Political leaders railing against Hate Speech while practicing Hate Economics against the mass of workers is sheer hypocrisy. Today, more than ever, we need open exchange and clash of ideas, so that the causes of injustice can be uncovered. So that social frustrations can be better directed to where they belong, against those few at the top, whose inhumane system is the daily cause of our poverty.
Here are the articles on Populism
Today, there is intense talk of possible use of ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons by Putin in Ukraine. A recent NYtimes headline read: ‘In Washington, Putin’s Nuclear Threats Stir Growing Alarm' and the subhead went on to say that ‘U.S. officials are gaming out responses’.
If anyone is wondering just how deep is the left’s abandonment of its most long-standing and foundational values, namely free speech and class analysis, one need look no further than this book about populism: Systemic Corruption: Constitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic by Columbia Law School postdoc scholar Camila Vergara.
Populism does indeed have a set of prevailing principles that characterizes it. These principles cut across all political cloths, often garnering support from left- and right-wing proponents. Some of the basic principles include: circumventing power from Wall Street, ending corporate welfare and crony capitalism, ending mass surveillance programs, ending military interventionism and occupation, and opposing corporate trade agreements.
These principles don’t describe just one political identity, and that is why they tend to attract a broad following of people from all political persuasions.
Individualism is highly coveted in Western culture. Entire industries exist exclusively to profit off of our increasingly unhealthy preoccupation with ourselves. And with the arrival of the Internet, many more opportunities for people to express their individuality emerged.
Chatter about individualism grew amid the pandemic, with issues of identity being the focal point of many debates. The question of identity and its related discontents became a mainstay of public discourse.
These issues didn’t start in the pandemic, nor did they emerge with the rise of post-modernist thought – which has been years in the making. Indeed, today’s preoccupation with identity has a long history – and its popularity largely stems from transformative changes undergone in the centuries preceding, though at that time, it had a different name.
A decade ago for a brief moment following the 2008 global economic crash, there was a world-wide wave of angry emotion when the unbridled greed of the dominant capitalist elite was suddenly laid bare. Here in the US this engendered a movement called Occupy, which started in Zuccotti Park in the New York City financial district and spread quickly throughout the country.
Occupy, with all its imperfections, was widely viewed as a genuine populist movement. The movement focused on issues of economic inequality and coined the phrase ‘we are the 99%.’ Chris Hedges said at the time in an article on Truthdig that “Occupy articulated the concerns of the majority of citizens.”
Occupy set off a powerful emotional surge that swept across the country and genuinely frightened the elite. The State moved quickly to ensure that Occupy was effectively quashed. Under Obama, the federal government and local police forces joined to dismantle, often brutally, Occupy encampments across the country. No effort was spared in terms of mass arrests, surveillance, and other forms of State powered repression to ensure that Occupy couldn't metastasize into anything lasting or inspire any actual challenges to power.