Chantal Mouffe: “Mélenchon: A Radical Reformist against Mounting Oligarchy”

‘At stake in left-wing populism is how we can articulate these demands in the construction of a collective will. Its objective is to put an end to the domination of the oligarchic system: not through a “revolution” destroying republican institutions, but through what the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) called a “war of position” leading to a profound transformation of the existing power relations and the establishment of a new hegemony. This, in view of recovering and indeed radicalising the democratic ideal.  Indeed, what is at stake in France Insoumise and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s project of a “citizen revolution” is a refoundation of left-wing politics in a perspective that distinguishes itself from both social-democracy and the radical Left [gauche de la gauche]. Far from being an avatar of the far Left, we could term this perspective a “radical reformism” that takes up a position within the horizon of the great democratic tradition.’