TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

The Revolt against the Elites, or the New Populist Wave: An Interview

The following is an updated and expanded version of an interview with journalist Alexis Franco for the site Atlantico, with the text published on June 12, 2016 (without notes).

Q: The upturn of hostile discourse concerning elites and the “system” resounds in particular in Western populations: whether it is the U.S. with Donald Trump or France with Le Pen, including also Brexit proponents. Why have we reached such an unprecedented degree of opposition between the people and the elites? In your opinion, what examples illustrate this situation the best?

Pierre-André Taguieff: We must be clear on the muddled issue of growing hostility toward elites, beginning with distinguishing the revolt of “those from below” (the new “plebs”) against the ruling elites (those of both political power and wealth), challenging the established elites by the rising elites and the global rejection of the “system,” considered locked, by a trans-classist mass that can be called “the people” (not the “plebs” but the modern equivalent of “populus romanus,” meaning, people as a whole). In all three cases, the ruling passion of the revolt or protest is mistrust that propels the loss of left–right division, to the great despair of professional diagnosticians, who, like uninspired and shortsighted oracles, are able to speak only the language of diagnostics. Moreover, the lack of confidence also affects relationships between ordinary citizens. In fragmented contemporary communities, interpersonal trust, which is a prerequisite for all social living, has also grown community-centered. Such trust is sheltered in “communities,” with some of them having features of secret societies, whose functioning Georg Simmel once analyzed.[1]

Today, the anti-elitist political concept responds directly and effectively to social demands in Europe and the United States. And this anti-elitist or anti-system concept perfectly encompasses both the left and right, and, of course, the extremists. As different as they are, the new leaders are protesting and transgressive. Their demagoguery is marked by the language of transgression, provocation, and excess, based on the subversion of language or behavior codes: for them, this is a matter of drawing a clear distinction from the standard model policy. They can complain about being demonized by their opponents, while still trying to stay slightly demonized in order to maintain their attractiveness. This is the prerequisite to the seduction that they perform. This differentiates them from formatted and conformist leaders, who pursue respectability, which makes them somewhat watery.

Regardless of the excessive use of the term since the early 1990s, we still can characterize the anti-system or anti-establishment leaders as populists.[2] In terms of the leaders’ posture, populism can be defined as a political style, compatible with any ideological content, that involves direct appeals to the people, rejection of mediation, and criticism of established elites. This also includes the promise of change, a rhetorical gesture that populist leaders have in common with all modern political leaders. But they differ from the latter by featuring a charismatic authority, which explains the fact that they are either admired or hated with equal intensity. This concept’s populism now resonates with the populism currently in demand. In European countries, this involves a variously expressed rejection of the European Union, elaborated in a model of opposing the dictatorship of elites with no territorial roots, who represent, in the eyes of the “little people,” a caste of bureaucrats/technocrats or amoral capitalists.

This requires distinguishing the pathology of representative democracy, perceived as expropriating the citizens’ will and forbidding them to speak, from the discontent about the nation-state concept, which is disputed and very weakened by globalizing forces as well as by sub-national identity or community forces, which can, meanwhile, be transnational, like Islamism in all its forms. The peculiar feature of the present situation is that the revolt against the expropriation of democracy tends to be confused with the project of reviving national sovereignty, substantiating it, and for some, with the project of defending a supposedly threatened national identity. Again, it should be noted that the nationalism of sovereignty does not necessarily imply the nationalism of identity,[3] even if sovereignty and identity claims are most frequently associated in the ordinary national feelings and in nationalistic doctrines. The utopia of post-national cosmopolitanism, which established Western elites have generally promoted, now faces strong popular opposition and an uncompromising criticism coming from emerging elites. The anti-European wave is a good illustration of this. This leads to what I have called in one of my recent books the “revenge of nationalism,” which begins with the revenge of forgotten, overlooked, or despised nations, punished for their helplessness by the arrogant leaders of joyful globalization,[4] which emerge as enthusiasts of interdependence, without seeing that the latter can function as hyper-dependence. The wise defense of the nation must be in the name of independence, self-determination, and autonomy.

