Contagion, Community, Myth
Fascism tends to be relegated to a dark chapter of European history, but what if new forms of fascism are currently returning to the forefront of the political scene? In this book, Nidesh Lawtoo furthers his previous diagnostic of crowd behavior, identification, and mimetic contagion to account for the growing shadow cast by authoritarian leaders who rely on new media to take possession of the digital age. Donald Trump is considered here as a case study to illustrate Nietzsche’s untimely claim that, one day, “ ‘actors,’ all kinds of actors, will be the real masters.” In the process, Lawtoo joins forces with a genealogy of mimetic theorists—from Plato to Girard, through Nietzsche, Tarde, Le Bon, Freud, Bataille, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy, among others—to show that (new) fascism may not be fully “new,” let alone original; yet it effectively reloads the old problematics of mimesis via new media that have the disquieting power to turn politics itself into a fiction.
Series: Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019
360 pages| 4.5 in x 6 in
Nidesh Lawtoo is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and English at KU Leuven in Belgium, as well as Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council titled Homo Mimeticus: Theory and Criticism. He was previously Visiting Scholar in the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University, and he is the author of Conrad's Shadow: Catastrophe, Mimesis, Theory and The Phantom of the Ego: Modernism and the Mimetic Unconscious, which has been translated into Italian.Nidesh Lawtoo is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and English at KU Leuven in Belgium, as well as Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council titled Homo Mimeticus: Theory and Criticism.