Populism

The Decade Populism Went Mainstream

Roughly five times as many people live under populist governments now compared to 10 years ago.

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There is a specter haunting not just Europe but the whole globe, quaking the boots of established political parties, legacy media outlets, and transnational institutions of government and civil society.

This creeping dread is gathered under the catch-all label of "populism." Cosmopolitan elites are on alert for its "dangerous rise." Unelected bureaucracies are being hollowed out in its wake, including this week at the World Trade Organization.

It certainly feels like one of the biggest global upheavals of this waning decade, with each new week coughing up headlines like "Inauguration Marks Return of Peronism." But are there measurable facts to back up this feeling?

The short answer is yes: Arguably five times as many people live under populist governments at the end of 2019 than at the end of 2009. But the longer answer requires some more precise definitions.

Start with a working model of the ism under question. Jordan Kyle and Limor Gultchin, in a very useful survey at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, synthesize the political science literature into two fundamental assertions underlying every governing populist movement: 1) "A country's 'true people' are locked into conflict with outsiders, including establishment elites," and 2) "Nothing should constrain the will of the true people." Leaders then govern in an atmosphere of near-constant existential urgency.

From there, the authors differentiate three main populist variants: 1) Socio-economic populism (think: Venezuela), which claims that "the true people are honest, hard-working members of the working class," fighting against "big business, capital owners and actors perceived as propping up an international capitalist system." 2) Anti-establishment populism (think: Silvio Berlusconi's Italy), which "paints the true people as hard-working victims of a state run by special interests and outsiders as political elites."

And, with a bullet, 3) cultural populism, which claims that "the true people are the native members of the nation-state" battling over national sovereignty and cultural identity with the likes of "immigrants, criminals, ethnic and religious minorities, and cosmopolitan elites." Cultural populists, in this framework, are your Viktor Orbáns, your Narendra Modis, your Donald Trumps.

You will certainly disagree with some of these classifications. The authors freely acknowledge that populism is a "slippery concept that is too often used pejoratively to describe politics that those in the mainstream do not like." You can even make a Tony Blair joke, though his institute deserves credit for publishing a survey that is frank about the policy errors and hubristic anti-democratic approach of establishment decision-makers worldwide.

But the overall grouping of populists passes the eyeball test: These are largely identifiable as us vs. them, sovereignty-hoarding governments helmed by charismatic outsiders who speak more like the common man than the elites they rail against. And what this list of such regimes shows over the past decade is striking: "Whereas populism was once found primarily in emerging democracies, populists are increasingly gaining power in systemically important countries."

By the end of the 2009, the Institute reckoned, there were 19 populist governments in the world, led in size by Vladimir Putin's Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey (both "culturally" populist), then Italy, South Africa, Argentina, and Venezuela (the latter three from the socio-economic category). Together, those 19 countries currently account for around 577 million people and $7 trillion in annual gross domestic product.

What about the state of populist governments today? The Blair Institute study only runs through 2018, and events move fast. But we still have the arrival to the list of India, the United States, Joko Widodo's Indonesia, Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte's Philippines, and more. Factoring in one's own characterizations about global developments this year (I would re-add Argentina and Bolivia, for example), you arrive at a similar-to-2009 total of around 21 populist countries. But oh, what a size difference: 2.8 billion people generating an annual $34.4 trillion of economic activity. The populists are no longer coming, they are here.

How you feel about this development likely depends on your attitudes toward your leading home-country populist and his enemy elite, and also (if you otherwise favor free trade) your weighting of sovereignty vs. globally managed tariff reduction. Regardless, the sample size of populist countries is large enough to draw some preliminary conclusions about their net comparative impact.

In a parallel study a year ago for the Tony Blair Institute, also written up at The Atlantic, Jordan Kyle and Yascha Mounk conclude that "populist governments are about four times more likely than non-populist ones to harm democratic institutions," that more than half of them "amend or rewrite their countries' constitutions," often to "extend term limits or weaken checks on executive power," and that 40 percent have been "indicted on corruption charges," with their countries experiencing "significant drops in international corruption rankings." Individual rights and civil society institutions disproportionately come under attack.

Conclusion: "Populist rule—whether from the right or the left—has a highly negative effect on political systems and leads to a significant risk of democratic erosion."

Those who compile global indices of democratic health are in a glum mood these days. Freedom House's annual "Freedom in the World" survey for 2019 was headlined "Democracy in Retreat," lamenting a "13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom." (Surely, we will soon read about a 14th.) Conclusion: "The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous." Whee!

A newer index introduced by the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project at the University of Gothenburg finds that "the number of liberal democracies has declined from 44 in 2008 to 39 in 2018," and that "almost one-third of the world's population lives in countries undergoing autocratization, surging from 415 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion in 2018." These include India, Brazil, and the United States.

("Autocratization" is defined by V-Dem as: "any substantial and significant worsening on the scale of liberal democracy. It is a matter of degree and a phenomenon that can occur both in democracies and autocracies….Semantically, it signals the opposite of democratization, describing any move away from [full] democracy.")

It doesn't take much imagination to anticipate two basic reactions to these dour reports: Either we're so screwed or ha ha, globalist cucks! But allow me to suggest a third option.

The twin rises of nationalism and democratic socialism weren't some historical accident. They will not go away via nostalgia, or constitutional correctives like impeachment, or even an election. People feel locked out of decision-making, and until that sense of democratic responsibility is restored, there's going to be one messy Brexit after another.

As Kyle and Gultchin point out,

Common to many of the crises identified by populists is a sense that the political elites across all mainstream political parties have conspired to depoliticise an important policy question that should be subject to public scrutiny. Political scientist Yascha Mounk terms this phenomenon "rights without democracy": citizens may have the right to vote, but for many issues that they care about, the issue is not even considered in the realm of public debate but is a matter for technocrats. In some countries, mainstream political parties have come to a cross-party consensus, for example, about openness to trade, openness to immigration or EU accession; and opposition to these significant policies has no vehicle for representation.

Those who lament the "democratic backsliding" associated with populism need to find different means to their policy ends than far-flung technocratic projects. And those who relish the restoration of sovereignty need to face up to the reality that populists tend toward corruption and the deliberate erosion of individual rights.

We don't know yet how the new breed of populists will react when their promises crash into reality, or when the worldwide economic expansion finally comes to an end. What happens then will largely tell the story of the 2020s. Buckle up.

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201 responses to “The Decade Populism Went Mainstream

  1. Populism is an utterly meaningless term. Basically, it is used as a term to describe any government the speaker doesn’t like,

    1. Welch decided to write his own definitions and still put Trump in the wrong category. Even within his retarded framework Trump falls much more in the “Anti-establishment populism” mold than anything else. And the evidence is in the fact that he’s being impeached by the establishment for not toeing the establishment line.

