Populism

Populism

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Populism can be defined as an ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

, political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social movements (a form of mobilization that is essentially devoid of theory). It is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as "political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people's needs and wishes". It can be understood as any political discourse that appeals to the general mass of the population, to the "people" as such, regardless of class distinctions and political partisanship: "a folksy appeal to the 'average guy' or some allegedly general will." This is in opposition to statism
Statism
Statism is a term usually describing a political philosophy, whether of the right or the left, that emphasises the role of the state in politics or supports the use of the state to achieve economic, military or social goals...

, which holds that a small group of professional politicians know better than the people of a state and should make decisions on behalf of them. Nevertheless, populist discourse frequently (often, but not always, in the Latin American case) buttresses an authoritarian top-down process of political mobilization in which the leader addresses the masses without the mediation of either parties or institutions.

Academic definitions


Academic and scholarly definitions of populism vary widely and the term is often employed in loose, inconsistent and undefined ways to denote appeals to ‘the people’, ‘demagogy
Demagogy
Demagogy or demagoguery is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears, vanities and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes...

’ and ‘catch-all
Big tent
In politics, a big tent party or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints. The party does not require adherence to some ideology as a criterion for membership...

’ politics or as a receptacle for new types of parties whose classification is unclear. A factor held to diminish the value of ‘populism’ in some societies is that, as Margaret Canovan notes in her 1981 study Populism, unlike labels such as ‘conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

’ or ‘socialist’, the meanings of which have been ‘chiefly dictated by their adherents’, contemporary populists rarely call themselves ‘populists’ and usually reject the term when it is applied to them by others.

Some exceptions to this pattern of pejorative usage exist, notably in the United States, but it appears likely that this is due to the memories and traditions of earlier democratic movements (for example, farmers' movements, New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 reform movements, and the civil rights movement) that were often called populist, by supporters and outsiders alike. It may also be due to linguistic confusions of populism with terms such as "popular".

Because of the attention on populism in the academic world, scholars have made advances in defining the term in ways that can be profitably employed in research and help to distinguish between movements that are populist and those that simply borrow populist ideas. One of the latest definitions of populism comes from Daniele Albertazzi and Duncan McDonnell who, in their volume Twenty-First Century Populism, define populism as an ideology that "...pits a virtuous and homogeneous people against a set of elites and dangerous ‘others’ who are together depicted as depriving (or attempting to deprive) the sovereign people of their rights, values, prosperity, identity, and voice".

Rather than view populism in terms of specific social bases, economic programs, issues, or electorates—as discussions of right-wing populism tend to do—this conception of populism is in the tradition of scholars such as Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau is an Argentine political theorist often described as post-Marxist.He studied History in Buenos Aires, graduating from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1964, and received a PhD from Essex University in 1977.Since the 1970s he has been Professor of Political Theory at the...

, Pierre-Andre Taguieff
Pierre-André Taguieff
Pierre-André Taguieff is a philosopher and director of research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in an Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris laboratory, the CEVIPOF...

, Yves Meny and Yves Surel, who have all sought to focus on populism per se, rather than simply as an appendage of other ideologies such as nationalism or neo-liberalism.

Given its central tenet that democracy should reflect the pure and undiluted will of the people, populism can sit easily with ideologies of both right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 and left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

. While leaders of populist movements in recent decades have claimed to be on either the left or the right of the political spectrum
Political spectrum
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions....

, many populists claim to be neither "left wing", "centrist
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

" nor "right wing."

Styles and methods


Some scholars argue that populist organizing for empowerment represents the return of older "Aristotelian" politics of horizontal interactions among equals who are different, for the sake of public problem solving. Populism has taken left-wing, right-wing, and even centrist forms, as well as forms of politics that bring together groups and individuals of diverse partisan views. The use of populist rhetoric in the United States has recently included references such as "the powerful trial lawyer
Tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

 lobby", "the liberal elite
Liberal elite
Liberal elite is a political stigma used to describe affluent, politically left-leaning people. It is commonly used with the pejorative implication that the people who claim to support the rights of the working class are themselves members of the upper class, or upper middle class, and are...

", or "the Hollywood elite". Examples of populist rhetoric on the other side of the political spectrum is the anti-big business creed of the Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district...

 movement and the theme of "Two Americas
Two Americas
Two Americas is a catch phrase referring to social stratification in American society, made famous in a speech by former US Senator and former presidential candidate John Edwards, originally referring to haves and have-nots...

" in the 2004 Presidential Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 campaign of John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

.

Populists are seen by some politicians as a largely democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 and positive force in society, while a wing of scholarship in political science contends that populist mass movements are irrational and introduce instability into the political process. Margaret Canovan
Margaret Canovan
Margaret Canovan is an English political theorist.Born in Carlisle in 1939, Canovan studied history at Girton College, Cambridge, where she subsequently completed a PhD on Joseph Priestley...

 argues that both these polar views are faulty, and has defined two main branches of modern populism worldwide—agrarian
Agrarianism
Agrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values rural society as superior to urban society, the independent farmer as superior to the paid worker, and sees farming as a way of life that can shape the ideal social values...

and political—and mapped out seven disparate sub-categories:
Agrarian
  • Commodity farmer movements with radical economic agendas such as the US People's Party
    Populist Party (United States)
    The People's Party, also known as the "Populists", was a short-lived political party in the United States established in 1891. It was most important in 1892-96, then rapidly faded away...

     of the late 19th century.
  • Subsistence peasant movements, such as the Eastern European Green Rising militias, which followed World War I.
  • Intellectuals who romanticize
    Romanticism
    Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

     hard-working farmers and peasants and build radical agrarian movements like the Russian narodnik
    Narodnik
    Narodniks was the name for Russian socially conscious members of the middle class in the 1860s and 1870s. Their ideas and actions were known as Narodnichestvo which can be translated as "Peopleism", though is more commonly rendered "populism"...

    i
    .

