ontological anxiety: dislocation in globalization, dialectical absence, polarized antagonisms, precarity, + transcendent populism

I. INTRO

Inspired by the SFU roundtable discussion (“Right-wing Populism in Europe and Beyond––Antagonism of Us Versus Them”) with: 

II. IDEAS + SOURCES

(NOT YET READ)…POSSIBLE LINKS FOR INTEREST:

  • PHENOMENOLOGY http://www.iep.utm.edu/phenom/
  • ONTOLOGICAL INSECURITY: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-017-2083-0_18#page-1
  • SARTRE’S BEING AND NOTHINGINGESS: http://pvspade.com/Sartre/pdf/sartre1.pdf
  • ONTOLOGICAL FEAR:http://catarina.udlap.mx/u_dl_a/tales/documentos/lri/sierra_a_m/capitulo1.pDF
  • GIDDENS: MODERNITY AND SELF-IDENTITY http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=2660
  • ONTOLOGICAL SECURITY/ RELIGIOUS NATIONAL AND IDENTITY: https://identitythoughts.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/globalization-and-religious-nationalism-self-identity-and-the-search-for-ontological-security-catarina-kinnvall/
  • NATIONALISM/ ONTOLOGICAL SECURITY, RACISM: http://www.cridaq.uqam.ca/IMG/pdf/Noble_2005_1_Armony.pdf
  • globalization and belonging, identity politics: https://www.amazon.ca/Globalization-Belonging-Politics-Identity-Changing/dp/0742516792
  • NEW WORLD (DIS)ORDER: https://www.amazon.com/After-Nation-state-Citizens-Tribalism-Disorder/dp/0002551454
  • disintegration: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8306.1994.tb01866.x/abstract
  • security/identity and interests: http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam032/99011332.pdf

TRAUMA –> ANXIETY —> IDENTITY CRISIS…

The founding trauma is the actual or imagined event (or series of extreme or limit events) that poses in accentuated fashion the very question of identity yet may paradoxically become the very basis of an individual or collective identity. It may be undergone in the form of the deconversion or the conversion experience, even the sequence or coming together of the two, and it disorients and may reorient the course of a life. It may also become the basis of a new identity.”

https://identitythoughts.wordpress.com/

https://identitythoughts.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/identity-politics-reconsidered-dominick-lacapra-eds-linda-m-alcoff-and-satya-p-mohanty/

