Crisis, neo-fascism, and the academic politics of aversion
Giacomo Loperfido (Universitat de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
The paper suggests that a structural economic crisis triggers a transforming relationship between knowledge and morality within the academic sphere.
Paper long abstract:
Departing from my own direct experience in the debates about a topic like Italian neo-fascism, the paper explores the emersion of new trends in the moralization of academic debates. Neo-fascism, I will argue, seems to have become a negative symbolic reference capable of re-defining the moral field of academic arena. In the general crisis of rational understanding of the world, what is good and what is not seems to be increasingly defined in relation to a spatial principle of proximity/distance to what is conceived of as antithetic to the national self. Here, neo-fascism (the antithesis) comes to embody an “other” who is internal to the geographical boundaries of the nation, but external to the moral ones. In the ongoing process of moralization of knowledge and meaning, rational and scientific research on “moral others” tends to be discouraged. In this paper, I analyze my own involvement as a researcher in situations in which “moral truths” are mobilized in order to deter academic interest in topics that are considered to be “dangerous”, and “repugnant”. The paper suggests that a structural economic crisis triggers a transforming relationship between knowledge and morality within the academic sphere.
Nationalism, democracy and morality: a historical and anthropological approach to the role of moral sentiments in contemporary politics