Archiv für die Kategorie ‘Aktuelle politische Probleme’

>> Aufgabenstellungen zu Entstehung und Zerfall Jugoslawiens – Politische Krisen und Radikalisierung als PDF


Balkanization from below vs. balkanization from above?

I use the expression „balkanization from above“ to describe a project, remarkably consistent in history, of breaking Balkan interethnic solidarity and regional socio-cultural identity; a process of violently inccorporating the region into the system of nation-states and capitalist world economy; and contemprorary imposition of neoliberal colonialism. Both Europeans and self-colonizing intelligentsia have in common a contempt for everything that comes from this „wretched peninsula“. […]

The history of the Balkan peninsula is written in blood of the Great Powers‘ attempt to prevent movements towards Balkan unity. […] my contention is that hte destruction of state-socialist Yugoslavia was a project of the same century long process of balkanization from above. In contrast, Socialist Yugoslavia, was a result of a long tradition of movements for Balkan unity, a manifestation of balkanization from below.


Aus: Andrej Grubacic, Don’t Mourne, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia. PM Press Oakland, 2010; p. 42-43


Vergleiche die Darstellung der Ereignisse und Prozesse, die zum Zerfall Jugoslawiens führten, wie sie in dem Text „The Dismantling of Yugosavia“ dargestellt sind mit einer beliebigen Darstellung der Ereignisse in einer beliebigen Dokumentation auf Youtube oder dem Schulbuch GO!8 S. 34 – 39

Arbeite heraus:

  • ob im Text die Auflösung Jugoslawiens in selbstständige Territorien und Staaten als positiv oder negativ bewertet wird oder ob die Prozesse neutral dargestellt sind
  • welche Verantwortung für den Prozess der Auflösung den verschiedenen „Akteuren“ jeweils zugeschrieben wird und ob ihre Rolle „positiv“ oder „negativ“ gesehen wird (NATO, Europäische Union, UNO, Serben, Kroaten, Bosnische Muslime, Kosovo-Albaner etc.)

The Dismantling of Yugoslavia (Andrej Grubacic)


By 1992 the Yugoslav Federation, formed as socialist state after World War II, is falling apart. The constitution establishes six constituent  republics in the federation: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Craatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Serbia also has two autonomous provinces: Kosovo and Vojvodina. Imperialism combined with local ethnic nationalism leads Slovenia and then Croatia to leave the socialist federation, with the encouragement of the international community eager, to dismantle an independent socialist state. The war in Croatia leads to a conflict with other Yugoslav republics, a war resulting in hundreds of thousands of refugees and reawakening memories of the Croatian Nazi brutality of the 1940s. By 1992, a further conflict breaks out in Bosnia, which had also declared independence. The Serbs who live there are determined to remain within Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia finds itself under a UN embargo. Food and medicine become scarce. By 1993, the Bosnian Muslim government is besieged in the capital city, Sarajevo, surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces who control around 70 percent of Bosnia.In central Bosnia, the mainly Muslim army fights a separate war against Bosnian Croats who wish to be part of Croatia. The international community, spearheaded by the United States, makes it impossible for warring sides to reach any kind of peace agreement.


Americans succeed in imposing the Dayton agreement of November 1995, which creates two self-governing entities within Bosnia – the Bosnian Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation – with their own governments, parliaments and armies. A NATO-led „peacekeeping force“ is charged with implementing the military aspects of the peace  agreement with extensive additional powers. This is the beginning of the European occupation of Bosnia. In the meantime, Croatia takes back most of the territory earlier captured by Serbs through ethnic cleansing during U.S.-backed military campaigns in 1995. This operation results in the mass exodus of at least two hundred thousand
Serbs from Croatia.



In 1998, the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army instigates a civil war in Serbian part of Yugoslavia. The international community again supports further disintegration of Yugoslavia. Serbian President Siobodan Milosevic sends the army to
Kosovo. The international imperialist community responds by launching NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia in March 1999, the first attack on a sovereign European country in the alliance’s history. The strikes focus primarily on civilian targets in Serbia and Montenegro. This operation, with the Orwellian name „Merciful Angel,“ kills thousands of civilians, including a journalist and technicians working for the Serbian national TV station, and destroys much of the Yugoslav infrastructure.


Serbian opposition to Milosevic becomes more and more serious. After the elections, opposition claims victory and Vojislav Kostunica declares himself the „people’s president.“ Federal Election Commission calls for a second ballot, saying that neither candidate won an outright majority. Hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters take to the streets of Belgrade to demand that Milosevic stand down. Students are organized by a group ca lied OTPOR. In October, a general strike begins as Milosevic remains defiant. Tens of thousands of opposition supporters capture the parliament building and take over the state TV station. This event becomes known as the October 5th revolution. The international community acknowledges the legality of Kostunica’s victory.


