Why do people want social authoritarianism

Rise of Global Authoritarianism

It is the time of the monsters. In the organic crisis of the old neoliberal project of globalization, we are witnessing the rise of an authoritarian and radical right almost everywhere in Europe, but also in the USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The monsters, however, are quite different: There are “strong men” like Trump, Kurz, Duterte or Macron, political entrepreneurs who shape a new authoritarianism from within the government. What they all have in common is a discourse of the anti-establishment from "above", based on powerful capital factions. This should be distinguished from the authoritarian-nationalist regimes in Poland or Hungary or religious-nationalist ones such as in Turkey or India. These, in turn, are to be distinguished from a radical right like the Front National in France, the PVV von Geerd Wilders or the AfD in Germany, the FPÖ in Austria or now the Lega in Italy. The five-star movement in Italy is completely different. Again, the military governments in Thailand or governments based on the military like in Brazil under Bolsonaro are different. The list of examples goes on. The authoritarian and radical right is diverse. Special cases are the great powers China and Russia, which cannot be dealt with here.

Well, how do you understand the rise of the radical right? In addition, there are some (research) theses that are not exclusively, but predominantly, based on analyzes of the USA and Europe and can only be applied carefully and questioningly to other countries. (The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has set up a global post-doc program for this purpose.)

1. Nothing in common ?: The question is not whether or not there is global authoritarianism. The subject is complex and heterogeneous, highly dynamic and defies clear explanations or even definitions. Nevertheless, it would be insufficient to assume that specific individual cases are completely unrelated to one another. Are the ultra-liberals (Austria), the racists (Italy), the social nationalists (Poland, partly Hungary), the hyper-authoritarians (Turkey), the military (Egypt and Thailand), the democratically cloaked military government (Brazil), the government in a state of emergency (Ethiopia without opposition in parliament, possibly France?), The religious-nationalist governments (India) all different cases that have nothing else in common? Rather, what should be clarified in each caseSpecific and what thatOverarching is, as a basis for careful generalization.

2. Why now ?:Of course, there have always been forms of authoritarian rule (cf., for example, Marx in 18th Brumaire), which the left also theorized. Authoritarianism is not a new phenomenon, it has always been. The question is, therefore, what are the specific conditions that are globally social for him todayimportance and historicaleffectiveness to lend. Why could hejust nowbecome so significant?

3rd crisis: The central point is the coincidence oforganic crisisa specific global socialization mode (the so-called neoliberal globalization) and the emergence of authoritarianisms in the interregnum as specific forms of dealing with the crisis and for regaining / securing rule. To differentiate, the question arises as to the respectivePosition in the global exploitation structures, according to the development of capital accumulation or the global difficulties of capital utilization - the respective position of an economy (and its crisis) gives indications of specific causes and connections of certain forms of authoritarianism in a respective country or of a type of forms of rule.

4. Missed opportunities: A major cause of the rise of the authoritarian and radical right is thatLimitation of social democratic projects: a) post-neoliberal form, i.e. the redistribution of social wealth, with very limited democratization, but above all without restructuring the basis of production and reproduction (from Venezuela to Brazil), b) progressive-neoliberal form, i.e. the granting of (limited ) Freedom rights and emancipatory progress without interfering with the rapid restructuring of the economic structure and without redistribution downwards (social democracy, left-wing liberals and partly Christian democracy in the north). The disappointment with the social democracy or the post-neoliberal left, but also the ineffectiveness and exhaustion of radical new beginnings (various liberation movements) and lost revolutions (North Africa) lead in many places to some parts of the subaltern to turn to the right, but more often to oneclass political asymmetric demobilization and abstention from voting (if elections are still taking place).

5. Reorganization of rule: It is helpful in the analysis to view authoritarianism not simply as regaining or securing power in the moment of crisis, but as a struggle for itRecomposition and leadership of the ruling power bloc. Hence anti-establishment discourses against the established bourgeois elites. This is why an authoritarianism, such as that promoted by the European institutions, is something different from the (supposedly) anti-elitist authoritarianism of the radical right. In view of crisis developments, a change in the class structure and the crisis of representation, numerous political (party) systems are in a state of upheaval. The authoritarian and radical right benefits from an initially left-wing stance that “they do not represent us”. The following should be examined: Who are the carriers, social groups and class factions of the new authoritarianism (in the respective countries and transnationally)?