      1. I was going to say the same thing. Whether Trump falls in the “anti-establishment” camp or the “cultural” camp probably depends on whether you are a member of the media or if you trust the media. If you are a member of the media or trust journalists, you probably think he’s a “cultural” populist. If you are distrustful of the media, you probably recognize Trump as “anti-establishment”.

        Considering the contentious relationship between Trump and the media, I can’t really trust the media to report on him accurately. So, in thinking for myself and watching the actual policy actions that Trump takes, I’m inclined to think he fits better in the “anti-establishment” camp. He doesn’t really seem to have any issues with minority religious communities or immigrants in general. He’s certainly anti-illegal immigration, but that doesn’t really fit into the “cultural populist” definition.

        1. The establishment bureaucrats and politicians literally want to coup his ass out of office because he challenges their Socialist policies.

          If that doesn’t make Trump “anti-establishment”, then that word has no meaning.

          1. Trump is opposed by academia, media, corporations, the Party apparatchiks and the Deep State apparatchiks – the entire Establishment.

        2. I’m seeing the same thing TripK2 and those upthread are seeing. Does Welch not see it because he’s media? Or because he’s an arm of the Kochtopus — which would mean he does see it but is a paid advertiser for the not-sees?

          1. Most certainly because he’s a member of the media and needs to toe a very specific line if he wants to continue to have access or avoid being ostracized by his blogger “journalist” friends.

        3. So instead, you trust Trump? The billionaire oligarch who claims to be “anti-establishment”?

          1. I never said I trust Trump. But if you really did mean that as an actual honest-to-god question, my answer would be no, I do not trust Trump.

            But I do think he is an anti-establishment populist. You can see it going back to his roots in NYC, where he was never taken seriously by the upper class.

      2. No he’s being impeached because he’s trampling all over the constitution.

        You lot are hopeless.

        1. Since when did trampling all over the constitution get Presidents impeached?

          1. I’m sure using a pen and a phone to trample over the constitution is not the sort of thing any president would do.

            1. Trump’s pen and phone was too YUGE for Lefties to swallow.

            2. Yeah, that’s why I have trouble believing that populists are so likely to harm individualism, civic rights and other things. That may be true, but it’s also likely their predecessors did too but their corruption and norm-harming was acceptable.

              1. Socialists are the main culprits of rights violations.

                Some Socialists just happen to gain power via populism. All that rejoicing quickly ends when the people wake up and realize that elite technocrats are in charge.

                See Venezuela.

      3. Trump IS the establishment. But go ahead and write your own definitions of “establishment.”

        1. Lol. Yes the guy getting spied on by his own executive agencies is the establishment.

          If your definition of establishment basically just means “anybody in charge” then there is no such thing as an anti-establishment politician. Your quarrel is with Welch and your 30 IQ points, not me.

          1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

            1. This is the part of our program where Chipper Morning Moron, having been completely blown the fuck out and groping in vain for a retort among his 30 IQ points has to resort to namecalling because he can’t defend his own retarded position.

          2. Yeah the guy that ESTABLISHMENT bureaucrats want to get rid of is “Establishment”.

            Hahaha. You cannot make up stupider shit.

          3. You just blindly believe every lie Trump tells you, apparently.

            An anti-establishment politician can exist. An anti-establishment oligarch cannot.

        2. Trump IS the establishment.

          You literally wrote this statement after career politicians unveiled articles of impeachment against Trump.

          This is a sentence you wrote and I’m fairly certain you’re not being sarcastic.

          1. Did I say Pelosi and other Congress people were not establishment? These are different factions of the establishment battling it out.

            1. Hahaha.

            2. No, this is what you said: Trump IS the establishment.

              That’s something you wrote. You wrote that, and you were serious about it.

              1. Eunuch is not intelligent

              2. Those are mutually exclusive? Jfc, why do I bother. It’s like arguing with hamsters.

                1. You should stick to hamsters.
                  That’s more your level

                2. I like how you’re trying to act like because you think Polsi is the establishment, your statement about Trump is somehow correct.

                  You’re actually stupid. Not in the way that internet people call each other stupid for not agreeing with them. I mean you are actually unintelligent.

                  Look at this statement you wrote: Trump IS the establishment.

                  That statement is objectively false. You’re incorrect. Now either (1) go away in shame, (2) acknowledge the fact that what you said was objectively false or (3) continue to obfuscate by acting like you were drawing some kind of comparison between Trump and Pelosi (even though you clearly weren’t based on your original comment).

                  You are literally stupid.

      4. Yes!

        BTY, would the Founding Fathers be populists?

      5. Seems like Welch put libertarians in the Berlusconi camp.

    2. I really want to know why they think their definition of “populism” accurately describes Donald Trump but does not describe Barack Obama.

      1. Did Obama frame everything as a battle with evil outsiders?

        1. Did Obama frame everything as a battle with evil outsiders?

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          Nah, not at all

          1. Haha. Now that reason is done on their knees for this webathon, they can re-man the sock trolls like ChipperMW.

        2. A huge focus of his campaign was spent attacking lobbyists, special interest groups, and big pharma that he claimed were pulling all the strings regarding healthcare in the country. He talked about the unelected and unaccountable power structure in the country.

          Yes, he framed many things as a battle against evil outsiders manipulating the American people.

        3. Which part of “yes we can” and “bitter clingers” and “you didn’t build that” did you not understand?

          You are not a full on troll. And you are nowhere near as dumb as Jeff or dishonest like he is. But my fucking God you say some stupid things sometimes.

          1. It is pointless to continue this discussion with rabid partisans like you, John. You literally see a different reality. The only joy here for me would be to dish out some fun insults, but while you do occasionally exhibit some wit, most of your teammates here lack the capacity. So it would be like playing paintball with a scarecrow.

            1. Again, that would be more your level

            2. You actually think that Trump is an establishment figure. That’s a thing you said right here in this very comment section.

      2. It’s that Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp,’ claimed that Mexicans were rapists and repeated other typical populist platitudes. I don’t think Obama did this.

        1. He just called about 1/4 of the US population bitter clingers and promised to eradicate their communities and way of life. But otherwise, there was nothing like that from Obama.

          1. “He just called about 1/4 of the US population bitter clingers and promised to eradicate their communities and way of life.”

            These are not America’s elite. America’s corporate and cultural elite did fine under Obama. Many of them even contributed to his election campaigning.

            1. Nothing you said was responsive to Johns point idiot.

              1. Because John’s point was ill-conceived. Populism takes aim at outsiders and elites, not the true people. Obama didn’t target outsiders. He didn’t target celebrities, the wealthy or the powerful.

