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‘War of position’: liberal interregnum and the emergent ideologies

Pabst, Adrian (2018) ‘War of position’: liberal interregnum and the emergent ideologies. Telos, 183 . pp. 169-201. ISSN 0090-6514. E-ISSN 1940-459X. (doi:10.3817/0618183169) (KAR id:67100)

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What are the leading forces and ideas that are shaping our age? In the West, a decade of financial disruption, austerity, and stagnant wages has produced a popular rejection of market fundamentalism that prevailed for over forty years. Mass immigration and multiculturalism have contributed to rapid changes in both family and community life that leave many people feeling dispossessed or even humiliated. Unresponsive government is exacerbating people’s sense of powerlessness and anger. The revolt against the status quo is fuelling a political insurgency against the establishment that replaces the old opposition of left versus right with a similarly simplistic dichotomy pitting the people against the elites. We are witnessing the failure of dualistic thinking and this will not be resolved by substituting one binary for another.

Our contemporary conjuncture is such a period of interregnum and a war of position between the hitherto hegemonic ideology of liberalism and its populist rivals. The popular revolt against liberalism, which is driving the political insurgency across the West, highlights the collapse of the authority of the professional political class dominated by liberals.

In what follows I shall argue that the emergent ideologies which are vying for hegemony are hyper-liberalism, nationalist traditionalism, and tech utopianism. All of them are variously anti-humanist, to which one can oppose updated versions of one-nation conservatism and ethical socialism. Before setting out the unfolding ‘war of position,’ I will first explore the new anti-humanism that underpins the main ideological movements.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3817/0618183169
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Adrian Pabst
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 09:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:54 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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