Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Left anti-politics or left populism? Political distinctions at the end of the end of history

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This review essay argues that once a fuller genealogy of populism is presented, Hochuli et al.’s rationale for attempting to corral the left into an embrace of nationalism begins to look suspicious. Despite the authors’ claims, the genealogy of American left populism reveals a political project that is not at all aligned with the virtue-hoarding desires of the left flank of the Professional Managerial Class (PMC). To the contrary, it is a political project synonymous with the material struggles of the global working class. Thus, while we should concede that the contemporary Left has been captured to no small degree by PMC sensibilities, a full understanding of today’s ongoing revival in socialism requires further explanation. To this end, this essay argues that we need a proper discussion about the history of left populism in the United States, its meaningful achievements, and its potential as a strategic partner. Admittedly, the term “populism” has very different valences, depending on whether it is used in an American or European context. But it cannot be gainsaid that the term originated in America, and that American populism has hewed more toward working class struggle over the sort of “woke” ideologies, worried about in The End of the End of History.


© The Author(s) 2022


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New Perspectives