Friday, February 09, 2007

Tracking Neo-populism

On a lark, my history major buddies have been throwing around a number of absurd arguments about "neo-populism" for the past two weeks. We were all still jazzed-up by the spectacular televised exchanges between Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert. At the time, neo-populism was just another made-up term that described the type of "thinking from the gut" anti-intellectualism espoused by media pundits.

The thing is, neo-populism turned out to be a *real* movement in Latin America and possibly even in the United States. South American leaders Alberto Fujimori and Carlos Menem are cited by scholars as neo-populists, and the Midwest Populist Party has used the same term to describe Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester. Their website is kind of scary.

Naturally, Wikipedia had to be updated.

*

3 comments:

roula said...

YAY.

i have no further contributions at this time, but i thought i should put in those two cents.

roula said...

oh wait. i do have a contribution. you're right, this jon tester guy is weird. odder still, though, is that his neo-populism seems to incorporate elements of post-deconstructionism, at least with respect to his inviting the "plebeian class" (his words!) to explore theory; on the other other hand, he borrows approvingly from several of foucault's theoretical models. this poor plebe's head is exploding.

Fifth said...

I agree with Roula.