Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:10
Oral Presentation
Lauren LANGMAN, Loyola University of Chicago, USA
As the second decade of the 20th century began, the world seemed moving toward a more progressive, democratic moment. But that was not to last, the “pink tide” of South America, turned blue as a number of progressive leaders were supplanted by conservative if not reactionaries, in Europe, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Holland etc. took sharp turns to the right, as did Britain/Brexit, Turkey and the Philippines. And then came Trump. How did this happen? Indeed, this was the result of two intertwined moments rooted in neoliberal globalization primarily the growing economic hardships faced by many members of the then “growing” middle classes while the affluent classes, the 1% prospered. But equally important were the cultural changes that came along with growing migration, rapid cultural change such that many felt displaced, left behind. These two moments, comprise a distinctively unique form of 21st century alienation in which the 1844 Manuscripts meet the digital age. “The primary result of these “crises of legitimation” (Habermas) has been a growing ressentiment in which growing populations, especially those hard-hit by the economic/cultural changes not only can to be aggrieved and angered, but seek “enemies” to blame for the duress they feel, these enemies include both corrupt and dishonest elites, as well as various other scapegoats. The result has been massive shifts to the right in which “strong” leaders representing the people would avenge, punish and perhaps destroy the “enemies” of the people. While these various right-wing, reactionary if not neo-Nazi/actual Nazi movements have become the dominant social force of today, at the same time it should be noted, throughout the world, there are growing masses of highly progressive young cohorts that not only reject these reactionary tendencies, but spearhead growing progressive, egalitarian, humanistic agendas.