The links between modern democracy and the nation were perfectly characterized by Raymond Aron: “The principle and purpose of the nation is the participation of all the governed in the State. . . . To deny the modern nation is to reject transferring into politics the claim of eternal equality.”[5] It is a matter of choosing between the nation as a community of citizens[6] and a caste-based society, or, more accurately, a new caste-based society that is no longer governed by a hierarchical structure,[7] but by permanent conflicts, depraved effects of competitive individualism, and an egalitarianism perverted by social envy and jealousy. What we now call “populism,” often a confusing and controversial term, is particularly, in the positive sense of the term, the reminder of the demand of equality among citizens—egalitarianism is its ideologically corrupted form—and of the principle of similarity between the governing and the governed, as John Stuart Mill formerly underscored.[8]

This double reminder can be heard, in different terms and with different demagogic accents (a “bad” populism) from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the United States,[9] from Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France, and from Virginia Raggi in Italy. It is easily recognized in the political vocabulary of the new French National Front’s rhetoric: the typological comparison of “patriots” and “globalists” that reactivates the old opposition between “nomadic” and “sedentary,” “uprooted” and ” rooted,” “nationalist” and “cosmopolitan.” Marine Le Pen was the guest star of the “Patriotic Spring,” a major European rally organized by the FPÖ on June 17, 2016 in Vienna.[10] She slammed the “detached elites” while she also supported the idea of a “Europe of nations,” as FPÖ President, Heinz-Christian Strache emphasized, among common concepts of the “Europe of Nations and Freedoms” (ENL) group of the European Parliament, the desire to promote “direct democracy.” A week earlier, on June 10, Strache had arranged his meeting with Frauke Petry, President of Alternative For Germany (AfD), on the highest peak of the Austrian-Bavarian border to seal a “common ascent toward political summits” and to denounce the “centralist model of the current European Union.” The idea is based on forming the union of patriots in Europe against the European Union expropriated by the post-national elites.

The anti-elitist or anti-establishment posture is represented in Spain by leftists of Podemos (against “la Caste”), in Great Britain by the Brexit supporters, and in Austria by the FPÖ and its leader Norbert Hofer, the latter with a clearly anti-immigration perspective. The issue of rejecting immigration as a threat underestimated by the elite explains the popularity of Geert Wilders (PVV) in the Netherlands,[11] Christoph Blocher (SVP) in Switzerland, Hungarian Viktor Orbán,[12] and the Danish People’s Party (DF). In any case, the opposition between the people (or, rather, the working classes) and the elite (supposedly the “system” recipients) tends to replace the old divisions, and, reflected in the direct appeal to people, upsets the institutional political field: the old parties are divided, weakened, and risk disappearing if they fail to adapt to the new realities. Moreover it is necessary to understand what this adaption might mean: it can range from a simple whitewashing by a clever director to a complete overhaul involving sweat and tears, if not blood.

The prevalence of opposition between the people and the elites has resulted in a blurring of the conventional ideological landscape. The emergence of a new figure among the revolting people produces a bipolarization based on the convergence of three rejected concepts, that is, globalized elite, mass immigration of non-Europeans, and “Islamization,” this polemical term connoting both the establishment of a non-selective immigration from Muslim cultures (supposedly difficult to integrate) and the jihadist threat. The ideological landscape is complicated by the co-emergence of the opposition between the supporters of ecological “conservatism” and defenders of classical Promethean progressivism (made fashionable among intellectuals under “transhumanism”). Of course, the professional political analysts (journalists and political scientists) continue to comment on the tiniest variations they believe they can observe and measure on the left–right axis, with a center (reassuring) and extremes (scary). It is time to stop pretending to see something clearly in this fuzzy set of fuzzy subsets of so-called “political life,” The crux of the matter lies elsewhere. Reactionaries, conservatives, reformers (liberal or social democrats), revolutionists (socialist, communist or anarchist): now, the four major political and philosophical orientations overlap, intertwine, merge in some cases, as evidenced by some trivializing oxymorons (“progressive conservative,” “liberal socialist,” etc.). The rejection of destructive globalization and illegitimate elites unites former opponents, while the four positions with uncertain boundaries are likely to be associated with particular interpretations of nationalism, the latter being assumed as such or not. But this temporarily shared front falls short of a political project.

