Glossary for the Global General Crisis

Antidemocratic (anti-democratic)
Political discourse and action that actively degrades or otherwise works against *democratic political processes and culture. See *antipolitics, *depoliticisation, *neofascism, *neoliberalism, *postconservative, *totalitarianism.

Antipolitics (anti-politics)
Political activity or discourse aimed at *depoliticisation of issues with the intention of silencing people and obstructing or preventing *democratic or dissenting political action. See *antidemocratic.

Conservative
A political *ideology that aims to preserve and strengthen the position of elites within society through domination of the political system, promotion of ‘traditional’ morality and social roles, and resistance to egalitarian and pluralist social and political trends. Traditional conservatives generally respect constitutional principles in the political process and primarily utilise hierarchical social relations to maintain control. Conservatism was originally a reaction to *liberalism. See also *neoconservative.

Democratic
Social and political practices and institutions that genuinely empower individuals and collective groups, particularly including those who are vulnerable or voiceless. See *politics.

Depoliticisation (de-politicisation)
The attempted or successful removal of an issue from the political sphere. This can be for a variety of reasons, including silencing people and obstructing or preventing *democratic or dissenting political action as in *antipolitics. See *politics, *antidemocratic.

Deregulation
Removal of legal and other forms of social and environmental safeguards from various aspects of the operation of economic markets and government service provision. A core element of *neoliberal ideology.

Fascism
Type of *totalitarianism originating in Italy in the 1920s under former socialist leader Benito Mussolini. The concept and symbolism of Italian fascism derives from the Roman Empire. Can also refer to Nazism in interwar Germany, and is often used as a generic word for authoritarian regimes or to describe individuals’ political tendencies.

General crisis
Multiple interdependent systems in critical states create accelerating feedback loops that increase instability in various (subsystems) and can destabilise other (sub)systems. See *Global General Crisis.

Global General Crisis
The current Global General Crisis encompasses, among other things, critically dangerous anthropogenic climate change, sickeningly extreme levels of wealth and income inequality, and a chilling slide into the brutality of illiberal politics. See *general crisis.

Global governance
The vesting of power in institutionalised non-state actors through global regulatory functions, including intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), government owned non-governmental organisations (GONGOs), quasi-non-governmental organisations (QUANGOs), not-for-profit non-governmental organisation (NGOs), and private corporate bodies. This has been seen as both anti-democratic as it is removed from nation-state political processes, and also as pro-democratic because it provides some level of power for citizens of nation-states to affect change globally. See *democratic.

Hypercatastrophic (hyper-catastrophic)
Large and extremely destructive events, especially related to climatic, geological and other global physical systems. See *Global General Crisis.

Ideology
Political theory that has been instrumentalised (and is therefore degenerate) for the purpose of providing foundational and/or guiding principles and values for a political movement or program.

Lawfare
The tactical use of legislation and litigation against political opponents as a form of *political warfare.

Liberal-democratic
See political *liberalism.

Liberalism
Political – Predominantly middle class political *ideology that promotes individual autonomy and rights. This led to the development of constitutional systems of government that restrained state power and provided for representative democracy. Liberalism originated in the struggle for a share of political power by socially elite commoners (merchants and professionals) against feudal and absolutist monarchies in early modern Europe, broadening its scope over time to advocate for the liberation of women and people of colour.

Economic – In its *political economy guise, liberalism predicts wealth can be maximised through minimisation of state intervention in economic activity, which is claimed to allow markets to organically optimise distribution of resources and reduce dead weight losses. Early modern European merchants and professionals were opposed to monopolies and other economic privileges that excluded them from opportunities for wealth and social status.

Market totalitarianism
Political *ideology and social ordering principle that places market forces and values above and encompassing all aspects of state and society. Many preconditions for its existence are found in contemporary *neoliberal and *postconservative economic and political economic regimes. See *totalitarianism.

Modernity
Describes the transformation of first European, then American and global sociopolitical systems from ‘traditional’ to industrialised, scientised and secularised modes. *Ultramodern.

Neoconservative (neo-conservative)
A post-Cold War development of *conservative politics that adopted the *neoliberal economic paradigm while strengthening social and culturally conservative values and pursuing a militarist and imperialistic foreign policy. Neoconservatism pushes the limits of constitutional governance but largely remains within traditional liberal-democratic political processes.

Neofascist (neo-fascist)
*Antidemocratic contemporary political *ideology and practice utilising key elements of fascism, including irrationalism, anti-intellectualism, mass disinformation, mass surveillance, politically directed police action and personality cults. See *fascism, *totalitarianism.

Neoliberal (neo-liberal)
Late modern form of capitalism increasingly prevalent since the mid-1970s which concentrates control of society into private hands through political-economic policies, including: *deregulation, privatisation, corporatisation, financialisaton, ‘free’ trade, and *global governance. See *political economy.

Oligarch
An extremely high ‘net-worth’ individual who exerts an extremely disproportionate political influence due to their massive wealth, billionaire status and elite social connections. Oligarchy is a political situation where oligarchs have strong influence over the political process through the capture of state, public and civil sector institutions.

Political economy
Power dynamics of the distribution of material and social resources within social groupings, from households to the globe. See *neoliberalism, *politics.

Political warfare
Engaging in instrumental and destructive political strategies and tactics directed against a perceived domestic or international threat that can be seen as non-physical warfare. See *lawfare, *politics.

Politics
Broadly the exercise of power through action and/or discourse in a social context, from individual to global levels. More narrowly, as in *antipolitics or *depoliticisation, referring specifically to institutionalised collective action in domestic or international affairs. See *democratic.

Postconservative (post-conservative)
A development from *neoconservative politics that increasingly operates outside the accepted norms of constitutional governance. Postconservatism seeks to subvert traditional *liberal-democratic political processes through strategies and tactics such as: *lawfare; media disinformation campaigns; normalisation of scandal; brazen impunity of elite malfeasance; gaslighting the public; white-anting the public sector, including anti-corruption and public interest watchdogs; attacks on civil society and journalism; increased secrecy and non-transparency; securitisation of economic, social and environmental issues; and criminalisation of protest and dissent. These and other modes of political action have been adopted by *neoconservative and *oligarch elements in the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) period and indicate a transition toward *neofascist social control.

Securitisation
Use of discourse and/or actions to *depoliticise a social, environmental or economic issue and shift it into the realm of (national) security where it is insulated from *democratic political processes. See *antidemocratic.

Totalitarianism
A form of political regime and social ordering in modern nation-states of total control of state and society by an unrepresentative and unaccountable organisation backed by armed force. Totalitarianism relies on a political *ideology that places one human value above all else and justifies any means to achieve that end. In its 20th century form, totalitarianism regimes created total dominance through a range of mutually reinforcing political and social mechanisms, including: disinformation and distortion of historical reality; irrationalism and anti-intellectualism; personality cult; surveillance and securitisation of society; co-option of civil society; vertical integration of society and the economy with the state (corporatisation); identification and/or persecution of internal and external enemies; and continual threat of extreme force and violence from agents of the state or ruling organisation. See *fascism.

Ultramodern
Describes the current state of late modernity, roughly post-GFC, in which advanced *neoliberalism is the dominant global political-economic ideology. See *modernity, *liberalism, *political economy.


*Updated 9 July 2020

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