Political
  • Populist democracy, including calls for more political participation through reforms such as the use of popular referendum
    Referendum
    A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

    s.
  • Politicians' populism marked by non-ideological appeals for "the people" to build a unified coalition.
  • Reactionary
    Reactionary
    The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

     populism, such as the white backlash harvested by George Wallace
    George Wallace
    George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

    .
  • Populist dictatorship
    Dictatorship
    A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

    , such as that established by Getulio Vargas
    Getúlio Vargas
    Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

     in Brazil.

Fascism and populism


It is believed by some that populist movements can be precursors for, or building blocks for, fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 movements. Conspiracist scapegoating employed by various populist movements can create "a seedbed for fascism." National socialist populism interacted with and facilitated fascism in interwar Germany. In this case, distressed middle–class populists during the pre-Nazi
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 Weimar
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 period mobilized their anger at government and big business. The Nazis "parasitized the forms and themes of the populists and moved their constituencies far to the right through ideological appeals involving demagoguery, scapegoating, and conspiracism." According to Fritzsche:

The Nazis expressed the populist yearnings of middle–class constituents and at the same time advocated a strong and resolutely anti-Marxist mobilization....Against "unnaturally" divisive parties and querulous organized interest groups, National Socialists cast themselves as representatives of the commonwealth, of an allegedly betrayed and neglected German public....[b]reaking social barriers of status and caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

, and celebrating at least rhetorically the populist ideal of the people's community...

Classical populism


The word populism is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word populus, which means people in English (in the sense of "nation", as in: "The Roman People" (populus Romanus), not in the sense of "multiple individual persons" as in: "There are people visiting us today"). Therefore, populism espouses government by the people as a whole (that is to say, the masses). This is in contrast to elitism
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

, aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

, synarchy or plutocracy
Plutocracy
Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy. The word plutocracy is derived from the Ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratos, meaning to rule or to govern.-Usage:The term plutocracy is generally...

, each of which is an ideology that espouse government by a small, privileged group above the masses.

Populism has been a common political phenomenon throughout history. The Populares
Populares
Populares were aristocratic leaders in the late Roman Republic who relied on the people's assemblies and tribunate to acquire political power. They are regarded in modern scholarship as in opposition to the optimates, who are identified with the conservative interests of a senatorial elite...

 were an unofficial faction in the Roman senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 whose supporters were known for their populist agenda. Some of the most well known of these were Tiberius Grachus, Gaius Marius
Gaius Marius
Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. He was elected consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. He was also noted for his dramatic reforms of Roman armies, authorizing recruitment of landless citizens, eliminating the manipular military formations, and reorganizing the...

, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 and Caesar Augustus, all of whom eventually used referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

s to bypass the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 and appeal to the people directly.

Early modern period


Populism rose during the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

; Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 groups like the Anabaptists formed ideas about ideal theocratic societies, in which peasants would be able to read the Bible themselves. Attempts to establish these societies were made during the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 (1524–1525) and the Münster Rebellion
Münster Rebellion
The Münster Rebellion was an attempt by radical Anabaptists to establish a communal sectarian government in the German city of Münster. The city became an Anabaptist center from 1534 to 1535, and fell under Anabaptist rule for 18 months — from February 1534, when the city hall was seized and...

 (1534–1535). The peasant movement ultimately failed as cities and nobles made their own peace with the princely armies, which restored the old order under the nominal overlordship of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, represented in German affairs by his younger brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand
Ferdinand is a Germanic male given name composed of the words for "prepared"/"protection"/"safety"/"peace" and "journey"/"boldness"/"recklessness"...

.

The same conditions contributed to the outbreak of the English Revolution
English Revolution
"English Revolution" has been used to describe two different events in English history. The first to be so called—by Whig historians—was the Glorious Revolution of 1688, whereby James II was replaced by William III and Mary II as monarch and a constitutional monarchy was established.In the...

 of 1642–1651, also known as the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Conditions led to a proliferation of ideologies and political movements among peasants, self-employed artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

s, and working class people in England. Many of these groups had a dogmatic Protestant religious bent. They included Puritans and the Levellers
Levellers
The Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil Wars which emphasised popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance, all of which were expressed in the manifesto "Agreement of the People". They came to prominence at the end of the First...

.

Religious revival


Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, the anxiety against rationalism
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

, broadened after the beginnings of the European and Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

s because of cultural, social, and political insecurity. Romanticism led directly to a strong popular desire to bring about religious revival, nationalism and populism. The ensuing religious revival eventually blended into political populism and nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, becoming at times a single entity and a powerful force of public will for change. This paradigm shift
Paradigm shift
A Paradigm shift is, according to Thomas Kuhn in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science...

 was marked by people looking for security and community because of a strong emotional need to escape from anxiety and to believe in something larger than themselves.

The revival of religiosity all over Europe played an important role in bringing people to populism and nationalism. In France, François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian. He is considered the founder of Romanticism in French literature.-Early life and exile:...

 provided the opening shots of Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 revivalism as he opposed enlightenment's materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

 with the "mystery of life", the human need for redemption. In Germany, Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher was a German theologian and philosopher known for his attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant orthodoxy. He also became influential in the evolution of Higher Criticism, and his work forms part of the foundation of...

 promoted pietism
Pietism
Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to...

 by stating that religion was not the institution
Institution
An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

, but a mystical piety
Piety
In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue that can mean religious devotion, spirituality, or a combination of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.- Etymology :...

 and sentiment with Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 as the mediating figure raising the human consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

 above the mundane to God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

's level. In England, John Wesley
John Wesley
John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield...

's Methodism
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 split with the Anglican church because of its emphasis on the salvation of the masses as a key to moral reform, which Wesley saw as the answer to the social problems of the day.

