Critical theory and demagogic populism provides a detailed analysis of the relevance of the Frankfurt School’s work to understanding contemporary populism. It draws on the research that the Institute for Social Research conducted concerning domestic demagogues during its period of ‘exile’ in the USA. The book argues that the figure of the demagogue has been neglected in both orthodox ‘populism studies’ and in existing critical approaches to populism such as that of Ernesto Laclau. Demagogic ‘capture’ of populist movements and their legacies is thus a contingent prospect for ‘left’ and ‘right’ populist movements. An account of ‘modern demagogy’ is thus detailed, from the Institute’s own dedicated demagogy studies through to their dialogue with Weber’s work on charismatic leadership, the US liberal critique of demagogy and Freud’s group psychology. The Institute’s linkage of ‘modern demagogy’ to the culture industry speaks to the underestimation in ‘populism studies’ of the significance of two other ‘modern phenomena. The first is ‘cultural populism’ – the appeal to a folkloric understanding of ‘the people’ and/or ‘their culture’. The second is the pivotal role of modern means of communication, not only in the recent prominence of social media but demagogic exploitation of all media since the rise of literacy and the widening of the suffrage in the nineteenth century. The dialectical dimensions of these processes are also highlighted in reconstructing the Institute’s work and in extending these analyses through to the present. The book so concludes by weighing up potential counter-demagogic forces within and beyond the culture industry.
. Shils's warnings about this affinity are pertinent too. 4 As we have seen, demagogues tend to be ‘early adopters’ of such means of communication: from Long's use of loudspeakers to Trump's use of Twitter. While contemporary so-called social media are often celebrated for their ‘horizontality’ (as opposed to the verticality of broadcast ‘mass media’), their capacity for demagogic communication is equally potent. Indeed, to some extent the dynamic between populist movement
have tended to command much more attention, due to their spectacular visibility, than other important features of what may be problematic about the version of FD that is currently in place. At this stage, it is no longer possible to ignore the potential impact of social media on mainstream political parties, just as it is not possible to ignore debates on the likely effects of artificial intelligence and computational thinking on the future of educational institutions, such as schools and universities. This is to say nothing about the possible effects of automatons
, nearer the expressions of brotherhood with African footballers, Black Power activists and West African miners in the ‘left populism’ of the Belgrade hip-hop collective Bombe Devedesetih (Bombs of the Nineties) (Papović and Pejović 2016 : 118), who similarly communicate through social media not the mainstream media/recording industry: on the margins of commercial popular music but well within popular music as a mode of expression. The routes through which an African-American visits Novi Sad, a Serb from Novi Sad moves to Chicago and hip-hop's sound and style offers
the Czech Republic were Roma (see Donert, 2018 ). These are citizens who are understood as socially problematic because they do not want to work and are uneducated. (There was no basis for Zeman's claims, and his statement was not historically contextualised within the Romani holocaust or the negative policies that targeted Roma in the Czech Republic after World War II (Donert, 2017 ; see also Chapters 3 and 4 .) However, what was interesting was the response of ‘ordinary’ Romani citizens of the Czech Republic, who started posting photos on social media of
is a model of statehood characterised in notable cases by the erosion of the very notion of the state of law by the de facto legalisation of ad hoc measures through extra-parliamentary channels. It is true that inter-systemic communication may be characterised as somewhat inchoate as yet. By contrast, there are well organised informal networks of communication linking government ministries, CEOs, specific think tanks, rating agencies, high profile social media personalities, key figures at central banks and big commercial news services and so on, which take part
grow up in the Islamic State. Awaiting them instead was a system of sexualised coercion where they were reportedly forced into sex with arriving male jihadis – treatment to which VRS guards in eastern Bosnia had subjected captured Bosniak women in 1992–5 – while ISIS manipulated their images on social media to inspire other Muslim teenagers to follow them (Perešin and Cervone 2015 : 502). Selimović was missing by the end of 2014, and Kesinović is thought to have been beaten to death in 2015 while escaping from a house in Raqqa