Café Américain
The New Normal

21 June 2024  7:00pm

Event type: Discussion

Event location: Verdurin

The Covid coinage of the ‘The New Normal’ describing a situation which mandated involuntary but acquiescing changes in the lives of entire societies faded from popular use as easily as it had appeared. To forget the horrific events of the pandemic is a natural human response. 

The political developments which accompanied the event, however, have made a return to an old normal nearly impossible. Pre-pandemic social confidence was permanently eroded when meeting friends became a public order offence and ‘informed consent’ was replaced by technocratic dictate. The Covid years lastingly disrupted the settlement of individual rights and freedoms and the separation of powers on which Western societies depend. 

By design or chance, Covid served as a launchpad for a new transfer of rights from autonomous individuals to the state. Historically, this is the hallmark of the onset of authoritarian rule. A further curbing of rights in the name of climate policy or censorship laws introduced in response to conflicts far away are the true face of a new post-political, even post-ideological, totalitarian New Normal.

How can we understand and confront this New Normal? This event brings together the editorial team and writers of the new magazine Café Américain which takes this question head-on. The project explores the raging war on democracy, the pandemic society, and the climate scare. Its themes reflect the ways in which the New Normal transforms society towards technocratic totalitarianism.

The event will be the London launch of Café Américain and welcome its founding editor Elena Louisa Lange (philosopher and author), co-editors George Hoare (known from BungaCast) and Daniel Hadas (Medievalist and scholar), and contributor Chris Bateman (philosopher and game designer).

Together with the audience, they will discuss the themes explored in their writing, such as censorship and free speech, collectivist ideology, societal vulnerability, as well as the role of the left and the changing function of language under the New Normal.

  • Elena Louisa Lange

    Elena Lange is a philosopher, Japanologist, writer, former musician, and former assistant professor. She is the editor of Café Américain.

  • George Hoare

    George Hoare is a political theorist, podcaster, and author.

  • Daniel Hadas

    Daniel Hadas specializes in early Christian literature, medieval Latin, and the study of manuscripts.

  • Chris Bateman

    Chris Bateman is an award-winning game designer, philosopher, and an intellectual mercenary fleeing the smouldering ruins of academia.