Populism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "populism" Showing 1-30 of 92
Cyril Connolly
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

[The New Statesman, February 25, 1933]”
Cyril Connolly

Zbigniew Brzeziński
“We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans”
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzeziński
“Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Michel Foucault
“There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than "politicians" think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas (and because it constantly produces them) that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.”
Michel Foucault

Zbigniew Brzeziński
“[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Henry A. Wallace
“If we put our trust in the common sense of common men and 'with malice toward none and charity for all' go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.”
Henry Wallace

Johan Hakelius
“The problem with call-in shows is quite simple, if you only dare to admit it: Democracy is best when not everyone can be heard all the time. If we are constantly reminded of all the stupid things that people say and think, it becomes rather difficult to remember the good and noble arguments for everyone to be able to participate and decide.”
Johan Hakelius

Christopher Hitchens
“Populists (and 'national socialists') look at the supposedly secret deals that run the world 'behind the scenes'. Child's play. Except that childishness is sinister in adults.”
Christopher Hitchens

Ignatius L. Donnelly
“We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures, the Congress…. The people are demoralized; The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished…. The fruits of the toil of millions are badly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the Republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.”
Ignatius Donnelly

Mark Gevisser
“What in Mandela was seen as an almost saintly ability to conciliate could, in a lesser man, be read as weak-kneed populism.”
Mark Gevisser

Jan-Werner Müller
“Many populist victors continue to behave like victims; majorities act like mistreated minorities.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

“Many strongmen, past and present, have used populist rhetoric that defines their nations as bound by faith, race, and ethnicity rather than by legal rights. For authoritarians, only some people are "the people," regardless of their birthplace or citizenship status, and only the leader, above and beyond any institution, embodies that group. This is why, in strongman states, attacking the leader is seen as attacking the state itself, and why critics are labeled enemies of the people or terrorists.”
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present

John Lukacs
“Patriotism is defensive; nationalism is aggressive. Patriotism is the love of a particular land, with its particular traditions; nationalism is the love of something less tangible, of the myth of a "people," justifying many things, a political and ideological substitute for religion. Patriotism is old-fashioned (and, at times and in some places, aristocratic); nationalism is modern and populist.”
John Lukacs, Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred

Jan-Werner Müller
“A “crisis” is not an objective state of affairs but a matter of interpretation. Populist will often eagerly frame a situation as a crisis, calling it an existential threat, because such a crisis then serves to legitimate populist governance.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“The danger to democracies today is not some comprehensive ideology that systematically denies democratic ideals. The danger is populism—a degraded form of democracy that promises to make good on democracy’s highest ideals (“Let the people rule!”). The danger comes, in other words, from within the democratic world—the political actors posing the danger speak the language of democratic values.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“The game is being rigged, but it is not impossible—yet—to win an election on the basis of criticizing the populists in power. Perhaps, then, a designation like “defective democracy” would be more appropriate. Democracy has been damaged and is in need of serious repair, but it would be misleading and premature to speak of dictatorship.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“populism is inherently hostile to the mechanisms and, ultimately, the values commonly associated with constitutionalism: constraints on the will of the majority, checks and balances, protections for minorities, and even fundamental rights.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“populists are not generally “against institutions,” and they are not destined to self-destruct once in power. They only oppose those institutions that, in their view, fail to produce the morally (as opposed to empirically) correct political outcomes. And that happens only when they are in opposition. Populists in power are fine with institutions—which is to say, their institutions.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“Populist constitutions are designed to limit the power of nonpopulists, even when the latter form the government. Conflict then becomes inevitable. The constitution ceases to be a framework for politics and instead is treated as a purely partisan instrument to capture the polity.”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Jan-Werner Müller
“populism is strong in places with weak party systems. Where previously coherent and entrenched party systems broke down, chances for populists clearly increased”
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?

