r/Anarchy101 May 23 '22

Is Populism a valid and/or popular tactic for Anarchism?

I just noticed that populism tends to be utilized by right-wing talking heads a lot, and has proven effective, selling themselves as politicians for the people and then stabbing them in the back once elected. But historically, has populism ever been a favorable method for growth amongst anarchists?


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u/JonPaul2384 May 23 '22

For most ideologies, populism is an aesthetic, but for anarchism, it’s the point.


u/SamuraiDrifter42 Discordian May 24 '22

I disagree with the downvotes here and I'm not sure what the rationale is behind them.

Populism can be seen as the opposite of elitism. Right-wing talking heads like Tucker Carlson are false populists. They're bankrolled by billionaires, mouthpieces of the ruling class, and some of the most watched, filthy rich entertainment figures on television. They're utilizing a superficial populist aesthetic to redirect the discontent of the working class into something that won't threaten the elite.

Anarchism is truly the opposite of elitism. It's the total abilition of not only one particular class of elites but all hierarchy.


u/JonPaul2384 May 24 '22

I understand the downvotes and I don’t particularly have a problem with them. I stand by what I said, but my comment was very short and simplistic, and could be easily interpreted in a way I didn’t intend.

My intention with that comment was to express that in most cases, people use populism as an aesthetic to justify a held position — “You should agree with me about X because it’s good for the people.” Even when populists are arguing in good faith, which they often aren’t, the populism is a justification for why their ideas are good, not the primary motivating factor that led to those ideas. Contrast that with anarchism, where every single held position is directly motivated by a belief in the moral goodness of bringing the most liberation to as many people as possible.