Analysis of populism in the 21st century

The School of Finance, Government and International Relations held the Conference "Populism and leadership in Latin America" with the participation of various experts in the field.

Participating in the event were  Javier Garay, Professor of the Finance, Government and International Relations Faculty and researcher at the Center for Research and Special Projects; Angie González, academic coordinator of the Specialization in Political Marketing and Campaign Strategies, and author of several publications on Political Communication. The special guest was Antonella Marty, Advisor at the Senate of the Argentina Nation; researcher at different centers of thought and author of the book “Lo que todo revolucionario del Siglo XXI tiene que saber” (What every 21st century revolutionary needs to know), among other academic and journalistic publications.

The main theme of the conference was the concept of populism developed by Mexican author Enrique Krauze, described as an amalgam of ideological stances resulting in the new socialism in countries such as Venezuela and Cuba are currently experiencing.

According to Antonella Marty, this populism exalts the charismatic leader. “Populism does not exist without the figure of the providential man who will solve the problems of the people, forever,” she said.

Krauze says a populist uses public funds discretionally and has no patience with economic and finance subtleties. “The Treasury is his private asset, which can be used for personal richness or beginning projects deemed important, without taking costs into account.” The populist has a magical concept of the economy: for him, all expenditures are investments. Populist governments’ ignorance or misunderstanding of economic matters has resulted in colossal disasters from which takes countries decades to recover,” paraphrased the panelists.

Additionally, Marty explained the term XXI century socialism is a concept developed in 1996 by German-Mexican sociologist Heinz Dieterich Steffan, based mainly on revolutionary socialism arising directly from Marxist philosophy and economics.

Our guest, the author of the book “Lo que todo revolucionario del Siglo XXI tiene que saber,” was very critical of the current Cuban and Venezuelan realities, which are forcing people to migrate seeking a better life in other countries.  She also condemned Nicolás Maduro’s Government and the attitude he has taken in the current crisis.

The conference gave way to a debate on the subject matter, where several attendees expressed their points of view, sometimes divergent.