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Source: (consider it) Thread: A right kind of populism?
opaWim
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A few days ago I watched live coverage on CNN of a press conference given by our PM, mr. Rutte.

In this press-conference I heard him use the phrase "the wrong kind of populism".
I eagerly awaited the logical question from the press if there is a "right kind of populism".
I'm still waiting.

Are there merits in (the right kind of) populism?

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It's the Thirties all over again.

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betjemaniac
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Yes, I picked up on that quote when it was reported on the Today Programme this morning. I wait with curiosity for details of the the right sort of populism.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Dafyd
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Populism is I suppose an appeal to 'the people' excluding some kind of elite that is supposed to be inimical to 'the people'. And often but not always excluding minority or immigrant groups who even though not part of 'the elite' are also not part of 'the people'.
So I suppose the right sort of populism would be one that opposes an elite whose interests are genuinely at odds with the rest of the population and which doesn't target vulnerable minorities.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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DaleMaily
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
And often but not always excluding minority or immigrant groups who even though not part of 'the elite' are also not part of 'the people'.

Also known as "tyranny of the majority", as John Major put it.

I struggle to see how deliberate, long-term populism (well-intentioned or not, from the left or right) can exist in a democracy, which is deliberately designed to protect the minority against the majority. Hungary's "illiberal democracy" seems to attempt to do this, and I wouldn't want to be an immigrant or Jew there...

[ 16. March 2017, 10:51: Message edited by: DaleMaily ]

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The more I get to know the less I find that I understand.

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Marvin the Martian

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Populism is a process of seeking to gain popularity (in this case political popularity) by appealing to or offering support for the concerns of ordinary people.

So whether there's a "right kind" or "wrong kind" of populism presumably depends on whether you view the things ordinary people are concerned about to be the "right kind" or "wrong kind" of concerns.

I'd also add that populism can be honest or dishonest depending on how serious the politician/party is about actually doing something about the concerns. I'd certainly class dishonest populism as the "wrong kind", but then I'd say the same of any dishonest campaigning.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Yes, I picked up on that quote when it was reported on the Today Programme this morning. I wait with curiosity for details of the the right sort of populism.

Government decisions ought usually to be made with the head - maybe the right kind of populism is occasionally taking decisions with the heart? An example might be overriding cost benefit analysis because people care so strongly about an issue such as saving a given building or service.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Populism is a process of seeking to gain popularity (in this case political popularity) by appealing to or offering support for the concerns of ordinary people.

There is here a problem about which people are 'ordinary'. Do you have to have exactly 2.3 children? Either everyone is 'ordinary' or hardly anyone is.
Forms of populism that ignore that problem are probably the wrong kind.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Populism is a process of seeking to gain popularity (in this case political popularity) by appealing to or offering support for the concerns of ordinary people.

So whether there's a "right kind" or "wrong kind" of populism presumably depends on whether you view the things ordinary people are concerned about to be the "right kind" or "wrong kind" of concerns.

I'd also add that populism can be honest or dishonest depending on how serious the politician/party is about actually doing something about the concerns. I'd certainly class dishonest populism as the "wrong kind", but then I'd say the same of any dishonest campaigning.

Populism needn't, by definition, be dishonest. However, it is flawed in thinking that the people are any more honest or clear than the politicians.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gramps49
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Populism is about appealing to the masses, I grant that. Trump sure appealed to the masses, but so did Bernie. Trump appealed to the fear of the population and promised great things. Bernie appealed to the hopes of the population and also promised a better world.

From my perspective, I certainly would have preferred Bernie

But, I see a danger to populism. No one can appeal to everyone. There will always be someone left out. The will of the majority can be tyranny to the minority. While it is easy to point out how Trump's populism leads to exclusion, Bernie would have had a similar effect on more conservative people.

But, maybe that tension is healthy.

Now, though, we have to experience the darker form of populism. Four years from now I would expect the pendulum to swing the other way.

Posts: 1805 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged


 
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