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  • Writer's pictureTomislav S. Šola

Post-capitalism is against museums too

Capitalism reduced the expertise, competence, and experience to "portable skills" that one brings to the labour market. The culture of labour, not only some supposed ideology behind it is depreciated. What becomes essential is the success, measured in money earned and social influence exercised. The dignity of a job well done and therefore accordingly remunerated is not there any more. The financialised society highly estimates preferably a profit made of thin air. Only one-third of employees at the universities in The States consists of fully employed lecturers, the next is there on the contract while the upper third is mainly composed of managerial staff. Education has become a marketable good at its own expense (and that of the society that depends upon it).

There is neither need nor arguments to believe that justice was ever ruling this aporia of profit vs quality, but to de-valuate the work and insist on success is a far-reaching error. Contemporary society is already alienated by insecurity, turmoil, discomfort, frustration and resulting flight from reality. We have symptoms of collective neurosis, some divide between unprecedented care for human rights and derogating them, between concern for disadvantaged and minor to merciless abandon of their needs.

We have found that the modern economy is not an exact science and that all the models that skirt basic humanist ethics are doomed to an expensive failure. Without moralising, wrongdoings seem to be paid for. The world of global corporations and that of mega-finance is purposefully creating chaos like a transition in some countries or war in others; hunting a big pray to them means submitting the world entirely to their control. This is done by sowing discord and creating confusion. Of course, the system is bound to fail, but incidentally, the profits are always private the and losses are, as a rule, socialised. The citizens are manipulated into believing that they witness the natural process of social Darwinism. The so called neo-liberal economy is a cynical euphemism for obscene fraud. Any free thinking individual may notice that this became possible only when the total capitalism phased out ideologies by replacing them not with the traditional, evolved capitalism, but with the detrimental deviation of it. By the obsessive focusing on the incessant increase of profit, they have created the era of Great Greed. It differs from preceding epochs by the ruthless exclusivity and lack of an alternative.

I have no clue, whether the world can be changed for better, but if that is not the name of agenda of all public institutions, what is? Museums were, like politicians, for a long time inventing better past. It has served many practical purposes (remember just falsifications, myths and mythologemes in creating nation-states), but time has come for them to become part of the counter-active front. We must balance development and provide sustainability. One way is to employ insights from the past as a pearl of much-needed wisdom. Otherwise, we may witness that the past we are in charge of will be put on sale.

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