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Donald “the symptom” Trump: kakistocracy & coprolalia

One can fight the corrupt elites in the name of the people. One can oppose the caste, the establishment, the banksters. One can claim to be pure, innocent, clean, bio, and sell political enlightenment at the corner of the street. Burrito “Frederick the Great“, everybody. One can draw clear lines, divide us and them, black and white, build a wall, perch on top and indicate the mass of pariahs. One can hire a powerful computer and delegate decisions to its silicon democracy. One can open the book of answers and distribute plenty of certainties. One can set free the tiger of subconscious, and speak clear like the man in the street. Salt of the earth, hallelujah!

This is the time of social coprolalia folks, speak up your mind, do not hold back, and do not bend in front of political correctness. Don’t you see the long lines of parrhesiastes arm in arm with Heidegger and Pinocchio? Liberal democracy is dead; long live the tyranny of the common people. One can claim to be the solution to a problem, while being the symptom of a collective disease. One can claim the opposite of everything as long as it displays a cool hashtag. #Post-truth means we are all, equally, wrong, and if we were right it would not make a difference. Hordes of trolls haunt the wild web dragging effigies of Voltaire, one can claim it’s the future, baby.

But all the populism in the world does not prevent kakistocracy.

We swept the conflict under the carpet.

Now the carpet has the shape of our worst nightmares.

This is the time of the evil of banality.

This is the government of the worst.

Welcome to the Carnival of politics.


The top picture was taken in Tehran (Iran) in 2015, next to the former US embassy. That was the place where 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days. The movie Argo depicts those events.

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Interview #13 to Benjamin Moffitt – Populism “Asian” Style

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Street Art From Japan

There’s people in this country who are sick and tired. Tired of hearing all the rhetoric, tired of Washington failing us while they pat their own backs. Finally someone comes along who says what he feels. That’s why people like him: because say what you want, at least he doesn’t sound like another politician. [1]


In this interview, Benjamin Moffitt describes his approach to populism as a political style, and offers a crucial overview about differences and similarities between Asian and European populism. Benjamin Moffitt is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, and an Associate of the Sydney Democracy Network. He is the author of ‘The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation’ (Stanford University Press, 2016).

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Transnational Left-Wing Populism: A Response to Trump’s Victory (?)

In this article, Panos Panayotu* introduces the concept of transnational left-wing populism and explains why it is a necessary answer to Donald Trump’s victory. Following Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, he provides a brief overview about the advantages of a populist movement which goes beyond national boundaries and that provides an alternative approach to globalization.


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Interview #12 – Historia Magistra Vitae and the Absence of Populism in Chile

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Prof. Rovira Kaltwasser

POP came back to Latin America for an interview with Prof. Rovira Kaltwasser, associate professor of political science at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile. He is the co-editor, with Cas Mudde, of Populism in Europe and the Americas: Threat or Corrective for Democracy? (Cambridge University Press, 2012) as well as the co-editor, with Juan Pablo Luna, of The Resilience of the Latin American Right (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). His new book Populism: A Very Short Introduction, written together with Cas Mudde, will be published by Oxford University Press in February 2017.

The interview is very dense and full of insights about populism in Latin America and beyond, opportunity structures, political actors and parties, similarities with Europe, and peculiarities of the Chilean case. Enjoy the reading. Continue reading

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Pirates, Pots and Pans: Interview #11 with Prof. Bergmann

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Prof. Bergmann

POP interviewed Eiríkur Bergmann, Professor of Politics at Bifrost University in Iceland and Visiting Professor at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He is also Director of the Centre for European Studies in Iceland, and he wrote Nordic Nationalism and Right-Wing Populist Politics: Imperial Relationships and National Sentiments (London: Palgrave Macmillan. Forthcoming in 2017). This (phone) interview came in the aftermath of the recent turbulent elections in Iceland, and Prof. Bergmann argues that although the Pirate Party did not win the elections, the status quo has been broken. Moreover, the key to understand the diffusion of populist discourses in the Icelandic political debate relies on the country’s nationalist and post-colonialist history. Continue reading