How to Evade the Envy of the Servant and the Benevolence of the Master

  • 1. April 2017 | 10:45 – 11:30

Lecture, Keti Chukhrov (Moscow)

At first sight, the genesis of contemporary populism is evident—waves of financial crisis, the overturning of authoritarian governments in the Middle East and post-socialist countries with religious restitution afterward, deindustrialization of second- and third-world production with no means of constructing postindustrial infrastructures, gentrification of the cultural and cognitive left, which brought about the toxic constellation—at a time when the oppressed are not the ones to solidarize with but are rather the ideological enemies of progressive politics and emancipatory social work. Identitarian politics, cultural essentialism, and religious fundamentalism are proliferating as the traits of right-wing counterrevolution. But while the technologies of converting the most unprivileged into the grip of the reactionary beliefs are more or less obvious, how could it happen that the progressive and emancipatory rhetoric responsible for equality ethics and general enlightenment ended up with the overall stigmatization of the unprivileged as the populist electorate, with the incapacity for any social continuity with what now becomes the surplus population; and the worst—with the appropriation of anti-capitalist rhetoric by the neo-feudal reactionary oligarchies.