Progressives and reactionaries

Fronesis 76-77 (2022)

Eurozine Review

Reconsidering the authoritarian personality: Are progressives really on the right side of history? Can Reich’s theory of sexuality explain today’s far-right? And is the manosphere more than a reactionary self-help forum?

From a progressive point of view, it can seem incomprehensible why someone would seek the opposite of an equal world, basic human rights and a free society. But the progressive view of the reactionary brings problems of its own, write the editors of Fronesis.

When Adorno diagnosed the ‘authoritarian personality’ with having  ‘a deviant pathological mind’, he established a dominant view in progressive circles. Only recently did this come to be challenged. Cas Mudde, for example, has argued that the reactionary position is not an extreme divergence from the progressive one. Liberalism, according to Mudde, should not be considered the dominant movement, but as a mobilisation that comes and goes, constantly altering the political framework….