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  • I must plead "Mea culpa" in this

    An interesting article from The Conversation from yesterday, 28 February.

    https://theconversation.com/the-word...sing-it-224488

    From the storming of the US Capitol on the January 6 2021, to the similar uprising in Brazil in 2023, far-right politicians are infringing on democratic ideals across the world. If we are serious about meeting the challenge they pose, we must stop treating them as legitimate, democratic actors and instead see them as the threat they really are.

    A very big part of this effort is also quite a simple step. We must stop referring to far-right politics as “populist”.

    In recent years, serious research on populism has reached somewhat of a consensus which makes it clear that it is secondary, at best, in defining any kind of politics. The two main schools of thought broadly disagree on whether populism is a thin ideology which involves a moralistic element (by pitting a “pure” people against “corrupt” elite) or whether it is simply a discourse that constructs a people as being against an elite, without any further specificity attached to those two groups.

    Crucially, though, both agree that the populist element of any given movement comes second to politics and ideology. Parties of the left and right may both use populist rhetoric, but this tells us little about how they actually govern.
    Not about breaking news. Not about unfounded opinions.


    But populism has nevertheless become a buzzword. Countless academics have jumped on the bandwagon in search of funding and citations, often failing to do due diligence to the literature on the topic.

    Number of articles containing the words ‘populist’, ‘populism’ or ‘populists’ on Web of Science

    A surge in academic papers referring to populism. Aurelien Mondon/Alex Yates, CC BY
    Beyond poor academic practice, the careless use of the word has also had a deleterious impact on wider public discourse. These four consequences should hopefully convince you to stop using the word “populist” to describe someone who is actually just a rightwing extremist.
    1. It masks the threat posed by the far right


    It should not come as a surprise that many far-right politicians, from France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, to Italy’s Matteo Salvini, have embraced the term “populism”. Even when it is used by their opponents as an insult, far-right politicians prefer the term to more accurate, but also more stigmatising terms, such as “extremist” or “racist”.

    This could be witnessed, for example, in the Guardian’s 2019 six-month-long series on “the new populism”. More often than not, the word populism was used in this series to describe far more sinister politics than the simple opposition between the elite and the people. Political personalities such as Steve Bannon are far better described as far or extreme right. These terms are not only more precise, but make the threat they pose far clearer than the murky “populism”.
    2. It exaggerates the strength of the far right


    When we use the term “populist”, we often create a semantic link between the word and “the people”. So when we allow the far right to be described as populist, we are incorrectly implying that they are tapping into what the people want or that they speak for the “silent majority” – something Nigel Farage and others love to claim.

    The myth is further entrenched by the perception that the rise of “populism” is the result of choices made by people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder – whether they are defined as the “white working class”, the “left behind” or the “losers of globalisation”. This ignores analysis which shows that much of the support for reactionary politics comes predominantly from affluent groups.

    Being allowed to claim to speak on behalf of the voiceless is particularly useful at a time of widespread distrust in mainstream politics, so we shouldn’t be surprised that far-right politicians like to be called populists. It allows them to falsely posit themselves as the alternative to the status quo.

    3. It legitimises far-right politics
    By being erroneously tied to “the people” via the word “populism”, far-right demands are mistaken for democratic demands. It is therefore now common to see mainstream parties absorbing the politics of the far right on the flawed assumption that these ideas are “what the people want”.

    The rights of minoritised communities such as migrants, asylum seekers, racialised people, LGBTQ+ communities, women and/or disabled people have all been under various levels of threat by mainstream elite actors, whether through policy, political campaigning or news coverage. Often, the people threatening these rights benefit from the pretence that they are simply responding to public opinion. Supposedly “centre-right” governments are, therefore, given carte blanche to adopt draconian immigration policies. After all, it is in the name of “the people”.

    4. It blocks democratic progress by distracting us
    Populist hype is generally accompanied by a rise of anti-populist discourse, which portrays “populism” as an existential threat to liberal democracy. Thinly concealed behind this pejorative use of the term “populism” is at best a distrust, if not outright antipathy, towards “the people”.

    By blaming “the people” for the problems in our democracies, elites are absolved from having to interrogate their own role in facilitating the crisis. They can also use the very real threat posed by the far right to justify the need to support the status quo by warning “we are bad – but they are worse”.

    What is to be done?

