“In the past, it was never the people who abandoned democracy, but the elites” | EUROtoday

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Professor of political principle at Princeton University (New Jersey), the German thinker Jan-Werner Müller is in Paris, invited by the Collège de France to present a collection of conferences entitled “Democratic Europe”. The writer of Freedom, equality, uncertainties (First Parallel, 2022) evaluation for The world the development of populism in Europe, evident within the outcomes of the European elections, and the place of the National Rally on this new political galaxy.

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In your opinion, does the National Rally deserve the label of populist get together that’s usually hooked up to it?

Yes, however watch out, the label “populist” is commonly misused. Populism, in my eyes, is above all a method which consists of an actor, a motion or a political get together claiming to symbolize the “real people”. This technique has two elements. The first is the criticism of the elites, the well-known “all rotten” – with the consequence of a robust discredit solid on the remainder of the political class, thought of corrupt. The second half is the exclusion from the “people” of all people who don’t correspond to the symbolic definition of the “true people”, specifically foreigners, minorities or opponents. An instance: in 2002, after his defeat within the legislative elections which price him energy, Viktor Orban harangued the gang by proclaiming that “the homeland cannot be in opposition” : we clearly perceive on this declaration that, for the Hungarian Prime Minister, ” the homeland “ doesn’t embody his political opponents, thought of foreigners, traitors.

What we name the far proper, then again, is an ideology: the time period refers to very clear positions on immigration, refugees, ecology – as a result of, in Europe, the far proper is distinguished by its rejection of the Green Deal. These two phenomena are distinct, even when they’ll in fact go hand in hand, and the benefit with which far-right ideology combines with populist technique is not doubtful – the best way right-wing populists place the nation on the coronary heart of their discourse is their means of defining the “real people”. I’d even add that populist technique will not be politically impartial: as a result of it’s anti-pluralist, it’s all the time anti-democratic and carries inside it an authoritarian imaginary and practices.

Is the populist technique solely a method for conquering energy, or can it’s a method for exercising it?

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