Friday 3 May 2019

A Hegemonic Project Against Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Authoritarian Right - Presentation at Historical Materialism Conferece, Athens

I am lecturing at Rethinking crisis, resistance and strategy, Historical Materialism Athens Conference 2-5 May 2019, Panteion University. My thoughts go on the crucial questions on "A Hegemonic Project Against Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Authoritarian Right - Some Experiences from Eastern Europe".


The contemporary left is facing its deepest crisis and biggest challenge. Although several factors have changed, the core challenge remained: the oppression of authoritarian structures. In the second half of the 20th century the capitalism entered to its authoritarian neoliberal phase. At the beginning of the 21st century the authoritarian right has rapidly reborn in the field of authoritarian state, which can be called post-fascism. According to my concern, these two tendencies have tightly coupled in the framework of autocratic right-wing populist regimes. Rosa Luxemburg showed that imperialism and imperialist war could not be overcome within the framework of capitalism. The liberal democracy and liberal constitutionalism tried to put this militarist nature of capitalism into legal/constitutional frameworks. The failure of liberal democracy opened the contemporary way of illiberal right-wing populism, which on the one hand remined integrated into neoliberal capitalism and on the other hand dismantled the legal basis of liberal constitutionalism (human rights, rule of law). A new hegemonic structure has been created in the USA under the Trump’s administration, in Putin’s and Erdoğan’s regimes as well, and it is most striking in Eastern Europe especially in the Hungarian Orbán’s regime. I am investigating in this lecture how can the left in Eastern Europe struggle against the reconciliation of authoritarian neoliberalism and authoritarian state ruled by the right. I will argue, based on the Marxist and post-Marxist (Luxemburg, Gramsci) and critical theoretical (Hardt, Negri, Agamben, Laclau, Mouffe) literature, that populist turn of the Left will be necessary but not sufficient: achieving a new hegemony it seems to be inevitable that the left re-discover its anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist origins, because the authoritarian turn of our time is based on the common tyrannical nature of capitalism and right-wing politics.