    Reducing the far right to a “populist” threat allows the mainstream off the hook. When combating the far right, we must be honest about the decisions that have led us to this reactionary moment. If the mainstream does not take responsibility, it has no chance of defeating the monster that it has helped to create. This applies particularly to those who have a privileged access to shaping public discourse such as the media, politicians and academics to a lesser extent.


    The first step on this journey is using terms correctly. Calling the far right “populist” keeps us in our inertia. To activate the appropriate sense of urgency needed to defeat these trends, we must be honest about the kind of politics that we see in front of us. If the far right proudly wears the badge of “populism”, we must ask how it helps them. They know it grants them legitimacy. Why, then, should we play into the hands of extremists whose loathing of democracy has been repeatedly demonstrated?


    It is a very valid point and the MSM - as a link in that article to another posted last November makes clear. And it should be remembered, as that earlier article notes, that the "populist" aspect of these groups and individuals is secondary at best as a further link to a paper illustrates.

    We need to start referring to these groups by more appropriate terms.

    They are anti-democratic, are often led by demagogues, and in some cases are neo-fascist


    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    An interesting article from The Conversation from yesterday, 28 February.

    https://theconversation.com/the-word...sing-it-224488

    From the storming of the US Capitol on the January 6 2021, to the similar uprising in Brazil in 2023, far-right politicians are infringing on democratic ideals across the world. If we are serious about meeting the challenge they pose, we must stop treating them as legitimate, democratic actors and instead see them as the threat they really are.

    A very big part of this effort is also quite a simple step. We must stop referring to far-right politics as “populist”.

    In recent years, serious research on populism has reached somewhat of a consensus which makes it clear that it is secondary, at best, in defining any kind of politics. The two main schools of thought broadly disagree on whether populism is a thin ideology which involves a moralistic element (by pitting a “pure” people against “corrupt” elite) or whether it is simply a discourse that constructs a people as being against an elite, without any further specificity attached to those two groups.

    Crucially, though, both agree that the populist element of any given movement comes second to politics and ideology. Parties of the left and right may both use populist rhetoric, but this tells us little about how they actually govern.
    Not about breaking news. Not about unfounded opinions.


    But populism has nevertheless become a buzzword. Countless academics have jumped on the bandwagon in search of funding and citations, often failing to do due diligence to the literature on the topic.

    Number of articles containing the words ‘populist’, ‘populism’ or ‘populists’ on Web of Science

    A surge in academic papers referring to populism. Aurelien Mondon/Alex Yates, CC BY
    Beyond poor academic practice, the careless use of the word has also had a deleterious impact on wider public discourse. These four consequences should hopefully convince you to stop using the word “populist” to describe someone who is actually just a rightwing extremist.
    1. It masks the threat posed by the far right


    It should not come as a surprise that many far-right politicians, from France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, to Italy’s Matteo Salvini, have embraced the term “populism”. Even when it is used by their opponents as an insult, far-right politicians prefer the term to more accurate, but also more stigmatising terms, such as “extremist” or “racist”.

    This could be witnessed, for example, in the Guardian’s 2019 six-month-long series on “the new populism”. More often than not, the word populism was used in this series to describe far more sinister politics than the simple opposition between the elite and the people. Political personalities such as Steve Bannon are far better described as far or extreme right. These terms are not only more precise, but make the threat they pose far clearer than the murky “populism”.
    2. It exaggerates the strength of the far right


    When we use the term “populist”, we often create a semantic link between the word and “the people”. So when we allow the far right to be described as populist, we are incorrectly implying that they are tapping into what the people want or that they speak for the “silent majority” – something Nigel Farage and others love to claim.

    The myth is further entrenched by the perception that the rise of “populism” is the result of choices made by people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder – whether they are defined as the “white working class”, the “left behind” or the “losers of globalisation”. This ignores analysis which shows that much of the support for reactionary politics comes predominantly from affluent groups.

    Being allowed to claim to speak on behalf of the voiceless is particularly useful at a time of widespread distrust in mainstream politics, so we shouldn’t be surprised that far-right politicians like to be called populists. It allows them to falsely posit themselves as the alternative to the status quo.

    3. It legitimises far-right politics
    By being erroneously tied to “the people” via the word “populism”, far-right demands are mistaken for democratic demands. It is therefore now common to see mainstream parties absorbing the politics of the far right on the flawed assumption that these ideas are “what the people want”.

    The rights of minoritised communities such as migrants, asylum seekers, racialised people, LGBTQ+ communities, women and/or disabled people have all been under various levels of threat by mainstream elite actors, whether through policy, political campaigning or news coverage. Often, the people threatening these rights benefit from the pretence that they are simply responding to public opinion. Supposedly “centre-right” governments are, therefore, given carte blanche to adopt draconian immigration policies. After all, it is in the name of “the people”.

