Friday, October 28, 2016

A tidbit on the term 'populism'

Recently there has been a paradigm shift with respect to the word 'populism'; retrojectively speaking, at one time in history---relative to the U.S. at least---the term could have encapsulated the philosophy on which the nation was founded, as reiterated in the Gettysburg Address: Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Now the term is a catchall euphemism for mob/herd mentality, isolationism, and majority demands for authoritarian or totalitarian government. And the newfound conceptual leaning of the term is not simply because of the Trump circus, but due to the rise of historical repetition of extreme-right leanings the globe over, e.g., the Philippine president Duterte, Japanese prime minister Abe, Hungarian prime minister Orban, Brexit, stirrings in France and Germany, and so on.

If such is the updated interpretation of 'populism' then so be it, there is no reversing it. But the implication of the shift is alarming.