Lecture Series January 2017: Stephan Lessenich › view all

Prof. Stephan Lessenich on "The Externalization Society: Living Beyond the Means of Others"

January 11, 2017 - 16:15h/4:15pm
University of Bremen, UNICOM, Conference Room (7.3280)
Mary-Somerville-Str. 9
28359 Bremen
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Stephan Lessenich, Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich gives a talk in the BIGSSS Lecture Series on January 11, 2016.

Stephan Lessenichn's talk takes place at UNICOM, Conference Room 7.3280, University of Bremen.

Abstract: The Externalization Society - Living Beyond the Means of Others

With the rise of neoliberalism in the advanced capitalist societies since the 1970s, it has become commonplace for politicians, economists, and employers’ representatives to urge people not to ‘live beyond their means.’ What neoliberals seem not to know but definitely should know: ‘We’, the relatively well-off majorities in the capitalist societies of Europe, North America, and Oceania, do not ‘live beyond our means.’ The truth is that we live beyond the means of others: of all those ‘who labor and are heavy laden’ in the subordinated economies of the Global South.

The open secret of advanced democratic capitalism is that, living on the externalization of its negative effects to third parties, it is dependent on effectively immunizing itself against the potential backlash of its externalization regime. By all appearances, at the beginning of the 21st century the combination of economic coercion and moral suasion does not suffice any more to detain the external world from counteracting and criss-crossing, underrunning and subverting the global order the liberal democracies have been establishing after WWII. It is now increasingly the military option that has to be resorted to in order to safeguard the political, economic, and social privileges we have become accustomed to.

About the BIGSSS Lecture Series:

Each semester the Graduate School invites a mix of established and young scholars to present their work to the students and the faculty of the School as well as to the wider interested public. Taking place every other week, the Lecture Series is the central meeting point for the entire Graduate School and provides an excellent opportunity for engaging in intensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly debate.