Let’s talk about populism and extremism
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Why populism is born?

The emergence of populism as a significant political force can be attributed to a complex interplay of historical, social, and economic factors. As already explained, it tends to arise during periods of societal transformation, economic upheaval, and a perceived disconnect between the political establishment and the concerns of ordinary citizens. While the specific causes of populism may vary across countries and regions, several common trends can help explain its birth.

Economic Inequality

When large segments of the population experience stagnant wages, limited opportunities, and a growing wealth gap between the rich and the rest of the population, it creates a fertile ground for populist sentiment. Populist leaders often capitalise on the frustrations of those who feel left behind by globalisation, technological advancements, and economic policies that favour the wealthy elite. 

Disillusionment with Political Establishment

Populism is born out of a sense of disillusionment with mainstream political parties and institutions. Many people feel that established political elites are disconnected from their everyday concerns and fail to address their needs. This disillusionment can stem from perceived corruption, lack of responsiveness, or a sense that the political system serves the interests of the few rather than the many. 

Cultural Anxiety and Identity Concerns

Globalisation, mass migration, and cultural shifts can generate feelings of insecurity and a fear of losing one’s national or cultural identity. Populist leaders tap into these anxieties, framing themselves as defenders of national values, traditions, and cultural heritage. They promise to protect their followers from perceived threats posed by external forces, whether economic, social, or cultural. 

Political Discontent and Democratic Deficit

When citizens feel that their voices are not heard, that their votes do not translate into meaningful change, or that the political system is dominated by powerful interests, they may turn to populist movements as a form of protest and a demand for greater political representation and accountability. 

Communication Technology and Media Landscape

The advent of new communication technologies, particularly social media, but also artificial intelligence together with the development of deep fake photos or videos, have played a significant role in the rise of populism. These platforms provide a means for populist leaders to directly connect with their supporters, circumventing traditional media channels and political gatekeepers. The rapid dissemination of information and the echo chambers created by online communities can amplify populist messages and mobilise like-minded individuals. 

It is crucial to note that these causes are interconnected and can reinforce one another. Economic inequality can fuel political discontent, which in turn exacerbates cultural anxieties. Populist leaders often capitalise on these overlapping grievances, offering simple and often emotionally charged solutions to complex problems, promising to restore power to the people and disrupt the established order.

Why populism is born?
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