POPULISM--government for the masses
Five Steps Forward, on building a just society
Economic and Political quotes
10 bold ideas--Gar Alperovitz

Patrick Woodroffe

Populism is a political movement which holds that the only legitimate function of a government is to promote the public weal, with each person counting as one.  To deviate from this standard is held to be a violation of the government’s contract with the people.  People in forming a government give up certain rights for the sake of obtaining certain benefits.  Those who embrace populism or its ethical theory utilitarianism hold that the purpose of government thus is to aide each citizen in living the good life.  According to those who embrace populism, NOT to promote the well-being of one class at the expense of the others; it is a violation of the people’s contract with government. 


The populist movements of the last 2 and a half centuries have attempted to undo the advantages that certain groups have gained, and have had some modest successes following for example the French and Russian revolutions.  But these gains have been undone.  Only Cuba has in a thorough-going way applied populism. The groups who form the power elite and the shadow government, they use government to legitimatize an inequitable distribution of wealth and power.  Populist movements have met opposition from government, favored classes, big national businesses, foreign governments, and more recently from organizations representing the globalization process, such as NATO and its allies, and from financial organizations such as the IMF and WTO.  Of late the wealthy elite and their businesses have used the power of foreign currency (mainly the U.S. dollar and the Euro) to control the wealth of other nations and purchase what they deem of value.  

There is no honor among thieves, so they say.  Among nations and among business gain is their code.  As Adam Smith observed, "All for ourselves, and nothing for anybody else, this is the maxim of the rulers of mankind."  

Updated 5/23/12

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Show me a capitalist and I’ll show you a pig.

--Hughie Newton (from Fire on Ice)


A democracy exists whenever those who are free and poor are in sovereign control of the government; an oligarchy when the control lies in the hands of the rich and better born.”—Aristotle

These International bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of newspapers and use the columns of these papers to club into submission or rive out of public office officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government -- Theodore Roosevelt, New York Times, March 27, 1918

Teddy Roosevelt in his famous speech in 1910 Osawatomie, Kansas: "We must drive the special interests out of politics. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains."