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Off topic: How did “populism” become such a dirty word? A left-wing journalist offers some thoughts

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From Denyse O’Leary at MercatorNet:

Mick Hume’s analysis converges closely with traditionalist/conservative streams of thought, especially in criticising claims that fake news determined election outcomes such as Brexit and Trump. The underlying assumption of many pundits is that the public cannot be trusted to make reasonable judgments in the face of fake news, and that a government/corporate crackdown is therefore in order.

The problem is, from time immemorial, we have been inundated by fake news in the form of hype, rumour mills, tabloids, cost-free predictions, trendspotting claims, and many other artifacts of the human imagination. If democracy works at all, it works despite the constant and inevitable presence of all these factors all the time. Many predate the printing press and some predate writing. So, to what extent is the ongoing meltdown over Brexit and Trump fuelled by the intellectual elite’s distaste for democracy in general?

Hume thinks that their distaste is the driving force. As a Brit, he reflects mostly on Brexit but his analysis would apply across the channel as well.
More.

See also: Part III: What can we do about fake news that would not diminish real news?  Critics of ‘fake news’ should go to China — only the government has the right to post fake news.

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3 Replies to “Off topic: How did “populism” become such a dirty word? A left-wing journalist offers some thoughts

  1. 1
    LocalMinimum says:

    The word is abused in both directions, nowadays. While you have the nose-up references, you also have a lot of stodgy old political machines offering their own brands of off-the-shelf “counter-culture” “populism”.

    Much like Toyota marketing the Scion to “little deviants” who wouldn’t buy a Corolla like their “sheeple” parents (excellent cars, by the way), there are things like “The Resistance”: pretty much a paper mask for the recently displaced corporate, neoliberal Democratic Party to market their take on the revolution Bernie was yelling about; before they cut his legs out from under him; to the hopeless hard-Lefts.

  2. 2
    News says:

    LocalMinimum at 1: The word “populism” is indeed abused, but Mick Hume has identified an interesting trend: the concept of “populism” as a threat.

    In most instances I’ve been able to track, populist politics today is the province of groups not well represented by and among elites. That’s a historically normal situation, usually resolved by electing at least some people who do represent them.

    So if populism is a “threat,” it can only be because the elite do not wish to see anyone elected who represents the affected groups.

  3. 3
    harry says:

    … from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
    — Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address

    Populism is government of, by and for the people.

    And what difference does populism make? Well, government of, by and for self-serving ruling classes gets far different results than government of, by and for the people, especially if those ruling classes are for the most part militantly atheistic, which is the case today. For example, according to the Global Wealth Report 2016:

    — 0.7 percent of the population of the world has 45.6 percent of the wealth of the world.

    — 73.2 percent of the population of the world shares 2.4 percent of the wealth of the world.

    The atheistic ruling classes want to do something about this disparity, since children going blind from malnutrition is a little embarrassing for them. Their solution? Get rid of poor people. They push for the legalization of abortion around the world. Some estimate that there have been 1.72 billion abortions worldwide in the last 40 years. Pushing “legal” baby killing isn’t all they do. They also disguise abortifacient contraceptives as vaccines. See: Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical.

    Anyone who thinks this is the best humanity can do because the “experts” of the ruling classes are making all the decisions needs to read Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society. The ruling class “experts” are the most dangerous people on the planet.

    Government of, by and for the people, or populism, can do much better than these self-serving, atheistic ruling classes. If the people were in charge they would be asking questions like:

    — Could it be that there are not too many people on the planet, but that 0.7 percent of the population claiming nearly half of the goods of the earth for themselves, and 73.2 percent of the world population sharing 2.4 percent of goods of the earth, is the real problem?

    — Could it be that the governments of the world having been transformed into subsidiaries of globalist owned (the 0.7 percent) multinational corporations, and then serving the globalists’ agenda instead of the legitimate interests of their own citizens, is how the globalists have redistributed so much of the wealth of the world to themselves?

    The globalists are the enemies of Christianity as well as enemies of the human race. Christian populism is the solution.

    And to make clear what I am not saying:

    — Socialism is evil and stupid. It is not the answer.

    — Unbridled, unregulated capitalism is evil and stupid. It is not the answer.

    The answer: A moderately regulated free enterprise system where government ensures that corporations operate such that they “promote the general welfare” of its citizens. Government of, by and for the people does as the preamble of the U.S. Constitution declares:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution …

    A final thought: Abortion is unconstitutional for many reasons, one not often mentioned reason is that it denies the blessings of liberty to the posterity of the Founders.

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