This volume reflects on the dark side of our times, the negativity that radical political strategy must address, manage and transform. Negativity appears either as a dialectical moment of passage or as the return of evil in biopolitical governance.
This can appear in many guises: the authoritarian turn of democracies, the economics of inequality, the pandemic, the lockdown and the state of exception, the politics of fear and the multiple violations of liberties and rights. All these combine in neo-conservatism, neoliberalism and far-right populism and create a major challenge for democracy and the left.
Τhis volume focuses on some persistent themes that have emerged in the current historical conjuncture: The first examines biopolitical governance, the state of emergency, restrictions in the use of public space, the weakening of social rights, the increase of exploitation and inequalities. The pandemic conjuncture brings to the surface the vulnerability of life and politics and exploits citizens’ fears and anxieties.
The second question is about the development of authoritarian conservatism and far-right
populism (Trump, Bolsonaro, Orbán, Brexit, etc.) with its tendency to disconnect from common institutions. These reactionary ideologies erect frontiers to keep the ‘other’ out, manipulate the public sphere, turn the mainstream media into machines of misinformation and propaganda, strengthen state repression and surveillance in an orgy of ‘law and order’ measures. These developments lead to the shrinking of democracy.
Τhis type of negativity functions as the cement of anti-left ideology. It appears internationally in campaigns against left populism and in Greece in the anti-SYRIZA front. It is obvious that extreme violence is unleashed by the state against all forms of resistance leading to the increase in police powers and repressive laws in anticipation of a rise in resistance and uprisings triggered by the latest round of multiple crises.
Please find the eDossier on the left/below (mobile version) in ‘Documents’ (English, PDF).
Table of contents
On negativity, by Jean-Luc Nancy
Discussion with Jean-Luc Nancy
HEGEMONY, DEMOCRACY & THE RISE OF THE FAR RIGHT:
FEAR, HOPE & SECURITY
Radical philosophy in the 21st century, by Costas Douzinas
Neutralization of the imagination Structures of bourgeois recontextualization of democratic claims, by Gerasimos Kouzelis
On the Actuality of Otto Bauer and Austro-Marxism, by Walter Baier
The Strategy of Left Populism: Disavowed Genealogies, Achievements and Limitations, by Yannis Stavrakakis
New Municipalism as a Counter Hegemonic Project for Radicalizing Democracy, by Alexandros Kioupkiolis
THE PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL LOCKDOWN:
TECHNOLOGIES, BIOPOLITICS, CLIMATE CRISIS
Viral Solidarity, by Adam Gearey
Pandemic Borders: States, Bats and Biosecurity, by Paul Guillibert
Against the Expert, by Todd McGowan
Dialectic of the Covid-19 Crisis, by Konstantinos Kavoulakos
Precarity in the Era of the Anthropocene Notes on the end of capitalism, by Vasilis Tsianos & Dimitris Parsanoglou
NEGATIVITY IN HISTORY AND LEFT POLITICS:
SEPARATIONS, UNIVERSALS, UTOPIAS
Dark times, the psychoanalytic concept of negativityand the opening of possibilities, by Tania Vosniadou
Im-possible temporalities: Left theory in critical times, by Athena Athanasiou
Walter Benjamin, Utopia and Us, by Vicky Iakovou
Socialism as a Utopia in the present, by Michalis Bartsidis