petej + populism   340

Theresa May has trashed our democracy and put MPs in danger | Lisa Nandy | Opinion | The Guardian
Yesterday in parliament I spent several hours, with my colleague Gareth Snell, trying to reassert those principles of democracy and find a route through this nightmare, by guaranteeing a role for parliament in the next stages of Brexit negotiations; we were trying to ensure that once the withdrawal agreement is passed we end this desperate tug of war and begin the messy, hard business of compromise and the search for common ground. A few hours later, the prime minister stood up inside No 10 Downing Street and trashed our democracy. She is not fit to be prime minister, does not deserve the support of MPs, and she will not get it.
UK  EU  Brexit  MayTheresa  DowningStreet  speech  intransigence  blame  Parliament  threats  discourse  democracy  populism  LabourParty  dctagged  dc:creator=NandyLisa 
4 weeks ago by petej
Until Christchurch I thought it was worth debating with Islamophobes. Not any more | Nesrine Malik | Opinion | The Guardian
It is time to stop pleading. It is time to call things what they are and not temper or apologise for the strength of the allegations, to call people racists, opportunists and complicit hatemongers even if they do grace our prestigious publications and seats of governance. It is time to do what they always accuse you of doing anyway, and “shut down the debate”.
Christchurch  massacre  Islamophobia  media  Muslims  hatred  racism  immigration  UK  politics  populism  whiteSupremacism  dctagged  dc:creator=MalikNesrine 
5 weeks ago by petej
America’s Original Identity Politics | by Sarah Churchwell | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The logic of exceptionalism is embedded in the American imagination: one set of rules historically applied to white American men, another set to all other people in the country, who were not recognized as full citizens—which is to say, as fully American.

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To this day, the American common man remains strongly coded in racial, classed, and religious terms. The common man is not, for example, commonly understood to be a Muslim. He is understood to be a coal miner from West Virginia, despite the fact that American Muslim men are much more common, statistically speaking, than West Virginian miners. These are the voters we’ve heard from endlessly over the last two years, the white working-class men of so-called “Trump country,” especially the white men without a college education who voted for Trump by a margin of 71 percent to 23 percent. The reasons for their choice have been hotly debated, including the erosion of perceived power, economic stagnation, cultural backlash, racial bigotry, gender bias, and evangelical social agendas. Yet Trump’s election was also widely perceived as an anti-elite insurrection, one that was treated as an anomaly, instead of as the latest in a series of populist surges in American history that have sought to “restore” a power to the common man that he perceived himself to be losing to other less-deserving groups.
USA  politics  identityPolitics  TrumpDonald  Breitbart  race  gender  BlackLivesMatter  transgender  LillaMark  FukuyamaFrancis  history  slavery  whiteSupremacism  women  exceptionalism  populism  resentment  JeffersonThomas  JacksonAndrew  nativism  nationalism  KuKluxKlan  citizenship  census  exclusion  authenticity  dctagged  dc:creator=ChurchwellSarah 
8 weeks ago by petej
‘We're reactivating the people’s army’: inside the battle for a hard Brexit | World news | The Guardian
Now it’s time for strategy, as Farage tells supporters how to confront MPs. “I don’t want you writing letters to them. Go and visit them at their surgeries, queue around the block, meet them face to face, make them feel the heat, make them understand that being part of a customs union, being a vassal state with laws made somewhere else, is unacceptable. And that if they do this, you will never give them your vote again. Make. Them. Feel. The. Heat. We in Leave Means Leave are reactivating the people’s army.”

The language is tough and militaristic, and Farage’s delivery chilling. He warns that if he is forced to fight a second referendum we’ll see a very different Farage: “This time, no more Mr Nice Guy.” I can’t help thinking back to his victory speech after the referendum, delivered at 4am on 24 June 2016. Farage boasted that Brexit had been achieved “without a single bullet being fired”. It was only eight days after the strongly pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox had been murdered on her way to a constituency surgery. Her killer, Thomas Mair, shouted “Keep Britain independent”and “Britain first” as he shot and stabbed her. But Farage appeared to have forgotten that.
UK  Brexit  politics  Leave  hardBrexit  LeaveMeansLeave  FarageNigel  populism  Bolton  UKIP  middleClass  Birmingham  Bournemouth  referendum  activism 
january 2019 by petej
What 46 Populist Leaders Did to Democracy - The Atlantic
Populist governments, in our working definition, are united by two fundamental claims: (1) Elites and “outsiders” work against the interests of the “true people,” and (2) since populists are the voice of the “true people,” nothing should stand in their way.
politics  populism  democracy  BolsonaroJair  Brazil  TrumpDonald  ModiNarendra  WidodoJoko  Indonesia  India  USA  power  press  media  civilLiberties  MouffeChantal  corruption  Italy  transparency 
december 2018 by petej
Why we stopped trusting elites | News | The Guardian
If a world where everyone has their own truth-tellers sounds dangerously like relativism, that’s because it is. But the roots of this new and often unsettling “regime of truth” don’t only lie with the rise of populism or the age of big data. Elites have largely failed to understand that this crisis is about trust rather than facts – which may be why they did not detect the rapid erosion of their own credibility.

