Portal:Left-wing populism

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Left-wing populism

Left-wing populism is a political ideology which combines left-wing politics and populist rhetoric and themes. The rhetoric often consists of anti-elitist sentiments, opposition to the system and speaking for the "common people". Usually the important themes for left-wing populists include anti-capitalism, social justice, pacifism and anti-globalization, whereas class society ideology or socialist theory is not as important as it is to traditional left-wing parties. The criticism of capitalism and globalization is linked to anti-Americanism which has increased in the left populist movements as a result of unpopular US military operations, especially those in the Middle East.

It is considered that the populist left does not exclude others horizontally and relies on egalitarian ideals. Some scholars point out nationalist left-wing populist movements as well, a feature exhibited by Kemalism in Turkey for instance. For left-wing populist parties supportive of immigrant and LGBT rights among others, the term "inclusionary populism" has been used. With the rise of Greek Syriza and Spanish Podemos during the European debt crisis, there has been increased debate on new left-wing populism in Europe.

Selected biography

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Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was a Venezuelan politician who served as the 64th President of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. He was also leader of the Fifth Republic Movement from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which he led until 2012.

Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1999, Chávez focused on enacting social reforms as part of the Bolivarian Revolution, which is a type of socialist revolution. Using record-high oil revenues of the 2000s, his government nationalized key industries, created participatory democratic Communal Councils, and implemented social programs known as the Bolivarian Missions to expand access to food, housing, healthcare, and education. Venezuela received high oil profits in the mid-2000s and there were improvements in areas such as poverty, literacy, income equality, and quality of life occurring primarily between 2003 and 2007. At the end of Chávez's presidency in the early 2010s, economic actions performed by his government during the preceding decade such as deficit spending and price controls proved to be unsustainable, with Venezuela's economy faltering while poverty, inflation and shortages in Venezuela increased. Chávez's presidency also saw significant increases in the country's murder rate and continued corruption within the police force and government. His use of enabling acts and his government's use of Bolivarian propaganda was also controversial.

Internationally, Chávez aligned himself with the Marxist–Leninist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba, and the socialist governments of Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua). His presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of US-supported neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. He described himself as a Marxist. He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network TeleSUR. Chavez's ideas, programs, and style form the basis of "Chavismo", a political ideology closely associated with Bolivarianism and socialism of the 21st Century.

Selected article

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The term "pink tide" or "turn to the Left" are phrases used in contemporary 21st century political analysis in the media and elsewhere to describe the perception that anti-Americanism, leftist ideology and left-wing politics in particular, were increasingly becoming influential in Latin America under more authoritarian governments primarily between 1998 and 2009. By 2016, the decline of the pink tide saw an emergence of a "new right" in Latin America.

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