Q: Is there a common denominator for the “elites” who are being denounced everywhere in the West, both in terms of the methods they employ and the ideology they convey?

Taguieff: Complicity is the first thing that elites share in the eyes of their enemies. The charge of complicity implies the idea of a certain connivance between the ruling elites, who share power and wealth and who strive to pervert or destroy the meritocratic game, leading to discrimination and wider social injustice. This charge is not delusional as such, it can be based on solid arguments and can provide empirical evidence, but it may also shift toward a more or less paranoid suspicion and tend to make us see everything from a conspiracy point of view (“they all want to deceive us,” “to rip us off,” etc.). The “system” is seen as including a visible scene (where political groups showcase their spectacles) and a backstage (where all the agreements are forged and conspiracies are hatched).[13] In short, the elites lie and the “system” inherently deceives: such is the first polemical argument. Its symbolic efficiency comes from its mix of established facts inextricably wrapped up with fantasies, or false or misleading allegations. It is therefore particularly difficult to counter.

Denounced elites then turn out to be what they are perceived to be, often justifiably: belonging fundamentally to a transnational community and foreign to people. In the hierarchy of identity circles of their own (or borrowed ones), belonging to a nationality is of secondary importance. And that is where they violate one of the founding principles of modern democracy, which assumes the jurisdiction of the nation-state. They therefore appear as more or less alien to the communities of citizens that are the nations under the roof of a state. They deem national sovereignty and the historical and cultural identity as the unfortunate relics of an outdated past. The “globalized elites” have become both foreign and hostile toward a sense of national identity. This is the reason why they can be targeted by a specific form of xenophobia: the party of the elite becomes a foreign party. Or the party of traitors and deserters of the country.

The elites also face the accusation of being blind, complacent, or powerless to manage new threats to nations: first, massive and uncontrolled immigration; and, second, what looks like a new Muslim conquest, backed up by various Islamist movements’ theories (from pietistic Salafists to Jihadists[14]). These two reasons for fear and self-defense take on a broader significance, even a tragic sense, in a context marked by the crisis of the welfare state and the failures or the pernicious effects of human rights based politics. On both fronts (immigration and “Islamization”), strictly “humanitarian” politics are impossible. They are pseudo-politics, or, more accurately, they belong to the impolitic, because they disregard the fundamental fact, highlighted by the philosopher-sociologist Julien Freund, that it is not us who designate the enemy, it is the enemy that designates us, regardless of our “genuflections, bows and other claims of benevolent understanding.”[15]

The great weakness of Barack Obama, tied by political correctness, lies precisely in his inability to clearly designate the enemy, because he wants both to indulge the Muslims and not to seem accusing toward Islam, despite the Islamic-terrorist attacks claimed as such. Such is the case of the fatal shooting in Orlando on the night of June 11–12, 2016 (49 civilians killed and over 50 injured). The U.S. President has therefore abstained from qualifying this attack as “Islamic” regardless of this attack being claimed “Islamic” both by the killer at the crime scene and by the Islamic State. This reticence that slips into a complacency toward the Muslim world did not protect the United States against terrorist attacks by jihadists with U.S. citizenship. A survey by the Pew Institute found that 15 percent of young Muslim Americans under 30 believe that suicide bombers are occasionally legitimate to defend Islam.[16] While Obama, followed by Hillary Clinton, looks away while ritualistically denouncing the “gun lobby,” Trump, an opponent to such tactical caution, openly labels Islam as radical and proposes measures that seem “radical” or “extreme,” and is surely heard by the majority of Americans. In his speech on June 13, 2016, acting on the precautionary principle, Trump stated: “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States. . . . We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer.”[17] Obama’s reaction was predictable: the President denounced the call to “discriminate” Muslims “because of their faith.”[18]

This issue is not unique to the United States. The policy of “hospitality” fostered by Angela Merkel, the unprecedented immigration policy justified on moral grounds, provoked negative reactions in the German population, based on a rejection of Muslims. Nearly 50% of Germans say they feel “sometimes as strangers” in their country because of the presence of “many Muslims,” according to a study published on June 15, 2016, by the University of Leipzig.[19] It was 43% in 2014. Meanwhile, 41.4% of respondents believe that “Muslims should not be allowed” to come to Germany (36.6% in 2014), and one German out of three (33.8%) even considers that his country (which welcomed more than one million refugees in 2015) has been “invaded dangerously.” In Germany, where xenophobic nationalism had subsided, a politically irresponsible ruling elite has managed to awaken it by giving it a new face: the Muslim Arab. We will long remember the confusion and embarrassment of German politicians facing mass sexual assaults on the night of December 31, 2015, in Cologne by immigrants from Morocco and Algeria and “migrants” or “political refugees” from Iraq or Syria, mostly originating from Muslim culture.