III. OVERARCHING THEMES

  • ONTOLOGICAL ANXIETY AND POLITICAL CONFUSION
  • ABSENCE OF DIALECTIC (INCREASING POLARIZATION OF POPULIST POLITICAL MOVEMENTS)
  • GROWING POPULISM: BIFURIFICATION OF “THE PEOPLE”
  • DEMOCRACY: REACTIONS TO OLIGARCHY + RISE OF POPULISM
  • POPULISM: CRITIQUES OF MONOPOLIES, PRIVLEGE, STATUS
  • RENATIONALIZATION: WHAT DOES THE ‘NATION’ MEAN? BY WHOM AND FOR WHOM?
  • SEMIOTICS + POPULISM: ABSENCE OF A SIGNIFIER (FALSE UNITY EMBODIED IN POPULIST ANTAGONISMS) signifier without a referent
  • BELONGING – IDEAS OF UNITY AND CONSENSUS FOR ‘THE PEOPLE’
  • DISLOCATION IN GLOBALIZATION: ONTOLOGICAL INSECURITY (PHENOMONOLOGY)
  • REVISIONIST MEMORY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS
  • U.S. INTERVENTIONALISM + EUROPEAN REFUGEE CRISIS
  • PERCIEVED LOSS OF AUTONOMY
  • UNITED AGAINST OLIGARCHS (LEFT/RIGHT ANTI-ESTABLISHMENTISM)
  • LEFT/RIGHT POPULISM + CRITIQUES OF CAPITALISM / HISTORICAL MEMORY
  • ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM OF THE RIGHT AND REDUCTION OF COMPLEX IDEAS COMMUNICATED TO THE MASSES IN THE LEFT
  • XENOPHOBIA AS EXCUSE TO BE ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT
  • THE PERSONIFICATION OF THE CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISM ON BOTH RIGHT + LEFT
  • SHIFT FROM NATIONAL IDENTITY TO HUMAN RIGHTS: WHAT ARE ‘RIGHTS’?
  • REVERBERATIONS FROM WWII
  • MEDIA AS INSTRUMENT IN POPULIST UPRISING – ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
  • CELEBRITIES SIGNALLING POLITICAL DECISIONS: TALKING HEADS TO DEFINE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
  • VICTIMIZATION: AS VICTIMS, THE MASSES CANNOT THINK, ONLY FEEL
  • LIBIDOMOUS POLITICS: FEELING OVERRIDING THINKING – DISCOURAGING THE POPULATION TO THINK TOO MUCH: ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM (MEDIA ABSORPTION OF POLITICS)
  • CULTURE-BUILDING BY AMERICAN ELITE
  • IDEAS OF THE ‘COMMON MAN’
  • VICTIMS + AFFECT (FREUD) BOND BETWEEN SOCIAL INDIVIDUAL AND POLITICAL REALITY
  • ANTI-CLIENTELISM IN THE U.S.
  • THEOLOGICAL POPULISM 
  • PRECARIOUS CONDITIONS FOR ESTABLISHING A SOCIAL CONTRACT

IV. EXPANDED NOTES

AUSTRIA: recent election, far-right populist party remerges in 2016 election, losing by only 30,000 votes. (REFUGEE CRISIS + POPULISM rise together)

  • Austria’s leader of this populist far right party “died’ in a car accident. currently they have a coalition
  • far-right playing the anti-establisment and anti-refugee card to gain support
  • a revival of the austrian populist party. (hegel/marx quote (tragedy/farce)
  • not necessarily dictatorial because its a free election
  • EU sanctions for when they previously have populist government
  • national consensus: Christians, social democrats and anti-refugee in one populist majority.
  • EU will not abandon “European Values” = sanctions in Austria
  • split of left with into independent and ‘green’

moral panics about ‘RIGHTS’ (who can we protect’) (narratives of inclusion/exclusion)

  • xenophobia on the right
  • cultural relativism on the left

is populism inherent / inevitable in democracy?

U.S. ELECTION [2016] CONTEXT

  • TRUMP’S rise parallels McCarthyism period and emergence of a radical right
  • theological populism
  • population as “whole entity”
  • HOMOGENIZATION OF THE POOR: deinstitutionalized, undifferentiated, dispossessed lower-class who rely on celebrities to define the populist will…they overcome representation to appear as consensus position (FORCE) emerge as validating “the people” – authority
  • reigniting the protection of belonging, citizenship, property an territorialism
  • reconstruction of the past: degradation of the nobility and will to be sovereign

 

V. POPULISM CAN MEAN MANY THINGS OT DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

  • populism is a liberatory, illusive concept…

WEBER, SIMMEL, MARX TALK ABOUT POPULISM AS EMERGING IN REACTION TO URBAN MODERNIZATION…LEADING TO ONTOLOGICAL ANXIETY AND CONFUSION IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS, FEELING A LOSS OF AUTONOMY. ADD THE MIND-CHANGING MEASURE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND IT’S A ANXIOUS TIME. POLITICS CHANGES YOUR EXISTENCE.

global capitalism as dislocating… 

  • populist leaders have direct ‘bond’ to the masses (personification of a critique of capitalism) – charismatic leaders who understand the people, they speak their language = mobilization: motivated by FEELINGS in ontologically confused, unstable reality that lacks political direction or consensus. AFFECT (Freud) – people transformed into ‘victims’ unable to think, only feel.
  • POPULIST LEADER DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THEY THINK, BUT KNOWS WHAT THEY FEEL
  • cannot eliminate affect in political discourse

LEFT/RIGHT both offer critiques of monopolies, privilege and status (resistance to oligarchy) (disavowal of Hillary Clinton and repudiation of Trump on both sides of populist movements.)

