Theorizing the Rise of Right Wing Populism in the Post-Globalist Era: Toward an Integrative Approach

Theorizing the Rise of Right Wing Populism in the Post-Globalist Era: Toward an Integrative Approach

Events, Lawrence J. Saha, S A Hamed Hosseini
Seyed A. HOSSEINI FARADONBEH, The University of Newcastle, Australia and Lawrence SAHA, Australian National University, Australia

 

Abstract Text (Abstract ID: 101047):

Populism, as a concept, generally implies a mobilized support for the political, cultural and economic preferences of the populace as opposed to those of the elite, foreigners, intellectuals, media, government, corporations, scientific bodies, ethnic minorities, immigrants/refugees, or any other social group or community whose identity or interest differs from the widely-idealized image of a typical countryperson. However, populism does not always appear in society as a well-articulated doctrine or a coherent group attitude with a number of detectable rigid principles. It normally emerges in the form of popular rhetoric that taps into the populations’ emotions, and advocates quick solutions without a proper understanding of the root causes of the problems and the complexities of social institutions.In this process, on the one hand, macro socioeconomic status appears to be a primary factor but only in association with other primary determinants (e.g. age, regional/rural residential status, ethnicity, gender, education, religion, and occupation), and this association occurs only in a relative sense (e.g. a relative decline in the middle-class status compared to lower/under class status). On the other hand, social psychological factors such as social anxiety, sense of insecurity, resentment, uncertainty, humility, and ressentiment (e.g. waning white privileges recently accelerated by economic liberalization and austerity regimes), mediate the macro factors. In addition, the social historical residues of centuries of colonialist-patriarchal culture, such as class-racial discrimination, patriotism, misogyny, and racism, plus personality factors like dogmatism, closed-mindedness and authoritarianism play a role in the translation of macro-structural changes and political discourses into personal and group actions and attitudes. In this paper, we develop a more macro and micro integrative approach to theoretically explain the emergence of right wing populist movements in the post-globalist era.

Presentation at ISA World Congress in Sociology, Toronto, July 2018

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The Future of Capital and Its Alternatives in 21st Century: The Essentiality of Economic Democratization

The Future of Capital and Its Alternatives in 21st Century: The Essentiality of Economic Democratization

Barry K. Gills, Events, S A Hamed Hosseini
Seyed A. HOSSEINI FARADONBEH, The University of Newcastle, Australia and Barry GILLS, University of Helsinki, Finland

 

Abstract Text:

In 21st century, “Capital” requires a more comprehensive and applicable definition than merely a social process where money makes more money through production relations. Capital, in its material manifestation, is a socially organized ‘process’, through which surplus value is produced and controlled by ‘unsustainable’ and ‘un-sovereign’ ways of exploiting labour (both manual and intellectual), land (and other commons), nature (non-renewable sources of energy and the earth’s bio-capacity including the climate). It is, however, important to equally emphasize, and theorize how Capital can also immaterially but objectively colonize and depoliticize societal/communal solidarities (from the level of household, to the level of world community).Thus, a critical analysis of Capital/ist relations requires the theorization of not only the exploitation of labour, land and nature, but also the systemic colonization of communal solidarities as non-material Commons, through the de-democratization of collective production and reproduction relations. Austerity regimes, for instance, are not only about protecting the corporate interest, e.g. by dispossessing social welfare, but also about an antagonistic relation towards democratic self-management, collaborative determination, and self-sufficient uses of resources. The colonization of social solidarities by Capital creates a fertile breeding ground for the resurgence of ethno-populist responses. We will argue here that the profound democratization of economic relations can liberate the transformative movements from the immense gravity of Capital by overcoming the dilemma of surviving while transforming ubiquitous capitalist relations.

Group: RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social ChangeSession Selection: Future(s) of Democracy in the Post-Neoliberal Era: Problems, Protests, and Prospects

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Alternative Globalizations

Alternative Globalizations

Books, S A Hamed Hosseini

S A Hamed Hosseini

Are the growing oppositions to neoliberal market globalism (especially in the aftermath of global economic meltdown) able to develop meaningful alternative ideologies? Is there any substantial alternative to the world capitalist system on the horizon? How would the ideologies and ideas address the dire dilemmas of economy vs. ecology, redistribution vs. recognition, global vs. local, reform vs. revolution etc.?

This book answers such important questions by examining the intellectual structure of the so-called ‘anti-globalization’ or ‘global justice’ movement. It explores the formation and transformation of ideas, identities, and solidarities in the movement. The book also develops an analytical model to explain the movement’s ideational novelties and continuities in terms of both activist social experiences and global social changes.

