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12 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

All the mentioned dictators were populists.

 

Mao sent the so-called elites to "re-education camps" or had them killed.

 

Pol Pot exterminated a third of Cambodian society (and again the so-called educated elites).

 

Likewise, Stalin attacked and dispossessed (and killed) those with property as the enemies of the people.

 

Saddam and Assad were both from the Ba'athist (populist) Party.

 

Meanwhile Teddy Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela were not populists.

 

Juan (and Evita) Peron were definitely populists, but were also autocrats with dictatorial impulses.

 

So you failed on every front. 

 

Populism is ALWAYS BAD. It is an evil ideology that is always used for bad purposes by bad people. Always.

 

Bill

 

If its so bad, you should be able to define it then.   Tell me what populism is if you would please.  

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3 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

If its so bad, you should be able to define it then.   Tell me what populism is if you would please.  

 

I already did. Populism is a ideology which pits elements of a society against one another for the political benefit of a demagogue.

 

Those in the demagogue's cult are defined as "the people" or the volk, and they are painted as being the good or pure people who have been wronged or oppressed by another group in society (the "other") who has unfairly usurped the power of "the people" by nefarious means (according to the cult).

 

Only the demagogue (the cult-leader) has the capacity to right the wrong done to "the people," which rationalizes totalitarian ruthlessness against "the other."

 

The "other" can be painted as "elites" or as dangerous outsiders to a society who are not "elites." Scapegoats.

 

To divide a society populists need to foment anger, division, rage, and political irrationality that drives people to the extremes. Populists thrive on polarization. For populists the perfect scenario is when societies cleave into far-right and far-left populist camps.

 

The greatest threat to populism is rational political discourse, and cool-headed decision making. Liberalism is the antidote to populism. That's why populists hate liberal political philosophy--and that's true of both far-right and far-left variants of populism.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, crazyhole said:

Yes.   This sums up the position pretty cleanly:

 

Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasise the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite".

 

The elites being the statists, whereas the populists are the proletariat or working class, but generally speaking it is a term for "the people".   

 

Pol Pot was a populist and statist who, once he had power, exterminated the elites for being too rich, too intellectual, too urban, etc. I'm not saying it always definitely leads to this, but any movement that rises up from anger and resentment of people who have more power, wealth or intelligence than you do is probably going to be hard to control.

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4 hours ago, Toldya said:

 

Pol Pot was a populist and statist who, once he had power, exterminated the elites for being too rich, too intellectual, too urban, etc. I'm not saying it always definitely leads to this, but any movement that rises up from anger and resentment of people who have more power, wealth or intelligence than you do is probably going to be hard to control.

There have been demagogues that use a populist movement to gain power, but then consolidate it into a statist authoritarian regime.   Pol Pot didn't rule as a populist.   Heck, look at China today where only a few people are allowed to vote.    That isn't populism and its the system that Mao set up.    Bernie Sanders is a populist, so am I to believe that he would also become a dictator had he won?   

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1 hour ago, crazyhole said:

There have been demagogues that use a populist movement to gain power, but then consolidate it into a statist authoritarian regime.   Pol Pot didn't rule as a populist.   Heck, look at China today where only a few people are allowed to vote.    That isn't populism and its the system that Mao set up.    Bernie Sanders is a populist, so am I to believe that he would also become a dictator had he won?   

 

Another false dichotomy. Populism is statism. Nearly every single authoritarian/totalitarian dictator was/is a populist. Populism by nature is an authoritarian/totalitarian political scheme. 

 

Pol Pot most certainly did rule as a populist. And in the process of his populist-communist rule he liquidated almost the entire "elite" class in Cambodia.

 

That's populism. Identify an internal enemy. Use resentment against that "out group" to form a cultic mass movement, fuel rage, anger, division, and political irrational to galvanized one's supporters, and then seize power. Once in power populists move against the enemy "out group(s)."

 

Pol Pot is a textbook case of populism.

 

Populism is the ugliest ideology in humankind's history as it speaks to people's worst and darkest impulses.

 

Populism is a pox on humanity. Always.

 

Bill

 

 

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1 hour ago, crazyhole said:

There have been demagogues that use a populist movement to gain power, but then consolidate it into a statist authoritarian regime.   Pol Pot didn't rule as a populist.   

 

You're changing the definition of the word so that nobody who ever has any power whatsoever could possibly be considered populist. Populists tend to grab MORE power for themselves because their rise depends on a narrative that suggests the system is broken and that they need to save the country and the people from a corrupt elite. Once they seize power, they are NOT going to work with the people they have already written off as corrupt-- they will expel them, humiliate them or murder them. This will extend to intellectuals, professionals, scientists, academics, the wealthy, etc... because all of these things are forms of elitism, regardless of whether or not these elites earned their position via their own merits. There are already traces of this infecting the American right-- especially where it concerns science, academia and white collar liberals in large urban centers.

 

 

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Heck, look at China today where only a few people are allowed to vote.    That isn't populism and its the system that Mao set up.

