Against Old Europe: Critical Theory and Alter-Globalization by Raphael Schlembach

By Raphael Schlembach

Within the wake of the Iraq struggle, the time period previous Europe used to be appropriated through politicians, civil society and social stream actors alike to rally in defence of supposedly social and civilized values opposed to the perceived predatory forces of yank finance. opposed to previous Europe sheds mild at the social stream politics encapsulated within the protest slogan 'Fight previous Europe'. inside what's commonly labelled the worldwide justice move, it explores a specific, radical viewpoint that warns opposed to the identity with ecu values by means of events resisting neoliberalism. Exploring the paintings of key theorists serious of globalization, together with Habermas, Negri, Holloway, Postone and de Benoist, the publication examines serious thought techniques to alter-globalization, illustrated with concrete examples of routine inside of modern Europe. In so doing, it invitations readers to discover the costs of nationalism, anti-Americanism and antisemitism introduced opposed to elements of the alter-globalization move. supplying a brand new standpoint on opinions of globalization, opposed to outdated Europe will entice sociologists and social and political theorists learning social activities, anti-globalization activism and ecu politics and id.

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First, Habermas’s new social movements theory can be explained by his colonization theory and thus a shift in the prevailing lines of conflict in advanced capitalism (for example Crossley 2002: 153–67; Edwards 2004; 2009). For Habermas, the new social movements stand in direct opposition to the colonization of the lifeworld. The erosion of communicative reason in the sphere of the lifeworld leads to new stakes and sites of contestation and protest, as seen in the emergence 24 Against Old Europe of social movements situating their resistance in the fields of cultural symbolism and representation.

In the alter-globalization discourse this can easily translate into a dichotomy of an authentic Old Europe and a neoliberal world order led by the United States. Social movements that are critical of neoliberal policies thus tend to be anti-consumerist and anti-corporate with a critique of finance capital. This also gives rise to a particular understanding of Europe and of European values. From this perspective, if contemporary politics in Europe does not correspond to the anti-consumerist ideal, it is because it has already succumbed to Americanization.

Nonetheless, to achieve this vision, the identification with the Old European project is necessarily based upon the ‘othering’ of the non-European and the denotation of an outside to systemic rationality. Postone’s criticisms of Habermas make space for a different relationship of alter-globalization movements to identity politics. Here, resistance is not situated outside of the systemic. Moreover, its perspective is not rooted transhistorically in the categories of labour or the lifeworld. As such, anti-hegemonic politics does not postulate the colonization by systemic instrumentality of an otherwise transhistoric and primordial political and cultural space.

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