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Theorizing Alternatives to Capital: Towards a Critical Cosmopolitanist Framework

Theorizing Alternatives to Capital: Towards a Critical Cosmopolitanist Framework

Barry Gills, James Goodman, Journal Articles, S A Hamed Hosseini

Barry K. Gills, James Goodman, S A Hamed Hosseini

We are living in an era of multiple crises, multiple social resistances, and multiple cosmopolitanisms. The post-Cold War context has generated a plethora of movements, but no single unifying ideology or global political program has yet materialized. The historical confrontation between capital and its alternatives, however, continues to pose new possibilities for social and systemic transformations. (read more)

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Toward Transversal Cosmopolitanism: Understanding Alternative Praxes in the Global Field of Transformative Movements

Toward Transversal Cosmopolitanism: Understanding Alternative Praxes in the Global Field of Transformative Movements

Barry Gills, James Goodman, Journal Articles, S A Hamed Hosseini

S A Hamed Hosseini, Barry K. Gills, James Goodman

This article critically reflects on theoretical dilemmas of conceptualizing recent ideological shifts and contention among global transformative movements. Some studies conceptualize these movements as ideologically mature and coherent, while other inquiries highlight disorganization, fragmentation, disillusion, and dispute. (read more)

Capital and Its Alternatives

Capital and Its Alternatives

Analyses, S A Hamed Hosseini

Why capital in 21st century needs a better definition?

By S A Hamed Hosseini

David Harvey in his short criticism of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in 21 Century, rightfully questions Piketty’s definition of ‘capital’ as one of his central difficulties:

“Capital is a process not a thing. It is a process of circulation in which money is used to make more money often, but not exclusively through the exploitation of labor power. Piketty defines capital as the stock of all assets held by private individuals, corporations and governments that can be traded in the market no matter whether these assets are being used or not. This includes land, real estate and intellectual property rights as well as my art and jewelry collection. How to determine the value of all of these things is a difficult technical problem that has no agreed upon solution.”

However, David Harvey’s definition capital remains very much influenced by its 19th century Marxian understanding of industrial capitalism. In 21st century, capital deserves a more comprehensive and a more representative definition than just a process in which money makes more money through production relations. I, therefore, propose the following definition:

Capital is a ‘social process‘ , through which surplus value is produced and controlled by ‘unsustainable’ and ‘un-sovereign’ ways of exploiting labor (both manual and intellectual), land (and other commons), nature (non-renewable sources of energy and the earth’s bio-capacity including climate), and societal cohesion/solidarity (from the level of household to the world community level).

Capital is a social process and not just an economic one, since it involves specific sociocultural and political modes of sociability as well as particular modes of livelihood. It is based on exploitation rather than ‘self-sustaining use’ of human and natural resources. Here, ‘exploitation’ is distinguished from ‘use’, since the former makes (1) the resources to lose their capacity to be sustainability reproduced over generations, and (2)  the communities to lose their capacity to ‘determine’ the levels and ways of use democratically and autonomously.

Thus, a comprehensive analysis of capital and capitalist systems requires not only the theorization of the exploitation of labor, land and nature through the processes of production (the first dimension of exploitation), but also of financial speculations, enclosures and hoardings, that are determined undemocratically through the chaotic interplay between the uncertainty of market mechanisms and the plutocratic influences of financial monopolies or corporate powerhouses. The latter includes what David Harvey calls ‘capital strike’ used by monopolies to cause “artificial scarcity” and thereby increase the “rate of return” or what I would like to call in more general terms, ‘spurious surplus’, which has real impacts on real production processes. Despite acknowledging this fact, Harvey (unlike Piketty) unjustifiably excludes the latter process of producing spurious surplus from his definition of capital!:

Money, land, real estate and plant and equipment that are not being used productively are not capital. If the rate of return on the capital that is being used is high then this is because a part of capital is withdrawn from circulation and in effect goes on strike.

The withdrawal of capital from productive circulation is part of (and has become increasingly a significant component of) today’s capital. This is because, according to our new definition of capital, even ‘capital strikes’ are about creating and controlling surplus (no matter how spurious it is) and it prevents democratic determination and sustainable use of resources associated with the withdrawn capital.

Accordingly, ‘alternatives to capital’, from this point of view, consist of a broad range of approaches from reformist orientations to democratic social regulations of ‘capital’ (like post/Keynesian visions), to antipodal alternatives to the existence of capital (like anti-market, anti-trade initiatives).