Populism vs. Progressivism: the key important difference between progressivism and populism is that populism is defined by the mentality of ‘us vs. them in society and politics.
Table of Contents
What Is Populism?
As the term populism is implicated in various movements, from extreme-right environmental groups to extreme-wing political activities, it may be a challenging ask for penetration.
As a collection of thoughts on movements and politics, Populism is based on the idea of common empowerment and representation. Hence it attracts followers from around the globe.
What Is Progressivism?
Progressivism believes sound, balanced social changes, rational legislative amendments, and political legislation can improve the condition of humans in the current era of society.
Progressives sound optimistic about government as a positive action force and technology which benefits different classes of humankind.
Populism & Progressivism Examples
|Populism Example||“All this is (group of people)’s fault! Life is so miserable”|
|Progressivism Example||“We can work together to make everyone’s life better!”|
The Beginnings of Populism vs. Progressivism
No movement starts from another planet, so let’s find out how populism and progressivism started.
Cas Mudde (Ref. 1), a populism-supportive scholar, considers it inheritable for representative democracy.
In the 1890s, as a commonly used word, Populism started gaining some foothold when the movement of American populists started in earnest, with the perception of urban intellectuals seeming to be astonishing. This was a radical farmer movement, with income inequality social isolation, and spurred by poor crops.
In the early 18th century, Progressivism started from the Enlightenment movement, which was started by the rapid technological changes sweeping the Western world.
Progressivism firmly holds the fact that the experience of humans will improve if Darwinian human impulses and technology are mediated by reasonable social programming and legislation.
The Anatomy of Populism vs. Progressivism
Let’s classify each movement. You’ll find that, despite having a few similarities, there are quite striking differences between populism and progressivism.
It will help you when you have a few populist movements both from the right and left political spectrum. Populism can be easily considered to be a tool of the left or the right. A political organization’s reactive mode.
Getting motivation from political and social differences.
The motivation of Populists is to scapegoat either a typically politically powerful, elite class of individuals or, in some cases, even a minority group.
With divisiveness, they foster their identity; by disassociating themselves from their dangerous enemies. This is a thought mode that is invigorated by the perceived and real differences and antagonisms between different sectors of society.
Have an interest in their interests, but not in their social interests.
Across a plurality of groups, unlike progressives, Populists do not seek reform sweeping and change. However, they tend to promote and protect interests of their own.
The Populists are controversial because the populism movement never evaluated the conscientiousness or equity of the groups adhering to it. Its roots in the concept stating that the majority of them must assert themselves, even if they are promoting a xenophobic, racist, or hateful in nature.
Always take the trope of the working-class hero into use.
Populists are very much found inside the working class, also having a belief in the ordinary people’s agency and the working commitment toward a society where the ones who have been left behind by class struggles and technological changes can always re-assert themselves.
Try to mask themselves as an inclusive concept.
Where progressives believe in harnessing the democratic and political power for the equity of society and reforms, populists are very hostile toward some institutions like the established laws and social and civil protections for those who are not a populist caste cause and minority groups.
It operated morally, which is privileged, wherein one group can claim dominion and righteousness as a whole over the rights of the social body.
Let’s throw some light on progressivism. You’ll notice some major differences in the comparison of progressivism vs. populism. Progressivism is a completely different terminology than populism, even though it is sometimes supported by the working class.
Believes in the power of plurality.
As opposed to populism, populism leaves some room for pluralism, the belief that different interests and groups can coexist in a political society and come together when guided by just formidable social welfare system and law.
Optimistically cautious about institutional changes.
Progressivism comes from the emancipation of struggle of the given members of a member society, especially the working classes.
Seeks for the improvement of society as a whole.
Unlike populists and progressives, you should be focused less on the demands of a single group and are committed to improving the social conditions as a whole.
Progressivism is very adaptable.
Progressives take an approach of universalizing the problems of the society, which advocates for the rights which are broadly relevant to a social population given social population. This approach enables flexibility to a high degree as the concerns of society and sensible changes through the generations.
A constant evolution.
Today’s progressivism continues the legacy of its historic goals but is continually morphing to suit the needs and challenges of the present political atmosphere.
Modern progressives are occupied with how an equal distribution of resources would enable more accessible health care and safely accessible, the gap of inequality that is growing, and education that is affordable.
The Importance of Being Open-Minded
It’s a crucial point about both modes of political thought. It should be kept in mind that even though anyone does the identification of themselves either as a populist or a progressive, they can still be considered as individuals having reference frames and unique ideas.
Although the given information offers some insight into some foundations of each perspective, by no means is it not conclusive, nor does it applies to each individual who has subscribed to any of the thought systems.
The Future of Progressivism vs. Populism
Progressivism is believed to have a more holistic perception of the struggle between established social-political forces perceived in the common person and foresee a future fulfilling a series of expectations.
Cas Mudde – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cas_Mudde