Infantilization and Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times

22 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018

Date Written: February 2017


Across the world, many democracies are in crisis and the civilization is crumbling. The crisis erupts because there is an impoverishment of political life where intolerance, greed, ignorance and rage are growing recklessly. The vibrancy of the democracies is diminishing as the public sphere of informed democratic dialogue is shrinking. Blatant lies, infantile emotionalism, absolute disrespect, open display of religious and other forms of discrimination, racism, misogyny, casteism and bigotry and other such evils are replacing the concept of the egalitarianism and consensus building. The substantive engagement with the ideas in the public life is being emptied of contents and as happening in the mainstream media, celebrity culture is being promoted in political and social life, which relies more on emotions rather than reasons or the rationalism. The spectacle of right wing fantasies is growing as the public sphere is increasingly occupied by the majoritarian Hindu, upper caste elite male club in India as compared to White male Christian club in the US or other parts of the West. The concept of respecting the diverse views is being collapsed in the cacophony of uninformed arguments, unintelligible jargon, esoteric theories and unsubstantiated opinions. Lawlessness is increasing and fanatics are getting louder and louder. Ignorance clubbed with the power, narcissism and megalomaniac attitude among ruling elite is giving rise to the dangerous state of affairs. The democratic secular ethos are being replaced by the culture of blood thirsty crony capitalism, cruelty and politics of uncivility. Anti-intellectualism and oligarchy is expanding while pushing for catastrophic human miseries because the totalitarian tyrannical and authoritarian state had failed. Militarization is expanding causing harm to the unarmed citizens while war mongers are consolidating their power. The language, the culture, the ethos, the civility, all are being infantilized and crippled leading to the decay of socio-political environment. The world is being pushed into the dark times by the newly emerged populous self-centered leaders. Democracies across the world are facing new kind of challenges but the critical question that is being raised here is that will these democracies be emerge out of this situation to imagine a different world while reclaiming democracies? When the politics is infantilized and its standards and norms are degraded, are there ways to revive and re-sustain mature democracies? Are these democracies in crisis, ready to contest the murky forces to bring desired transformations that would end the barbarism in politics? When human rights are curtailed by demagogues through strategies ranging from heavy militarization to the trolls of army on the internet, is there any way out to this global assault to imagine ways to cherish democracy, establish social justice and reaffirm human rights?

Keywords: Democracy, Demagogue, Politics, India

Suggested Citation

Nigam, Shalu, Infantilization and Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times (February 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Shalu Nigam (Contact Author)

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