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Seminar The New Right I

Venue: International University of Andalusia (UNIA). Monasterio de Santa María de las Cuevas, Av. Américo Vespucio 2. Isla de la Cartuja (Sevilla)
Date: 24th >> 28th October 2005
Guest Speakers: Francisco Espinosa, Valerio Evangelisti, Amador Fernández-Savater, Juli Highfill, Juan Jesús Mora Molina, Corey Robin, Emmanuel Rodríguez
In collaboration with: Editorial Archipiélago




The New Right: Ideas and Means for the Counter-revolutionIs anyone actually bothering to carry out an in-depth analysis about the strengh of the (neo)conservative counter-offensive in Europe and the United States? George W. Bush's second electoral victory has caused great perplexity amongst the left across the whole planet: How is it possible that people voted for a candidate whose campaign was clearly based on terrible lies which have been publicly unveiled (Abu Ghraib, Michael Moore, weapons of mass destruction, etc.)?". Perhaps the obvious answer is that "Americans are stupid, fearful, and aggressive. They don't read or travel; they can't even show you where Spain is on the map". The American way of life. Therefore, we have nothing really to worry about in Europe (despite Haider, Berlusconi-Fini, Le Pen, etc.). The moral indignation and contempt felt towards the voters of the populist right has completely deprived us of an in-depth analysis about the power of the imagery and the relentless decline of the left, which seems unable to instill any desire or make any sense of this disconcerting era of globalisation.

Now that "everything that was once solid seems to be dissolving into thin air", the popular right moves like a fish in the water. Their media and organisational war machines manipulate, better than anyone, the community symbols - at a time in which community is non existent. They label all the economic and social conflicts between the rich and the poor as moral conflicts, and masterfully tune into the fears and deep ambivalence of the "silent majority". They instrumentalise the imagery of the traditional values and cynically re-direct the "class resentment" of millions of globalisation orphans against the ghosts (the threat of immigration, homosexuals, the leftist elite, etc.), who are purportedly responsible for the desintegration of an idealised world (fatherland, identity, community), which is looked upon with nostalgia. Yet, instead of seriously analysing how the populist right has come to be regarded by so many as the defender of the "common people", a great part of the left tends to limit themselves to making a moral judgement ("fascists, nationalistic and male chauvinists, yokels, homophobics, etc."). It is said that "when a finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger". Indeed, while the (neo)conservative finger is pointing at real problems which affect millions of people (street violence, the disintegration of schools and social interaction, the precariousness of life, the dissapearance of the culture of respect, etc.), the idiots just stare at the finger (their repressive proposals).

Are the neoconservatives similar to the old conservatives like De Bonald or De Maistre? Not at all! The neoconservatives have an imperial project by which the United States will rule the globe, alongside a social remodelisation project intended to attain what Bush calls the ownership society. In other words: for them it is not a question of "keeping the house in good order", but rather, to rule the whole world. It is not only a matter of preserving tradition, but of founding a new social bond and manufacturing a new type of citizen, an owner-individual who is completely detached from any form of social obligation, responsibility, and care-giving.

At the same time, since the 80s, Europe has experienced the ending of the Welfare State cycle in combination with a cultural and political trend which questions representative democracy. During this period various sectors of resistence have appeared in response to the crisis which expresses in the forms of communitarism segregation and heterophobic identities. They criticise the "formal" democracy and champion the "real" power of the people, whilst being nostalgic about the old social protection and the preservation of the spaces of cultural recognition which have been abolished. Over a twenty five year period, this protest has managed to consolidate itself as an alternative approach and as an area of political and ideological contamination which enjoys the recognition of considerable sectors of the population. The right wing populists who have attained power in democracy (Berlusconi-Fini, Haider, etc.), have used mythical and symbolic mobilisation resources of a clearly antiparliamentary nature and cultural connotations which go against the party system. Whatever the case, the European landscape at the junction between these two centuries could not be comprehensible without examining a phenomenon which should not be regarded as a mere re-edition of classical fascism or as the simple radicalisation of the traditional liberal conservative right.

