Tag Archives: populism

Chantal Mouffe interviewed on “The ‘gilets jaunes’: ‘A reaction to the explosion of inequalities between the super-rich and the middle classes’”

“The fuzzy and horizontal nature of the movement, with Macron as its only enemy, recalls the origins of the Five Stars Movement. Like the Italian example, it is neither right nor left, and is currently taking a heterogeneous and anti-political form. It is a rejection of everything to do with political parties and representing the establishment. If the gilets jaunes movement does not find an institutional political form, it may quite possibly take a dangerous turn. That’s what happened with Five Stars. Since joining the government, the movement has adopted a right-wing stance. This is an issue that will confront the gilets jaunes movement if it continues.”

Stathis Gourgouris: “Preliminary Thoughts on Left Governmentality”

“In the manufactured politics of crisis that we see increasingly in many societies around the world, the question of what politics can overcome the impasse of so-called democratic rule, which serves as a cover for the domination of liberal oligarchies, has become urgent. Mining the most radical elements in Foucault’s thinking about governmentality, this essay seeks to imagine a politics of left governmentality that would evade the pitfalls of left populism.”

Anton Jäger: “21st Century Americanism”

‘The attempt to think Marxism with identity — in short, the attempt to think a left-wing populism — has always held dangers. One should remain vigilant of those dangers even today. The scenario of a populism that never goes beyond identity — the same gambit as that of the alt-right — remains a serious threat.  We should neither accept the intellectual blackmail that pits “the people” against “the class,” nor should we forget the structural bargain involved in trading the language of class for that of the people, as is too often presupposed in contemporary musings on left-populism.’

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.’

Nancy Fraser: “Against Progressive Neoliberalism, A New Progressive Populism”

The future of hegemony:  ‘To those who are now mobilizing under the banner of “resistance,” I suggest the counter-project of “course correction.” … The point is not to dissolve “identity politics” into “class politics.” It is to clearly identify the shared roots of class and status injustices in financialized capitalism, and to build alliances among those who must join together to fight against both of them.’

Chantal Mouffe: “The populist moment”

The recent success of European populist politics is the expression of a crisis of liberal-democratic politics:  “To live up to the challenge that the populist moment represents for the future of democracy what is needed is a politics that reestablishes the agonistic tension between the liberal logic and the democratic logic. … Conceived in a progressive way, populism, far from being a perversion of democracy, constitutes the most adequate political force to recover it and expand it in today’s Europe.”

“America in Populist Times: An Interview With Chantal Mouffe”

Movements cannot be left just to the streets. I am very critical of the idea of politics as fomenting a moment of total rupture with the existing status quo. This is not how revolutions work. At some point, mobilizations will lose steam. You cannot change things only on the horizontal level of social movements. … You need to try to come to real power in the institutions and government.”