Article published in:Right-Wing Populism in Europe & USA: Contesting Politics & Discourse beyond ‘Orbanism’ and ‘Trumpism’
Edited by Ruth Wodak and Michał Krzyżanowski
[Journal of Language and Politics 16:4] 2017
► pp. 551–565
The “Establishment”, the “Élites”, and the “People”
In this paper, I discuss the attempt by all right-wing populist parties to create, on the one hand, the ‘real’ and ‘true’ people; and on the other, the ‘élites’ or ‘the establishment’ who are excluded from the true demos. Such divisions, as will be elaborated in detail, have emerged in many societies over centuries and decades. A brief example of the arbitrary construction of opposing groups illustrates the intricacies of such populist reasoning. Furthermore, I pose the question why such divisions resonate so well in many countries? I argue that – apart from a politics of fear (Wodak 2015) – much resentment is evoked which could be viewed as both accompanying as well as a reaction to the disenchantment with politics and the growing inequalities in globalized capitalist societies.
Keywords: Right-wing populism, Manichean Division, topos, Austria, Freedom Party, elite, establishment, ‘the people’, politics of fear, TV debate, presidential election campaign
Published online: 27 June 2017
Adorno, Theodor W., Frenkel-Brunswik, Else, Levinson, Daniel and Sanford, Nevitt
Angouri, Jo and Ruth Wodak
(2015) Standard Eurobarometer 84: Public Opinion in the European Union. Accessed 1 March 2017. http://ec.europa.eu/COMMFrontOffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/instruments/STANDARD/surveyKy/2098
Jäger, Siegfried and Florentine Maier
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2017 “ ‘Donald Trump’s use of the term ‘the people’ is a warning sign” The Guardian 24 January. Accessed 1 March 2017. (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/24/donald-trumps-warning-sign-populism-authoritarianism-inauguration)
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