Rejection of ultramontanism


Chateaubriand's beginning brought about two Catholic Revivals in France: first, a conservative revival led by Joseph de Maistre
Joseph de Maistre
Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre was a French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. He defended hierarchical societies and a monarchical State in the period immediately following the French Revolution...

, which defended ultramontanism
Ultramontanism
Ultramontanism is a religious philosophy within the Roman Catholic community that places strong emphasis on the prerogatives and powers of the Pope...

, which is a religious philosophy placing strong emphasis on the supremacy of the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, and a second populist revival led by Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais, an excommunicated priest. This religious populism opposed ultramontanism and emphasized a church community dependent upon all the people, not just the elite. It stressed that church authority should come from the bottom up and that the church should alleviate suffering, not merely accept it. Both of these religious principles are based on populism.

Latin America



Populism has been an important force in Latin American political history, where many charismatic leaders have emerged since the beginning of the 20th century, as the paramountcy of agrarian oligarchies had been dislocated by the onset of industrial capitalism, allowing for the emergence of an industrial bourgeoisie and the activation of an urban working class, causing the emergence of reformist and multi-class nationalist politics, centered on a charismatic leadership, such as Aprismo in Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, the MNR
Revolutionary Nationalist Movement
The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement is a Bolivian political party, perhaps the most important in the country during the 20th century. At the legislative elections in 2002, the party won, in an alliance with the Free Bolivia Movement, 26.9% of the popular vote and 36 out of 130 seats in the...

 in Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, and the political movements gravitating around Getulio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

 in Brazil, Perón
Peron
Peron may refer to:People:* Carlos Perón , a Swiss musician, and was a founding member of the band Yello....

 in Argentina, Lázaro Cárdenas
Lázaro Cárdenas
Lázaro Cárdenas del Río was President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940.-Early life:Lázaro Cárdenas was born on May 21, 1895 in a lower-middle class family in the village of Jiquilpan, Michoacán. He supported his family from age 16 after the death of his father...

 in Mexico, Ecuador's Ibarra
José María Velasco Ibarra
José María Velasco Ibarra was an Ecuadorian political figure. He served as the president of Ecuador from 1934–1935, 1944–1947, 1952–1956, 1960–1961, and 1968-1972. He only served one of those terms without being ousted by the army, from 1952-1956.-Early life and career:Velasco Ibarra was born on...

 and others. Ideologically, Latin American populism, with its emphasis on nation-building under an authoritarian leadership as a prerequisite for technological modernization, betrayed the earlier influence of Comtean
Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte , better known as Auguste Comte , was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism...

 positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

. Socially, for many authors—such as Brazil's Octavio Ianni
Octavio Ianni
Octavio Ianni , Brazilian sociologist graduated, mastered and doctored at the University of São Paulo and was one of the founders of Cebrap....

—populism should be understood as the political alliance between an emerging industrial bourgeoisie and a newly organizing urban working class, in which the former accepts social reforming for the latter's sake as long as the working class remains politically subbordinated to both a more or less authoritarian State and private enterprise, in a process of controlled inclusion of the "masses" into the political system, a cooptating process some Marxist authors like Brazil's Francisco Weffort ascertain was accepted by the newly urbanized working class given their lack of a previously developed class consciousness.

Despite efforts to charter an ideological pedigree to Populism in Latin America, as has been attempted by some, working, e.g., with concepts taken from Perón's Third Position
Peronism
Peronism , or Justicialism , is an Argentine political movement based on the programmes associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón...

., Latin American countries have not always had a clear and consistent political ideology under populism. Populist practitioners and movements in Latin America usually adapt politically to the prevailing mood of the nation, moving within the ideological spectrum from left to right many times during their political lives. If populist movements in 1930s and 1940s Latin America had apparent fascist overtones and based themselves on authoritarian politics, as was the case of Vargas' Estado Novo dictatorship in Brazil (1937–1945), or of some of Peron's openly expressed sympathies, in the 1950s populism adapted—not without considerable unease from its political leadership—to heightened levels of working-class mobilization. Therefore the fact that 1960s populism was associated mainly with radical, left-leaning petty-bourgeois nationalism, which emptied the State of its function as a coercive class-rule apparatus and saw it instead as an organ of representation of the Nation as a whole. Such was the case, for instance, of the Goulart
João Goulart
João Belchior Marques Goulart was a Brazilian politician and the 24th President of Brazil until a military coup d'état deposed him on April 1, 1964. He is considered to have been the last left-wing President of the country until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003.-Name:João Goulart is...

 government (1961–1964) in Brazil, Goulart being described as a fiery populist who identified—mainly rhetorically—with the dispossessed and tried to foster a reformist agenda through ties to the organized Left. The fact that Goulart was eventually ousted by the military points, in the views of some authors, to the fact that he , as well as other populist leaders of the time, faced a jeopardy: they were reformists who, in the pursuit of their agenda, had to encourage popular mobilization and class conflict they ultimately abhorred. Therefore the fact that populism was eventually identified by the 1970s military dictatorships as "demagogery" and as a risk to the stability of the existing social order.

If "left", reformist and nationalist populism never died out altogether during the 1970s Latin American military dictatorships—as offered proof by the prompt and successful return of a populist like Brazil's Leonel Brizola
Leonel Brizola
Leonel de Moura Brizola was a Brazilian politician. Launched in politics by Getúlio Vargas, Brizola was the only politician to serve as governor of two different states in the whole history of Brazil. In 1959 he was elected governor of Rio Grande do Sul, and in 1982 and 1990 he was elected...

 to electoral politics in the early 1980s—a different streak of populism appeared in the post-military disctatorship era.This 1980s populism, in the persons of leaders like Argentina's Carlos Menem
Carlos Menem
Carlos Saúl Menem is an Argentine politician who was President of Argentina from 1989 to 1999. He is currently an Argentine National Senator for La Rioja Province.-Early life:...

 or Brazil's Fernando Collor, adapted itself to prevailing neoliberal policies of economic adjustment, setting aside nationalistic reforms and retaining the need for charismatic leadership policies, mass support and a concern for the plight of the "common people". In the 1990s and 2000s, with the emergence of Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 in Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

—albeit Chavez refuses himself to be labelled as "populist"—reformist and nationalism Latin American populism has resurfaced with new patterns, as what is called by some authors socialist populism that appeals to masses of poor by promising redistributive policies and state control of the nation's energy resources.—a blueprint that had already appeared, however—albeit with no openly "socialist" rhetoric, viz., in the nationalist policies—including the launch of the State-owned oil-company Petrobrás
Petrobras
Petróleo Brasileiro or Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere by market...

