January e-flux journal

The January issue of e-flux journal, edited by Paul Chan and myself, will be a report on the political situation in Europe and the US. Paul and I have been talking on and off since the US midterm elections this past November; it struck us that One of the right-wing movements in the US (the Tea party, for instance) echo in words and in deeds right-wing movements in other Western European states. From Wilders in Holland to Sarrazin in Germany to Sarkozy’s anti-immigration turn to any number of political personalities and groups that have taken the political stage in recent years, in particular after the great global financial collapse of 2007-2009. These politicians and movements seem to profit from widespread unease about globalization and the excesses of financial capitalism, yet their agenda is usually one of market liberalism combined with ideological attacks on convenient, visible scapegoats. We have asked various authors to write from their national/regional context on the rise of these nationalistic, xenophobic, sometimes homophobic, and financially dubious movements and analyse how (if at all) contemporary art and thinking intersect with these movements. The deadlines are insane and no doubt this will ruin the holidays for all involved, but it just had to be done. I will work some of the materials from my lecture on neo-nationalism in the Netherlands, slides of which were posted here for a few weeks, into my own contribution to this collective assessment of the present situation.