Dahrendorf: Eight remarks on populism
Populism is currently such a hot topic that it almost looks like a new problem, a feature of the current political situation. The existence of populism in politics is nothing new. But the fact that populists are succeeding is jarring. This is why a text like Dahrendorf’s “Eight remarks”, republished here without changes, is so important in the current debate. The article originally appeared 15 years ago in the excellent magazine “Transit”, which has unfortunately since ceased production. The text once again illustrates the clarity and lasting profundity of Dahrendorf’s thinking. He perceived and analysed much of what we are having to deal with today when this text was published in 2003.
Although the world has changed in the 15 years since the text was first published, and despite the need to place Dahrendorf’s theses in their historic context, his remarks remain not only valid, but groundbreaking.