New Populism (III)

New Populism (III)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo


The populist form of communication has taken control of politics. It has replaced the rational language that initially tried to build stability and consensus. The fact is that the Manichaean and confrontational structure of populism cannot be the ‘political center’.


Populists create the idea that there is a general crisis; that the nation is collapsing; that there is a dictatorship or tyranny in democratic nations; that there is a corrupt government, or that there are situations that resemble a war, the invasion of immigrants and the breakdown of social or moral order.


With this lofty and complicated vision of politics, extreme decisions are taken that are not in keeping with liberal democracy. Everything is legitimate in the name of the best interests of the people; authoritarianism and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of others are recurring tendencies.


According to Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, contemporary populists tend to be authoritarian and intolerant of the processes associated with the separation of powers, and when they are in power they break the rules of the democratic game and reject opposing views. They find it very difficult to respect the rule of law and make decisions arbitrarily.