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Session Overview
RN06_11a_P: Global Trumpism - The Resurgence of Fascism?
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Yuliya Yurchenko, University of Greenwich
Location: PC.3.15
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 3.

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The Public, the Mass Media, and Inequality: The Prospects for Resistance in the Trump Era

daniel chomsky

university of texas rio grande valley, United States of America

President Donald Trump promises to represent ordinary people. Yet his administration and his congressional allies have already signaled their intention to enact large tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans. In this paper, I explore the relative influence of ordinary citizens, social movements, business interests and government officials over the mass media and political outcomes. The emergence of Occupy Wall Street generated increased attention to inequality and progressive taxes in 2011 and 2012, but President Obama also adopted inequality as an issue in his campaign for reelection. So it is difficult to determine the relative impact of social mobilization or official action in that instance. The inauguration of the Trump administration may provide a clearer test. Public support for higher taxes on the wealthy remains strong and conflicts with the policy goals of the political class. I will record every reference to taxes in the New York Times during the first months of the Trump administration, collect all sources expressing an opinion on taxes, and determine the degree to which the Times favors ordinary citizens, social movements, business figures or government officials. This study should indicate whether public views are more likely to be reported when they are represented by social movements or when they are consistent with elite preferences and interests. It should illuminate the democratic possibilities for ordinary citizens, and identify the actors who exert political influence through the mass media in general and in the more hostile environment represented by the Trump administration in particular.

The return of the national imperialist state

Joerg Nowak

City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China)

The ultimate political consequence of the great financial crisis is the retreat into and renewal of the national imperialist state, centred around an authoritarian-nationalist project. But this ,return of the state’ that was never absent is deeply embedded into the neoliberal form of today´s global capitalism. It caters to working class interests of its citizens to some bigger extent (or at least promises to do so); but this remains largely a symbolic gesture. This Talmi interpellation of the national proletariat – not much unlike classical fascism – is accompanied by a profound political weakness and instability of these regimes. Not only are they haunted by their promises of welfare and employment, they also are confronted with deeply divided and fragmented state apparatuses in which different state agencies pursue radically different strategies. This goes far beyond the institutional chaos that reigned over the classic German fascism in the 1930s and 1940s with its sprawling multiplicity of state and para-state agencies, and is also completely different from the usual competition between different corporate factions that expresses itself in some extent of elite fragmentation in liberal democracies.

What is Neoliberal about Neoliberal Policing?

Malte Michael Laub

King's College London, United Kingdom

Militarisation, privatisation, tactics like stop-and-frisk and broken-windows-policing--the police appear increasingly authoritarian. Not least the cases of fatal police violence against black people and the policing of the ensuing protests in cities like Ferguson in the United States brought the topic in the middle of the public debate. Summing up recent policing transformations from increased militarisation, via a more important role for private police actors to a certain focus on the policing of poor and minority communities, the term "neoliberal policing" has found its way into both public debate and academic contributions. However, what does it mean? What is distinctive about neoliberal policing, what distinguishes it from styles of (authoritarian) policing in the past? What is the role of policing under neoliberalism?

Drawing on political economy, sociology and criminology, this paper explores the novelty of "neoliberal policing" by putting recent transformations of police into both historical and theoretical perspective. Employing a range of authors like Neocleous, Wacquant, and Bruff, the relation between the neoliberal state and policing is analysed, claiming that policing is essential for the shaping of the neoliberal society. However, neoliberal policing must not be seen as utterly new but as based on rediscovered policing styles of the past.

Massaging Capitalism: the US Right and its Political Resurgence.

Rodney Loeppky

York University, Canada

The events of November 8th, 2016 gave rise to a spectacular outcry of shock and dismay around the world. How could the US electorate bring to office a candidate so blatantly misogynistic, spiteful and politically corrosive? The turn of the Republican Party towards a demagogic figure must be placed within a political economy of the right as a space of 'resistance'. This paper seeks to explore both the contradictions inherent in the right's 'resistance' to contemporary US political trajectories, as well as the strategic aims of those who foment this 'resistance'. Since the backlash of Tea Party activists in the first term of the Obama Administration, scholars have been dissecting the motivations and authenticity of the right's most assertive groups, assessing their impact nationwide while also trying to ascertain their exact goals. This impact has been consistently downplayed and, at times, pronounced dead -- prognostications that now seem to have been unwise. Charlie Post has argued that the hard right in the US, in fact, now fills the progressive space that the Democratic Party has long since abandoned, which has bolstered their success in a way that also mystifies the Republican establishment. Nonetheless, the paper will explore how this 'progressive' movement has been nurtured along the way, strategically utilized by those seeking an austere policy agenda that promotes an less obstsructed path for capital in the US political scene. That the GOP may have got more than it bargained for in this electoral round is a secondary point -- the right wing resurgence will continue to be harnessed for the purpose of transforming the US political terrain in ways that are more conducive to enhanced accumulation.

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