European Parliament Library

A morbid democracy, old and new populisms /, Monica Simeoni - print

Summary
The crisis of democracy in Europe and the inability of the political parties and élites to adequately meet the challenges of globalisation exposes the increasingly fragmented middle classes to the temptations of Euroscepticism, and, in some cases, xenophobia. This appears to be a portrait of contemporary reality, but the current crisis has deep roots. The Spanish thinker José Ortega y Gasset described the pathologies of the mass man and of the nascent democratic system as far back as the beginning of the twentieth century, in a significant text entitled Una democracia morbosa, which appears to foreshadow the present state of affairs. The crisis of the average man, the degradation and devaluation of culture appear to be the distinctive traits of the new, post-ideological democracy of our times, known as «audience democracy». The political parties, faced with this profound crisis, in some cases seek dangerous shortcuts through demagogic and rhetorical use of the term «people», while the charismatic figure of the leader gains in prestige as a reference model. Resentment, caused by lack of representation of the just demands of the citizens, can turn to anger and destabilise the institutions of democracy. There is therefore an urgent need for an inclusive Europe with a renewed welfare system, based around the citizenry and not the masses
Table of contents
1. Ortega y Gasset's mass-man -- Ortega y Gasset: "The Revolt of the Masses" and the mass-man -- Ortega's aristocracy and elitism -- Morbid democracy -- Ortega's state, nation and Europe -- Ortega and Simmel -- 2. The Hetero-direction of Crowds -- Gustave Le Bon: "The Psychology of Crowds" -- Beliefs and opinions of the crowd -- Riesman: "The Lonely Crowd" -- Canetti: "The Masses and Power" -- 3. Democracy: evolution or involution? -- A "totalitarian democracy"? -- The origin of democracy -- "Audience democracy" -- A Populism that comes from Afar -- The characteristics of populism -- 4. Populism: from the origins to post-modern times -- Russian populism -- American populism -- Argentinian populism -- A populist Europe? -- A populist Italy? -- The Second Italian Republic and a number of populist features -- The Movimento 5 Stelle [the Five Star Movement]
Language
eng
Note
"Original title: Una democrazia morbosa, vecchi e nuovi populismi"--Title-page verso
Physical description
1 online resource (151 p.)
Specific material designation
remote
Form of item
online
ISBN
9782875742339

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