I wanted to take her around the fucking world.
I wanted to walk hand-in-hand with her along the Seine, to smell fresh bread baking in Brussels, to sip one-hundred-year-old-wine in Italy, to swim naked together under a Spanish moonlight and sit with eyes locked in a cosy German café on a cold day in December, watching her talk and laugh and tell me she loved me.
I wanted to give her the world, because to me, she was the world.
There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.
Elizabeth Bennet - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A quote has never felt more accurate after a day like today
Brussels has just been attacked. People, probably terrorists (it hasn’t been confirmed yet) have bombed the airport and a metro station. 25 people died and a lot of people are injured. Brussels is in lockdown, the train stations are closed, public transportation is closed and most of the people are stuck (they can’t go home). The terror alert level has been raised to 4, it’s the highest of our country. Everyone has to stay inside.
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. This happened 20 minutes away from where I live, it’s so scary and surreal. A lot of my friends live, study & work in Brussels and I hope everyone stays safe. I have a feeling this is just the beginning…
‘Global working class’ is a counter-thesis to the idea of a 'national working class’. It assumes that the conditions for an integration of the working class into the state through a (social democratic) labour movement no longer exist. In 1848 workers did not yet have a 'fatherland’, a proletarian artisan did not care whether he worked in Cologne, Paris or Brussels. Only state welfare policy and the orientation of the workers’ parties towards 'fighting itself into the state’ have tied the workers to the nation. Since 1968 a broad and long-term re-orientation of proletarian movements away from the state - and from concepts of the state - has taken place. Since the 1980s the dismantling of welfare has caused a certain 'alienation’ of large parts of society from the state, but for the 'central working class’ the state still functions: just consider the massive state interventions since 2008 to rescue the automobile industry in Germany, the US and in France. For the traditional left the state is the political field within which the capitalist system can be changed, or rather, its worst consequences can be 'reigned in’.
Historically capital was a global relation, mediated through the world market, right from its beginning. But without the state and the law (enforcement) and the national labour markets, capital would not have been able to survive and to develop. The welfare state guarantees certain social securities only for its own population and thereby turns proletarians into 'citizens’. But capital was only able to develop by accessing an industrial reserve army in the form of agricultural labourers, peasants, under-employed proletarians in other countries. Today, in nearly all industrial nations there are multinational working classes without deeper ties to the state in which they live - while the 'local’ and 'naturalised’ workers and descending middle-strata cling to the state and want special protection.