Unless liberal institutions and their defenders are willing to reckon with their own inability to sustain trust, the events of the past decade will remain opaque to them. And unless those institutions can rediscover aspects of the original liberal impulse – to keep different domains of power separate, and put the disinterested pursuit of knowledge before the pursuit of profit – then the present trends will only intensify, and no quantity of facts will be sufficient to resist. Power and authority will accrue to a combination of decreasingly liberal states and digital platforms – interrupted only by the occasional outcry as whistles are blown and outrages exposed.
elites  representativeDemocracy  trust  politics  media  business  honesty  norms  authority  liberalism  technology  Internet  populism  lies  alienation  disillusionment  UKIP  MPs  expenses  wikileaks  phonehacking  MurdochRupert  Libor  finance  BBC  Tesco  Volkswagen  exposure  whistleblowing  FOI  BlairTony  transparency  Brexit  Leave  MetropolitanPolice  RobinsonTommy  conspiracyTheory  relativism  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
november 2018 by petej
The far right will try to exploit any Brexit outcome. We can’t let it happen | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
To understand how to defeat Britain’s far right, we have to be clear about how we arrived at this point. Mass immigration did occur under the New Labour governments, but without any accompanying pro-migrant politics being articulated: indeed, just the opposite. Tony Blair’s administration stripped benefits from refugees in favour of vouchers; it denounced “asylum cheats” and spoke of refugee children “swamping” schools from which they were banned; and attempted to outflank the Tories on anti-migrant rhetoric.

David Cameron’s subsequent governments denounced Labour’s “uncontrolled immigration”, and portrayed the movement of people to the UK solely as a problem to be contained, while setting impossible targets on numbers that were not even close to being met. Theresa May, then home secretary, was the most ardently anti-migrant member of his cabinet, notoriously sending “Go home” vans to mixed communities. An inherently divisive referendum handed a megaphone to a demagogically anti-migrant campaign whose lies and bile led to a surge in hate crimes.
UK  politics  Brexit  farRight  RobinsonTommy  UKIP  immigration  Islamophobia  populism  elites  CameronDavid  BlairTony  dctagged  dc:creator=JonesOwen 
november 2018 by petej
From Trump to Boris Johnson: how the wealthy tell us what ‘real folk’ want | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
With that conceded and, hopefully, addressed, the left is in a far more solid place to expose and challenge the disingenuousness, hypocrisy and inadequacy of the culture-warriors on three main counts. First, their prescriptions don’t work. Britain does not feel like a stronger, more confident place since it voted to leave the European Union, but more divided, lost and lonely than anyone can remember. It didn’t put the great back into Great Britain but the little into Little England. In short, it has proved an inadequate balm for the post-imperial melancholy so many were apparently experiencing. Denying Muslims and migrants their civil rights or women their reproductive rights doesn’t give other groups more rights. When terrorists kill fewer people than toddlers with guns and are more likely to be white and American than brown and foreign, the threat to your “way of life” is the way you are living it.

Second, there are far more powerful and plausible national stories we can tell, that are inclusive and optimistic and they occasionally break through. Obama’s first election, when a multiracial, multigenerational, economically diverse coalition came together to embrace a message of hope and change from a black American, was a case in point. It is always worth remembering that roughly one in eight of Trump’s voters backed Obama in 2012.

Similarly, in Britain, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 or the, albeit belated, revulsion at the treatment of the Windrush generation this year showed that there was a more inclusive story to be told about what really is great about this country.

Finally, all too often the rightwing cheerleaders for these “ordinary folk” are more embedded in the elites than those they attack can ever be. When George W Bush, who is teetotal, is the man you’d most like to have a drink with, an Old Etonian Bullingdon boy like Boris Johnson is able to get away with posing as a man of the people, and Trump can get the modern equivalent of $140m from his dad and still claim he is a self-made man, something is seriously wrong.

Or as George Clooney put it about Trump: “I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door to door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquor store. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. The idea that I’m somehow the ‘Hollywood elite’ and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people is laughable.”
USA  TrumpDonald  politics  populism  TheLeft  TheRight  elites  wealth  oligarchy  culture  nativism  immigration  multiculturalism  liberalism  paternalism  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
november 2018 by petej
National Populism review – compassion for supporters of Trump, Brexit, Le Pen | Books | The Guardian
Eatwell and Goodwin treat these aspects as a diversion from the deeper question of what their supporters are seeking, which they paint in sepia: “To reassert cherished and rooted national identities over rootless and diffuse transnational ones; to reassert the importance of stability and conformity over the never-ending and disruptive instability that flows from globalisation and rapid ethnic change; and to reassert the will of the people over those of elitist liberal democrats who appear increasingly detached from the life experiences and outlooks of the average citizen.” It is the pursuit of these goals that characterises the movement or ideology of national populism.