                1. Right, you post incoherent gibnersih because John lololo

                  “Obama didn’t target outsiders”

                  Ahahahah I love when you get slapped so hard that you flat out resort to lying screech lololl

                  1. Obama loved outsiders. Especially if they were secret Muslim Marxists. Or, shudder, Kenyans.

                    1. That’s just another Tulpa sock. He’s got at least three running in this thread. Do you want to waste your time on a mental patient?

                2. He targeted outsiders with weaponized drones.

        2. He didn’t claim they were all rapists. He said some were “bad hombres” and some good. Which is true. But I’ll agree that’s a platitude.

    3. I would think that populism, by definition, would always be mainstream.

      1. Americans still have a lot of admiration for their elites. They remain stooges to celebrity, wealth and power.

        1. Less than they used to. Obama cured them of a lot of that.

          1. It didn’t last long. They elected a wealthy celebrity while Obama was still in office.

          2. Lefties hate that Trump is trying to do what he can for average Americans by rolling back government and putting America first.

            1. See, the stooges are still with us. Obama’s cure didn’t take.

              1. So you admit you were lying when yiu said he didnt go after outsiders. Lololol

                1. I’ll admit to anything once I’ve downed a few beverages.

      2. Thats because you’re an imbecile

      3. Not at all. The explicitly stated progressive approach to democracy is to indoctrinate the people until they vote the way elites want them to. You can read it right there in Bernays.

        Populism is a sign that the indoctrination is failing.

        About time!

        1. Progressivism is the rule of the Deep State.

    4. Populism is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

      Naturally, those who prefer government of, by, and for the ruling class do their best to slander any alternative to their rule.

    5. Same with fascism.

  2. Maybe people don’t like their history being wiped out while being told we have to respect their history. We do respect their history and will even partake in as long as we don’t have to absolve our own which is exactly what globalist are trying to do. You have to destroy the most powerful and most uplifting society, American/European ideals, in order to create the chaos needed to bring about a socialist order since socialism does not work with individualism and personal freedom

    1. Global socialism is simply Nazism with different window dressing and more greed

      1. +10000

  3. Populism is a truly abhorrent ideology. That’s why I embrace Koch / Reason libertarianism, which is effectively the opposite of populism.

    While populists express a desire to improve the lives of “regular people,” Koch / Reason libertarians make no such claim. Instead, our ideology is quite explicit that its primary objective is to make the richest people on the planet even richer.

    #BillionairesKnowBest
    #SmashPopulismToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. My Thanksgiving dinner provided a vivid illustration of this concept. My Drumpf-supporting brother-in-law argued that the economy was “doing fine.” As evidence, he pointed to the low unemployment rate and the fact that his investment portfolio is now substantially more valuable than it ever was under Obama.

      In contrast, Koch / Reason libertarianism measures economic health by precisely one metric — Are billionaires accumulating additional billions at an acceptable rate? In the Drumpf economy, the answer is a resounding NO. As demonstrated by Charles Koch’s net worth stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range.

  4. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    “Democracy is great except when the rubes pick the wrong leaders”

    The most hilarious part is that the actual cultural elites you so adore wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire, Welchie boy. Your Hamiltonian longing to be part of the old aristocracy is pathetic.

    1. So much this. He even allegedly married some French broad!

      Though frankly, I have serious doubts that the woman even really exists.

      1. Oh, how I miss the days when Mikey and Hihn were the only ones shitting on a thread. You two are nutty, but it’s an entertaining nuttiness.

      2. A sweater on a chair. She’ll be back from the bathroom real soon.

  5. Start with a working model of the ism under question. Jordan Kyle and Limor Gultchin, in a very useful survey at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, synthesize the political science literature into two fundamental assertions underlying every governing populist movement: 1) “A country’s ‘true people’ are locked into conflict with outsiders, including establishment elites,” and 2) “Nothing should constrain the will of the true people.” Leaders then govern in an atmosphere of near-constant existential urgency.

    From there, the authors differentiate three main populist variants: 1) Socio-economic populism (think: Venezuela), which claims that “the true people are honest, hard-working members of the working class,” fighting against “big business, capital owners and actors perceived as propping up an international capitalist system.” 2) Anti-establishment populism (think: Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy), which “paints the true people as hard-working victims of a state run by special interests and outsiders as political elites.”

    And, with a bullet, 3) cultural populism, which claims that “the true people are the native members of the nation-state” battling over national sovereignty and cultural identity with the likes of “immigrants, criminals, ethnic and religious minorities, and cosmopolitan elites.” Cultural populists, in this framework, are your Viktor Orbáns, your Narendra Modis, your Donald Trumps.

    None of these definitions is nearly objective enough to avoid injecting bias into the person wanting to classify certain governments. For example, the election of Barack Obama could be classified as BOTH socio-economic populism and anti-establishment populism. And yet apparently he’s considered drastically different from Donald Trump.

    In short, it’s bullshit masquerading as measurable facts.

  6. “populist governments are about four times more likely than non-populist ones to harm democratic institutions,” that more than half of them “amend or rewrite their countries’ constitutions,” often to “extend term limits or weaken checks on executive power,” and that 40 percent have been “indicted on corruption charges,” with their countries experiencing “significant drops in international corruption rankings.” Individual rights and civil society institutions disproportionately come under attack.

    I guess the U.S. has been living under a populist government for the past 100 years. Either that or we’ve just been really, really unluckly with our non-populist governments. I guess FDR was a populist president though.

    1. The definitions are so vague and broad that any democratic society could be classified as populist. So ultimately, it’s only going to reflect the bias of whoever is using the term.

  7. Populism is a general backlash against overweening government.

    I believe most people would be glad to get on with their lives and not meddle coercively in other people’s lives. (Gossiping, cajoling, and other meddling is normal behavior. I refer only to coercive meddling.)

    But when government gets so intrusive that others *can* interfere coercively in your life, it behooves us to strike first, and that is what gets people’s ire up, and where the populism comes in. Better to pre-emptively fuck up other people than wait passively for them to fuck you up.

    That’s all populism is. The cause is too much government. The solution is less government.

  8. A newer index introduced by the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project at the University of Gothenburg finds that “the number of liberal democracies has declined from 44 in 2008 to 39 in 2018,” and that “almost one-third of the world’s population lives in countries undergoing autocratization, surging from 415 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion in 2018.” These include India, Brazil, and the United States.

    I hope the U.S. is not included in the “44” or “39” figures, because we’re a Republic.

    1. The founders and framers themselves used the two words interchangeably.

      1. I don’t believe you.

        1. Good instincts, he’s lying.

      2. Is that why the citizens didn’t vote for the president nor their senator back then?

    2. “almost one-third of the world’s population lives in countries undergoing autocratization, surging from 415 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion in 2018.” These include India, Brazil, and the United States.

