Post-Truth: The Forgotten Lesson of the Sociology of Knowledge
In 2016, the term “post-truth” was declared the “Word of the Year” by the Oxford Dictionaries, because of its large use in the two main political events of the year: the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union, which ended with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (known as “Brexit”); and the US presidential elections, ending with the victory of Donald Trump. The idea that we entered an era of post-truth politics has become widespread. This article rejects this idea by pointing out that the present situation is not new in history and that the best evidence of its “normality” is the existence of a one hundred year-old science – the sociology of knowledge – founded to study situations of this type. The author argues that the sociology of knowledge, conceived by Karl Mannheim as a sociological history of ideas, offers all the necessary instruments to interpret the present political situation, which sees a globalist ideology opposed to a sovereign ideology.
Riccardo CampaJagiellonian University in Krakow