What about Spain? On the one hand, the "liberal" right and the surrounding media promoted any economic deregulation which could reduce (even further) political autonomy in relation to the market. On the other, they tried to take advantage of the confusion produced by the ending of all the forms of traditional belonging by stressing the Spanish nationalistic discussion. National-liberalism. This dizzying race is leading to the impugnation of party system mechanism procedures. This leads some to speak about "neofrancoism" (the ghosts of the civil war, etc.). Is this an adequate terminology to name and describe Libertad Digital, FAES, etc.? It's certainly true that the right is manipulating the victimist imagery of the "Two Spains" very efficiently (1936, Basque nationalism, the family crisis, etc.). But what is it about this right (whose membership, as in the case of the neocons, includes large numbers of former radical leftists) that sells its "novelty" so well?

UNIA arteypensamiento and Archipiélago propose a series of viewpoints which by no means intend to provide a completely rigorous explanation of the phenomenon but offer some analytical keys, which, far from making an ideological and moral judgement, may enable us to gain a deeper insight into the various signs of a common impulse.



Monday, 24th of October 2005
· 7 pm.
Amador Fernández-Savater: Presentation
Conference by Juli Highfill: Once Upon a Time, Free Thinking in Kansas.

Tuesday, 25th of October 2005
· 7 pm.
Conference by Emmanuel Rodríguez: The New Right: the Rebellion of the Elites and the Collapse of the Left.

Wednesday, 26th of October 2005
· 7 pm.
Conference by Francisco Espinosa: The Revisionist Phenomenon in Spain: an Attempt at Interpretation.

Thursday, 27th of October 2005
· 7 pm.
Conference by Valerio Evangelisti: The Colonisation of the Imagery and the Resistance of Literature.

Friday, 28th of October 2005
· 7 pm.
Conference by Corey Robin: Endgame: the Neoconservatives after the End of the Cold War.
Conference by Juan Jesús Mora Molina: How do the Neocons Build Hegemony?: Financial, media and organisational perspectives.

* All the lectures will be open to the public.

* Daily sessions are scheduled to commence at 7 pm and finish at 10 pm. The conferences will be consecutive and will be followed by debates with the public.

Parallel activities
[In collaboration with the publishing company Almuzara]

Presentation of the "Pensamiento Político" (Political Thought) collection of the publishing company Almuzara, with the participation of Ramon Soriano (director of the collection) Juan Jesus Mora (coordinator and translator) and Amador Fernández-Savater (coordinator of the seminar):

Thursday 27th of October 2005
1 pm.
Casa del Libro
C/ Velázquez, 8 Seville



Francisco Espinosa
He is a historian. His lastest research includes works such as El fenómeno revisionista o los fantasmas de la derecha española, (The Revisionist Phenomenon or the Ghosts of the Spanish Right), Ediciones del Oeste, Badajoz, 2005; "Historia, memoria, olvido: la represión franquista", [History, Memory, and Forgetting: the Francoist Repression], published by Bedmar, Arcángel (Coord.); Memoria y olvido sobre la guerra civil y la represión franquista, [Memory and Forgetting about the Civil War and the Francoist Repression], Ayuntamiento de Lucena, Córdoba, 2003; La columna de la muerte. El avance del ejército franquista de Sevilla a Badajoz, [The Column of Death. The Advance of Franco's Forces from Seville to Badajoz] Crítica, Barcelona, 2003. He is often invited as a lecturer or speaker in seminars and courses such as La España actual: la lucha en torno a la memoria [Contemporary Spain: the Struggle in Terms of Memory], an Advanced Seminar on International Relations and the European Union, 2005; or La España de Franco, [Franco's Spain], a course organised by Professor Paul Preston at the Universidad Complutense as part of the Summer Courses of El Escorial, 2002.