      I really am flabbergasted that they think the United States is undergoing “autocratization.” Sure, maybe the power of the executive branch is growing, but it’s been growing constantly for the past 80+ years and the current executive is barely different in that regard.

      Besides that, if our President had absolute authority like a real autocrat, he could unilaterally halt the impeachment hearings. Heck, he could just dissolve Congress. He doesn’t have that authority, though, and if he attempted, Americans wouldn’t stand for it.

  9. Trump is a “cultural populist”? How? By insisting that immigration laws, as written, be enforced? By insisting that the Constitution has a fixed meaning and is not a malleable wellspring of imagined rights and arbitrary prohibitions? By insisting that socialism, after more than a hundred years of failure, is a philosophy of … failure? By insisting that he is not a Russian agent, while his presumably anti-populist opponents convulse at the thought of dirty foreigners expressing their political opinions on social media? By objecting to the politicization of federal law enforcement? By noticing that China is a manipulating and distorting international markets?

    I fail to see how any of these things are bad.

    1. Constitution? Fixed meaning? You mean by violating the Emoluments clause weekly?

      Get help, seriously.

      1. Get help, seriously.

        You should take your own advice shreek you kiddie fucking psychopath.

        1. You’re right. It’s more like daily.

      2. Delusional.

      3. “Muh emoluments!”

        Reason really is turning into Salon.

        1. How shocking that libertarians would think there’s a problem with government officials embezzling taxpayer money.

    2. +100

      The fact that Lefties are screaming indicates that Trump is doing GREAT!

      1. #CryMore

    3. Existing immigration laws have been enforced before. Obama admin had more deportations than under Trump.

      Where Trump can be called a populist is several other areas. He vilified Mexican immigrants as “rapists and murderers”, his attempted Muslim ban, his attempts to limit legal immigration, his America first approach to foreign policy are all elements which got him elected.

      The wall can be interpreted as a symbolic gesture of populist intentions, if not by himself by many of his supporters who are concern with “cultural values” or how immigrants who do not share “our values” may affect voter preferences.

      I find it interesting that even the tariffs get interpreted this way. While the Trump admin has never said so many supporters here talk about the “red Chinese” who pose a threat to our values and way of life.

      Furthermore Trump does attack the “deep state” the “phony press”, and elites.

      I am not arguing about the relative merits of any of these things. Nor that any of these elements are unique to Trump. Personally I don’t find populism a very useful term. It is overly broad and could include anything with popular appeal.

      1. Obama cooked the books: He counted turn-backs at the border as deportations, something previous administrations hadn’t done.

  10. The usual comments from the fascists abound…

    1. Everyone that disagrees with you is a fascist. You’re a walking tweet.

    2. This is the only place that won’t ban them.

      1. “If only we could ban people who disagree with us” the non-fascists said…

        1. This.

      2. You and that smooth-brain in the OP wouldn’t recognize an actual fascist if you were loaded on to a cattle car, so don’t act as if you both know something.

      3. Well, if the libertarian site doesn’t ban idiots like you, they shouldn’t ban fascists either.

        Take that morning wood and go fuck yourself.

    3. I never thought, I would see sock troll wearingit out himself as a fascist.

      1. “Wearingit” is definitely a sock for one of the regular staffers.

  11. ” Tony Blair Institute for Global Change”

    Is that right next to the Department of Silly Walks?

    1. Yes, but that’s just a hub office – it’s a global organization of undercover agents panhandling to help fund the NHS.

    2. +1

  12. There is a specter haunting not just Europe, but the whole globe, quaking the boots of established political parties, legacy media outlets, and transnational institutions of government and civil society.

    Welch is an “Elitist” kind of guy.

    How are people gonna be forced to bake cakes?

  13. Hey Welch your buddies are at it again

    https://twitter.com/TIME/status/1204745148007157765

    these are the people you side with, the unelected establishment. How libertarian.

    1. +1000

    2. Maybe twitter has my data and is feeding me things I like (I don’t have a Twitter account though), because I absolutely love the top comments mocking Time for this. What a bunch of clowns.

      Only the media could have their heads so far up their asses that they think it’s a good idea to name unelected bureaucrats as the people of the year.

      This kind of bullshit what gives you populism, folks.

    3. down the thread where they’re wearing puppets = hilarious.

    4. Oh shit, did they really name these people Guardians of the Year? Greta gonna be pissed and start yelling at us again, ain’t she? HOW DARE YOU!

      1. God youre fucking boring

        1. Punctuation is boring too, but sometimes its your failure to pay attention to the boring things that causes everyone to think you’re a moron.

  14. first paragraph is beautiful.

  15. Roughly five times as many people live under populist governments now compared to ten years ago.

    Ah yes. Far better to be under the rule of technocratic governments that openly hold their populations in contempt?

    These are largely identifiable as us vs. them

    Only a good idea when government apparatchiks feel that way, not when the proles do.

    Conclusion: “Populist rule—whether from the right or the left—has a highly negative effect on political systems and leads to a significant risk of democratic erosion.”

    Well, let’s see.

    1. ‘Negative impact’ sort of assumes that that elite should rule, no?

    2. If there’s democratic erosion then maybe its because *its already existed* from the actions of that unelected elite and the populist leader is the *response* – the effect and not the cause.

    1. So you seriously think that people support authoritarian despots as a RESPONSE to democratic erosion? What, they just say “f— it, i’d rather have a dictator”?

  16. “populist governments are about four times more likely than non-populist ones to harm democratic institutions,” that more than half of them “amend or rewrite their countries’ constitutions,” often to “extend term limits or weaken checks on executive power,”

    Also read: Populist governments are more likely to do *openly and officially* what non-populist ones do quietly and behind closed doors.

    I mean, are you saying Obama was a populist? Bush JR? B Clinton? Obama, especially, was the guy ‘in charge’ during that decade that populism rose around the world. And he certainly did his part to harm democratic institutions (I have a pen and a phone!) and weaken checks on executive power.

    1. cheering the institutional harm over here.

    2. “I mean, are you saying Obama was a populist? Bush JR? B Clinton?”

      The article is pretty clear. It’s Trump who is the populist. The others you mention are run of the mill globalists.

      1. Right, so youre saying you and Welch are idiots.

          1. No pod I spelled it correctly in Black Venacular English, its a shame youre so uneducated.

    3. Thinking about this some more so this should make what I’m saying clearer

      Populists arise because the establishment authoritarians have damaged public trust in existing democratic institutions that it allows an opening for a different type of authoritarian to gain power on a ‘throw the bums out’ platform.

      These democratic institutions were harmed *by themselves*. By their own actions under the guise of the autocrats that seized power in them and rendered them ‘non-democratic’.

      You could make every populist leader in the world disappear today and all that would mean is the hidden autocrats would seize power again. We still would live in a less-free world – it would just be hidden under a veil of propriety. Disguised by ‘the dignity of the office’.

