The world in 2019 looks like an ugly place. Right-wing authoritarianism is on the rise and rides on waves of popular discontent and disillusionment with failed neoliberal policies and mainstream politics. In different parts of the world, right-wing leaders are ascending to power through the use of popular instruments like the vote. Fake news and misinformation are integral parts of the strategies used to cement this ugly world. Walls are going up and a politics of exclusion has gained prominence. The climate crisis continues and corporate power is seemingly invincible. The disappointments and near-collapse of left governments contributes to a climate of cynicism and despondency. But, attempts to change the world and win freedom have not ceased. In many places, people are waging a push-back against the climate crisis, closure of democratic space, rising inequalities, militarisation, racism and hate-fuelled politics. Rethinking Freedom is a course designed to grapple with the realities of fighting for the attainment of freedom in this time of uncertainty. Tying the course together are key questions:
- What does freedom look like today?
- What are the constraints and limitations to freedom today?
- What kinds of strategies are on the table for those seeking to be free today?
- What are the different imaginations of the future being crafted in these struggles?
Participants in the course will consider these questions, locate them historically and look at their theoretical underpinnings.