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View Diary: The Rotten Core of Populism. (79 comments)

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  •  Well if you hadn't put such a snarky last (0+ / 0-)

    sentence I might have bothered to think about what you said.

    I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.~Terry Pratchett

    by LaFeminista on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 04:54:25 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The fact of letting the last sentence... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Goodman, pkbarbiedoll

      get in the way of considering the substance being presented is not very indicative of an open mind.

      The overall comment is instructive and the response is childish.

      •  I think it's kinda silly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran

        It's defense by way of tautological redefinition: define "populism" as "good populism," and then conclude that there's no such thing as bad populism.  Q motherfucking ED.

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 05:10:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not the one redefining (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, pkbarbiedoll

          The word has an original meaning which was far and away it's one commonly understood meaning for nearly a century.

          The effort to create alternative definitions is an effort to create ambiguity and impede clear thought. It is a matter of framing. And it just so happens that the original intended meaning of this particular word remains very relevant today.

          I might similarly object to people using the word "liberal" only with a negative connotation and the word "conservative" only with a positive connotation. Or to anyone innocently repeating Rush Limbaugh talking points.  Or perhaps unwittingly using an expression that historically has racist connotations and which some might consider offensive.

          The effort made by right wing academics in recent decades to redefine this word clearly has an agenda behind it.

          •  You're fighting a losing battle with this person (0+ / 0-)

            This diary is a thinly veiled attempt to reframe labor in the context of a make-believe world without borders.   Many libertarians and republicans also beleive people should be able to relocate and work wherever they want.  Corporations spend billions on lobbying for the same.  Why?  Cheap fucking labor.

            Sunshine on my shoulders...

            by pkbarbiedoll on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 07:09:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not snark (6+ / 0-)

      I assumed you were coming from a European perspective and perhaps not aware of the historic meaning. It was a sincere request for you to Educate yourself on this important area of US History.

      Populism is the one great left wing movement in US History. We never had any strong influence from socialism or Marxism in the US. At around the time those things arose in Europe, in the late 19th century, it was Populism which arose in the US.

      And the word referred exclusively to the political and economic philosophy of the People's Party.

      The core of it was opposition to the control of the US banking system and money supply by private interests, which had led the economy into recession and deflation.  These corporate interest further had corrupted government, through the influence of money, and were feeding at the public trough of taxpayer funds, while government no longer represented the interests of common people.

      Populists favored political reforms to reduce the influence of money (such as an end to patronage, and creation of a merit based civil service) and only favored socializing specific industries which were natural monopolies or critical to the public interest, specifically railroads and banking.

      I only meant to warn you, as a matter of cultural understanding,  that your usage of the term will come across as ignorant to anyone properly educated in the U.S.

      •  The relevant question, then, is to what degree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, LaFeminista

        the US populists were racially / ethnically progressive.

        (and that assumes your rather non-populist method of definition by way of top-down institution: "this is how the educated elite define populism, so we can ignore its definition in practice by the commoners.")

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 05:22:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Much moreso than the population (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, pkbarbiedoll

          The country as a whole was certainly not all that racially/ethnically progressive. So you can find individual examples of racist Populists.

          But as a whole it was much more "progressive" in that since than the country as a whole (moreso by the way than the Progressive movement).

          The Knights of Labor, one of the founding organizations of the Populist Party, admitted women and blacks, and fought for equal pay for women. As a matter of political strategy, Southern Populists emphasized racial reconciliation by attempting to form a new political alliance between economically repressed working class whites and economically repressed former slaves. This is what they campaigned on.

      •  Eh, not so much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista

        By your logic, then, you oppose the use of the word "fascism" to refer to anything other than the Italian political movement of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s?

        I would submit, rather, that just as "fascism" tends to represent the larger totalitatian ideology typified by "Fascism" (the Italian Mussolini party) even though there may well be significant variations between its manifestations, so "populism" has come to refer to the larger political movement that included the late 19th century American "Populist" philosophy.  

        The larger populist ideology is marked by a rebellion against perceived elites with a call for "the people" to reclaim control, while being distinct from Marxist formulations of a similar thrust.  Like the original Populism, there is almost always an Us v. Them rhetorical meme.  There also seems to be a tendency, in its 20th century iterations, to become a vehicle for "strong man" rule. See Huey Long and George Wallace for examples.

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