6. Who are the porters?: Looking at the class base of the new authoritarianism, the thesis is the meaning of"Intermediate classes"(Balibar) to examine the relatively ascending or descending class fractions that enroll in such a project. If it is true that the radical right-wing and "racist ideology is essentially an ideology of the intermediate classes", not only in the sense of relatively descending or ascending class segments, but in connection with "an active negation of class solidarity" (Balibar / Wallerstein 1990, 263 ), the radical right (or, for example, the AfD in particular) is calledcomprehensive class alliance Understandable: from declining parts of the wage earners, parts of the skilled workers who are threatened with decline in the petty bourgeoisie (who defend their own home and the level of consumption they have achieved), from rising performance individualists, medium-sized entrepreneurial families that are under pressure from globalization, through upheavals in production methods, for example Digitization or (fossilist) industries threatened by the ecological crisis, even those bourgeois intellectuals who have experienced a lack of recognition and marginalization of their positions (from Professor von Lucke to Gauland) or in democratic communities in their importance from the military and members of the repressive state apparatus (police and the protection of the constitution). In the case of the descending class fractions, one can even speak of a transition from uncertainty to manifest or threatening declassification. Which ascending or descending intermediate classes are we talking about in Brazil, India or the Philippines?

What are the right wing doing and how?

Is there a common ideological core or is it just a government methodology? So I am only concerned with the authoritarianism of an authoritarian and radical right - not left or other authoritarianisms that are structured differently. The concept of fascism (such as Walden Bello) is certainly too big, fully developed fascist regimes are probably not yet recognizable. Nevertheless, one has been aware of the increasing tendencies of theFascization go out. Elements are:

7. Populism: Strategically taking up and strengthening a specific combination of anti-liberal, anti-Muslim (here in our country, elsewhere against other religious minorities), anti-feminist, homophobic, anti-ecological and against other minorities (the “reverse rainbow”, as it was called in Brazil) - and also explicitly racist - positions made it possible for the authoritarian and radical rightopposite their class composition also to transform disaffection 'from below' into popular approval (cf. Hall 1982, 114). In general, it is about group-related devaluation - up to (first discursive and then real) disenfranchisement.

8. Against "the other": It's always about a specific oneconnection of new forms ofClassicismracismand desMachism / patriarchalism, againstthe other, "Lazy and poor", "the dangerous classes", "Asylum seekers and foreigners", "Emancies and gender madness" etc. (exception Duterte with his pro-LGBT attitude). As if the chauvinist right wanted to reaffirm the importance of an understanding ofClass, Race and Gender is.

9. Accumulated, accumulated: Power is used against all oppositional and emancipatory forces, always targeted against “collectivism” and “liberalism”, that is, against collective and individual social rights. This is particularly directed against trade unions and labor rights to shift the balance of power between capital and labor, as well as against communal land rights, commons, against the public - for expropriating social resources. Minority rights, women's rights, trade union rights are the first to be attacked by the authoritarian and radical right. The attack on trade union and labor rights is also a pervasive political-economic component of the authoritarian and radical right, at right angles to their other differentiations (exception possibly Poland). Overall, it's about thatRemoving barriers to capital accumulation in its sharpest form (from extreme energy and the tightened economy of expropriation to giant infrastructures to the classic increase in exploitation rates and the squeezing out of all social and natural resources).

10. "Will you be allowed to say": The attack is mostly directed against an alleged left, liberal “elite”, “depraved 68ers” etc. Closely related to this is the fight against “political correctness” asRelativization of truth. Fake news and conspiracy theories are also used, there are a lot of truths, so the democratic claim to struggle for the truth should be rejected. Hence the fight against the press (freedom), against enlightenment and science (freedom) - but also against an independent judiciary, as an expression of a codified form of truth statements. This is often combined with a rough historical revisionism (especially in Eastern Europe, but also in Brazil or Turkey). The result is a - with specifically staged "taboo breaks" -Expansion of the space of what can be said.

11. From talking to violence: The authoritarian and radical right has an open opposition to parliamentarism and parties, which denigrates democratic processes and only uses parliament (with full disregard) as a stage. The claim goes further, however, and is directed against a democratic and solidarity-based way of life, also in everyday life - because the expansion of what can be said leads directly toExpansion of the area of ​​trade, from expressions of hatred on social media and in everyday life to acts of violence (from 'below') and finally open repression (from 'above').

12. The monsters' arsenal: The invocation of a specific onecombination the following ideologems constitute their respective political project: nationalism, people (in the national, less popular form) and / or race, traditional family, religion, traditional forms of identity, but also of work, duty, order, negative freedom. The new authoritarianism can be read as an effort to “create an alliance from above with groups of the petty bourgeoisie and the working class without the bourgeois class having to make concessions. It works like a kind of short circuit between the forces of the bourgeoisie and the subaltern ”(Demirović 2018, 34). This does not result in a rejection, but in a reactionary reworking - what Victor Orban calls 'illiberal democracy' - “a plebiscitarian strategy that divides and mobilizes along racist, nationalist, religious, sexist or nature-exploiting lines, reproduces and reproduces the bizarre everyday understanding the subjects neurotic ”(ibid.). This kind of mobilization is connected with a kind of imagined empowerment of the subaltern. In view of the widespread experiences of powerlessness, it operates with the promise of regaining "control" against and "security" from external and internal threats. Once the various elements are articulated and linked in this way, it is much more difficult to solve them again.

