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The new treason of the intellectualsCan the University survive?$
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Thomas Docherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132741

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526132741.001.0001

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Inflation, democracy, and populism

Inflation, democracy, and populism

Chapter:
(p.139) 5 Inflation, democracy, and populism
Source:
The new treason of the intellectuals
Author(s):

Thomas Docherty

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526132741.003.0006

The crisis in higher education is also simultaneously a crisis in constitutional democracies; and the two are intimately linked. The corruption of language that shapes managerialist discourse enables a corruption in the communications among citizens that are vital in any democracy. Democracy becomes recast first as an alleged ‘will of the people’, but a will whose semantic content is prone to political manipulation. In turn this opens the way to a validation of demagogic populism that masquerades as democracy when it is in fact the very thing that undermines democracy. When the University sector becomes complicit with this – as it is in our times – then it engages in a fundamental betrayal of the actual people in the society it claims to serve. Populism thrives on the celebration of anti-intellectual ignorance and the contempt for expertise, preferring instead the supposedly more ‘natural’ claims of instinctive faith over reason. Lurking within this is a form of class warfare that treats real and actual working class life as contemptible.

Keywords:   Inflation, Democracy, Populism, Newspeak, Citizens and citizenship, Post-truth, English nationalism, Brexit, League-tables

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