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Le populisme, hier et aujourd’hui

MADRID – Il semble aujourd’hui qu’aucune démocratie occidentale ne soit à l’abri du populisme d’extrême droite. Bien que le discours populiste semble dernièrement avoir atteint son paroxysme, porteur de lourdes conséquences – en premier lieu desquelles un vote de « Brexit » consistant pour le Royaume-Uni à quitter l’Union européenne – la réalité veut que le poids du nativisme affecte depuis bien longtemps la politique démocratique.

Les mouvements populistes ont systématiquement tendance à œuvrer sur le plan de l’accusation. Dans les années 1930, le père Charles Coughlin, prêtre de l’Église catholique romaine à Détroit, préconise un programme fasciste pour l’Amérique, cherchant constamment à débusquer ceux qu’il considère comme responsables des maux de la société. De même aujourd’hui, les populistes d’extrême droite ne cessent de prendre à partie l’« establishment » et les « élites ».

En Europe, cela signifie reprocher à l’UE tout ce qui ne va pas. Appréhender les racines complexes des difficultés économiques et sociales actuelles – le Royaume-Uni et la France souffrant par exemple considérablement d’un système de privilèges hérités et de classes sociales inextricables – s’avère en effet beaucoup plus difficile que de se contenter de dénoncer une UE dépeinte comme un monstre crapuleux.

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