—that were the hallmark of Vargas' second term as Brazil's democratically elected president (1951–1954) and that led to his eventual suicide.

In some countries, Populism has been fiscally supported in Latin America during periods of growth such as the 1950s and 1960s and during commodity price booms such as in oil and precious metals. Political leaders could gather followers among the popular classes with broad redistributive programs during these boom times. Conversely, in others countries, Populism has been historically associated with countering the relative decline of export agriculture with deficit spending
Deficit spending
Deficit spending is the amount by which a government, private company, or individual's spending exceeds income over a particular period of time, also called simply "deficit," or "budget deficit," the opposite of budget surplus....

 and import-substitution policies aimed at developing an internal market for industrial consumer goods. Populism in Latin America has been sometimes criticized for the fiscal policies of many of its leaders, but has also been defended for having allowed historically weak states to alleviate disorder and achieve a tolerable degree of stability while initiating large-scale industrialization. Though populist fiscal and monetary policies may be criticized by conservative economic historians and policy makers, who seem in it the ultimately dysfunctional subordination of economic policy to political goals, some authors acknowledge populism to have allowed non-radical leaders and parties to co-opt the radical ideas of the masses so as to redirect them in a non revolutionary direction.—something that would exclude from the spectrum of "populism" governments committed to the social revolution blueprint, such as Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

's Unidad Popular government in Chile and Ortega
Daniel Ortega
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician and revolutionary, currently serving as the 83rd President of Nicaragua, a position that he has held since 2007. He previously served as the 79th President, between 1985 and 1990, and for much of his life, has been a leader in the Sandinista...

's first revolutionary government in Nicaragua. It's generally regarded that populists hope "to reform the system, not to overthrow it".

Often adapting a nationalist vocabulary and rhetorically convincing, populism was used to appeal to broad masses while remaining ideologically ambivalent. Notwithstanding, there have been notable exceptions. 21st century Latin-American populist leaders have had a decidedly—even if mostly rhetorical—socialist bent.

When populists take strong positions on economic philosophies such as capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 versus socialism, the position sparks strong emotional responses regarding how best to manage the nation's current and future social and economic position. Mexico's 2006 Presidential election
Mexican general election, 2006
A general election was held in Mexico on Sunday, July 2, 2006. Voters went to the polls to elect, on the federal level:*A new President of the Republic to serve a six-year term, replacing then Mexican President Vicente Fox .*500 members to serve for a...

 was hotly debated among supporters and opponents of populist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador , also known as AMLO or El Peje, is a Mexican politician who held the position of Head of Government of the Federal District from 2000 to 2005, before resigning in July 2005 to contend the 2006 presidential election, representing the unsuccessful Coalition for the Good...

.

Inequality


Populism in Latin American countries has both an economic and an ideological edge. Populism in Latin America has mostly addressed the problem, not of capitalist economic development as such but its inclusiveness, in the backdrop of highly unequal societies in which people are divided between a relative few wealthy groups and masses of poor, even in the case of societies such as Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, where strong and educated middle classes are a significant segment of the population. Therefore the key role of the State in Latin American populism, as an institution mediating between traditional elites and the "people" in general. In appealing to the masses of poor people prior to gaining power, populists may promise widely-demanded food, housing, employment, basic social services, and income redistribution. Once in political power, they may not always be financially or politically able to fulfill all these promises. However, they are very often successful in providing many broad and basic services.

US policy


Since one of the ideological hallmarks of Latin American populism was the empowerment of the national and its identification with the state, including nationalization
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 of the land, natural resources and key industries as common practice, it was seen almost from the start by American policy makers to offer a challenge to US hegemony over the Americas. The US has intervened in Latin American governments on many occasions where populism was seen threatening its interests: the interventions in Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, when the populist Arbenz government was overthrown by a coup backed by the American company United Fruit and the American ambassador in 1954, and the support given by the US to the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état are just two cases of American intervention. Another example of US intervention has been seen in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, particularly since the assassination of the populist leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan
Jorge Eliécer Gaitán
Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala was a politician, a leader of a populist movement in Colombia, a former Education Minister and Labor Minister , mayor of Bogotá and one of the most charismatic leaders of the Liberal Party.He was assassinated during his second presidential campaign in 1948, setting off...

 in April 1948. Gaitan supported land reform and other initiatives that posed a threat to American interests—although it's claimed that Gaitán, a Liberal as well as a populist, ultimately opposed generalized political violence and died severed from his grassroots basis of support. Either way, Gaitan's assassination is alleged to have been a CIA plot.

Populist "socialism"


Populism has remained a significant force in Latin America. Populism has recently been reappearing on the left with promises of far-reaching socialist changes as seen in Venezuela under Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

, and in Bolivia under Evo Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

- a process, however, seem by some as contradictory in that it tries to meld the populist traditional celebration of folk wisdom and charismatic leadership with doctrinaire socialism. And, in fact, "socialist" changes in today's Venezuela have mostly included the expenditure of oil revenue to benefit the working poor as a form of social welfare to help enable an eventual (and imprecise) socialist transformation. For some authors, as far as ideology is concerned, Chávez's political blueprint is more of a "throwback" to traditional populist nationalism and redistributivism. The Venezuelan government often spars verbally with the United States and accuses it of attempting to overthrow Chavez after supporting a failed coup against him. Chavez has been one of the most outspoken and blunt critics of U.S. foreign policy. Nevertheless, a large commodity trade continues between Venezuela and the U.S. because of the economic constraints of oil delivery and the proximity of the two countries.

