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Historians Have Long Thought Populism Was a Good Thing. Are They Wrong?

By Feux Follets following x   2018 Mar 5, 2:05am 1,180 views   27 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


Imagine, if you will, that millions of hard-working Americans finally reached their boiling point.

Roiled by an unsettling pattern of economic booms and busts; powerless before a haughty coastal elite that in recent decades had effectively arrogated the nation’s banks, means of production and distribution, and even its information highway; burdened by the toll that open borders and free trade imposed on their communities; incensed by rising economic inequality and the concentration of political power—what if these Americans registered their disgust by forging a new political movement with a distinctly backward-looking, even revanchist, outlook?

What if they rose up as one and tried to make America great again?

Would you regard such a movement as worthy of support and nurture—as keeping with the democratic tradition of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson?

Or would you mainly dread the ugly tone it would inevitably assume—its fear of the immigrant and the Jew, its frequent lapse into white supremacy, its slipshod grasp of political economy and its potentially destabilizing effect on longstanding institutions and norms?

To clarify: This scenario has nothing whatsoever to do with Donald Trump and the modern Republican Party.

*Rather*, it is a question that consumed social and political historians for the better part of a century. They clashed sharply in assessing the essential character of the Populist movement of the late 1800s—a political and economic uprising that briefly drew under one tent a ragtag coalition of Southern and Western farmers (both black and white), urban workers, and utopian newspapermen and polemicists.

That debate pitted “progressive” historians of the early 20th century and their latter-day successors who viewed Populism as a fundamentally constructive political movement, against Richard Hofstadter, one of the most influential American historians then or since. Writing in 1955, Hofstadter theorized that the Populists were cranks—backward-looking losers who blamed their misfortune on a raft of conspiracy theories.

Hofstadter lost that debate: Historians generally view Populism as a grass-roots movement that fought against steep odds to correct many of the economic injustices associated with the Gilded Age. They write off the movement’s ornerier tendencies by pointing out—with some justification—that Populism was a product of its time, and inasmuch as its supporters sometimes expressed exaggerated fear of “the secret plot and the conspiratorial meeting,” so did many Americans who did not share their politics.

But does that point of view hold up after 2016?

The populist demons Trump has unleashed—revanchist in outlook, conspiratorial in the extreme, given to frequent expressions of white nationalism and antisemitism—bear uncanny resemblance to the Populist movement that Hofstadter described as bearing a fascination with “militancy and nationalism … apocalyptic forebodings … hatred of big businessmen, bankers, and trusts … fears of immigrants … even [the] occasional toying with anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

A year into Trump’s presidency, the time is right to ask whether Hofstadter might have been right after all about Populism, and what that possibly tells us about the broader heritage of such movements across the ages.

More: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/14/trump-populism-history-216320

#Populism #Politics

2   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 8:30am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Very one-sided chart.

Some other populist movements included: Anti-Slavery, the Temperance Movement, Civil Service reform, etc.

As for populists being cranks, let's remember their current opponents have a tendency to blame everything, even the Italian Election results, on Evil Mastermind Vladimir Putin or on Unverifiable Crank Socio-Political Theories Concepts like Toxic Masculinity or White Privilege., which is "Judeo-Bolshevism" but with Whites as the Hook Noses.
3   Goran_K   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 8:42am   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote        

It's like the democrats/left is blind and dumb on purpose. They're literally, 16 months later, trying to figure out why they have lost so many elected offices since Obama's first term and "the GOP would never win another presidential election."

Look in the fucking mirror.
4   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Mar 5, 9:33am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Imagine, if you will, that millions of hard-working Americans finally reached their boiling point.

Roiled by an unsettling pattern of economic booms and busts; powerless before a haughty coastal elite that in recent decades had effectively arrogated the nation’s banks, means of production and distribution, and even its information highway; burdened by the toll that open borders and free trade imposed on their communities; incensed by rising economic inequality and the concentration of political power—what if these Americans registered their disgust by forging a new political movement with a distinctly backward-looking, even revanchist, outlook?


This group does not exist in any large numbers. Just a myth. This group voted for Obama and nothing changed. And if this group existed in large numbers, Bernie would be in power.
There are always a bunch of pessimists who have never been out of the country who think America has gone to the dogs. These same pessimists cannot fully explain why millions risk their lives to get into shithole America. ROFL.
5   Sniper   ignore (11)   2018 Mar 5, 10:03am   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

Feux Follets says
what if these Americans registered their disgust


They did in 2016.

That's how the country got Trump.

Why don't the Democrats understand that yet?
6   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 10:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Trump couldn't have won without White Obama voters switching to Trump in 2016 by some millions, in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But that hurty the narrative, so it won't be discussed.
7   CovfefeButDeadly   ignore (4)   2018 Mar 5, 10:07am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Trump couldn't have won without White Obama voters switching to Trump in 2016 by some millions, in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But that hurty the narrative, so it won't be discussed.