    4. It blocks democratic progress by distracting us
    Populist hype is generally accompanied by a rise of anti-populist discourse, which portrays “populism” as an existential threat to liberal democracy. Thinly concealed behind this pejorative use of the term “populism” is at best a distrust, if not outright antipathy, towards “the people”.

    By blaming “the people” for the problems in our democracies, elites are absolved from having to interrogate their own role in facilitating the crisis. They can also use the very real threat posed by the far right to justify the need to support the status quo by warning “we are bad – but they are worse”.

    What is to be done?

    Reducing the far right to a “populist” threat allows the mainstream off the hook. When combating the far right, we must be honest about the decisions that have led us to this reactionary moment. If the mainstream does not take responsibility, it has no chance of defeating the monster that it has helped to create. This applies particularly to those who have a privileged access to shaping public discourse such as the media, politicians and academics to a lesser extent.


    The first step on this journey is using terms correctly. Calling the far right “populist” keeps us in our inertia. To activate the appropriate sense of urgency needed to defeat these trends, we must be honest about the kind of politics that we see in front of us. If the far right proudly wears the badge of “populism”, we must ask how it helps them. They know it grants them legitimacy. Why, then, should we play into the hands of extremists whose loathing of democracy has been repeatedly demonstrated?


    It is a very valid point and the MSM - as a link in that article to another posted last November makes clear. And it should be remembered, as that earlier article notes, that the "populist" aspect of these groups and individuals is secondary at best as a further link to a paper illustrates.

    We need to start referring to these groups by more appropriate terms.

    They are anti-democratic, are often led by demagogues, and in some cases are neo-fascist

    I pretty sure that this is the first time I've seen "Far Right" referred to as "populist."

    Double checking the definition of "populist" - it means what I thought.

    It seems that yet another reworked definition is in the making.
    1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
    .
    ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
    Scripture before Tradition:
    but that won't prevent others from
    taking it upon themselves to deprive you
    of the right to call yourself Christian.

    ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tabibito View Post

      I pretty sure that this is the first time I've seen "Far Right" referred to as "populist."

      Double checking the definition of "populist" - it means what I thought.

      It seems that yet another reworked definition is in the making.
      Yep. RFK Jr. is a populist candidate and he is hardly "far right." I suspect this would be a term coined by establishment types.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        An interesting article from The Conversation from yesterday, 28 February.
        Was this a joke?


        From the storming of the US Capitol on the January 6 2021, to the similar uprising in Brazil in 2023, far-right politicians are infringing on democratic ideals across the world. If we are serious about meeting the challenge they pose, we must stop treating them as legitimate, democratic actors and instead see them as the threat they really are.

        A very big part of this effort is also quite a simple step. We must stop referring to far-right politics as “populist”.

        In recent years, serious research on populism has reached somewhat of a consensus which makes it clear that it is secondary, at best, in defining any kind of politics. The two main schools of thought broadly disagree on whether populism is a thin ideology which involves a moralistic element (by pitting a “pure” people against “corrupt” elite) or whether it is simply a discourse that constructs a people as being against an elite, without any further specificity attached to those two groups.
        Two points, if these far right politicians are being elected by the people then that is the democratic process. And that makes them legitimate, and not anti-democratic. Two, there is a reason why they are being elected, mostly because of the failure of leftist policies.
        Last edited by seer; 02-29-2024, 07:09 AM.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post

          Was this a joke?




          Two points, if these far right politicians are being elected by the people then that is the democratic process. And that makes them legitimate, and not anti-democratic. Two, there is a reason why they are being elected, most because of the failure of leftist policies.
          It's only democratic if the people choose the right candidates.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

            It's only democratic if the people choose the right candidates.
            Exactly...
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seer View Post

              Was this a joke?




              Two points, if these far right politicians are being elected by the people then that is the democratic process. And that makes them legitimate, and not anti-democratic. Two, there is a reason why they are being elected, mostly because of the failure of leftist policies.
              A democratic people can in fact elect a dictatorship if they so choose. A dictator is in fact anti-democratic and will be the end of the democracy. So, we are then confronted, not with the absurd notion that an elected dictator is 'democratic' because he was 'elected', but that democracies are capable of self-termination, suicide

              That means all members of a democracy (of whatever form ) must not only value and cherish their freedom if they wish to keep it, they must not be swayed by populist charismatic leaders that promise them some temporary prize if they are elected.

