Populism Unbound

Careful readers may have noticed a decidedly non-politic turn in Breaching the Web entries lately… this has been a conscious choice, in part to insure my ability to get out of bed every morning and go about my life. While I am consuming political news, commentary has become far too likely to push me off the deep end and leave me hiding under the covers.

However, I’m starting to feel a bit better about my country’s political life, mostly because I’ve been doing some reading about populism. Populism as a political movement failed (for good reasons — I am not a fan of most populist reforms), but it contained the seeds of the Progressive Era (of which I am a huge fan). While I cannot yet fully articulate my thoughts, I’m beginning to think about how policies emerge and interact over time, and how the unintended consequences of bad ideas can lead to good things.

My optimism only goes so far however — the populists never controled Congress, so the political machinery involved was much different. But I am feeling slightly less helpless.

Posted on December 10th, 2002 by Katxena

2 Comments a “Populism Unbound”

  1. mo says:

    I hear you! In fact, I’ve been feeling very much like you describe — I just want to be able to think and talk about something other than the fact that the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. And just when I think I’m going to be able to turn away from the madness, Bush goes and releases yet another cowboy “strategy” document that moves the world closer to war. *sigh* Anyway, I like your strategy of focusing on the positives, such as Carter’s vision and the hope that popular progressive movements can steer things in a better direction. Thanks for that.

  2. JS says:

    I know what you mean. There are so many things happening in the political sphere I feel I should be able to comment on, but then the whole thing starts to make me feel sick. All I feel I can say about things at this point is this: absolute power corrupts absolutely. And I feel I could say this every day, as fresh evidence arrives with the daily news.

    I echo the previous thanks for posting about Carter. Maybe someday he’ll be recognized in this country for being the great man he is.