 

America is actually more elitist than China. Xi Jinping lived in a CAVE when he was a teenager. Trump wouldn't even set foot in a cave... it might mess up his hair. Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao was also from a poor family. The others lived under colonial rule, were born in poverty, etc. These are people who UNDERSTAND what it's like to be poor, or at least oppressed. America hasn't had a leader like that for a very long time. The real question is whether or not it's better to have a republic full of rich people who don't understand the average person, or a dictatorship run by people who do.

 

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Bernie Sanders is a populist, so am I to believe that he would also become a dictator had he won?   

 

It doesn't seem likely, but I wouldn't rule it out. It would be nearly impossible to implement the changes he wants to implement without holding a great deal of power. Even though his agenda involves changing the US to more closely resemble Canada or Australia, it would be met with fierce resistance.

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1 minute ago, SpyCar said:

 

Another false dichotomy. Populism is statism. Nearly every single authoritarian/totalitarian dictator was/is a populist. Populism by nature is an authoritarian/totalitarian political scheme. 

 

Pol Pot most certainly did rule as a populist. And in the process of his populist-communist rule he liquidated almost the entire "elite" class in Cambodia.

 

That's populism. Identify an internal enemy. Use resentment against that "out group" to form a cultic mass movement, fuel rage, anger, division, and political irrational to galvanized one's supporters, and then seize power. Once in power populists move against the enemy "out group(s)."

 

Pol Pot is a textbook case of populism.

 

Populism is the ugliest ideology in humankind's history as it speaks to people's worst and darkest impulses.

 

Populism is a pox on humanity. Always.

 

Bill

 

 

So Bernie Sanders is a pox on humanity?    

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6 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

So Bernie Sanders is a pox on humanity?    

 

Absolutely! 100%. He speaks to the worst in people and represents a dire threat to liberal democracy.

 

He is a demagogue with the worst political impulses.

 

Bill

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3 minutes ago, Toldya said:

 

You're changing the definition of the word so that nobody who ever has any power whatsoever could possibly be considered populist. Populists tend to grab MORE power for themselves because their rise depends on a narrative that suggests the system is broken and that they need to save the country and the people from a corrupt elite. Once they seize power, they are NOT going to work with the people they have already written off as corrupt-- they will expel them, humiliate them or murder them. This will extend to intellectuals, professionals, scientists, academics, the wealthy, etc... because all of these things are forms of elitism, regardless of whether or not these elites earned their position via their own merits. There are already traces of this infecting the American right-- especially where it concerns science, academia and rational thought.

 

 

 

America is actually more elitist than China. Xi Jinping lived in a CAVE when he was a teenager. Trump wouldn't even set foot in a cave... it might mess up his hair. Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao was also from a poor family. The others lived under colonial rule, were born in poverty, etc. These are people who UNDERSTAND what it's like to be poor. America hasn't had a leader like that for a very long time. The real question is whether or not it's better to have a republic full of rich people who don't understand the average person, or a dictatorship run by people who do.

 

 

It doesn't seem likely, but I wouldn't rule it out. It would be nearly impossible to implement the changes he wants to implement without holding a great deal of power. Even though his agenda involves changing the US to more closely resemble Canada or Australia, it would be met with fierce resistance.

I'm not changing the definition of it, but we obviously have different views on what the term means.   My understanding of the term populist is "the will of the majority", and the opposite of that is statism, which is "the will of the elites".    Both can be ok and both can be tyrannical when implemented.   There can be both left wing and right wing populists, so that suggests it isn't a left-right axis, its a convergent axis like authoritarian-libertarian.   

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1 hour ago, crazyhole said:

There have been demagogues that use a populist movement to gain power, but then consolidate it into a statist authoritarian regime.   Pol Pot didn't rule as a populist.   Heck, look at China today where only a few people are allowed to vote.    That isn't populism and its the system that Mao set up.    Bernie Sanders is a populist, so am I to believe that he would also become a dictator had he won?   

 

You seem to be confused about populist demagogues being "democrats," when that's precisely the opposite of the case. Populism is based on creating "mass movements" (aka political cults) that are anti-democratic and are instead led by a demagogue and his cadre.

 

Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao (to name a few) all followed the same mold. 

 

Populism is an authoritarian/totalitarian political ideology that is fundamentally anti-liberal and anti-democratic. Where populists allow for elections is on when the election is "for show" or when the demagogue is constrained by very strong liberal political institutions (and the populist "revolution" is therefore incomplete).

 

Bill

 

 

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13 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

I'm not changing the definition of it, but we obviously have different views on what the term means.   My understanding of the term populist is "the will of the majority", and the opposite of that is statism, which is "the will of the elites".    Both can be ok and both can be tyrannical when implemented.   There can be both left wing and right wing populists, so that suggests it isn't a left-right axis, its a convergent axis like authoritarian-libertarian.   

 

You completely misunderstand what populism is as an ideology. 

 

You are conflating the terms "majoritarianism" (which has its own problems) and "populism."

 

Populism can NEVER be OK. It is always authoritarian/totalitarian by its nature.

 

There are far-right and far-left variants of populism. None are democratic, liberal, or anything but statist.

 

Bill

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21 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

You completely misunderstand what populism is as an ideology. 