American populism encapsulates both anti-slavery and pro-slavery constituents: ALL THOSE AGAINST ELITES

Three groups:

  1. anti-elitist
  2. anti-intellectual
  3. pro-elite

2 against 1 (“antis” join = people against the oligarchs)

both have a relationship to democracy that is ambivalent

cynical exploitation of people + anti-establishment = right populism

media used as instrument to provide populist narratives (in direct opposition of each other)

both sides concerned with emancipating the core from the periphery

POPULISM: LACK OF SIGNIFIER MEANS IT CAN CARRY DIFFERENT IDEOLOGICAL TRENDS

COMMUNICATING TO THE LEFT: have to convert complicated messages to the messages (reduced, or simplified)

AFFECT: put on stage in U.S. election (Trump as immune to affect as he projects it. presenting himself as symbolic solution for the people.)

Bernie Sanders generational shift / disillusionment

IV. EUROPE: THE RISE OF FAR-RIGHT POPULIST PARTIES

AUSTRIA: QUOTA SET FOR TAKING IN MIGRANTS AFTER WWII: 30,000

GOVERNMET TAKES IN 90,000 MIGRANTS IN 2015/2016

EU is too weak a union to face the U.S. imperial structures

  • europe is occupied and victimized as a result of their colonizers (occupying power), the U.S. interventionalism. Europe got the mess the U.S. created… = xenophobia
  • populism embodies antagonisms (relation from friend to foe – “need the right to have rights” mentality. (motivation for community)

emerging nationalism

core. vs. periphery

the right wing moving to Israel, saying the “new fascism is Islamism.”

  • Switzerland has the largest right-wing party (using instrument of referendum)
  • BOOK: “Wealth Without Greed” (FAR LEFT IN GERMANY) https://www.idealismprevails.at/en/sahra-wagenknecht-wealth-without-greed/
  • MARX/LEFT didn’t understand nationalism or folk. they prioritized the internationalization of the working class
  • German president, Chancellor has all power
  • representative parliamentary elections = more push back, less extremism, less demagoguery

VI. DISTRIBUTING EQUALITY: THE QUESTION OF HUMAN ‘RIGHTS’ AND THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

  • human rights
  • civil rights
  • regional rights

history: “separate but equal rights” in U.S.

POLITICS OF CARE VS. POLITICS OF FEAR

accommodation of different under “rights” based institutions

concept of “Rights”

  • REFUGEE CRISIS: CULTURE WARS? precarious conditions for establishing  a social contract
  • RENATIONALIZATION OF THE STATE (ex. pursuit of the “Fatherland” as emancipation in 19th century
  • French Revolution
  • Ideas of FOLK and “Fatherland” as dangerous

VII. THE RISE OF DEMAGOGUES

KANTIAN-BASED CONSTITUTION VS. FRENCH REVOLUTION CONSTITUTION

  • why do we have?
  • = ONTOLOGICAL ANXIETY
  • representative parliament = less demagoguery
  • VALUES (universal, regional, cultural) – exclusion/inclusion – rationalist politics.

THE QUESTION OF RIGHTS:

  • THE DEAL: EXTEND RIGHTS TO THOSE WITH DIFFERENT CULTURE/VALUES OR REQUIRE A SOCIAL CONTRACT … NO “FREE RIDERS” AND MANDATORY ASSIMILATION? (migrants essentially coming with values from 100 years ago in Europe (traditionalism)
  • In U.S. struggle over supreme courts in terms of RIGHTs… misunderstand is propagandized in the far right that the president can change the constitution.. (FEAR MONGERING)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s