I think that looking at the concept of left-wing populism is interesting as most of the semester we have associated populism with the far-right and framed it in a negative light. Prior to this week’s readings I hadn’t associated populism with the left ever before. The Fieschi article spoke to the idea that when populism is associated with a leftwing party, that because they are left leaning, this type of populism is not bad. There is a danger in doing this, by accepting that because this populism is associated with the left party and must therefore be positive can leave us blind or ignorant to what this type of populism is doing. No matter which party populism is associated with or representing there is a possibility that it can cause harm as people believe that the democratic institutions that are in place are no longer representing their interests. If we ignore the issues left wing populism are dealing with because of its party, we are allowing it to potentially cause the same level of harm as right-wing populism.
According to March there are similarities between right and left populism in terms of ideas ideals, which is that the elites are corrupt and are the ones damaging society. Because the elites represent such a small percentage of society, it is unlikely that the elites in power understand and have the interests of the everyday person in mind. What I found interesting is that while we assume anything to do with the right is bad, both right and left have the same ideals surrounding populism, but how they deploy it is what differentiates them.
Catherine Fieschi, “A Plague on Both Your Populisms” (April 19, 2012) Open Democracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/plague-on-both-your-populisms/
March L. “Left and right populism compared: The British case” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 19(2) (2017): 282-303.