This is not a critique: Reactionary digital politics in the age of ideological entrepreneurship

Finlayson, Alan ORCID: (2023) This is not a critique: Reactionary digital politics in the age of ideological entrepreneurship. Media Theory, 7 (1). pp. 27-48. ISSN 2557-826X

[thumbnail of Finlayson_2023_mt]
PDF (Finlayson_2023_mt) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (325kB) | Preview


On digital platforms a distinct form of reactionary politics has gathered, intensifying and focusing its political arguments. Composed of diverse strands of political ideology it is unified by opposition to any and all forms of politics concerned with claims for equality. Key avatars of this politics are ‘ideological entrepreneurs’, individuals untethered from modern political institutions and engaged in the business of manufacturing criticism not only of this or that form of politics but of modern politicsas such. While highly politically consequential these political forms are peculiar insofar as their goal is not primarily political consciousness raising and organising but the growth of an audience and the intensification of its parasocial attachment. Because they are not seeking to attain political legitimacy or win office, standard forms of counter-critique, which measure the distance of reactionary political claims from what is imagined to be universal and legitimate, are misdirected. In addition to such normative critique those who would defend politics must learn how to do it better, in ways which understand the digital political conjuncture and the opportunities it contains. The force and meaning of political critique is found only in its effects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: media, ideology, digital politics, reactionary politics, alt-right, far-right, criticism, critique
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Policy & Politics
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Cultural Politics, Communications & Media
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2024 01:36
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 01:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item