Former president Milosevic is placed under twenty-four-hour police surveillance in Belgrade. Soon after, Milosevic is arrested in the early hours after a standoff in his home. He is taken to Belgrade’s main prison and charged with
misappropriation of state funds and abuse of his official position. However, U.S. President Bush demands that Yugoslavia hand Milosevic over to the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, lest the country not receive any U.S. aid. As a result of this blackmail, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic overrules Constitutional Court and authorizes Milosevic’s extradition to the tribunal. This is the beginning of the conflict between Djindjic and Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica. Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia pulls out of the Serbian government. UN lifts the arms embargo against Yugoslavia, three years after it was imposed over the treatment of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Ibrahim Rugova, president of the nationalist Albanian Democratic League, becomes president of Kosovo.

2002 – 2003

In 2002 the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, on charges of genocide and war crimes, begins in The Hague. In 2003 Serbian and Montenegrin parliaments approve a constitutional charter for a new union of Serbia and Montenegro. On February 4, Yugoslavia ceases to exist. In March of the same year, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic is assassinated in Belgrade.

2004 – 2005

In March 2004, former Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica becomes prime minister of Serbia in a center-right coalition government. There are new clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo after an Albanian attack on Kosovo Serbs in the divided town of Mitrovica. In 2005 talks begin on a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.


Kosovo’s President Ibrahim Rugova dies, Fatmir Sejdiu succeeds him, and UN sponsored talks on future status of Kosovo begin. Slobodan Milosevic is found dead in his cell in The Hague, under suspicious circumstances. After a referendum to separate from Serbia, Montenegro declares independence.

2007 – 2008

United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari presents a plan of independent Kosovo. The plan is immediately welcomed by Kosovo Albanians and immediately rejected by Serbia. […]

Kosovo declares independence. Serbia says that the declaration is illegal. The international community immediately recognizes supervised independence. Kosovo Serbs set up their own rival assembly in Mitrovica. Roma and other Kosovo people are underrpresented. The UN General Assembly votes to refer Kosovo’s independence declaration to the International Court of Justice. […] A new „multiethnic“ Kosovo Security Force launches under NATO supervision. The occupation of Kosovo by international forces properly begins. This happens much to the dismay of ordinary Albanians, Serbs and Roma.


The International Court of Justice in The Hague decides that Kosovo’s declaration of independence is legal.

Aus: Grubacic 2010 S. 35 – 40


Max Frischs Stück Andorra beschäftigt sich mit gesellschaftlichen Rollenbildern und ihren Auswirkungen auf das Individuum.

>> Aufgabenstellungen zum Stück Andorra von Max Frisch als PDF


>> Portfolio fächerübergreifend – Fragen an die Geschichte und gesellschaftliche Rollenbilder als PDF




>>> Wirtschaftliche Veränderungen – Capitalism, the Labor Movement & Marxism als PDF


>> Prezi ArbeiterInnenbewegung und Marxismus

> Podcast „This is Hell“ – Interview with Jodi Dean

>> Historian Yohuru Williams: The Haymarket Riot (1886) in 2 minutes


Die Maschinenstürmer

Schon in der frühen Phase der Industrialisierung kam es zu Protesten der Arbeiter_innen gegen lange Arbeitszeiten, gefährliche Arbeitsbedingungen und schlechte Bezahlung. Eine Vorgehensweise war die Sachbeschädigung an Maschinen, um die Wiederaufnahme der Arbeit durch Streikbrecher zu verhindern. Diese Taktik wurde auch als „bargaining by riot“ (= Gehaltsverhandlung durch Aufruhr) bezeichnet. Nach dem „Frame-Breaking Act“ von 1812 konnte in Großbritannien die Zerstörung von Webstühlen mit der Todesstrafe – als Höchststrafe – bestraft werden. Im Jahr zuvor waren 12.000 Soldaten gegen einen Aufstand von Textilarbeiter_innen in Nottingham eingesetzt worden.


Nach der – gescheiterten – Revolution von 1848: Die Entstehung der Gewerkschaftsbewegung und der Sozialdemokratischen Parteien

Das Strafgesetz von 1852 über Verabredungen von Arbeitern zeigt, dass sich schon zu dieser Zeit – um die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts – in Österreich Arbeiter_innen in unterschiedlichen Branchen zusammengeschlossen und durch Arbeitsniederlegungen versucht haben, höhere Löhne und bessere Arbeitsbedingungen (Arbeitssicherheit, Pausen etc.) zu erlangen. Nicht nur in Österreich, sondern in fast allen Industriegebieten weltweit, organisierten sich Arbeiter_innen im 19. Jahrhundert in – teilweise geheimen – Vereinen. Aus diesen Vereinen entstanden einerseits die Gewerkschaften und andererseits die Sozialdemokratischen Parteien.