Milton Friedman
“It's always so attractive to be able to do good at somebody else's expense”
Milton Friedman

Abhijit Naskar
“Dumbbells believe celebrities as the measure of civilization, so let me put it straight, the measure of civilization is character and character alone.”
Abhijit Naskar, Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society

Abhijit Naskar
“We must treat the practice of politics the same way we treat the practice of medicine. Unskilled politicians have no more place in politics than unskilled doctors have in medicine. And to make sure that only skilled individuals are permitted by law to run for office, we must include training and licensing into our current democratic paradigm. Otherwise democracy will remain a rule of the halfwits, by the halfwits, for the halfwits till kingdom come.”
Abhijit Naskar, Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society

Abhijit Naskar
“Any system that facilitates allegiance to pedigree or popularity is a most disgusting stain upon the honor of a civilized society.”
Abhijit Naskar, Solo Standing on Guard: Life Before Law

Abhijit Naskar
“Corrupt politicians are only symptom, real disease is populist democracy.”
Abhijit Naskar, Mucize Insan: When The World is Family

John Lukacs
“It was a roiling and mobile civilization marked by a steady increase in carnality, vulgarity, brutality. Yet, oddly, the institutions and the accustomed frameworks of liberal parliamentary democracy, of that highest creation of the now passing Modern Age, continued to exist--at a time when civilization itself (a term first appearing in English in 1601) was coming apart. History is not governed by logic: but we must at least consider that this strange duality cannot exist much longer: that sooner or later the very political structure of democracy may undergo a deep-going and at least for a while irreversible transformation, including mutations that may have already begun.”
John Lukacs, Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred

“During the modern period and particularly in the last two centuries in most Western countries there has developed a broad consensus in favor of the political philosophy known as “liberalism.” The main tenets of liberalism are political democracy, limitations on the powers of government, the development of universal human rights, legal equality for all adult citizens, freedom of expression, respect for the value of viewpoint diversity and honest debate, respect for evidence and reason, the separation of church and state, and freedom of religion. These liberal values developed as ideals and it has taken centuries of struggle against theocracy, slavery, patriarchy, colonialism, fascism, and many other forms of discrimination to honor them as much as we do, still imperfectly, today.

. . .

However, we have reached a point in history where the liberalism and modernity at the heart of Western civilization are at great risk on the level of the ideas that sustain them. The precise nature of this threat is complicated, as it arises from at least two overwhelming pressures, one revolutionary and the other reactionary, that are waging war with each other over which illiberal direction our societies should be dragged. Far-right populist movements claiming to be making a last desperate stand for liberalism and democracy against a rising tide of progressivism and globalism are on the rise around the world. They are increasingly turning toward leadership in dictators and strongmen who can maintain and preserve “Western” sovereignty and values. Meanwhile, far-left progressive social crusaders portray themselves as the sole and righteous champions of social and moral progress without which democracy is meaningless and hollow. These, on our furthest left, not only advance their cause through revolutionary aims that openly reject liberalism as a form of oppression, but they also do so with increasingly authoritarian means seeking to establish a thoroughly dogmatic fundamentalist ideology regarding how society ought to be ordered.”
Helen Pluckrose, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody

Abhijit Naskar
“Divisionism and dollarism are the curse of society, yet society worships them as the greatest boon. Peace and peoplism are cussed as commie claptrap, while populism continues to give power to goons.”
Abhijit Naskar, Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth

Zygmunt Bauman
“Wie bei den Leichen, die man in den Krematorien von Auschwitz und Treblinka verbrannt hat, benötigt man auch hierfür keinen zusätzlichen Brennstoff; ständig schwelende Wut entzündet sich immer wieder neu an sich selbst.”
Zygmunt Bauman, Retrotopia

Zygmunt Bauman
“Aggressivität und Ablehnung kommen wie die anderen harten, rauen und bitteren Stammespraktiken in der Maske des Schutzgewährens und Abschirmens der "Gemeinschaft" daher.”
Zygmunt Bauman, Retrotopia

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