Capitalism: Is criticism of capitalism kitsch?

[“We talk too little about class and capitalism. And when we do, we’re not smart enough. Ijoma Mangold and Lars Weisbrod show us how to do it better in their podcast. “]

When identity politics is criticized, it is constantly said: “Talk less about gender toilets, talk more about class! Get real!” True, but unfortunately most of the time it\’s just a demand, without really talking about class. Ijoma Mangold and Lars Weisbrod want to do this differently in the third episode of the feuilleton podcast: this time they talk about class and capitalism! And about Gangsta-Rap.

[“For what is more present than the capitalism in which we all live? The only problem is that although this damn capitalism is omnipresent and surrounds us every day, it doesn’t seem so easy to observe it cleverly. “]

Ijoma explains why so much of what is presented in the tone of sobriety as a critique of capitalism is pure kitsch and has more to do with an uneasiness in culture than with the class question. The terrible pressure to perform, the self-optimization of the subjects, the feeling of alienation – all these are phenomena that in truth have more to do with human nature than with capitalist structures.

[“Lars explains why he feels that Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll is to blame for the fact that we in Germany talk too little and too wrongly about economic issues – his terrible anecdote about the fisherman at the seaside has influenced for far too long how we in Germany think about capitalism. That’s why Lars had to learn an important lesson first from gangsta rappers: It’s all about money in life! Especially for working class kids like him.”] [“And since they’re already on the subject of gangsta: In the end Ijoma and Lars argue about a key scene from the German series 4 Blocks, in which Berlin clan criminals quote Böll. It’s about nothing less than the big question: what it means to live under capitalism. Is it really about competition where the best ones win? Or is the game manipulated? And what should we do? Rather raise inheritance tax or bring more people into the capital markets?”]

In addition, in the Contemporary Check section, we track down and interpret the latest phenomena of our time: Why the tiny desk is on the rise, how Kanye West uses his iPhone, and why the word “scale” is experiencing such a boom in “your online business”.

You can reach the team at gegenwart@zeit.de.

Image source: https://bit.ly/3k8FZFV

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