      1. Which is why most leftists preferred a smooth talking President Obama that droned people left and right to a boorish Trump that … writes mean tweets.

        I think I recounted previously on these comment boards that a colleague of mine admitted he doesn’t actually mind the behind-the-scenes manipulations and shady dealings, he just wants elected officials to lie about these things for the sake of form. It’s like sausages; everybody likes them, but nobody wants to see how they are made.

    4. In retrospect, I think the biggest harm Obama did was because he kind of rode in on a populist wave but turned out to be incredibly doctrinaire and an establishment president the instant he got into the Oval office.

      I think the disappointment from the left side of populism was palpable. Which probably explains the popularity of Bernie Sanders.

      People on all sides of the spectrum are fed up with the establishment institutions, they no longer trust them– a lot of which probably came out of the 2008 financial crisis. And that’s why we see a weird crossing over of left-right issues and traditional party politics being turned on its head.

  17. I would think that populism, by definition, would always be mainstream seriously not.
    Regards
    https://weddingphotographyposes.com/

  18. The short answer is yes: Arguably five times as many people live under populist governments at the end of 2019 than at the end of 2009.

    Yeah, that kinda happens when you’ve managed to fuck up your country so badly people will take almost any alternative to get rid of you. Not that I have much hope you’ll learn anything from the experience.

  19. “populist governments are about four times more likely than non-populist ones to harm democratic institutions,”

    The science is settled!

    Jesus God, just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    1. I didn’t even notice that nonsense factoid amid the larger pile of bullshit. Jesus Christ.

      This shit is all subjectively-influenced pseudo-science.

      1. I love the uneducated.

        1. Uneducated? I’m sorry, this sounds like bullshit that’s designed to bamboozle the uneducated by sounding scientific.

          Read their definitions and tell me how they prevent the people using the terms from applying them ambiguously. For example, what exactly is the qualitative difference that makes Bolsonaro a populist in Brazil, but disqualifies Rousseff from being one? Is it the fact that Bolsonaro is right wing while Rousseff was a leftist? What makes Duterte in the Phillipines so much more populist than Aquino?

          It’s subjective bullshit. The people who came up with it aimed it to draw specific conclusions to support their ideas, not to foster learning.

          1. Hes doing that thing he does with is other sock “pod” where he doesnt have a retort that doesnt make him look like a retard so he just hurls a nonsense insult.

          2. “Uneducated? I’m sorry, this sounds like bullshit that’s designed to bamboozle the uneducated by sounding scientific. ”

            It’s not science and nobody is claiming it is science. Populism is a political (not scientific) stand against outsiders and elites. Of course it’s subjective! It’s politics! Politics is not a branch of science and I can’t understand where you picked up the notion that it was. I suspect you are simply repeating phrases you’ve heard elsewhere without putting much thought into it.

            1. But it’s fucking subjective, and yet they’re trying to quantify this nonsense by using fancy sounding words. 1/3 of the world’s population

              “almost one-third of the world’s population lives in countries undergoing autocratization, surging from 415 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion in 2018.”

              That’s being presented as a hard fact in this story, with numbers to back it up so it seems like a dire threat. It’s pure nonsense.

              But are there measurable facts to back up this feeling?

              The short answer is yes:

              If it’s so subjective, why does Welch think this is a hard and measurable line? He’s buying into the bullshit and treating it like there’s some scientific method behind this. It’s people assigning creating random categories, assigning things to those categories, and then adding up the numbers for their assigned defintions so they can say “Hey! Look at this trend!”

              But it’s nonsense. It’s garbage invented by people who, as I said, had their conclusion first, and then invented a methodology that allowed them to reach their conclusion.

              1. “That’s being presented as a hard fact in this story”

                No. The definition of populist is a subjective judgement, and Welsh and his sources say as much in the article. You’re knocking on an open door.

                ” He’s buying into the bullshit and treating it like there’s some scientific method behind this.”

                He’s simply adding up the populations under populist governments today and comparing to the similar number of a decade ago. This is not science.

                ” It’s people assigning creating random categories”

                I don’t see how it’s random. Increasing numbers of countries in the world today are governed by people who came to power railing against outsiders and elites, as the article says. It could be random but I think the sophisticated view would have it that there is some underlying current that links the sentiment driving the phenomenon. Not random, in other words.

                ” It’s garbage invented by people who, as I said, had their conclusion first, and then invented a methodology that allowed them to reach their conclusion.”

                Science is full of this kind of garbage. Newton, Einstein and loads of others are guilty of seeing their conclusion in a flash of inspiration and working backwards to prove it.

                1. No. The definition of populist is a subjective judgement, and Welsh and his sources say as much in the article.

                  And yet Welch literally claims there are hard facts to back up his claims.

                  I don’t see how it’s random. Increasing numbers of countries in the world today are governed by people who came to power railing against outsiders and elites, as the article says.

                  Do you not see how you’re making a factual claim here, despite your previous claim that this is all subjective? That’s your opinion based on your subjective interpretation of world-wide political movements. If this is all subjective, then how can you claim the terms aren’t being applied haphazardly? And if you’re willing to concede that they are haphazardly applied, then why bother making any factual claims at all?

                  Science is full of this kind of garbage. Newton, Einstein and loads of others are guilty of seeing their conclusion in a flash of inspiration and working backwards to prove it.

                  Holy shit, man, this is some next-level bullshit. Newton used empirical data. The only empirical data the article can claim is the approximate population counts of certain countries. Whether or not those countries have populist governments, or whether they’re more populist than they were a decade ago is NOT something that can be verified by empirical data. The term is vague and subjective.

                  Newton worked to accurately and careful define his terms so that they would be understood. Terms like “motion,” and “force.” He then provided the laws that were inherently provable and repeatable. He did not just stumble upon some insight and then work backward, he had to study, narrow, and refine his observations until he was able to reach his final conclusions.

                  1. “And yet Welch literally claims there are hard facts to back up his claims.”

                    The exact population of any country, city or any human settlement of a certain size is notoriously hard to nail down. You are correct to be skeptical.

                    “despite your previous claim that this is all subjective?”

                    It’s not all subjective. The definitions are as you would expect in any political discourse. The figures are not subjective but come from census results.

                    “Newton used empirical data”

                    Of course he used empirical data. He is a scientist. Einstein used empirical data, as well. But inspiration does not come from empirical observation. Newton never observed an invisible force of attraction, the idea came to him in a flash as he dozed under an apple tree in his back yard.

