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Artmaking in the Age of Global CapitalismVisual Practices, Philosophy, Politics$
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Jan Bryant

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474456944

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474456944.001.0001

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Benjamin’s Challenge for the Twenty-first Century

Benjamin’s Challenge for the Twenty-first Century

(p.12) 1 Benjamin’s Challenge for the Twenty-first Century
Artmaking in the Age of Global Capitalism

Jan Bryant

Edinburgh University Press

The 19th Biennale of Sydney, discussed in the last chapter, is a case study that reveals the way contemporary western governments are increasingly closing down public criticism. The tendency is to raise opaque screens over controversial actions, and to use financial retaliation as a method for keeping artists’ protests inside exhibiting contexts. This chapter looks at political theorists who write about the re-emergence of forms of authoritarianism, beginning with Nicos Poulantzas who argued as early as 1970 that a new form of fascism was materialising, and Michel Foucault’s warning that we each need to check our own fascist tendencies, no matter how private or small the context. More recent comments by Judith Butler and Madeline Albright insist on the danger of this burgeoning trend and the urgent need to fight it. Through the writings of Ronald F. Inglehart and Pippa Norris, this chapter also describes right populism as a prominent feature of western democracies, and the way concerns from climate change to human rights divide today along ideological, partisan lines. [170]

Keywords:   Authoritarianism, Nicos Poulantzas, Madeline Albright, Judith Butler, Right Wing Populism, Ideological divisions

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