Abstract: For the most part, modern and postmodern societies operate as liberal democratic systems with the mesoscopic (middle ground) mentality. Societies are ideologically divided or even fragmented, but mediated from the middle securing at least partial bridging between divided ideologies, even if unprincipled and half-hearted. The old concept of the middle is therefore inauthentic, which is the reason why it has gradually lost its legitimacy in democratic societies.
The paper develops an idea of a society founded on an authentic middle that has three defining properties: it is radical to the poles between which it mediates, it is intersectional between them, and it is empty. The authentic middle does not pursue its own substantive preferences for the resolution of social contradictions. As a void, it is blind to simplistic truths and instead looks for what remains obscured in contradictory claims. It is also empty because it does not belong to those who strive for it the most, as Pabst and Freinacht expect.
The literature review extracted three theories with three programs to fill the void left behind by the erosion of the old middle: postliberalism (Pabst), metamodernism (Vermeulen; Freinacht), and anti-postmodernism (Badiou). The article compares them from the point of view of the three pillars of the authentic middle. All three theories are intersectional. All three consider themselves radicals. Only the concept of antipostmodernism, however, fulfills the condition of an empty middle.
Keywords: Modern, Postmodern, Antipostmodern, Middle, Evaluation.
4.1 Radical Middle
4.2 Overlapping Middle
4.3 Empty Middle
5. Politics about nothing in particular
The paper will be published in January 2023 in the Slovenian language. Publishing of English language translation of this paper is foreseen in 2023.