Alex Hochuli et al., "The End of the End of History: Politics in the Twenty-First Century" (Zero Books, 2021)
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We live in strange times. Politics around the world seem to be transforming into something new and often frightening. But this process has a history. In 1989, the bi-polar certainties of the Cold War gave way to a neo-liberal consensus, what Francis Fukuyama termed “the End of History”. Yet with BREXIT and Trump in 2016, the End of History seemed to be coming to an end itself. The current COVID crisis has only accelerated this process. To make sense of this Gramscian interregnum and its great variety of morbid symptoms, Alex Hochuli, George Hoare, and Philip Cunliffe started the Aufhebunga Bunga podcast in April 2017. Billing itself as the “global political podcast at the end of the end of history”, the podcast offers theoretically informed and often provocative analysis and commentary. The podcast has led to a book, The End of the End of History: Politics in the Twenty-First Century, out with Zero Books in 2021.
In our discussion, these three scholars lay out their defense of the concept of the End of History, discuss post-politics and anti-politics, and explain how politics are back. They also diagnose the pandemic of Neoliberal Order Breakdown Syndrome and explain which demographic groups are most susceptible to NOBS. Drawing from the recent history of the USA and UK, as well as Italy and Brazil, Hochuli, Hoare, and Cunliffe offer an analysis of our world and make some bleak predictions for what is to come in terms of future ideological formations.
Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.
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