Truth and facts now mean what the populist chooses them to mean. He enters the temple, but only to blow away its walls. First, democracies have morphed into unrepresentative plutocracies that lead growing numbers of people to feel shut out and voiceless. What effects have they had on democracy in Latin America?
These regimes have provided material and symbolic benefits to their supporters, but they have simultaneously skewed the playing field against their opponents to such a degree that they ceased to be democracies. He is a spectre of things to come: Yet populism is not defined by what it aims to achieve. But their attempts to reconnect elite democracy with popular democracy are simply dismissed by mainstream media as anti-parliamentarian populism. Obviously, populism takes many forms, and comes in many shades. The combination of clicks with filter bubbles, or algorithms imposed by vertically integrated digital platforms, produces serious distortion. Those who stick it into the elites make things simple, lay blame and are willing to overthrow the status quo. Or these experts have simply let us all down on such matters as financial deregulation, the realities of trade deals, or the dynamics of growing inequality. To the baffled, I say this: Today, by contrast, there is no need for circuses, flags, Nuremburg rallies or gifted photographers. Knowing their children will become even worse off, citizens are ready to follow someone who speaks for them. Clicks depend on theatrical performance, stunts, celebrity, entertainment and conflict. Politics after Brexit features the end of popular democracy as a constitutive part of representative democracy. But ordinary voters are not necessarily more stupid, or more misguided, than those who seek to rule over them. It supposes that the purpose of politics is to act on the will of the people, and it proposes simple solutions to complex problems that require serious and effective policy responses. We need to find ways of giving facts and evidence a common meaning, of restoring respect for them as the basis of national conversations and getting rid of the filter bubbles that create self-selecting online tribes. Here lies the lesson for democratic politics. But then, many economic experts have been captured by establishment groupthink, or pursued hidden agendas, or have claimed more authority than their knowledge would justify. The deep tension between the tendency of an oligarchy to concentrate wealth and the desire to redistribute political power ensures democracies are always on a journey towards a destination they never reach. Who is doing the labelling? Think of Jeremy Corbyn , a leader who left a parliamentary meeting of all Labour MPs articulating their concerns, to speak to an adoring crowd. Truth and facts now mean what the populist chooses them to mean. Christine Milne, University of Sydney Two convergent trends are making populism a potent negative force. His named enemies help his supporters to see him as their saviour. Critics of populism only deserve a hearing if they themselves show they know how to listen, as well as to condemn.
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