As populist tradition ascertains the paramountancy of the "people" (instead of class) as a political subject, it suffices to say that, in the 21st century, the large numbers of voters living in extreme poverty in Latin America has remained a bastion of support for new populist candidates. By early 2008 governments with varying forms of populism and with some form of left leaning (albeit vague)social democratic or democratic socialist platform had come to dominate virtually all Latin American nations with the exceptions of Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico. This political shift includes both more developed nations such as Argentina's Front for Victory
Front for Victory
The Front for Victory is a Peronist political party and electoral alliance in Argentina, although it is formally a faction of the Justicialist Party. Both the former President Néstor Kirchner and the current President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner belong to this party, located on the left-wing...

 and Chile with its Socialist Party
Socialist Party of Chile
The Socialist Party of Chile is a political party, that is part of the center-left Coalition of Parties for Democracy coalition. Its historical leader was the late President of Chile Salvador Allende Gossens, who was deposed by General Pinochet in 1973...

, and smaller income countries like Bolívia with its Movement towards Socialism and Paraguay with the Patriotic Alliance for Change
Patriotic Alliance for Change
The Patriotic Alliance for Change is a center-left and left-wing Paraguayan political alliance consisting of eight parties in a governing coalition:*Radical Liberal Party*Febrerista Revolutionary Party*National Encounter Party...

. Even in middle-income Mexico, a populist candidate like Obrador, albeit defeated, nevertheless appeared as part of a strong neopopulist reaction. Nevertheless, populist candidates have been more successful in poorer Latin American countries such as Bolivia (under Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

), Ecuador (under Correa
Rafael Correa
Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007...

) and Nicaragua (under Ortega
Daniel Ortega
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician and revolutionary, currently serving as the 83rd President of Nicaragua, a position that he has held since 2007. He previously served as the 79th President, between 1985 and 1990, and for much of his life, has been a leader in the Sandinista...

). By the use of broad grassroots movements populist groups have managed to gain power from better organized, funded and entrenched groups such as the Bolivian Nationalist Democratic Action
Nationalist Democratic Action
Nationalist Democratic Action is a right-wing political party in Bolivia led by Jorge Quiroga. ADN was founded on March 23, 1979 by the military dictator Hugo Banzer after he stepped down from power. It later expanded to include the Revolutionary Left Party and a faction of the Bolivian Socialist...

 and the Paraguayan Colorado Party
Colorado Party (Paraguay)
The National Republican Association – Colorado Party is a political party in Paraguay, founded in 1887 by Bernardino Caballero. It is usually known as the Colorado Party...

.

Countries in Latin America with high rates of poverty, whose governments maintain and support unpopular privatizations
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 and more orthodox economic policies that don't deliver general societal gains, will be under pressure from populist politicians and movements accusing them of benefiting the upper and upper-middle classes and of being allied to foreign and business interests.

Mexico


In Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador , also known as AMLO or El Peje, is a Mexican politician who held the position of Head of Government of the Federal District from 2000 to 2005, before resigning in July 2005 to contend the 2006 presidential election, representing the unsuccessful Coalition for the Good...

's candidacy sparked very emotional debates throughout the country regarding policies that affect ideology, class, equality, wealth, and society. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's most controversial economic policies included his promise to expand monthly stipends to the poor and elderly from Mexico City to the rest of the country and to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 to protect the Mexican poor.

The ruling party in Mexico, the National Action Party
National Action Party (Mexico)
The National Action Party , is one of the three main political parties in Mexico. The party's political platform is generally considered Centre-Right in the Mexican political spectrum. Since 2000, the President of Mexico has been a member of this party; both houses have PAN pluralities, but the...

 (PAN), portrayed him as a danger to Mexico's hard-earned economic stability. In criticizing his redistributive promises that would create new entitlement programs somewhat similar to social security in the US (though not as broad in scope) and his trade policies that would not fully uphold prior agreements (such as NAFTA), the economic debate between capitalists and socialists became a major part of the debate. Felipe Calderón
Felipe Calderón
Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa is the current President of Mexico. He assumed office on December 1, 2006, and was elected for a single six-year term through 2012...

, the PAN candidate, portrayed himself as not just a standard-bearer for recent economic policy, but as a more proactive candidate, to distance himself from the main criticisms of his predecessor Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox Quesada is a Mexican former politician who served as President of Mexico from 1 December 2000 to 30 November 2006 and currently serves as co-President of the Centrist Democrat International, an international organization of Christian democratic political parties.Fox was elected...

 regarding inaction. He labeled himself the "jobs president" and promised greater national wealth for all through steady future growth, fiscal prudence, international trade, and balanced government spending.

During the immediate aftermath of the tight elections in which the country's electoral court was hearing challenges to the vote tally that had Calderon winning, Lopez Obrador showed the considerable influence over the masses that are a trademark of populist politicians. He effectively led huge demonstrations, filling the central plaza with masses of sympathizers who supported his challenge. The demonstrations lasted for several months and eventually dissipated after the electoral court did not find sufficient cause from the challenges presented to overturn the results.

United States


The populist tradition and its rebirth


There have been several versions of a populist party in the United States, some inspired by the Populist Party of the 1890s. This was the party of the early U.S. populist movement in which millions of farmers and other working people successfully enacted their anti-trust agenda.

Other early populist political parties in the United States included the Greenback Party
United States Greenback Party
The Greenback Party was an American political party with an anti-monopoly ideology that was active between 1874 and 1884. Its name referred to paper money, or "greenbacks," that had been issued during the American Civil War and afterward...

