Spectre of Fascism: Closing Roundtable

6pm onward
At Selectors’ Records, 8 East Pender Street, Vancouver BC


Ajay Bhardwaj
Patricia Barkaskas
Stephen Collis
Hilda Fernandez
Samir Gandesha
Harjap Grewal
Sanem Guvenc-Salgirli
Am Johal

Presented by the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University and UNIT/PITT

Time to wrap up our Free School with a free-ranging discussion of the spatio-temporal dimensions of contemporary authoritarian politics.

* What do we gain, and what do we lose, by calling the contemporary nationalist right “fascist”?

* Are we today facing the uncanny return of 20th century fascism or is it a species of neo- or post-fascism, and how might we define that?

* Does contemporary authoritarian politics entail, as historical fascism did with its projected 1000 year Reich, a colonization of the future, or is the contemporary manifestation more concerned with preserving property relations in a catastrophic present geared to not just to the extraction of surplus labour but also surplus natural resources in the here and now?

*Do we see in the calamities of southern Europe, Greece in particular, the application of colonial techniques of domination through financialization and “governing by debt” to Europe that had hitherto been applied to the developing world, Africa in particular?

* What is the role of social media, alt-news and digital platforms like 4-Chan and digitally-mediated communications more generally in the rise of the alt-right and the triumph of Donald Trump; is this the time to further shake the institutions of liberal-democracy or do they need to be defended?

* IS it OK to “punch a Nazi”?

These are among the questions we’ll be posing to our panelists. Considering the weakness of the contemporary Left, and the social media saturated environment in which we live, what is, in fact, to be done?