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Home Culture Antonella Marty, political scientist: “If you are a Nazi, free society is going to cancel you, because it seeks to be democratic” | Culture

Antonella Marty, political scientist: “If you are a Nazi, free society is going to cancel you, because it seeks to be democratic” | Culture

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Antonella Marty (Buenos Aires, 32 years old), writer and political scientist (also graduated in Physics), has just published the essay Ideologies (Deusto). It is a review of the evolution of currents of political thought where it describes a time in which we become ideologized again; although this process of reideologization happens in a “complete disorder” and causes polarization. She is also the author of The liberal manual (2021) y Everything you need to know about… (2022), both published in Deusto. He visited Madrid and presented his book at the Rafael del Pino Foundation.

Ask. You are, or were, liberal.

Answer. There came a time when I decided that I could no longer defend an insurmountable word, now closely related to the movements of the new right. Javier Milei says that he is liberal, that he is libertarian, he uses symbols with which I no longer want to be linked. He talks about liberalism, but it is liberalism without freedom. A nonsense.

P. How is it defined, then?

R. I don’t know what word to use. In economic terms I also do not appreciate that market dogmatism that I now see. Or those anarcho-capitalists who say that the State has to disappear, that there should be no subsidies. I believe that the State is important and must have a presence. I have been within what is called the liberal movement for many years and I have seen that it is practically a sect.

P. What a sect?

R. A sect in which a group of old friends decide whether you enter or not, and if you are a woman, imagine, worse. If you talk about feminism, you are crazy; If you talk about migratory freedom, forget it, because the purity they talk about is being contaminated; If you talk about drug legalization, neither; If you talk about LGBT rights and freedoms, they tell you that you are a cultural Marxist. At some point I had to stop. That wasn’t my thing. There is a fundamentalism of everything, except freedom.

P. How does this “sect” work?

R. It is a network of foundations whose main donors are from the American Trumpist right. From there is derived what is in Vox, in the Disenso Foundation, the Madrid Charter. Many liberal foundations today are in that kind of Christian nationalism that tries to unite religion with power again. They criticize the 2030 Agenda, for them everything is a plot, woke to destroy the world.

P. What’s up with it woke?

R. There is nothing else woke than the idea of ​​liberalism as I conceive it. The awakening of thought, which questions things. There is nothing wrong with questioning, but that liberal movement does not like doubt.

Antonella Marty, Argentine writer and political scientist, at the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid, pictured on June 4, 2024.Jaime Villanueva

P. Where does this right come from?

R. From the idea of ​​a past to which they want to return. Nostalgia for what they understand by the West, which I do not share, because they refer to the times before the Enlightenment. I am interested in the West that seeks freer and more open societies, that questions power relations that they deny. They are also united by the construction of common enemies, the conspiracy theory.

P. Classical liberalism has sometimes been in a blurry territory between left and right.

R. For me, liberalism traditionally played outside that left-right axis. When it appeared, it did not question the left, but the right, theocratic ideas, to separate religion from the State and power. Now they want to unite religious values ​​with power again. And we know how dangerous that is.

P. How does it fit with feminism?

R. There are those who say that liberal feminism is what is important, that only the first wave matters… but for me all waves are important, they all have something to say. He is accused of victimizing women, but women are still victims of a heteropatriarchal model that marks these new rights and that makes them, for example, go against abortion. Milei’s government says that the children of divorced parents perform worse in schools, that abortion is the socialist agenda that causes death, genocide, what do I know. It is the imposition of a morality.

When it appeared, liberalism did not question the left, but the right, to separate religion from the state and power

P. At the end of the 20th century there was talk of the end of ideologies and even the end of history. Is the world more ideological today?

R. Yes. Before it was divided into capitalism and communism, one could identify those ideologies easily. But today labels have increased and we live in a completely messy library. We don’t know where the books are, or what each one is about: everything is mixed up. Today liberalism is sometimes identified with white supremacism or nationalism, with the alternative right. That says a lot about the ideological disorder.

P. The fear of communism also resurfaces.

R. Everything seems to be communism for certain sectors. Absolutely everything. But where is there communism? Nicolás Maduro speaks of “homeland or death” which is the same thing that Milei or Victor Orban say. Milei repeats that socialism is taking over the world, all the time, like a Twitter phrase. Many young people fall into that and do not dare to question themselves. When I talk about Michel Foucault, who seems to me to be a fundamental author for understanding power and desire, I am considered a total Marxist, a representative of Marx and Engels. I don’t think we even understand the work of Ludwig Von Mises or Ayn Rand.

P. What unites these new disorderly rights?

R. The idea that we live in chaos, in the clutches of communism, of the cultural decadence of the West. They call decadence, for example, gender theories, which they have not even read. The rejection of feminism is something that unites them. Feminism is decisive in this process: it seeks to question those ideas about how a woman should be, how she should behave.

P. That common enemy also serves as ideological glue.

R. Yes, they want to be the dominant alpha male of the heteropatriarchy who comes to restore a nostalgic moment, a past when things were good. But… who were they good for? That’s why it’s okay for women to talk, to talk about abuse, #metoo…

The new right unites against feminism and the idea that Western society is in decline, that everything is communism

P. Is being right-wing seen as a new rebellion?

R. It’s a matter of cycles. There were those of liberation of the mind and questioning of the system, as in the 60s and 70s. But then those who criticize all that return, those who want to return to a past, to the 50s, where it is not questioned, where it is silenced. to the dissident. Youth has a very important role.

P. In what way?

R. In Argentina many repeat what Milei says because of that idea of ​​rebellion. Reactionism is in fashion, including the use of violence and the rejection of empathy. Saying that the poor are poor because they deserve it. Many are associated with religion. Milei says that he is the lion, the one chosen by God to save the world. Playing with these symbols is dangerous, because you don’t know what they can awaken.

P. Where is the traditional right, the traditional center right?

R. These political spaces are moving to the right. In Argentina, for example, they give full powers to Milei, that man who gives concerts while the country is in a catastrophic situation or who travels to Spain for a party event and does not even meet with the official government. All of his trips have been partisan events or religious tours. It’s as if he lives in a parallel reality. They believe that there is a right to offend, but for me it does not exist: the bullying It is not freedom of expression. And then they complain about the consequences, such as cancellation: if you are racist or homophobic they will cancel you. If you are a Nazi, free society is going to cancel you, because it seeks to be democratic. But they put themselves in the role of victims.

P. What does the left paint in this panorama?

R. Regimes that call themselves left-wing, such as Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, rather than being typical left-wing regimes, have become left-wing nationalisms, and I believe that nationalism, of any kind, is the great danger of our time.

P. And within the “typical” left?

R. In Argentina, at least, the most left-wing, socialist, communist currents are the ones that are talking about the most coherent things right now: they talk about the rule of law, about the republic, about not giving powers to a crazy guy like Milei. It is where the defense of democracy is understood. I believe that social democracy should be seen today more as a branch of democracy than as a version of socialism. It is criticized a lot by the liberal movement, but it has totally salvageable aspects. The countries that are doing best are the Nordic ones, which have a model that understands something of both things: freedom and social issues. This is how societies that advance are achieved, in which people can live well.

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