Die Gewerkschaften gingen aus Kassen für gegenseitige Unterstützung hervor. Die ArbeiterInnen eines Betriebes zahlten einen kleinen Teil ihres Lohnes in eine Kassa ein. Wenn die ArbeiterInnen aus Protest ihre Arbeit niederlegten (= streiken), erhielten sie keinen Lohn vom Unternehmer. Diese fehlenden Löhne konnten dann aus den Ersparnissen der Kasse für eine gewisse Zeit ausgeglichen werden. Ebenso konnten arbeitslos gewordene Mitglieder unterstützt werden, bis sie wieder eine neue Anstellung gefunden hatten.

1864 trafen sich VertreterInnen von Gewerkschaften aus zahlreichen Ländern in London und gündeten die „Internationale Arbeiterassoziation“ (= Erste Internationale). Hier wurden Erfahrungen ausgetauscht und das politische Vorgehen diskutiert, dabei gab es zwei unterschiedliche Ansichten: Die Anarchisten wollten keine politischen Parteien gründen, sondern nur „reinen Klassenkampf“ in den kapitalistischen Betrieben führen, wofür sie Gewerkschaften gründen wollten. Die Anhänger_innen von Karl Marx waren für die Gründung politischer Parteien der Arbeiter_innen in allen Ländern der Welt nach dem Slogan: „Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!“

In Deutschland wurde 1869 in Eisenach die Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei gegründet. Die Führer der Sozialdemokratischen Partei in Deutschland, August Bebel und Wilhelm Liebknecht, wurden 1872 wegen Hochverrat zu je zwei Jahren Haft verurteilt. Sie hatten im Parlament gegen die Kriegserklärung Preußens gegen Frankreich 1870 protestiert. Die Popularität der Sozialdemokratie stieg immer mehr an, in den folgenden Jahren gewann sie zehntausende neue Mitglieder. Von 1878 bis 1890 wurde die Partei im Deutschen Reich verboten, aber auch das konnte ihr Wachstum nicht verhindern.

In Österreich gründete sich 1889 die Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei. Im selben Jahr gründeten Parteien aus 20 verschiedenen Staaten bei einem Treffen in Paris die „Zweite Internationale“. Folgende Forderungen wurden aufgestellt:

– Beschränkung der täglichen Arbeitszeit auf 8 Stunden (Achtstundentag). Für die Erreichung dieses Ziels  sollte jedes Jahr am 1. Mai weltweit gestreikt und demonstriert werden.

– Verbot der Kinderarbeit

– Sozialversicherung für Kranke und Arbeitslose

– Allgemeines und gleiches Wahlrecht für Männer und Frauen (= one man, one vote)


Als Mittel der politischen Auseinandersetzung wurden u.a. Streik (= Arbeitsniederlegungen), Demonstrationen und die Teilnahme an Parlamentswahlen vereinbart. In den Parlamenten sollten sich die Parteien für Gesetze einsetzen, die im Interesse der Arbeiter_innen und Angestellten sind.

Nachdem im November 1905 in Wien 250.000 Arbeiter_innen bei einer Demonstration das allgemeine Wahlrecht gefordert hatten, wurde dieses für die Wahlen im Jahr 1907 für Männer ab 24 Jahren eingeführt. Die Sozialdemokratie wurde mit 89 Abgeordneten (von rund 500) die größte Partei. Kurz vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg 1914 hatte die Spzialdemokratie 117.000 Mitglieder (davon 1/7 Frauen), die Gewerkschaften hatten rund 500.000 Mitglieder.

>> AUFGABE: Grafiken aus Thomas Pikettys Captial in the 21st Century als PDF



It’s very nice to be here tonight.

0:13 So I’ve been working on the history of income and wealth distribution for the past 15 years, and one of the interesting lessons coming from this historical evidence is indeed that, in the long run, there is a tendency for the rate of return of capital to exceed the economy’s growth rate, and this tends to lead to high concentration of wealth. Not infinite concentration of wealth, but the higher the gap between r and g, the higher the level of inequality of wealth towards which society tends to converge.

0:48 So this is a key force that I’m going to talk about today, but let me say right away that this is not the only important force in the dynamics of income and wealth distribution, and there are many other forces that play an important role in the long-run dynamics of income and wealth distribution. Also there is a lot of data that still needs to be collected. We know a little bit more today than we used to know, but we still know too little, and certainly there are many different processes — economic, social, political — that need to be studied more. And so I’m going to focus today on this simple force, but that doesn’t mean that other important forces do not exist.

