Democracy and Populism are a married couple

Since 2016 , You’ve seen the rise of populism and people denouncing it. But here’s the fundamental issue with that. Democracy by it’s very definition is a populist system. Appeals to the population exist in direct and representative democracy. To some extent it exists in all systems.

But when a person desires a position of power in a non monarchical society. You are making an appeal to the populace. Hope , MAGA, and so on are appeals to the population. When you promise to give people free college. Guess what? You just appealed to the populace.

Since democracy is a system based on the will of the people. Any pimp can be king and any prostitute can be queen. It’s a system where popularity counts more than anything. What gets you there? Populist tactics of course. But hey it’s fine to use populism as long as it isn’t anything more than tactics, right? You wouldn’t want to actually follow through with any of those promises you made. That would be silly!

The reality of democracy is that the ideologies most suited for it have populism as a major tenet. Communism, Socialism, and so on are perfectly suited for it. Which is why I suggested an alternative path for conservatives in Dear Conservatives .

“Representative democracy is a limited civil war in which the armies show up, get counted, but don’t actually fight.” -moldbug


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