For a Liberal Populism?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1703 ... November 8, 2018

For a Liberal Populism?

Blake Stewart

Over thirty years have passed since Chantal Mouffe and her late partner Ernesto Laclau developed the political philosophy of ‘Post-Marxism’ in their seminal text Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (1985). It was here where Mouffe and Laclau first challenged what they perceived as the vulgar and economistic forms class analysis found within Marxian political theory. The Post-Marxist field of social theory they introduced was an anti-orthodox Marxian philosophy that would be more inclusive to contemporary struggles which they argue cannot be discussed using only the language of class.

In her most recent text For a Left Populism (2018) Mouffe reflects on the current ‘populist moment’ in the West; providing a tool-kit for progressive social forces. Mouffe’s brand of populism... has served as an inspiration for emergent left political parties such as Podemos in Spain. However, the case of Podemos exhibits a clear tension between populist left factions oriented toward mass appeal and broad coalition building; and the more radical factions oriented toward a Manichean struggle against the political establishment and bourgeois elites of all stripes and party affiliations.

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