In Britain today, a burgeoning Churchill industry promotes an idea of the nation as a place of purpose and moral certainty. But Churchill’s historical record is not what conservatives would have it to be, argues Gerry Hassan. In the post-war era, ‘Churchillism’ showed an ability to adapt that is beyond the current political leadership – not only on the right.
Wendy Brown discusses Trump and ‘libertarian authoritarianism’, #MeToo and neoliberal feminism. She argues that, in the contemporary moment, we need ‘grit, responsibility and determination instead of hope’.
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.
Agonies of pluralism
Germany’s altered party landscape is the culmination of the misfit between political centrism and the national-conservative groundswell catalysed by the refugee wave of 2015–16. Not only does the AfD pose major challenges to the other parties, it throws up uncomfortable questions about the role of the media in the dynamics of polarization.
Hostility to Catalan regional autonomy from Spain’s conservative People’s Party since 2010 is what has catalysed the current secession debate, argues Nora Räthzel. Moderate defenders of the democratic process are now squeezed between hard-line independentistas and far-right defenders of ‘the unity of the Spanish nation’.