The Dangers of Populism

Making utopian promises, blaming the wealthy and the “elites” on all problems and offering simple solutions such as wealth redistribution and more free services by raising taxes: such populist rhetoric surely helps politicians come to power, but at what cost to the society? Populist politicians exist on both sides of the spectrum, left and right. Whilst we hear a lot in the news about the populism of Donald Trump and some right wing groups, populism is particularly dominant on the left side of the spectrum as well. Socialism, communism and Marxism epitomise populism – an unrealistic promise of a utopia and free goods for everyone, which in reality results in disastrous consequences.

“The Populist Zeitgeist” by Cas Mudde, Government and Opposition, Volume 39, Issue 4, 2004
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/government-and-opposition/article/populist-zeitgeist/2CD34F8B25C4FFF4F322316833DB94B7

Twenty-First Century Populism: The Spectre of Western European Democracy, edited by D. Albertazzi, D. McDonnell, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008
https://books.google.ca/books?id=K2mADAAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Populism: A Very Short Introduction by Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Oxford University Press, 2017
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/populism-a-very-short-introduction-9780190234874?cc=ca&lang=en&

“Populism, clientelism and corruption often work in sequence” by Dimitri Sotiropoulos, Sciences Po, January, 25, 2015
https://www.sciencespo.fr/en/news/news/%E2%80%9Cpopulism-clientelism-and-corruption-often-work-sequence%E2%80%9D/2508

“What is populism, and what does the term actually mean?” by David Molloy, BBC, March 6, 2018
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-43301423

“Conservatives, Populism, and the Future” by by George H. Nash, Hoover Digest, 2018
https://www.hoover.org/research/conservatives-populism-and-future

“Three Lessons of Contemporary Populism in Europe and the United States” by Bart Bonikowski, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2016
https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/bonikowski/files/bonikowski_-_three_lessons_of_contemporary_populism_in_the_united_states_and_europe.pdf

“Jeremy Corbyn to ‘copy Donald Trump’s populist strategy’ in new bid to reverse poll ratings” by Benjamin Kentish, The Independent, 9 January 2017
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-copy-donald-trump-labour-leader-new-strategy-aggressive-populist-poll-ratings-a7517351.html

“Businesses Need to Beware of the Populist Promise” by Julian Campisi, Centre for Global Enterprise, April 2019
http://cge.schulich.yorku.ca/2019/04/businesses-need-to-beware-of-the-populist-promise/


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Sabrina Zuniga & Denis Tsarev