              We are confronted in these days by a set of political forces that are aware of the capacity for a democracy to end itself by electing a King, and that are actively working to that end. And if we are to keep our republic, our freedom, the majority of us must rise to the occasion and reject those kinds of candidates
              My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

              If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not  bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless James 1:26

              This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; James 1:19

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                It's only democratic if the people choose the right candidates.
                You mean the left candidates.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  It's only democratic if the people choose the right candidates.
                  Unwittingly, you are correct again. If we elect candidates that will destroy the democracy, then we choose, collectively to end the democracy. So while the act can technically be called 'democratic ' its consequence most certainly is not.

                  So I'd caution all of you to remain sober wrt this discussion. The terminology is academic. The reality is that democracies can self terminate. And if we value our freedoms, value our republic, the when confronted by a candidate with a demonstrated willingness to violently try to overturn an election in his favor, to forcefully end the democratic process when it suits him, we MUST, in the name of protecting our rights and freedoms, turn away from such a candidate. We MUST reject him even if we prefer his stated policies. We must understand that if we elect such a person, we can lose our democracy.

                  and once lost, it cannot ever be peacefully regained.
                  Last edited by oxmixmudd; 02-29-2024, 08:02 AM.
                  My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

                  If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not  bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless James 1:26

                  This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; James 1:19

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                    Unwittingly, you are correct again. If we elect candidates that will destroy the democracy, then we choose, collectively to end the democracy. So while the act can technically be called 'democratic ' its consequence most certainly is not.

                    So I'd caution all of you to remain sober wrt this discussion. The terminology is academic. The reality is that democracies can self terminate. And if we value our freedoms, value our republic, the when confronted by a candidate with a demonstrated willingness to violently try to overturn an election in his favor, to forcefully end the democratic process when it suits him, we MUST, in the name of protecting our rights and freedoms, turn away from such a candidate. We MUST reject him. We must understand that if we elect such a person, we can lose our democracy.

                    and once lost, it cannot ever be peacefully regained.
                    I guess we can all vote for the party that wants to kick opposition candidates off the ballot, use the law to attack political opponents, coordintaed with private entities to censor ideas they dont like,and has advocated packing the court with political lackies. That seems like a great choice for democracy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                      I guess we can all vote for the party that wants to kick opposition candidates off the ballot, use the law to attack political opponents, coordintaed with private entities to censor ideas they dont like,and has advocated packing the court with political lackies. That seems like a great choice for democracy.
                      No. You are playing academics. Playing politics.

                      Trump has demonstrated he will turn against democracy. DEMONSTRATED IT. He did it. Such a person must be opposed by anyone that values our republic, our democracy. He has forfeited his right to run for office by doing so.
                      My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

                      If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not  bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless James 1:26

                      This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; James 1:19

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                        No. You are playing academics. Playing politics.

                        Trump has demonstrated he will turn against democracy. DEMONSTRATED IT. He did it. Such a person must be opposed by anyone that values our republic, our democracy. He has forfeited his right to run for office by doing so.
                        I would argue that democrats have done the same thing. They tried to nullify his election (they objected to more states than republicans did). They tried to orchestrate a coup among his cabinet members (25th amendment).

                        Let's not forget the CENSORSHIP REGIME that they cooperated with private entities on, or their attempts to artificially create vacancies in order to pack the court with political lackies.

                        Ask No labels about the democrats committment to democracy:
                        https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/30/polit...els/index.html
                        Last edited by CivilDiscourse; 02-29-2024, 08:41 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                          Old Joe has demonstrated he will turn against democracy. DEMONSTRATED IT. He did it. Such a person must be opposed by anyone that values our republic, our democracy. He has forfeited his right to run for office by doing so.
                          FIFY n/c.

                          How many political opponents did Trump put in jail?

                          Did he use old Joe's blatant corruption to have him indicted? Kept off of ballots? Is he also working to have third party candidates removed from ballots?

                          Yeah, tell me again about all of the things Trump "did."

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            FIFY n/c.

                            How many political opponents did Trump put in jail?

                            Did he use old Joe's blatant corruption to have him indicted? Kept off of ballots? Is he also working to have third party candidates removed from ballots?

                            Yeah, tell me again about all of the things Trump "did."
                            We must kill democracy to save democracy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                              We must kill democracy to save democracy!
                              Déjà vu all over again

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment

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