We call it “populism.” That makes it sounds even a little good, at any rate to people who cannot remember the past. Why shouldn’t the will of the people trump all? Surely the result of a vote is the volonté generale, said Rousseau, believing he had thereby solved the problem of unfreedom in a collective. Surely populism is a Good and General Thing? So one might feel, at any rate until vague memories of Huey Long and Juan Peron and Benito Mussolini crowd in.
Jeffrey Tucker in his brilliant book calls right-wing populism what it actually is, namely, fascism, or, in its German form national socialism, nazism. “Fascism” has of course been corrupted by its promiscuous use on the left, as by Anti-Fas nihilists in Berkeley throwing rocks and insults at the police and the non-violent protestors against President Trump’s latest. Tucker dusts off the word for present use. It’s exactly the word we need. Urgently.Tucker has often attempted to link libertarianism with some politically correct sentiments which I have not been a fan of. However, this book appears to explore the question of whether Donald Trump populism is really fascism. It will be interesting to see the case Tucker makes.