Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Idealism vs populism

In a recent video (>3 min.), Dutch vlogger Harry Vermeegen wondered why liberal-left beliefs qualify as idealism, while conservative-right beliefs qualify as populism. His remark triggered a question that had once been on my mind, but which I had discarded back then, for reasons I cannot recall.

The ingredients of conservative-right beliefs are either (i) emotions and/or fear, a.k.a. populism, or (ii) rational (pragmatic) solutions a.k.a. ideology. The mix of both is usually dangerous. The views of Jordan Peterson qualify as ideology; Harry Vermeegen as populist. Both men are popular (eg, #viewers).

The views of the liberal-left have the following ingredients: (i) equality for society, (ii) inequality for individual talents, (iii) tolerance (eg, immigrants, society, criminals), (iv) intolerance (eg, conservative-right), and (v) a focus on entitlement and rights versus duties. This mix feels (very) disturbing.

I suppose the above explains my preference for a conservative-right focus mixed with some liberal-left ingredients. Populists, like Harry Vermeegen, are funny but their conservative-right nagging does not contribute anything to society. Their nagging often only fuels anger and social polarization.

In my view, both the conservative-right and the liberal-left both display – sometimes annoyinglypopulist views (eg, AOC, the Squad, Geert Wilders, Tjeerd de Groot). The degree of annoyance displays the extremeness of their populist views.

Nevertheless, those views all represent an eagerness to change things in society. However, any change needs support. Populists are like commanders, who are (far) ahead of their troops. The troops may still follow, or the commander will be left out in the cold.

“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

A quote by Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988), “an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and naval officer”.

The Sound Of Silence (1964) by Disturbed (2015 cover)
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

And in the naked light, I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


Framework Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest