger rhythm and extension of the working day to which they are subjected by the employers.

In this sense, almost everybody knows that the consequences of stress caused by super-exploitation are to be found in the enormous increase of professional diseases, as in the traumatisms provoked in numerous labour and road accidents. Lots of them resulting in death every year.

Not to mention the statistics of suicides, mental diseases, separation of families, drugs and serious crime, that are triggered during these sudden and violent epidemics provoked by capitalism. During the crises, capitalism shows its congenital tendency to periodically transform the productive forces in destructive ones. From unemployment and bankruptcies to wars, which is only the continuation of inter-capitalist competition by warlike means.

Is it necessary to remind that the crisis of the beginning of the century provoked the death of thirty million people during the 1914 war?

Is it necessary to remind that to come out the 1930ís crisis -without abandoning capitalism- humanity paid the price of 100 million dead from Auschwitz to Hiroshima?

It is curious. There is almost no human being from outside the curative arts that during the suffering of any disease is not interested in knowing its medical aetiology and treatment. More so, a big percentage of patients can explain their illness in detail showing the knowledge of the scientific terms. However, these same persons are ignorant of the origin, causes and definitive solutions to the capitalist crisis. Why does it happen? In great part, because, so to say, medicine is an ideological and politically neutral science.

The bourgeoisie, the capitalists donít care if the patients know the medical cause of their body or mind diseases and its possible cure. But they do care -and a lot- that they know the true causes of the economic crisis and its definitive remedies, which exist.

This is so, because, in reality, it is impossible for capitalism to cure itself of its crises. This social disease has no cure within the capitalist system. It is part of its nature. Therefore, the bourgeoisie has no definitive solutions for its crises nor could have them.

The crises are, so to say, as the haemorrhages to which the arterial hypertension patients are exposed to. The depressions, which accompany the bleedings of excessively accumulated capital, enable the extension of the existence of the patient, but at the same time bring the horizon of its death, and definitive collapse closer, because the social consequences of these economic episodes are each time more catastrophic and the human sufferings provoked become more and more unbearable.

October 1998

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