 

You are conflating the terms "majoritarianism" (which has its own problems) and "populism."

 

Populism can NEVER be OK. It is always authoritarian/totalitarian by its nature.

 

There are far-right and far-left variants of populism. None are democratic, liberal, or anything but statist.

 

Bill

So what is the opposite of statism in your opinion?

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3 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

So what is the opposite of statism in your opinion?

 

Liberal constitutional democratic republics that have strong institutions that limit, balance, and disperse political authority and guarantee individual liberties and that check the tyrannical impulses of demagogues.

 

Bill

 

 

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11 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

Liberal constitutional democratic republics that have strong institutions that limit, balance, and disperse political authority and guarantee individual liberties and that check the tyrannical impulses of demagogues.

 

Bill

 

 

Sounds pretty libertarian to me.  

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7 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

Sounds pretty libertarian to me.  

 

No. Libertarians don't place enough of an emphasis on protecting common resources (land, air, water) or the political freedoms of individuals from rapacious private forces that can threaten those rights and resources.

 

Strong liberal institutions that provide "checks and balances" are necessary to prevent both statist demagogues and private oligarchies from exercising coercive and anti-liberal power grabs.

 

Libertarianism is a failed ideology as it encourages private oligarchies to usurp power, wealth, and dominance in societies, power that is then used to take political power: as in Pinochet's Chile. 

 

Bill

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1 minute ago, SpyCar said:

 

No. Libertarians don't place enough of an emphasis on protecting common resources (land, air, water) or the political freedoms of individuals from rapacious private forces that can threaten those rights and resources.

 

Strong liberal institutions that provide "checks and balances" are necessary to prevent both statist demagogues and private oligarchies from exercising coercive and anti-liberal power grabs.

 

Libertarianism is a failed ideology as it encourages private oligarchies to usurp power, wealth, and dominance in societies, power that is then used to take political power: as in Pinochet's Chile. 

 

Bill

So, say libertarian is on one end of the spectrum and authoritarian is on the other.   The scale starts at 0 and goes to 10 on each side.    Where are you in that scale?

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Just now, crazyhole said:

So, say libertarian is on one end of the spectrum and authoritarian is on the other.   The scale starts at 0 and goes to 10 on each side.    Where are you in that scale?

 

False scale.

 

Both libertarianism and authoritarianism fail to establish the strong and enduring divisions of power (the "checks and balances") that are necessary to maintain a liberal republic. 

 

Anarchy, libertarianism, and totalitarianism all fail to put brakes on a wannabe dictators.

 

These are all failed ideologies for that reason.

 

Bill

 

 

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2 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

False scale.

 

Both libertarianism and authoritarianism fail to establish the strong and enduring divisions of power (the "checks and balances") that are necessary to maintain a liberal republic. 

 

Anarchy, libertarianism, and totalitarianism all fail to put brakes on a wannabe dictators.

 

These are all failed ideologies for that reason.

 

Bill

 

 

So is there any scale for any ideology to you?     I honestly don't understand how you view social or political ideology on any axis because you're basically saying that no axis' exist.   

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11 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

So is there any scale for any ideology to you?     I honestly don't understand how you view social or political ideology on any axis because you're basically saying that no axis' exist.   

 

These are the axises.

 

Bill

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3 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

Lol.   Okie doke on this one.  

 

You asked how I view social or political ideology on an axis, and this (in a simplified form) is it.

 

Either a society has mechanisms and institutions that check authoritarian/totalitarian power and/or the quasi non-state power of private oligarchies and that actively protects human rights, civil rights, and political liberties--or one does not. Simple.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

You asked how I view social or political ideology on an axis, and this (in a simplified form) is it.

 

Either a society has mechanisms and institutions that check authoritarian/totalitarian power and/or the quasi non-state power of private oligarchies and that actively protects human rights, civil rights, and political liberties--or one does not. Simple.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

Its too simplistic because it assumes a point of perfection that doesn't exist, which means any divergence from that point is faulted.    That doesn't exist, and if it did you could point to a country that achieved it.   

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Just now, crazyhole said:

Its too simplistic because it assumes a point of perfection that doesn't exist, which means any divergence from that point is faulted.    That doesn't exist, and if it did you could point to a country that achieved it.   

 

Sure. Any such diagram is going to be "simplistic," that's the nature of trying to use simplistic "axises" to represent complex political models.

 

In the real world I think we see plenty of liberal democratic republics that have developed strong political institutions that have put the brakes on authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

 

The USA just passed the test of dealing with a right-wing populist who has no regard for the norms of our republic and preventing him from taking dictatorial control. That is why we have divided government and checks and balances. The system worked.

 

Bill

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17 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

Sure. Any such diagram is going to be "simplistic," that's the nature of trying to use simplistic "axises" to represent complex political models.

 

In the real world I think we see plenty of liberal democratic republics that have developed strong political institutions that have put the brakes on authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

 

The USA just passed the test of dealing with a right-wing populist who has no regard for the norms of our republic and preventing him from taking dictatorial control. That is why we have divided government and checks and balances. The system worked.

 

Bill

After the last 4 years can you really say that our system is perfect?   

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