, the Progressive Party of 1912
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 led by Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, the Progressive Party of 1924
Progressive Party (United States, 1924)
The Progressive Party of 1924 was a new party created as a vehicle for Robert M. La Follette, Sr. to run for president in the 1924 election. It did not run candidates for other offices, and it disappeared after the election except in Wisconsin. Its name resembles the 1912 Progressive Party, which...

 led by Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

, and the Share Our Wealth
Share Our Wealth
Share Our Wealth was a movement begun during the Great Depression by Huey Long, a governor and later United States Senator from Louisiana.-Major provisions of "Share Our Wealth":The key planks of the Share Our Wealth platform included:...

 movement of Huey Long
Huey Long
Huey Pierce Long, Jr. , nicknamed The Kingfish, served as the 40th Governor of Louisiana from 1928–1932 and as a U.S. Senator from 1932 to 1935. A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies. Though a backer of Franklin D...

 in 1933–35.

George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

, Four-Term Governor of Alabama, led a populist movement that carried five states and won 13.5% of the popular vote in the 1968 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

. Campaigning against intellectuals and liberal reformers, Wallace gained a large share of the white working class vote in Democratic primaries in 1972.

Populism continues to be a force in modern U.S. politics, especially in the 1992 and 1996 third-party presidential campaigns of billionaire Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

. The 1996, 2000, 2004, and the 2008 presidential campaigns of Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 had a strong populist cast. The 2004 campaigns of Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich
Dennis John Kucinich is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He was furthermore a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections....

 and Al Sharpton
Al Sharpton
Alfred Charles "Al" Sharpton, Jr. is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and television/radio talk show host. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election...

 also had populist elements. The 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

 has been described by many (and by himself) as a "one economic community, one commonwealth" populist.

Comparison between earlier surges of populism and those of today are complicated by shifts in what are thought to be the interests of the common people.

In 1984, the Populist Party name was revived by Willis Carto
Willis Carto
Willis Allison Carto is a longtime figure on the American far right. He describes himself as Jeffersonian and populist, but is primarily known for his promotion of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.-Influences on Carto:...

, and was used in 1988 as a vehicle for the presidential campaign of former Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 leader, and later member of both the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, David Duke
David Duke
David Ernest Duke is a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan an American activist and writer, and former Republican Louisiana State Representative. He was also a former candidate in the Republican presidential primaries in 1992, and in the Democratic presidential primaries in...

. Right-wing Patriot movement
Patriot movement
The Patriot Movement is a loose collection of independent minarchist social movements in the United States beginning in the latter half of the 20th century...

 organizer Bo Gritz
Bo Gritz
James Gordon "Bo" Gritz is a former United States Army Special Forces officer who served in the Vietnam War. His post-war activities notably attempted POW rescues in conjunction with the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue have proven controversial. Gritz lives near Sandy Valley, Nevada with his wife...

 was briefly Duke's running mate. This incarnation of populism was widely regarded as a vehicle for white supremacist recruitment. In this instance, populism was maligned by the use of a definition of "the people" that was not the prevailing definition.

Another populist mechanism was the initiative and referendum driven term limits movement of the early 1990s. In every state where term limits were on the ballot, the measure to limit incumbency in Congress passed. The average vote was 67% in favor. However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down term limits in 1995 in the court case U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 ,was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of the U.S. Congress stricter than those specified in the Constitution. The decision invalidated the Congressional...

.

In 1995, the Reform Party of the United States of America
Reform Party of the United States of America
The Reform Party of the United States of America is a political party in the United States, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot...

 (RPUSA) was organized after the populist presidential campaign of Ross Perot in 1992. In the year 2000, an intense fight for the presidential nomination made Patrick J. Buchanan the RPUSA standard bearer. As result of his nomination as party candidate there were many party splits, not only from Buchanan supporters after he left the party, but also moderates, progressivists and libertarians around Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

 who refused to collaborate with the Buchanan candidacy. Since then the party's fortunes have markedly declined.

In the 2000s, new populist parties were formed in America. One was the Populist Party of America
Populist Party of America
The Populist Party of America, founded in 2002, is an "anti-statist", libertarian political party which claims to offer "real solutions" to American problems through the establishment of what they have termed "constitutional democracy"...

 in 2002; another was the Populist Party of Maryland
Populist Party of Maryland
The Populist Party of Maryland originated as a vehicle for ballot access for the 2004 Ralph Nader presidential campaign. Unlike such groups in other states, the PPMD organization has survived beyond 2004, laboring to field candidates for local political offices...

 formed to support Ralph Nader in 2004, which ran candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and state delegate in the 2006 elections. Other examples are the American Populist Party
American Populist Party
The American Populist Party, founded in 2009, is a minor political party which claims to advocate "classical liberalism" and a return to what they call "genuine" Constitutional government. As such it is an amalgam of classical liberalism and modern conservatism...

, founded in 2009, and the American Populist Renaissance, founded in 2005. The American Moderation Party, also formed in 2005, adopted several populist ideals, chief among them working against multinational neo-corporatism. Much of the Tea Party movement
Tea Party movement
The Tea Party movement is an American populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009...

 has used populist rhetoric, particularly in areas and states where Democrats are in power. For instance, in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Carl Paladino
Carl Paladino
Carl Pasquale Paladino is an American businessman and political activist from Buffalo, New York. Paladino is the founder and chairman of Ellicott Development Company, a real estate development company he founded in 1973. He was the 2010 Republican nominee for the New York gubernatorial election,...

 and his conservative-populist Taxpayers Party of New York
Taxpayers Party of New York
The Taxpayers Party of New York State was an American political party active in the state of New York. It was not part of any nationwide party, nor is it affiliated with the U.S. Taxpayers' Party , which predates it by 18 years, or the Tax Revolt Party active in Nassau County...

 have used the motto "Paladino for the People" and have attempted to woo common people to vote for them by pitting them against the state government and the special interests that have influence in it.

