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Anarcho-Populism, A New Ideology?

Failure to understand the new ideological framework will be the cause of the collapse of many political parties and coalitions that exist today.

[Fotini Mastroianni | Oped Column Syndication ]

According to researchers, the ideology born in 2011 is a mix of cyber-anarchism, anti-globalization and populism like the one emerged in Russia and the US in the late 19th century.

We all know the Anonymous mask, a symbol of the new type of revolution (anarcho-populism), a symbol that we have seen in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere. The new ideology that has emerged is grounded in the anti-globalization movements that emerged in the 1990s and in 2000. Movements that rejected the power of the media and promoted the idea of ​​collectiveness through popular assemblies in each neighborhood. There is, however, a significant difference between the anti-globalization movements and the movements of the squares, such as those who have been resurrected in Greece, etc.

The anti-globalization movement was, of course, against global neo-liberalism and its main exponents, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, etc., while the square movements, as we experienced with the Aganaktismenoi in Greece, were directed mainly against the domestic oligarchy of the political system. Ideological purity, simply, did not exist. Common people were involved in the movements of the squares, where they discussed publicly and shared their thoughts with others, and their goal was more justice and transparency from the political system.

The “contract” between rulers and the people has been broken due to the economic crisis. The creation of artificial economic crises by the neo-liberal elites, the so-called rescue programs that do not eventually save anyone, have led millions of people to poverty and impoverishment (Greece is a living example). Governments no longer guarantee prosperity, not even the viability of their citizens, and freedom is limited.

The new movements and the new ideology mainly use social media to spread messages to mobilize furious citizens and protect them from austerity measures (see anti-auction movement in Greece). The communication campaigns of these movements reveal the political and economic scandals, the middle-class poverty and the oppression of the government.

A two-pole system is created – common people against the elites. Common people who seek democracy and battle totalitarianism. The relationship with the Left is now competitive, therefore the Left fights these movements.

In the economy, the main axes are to provide social services and guarantee a minimum wage, while, contrary to the globalization movements that await the end of capitalism, the new ideology emphasizes the end of inequalities, mainly at national/local level.

The existing political system cannot match this new ideology and, in my opinion, it is wrong to consider this new ideology as populist in the sense of chauvinistic nationalism.

Failure to understand this new ideological framework will also be the cause of the collapse of many political parties and coalitions that exist today. In Greece, this collapse is seen through mass contestation and the creation of many small parties, which, however, do not quite understand these changes, but think in an old-fashioned political way.

World changes, a change so radical that causes unrest. The new reality has not yet been shaped, but it will, perhaps after very painful processes, be created hoping for better living terms for people.

Fotini Mastroianni is an economist, MBA lecturer, writer, blogger from Athens, Greece. She had taught, among others, at the University of Wales & University of Glyndwr.

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