Brexit and Corbynism could lead to a crisis of UK democracy

Hirsh, David. 2018. Brexit and Corbynism could lead to a crisis of UK democracy. UK in a Changing Europe, [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Populism is a pre-totalitarian movement, in the sense described by Hannah Arendt. It is defined above all by an ultra-radical critique of all that exists and an immediate appetite to tear it all down and start again, as though nothing which exists has any value and as though we have nothing to lose.

It seeks to create the ‘new man’, unsullied either by self-interest or by false consciousness and for whom nothing is to be done for its own sake; everything is subordinated to the big project, the thousand year Reich, the higher stages of Communism, the Caliphate.

Family, love and friendship and the pursuit of happiness are strictly prohibited – each individual loves only the leader. Civil Society, the sphere in which people are free to follow their own interest, is abolished.

It cultivates contempt for any politics of concrete advantage. The enemy, the Jew, the Kulak, the bourgeois, is objective; they are not hated because of something they do, but because of who they are; and they stand between “us” and the good life.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
18 September 2018Published

Item ID:

24394

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2018 10:18

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:53

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/24394

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