1:27 So most of the data I’m going to present comes from this database that’s available online: the World Top Incomes Database. So this is the largest existing historical database on inequality, and this comes from the effort of over 30 scholars from several dozen countries. So let me show you a couple of facts coming from this database, and then we’ll return to r bigger than g. So fact number one is that there has been a big reversal in the ordering of income inequality between the United States and Europe over the past century. So back in 1900, 1910, income inequality was actually much higher in Europe than in the United States, whereas today, it is a lot higher in the United States. So let me be very clear: The main explanation for this is not r bigger than g. It has more to do with changing supply and demand for skill, the race between education and technology, globalization, probably more unequal access to skills in the U.S., where you have very good, very top universities but where the bottom part of the educational system is not as good, so very unequal access to skills, and also an unprecedented rise of top managerial compensation of the United States, which is difficult to account for just on the basis of education. So there is more going on here, but I’m not going to talk too much about this today, because I want to focus on wealth inequality.

2:47 So let me just show you a very simple indicator about the income inequality part. So this is the share of total income going to the top 10 percent. So you can see that one century ago, it was between 45 and 50 percent in Europe and a little bit above 40 percent in the U.S., so there was more inequality in Europe. Then there was a sharp decline during the first half of the 20th century, and in the recent decade, you can see that the U.S. has become more unequal than Europe, and this is the first fact I just talked about. Now, the second fact is more about wealth inequality, and here the central fact is that wealth inequality is always a lot higher than income inequality, and also that wealth inequality, although it has also increased in recent decades, is still less extreme today than what it was a century ago, although the total quantity of wealth relative to income has now recovered from the very large shocks caused by World War I, the Great Depression, World War II.

3:49 So let me show you two graphs illustrating fact number two and fact number three. So first, if you look at the level of wealth inequality, this is the share of total wealth going to the top 10 percent of wealth holders, so you can see the same kind of reversal between the U.S. and Europe that we had before for income inequality. So wealth concentration was higher in Europe than in the U.S. a century ago, and now it is the opposite. But you can also show two things: First, the general level of wealth inequality is always higher than income inequality. So remember, for income inequality, the share going to the top 10 percent was between 30 and 50 percent of total income, whereas for wealth, the share is always between 60 and 90 percent. Okay, so that’s fact number one, and that’s very important for what follows. Wealth concentration is always a lot higher than income concentration.

4:47 Fact number two is that the rise in wealth inequality in recent decades is still not enough to get us back to 1910. So the big difference today, wealth inequality is still very large, with 60, 70 percent of total wealth for the top 10, but the good news is that it’s actually better than one century ago, where you had 90 percent in Europe going to the top 10. So today what you have is what I call the middle 40 percent, the people who are not in the top 10 and who are not in the bottom 50, and what you can view as the wealth middle class that owns 20 to 30 percent of total wealth, national wealth, whereas they used to be poor, a century ago, when there was basically no wealth middle class. So this is an important change, and it’s interesting to see that wealth inequality has not fully recovered to pre-World War I levels, although the total quantity of wealth has recovered. Okay? So this is the total value of wealth relative to income, and you can see that in particular in Europe, we are almost back to the pre-World War I level. So there are really two different parts of the story here. One has to do with the total quantity of wealth that we accumulate, and there is nothing bad per se, of course, in accumulating a lot of wealth, and in particular if it is more diffuse and less concentrated. So what we really want to focus on is the long-run evolution of wealth inequality, and what’s going to happen in the future. How can we account for the fact that until World War I, wealth inequality was so high and, if anything, was rising to even higher levels, and how can we think about the future?

6:31 So let me come to some of the explanations and speculations about the future. Let me first say that probably the best model to explain why wealth is so much more concentrated than income is a dynamic, dynastic model where individuals have a long horizon and accumulate wealth for all sorts of reasons. If people were accumulating wealth only for life cycle reasons, you know, to be able to consume when they are old, then the level of wealth inequality should be more or less in line with the level of income inequality. But it will be very difficult to explain why you have so much more wealth inequality than income inequality with a pure life cycle model, so you need a story where people also care about wealth accumulation for other reasons. So typically, they want to transmit wealth to the next generation, to their children, or sometimes they want to accumulate wealth because of the prestige, the power that goes with wealth. So there must be other reasons for accumulating wealth than just life cycle to explain what we see in the data. Now, in a large class of dynamic models of wealth accumulation with such dynastic motive for accumulating wealth, you will have all sorts of random, multiplicative shocks. So for instance, some families have a very large number of children, so the wealth will be divided. Some families have fewer children. You also have shocks to rates of return. Some families make huge capital gains. Some made bad investments. So you will always have some mobility in the wealth process. Some people will move up, some people will move down. The important point is that, in any such model, for a given variance of such shocks, the equilibrium level of wealth inequality will be a steeply rising function of r minus g. And intuitively, the reason why the difference between the rate of return to wealth and the growth rate is important is that initial wealth inequalities will be amplified at a faster pace with a bigger r minus g. So take a simple example, with r equals five percent and g equals one percent, wealth holders only need to reinvest one fifth of their capital income to ensure that their wealth rises as fast as the size of the economy. So this makes it easier to build and perpetuate large fortunes because you can consume four fifths, assuming zero tax, and you can just reinvest one fifth. So of course some families will consume more than that, some will consume less, so there will be some mobility in the distribution, but on average, they only need to reinvest one fifth, so this allows high wealth inequalities to be sustained.

