CAPPE Public Lecture | The Long 90s Is Over – Jeremy Gilbert
Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics
Public Lecture Series
Has The Future Been Cancelled?
8th October 2019
The Long 90s Is Over
Jeremy Gilbert | University of East London
Grand Parade, M2 Boardroom
Something ended around 2016, as Trump, Brexit and Corbyn became central topics of everyday political discourse. Ever since the early 1990s, mainstream politics in the English-speaking world had been dominated by the success of the neoliberal politico-economic programme, and a cultural agenda that promoted socially-liberal, cosmopolitan, individualistic values. Theorists had claimed that we were now in an epoch of ‘postmodernity’; even that we stood at ’the end of history’. But the truth is that this was always just another phase in the long history of capitalism. That phase has ended now for various reasons – such as the rise of social media and ‘platform capitalism’ – leaving us in a turbulent situation characterised by the rise of new forms of politics on the right and on the left: from the alt-right to Corbynism. What these different forms of politics share is a rejection of the authority of the professional political class, that has managed our societies on behalf of finance capital and Big Tech since the 1970s. But what can replace that authority and the culture that it endorsed? What are the dangers and opportunities facing us in this new era, after the end of the ‘long 90s’?