[Answered] “Populism has replaced liberalism in 21st century.” In light of this discuss the consequences of populism and how countries should approach it?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Consequences of populism.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Populism refers to a range of political philosophies that emphasise the idea of the people and against the privileged elites. When important concerns of the people are not addressed by the elites, the populist movements form to challenge the establishment. There are multiple consequences of populism.

Fallout’s of populism:

  1. Authoritarianism: Populist movements are often led by charismatic leaders and have little internal democracy and accountability. These leaders tend to develop personality cults and, when they come to power, they often turn authoritarian.
  2. No opposition: Populist often claim absolute moral superiority and possession of the whole truth. That makes them reject the legitimacy of the opponent.
  3. Majoritarian nationalism: Populism of the right, tends to acquire the form of majoritarian nationalism, unconstrained by minority rights.
  4. Corruption and abuse: It often results in a decline in rational debate about political issues. There is a high risk of corruption and abuse of power.
  5. Against democracy: Populist movements often turn against representative democracy. Populists reject pluralism. This threatens democracy and unity in diversity.
  6. Low economic growth: Populist Nationalism is divisive and affects economic growth of the country. In India, populism is used for loan waivers, poverty alleviation schemes, etc. which lead to fiscal burden.
  7. Hostility: Populism is hostile to ethnic, religious and racial minorities, and inhospitable to new migrants.
  8. Social polarisation: The populists exploit loopholes and issues in order to polarise society. They try to divide people along religious, racial or linguistic lines to win elections through majoritarian tactics.
  9. Socio-Economic issues: The societies affected by populism suffer from socio-economic issues due to joblessness or rising inequalities and unmet expectations.

What should be done?

  1. It is time to revise macroeconomic, taxation, industrial and commercial policies to accommodate left outs. Social media should be regulated and held accountable for damaging a pluralistic, fact-based and hate-free political debate, in the same way as traditional media.
  2. Social media should be regulated and held accountable for damaging a pluralistic, fact-based and hate-free political debate, in the same way as traditional media.
  3. Civil society organizations defending human rights and equality against populism should agree on a common agenda and strategy across identity politics divides.
  4. Participatory and deliberative platforms and initiatives (citizens’ assemblies, forums) should be embedded into the decision-making processes to balance the oligarchic tendencies of electoral democracy.
  5. It is important to acknowledge that globalisation, technological progress and tax reductions elevate the quality of life of society as a whole, but in the short term, they deliver a direct blow to certain pockets of the population, especially in rigid labor markets that hinder the unemployed from quickly finding a new job.
  6. Political parties (established and emerging) should seek to propose inclusive visions and programs that deliver benefits for all citizens, not only for a part of the voters.
  7. It is important to accept that not everyone’s standard of living will continually rise and some peoples net income will remain stagnant for years on end.

There is no doubt that division in the face of an organized populist threat is problematic. Only rational thinking rather than impulsive feelings and anger can solve the problems of our times.

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