                    ” He did not just stumble upon some insight and then work backward”

                    This is absolutely normal in science, and I don’t understand why you can’t accept it. What about that German guy and his ouroboros (snake eating own tail) dream that gave him (the German guy) the idea for the ring like structure of the benzine molecule? You clearly have got hold of the wrong end of the stick here and have some silly idea of how scientists get their work done. Mathematics is much the same. Read about that English guy who proved Fermat’s Last Theorem (and proved it again this time for real). Or that other English guy who took LSD and figured out the double helix configuration of the DNA molecule. Or for engineering and applied arts, how about that American guy who developed the first light bulb.

            2. “It’s not science and nobody is claiming it is science.”

              No actually Welch is.

          3. Brazilian fascism, like its German, Italian and Spanish forebears, is socialism plus religious fanaticism of various christian sorts. It’s the same thing William Jennings Bryan, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson pushed, before Herbert Hoover took it to its economic conclusion and Bush jr did it again. Tacking on spurious adjectives alters nothing.
            Dilma signed an order making it legal for women to end pregnancy, and National Socialist papism went ballistic, threw her out and jailed her predecessor for good measure. Aside from that, the differences among the 16 communist and 16 fascist parties all are forced to vote for are rounding errors separating communist and fascist policies.

        2. No one cares about your sex life.

          1. You have my permission to discuss other sex lives.

            1. Youre the one who randomly announced your preference in sex partners.

  20. Conclusion: “Populist rule—whether from the right or the left—has a highly negative effect on political systems and leads to a significant risk of democratic erosion.”

    Translation: Tony Blair is worried about the future of Tony Blair.

  21. By the way, the harm to Democratic institutions was done by the establishment “elites” (I use this term because I just can’t think of a better one). In the west, particularly America, we call this The Deep State or The Permanent State.

    Our institutions have become increasingly less Democratic over the preceding decades and as a result, regular folks are pushing back in any way they can without a full-on revolution. At least people are using the existing– ie, few remaining institutions of democracy to do so: elections.

    But I feel the need to repeat a tweet I saw a few weeks ago about the impeachment (which, just so you know, is an attempt by the non-democratic establishment to usurp an election result they weren’t happy about, and are almost definitely: going to get again)

    Paraphrased: One thing this whole impeachment scandal has shown us, the Federal government is a vast, feudal empire with a small suggestion box.

    And my response to that is that feudal empire is trying to rip the suggestion box off the wall, lest it erode our “democratic institutions”.

    1. The Electoral College: An example of one of our endangered democratic institutions, or another of the growing threats posed by the deep state?

      ” In the west, particularly America, we call this The Deep State”

      They call it the same in the east, too. Wikipedia tells us the term originated in Turkey about 100 years ago. It took Trump to popularize the term in the USA.

      1. The Electoral College: An example of one of our endangered democratic institutions, or another of the growing threats posed by the deep state?

        I have no idea what you’re talking about here. The electoral college has been a known process in American Democracy since 1787. It was actually an attempt to keep ‘coastal elites’ (they didn’t call them back then of course) from continuously controlling the office of the presidency ad-nauseum.

        And, say what you will about it, its enshrined in the constitution.

        They call it the same in the east, too. Wikipedia tells us the term originated in Turkey about 100 years ago. It took Trump to popularize the term in the USA.

        It’s become more popular since Trump took over, but it was used well before Trump. It took Trump to get the left to fall in love with the deep state, and even claim it didn’t exist.

        1. “I have no idea what you’re talking about here. ”

          It’s just a question. I thought you might have something interesting to say in reply, is all.

          “It took Trump to get the left to fall in love with the deep state, and even claim it didn’t exist.”

          The first I heard of deep state was from the Canadian diplomat and 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Peter Dale Scott, whom I believe credits the Turks for the expression. Given Trumps heterodox views on 9/11 I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump got the term directly or indirectly from Scott.

          1. I would. Trump got the term from Fox & Friends. Or Hannity.

            1. I didn’t rule out the possibility. That’s why I wrote ‘or indirectly.’ The idea, see, is that Trump may have picked up Scott’s term through others at several steps removed.

        2. The electoral college was the opposite of that. it was designed to make sure the elites COULD control the presidency on a permanent basis.

    2. Trump was the non violent revolution.
      I don’t think it was enough

    3. “Paraphrased: One thing this whole impeachment scandal has shown us, the Federal government is a vast, feudal empire with a small suggestion box.”

      Noice.

    4. That’s idiocy. Impeachment doesn’t “usurp an election result”. It removes a criminal from office. Impeachment, even if successful, would never make Hillary Clinton become president.

  22. Well, okay. A lot of people don’t like the bureaucracy, don’t like bureaucrats, don’t like all the laws, don’t like elites setting rules for the people “for their own good”. I get that. So what is the alternative? The libertarian solution is to radically downsize the state so there are only a microscopic number of bureaucrats. That’s fine and all, but Republicans are not libertarians (they’ve made themselves very clear on that point). They still want Medicare and Social Security, they still want a large military-industrial complex, they still want public schools and FDA-regulated drugs. So what do Republican populists want out of the government? They want the benefits of a big government but they don’t want all the rules and bureaucracy that go along with it?

    The position of “I want big government and I’m willing to accept that I won’t always get my way, and I will have to put up with unelected bureaucrats trying to administer such a system” is IMO a consistent one (basically the neoliberal position).

    The position of “I want essentially no government and virtually no administrators or bureaucrats” is IMO a consistent one (basically the libertarian position).

    But the position of “I want the benefits of a big government but I’m going to bitch endlessly about bureaucrats conspiring against me, and the moment that big government does something that I disagree with, I’m gonna throw a fit” is IMO unrealistic and unworkable. That seems to be the Republican populist position right now.

    1. Note to foreign readers: Republican sockpuppets describe libertarians as bomb-throwing, no-government anarchists because we seek to enforce the Bill of Rights and go beyond it to whittle away at coercion. These are the people who elected Herbert Hoover and Dick Nixon. Hoover whittled at the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments and helped Hitler to power with the Moratorium on Brains. Nixon collaborated with Brezhnev to undermine 2A and ban missile defenses while propping up Chinese communism until impeached as a burglar. Republicans imported Dixiecrat girl-bullying and pious racial collectivism policies and just recently wrecked the economy again in 2008 using plant leaves as rationalization for asset forfeiture robbery. As looters, they cannot help being liars–much like the looters in your country who seek to divide individual rights the better to extinguish them.

  23. I’m not buyin’ a definition that put the US in the list in 2018 but didn’t put it in the list in 2009.

    Despite all the hysteria, the US President is not all that powerful. A true measure of the US’ “populism” would have to focus on Congress and other leaders. And other than the polarity of the Chief Executive party, we just haven’t changed that much since 2009. We railed against unaccountable bureaucrats then and we rail against them now. We had demagogues in politics then and we have demagogues now. At every level. We had a very vocal minority who believed that we had an immigration problem then and we have the same vocal minority who believe we have an immigration party now.