Valerio Evangelisti
He was born in Bologna in 1952. He has worked at the Universities of Bologna and Ferrara and is the author of several historical and economic essays. His narrative works, especially in the fantasy genre, to which he has been dedicated since 1993, have received international acclaim. The novels he has published in Spain include Nicolas Eymerich, inquisidor [Nicolas Eymerich, Inquisitor] (1999), Las cadenas de Eymerich [Eymerich's Chains](2000), and El cuerpo y la sangre de Eymerich (2001), [Eymerich's Body and Blood] published by Editorial Grijalbo. He collaborates in the French edition of Le Monde Diplomatique and is the President of the Marco Pezzi Historical Archive of the New Left, the largest collection of extreme left newspapers in Europe.

Amador Fernández-Savater
He published Filosofía y acción [Philosophy and action] (Editorial Límite, Santander) 1999. Co-directs the magazine Archipiélago (, which dedicated one of its issues to the "unsettling lucidity of reactionary thinking" (, and the publishing company Acuarela (, which explores the potential traces of a critically incorrect discourse. He is a regular collaborator in the cultural magazine of the newspapers El País and Diagonal ( and the magazine El Viejo Topo. He also participates in various social movements in Madrid.

Juli Highfill
She is a Professor of Modern Literature at Michigan University. In the past years her work has been mainly dedicated to the Spanish Avant-garde and collaborating with by writing a column on politics in the United States. She published "La fe contra los hechos: el fracaso de la ilustración" [Faith against the Facts: the Failure of Enlightenment] in issue 65, 2005 of the magazine Archipiélago and is currently preparing the publication of two books - The Vitality of Things: Modernism and Materiality in the Spanish Avant-Garde, 1907-1936, and From Urban Masses to the Virtual Multitude: Collective Formations in Modern Spain.

Juan Jesús Mora Molina
He is a Professor of Philosophy of Law, currently working at the University of Huelva. He is the academic coordinator and Professor for the "Human Rights in the Contemporary World" Masters' Degree (at the Latin American Centre) whilst being co-director and Professor of the "Political Thought, Participation and Citizenship" doctorate programme at the Pablo Olavide University, and coordinator of the "Pensamiento Político" (Political Thought) collection of the Almuzara University. Amongst other things he has published "Diccionario Ideológico Neoconservador" [Neoconservative Ideological Dictionary], in El Nuevo Orden Americano (II): ¿La Muerte del Derecho?, Soriano Díaz [The New American Order (II): The Death of Law] R.L. and Mora Molina, J. J., Córdoba: Editorial Almuzara, 2005 and Contra el eje del Mal, [Against the Axis of Evil] Kristol, W. and Kagan, R., coords Córdoba: Editorial Almuzara, 2005 (preliminary study and translation).

Corey Robin
He is an associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Fear: The History of a Political Idea (Oxford University Press), which recently won the Best First Book in Political Theory Award from the American Political Science Association. Fear has been cited as "recommended reading" by the New York Times and "one of the best books of 2004" by Publishers Weekly. It has been translated into Italian, with French and Chinese translations forthcoming. Robin's articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, The New York Times, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere. He is currently at work, with historian Ellen Schrecker, on a study of American political repression, and he is also writing an intellectual history of counterrevolution. He teaches courses in political theory and constitutional law. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1999 and his A.B. from Princeton University in 1989.

Emmanuel Rodríguez
He obtained a degree in Sociology from the UNED and a Doctorate in History from Madrid's Universidad Complutense. He is the author of El gobierno imposible; trabajo y fronteras en las metrópolis de la abundancia [The Impossible Government: Work and Frontiers in the Metropolises of Abundance]. It was published by Traficantes de Sueños, an associative bookshop, alternative distribution, and militant publishing company project, which also acts as a meeting point and is based at Embajadores 35, Madrid. The organisation, of which Emmanuel is a member, is currently one of most solidly established and interesting politically autonomous businesses in Spain (