Ideas Shape the World – An Introduction to Social Movements

The legacies and ideologies of the 20th century’s main social movements surround us, whether you know it or not—in the voting booth, on TV, on Twitter, in workplace watercooler jokes… In this new salon series, journalist and researcher Robert Nemeth will provide you with the starter kit you need to understand today’s world better, from the ideas that shape our world to how they inspire action.

Transhumanism, equal pay, the Great Resignation, gig economy unions, Mars colonies, “Tax the Rich,” the Guy Fawkes-mask… All ideologies and movements around you have a history that shapes their future and their popularity.

This new series, running for over a year, is for you if you

  • are interested in the historical roots and/or antecedents of today’s events,
  • are interested in the ideology behind social movements and trends,
  • would like to understand how these movements learn from and influence each other,
  • have been wondering why Fight Club ended as it did, or saw any historical parallels in Star Wars.

Yes, we will talk a lot about history, but mostly as a means to understand the present and to be able to more consciously observe today’s social trends. Media researcher and former journalist Robert Nemeth (CEU Democracy Institute) will guide you through how ideas turn into action, and what is the ideological driving force, the philosophy behind the movements we often see in the news nowadays?

Dates: 7pm CET (10am PST, 1pm EST, 11pm IST), once a month on Saturdays.

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In addition to series tickets, you will get access to our community Discord (with a channel for this series to chat between events)—as well as free salon tickets each month, discounts, free members-only events, and more.

1July 30, 2022What Is a “Social Movement”? – An Introduction

Britannica defines social movement as “a loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values.” But is it that simple, or are there various types of social movements? In the introductory session we will chat about the categorization of social movements.
2August 27, 2022Liberalism – From Liberal Values to Illiberal Democracies

Liberalism is an ideology that premises liberty and individual rights, such as freedom of thought/religion, equality of opportunity, and the right to own property. What are the origins of liberal thoughts? How did these ideas shape the Western concept of democracy, and how did we come to the notion of illiberal democracies?
3October 8, 2022Marxism – From The Capital to the Critique of Capitalism

Marxism had a profound impact on global academia, and influenced many fields from anthropology through criminology, film theory, geography and psychology to urban planning. But how do critical theory and feminism come into the picture?
4November 12, 2022Fascism – From the Totalitarian State to Superiority Cult

Fascism, the far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. But what do fascist movements look like today? Is everyone fascist who is labelled so?
5December 3, 2022Anarchism – From Proudhon to Rojava

Anarchists are skeptical of authority and reject all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. They employ a variety of tactics to meet their ideal ends. While the end of the Spanish Civil War marked the end of the classical era of anarchism, it has been resurgent in recent decades. But in which movements can anarchistic thoughts be detected?
6February 11, 2022Anti-Colonialism

As a historical event, anti-colonialism means the struggle against imperial rule in colonized countries, but is also the predecessor to post-colonialism, which urges to rethink and reclaim the history and agency of people subordinated under various forms of imperialism.
7March 11th, 2023Counterculture – From the Hippies to Veganism

The hippies, the green movement, polygamists and feminists – all of these started as counter-cultural movements, whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society. In the session we will talk specifically about the counterculture of the 60s, which was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world, and culminated in 1968.
8May 13, 2023Anti-Capitalism – From the Luddites to Occupy Wall Street

Anti-capitalism is a political ideology and movement encompassing a variety of attitudes and ideas opposing and criticizing capitalism. From the earliest days, anti-capitalist movements have often encountered a fundamental problem: power is so diffuse that it is difficult to identify a target for opposition. But what do contemporary anti-capitalist movements do?
9July 1, 2023Women’s Movements and Gender Equality

Gender equality means equal access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender. Achieving gender equality also requires eliminating harmful practices against women and girls, including sex trafficking, wartime sexual violence, gender wage gap, and other oppression tactics. It is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, as stated in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
10August, 2023The Civil Rights Movement – From Rosa Parks to Black Lives Matter

The civil rights movement was a nonviolent social movement and campaign in the United States in the 1950s and 60s to abolish legalized racial segregation, discrimination, and disenfranchisement throughout the country. Nevertheless, racial inequalities are still a major concern in the United States, which reawakened the need for new movements. But in what way are the 21st and 20th centuries’ civil rights movements similar or different? What are the most important issues today?
11September, 2023Alt-Right

The alt-right movement is a 21st century phenomenon. Its origins, however, trace back decades, and its ideology is heavily influenced by multiple sources. In what ways was the New Right Movement in the 60s and 70s a response to the New Left? What is the role of the internet in the rise of the movement? Are we in the middle of a culture war?
12October, 2023LGBTQ Movements

13November, 2023Climate Justice

14December, 2023Techno-Utopianism


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