Arguments and Aspects in Political Discourse in Ethnic Conflicts in Europe

Ten characteristics of the patterns of ethnic conflict in Europe—the way they are reflected in media and culture. They serve as the key to conceptual understanding of the nature of confrontation, aggression in communication in the public sphere in Europe at present, and erosion of democratic values

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Johann Herder, Early Nineteenth-century Romanticism, and the Common Roots of Multiculturalism and Right-wing Populism

In today’s public life, marked by large-scale migration, welfare states under pressure, and a soaring right-wing scene, “multiculturalism” and “right-wing populism” remain at the center of political debate. It is assumed, moreover, that they stand in sharp opposition to one another. On the one hand, multiculturalism is widely acclaimed for being progressive, radical, and safely leftist. It is seen as a vital precondition for a modern society: tolerant, humble, and anti-racist. Anyone who opposes multiculturalism, then, will be deemed at best a conservative or reactionary—if not outright racist, xenophobe, nationalist, or fascist. On the other hand, we have right-wing populism. Due to its allegiance with racism, virulent nationalism, and fascism, right-wing populism has a dubious reputation. Multiculturalism, as it seems, is anything that right-wing populism is not.

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Telos 169 (Winter 2014): A Return to Politics

Telos 169 (Winter 2014) is now available for purchase in our store.

In recent years, there has been much hand-wringing over widespread apathy, not only among young generations but throughout the public. Politics, so critics have been claiming, has become a matter exclusively of media manipulation, of a manufactured consensus foisted on a malleable citizenry. This dystopian vision allegedly held not only in the United States (although perhaps especially here) but across much of the globe. Democratization movements appeared to have been crushed, whether in Iran or China, as the leadership in the West—once the premier advocate of democratic transformation—opted instead for the realpolitik of deals with rulers, no matter how unsavory, over support for popular movements, no matter how just.

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The Democratic Contradictions of Multiculturalism Wins Best Non-Fiction Title at London Book Festival

Congratulations to Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt for winning best title in the non-fiction category at the London Book Festival for their book The Democratic Contradictions of Multiculturalism, published by Telos Press.

Congratulations in the same category to Timothy W. Luke and Ben Agger, who received Honorable Mention for their anthology A Journal of No Illusions: Telos, Paul Piccone, and the Americanization of Critical Theory.

The awards will be presented at the British Library on January 23, 2014.

To celebrate the awards, we’re offering a 20% discount on both books when purchased at our online store through the end of January.

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Alain de Benoist on the Value of Empire

As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions. Today, Beau Mullen looks at Alain de Benoist’s “The Idea of Empire,” from Telos 98–99 (Winter 1993/Spring 1994).

Few political concepts have appeared as destined to be cast into history’s dustbin as that of empire. The nation-state is the most widely accepted model for sovereign territories, and imperial ambitions of nations are often condemned by the international community. The existence of great empires, such as that of the Romans or of the Holy Roman Empire, it appears, are simply regimes that are relics of a distant, less enlightened historical era. The areas once encompassing the great empires have now fractured into sovereign nation-states, each with its own polity and allegiances. Furthermore, serious modern confederation between nations is most often based on monetary concerns, not the furtherance of any imperial goal or ambition. The sun, it could be said, has set on the idea of empire.

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Culturalism: When the Culture becomes Political Ideology

Jens-Martin Eriksen’s “Culturalism: When the Culture becomes Political Ideology” appears in Telos 163 (Summer 2013). Read the full version online at the Telos Online website, or purchase a print copy of the issue in our store. Eriksen and Stjernfelt’s The Democratic Contradictions of Multiculturalism is also available here.

The political critique of modernity has gained momentum in Europe in recent years. It is a diverse movement, encompassing populist nationalist and national-conservative parties in Western Europe, a fascistoid Christian-nationalist revival—and on the opposite side: Islamism and the people they instrumentalize, the multiculturalists. They all agree that politics should focus primarily on culture and religion, and all other fields of operation depend on these aspects being stable and undisturbed and not influenced by other trends in society. The dogma that individuals from different groups should not mix is widely accepted and a de facto apartheid is more or less implemented in Western Europe by the civil society. The physical segregation in the cities and in public schools is a fact. The political power play is for the moment over signs and political symbols—e.g., the referendum in Switzerland about the prohibition of minarets, the ban on religions symbols in public schools in France, and other initiatives. The Left seems dazed and confused in this battle and unable to calibrate how to meet the challenge.

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