LEFT FORUM PANEL 1
Oligarchical Ideologies in Crisis: Cultural Populism, Dark Enlightenment, Nihilism, and Liberalism
The Alt-Right expected Brexit and the Trump presidency to trigger a triumphant march of cultural populism across Europa and America. But cultural populists have fallen short in Austria, the Netherlands, and France, and are struggling in Germany and Italy. Melenchon showed in the first round of the French election that vigorous leftist economic populism can defeat reactionary cultural populism. A resurgence of militant nihilism is clearly observable from Russia to Washington DC. In the US, the pro-Wall Street liberalism of the Democratic Party is increasingly discredited. As Anton Erkelenz saw in Weimar Germany in 1931, the struggle against fascist ideology must be waged on the level of ideas, but ultimately requires the victory of full employment and rising standards of living over deflation and austerity.