Sharing some notes on the “Countering Populism” article by Rafael Seligmann in Jewish Voice From Germany. Read the full article by clicking here.

A Specter Called Populism:

Observing politics worldwide, some similarities emerge. These include the strategy of playing on the population’s fears and, where fears do not or hardly exist, of sowing them anew and even deepening them. This way, the psychological reflex of being curious about the unknown while exercising caution is reduced to simple fear. The native population is fed negative images of the putative threats emanating from minorities, migrants, and other states and told they are existential threats. Taboos are placed on the willingness to stand by one’s fellows. The commandment of compassion in all monotheistic religions is replaced by exclusion.
— Rafael Seligmann

Idealistic Philosophies:

Populism claims to be the authentic representation of the majority’s interests. The concerns of the minority are dismissed or even condemned as a threat to the majority. Populists claim to know the majority’s putative national, religious, economic and social interests. They determine the “enemy” and say how to fight it most effectively. … The transformation of perfidy and crime into beneficence is an invention of early fascism that the Nazis readily copied. Benito Mussolini, the “duce” of Italy’s fascists, was a fan of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who was given to “philosophizing with a hammer.” Nietzsche aspired to the ideal of a “superman”. That was no racial or biological attribute, however. It was a call for intellectual integrity and moral rectitude. … Hitler and the Nazi‘s took up the fascist prescription and added a quasi-biological dimension, morphing it into a ‘master race.’ … Trump, Orbán, and Gauland are not Nazis. Yet the method of making the majority interest they themselves devised look valuable in the service of society, together with its ruthless implementation at the expense of minorities, is taken straight out of the fascist playbook of tactical manipulation. … Emotions are stirred far more readily by nationalist slogans and the alleged threat of foreign immigrants.
— Rafael Seligmann