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.



roula said...


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.