Popularism and the Internet

Pages145-152
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-435-420181018
Publication Date06 Dec 2018
AuthorNigel Culkin,Richard Simmons
10
POPULARISM AND THE INTERNET
In South Africa in 1856, the spirits of three ancestors visited a
15-year-old Xhosa girl called Nongqawuse requesting that the tribe
destroy their crops and cattle so their ancestors could then return
and drive the white settlers into the ocean. New, beautiful cattle
would appear and the sun would turn red. The Xhosa duly began
killing cattle and burning crops and of course the tribe went hungry
and starved.
Adapted from Kuper (2017)
SIGNS OF AN OLDER NARRATIVE IN A MODERN AGE?
The year 2019 will mark the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of
Versaillesthat formally ended the 19141918 World War I. It is unlikely
this event will be marked with Pan European jubilation, given that for many
it opened the pages of a new narrative in Germany that became associated
with the rise of National Socialism. In Germany, the signing of the Versailles
Peace Treaty in 1919 was seen by some as a Stab in The Backby the then
Berlin Government.
The Stab in The Backsimile is particularly powerful in a Brexit context as
it transfers responsibility for difculties to someone else. It is sometimes used in
a military context, where in the face of defeat, military leaders have sometimes
claimed (notably at the end of the World War I) that they were on the thresh-
old of a great victory only, to be let down by the lack of resolve and weakness
of government and civil society.
361
One consequence of such an allusion is the
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