Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Type 5: "Populist"

Every now and then a movement/leader bursts onto the scene determined to wake us from our slumber and shake us from the prevailing consensus. We feel momentarily enfranchized by the unsettling effect this has on the corrupt/complacent ruling party and status quo. Some of us become appalled by the demagoguery or mesmerized by the populist rhetoric in the name of "justice" or "freedom" for "the people" against "the elites" during this time of "hope" for "change". Most of us probably don't believe the blarney, but at least we are finally being offered the opportunity to dispose of the greedy incumbents.

Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peupleMindset: "I have always felt disempowered and want a say. If folks vote for big Gummint and Kleptocratic welfare statism, folks should get big Gummint and Kleptocratic welfare statism, so long as it’s ratified by the majority and we get to look over the cooked books once in a while."

Resulting Government: Tyranny of the Majority. Read The Menace of the Herd by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

Manifestations/Practitioners: The classic populism of Sparticus; the imperialist glory of Napoleon; the jingoism of Theodore Roosevelt; the 'Every Man a King' campaign of Huey Long; the 'New Deal' populism of F.D.R.; the Prairie populism of John Diefenbaker; the telegenic charisma of John Kennedy, John Edwards and Barack Obama; the Gaullism of Charles de Gaulle, the Peronism of Juan Perón, the Trudeaumania of Pierre Trudeau and Thatcherism of Margaret Thatcher; the Charlatanism of Tony Blair and Blarney of Brian Mulroney (biggest majority in Canadian history); John Howard's Aussie battlers ('Howard's battlers'); Jean Chretien, the 'Little Guy from Shawinigan'; the economic populism of New Zealand prime minister, Sir Robert Muldoon; the reformist populism of Ross Perot, Preston Manning and Newt Gingrich; the 'Common Sense Revolution' of Mike Harris in Ontario; the 'Quite Revolution' nationalism of René Lévesque/separatist demagoguery of Lucien Buchard in Quebec; the far right-wing/left-wing populism of David Duke/Hugo Chávez; the ultranationalism of Jean Marie Le Pen of France or Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Russia.

Recent Quote: "It is a paradox of democracy that sometimes leaders must make decisions that a majority of the electorate either disagrees with, or would disagree with if it had the chance to express an opinion. The public didn’t vote to reduce tariffs, float the dollar, or sell the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. If the public had been given a say on any of these policies they would have been rejected." - John Roskam of the Melbourne Institute of Public Affairs (The Perils of Populism by Roger Kerr)

Better Quote: "We are the change we've been waiting for." - Barack Obama.

Not Included: The fearmongering, hatemongering, demonization, intimidation, scapegoating and 'Big Lie' propaganda of Adolf Hitler probably fits more in the realm of mass hysteria than populism in my view.

Comments: Populism can be an opportunity or a threat. It is by definition impossible to arrive at an ideal result in government through populist appeal, where all of the democratic interests of the people must be taken into account. Given the diversity of interests and groups in a polyglot society, any movement that appeals to all of the "people's interest" will by definition be so general as to be useless or bequeath a government so large as to be burdensome. The key is to remove the people's interest in government altogether, which brings me to type 6...


El Jefe Maximo said...

Napoleon I has figured in both the "Type 1" Classic Imperialist category as a practitioner, and in this category. I don't think the Emperor works as a populist on any but the most superficial level: if anything he was a reaction to the Left Populism of the French Revolution -- he ended the revolution. He did not claim to act so much for the "people" -- that was the nostrum of the revolutionaries -- but on behalf of the nation. Far from championing the "people" against the "elites," he created new elites. Had it not been for the wars, his regime might well have lasted, and successfully reconciled monarchial forms with the changes brought by the revolution (much as Louis-Philippe I tried to do later).

Beaverbrook said...

You're right that Bonapartism is a superficial populism and nothing more than a patriotic indulgence of the French. I was thinking more of Napolean II here, but perhaps it would be better to take it out altogether. It does serve as a useful example of the different kinds of populism though.

Lord Best said...

You mean Napoleon III I presume, as Napoleon II died young and never held any position of power after his short stint at King of Rome as a child.

Beaverbrook said...

Oops. That's right.

dirty european socialist said...

The Queen has 17 billion quid. She is greedy. Think of all the poor who could be saved with that cash.