Carolin Amlinger

  • Freedom violated
  • Aspects of libertarian authoritarianism

Corona critics with flower necklaces, artists questioning scientific findings, journalists staging themselves as rebels against alleged speech bans: The libertarian authoritarian has found his way into political discourse. He does not long for a glorified past or the strong hand of the state, but argues vociferously for individual freedoms – to be free from consideration, from social constraints, from social solidarity. According to Carolin Amlinger, it is a consequence of the promise of freedom of the late modern age: the individual is supposed to be mature, authentic, and highly responsible. At the same time, he experiences himself as increasingly powerless and without influence in the face of an increasingly complex world. This is experienced as a grievance and manifests itself in resentment and hostility toward democracy.

Amlinger explains the social reasons that led to a change in the authoritarian character. Late modernity produces a new type of protest whose call for individual sovereignty is a threat to a society of the free and equal: the denial of a shared reality.

Dr. Carolin Amlinger is a sociologist of literature and research associate at the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies at the University of Basel.

In the series Democracy


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Foto: Sarina Chamatova

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