Germany



Friedrich Ludwig Jahn
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn was a German gymnastics educator and nationalist. He is commonly known as Turnvater Jahn, roughly meaning "father of gymnastics" Jahn.- Life :...

, a Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 Minister, a professor at the University of Berlin and the "father of gymnastics
Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

", introduced the concept of Volkstum
Volkstum
The Volkstum is the entire utterances of a Volk or ethnic minority over its lifetime, expressing a "Volkscharakter" this unit had in common...

, a racial notion that draws on the essence of a people that was lost in the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

.
Adam Mueller went a step further by positing the state as a bigger totality than the government institution. This paternalistic vision of aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 concerned with social orders had a dark side in that the opposite force of modernity was represented by the Jews, who were said to be eating away at the state. Populism also played a role in mobilizing middle class support for the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany. In this case, distressed middle–class populists during the pre-Nazi Weimar period mobilized their anger at government and big business. According to Fritzsche:

The Nazis expressed the populist yearnings of middle–class constituents and at the same time advocated a strong and resolutely anti-Marxist mobilization.... Against "unnaturally" divisive parties and querulous organized interest groups, National Socialists cast themselves as representatives of the commonwealth, of an allegedly betrayed and neglected German public....[b]reaking social barriers of status and caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

, and celebrating at least rhetorically the populist ideal of the people's community...

France


In the late 18th century, the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, though led by wealthy intellectuals, could also be described as a manifestation of populist sentiment against the elitist excesses and privileges of the Ancien Régime.

In France, the populist and nationalist picture was more mystical
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

, metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 and literarian in nature. Historian Jules Michelet
Jules Michelet
Jules Michelet was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions.-Early life:His father was a master printer, not very prosperous, and Jules assisted him in the actual work of the press...

 (sometimes called a populist) fused nationalism and populism by positing the people as a mystical unity who are the driving force of history in which the divinity
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

 finds its purpose. Michelet viewed history as a representation of the struggle between spirit and matter; he claims France has a special place because the French became a people through equality
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

, liberty
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

, and fraternity
Fraternity
A fraternity is a brotherhood, though the term usually connotes a distinct or formal organization. An organization referred to as a fraternity may be a:*Secret society*Chivalric order*Benefit society*Friendly society*Social club*Trade union...

. Because of this, he believed, the French people can never be wrong. Michelet's ideas are not socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 or rational politics, and his populism always minimizes, or even masks, social class differences.

In the 1950s, Pierre Poujade
Pierre Poujade
Pierre Poujade was a French populist politician after whom the Poujadist movement was named.-Biography:Poujade was born in Saint-Céré, Lot, France, Europe. When he was only 8 years old, his father died, in 1928....

 was the leader of the right-wing populist movement Union de Defense Commercants et Artisans (UDCA). Jean Marie Le Pen (who was UDCA's youngest deputy in the 1950s) can be characterized as right-wing populist or extreme-right populist.

See also



  • Argumentum ad populum
    Argumentum ad populum
    In logic, an argumentum ad populum is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it; which alleges: "If many believe so, it is so."...

  • Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
  • Black populism
    Black populism
    Following the collapse of Reconstruction, African Americans created a broad-based independent political movement in the South: Black Populism.-Beginnings:...

  • Bolivarian Revolution
    Bolivarian Revolution
    The “Bolivarian Revolution” refers to a leftist social movement and political process in Venezuela led by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, the founder of the Fifth Republic Movement...

  • Communitarianism
    Communitarianism
    Communitarianism is an ideology that emphasizes the connection between the individual and the community. That community may be the family unit, but it can also be understood in a far wider sense of personal interaction, of geographical location, or of shared history.-Terminology:Though the term...

  • Charismatic authority
    Charismatic authority
    The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as "resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him." Charismatic authority is one of three forms of authority laid out...

  • Christian Democracy
    Christian Democracy
    Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

  • Christian Socialism
    Christian socialism
    Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel...

  • Christian right
    Christian right
    Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

  • Conservatism
    Conservatism
    Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

  • Cultural production and nationalism
    Cultural production and nationalism
    Literature, visual arts, music, and scholarship have complex relationships with ideological forces.-The 19th Century:In the 19th century nationalism was an especially potent influence on all of these fields...

  • Demagogy
    Demagogy
    Demagogy or demagoguery is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears, vanities and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes...

  • Fascism
    Fascism
    Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

  • Far right
    Far right
    Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

  • Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

  • Gaullism
    Gaullism
    Gaullism is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Resistance leader then president Charles de Gaulle.-Foreign policy:...


  • Jim Hightower
    Jim Hightower
    James Allen "Jim" Hightower is an American syndicated columnist, activist and author.-Life and career:Born in Denison, Texas, Hightower came from a working class background. He worked his way through college as assistant general manager of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and later landed a spot as...

  • Jacobin (politics)
    Jacobin (politics)
    A Jacobin , in the context of the French Revolution, was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary far-left political movement. The Jacobin Club was the most famous political club of the French Revolution. So called from the Dominican convent where they originally met, in the Rue St. Jacques ,...

  • Kemalism
    Kemalist ideology
    Kemalist Ideology, "Kemalism" or also known as the "Six Arrows" is the principle that defines the basic characteristics of the Republic of Turkey. It was developed by the Turkish national movement and its leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.-Fundamentals:...

  • Liberation theology
    Liberation theology
    Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

  • List of revolutions and rebellions
  • Marxism
    Marxism
    Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

  • Giuseppe Mazzini
    Giuseppe Mazzini
    Giuseppe Mazzini , nicknamed Soul of Italy, was an Italian politician, journalist and activist for the unification of Italy. His efforts helped bring about the independent and unified Italy in place of the several separate states, many dominated by foreign powers, that existed until the 19th century...

