Carolin Amlinger

  • Freedom violated
  • Aspects of libertarian authoritarianism
  • Literature

Corona critics with flower necklaces, artists who question scientific findings, journalists who stage 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 self-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: Jürgen Bauer