    I will agree that we have a problem in the US with populism. My point is that we had the same problem in 2009. And pretty much to the same degree. The fact that didn’t show up in their conclusions is cause for skepticism about their methodology.

    1. You think it’s a minority that thinks we have an immigration problem???

      1. Statistically? Yes. Do you have evidence to the contrary?

        Footnote: By “immigration problem”, I mean to imply the opinion that the US is getting too many immigrants – a definition which lines up with the “populism” metric used in the article. I mean to exclude those who think the problem is not the number of immigrants but the bureaucratic process, delay, fundamental unfairness, etc.

      2. That is too vague a question. Mostly everybody thinks “we have an immigration problem.” Many think we have too many immigrants who steal jobs and cost money. Others think the systems need to be corrected to streamline legal immigration. There isn’t any middle ground.

        I’m in the lonely space where I agree with the latter and not the former, but I am moderate to conservative on many other issues.

    2. Presidents come and go. Congress is the Deep State. They’re the ones in power for *decades*.

  24. Welch is looking at the results of a Fisher-Pry replacement curve chart and not understanding it. The curve in question graphs the replacement of monarchies and dictatorships with soi-disant democracies. These were charted back in the 1970s, and the process is still going on with communism in China, Cuba and Venezuela, monarchies in Arabia, Sweden, England, and democracy-at-gunpoint régimes in Australia and Brazil. This math is used to track the way CDs replace vinyl, etc. Democracy does not automatically entail individual rights, but the trend in that direction is also measurable in the current 80% per year increase in Libertarian candidates’ share of the vote. This blackboard lecture from Khan Academy explains logistics curves: (https://tinyurl.com/ugfca8r)

    1. This is not my professional field, but I have some questions about your groupings. In terms of the elevation and underpinnings of populism, I think we can probably set aside the communism / capitalism divide, or everything becomes too muddled. The definition of monarchy needs to be clarified. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. I would argue China and Iran are also monarchies from a functional perspective. They have elections, but the policies can be overruled by unelected, semi-permanent leaders. Cuba and Venezuela are pseudo-communist dictatorships. Cuba could be considered a monarchy because there is no opposition. Britain and Sweden have royalty, but they are clearly not functional monarchies. I don’t see the connection between Australia and Brazil. To understand populism from a global perspective, I think the grouping of nations is absolutely key. What do you think?

      1. The relationship between form of government and individual liberties is complex. Democracies can be quite illiberal and oppressive, while monarchies can be quite laissez-faire and hands-off.

  25. The Fourth estate has a lot to do with anti-globalist immigration politics you dislike. The press refuses to report on public charge immigration, knife crime in London, child molestations in England, no-go zones in Europe or hand grenades in Scandinavia. The refusal to report takes the anti-globalist platform underground where the rumors or *fake news* can hold more power and spread like wildfire and create greater division or tribalism. Bottom line is: decent people don’t like sending their kids to knife defense class while being told “just get used to it”. For that matter, dudes masturbating in front of woman and little kids on the NYC subways, or, masturbating in euro spas. Cultures are different, sorry, there’s no way around it.

  26. Interesting piece.

    If there’s a thread of commonality (looking at the U.S. and Venezuela as extremely divergent examples), I personally conclude that populism is simply BAD. There’s always an element of…

    “I feel disenfranchised. All existing elements of government (breadth and depth), media, and social structures are broken. My success and happiness has to come at the exclusion of others’ success and happiness, inside or outside national borders. And, last but not least, once the superhero has been identified who can fix my woes, he (never she) can fix everything and needs to be defended at all cost.”

    There, I just encapsulated why Donald Trump and Nicolas Maduro are really the same thing…opportunists who feed upon the worst instincts of those who will always have grievances, legitimate, fact-based, or otherwise.

    Of course, the huge difference is that the current Venezuela needs to implode in the best interest of its citizens, and the United States needs to correct and nothing more.

    1. My success and happiness are not the government’s business. Neither are yours. And if you think that people like Clinton, Bush, or Obama were motivated by your success or happiness, you are a fool.

      People are realizing that progressivism and social democracy are bullshit, and more and more people want to go back to a classically liberal system where people are responsible for their own actions and masters of their own fate.

      1. I agree with the end of your post. Trump is a protectionist…not exactly someone promoting people being masters of their own fate.

        1. Really? When has Trump engaged in protectionism?

          1. Is that a serious question? Unilateral tariffs? Building a useless 2,000 mile wall at taxpayer expense? His core electorate, if not Trump himself, defines bubble mentality.

            1. Free trade agreements can be written on a single piece of paper.

              You don’t subsidize your products and we won’t ours. You don’t have a tariff and we won’t either. And most important..you don’t peg our currency to ours and we won’t either. The last one is the big one and why our factories got gutted. Trump is wrong on his prescription but right that what we have with say China is not free trade in any sense. I hate to say this but the gold standard worked pretty well in terms of keeping each country honest. Now we expand credit and then buy cheap stuff from China cause they peg..China gets to industrialize and get those pesky peasants into factory cities where they can be better controlled and force them to live below their means..they then buy US debt which allows the entire system to continue with low inflation. It isn’t free trade…it is suicide.

              1. The strategy vs. China should be the same vs. pre-Trump. We need to out-innovate them to the extent that it’s a competitive situation. We can also bail on their factories in favor of Vietnam, for instance. This doesn’t help at all the exploited workers abroad, and unfortunately, we have President Dennis Rodman, who’s learning that a personal relationship with the Rocketman is not the key to compensating for the outflux of production to Asia.

          2. His entire economic policy is protectionist…

  27. The Internet has pulled back the curtain that ruling elites have been hiding behind. Voters can now see what kinds of corrupt, lawless, immoral and incompetent psychopaths have been in charge of government, entertainment, and corporate media. Heck, these people daily expose themselves on Twitter. No wonder voters are angry and vote for any outsider they can find, even if its is Trump.

    1. The peasants can now see that a lot of other peasants agree with them.

  28. “Voters can now see what kinds of corrupt, lawless, immoral and incompetent psychopaths have been in charge of government, entertainment, and corporate media. Heck, these people daily expose themselves on Twitter.”

    It confounds me how someone can write this statement and not be writing about Donald J. Trump, but rather be defending him.

    1. Although I haven’t seen anyone come out and say it, I suspect the consensus here is Populism destroying democratic institutions? Bring it on!’

    2. Admitting your problem is the first step toward solving it

    3. Where did I defend Trump? What would I be defending Trump from?

      In any case, Trump is unfiltered. He’s worse than we imagine our politicians should be. He is not as bad in practice than the more polished and slick psychopaths that preceded him.

      1. I apologize if I projected your post as defending Trump. I respectfully disagree as to the integrity of Trump’s predecessors. Both W and Obama were good men, with very different ideologies.