  • Narodnik
    Narodnik
    Narodniks was the name for Russian socially conscious members of the middle class in the 1860s and 1870s. Their ideas and actions were known as Narodnichestvo which can be translated as "Peopleism", though is more commonly rendered "populism"...

  • Nationalism
    Nationalism
    Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

  • Nazism
    Nazism
    Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

  • Neo-populism
    Neo-populism
    Neo-populism or Neopopulism, also known as media populism or new populism, is a cultural and political movement emergent in the early 21st century, especially in Latin American countries...

  • Orator
  • People's Party
    People's Party
    The People's Party, Peoples Party, or Popular Party, is any of several political parties claiming to speak for the people.People's Parties in various countries run the gamut from left to right...

  • Poporanism
    Poporanism
    The word “poporanism” is derived from “popor”, meaning “people” in the Romanian language. The ideology of Romanian Populism and poporanism are interchangeable. Founded by Constantin Stere in the early 1890s, populism is distinguished by its opposition to socialism, promotion of voting rights for...

  • Popular democracy
    Popular democracy
    Popular democracy is a notion of direct democracy based on referendums and other devices of empowerment and concretization of popular will. The concept evolved out of the political philosophy of Populism, as a fully democratic version of this popular empowerment ideology, but since it has become...

  • Populist Party

  • Poujadism
  • Producerism
    Producerism
    Producerism, sometimes referred to as "producer radicalism," is a right-wing populist ideology which holds that the productive members of society are being exploited by parasitic elements at both the top and bottom of the social and economic structure....

  • Progressivism
    Progressivism
    Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bengali nationalist politician and the founder of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its Prime Minister. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its...

  • Religious left
    Religious left
    Religious left is a term referring to religious movements with a left-wing direction. For more information, see:*Christian left*Jewish left*Buddhist socialism*Christian socialism*Islamic socialism*Liberal religion...

  • Right-wing populism
    Right-wing populism
    Right-wing populism is a political ideology that rejects existing political consensus and combines laissez-faire liberalism and anti-elitism. It is considered "right-wing" because of its rejection of social equality and government programs to achieve it, its opposition to social integration, and...

  • José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia
    José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia
    200px|right|thumb|José Gaspar Rodríguez de FranciaDr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco was the first leader of Paraguay following its independence from Spain...

  • Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

  • Seattle's Poet Populist
  • Social Democracy
    Social democracy
    Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

  • Socialism
    Socialism
    Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

  • Thatcherism
    Thatcherism
    Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

  • Union Organizer
    Union organizer
    A union organizer is a specific type of trade union member or an appointed union official. A majority of unions appoint rather than elect their organizers....

  • Geert Wilders
    Geert Wilders
    Geert Wilders is a Dutch right-wing politician and leader of the Party for Freedom , the third-largest political party in the Netherlands. He is the Parliamentary group leader of his party in the Dutch House of Representatives...



Europe

  • Betz, Hans-Georg. 1994. Radical Right-wing Populism in Western Europe, New York: St. Martins Press. ISBN 0-312-08390-4, ISBN 0-312-12195-4
  • Fritzsche, Peter. 1990. Rehearsals for Fascism: Populism and Political Mobilization in Weimar Germany. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505780-5
  • Fritzsche, Peter. 1998. Germans into Nazis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

United States

  • Berlet, Chip and Matthew N. Lyons. 2000. Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 1-57230-568-1, ISBN 1-57230-562-2
  • Dobratz, Betty A, and Stephanie L. Shanks–Meile. 1988. "The Contemporary Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party: A Comparison to American Populism at the Turn of the Century." Humanity and Society, 20–50.
  • Evans, Sara M. and Harry C. Boyte. 1986. Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Ferkiss, Victor C. 1957. "Populist Influences on American Fascism." Western Political Quarterly 10(2):350–73.
  • Fink, Leon. 1983. Workingmen's Democracy: The Knights of Labor and American Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Goodwyn, Lawrence. 1976. Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
  • Goodwyn, Lawrence. 1978. The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
  • Hahn, Steven. 1983. Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850–1890. New York and London: Oxford University Pres
  • Hofstadter, Richard. 1955. The Age of Reform
    The Age of Reform
    The Age of Reform is a 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Richard Hofstadter. It is an American history that traces events from the Populist Movement of the 1890s through the Progressive Era ending with the New Deal in the 1930s...

    : from Bryan to F.D.R.
    New York: Knopf.
  • Hofstadter, Richard. 1965. The Paranoid Style in American Politics
    The Paranoid Style in American Politics
    The Paranoid Style in American Politics, by Richard J. Hofstadter, is an historical essay tracing the influence of conspiracy theory and “movements of suspicious discontent” through the course of American history...

    , and Other Essays.
    New York: Knopf.
  • Jeffrey, Julie Roy.1975. "Women in the Southern Farmers Alliance: A Reconsideration of the Role and Status of Women in the Late 19th Century South." Feminist Studies 3.
  • Kazin, Michael. 1995. The Populist Persuasion: An American History. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03793-3, ISBN 0-8014-8558-4
  • Marable, Manning. 1986. "Black History and the Vision of Democracy", in Harry Boyte and Frank Riessman, Eds., The New Populism: The Politics of Empowerment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Palmer, Bruce. 1980. Man Over Money: The Southern Populist Critique of American Capitalism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Rupert, Mary. 1997. "The Patriot Movement and the Roots of Fascism." Pp. 81–101 in Windows to Conflict Analysis and Resolution: Framing our Field, Susan Allen Nan, et al., eds. Fairfax, Virginia: Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
  • Stock, Catherine McNicol. 1996. Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-3294-4
  • Miscoiu, Sergiu, Craciun, Oana, Colopelnic, Nicoleta. 2008. Radicalism, Populism, Interventionism. Three Approaches Based on Discourse Theory. Cluj-Napoca: Efes.


External links