- Andres Aullet
- Sandpoint, ID
- United States
This conversation is closed.
Is there an alternative to the word "populist" (which often carries negative connotations) to mean "in benefit of a wide range of people"?
Words are powerful. And repetition works. Some will say that a lie just needs to be repeated a few times to start perceiving it as truth.
In politics, the meaning of the word "populist" has been intentionally transformed to denote "something that appeals to the interest of the vulgar, common population".
We humans tend to have a biased image of ourselves. In general we think we are slightly better than we really are when compared to others. Some surveys have been conducted where the vast majority interviewed consider themselves above average, but by the mere mathematical definition of average, about half of the population is above average and the other half is below
I think that there is a subconscious (and very strong) appeal towards the notion that we are not part of the vulgar, common population. Politicians and their PR teams are very aware of this appeal, and have made use of it to successfully equate "populist" to "something that may benefit the other, vulgar, common people; certainly not me"
So I ask the question. Giving the fact that certain social initiatives have the potential to benefit a big portion (say, more than half) of the population, what word do we use to qualify them? Do we need to invent a new word, or can we re-gain the original meaning of the word populist?