Populist Demagogy and the Fanaticism of the Center

Populist Demagogy and the Fanaticism of the Center
AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Why has the use of the term “populism” been imposed when we already had at our disposal the term “demagogy,” which seems to designate the same thing? Or are we to think that the new term refers to a new phenomenon, and that the new populism is something different from the old demagogy? To broach the issue, and as a provisional hypothesis, I offer the following proposition: the term “populism” has the same pejorative connotation as the term “demagogy,” but where demagogy indicated a mode or manner that could affect all political orientations—there can be a demagogy that is liberal, socialist, conservative, etc.—populism designates in addition if not a doctrine, at least a specific content or orientation. 

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