9:11 Now, you should not be surprised by the statement that r can be bigger than g forever, because, in fact, this is what happened during most of the history of mankind. And this was in a way very obvious to everybody for a simple reason, which is that growth was close to zero percent during most of the history of mankind. Growth was maybe 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 percent, but very slow growth of population and output per capita, whereas the rate of return on capital of course was not zero percent. It was, for land assets, which was the traditional form of assets in preindustrial societies, it was typically five percent. Any reader of Jane Austen would know that. If you want an annual income of 1,000 pounds, you should have a capital value of 20,000 pounds so that five percent of 20,000 is 1,000. And in a way, this was the very foundation of society, because r bigger than g was what allowed holders of wealth and assets to live off their capital income and to do something else in life than just to care about their own survival.

10:21 Now, one important conclusion of my historical research is that modern industrial growth did not change this basic fact as much as one might have expected. Of course, the growth rate following the Industrial Revolution rose, typically from zero to one to two percent, but at the same time, the rate of return to capital also rose so that the gap between the two did not really change. So during the 20th century, you had a very unique combination of events. First, a very low rate of return due to the 1914 and 1945 war shocks, destruction of wealth, inflation, bankruptcy during the Great Depression, and all of this reduced the private rate of return to wealth to unusually low levels between 1914 and 1945. And then, in the postwar period, you had unusually high growth rate, partly due to the reconstruction. You know, in Germany, in France, in Japan, you had five percent growth rate between 1950 and 1980 largely due to reconstruction, and also due to very large demographic growth, the Baby Boom Cohort effect. Now, apparently that’s not going to last for very long, or at least the population growth is supposed to decline in the future, and the best projections we have is that the long-run growth is going to be closer to one to two percent rather than four to five percent. So if you look at this, these are the best estimates we have of world GDP growth and rate of return on capital, average rates of return on capital, so you can see that during most of the history of mankind, the growth rate was very small, much lower than the rate of return, and then during the 20th century, it is really the population growth, very high in the postwar period, and the reconstruction process that brought growth to a smaller gap with the rate of return. Here I use the United Nations population projections, so of course they are uncertain. It could be that we all start having a lot of children in the future, and the growth rates are going to be higher, but from now on, these are the best projections we have, and this will make global growth decline and the gap between the rate of return go up.

12:37 Now, the other unusual event during the 20th century was, as I said, destruction, taxation of capital, so this is the pre-tax rate of return. This is the after-tax rate of return, and after destruction, and this is what brought the average rate of return after tax, after destruction, below the growth rate during a long time period. But without the destruction, without the taxation, this would not have happened. So let me say that the balance between returns on capital and growth depends on many different factors that are very difficult to predict: technology and the development of capital-intensive techniques. So right now, the most capital-intensive sectors in the economy are the real estate sector, housing, the energy sector, but it could be in the future that we have a lot more robots in a number of sectors and that this would be a bigger share of the total capital stock that it is today. Well, we are very far from this, and from now, what’s going on in the real estate sector, the energy sector, is much more important for the total capital stock and capital share.

13:44 The other important issue is that there are scale effects in portfolio management, together with financial complexity, financial deregulation, that make it easier to get higher rates of return for a large portfolio, and this seems to be particularly strong for billionaires, large capital endowments. Just to give you one example, this comes from the Forbes billionaire rankings over the 1987-2013 period, and you can see the very top wealth holders have been going up at six, seven percent per year in real terms above inflation, whereas average income in the world, average wealth in the world, have increased at only two percent per year. And you find the same for large university endowments — the bigger the initial endowments, the bigger the rate of return.

