Alberto Mingardi:AB’nin sorunu sadece popülizm değil.Büyümeye ihtiyaç var (english) Reviewed by Momizat on . Europe’s problem is not populism What the Continent needs is to restart growth. When we talk about politics, it’s always tempting to use some “mega-trend” to ex Europe’s problem is not populism What the Continent needs is to restart growth. When we talk about politics, it’s always tempting to use some “mega-trend” to ex Rating: 0
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Alberto Mingardi:AB’nin sorunu sadece popülizm değil.Büyümeye ihtiyaç var (english)

Europe’s problem is not populism
What the Continent needs is to restart growth.

When we talk about politics, it’s always tempting to use some “mega-trend” to explain the state of the world. Today, the most fashionable of them all is “the rise of populism.”

Unfortunately, this is a term that’s as slippery as it is popular. It has been applied to the Oxford-educated Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, to the Italian comedian Beppe Grillo, to the Spanish neo-Marxist Pablo Iglesias, to the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, just to name a few.

The only thing this motley assortment has in common is that their country’s political establishment, distrustful of their political message, has decided to label them as “populist.”

It’s not hard to see why. To the political establishments, “the rise of populism” offers a somewhat comforting narrative. It suggests that there may be powerful historical forces at work — forces that political incumbents are tone-deaf to and yet powerless to resist.

A large number of intellectuals, including the French economist Thomas Piketty, maintain that the rise of populism can be blamed on a widening gap in wealth distribution. Commentators and observers struggling to make sense of the electoral successes of “deplorable” political leaders, diagnose their political upsets as evidence of class warfare.

By so doing, they turn the political establishment’s crisis of legitimacy into an argument for doing more of what they like to do best: redistributing money. In this framing, the rise of populism is transformed into a signal that the state is not redistributing quite enough.

By so doing, they turn the political establishment’s crisis of legitimacy into an argument for doing more of what they like to do best: redistributing money. In this framing, the rise of populism is transformed into a signal that the state is not redistributing quite enough.

* * *

The best — and most recent — example is Italy’s constitutional referendum on December 4, which handed then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi a staggering defeat. If Renzi — recently an insurgent himself — couldn’t stop the populists, they are indeed movements whose time has come. But was it really “the rise of populism” that handed Renzi his hat?

The populist 5Star Movement has been gaining traction for several years, reaching a staggering 30 percent of votes in the polls and winning mayoral elections, including in Rome. Despite basically being a hard-left movement, the party has been able to attract votes from the Right too. And like Podemos in Spain, it has increased its momentum as the political establishment has become increasingly perceived as corrupt and parasitical.

In his battle to win the referendum, Renzi borrowed some of their catchwords and tried to claim that he too was fighting the establishment and austerity — but to no avail.

Renzi knew voters would not get excited about the nitty-gritty aspects of constitutional law, and so he cast the vote as a surrogate of a general election: Vote Yes if you want my government to go on. That a majority of Italians answered in the negative is hardly a surprise; since 1996, Italians have voted against political incumbents whenever they could.

www.politico.eu/article/europes-problem-is-not-populism-italy-renzi-grillo-boris-johnson/

 

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