The political performances of Dutch anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders revolve around a combination of giving and taking offense. In this article, I develop a critique of Wilders’ politics of offense by revisiting two classic texts of Frankfurt School critical theory that combine social theory with psychoanalysis: Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay, “Repressive Tolerance” and Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno’s chapter, “Elements of Anti-Semitism: Limits of Enlightenment” from Dialectic of Enlightenment. Both texts seek to understand reactionary mobilizations of political affect in relation to dominant forms of liberalism that do not live up to their promise of realizing freedom. I will demonstrate how this comprehensive approach makes revisiting these texts useful for critiquing reactionary mobilizations of political affect in the present.
|Number of pages
|Krisis: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
|Published - Nov 2017