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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Populism and fascism are identified by their foundational ideologies. In the case of “thin” populist ideology the core matrices are: (1) the plain people, (2) self-serving elites, and (3) rule by popular will. In the case of fascism they are the creation of: (1) the holistic nation, (2) a “new man,” and (3) a third way authoritarian state. These are then used to assess contested later manifestations, including Peronism, Donald Trump, and the French Front National. A problem in categorization is that whilst populism and fascism differ notably ideologically, in practice the latter has borrowed aspects of populist discourse and style, and populism can degenerate into leader-oriented authoritarian and exclusionary politics.

Keywords: plain people, self-serving elites, popular will, holistic nationalism, “new man”, authoritarian third way

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