Populism is a political philosophy which focuses on standing up for the rights and positions of the common people as opposed to the elite and the government. Several political movements around the world have promoted populist ideals. When used to describe political rhetoric, an individual or a political party, the term often carries pejorative connotations, and “populism” has become a loaded word to many people.
For the Common Man
The key ideal behind populism is that the common man should have a chance in society and an active role in government. Populist movements generally divide society into “the people” and “the elite,” with individuals who have limited power being considered the people and individuals who have clout being among the elite. The elite typically are wealthy and often use their wealth to influence the political system while accruing more wealth. Populists typically feel that the government protects the interests of the elite, not the needs of the common people, and they want that to change.
In Support of Democracy
People who espouse populism generally support democratic systems and believe that democracy is the best way for the people to play a role in the government. Although they promote the welfare of the common man, populists tend to shy away from socialism and extreme liberalism. Politicians from various political parties or viewpoints can be involved in populism, and politicians might accuse each other of pandering or playing to populism in an attempt to get support and votes.
For the Greatest Good
These sorts of political movements are designed to encourage governments and society in general to work to provide the greatest good to the greatest number of people. This might be achieved through policies and pieces of legislation that support ordinary people. Populist movements, however, often reject policy suggestions such as living-wage mandates, public assistance and government-sponsored healthcare, even though these policies are often designed to help the members of the public who are most in need.
Some people are fond of using the terms “populist” and “populism” in descriptions of public outcry over political events. People might be said to be “erupting in populist rage” when they lodge complaints about flagrant abuses of power among the elite or when there is backlash against a government pushing through legislation that does little to benefit the lower and middle classes. In this sense, these terms might be pejorative in nature and are often used to suggest that the public is too ignorant or short-sighted to understand what is really taking place.
Socialism is an economic concept that advocates public ownership of all resources. The production and distribution of resources with a society are then controlled by members of that society collectively or by the government that represents that society. Goods are produced and distributed based on need rather than on market forces such as profitability, price and consumers’ purchasing power. In a socialist economy, workers contribute to society based on their ability and receive according to their needs, rather than being paid wages and using that money to purchase what they want. Private possessions are limited to personal-use items such as clothes, and there is no need or ability for individuals to accumulate wealth, so there is equality among the people.
The ideology of socialism developed from the notion that capitalism creates inequality in society. Under capitalism, socialists argue, the wealthy few who own and control the resources and means of production are able to exploit the working masses. These elite capitalists can pay workers less than the value that they contribute, so the capitalists can keep larger profits for themselves to accumulate even greater wealth. The result, socialists say, is a society in which the wealthy are able to oppress the middle and lower classes.
In a completely socialist society, there would be no money. Things such as food, shelter, education and healthcare would be provided to everyone. There would be no poverty and no division of classes based on wealth. Production and distribution of goods and services would be managed by the government rather than being based on market forces, which can fluctuate and lead to recessions in capitalist economies.
In Short, Populism is a supporting action which support the struggle for right and power of the people against the privileged elite. It establishes the law which is same for all people, it indicates the equality for all citizens. Socialism is different in meaning from populism, it means a society whose primary or mega industries are controlled by Government not by an individual. or any person. The difference between populism and socialism is populism supports equality of law which is part of and socialism supports Government ruled society. Socialism is also called as democratic control.
Criticisms and Defenses
Critics of socialism say that such a society is impossible to create and sustain successfully. They argue that there would be no incentives for people to work harder — or even hard enough to meet their needs — because they would receive only enough to meet their needs regardless of how much they contribute. In addition, many capable workers would refuse to work at all and still expect to have their needs met. Socialists, however, argue that workers in a socialist society would have much different attitudes from those in capitalist societies because they would not be exploited by their employers. This would create satisfied workers who are more willing to work, they claim.
Another criticism of socialism is that the government would determine the needs of the people in order to meet them. Critics say that this would cause problems because different people have different things that they would consider to be needs — as well as different things that they want, such as forms of leisure and entertainment. If a person’s own ideas of his or her needs is different from what the government considers his or her needs, this could create unhappy citizens. Socialists, however, argue that the citizens collectively would be happier because each person would have equal access to everything, whether they are wants or needs, instead of the wealthy elite having greater access to many goods and services and the poor having virtually none.