Donald Trump has long stoked the kind of abhorrent far-right action that we saw storm the Capitol today. But it’s not just Trump who deserves the blame: mainstream conservatives created this monster, too.
We can’t talk about the rise of right-wing populists like Donald Trump, reactionary and bizarre conspiracy theories like QAnon, and the increasingly pervasive sense of nihilism across global politics without talking about neoliberalism.
This article places Europe’s current populist explosion — in left, right, and nonpartisan versions — in context. Above all, it emphasizes populism’s status as the political child of the thirty-year-long decline of party democracy. It offers a balance sheet for each populist variant, focusing in particular on the left populist experiments, and it closes with a proposal for a class-based socialist alternative.