Conspiracy theories are all about power – who has it and what they are doing with it, particularly when no one is looking. The losing side will inevitably accuse the winners of conspiring. Democrats would be convinced that Trump is involved in a grand conspiracy, no matter what evidence was available.
From dialectical materialism to neoliberalism, any politics that lays claims to the truth is both illusory and dangerous. But does this mean that democracy is simply rule by opinion, without recourse to facts? And does the rejection of absolute relativism mean abandoning the postmodernist critique of truth and power?
The Turkish government’s ongoing assault on academic freedom is nothing new, argues Ayse Caglar. But following last year’s coup attempt, the authorities have used their extensive emergency powers as cover to ‘legalize’ their illiberal moves. Is Europe slowly waking up to this reality?
‘In post-truth regimes, what has been lost is the moral or ethical principle that keeps expression faithful to the truth of what people see, think or feel.’ Nilgün Tutal discusses a famous work of performance art in communist Yugoslavia to show how harmless the concept of truth has become in the face of contemporary authoritarianisms.
As the contentious referendum on independence for Catalonia – planned by the Catalan regional government for 1 October 1 2017, but denounced as illegal by Spain’s central government – approaches, tension is rising. Daniel Gascón, editor of Eurozine partner journal Letras Libres, argues that the Catalan government is attacking democratic legality, and Spain is defending it.
The functionalist housing built across the USSR in the 1960s is one relic of the past that is here to stay. Architects must take an interest in these increasingly decrepit buildings, which despite lack of architectural merit are popular with residents.
The alt-right: Reactionary rehabilitation for white masculinity
Alt-right extremism is a consequence of mainstream neo-conservative discourse on liberalism, manhood and national security post-9/11. Its success is measured by its ability to project an updated rhetoric of anti-left antagonism into the window of acceptable political discourse.
Joseph Conrad and the East
One of the most acute chroniclers and critics of the 19th-century European empires of the East was neither a historian nor a political scientist, but a Polish mariner. Douglas Kerr examines how Joseph Conrad mastered the narratives of empire in a language that was not his own.
Trust me, I’m lying
The history of news is the history of the confusion between the real and the fake – with that master of disguise, the devil himself, never far away. Today, too, demonic involvement is readily invoked, perhaps to avoid the awkward question: what is the price of reliable information?