Tag: Ernesto Laclau
The broad political Left in the United States has been plagued for decades now with a culture of reaction, fragmentation, issue silo-ing, and a chasm between insiders and outsiders. Can the concepts of populism and hegemony help to explain these challenges? What insights might we gain through an exploration of these ideas?
A series on populism and hegemony may sound nerdy, esoteric, and less-than-fully-practical for on-the-ground organizers, campaigners, and advocates for social justice (my intended audience), but I believe that understanding the patterns and processes of these two related concepts is key to effective long-term political struggle.
In this series I’m digging in and attempting to work out some useful frameworks. I’m a student, not an expert, on these subjects — and I’d love for other folks to weigh in on these ideas.
This is the landing page for the series. You can bookmark it and check back for new posts, which I’ll be linking to from this page.
This is the fifth post in a series.
Teachers, students, firefighters, police officers, veterans, farmers, and even Green Bay Packers players, visibly aligned and defiantly mobilized together in Wisconsin last month, conveyed something very important and powerful. Okay, duh. That’s obvious. If we could orchestrate that kind of line-up all the time, we would, of course. But you can’t just pull that out of a hat.
I concluded Marx’s error saying that “we have some very powerful, very contemporary examples of … populist alignments.” By which I especially meant Wisconsin.
What are the ingredients of this so-called populism? And how did it come about?