Richard Sennett is a renowned American sociologist who happens to be a leftist and the heir of a number of militant Communists. In 1936 his father went to Spain to fight the Francoist insurgents against the almost Communist Republic. Recently professor Sennett gave to an Italian Communist paper an extended interview at the London School of Economics. The core was: the international crisis will worsen soon because the ‘financial capitalism’ which started it is as unwinnable as the medieval Black Death. At being asked, what would he do to fight modern day’s Black Death, Sennett answered “I would nationalize the whole banking sector”.
Now, nobody can doubt an LSE academic’s capacity to obey to at least some logic. It’s therefore clear: Sennett implies that a true revolution would be necessary so that a strong government is able to nationalize the whole financial sector. Who will ever launch said revolution, after so many centuries of unsuccessful tries at the hegemony of money? Better, one and half century after Marx’ Manifesto and almost a century after the apparent victory of Lenin’s revolution?
Nowadays (when the typical compensation of a fair-size corporation is 500 times the one of a salaryperson, and when in special cases said compensation can be many thousand times the one of the lowest-paid, the prospect of any serious mitigation of such iniquities are chimerical) is any hope chimerical?
My answer- the calls to revolution, even to reasonable changes, come from the totally wrong persons. They come from the usual leftist intellectuals, politicians, journalists, film directors and actors. History has taken almost any credibility from this sort of people. When they speak or write, they may look or sound right. They may even be right. But most people, i.e. entire societies or masses, do not set value on them.
So, a completely different race or breed of humans is needed so that a new tiding or faith is announced. Modern history forbids that a better conception of associated existence may be called socialism. A new name must be found. Let’s temporarily call it semisocialism.
A true anthropological mutation is mandatory so that a different social ideal is conceived, a mutation away from the traditional leftist-progressive type. The missionary of a better faith than capitalism will not be the professional and the ambitious; but the Idealist, the Operator of Good. Aiming at a less-capitalist society, we must look at different purveyors of models, ideas, ends and means. If we don’t do this, we’ll die the victims of hypercapitalism. Leftists are on the payroll of conservation. A surgeon for the poor, a compassionate nurse, yes. Smart lawyers, committed literati, shrewd congressmen, no.
da Daily Babel