13. Oh god: The role of political religion was often underestimated: the Evangelicals (USA / Brazil), the Islamic or Hindu fundamentalists (Turkey / India), the Catholic Church (Poland). It is necessary to take a closer look at the return of the repressed in order to clarify which unmet needs and longings are being mobilized here (cf.Luxembourg 2/2014).

14. Powerful discourse: The authoritarian and radical right succeeds in effectively turning discourses upside down. So, with power, they put the social question back on the political agenda, asexclusive solidarityonly for Germans, Brazilians, Hindus etc., but targeting trade unions (collective rights) and social / labor rights. Or they construct oneinverted right rainbow: against purple, pink, green and colorful - as a resistance against the “moralizing re-education” by the 68ers, who had actually come to many of the positions of power in politics, education, the media, universities and NGOs. You aim atSplitting of the subaltern, restrictive capacity to act for individual groups of subaltern and theirreactionary self-empowerment(see Candeias 2018). Here the transition to an openly violent and fascist culture threatens.

15. Hegemony or dictatorship: In points 3–6 or 12, points of differentiation have already been pointed out. Another point would be this question: Aiming at a specific regimehegemonic project, which (populist) also relies on the consensus of the ruled, or on a brutal onedictatorship a minority over the majority (including transitions and gray areas)? This would explain, for example, whether certain social concessions are made or an ultra-liberal economic policy is being pursued, whether modernization to create opportunities for extended accumulation (with the advanced capital fractions) is sought or only kleptocratic redistribution and appropriation (with the backward or ruthless capital factions). This would also existIndications of the likely persistence of a regime - a successful authoritarian hegemony project would perhaps be less brutal than a kleptocratic tyranny, but it would also be much more durable, associated with more profound structural changes.

16. Rebellious awakenings: The half-life of authoritarian regimes naturally also depends on resistance and the reorganization of emancipatory projects. In the short term, the authoritarian and radical right can hardly be pushed back. First of all, it should be remembered that the political upheavals as a result of the great crisis around 2011 (much earlier in Latin America) were initially a hopeful departure on the part of the left, transnational. Yet each of these attempts hit the walls of solid institutions of domination and / or the transnationalization of capital. What is astonishing is less the defeat of numerous protest movements and new left parties against the new authoritarianism of the rulers than the fact that the dynamic of new mobilizations breaks out again and again in different places. In many countries, strong counter-movements are forming again, sometimes also transnational, often clearly radicalized.

17. Global against austerity and authoritarianism: One of the most visible counter-movements to the authoritarian and radical right, against authoritarianism and austerity is a new feminist international that is emerging. It is developing trans-European, across Europe, albeit in different local forms, internationally - especially in the USA and Latin America, India - and it has a high potential for left-wing organization (cf. Wischnewski / Wolter 2019).For example, more than six million people took part in the women's strike in Spain in 2018 and this year also specifically against the radical right. In Poland too, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets in recent years to defend women's rights, such as the right to abortion. In India, as many as 200 million women struck and protested - the largest strike of all time. Let us form many such new internationals. Sharing experiences, increasing visibility, experiencing solidarity, in a very practical way, strengthens especially those who have to work and survive politically in the “shrinking spaces” of an authoritarian and violent everyday life.

18. Start with the needs: The starting points are diverse, but concrete, whether rent issues, women's rights, ecological issues or against the rights, they combine mass mobilization with everyday organization on site and the development of solidarity and political structures. That has to be made more visible. We talk a lot about the authoritarian and radical right, this is also necessary, but we talk little about left and emancipatory potentials. Let us not let ourselves be disempowered by one-sided perspectives. A story ‘from below’ can make this clear and show possibilities for the ability to act. Against the right, slogans or confessions are ultimately not enough, one needs onepracticewho goes to school.

19. Now !: We are faced with a decision-making situation: in view of the intensification of global inequality, ecological crisis, migration movements, global authoritarianism and fascization, the “middle way” of post-ideological openness and left-liberal criticism is no longer feasible. Forces that want to stand up for the preservation of liberal, civil liberties and minimal standards of solidarity-based lifestyles must take sides against authoritarianismandNeoliberalism, i.e. also for a more radical course, not only against the right, but also against the neoliberal policies that have led us there. Now is the time to make a decision, in a phase in which various options are still open, but are already beginning to close.


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