Public Art Munich - PAM 2018 – Chantal Mouffe - For a Left Populism - Followed by a discussion with Michael Hirsch

Public Art Munich - PAM 2018 / Game Changers

In this book, to be published by Verso in June, Chantal Mouffe argues that we are currently witnessing a populist moment in Western Europe that signals the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. The issue of this crisis will depend on which political forces will succeed in hegemonizing the multiple resistances against post-democracy and restoring popular sovereignty.

The central axis of the political conflict in the next few years will be between right-wing populism and left-wing populism. By establishing a frontier between the people and the oligarchy, a left populist strategy could federate the manifold struggles against subordination, oppression, and discrimination. Acknowledging the crucial role played by the democratic discourse in the political imaginary of our societies, such a strategy enters in resonance with the aspirations of many people. It is through the construction of a collective will mobilizing common affects in defense of equality and social justice, that it will be possible to combat the xenophobic policies promoted by right-wing populism.

In recreating political frontiers, this populist moment points to a return of the political after years of post-politics. A return that may open the way for authoritarian solutions – through regimes that weaken liberal democratic institutions – but that can also lead to a reaffirmation and extension of democratic values.