In his book 'The Rise of the Global Left - the world social forum and beyond' Boaventura De Sousa Santos describes neo-liberal capitalism as an hegemonic mono culture that only allows for one utopian concept – the realization of neo-liberal capitalism itself. Global capitalism leaves no space for any alternatives; the system brings it own fulfillment.
But how does this utopian fulfillment actually look? Where does it appear?
One appearance might be the international transit area in Frankfurt Airport. Here the smooth aesthetics of non-space (M.Augé) constitutes itself with a discreet logic that we all willingly accept. Here we are all accepted and treated with pleasant smiles. Check-in, security and passport-control has sorted us and now we can relax. No one is here without allowance. The atmosphere is relaxed and leisurable. If everything goes right we have plenty of time for shopping, eating and drinking until our next boarding.
The class-system is subtle and discreet; of course we all accept that business-people have access to a series of extra lounges and services. They have paid for it and they deserved it. They somehow carry their suits and luggage in a manner that naturalizes their advantages.
Shopping is ‘duty-free’. What does this mean?
noun (pl. duties)
1 a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility: it's my duty to uphold the law | she was determined to do her duty as a citizen | a strong sense of duty.
• [ as modifier ] (of a visit or other undertaking) done from a sense of moral obligation rather than for pleasure: a fifteen-minute duty visit.
I can buy the things I want without any ‘moral or legal obligation’; without any ‘responsibility’. This is indeed utopian – here my money is exactly that: My Money. No one are to interfere or ask how and why I spend it like I want to. I am free. Free to buy.
I myself have about an hour. I find a nice rustic restaurant and order a pasta with spinach and tomatoes. It is delicious. It perfectly matches the 2009er Blauschiefer Riesling Trocken of my choice. In between eating I am trying to install various apps on my new iPhone.
Now I am in the air, flying into the night. Heading for yet another utopian, non-space, international transit-area.
Note: see the De Souza text in Utopia log 4: www.synsmaskinen.net/maskin/utopia-log-4