OP reads like a grumpy Democrats wet dream.
8   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 10:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Very one-sided chart.


Kindly check the available images for charts on populism and post what you find.
9   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 11:03am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Kindly check the available images for charts on populism and post what you find.


Why do I need a chart? I already contradicted it in words.

Thing is, the lead is "Populism" but the chart you put up is "Right Wing Populism".

Yet the Temperance and Anti-Slavery Movements, dominated by White Christians, would absolutely be considered Conservative. Indeed, the Southern Slave Owners called Abolitionists "Religious Fanatics"

Hofstaeder was an Intellectual Elitist. He literally distrusted the Demos and everything it ever came up with, including the Civil Service and other Reforms of the 1890s, which every other American Historian before or after lauds as a balanced Constitutional Democratic Republic in it's highest form. He was obsessed with proving Americans were a bunch of paranoid shits who ought to shut up and follow the plans of their intellectual betters.
10   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 11:09am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

No alt-right aroma in the OP, so the comments correct that mostly without comment.

Two different worlds. Two different sets of facts. Dismissals and all the weapons to end conversation in full array in lieu of debate.

Never defend, always attack.

Win win win by hyper masculine posturing.

Pray that no competent tyranny arises from these ruins. A tyranny that sees the people will do nothing but mutual annihilation.

Okay then let's comment on "the real Russian collusion investigation" OF CLINTON.
11   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 11:19am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says
you put up is "Right Wing Populism".


12   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 11:19am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

I criticize the chart because, as always, you see speculators taking credit for producing something as they live without toil of any kind.

The definitions above are unduly influenced by far right deification of oligarchs and plutocrats.

"Producerist" above is really the idle plutocracy who are always seeking to enslave somebody somewhere and forever searching the world over for the next pimp to sell more slave labor without calling it that.
15   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 11:21am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

There is a dearth of left leaning populism charts similar to the one for right leaning politics however I will continue to look.
18   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 11:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

@TwoScoops - working on finding a similar chart for left leaning populism. Will get back on this, it's out there somewhere and getting closer..
19   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 11:29am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says


Left-wingers don't "Other" Middle American as generally Racists with their Judeo-Bolshevism White Privilege?
20   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 11:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says

Really another form of the Nolan Chart.Feux Follets says
There is a dearth of left leaning populism charts similar to the one for right leaning politics however I will continue to look.


There is. Wouldn't Senator Huey Long be a "Left Wing Populist"? Then again, so would the great Kulak Hunt.

FDR indulged in some Left Wing Populist causes, like Social Security (an idea originally conceived of by the Nationalist Bismarck). And Hofstaeder didn't like him either.
21   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Mar 5, 12:59pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says

This distorts the definition of populism as it is used on a daily basis in the media.
Populism is if you disagree with the rampant corruption in Washington and ensuing globalist agenda.
Basically anything against the establishment is "populism".

Only then they redirect it as: "you must be a racist" or "you must be a commie", depending to which side they talk to.
22   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 1:14pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Or, we lost an election, so Democracy is flawed due to "Dangerous Populism".

Whether that's presented with a "Gimme my Free Shit Obama Dumb Kids and Minorities" or "Hurk Durk MAGA Dumb Rednecks!" view.

Since Neoliberals are losing elections all over, they are whinging about Democracy and by extension, "Populism", and are talking about Censorship and diabolical plans of Dictators, who got 1% of the electorate to watch some PressTV or Sputnik Youtube Video.
23   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 1:17pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

Feux Follets says
TwoScoopsPlissken says
you put up is "Right Wing Populism".

What I said was:

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Thing is, the lead is "Populism" but the chart you put up is "Right Wing Populism".




What does the crying baby refer to? That I'm a Crying Baby because I don't understand why the two are being conflated?
24   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Mar 5, 1:19pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

If you don't listen to the populous you end up in the shitty side of the cesspool.

Look at South Africa, they are rising up and taking their shit back.
They've been mocked for Centuries now they will hack and dispatch every legal white land owner because they were discarded for foreign interests.
The same happened in China and Japan when Western influence tried to convince the ruling class to fuck over their Citizens in favor for Western Interest, around the turn of the last century.
Don't heed my warning, deadmen don't complain.
25   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 5, 1:26pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

"Populism" is what Elites call it when they are held accountable for their failed leadership and policies.
26   Goran_K   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 1:28pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote        

Left Wing Populism
27   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 5, 11:29pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

What is it called when the Populists are held accountable for their failed leadership and policies ?

Seems way premature to be calling a victory on anything right now, one major piece of legislation passed in the first 12 months of dubious long term positive benefit for the Middle Class and below.

Combine that with the ongoing unending stealth attacks on worker safety, environment, pretty much anything that matters for a decent quality of life in the name of deregulation and improving competition on the world economic stage.

The anti-establishment (populist) crowd is currently in the spotlight at least until 2020 here.

Same in Europe and elsewhere with varying end dates.

Personally I would really not overdue it on the celebrating just yet....




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