14:33 Now, what could be done? The first thing is that I think we need more financial transparency. We know too little about global wealth dynamics, so we need international transmission of bank information. We need a global registry of financial assets, more coordination on wealth taxation, and even wealth tax with a small tax rate will be a way to produce information so that then we can adapt our policies to whatever we observe. And to some extent, the fight against tax havens and automatic transmission of information is pushing us in this direction. Now, there are other ways to redistribute wealth, which it can be tempting to use. Inflation: it’s much easier to print money than to write a tax code, so that’s very tempting, but sometimes you don’t know what you do with the money. This is a problem. Expropriation is very tempting. Just when you feel some people get too wealthy, you just expropriate them. But this is not a very efficient way to organize a regulation of wealth dynamics. So war is an even less efficient way, so I tend to prefer progressive taxation, but of course, history — (Laughter) — history will invent its own best ways, and it will probably involve a combination of all of these.

15:45 Thank you.

15:47 (Applause)

15:49 Bruno Giussani: Thomas Piketty. Thank you.

15:54 Thomas, I want to ask you two or three questions, because it’s impressive how you’re in command of your data, of course, but basically what you suggest is growing wealth concentration is kind of a natural tendency of capitalism, and if we leave it to its own devices, it may threaten the system itself, so you’re suggesting that we need to act to implement policies that redistribute wealth, including the ones we just saw: progressive taxation, etc. In the current political context, how realistic are those? How likely do you think that it is that they will be implemented?

16:29 Thomas Piketty: Well, you know, I think if you look back through time, the history of income, wealth and taxation is full of surprise. So I am not terribly impressed by those who know in advance what will or will not happen. I think one century ago, many people would have said that progressive income taxation would never happen and then it happened. And even five years ago, many people would have said that bank secrecy will be with us forever in Switzerland, that Switzerland was too powerful for the rest of the world, and then suddenly it took a few U.S. sanctions against Swiss banks for a big change to happen, and now we are moving toward more financial transparency. So I think it’s not that difficult to better coordinate politically. We are going to have a treaty with half of the world GDP around the table with the U.S. and the European Union, so if half of the world GDP is not enough to make progress on financial transparency and minimal tax for multinational corporate profits, what does it take? So I think these are not technical difficulties. I think we can make progress if we have a more pragmatic approach to these questions and we have the proper sanctions on those who benefit from financial opacity.

17:45 BG: One of the arguments against your point of view is that economic inequality is not only a feature of capitalism but is actually one of its engines. So we take measures to lower inequality, and at the same time we lower growth, potentially. What do you answer to that?

18:00 TP: Yeah, I think inequality is not a problem per se. I think inequality up to a point can actually be useful for innovation and growth. The problem is, it’s a question of degree. When inequality gets too extreme, then it becomes useless for growth and it can even become bad because it tends to lead to high perpetuation of inequality over time and low mobility. And for instance, the kind of wealth concentrations that we had in the 19th century and pretty much until World War I in every European country was, I think, not useful for growth. This was destroyed by a combination of tragic events and policy changes, and this did not prevent growth from happening. And also, extreme inequality can be bad for our democratic institutions if it creates very unequal access to political voice, and the influence of private money in U.S. politics, I think, is a matter of concern right now. So we don’t want to return to that kind of extreme, pre-World War I inequality. Having a decent share of the national wealth for the middle class is not bad for growth. It is actually useful both for equity and efficiency reasons.

19:13 BG: I said at the beginning that your book has been criticized. Some of your data has been criticized. Some of your choice of data sets has been criticized. You have been accused of cherry-picking data to make your case. What do you answer to that?

19:25 TP: Well, I answer that I am very happy that this book is stimulating debate. This is part of what it is intended for. Look, the reason why I put all the data online with all of the detailed computation is so that we can have an open and transparent debate about this. So I have responded point by point to every concern. Let me say that if I was to rewrite the book today, I would actually conclude that the rise in wealth inequality, particularly in the United States, has been actually higher than what I report in my book. There is a recent study by Saez and Zucman showing, with new data which I didn’t have at the time of the book, that wealth concentration in the U.S. has risen even more than what I report. And there will be other data in the future. Some of it will go in different directions. Look, we put online almost every week new, updated series on the World Top Income Database and we will keep doing so in the future, in particular in emerging countries, and I welcome all of those who want to contribute to this data collection process. In fact, I certainly agree that there is not enough transparency about wealth dynamics, and a good way to have better data would be to have a wealth tax with a small tax rate to begin with so that we can all agree about this important evolution and adapt our policies to whatever we observe. So taxation is a source of knowledge, and that’s what we need the most right now.

20:52 BG: Thomas Piketty, merci beaucoup.