  29. Conclusion: “Populist rule—whether from the right or the left—has a highly negative effect on political systems and leads to a significant risk of democratic erosion.”

    Translation: Tony Blair is worried about the future of Tony Blair.
    army status

  30. libertarianism is just another form of populism

    1. Good thing for Reason that they aren’t advocating libertarianism then!

    2. It most certainly is not, or at least shouldn’t be.

      Libertarianism recognizes that there are some courses of action that the people should be forbidden from taking, such as ones that violate fundamental natural rights. No matter how large the majority in favor of violating my rights, the government ought to say no to that majority.

    3. Libertarianism, as it should exist, is the antithesis to populism, as it’s being practiced, domestically and worldwide. Of course, I am preaching something which nearly half of America would take issue with. Choose your news and guiding information carefully. This is the anarchy risk. One can choose where he or she gets information.

      My biggest concern for this country is that too many people develop hardened positions based on really, REALLY bad sources, at the exclusion of all other perspectives. This is far worse than we had three networks and a bunch of newspapers who had a left-oriented perspective. I, and many others, could see through this bias. Today, I think it’s the minority who can see through ANY bias.

  31. #LibertariansForTheRulingClass

  32. Mr Welch cares too much about what the woke overlords care. Seriously as a libertarian I never seem to read his articles on the two biggest threats to our liberty…the welfare and warfare state.

    First anything from the Tony Blair (“third way”) Institute should be given serious skepticism. The term “populism” is often used like “white supremacy”, “racist” and so on to create the “good” versus “bad” narrative of the elites when threatened.

    Modern “populism” is citizens of nation states having enough of global elites (specifically cultural and financial) eroding their individual and family liberties (family is the concrete of free peoples not government. This all started back in the 30’s and accelerated in the 60’s with the attack by Euro Marxists (“cultural marxism”) on the family and Keynsian economics..the attack on thrift, work, and fairness. You had the double rise of the academic/media class dominating the cultural wars and the wall street/Fed gang creating all sorts of bubbles and inequities resulting in lower real wages and debt/debt/debt along with foreign wars. What was America in 1955 under perhaps the greatest President of the 20th century? Low inflation, no govt bailouts, very little money printing, low debt, no wars, and strong families. Virtue, hard work, and morals defined what an American was…

    Now thanks to the endless war on the family, money printing, open borders (sorry but we did this once and got the whole FDR/Socialist crap as new immigrants voted for a war monger and crony capitalist). Globalism? Gutting of America at the benefit of the elites who all seem to be of a few privileged groups..who have access to the new credit out of thin air they use to buy and destroy firms (seriously how many hedge funds did we have before Nixon took us off the gold standard). Govt distorting markets and causing massive economic pain when the bubble burst. And wars wars wars..the elites are so smart..they didn’t forecast the fall of the USSR, Iraq had no WMDs and Libya was not going to be a stable country after their scum bad dictator is overthrown. And as for the elites..they go from Govt to Wall Street to some NGO back to Govt then to Hollywood or as a SVP at a highly regulated industry..cashing in on what? Their kids all go to Ivy League schools major in some BS liberal arts and then walk into a VP job at Google or Facebook.

    As Trump said it is rigged. And certain “globalist” favoring groups always seem to come out on top. A desire for a strong nation state that has one cultural (funny but no multicultural states seem to have lasted very long in history) but accepts immigrants who assimilate and don’t bring the old world issues with them and pull America into fighting old world issues (“the czar did this or that to my ansestors”). A nation that is based on very limited govt..sound money (gold standard would finally exorcize the economics of the Pedo Keynes), govt allowing people to trade freely and not be forced by some law. A country that adopts the foreign policy of John Q Adams…and brings the troops home and stops all foreign aid..the middle east has NO strategic value to America. Global trade based on no tariffs, subsidizes, and a gold standard not debt. In the end “populism” is the rejection of cultural marxism and keynesianism. It is a return to liberty…and our natural rights.

    Sounds like something real Americans from places like Kentucky and Tennessee would support..and something the elites from NYC would consider a threat. I’d rather stand with Harding, Coolidge, R. Taft, C. Lindburgh than David From, Tom Freeman, Tony Blair and the rest…

  33. “ Sounds like something real Americans from places like Kentucky and Tennessee would support”

    Ya know something about that? Lived there? Maybe you do I have no idea.

    Real Americans. Not like those folks from other snooty places like New York or California.

    On a lighter note cold up here. No big deal we get to work.

    Here is an LA band. Real Americans or not just playing a great click groove about snow. Chad Smith and Flea are like one instrument. In the pocket. The rest just flows from there.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers – Snow If you want to hear it again. I always play it up when the snow comes. The dogs like it anyway.

    https://youtu.be/yuFI5KSPAt4

  34. “Common to many of the crises identified by populists is a sense that the political elites across all mainstream political parties have conspired to depoliticise an important policy question that should be subject to public scrutiny.”

    This is objectively true: The political class have systematically different opinions from the general population, and have managed to game the system so that large swaths of popular opinion can’t be voted into effect, because there aren’t enough candidates who genuinely support them for voting to work.

    For instance, term limits was wildly popular. Yet, somehow, it went nowhere. Why? Because you’d elect politicians who claimed to support it, and once in office they’d oppose it.

    So, how is noticing that democracy is already broken, breaking democracy?

  35. “the true people are the native members of the nation-state”

    First off, that’s Nativism, not Populism. Some populist movements have elements of nativism, others do not. Second, this statement about “true” people is common sense. If the nation doesn’t cater to the people who created it, who DOES it cater to? Why would anyone create a nation that would stab itself in the back the moment demographics change?

    Suppose that we maintain our currently unsustainable levels of immigration and this country becomes majority non-white. At that point, unless you have some crazy theory to inculcate every other demographic with Libertarian values, Ds will control everything except for some local seats that don’t matter. At that point, how can you call America “America”? Why would you even want to take the chance? Americans became exposed to this mindset best when they saw how Mollie Tibbet’s parents reacted to her death. Hey, my daughter is dead, but at least we have taco trucks!

  36. “We don’t know yet how the new breed of populists will react when their promises crash into reality, or when the worldwide economic expansion finally comes to an end.”

    It will not be “their promises” that crash into reality. It’s been pretty obvious since 2008 that most of the developed world has borrowed itself into unsustainable debt. Sure, ending (international) free trade is making it worse and may get blamed but, the populist movements only have one thing in common among all: Their ‘rise’ was a response to the ‘elites’ in the status quo who have brought US and the rest of the world to the point of world-wide financial ruin.

  37. “Tony Blair Institute for Global Change”

    Sorry, had to stop right there – I was laughing too hard to continue.

  38. Matt ,who is Eric Zemmour ?

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