De halve waarheid van het populisme


Abstract
Does populism add value to the political debate by showing that the ideals of Enlightenment are too abstract and rationalist to understand politics in democratic terms? The paper argues two theses, critically engaging Lefort’s work: instead of offering valuable criticism, populism feeds on the very principle that Enlightenment has introduced: a polity rests on self-inclusion with reference to a quasi-transcendent realm; populism’s appeal to simple emotions feeds on the vitalist pulse in any polity. Both dimensions of politics are inevitable as well as elusive. In particular with regard to the vitalist pulse we have no response to the half-truths of populism, as both national and constitutional patriotism seem on the wrong track
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