20:54 Thank you. TP: Thank you. (Applause)

>> Raster für die Analyse von Sachtexten als PDF

>> Raster für die Analyse von Sachtexten – Beispiel Michael Moore als PDF


>> Michael Moore: 5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win als PDF


>> Link zur Prezi „Die gesellschaftliche Stellung von Frauen und Männern“

>> Kompetenzorientierte Aufgabenstellungen – Gesellschaftliche Stellung von Frauen und Männern als PDF



Laurie Penny, Unspeakable Things. Sex, Lies and Revolution. London 2014.

„Gender determines the shape of our fantasies. Good little boys are supposed to dream about changing the world, but good little girls are supposed to dream about changing ourselves. […] There comes a time when you have to decide whether to change yourself to fit the story, or to change the story itself. The decision gets a little easier if you understand that refusing to shape your life and personality to the contours of an unjust world is the best way to start creating a new one.“ (p. 21 & p. 38)

Laurie Penny was born in London in 1986 and grew up on the Internet. She studied English Literature at Wadham College, Oxford. In 2010 her blog Penny Red was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. She is the Contributing Editor at New Statesman magazine and is konwn for reporting on protest and social movements. She currently has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter.


1.) Beauty Work

Men experience body policing too, of course. [But] Men’s physicality is not assumed to be everything they have to contribute. „Beauty“ for men, despite the best efforts of the cosmetics industry to persuade them otherwise, still involves little more than a shave, a slick of hair-gel and a clean T-shirt.

A recent survey by shopping channel QVC claimed that the average British woman spends £ 2,055 per year, or 11 per cent of the median full-time female salary, on maintaining and updating the way she looks. Men, by contrast, spend just 4 per cent of their salary on their appearance, most of which goes on shaving and the gym. („Beauty Bill of a Lifetime“, Daily Mail, 21 February 2011)

Maintaining order on the surface is important [for women]. We are supposed to be objects of desire, not desiring beings. […] Looking „good“, for a woman, involves sacrifice, hard work, illness, even death [in the case of eating disorders]. „Beauty“ for women involves hours of pain and expenses. Our bodies are the most important things about us, and left to themselves, they will betray us, become fat and unmanageable: they must be controlled.

Where once feminists complained of women’s „second shift“ of housework and childcare outside the workplace, the obligation to be highly achieving now infects every part of life: we must be academically successful, socially graceful, physically attractive, sexually alluring but not too „slutty“.

Feminist writer Naomi Wolf refers to „Beauty Work“ – the time, money and effort women have to put into „maintaining“ their appearance and cramming their physical selves into the narrow stereotype of conventional beauty standards – as a new third shift of labour, alongside women’s traditional „second shift“ of domestic and caring work [with the „first shift“ being working on their jobs earning money]

Glossy women’s magazines are manuals of self-transformation: change your body for summer, change your wardrobe for winter […]

Women’s fear of not being considered beautiful is well founded. Recent studies have proven what most of us have grown up knowing on a deep and painful level: that there is a cost, for every woman and girl, to departing from the norm of what society considers „beautiful“. (p. 34) Women and girls who deviate from current beauty norms in physical appearance, weight, style, race or gender presentation face discrimination at work and quantifiable obstacles in terms of pay and promotion.

Femininity, docility and prettiness, by which we mean the lifelong effort to look as much like an even-featured, underweight Caucasian girl in her early twenties as possible, are the entry tickets to a wider variety of jobs in which a few will make it big and most won’t make it out.

A report published in a recent issue of the „Journal of Applied Psychology“ revealed that the pay and influence of test groups of women in America and Germany consistently rose as their weight dropped below the healthy average, even when controlling factors that affect both weight and pay.  By contrast, weight gain was an indicator of financial success for males up to the point of extreme obesity, when men too begin to pay a professional penalty.

(T.A. Judge and D.M. Cable, “ When it comes to pay, do the thin win? The effect of weight on pay for men and women.“

2.) „Ugly feminists“

A great deal of what used to call itself „new feminism“ used to devote itself to reassuring women and girls that they could be empowered, independent political women and still be beautiful… Can I be a feminist if I love to wear lipstick and twirly dresses? Is it all right for empowered women to shave their legs? Feminism is not about telling women what (not) to wear or whether to shave their legs or not. The fall of patriarchy is unlike ly to begin or end with one woman’s decision to wear fishnets or grow out her armpit.politik_frauenstimmrecht_2

A lot of this nonsense is a response to the tired old stereotype of feminism as unbeautiful, and being unbeautiful – being ugly – is the worst thing a woman can ever be. That stereotype is harking back to the „Second-Wave feminists“ of the [1960s], 1970s and 1980s, some of whom did wear trousers and go unshaved. [But there also] was Gloria Steinem, whose classic bombshell looks allowed her to go undercover as a Playboy Bunny in Hugh Hefner’s original club to write an excoriating exposé of how women were treated in that weird world.What the stereotype of the bra-burning, hairy-legged feminist is really supposed to suggest is that feminism, that politics itself, makes a woman ugly. That women’s liberation is a threat to traditional ideas of femininity, of a woman’s social role. Which of course, it is, and always has been.

