Uppsala: Alan Finlayson, “The Rhetoric of Reactionary Digital Politics”
Högre seminariet i retorik
Gästföreläsning av Alan Finlayson, University of East Anglia.
Ett samarrangemang mellan Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen och forskningsprogrammet Engaging Vulnerability.
Online, various forms of ‘reactionary’ politics flourish, united in hostility to liberal and egalitarian politics, prophesying the collapse of civilisation and calling for a return to ‘natural’ hierarchies. At one level these are just current variations on old political themes. However, I argue that the articulation of such ideologies online, the ways in which rhetoric both adapts to and makes use of the affordances of particular platforms, changes the nature of these ideologies in important ways. In this talk I explore this idea and explain three key features of reactionary digital politics: the phenomenon of “ideological entrepreneurs”; the effects of “context collapse” on rhetorical ethos and authority; the intensification of a particular form of charismatic authority which develops a ‘parasocial’ relationship with ‘followers’ by inviting them to do things will make them heroes and saviours of the counter-revolution.