Category Archives: Leftist populism

Populist hypocrisy

Dalrymple writes that

hatred of the rich, or even of the merely prosperous, is a common, if discreditable, emotion.

He notes that Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of Podemos, the Spanish left-populist party with the Barackian name,

has fallen foul of the very emotion upon which his movement depends and which he has done so much to foment.

Iglesias has bought a villa with a swimming pool in a well-to-do enclave not far from Madrid for $700,000, well beyond the means of most of the electorate to which he has appealed by excoriating the privileged or exploiting class that he calls la casta. Not long ago, he attacked the finance minister, saying, ‘One cannot direct the economic policy of a country from the terrace of a flat worth $700,000.’

Dalrymple comments that Podemos presents itself

as being against the whole economic system.

To maintain that the money made by Iglesias was made legally and honestly

is, in effect, to admit the legitimacy of the economic system, whatever its deformations—and, in turn, to admit that Podemos is founded on nothing but demagoguery and encouragement of a base emotion, envy.

The populist appeal to envy, spite, and resentment

Dalrymple reports that

Mr McDonnell, deputy leader of the Labour party, which for the time being is in opposition, recently objected to the presence of hereditary peers in the upper house, using the crude and vulgar language typical of populist politicians anxious to demonstrate their identity with the people or the masses.

It is strange, Dalrymple adds,

how rarely Leftists who are in favour of confiscatory economic policies are condemned as populist.