It’s interesting that „ugly“ is still the insult most commonly thrown at women to dismiss their power, to get them to shut up. Female politicians are called ugly by men who can’t quite bring themselves to say directly that they don’t deserve their power, that their primary purpose as women should be to please and arouse the opposite sex. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been  told, on the Internet or in person, to „shut up, ugly bitch“, when men – or, occasionally women – were uncomfortable with something I was saying. At first I started turning up to talks and debates in my best clothes, in leather, in lipstick – but no amount of lipstick is ever going to make patriarchy comfortable with the words coming out of your mouth, if you have an ounce of ambition or anger.

„Fat“ is even more obvious. You’re gross, you take up too much space, get out of my sight. Men who occupy positions of power, of course, are allowed to run fat, lose interest in their appearance […]: their places at the top table will still be reserved.


3.) Women at work

Perhaps the cruelest trick played on my mother’s generation was the way they were duped into believing that the right to work in every low-paid, back-breaking job men do was the only and ultimate achievement of the women’s movement. Yes, in most Western countries, women now have the legal right to be paid equally for any job a man can do, although they have to get the job first. In practice, women are not working at the top of the pay and employment scale in large numbers. We are instead over-represented in low-paid, underpaid and unpaid work, just as we always have been, in domestic and care-sector work and other professions that remain at the bottom of the social heap in terms of pay and social status precisely because that work is traditionally done by women.

(mehr …)

>>> Kompetenzorientierte Aufgaben zu Expansion Migration Flucht Asyl 8.Klasse

>>> Kompetenzorienterte Aufgaben zu Expansion Migration_Flucht Asyl 5. & 6. Klasse


Untersuche die Ausschnitte aus der Satire-Sendung „Die Anstalt“ (= Material 1) daraufhin, welche Perspektive(n) zu den Themen Migration, Flucht & Asyl eingenommen wird (werden).
• Achte dabei auf die verwendeten Begrifflichkeiten und erkläre ihre Bedeutung für die Gesamtaussage, z.B. „Festung Europa“

2. Fasse die wichtigsten Einschätzungen und Beurteilungen zu den Themen Migration, Flucht und Asylpolitik zusammen!
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann den Aufbau von Darstellungen analysieren (inhaltliche Gewichtung, Argumentationslinien sowie Bewertungen)
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann einige tiefere Ursachen für Flucht von Menschen aus der Dritten Welt nennen
• LERNZIEL: Ich kenne einige wichtige Kritikpunkte am Grenzregime der EU sowie an der Flüchtlings- und Asylpolitik (Handhabung des Asylrechts) der EU und der deutschen Regierung

3. Erkläre, wie sich die Materialien 3 und 4 aus der Perspektive der Satiriker beurteilen lassen.
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann die Interessens- und Standortgebundenheit politischer Urteile feststellen

4. Erörtere und beurteile die Stichhaltigkeit und Plausibiltät der vorgenommenen Wertungen und Einschätzungen!
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann politische Meinungen und Beurteilungen [zur Flüchtlings- und Asylpolitik der EU] reflektieren und hinsichtlich ihrer Qualität, Relevanz und Argumentation beurteilen.

• LERNZIEL: Ich kann eine eigene Meinung zur aktuellen Flüchtlingspolitik formulieren und begründen.

Mögliche Bezugspunkte für die Beurteilung der Stichhaltigkeit sind z.B. die Informationen aus dem Aufsatz „Europa und seine Zuwanderer“ (= Material 2) oder „EU Grenzregime made in Germany“ (= Material 5)

Ab Minute 45:00


>> Europa und seine Zuwanderer – Le Monde Diplomatique als PDF
• Fasse die wichtigsten Maßnahmen und Strategien der EU zur Abwehr von „illegaler“ Einwanderung zusammen!
• Erkläre, was unter „Quasi (= sozusagen) Privatisierung“ der Einwanderungskontrolle verstanden wird! Nenne ein Beispiel dafür!
• Erkläre, wie die Befolgung der Bestimmungen des internationalen Seerechts dazu führen kann, dass man wegen Beihilfe zu illegaler Einwanderung vor Gericht angeklagt wird!
• Erkläre die Aufgaben der Agentur „Frontex“!
• Erkläre, wie von der „Festung Europa“ die Wahrnehmung des Asylrechts erschwert bzw. verunmöglicht wird!