This is a canny and deceptive intellectual move. It would be strange to define socialism in terms of the hopes and fears of trade unionists, or liberalism in terms of the worldview of a free rights-holding individual. And yet national populism is only really distinguished from nationalism and racism by the fact that its supporters do not see themselves in these terms. Inversely, Eatwell and Goodwin’s insistence that Le Pen or Wilders are not racist politicians rests on the PR efforts these figures have made to detoxify their images as racists in the eyes of the public and media.
UK  politics  nationalPopulism  nationalism  populism  racism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  GoodhartDavid  culture  demographics  change  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
november 2018 by petej
Going native: Populist academics normalise the anti-immigrant right
One of Eatwell and Goodwin's key moves is to define 'racism' so narrowly that the populists mostly escape. It should be confined, they say, "to the erroneous and dangerous belief that the world is divided into hierarchically ordered races, to anti-Semitism which plays more on conspiracy theory, and to violence and aggressive attitudes towards others based on their ethnicity". But that's it. "Where the disparagement and fear of different cultural groups is not linked to this form of systematic thinking" they prefer the term 'xenophobia'.

No serious survey would conclude that "systematic thinking" defines racism. The elaborate, pseudo-scientific hierarchies of Nazism and apartheid are outliers in the history of generally more ad-hoc, inconsistent prejudices and discriminations. That's been the case throughout modern history, but it is particularly the case now that what the authors call "blatant racism" has been delegitimised.

A more coherent definition is that racism is constituted of ideas and practices which express hostility towards population groups, however these groups are defined by perpetrators. Xenophobia, for example against Mexicans or East Europeans, is no less a form of hostility than colour prejudice and anti-semitism and often part of the same toxic mix. In reality, racism is generally pragmatic rather than intellectually coherent. It easily tolerates one out-group while attacking another, especially when it operates in a democratic political environment. When you have such a narrow definition of it, it is unsurprising that you cannot identify it when you stares you in the face.
politics  nationalism  populism  nationalPopulism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  immigration  xenophobia  racism  normalisation  farRight  identity  dctagged  dc:creator=ShawMartin 
november 2018 by petej
The Bannon-Frum Munk Debate: What Really Happened - The Atlantic
The story ends, then, in a great irony. Integral to the liberal project, again in the broad sense of the word liberal, is confidence in the power of reason. Words and arguments can overbear ignorance and prejudice. Over the long term, words and arguments can even overcome oppression and violence. That’s why liberals in the broad sense are so uniquely horrified by official lying: How can reason prevail unless words connect to reality? How can we argue against people who will spread fictions, if serviceable to them, without a qualm?

Illiberals and anti-liberals, on the other hand, appreciate the dark energy of human irrationality—not merely as a fact of our nature to be negotiated, but as a potent political resource. People do not think; they feel. They do not believe what is true; they regard as true that which they wish to believe. A lie that affirms us will gain more credence than a truth that challenges us. That’s the foundational insight on which Trump built his business career. It’s the insight on which Trump’s supporters built first their campaign for president and now their presidency itself.
USA  politics  BannonStephen  populism  misinformation  manipulation  emotion  rationality  reason  liberalism  FrumDavid  debate 
november 2018 by petej
Live like common people – The Ed Techie
When someone uses these terms then it’s worth asking: “who else do they exclude in their definition of the real world?” & “what are they hoping to control and shut down by dismissing these people?” The answers to these questions will demonstrate why the use of such terms is not just reaching for the nearest cliche, but indicative of a more sinister mindset. In short, breaking news – this is real life.
populism  academia  language  exclusion  diversity  inclusion  prejudice  dctagged  dc:creator=WellerMartin 
november 2018 by petej
How feelings took over the world | Culture | The Guardian
These two distinctions – between mind and body, and war and peace – now appear to have lost credibility altogether, with the result that we experience conflict intruding into everyday life with increasing regularity. Since the 1990s, rapid advances in neuroscience have elevated the brain over the mind as the main way by which we understand ourselves, demonstrating the importance of emotion and physiology to all decision making. Meanwhile, new forms of violence have emerged, in which states are attacked by non-state groups (such as Islamic State), interstate conflicts are fought using nonmilitary means (such as cyberwarfare), and the distinction between policing and military intervention becomes blurred. Our condition is one of nervous states, with individuals and governments existing in a state of constant and heightened alertness, relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.

When reason itself is in peril, there is an understandable instinct to try to revive or rescue something from the past. It has become a cliche to celebrate the rugged individualism, cold rationality and truth-seeking courage of the scientific pioneers. But in our current age, when intelligence and calculation are performed faster and more accurately by machines than by people, an alternative ideal is needed. Perhaps the great virtue of the scientific method is not that it is smart (which is now an attribute of phones, cities and fridges) but that it is slow and careful. Maybe it is not more intelligence that we need right now, but less speed and more care, both in our thinking and our feeling. After all, emotions (including anger) can be eminently reasonable, if they are granted the time to be articulated and heard. Conversely, advanced intelligence can be entirely unreasonable, when it moves at such speed as to defy any possibility of dialogue.
emotion  rationality  OxfordCircus  panic  misinformation  socialMedia  fear  instinct  rumours  virality  Germany  refugees  Facebook  populism  psychology  violence  policing  militarisation  terrorism  experts  trust  elites  resentment  inequality  exclusion  disenfranchisement  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
september 2018 by petej
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