In Germany, as elsewhere in Western democracies, the response of the “noble-minded” political and intellectual elite is to denounce the “rising Islamophobia,” ignorant of the fact that it is a matter of Islamophobia manufactured by decisions that are both questionable and supposedly virtuous. This fabricated Islamophobia is the product of an interaction between jihadist activities in the West, with the objective of bifurcating the people to conquer (Islamization of the country under the “domain of war,” assuming a clash between Muslims and “infidels”), and moralistic reactions of the Western Islamophile elites, who engage to deny or minimize the Islamist threat. Western “Islamagogues” want to please Muslims at any cost, facing fanatic strategists whose stated objective is perfectly clear: not to modernize Islam but to Islamize modernity. This baroque couple is formed by armed fanatics and blind angels, who always outrage the greater parts of national populations and give them reasons to not only be “anti-Islamist” but also “Islamophobes.”

It is true that in the United States, like in many European countries, Muslim citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of the left, for Socialists in France, and for Democrats in the United States. These electoral motivations are supplemented by straightforward calculations relating to the economic interests of the country. Faced with Trump, the Democratic establishment resorts to the strategy of fear, which is the principle of all anti-populist strategies, whether it is a fight against the National Front in France, or against the FPÖ in Austria, etc. To use fear as an argument, as Dan Pfeiffer, a former advisor to Obama, said: “You have to push voters to imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office of the White House and you must scare them.”[20] The operation of “fascistization” of Trump, based solely on his excessive speeches, illustrates the method of more routinized demonization. But the same teachers of virtue, in order to discredit their political opponents, cynically exploit the fear of “fascism” and do not hesitate to indignantly denounce those who, according to them, fuel the fear of Islam or immigration.

On June 16, 2016, the British Labor MP Jo Cox, an opponent to Brexit and supporter of fostering Syrian “refugees” in Britain, was killed by an anti-immigration, anti-European, and anti-Muslim nationalist. Cox was immediately promoted as a symbol of “democracy” or “civilization” opposed to “barbarism”: Cox or “murdered democracy.” The Guardian‘s editorial denounced the Cox assassination as “an attack against humanity, idealism and democracy.”[21] Let us put it straightforward, saying simply that the murder was barbarous, regardless of its motives, whether ideological or not. For Cox’s political opponents, Brexit supporters, she was the embodiment of post-national elites because of her pro-European and pro-immigration positions. Turning her into a symbol of “democracy” and “civilization,” into a hero and martyr of “democracy” means condemning all people who oppose the European Union and mass immigration as undemocratic and barbaric. And that is not democratic, but consistent with the vision of the post-national elites, devoted to criminalizing and “barbarizing” their opponents, as if they were all potential assassins. Meanwhile, the same elites get outraged when some feeble-minded person, based on the fact that jihadists are murdering “infidels,” dares to infer that all Muslims are potential murderers.

We know the recurring themes of their accusation speech, such as “don’t stigmatize,” “don’t treat all alike,” jihadists have “nothing to do with Islam,” they are “false Muslims,” etc. They forget that the demagogic speeches, which they virtuously denounce, represent one of the effects of their resignation: “populist” reactions broadly aimed at Islam and Muslims, which provide incentives to supporters of Islamism, are maintained and reinforced by the resignation of the political and cultural elites facing the Islamist threat. Ordinary citizens can, though, perceive the lax mixture of cowardice and inefficiency of those who, at the vertices of the state, are supposed to serve and protect. Anyway, there is a great example of detachment between the powerful elite and the people, which presupposes the opposition between the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility to be pretty much the same as between tolerance that leans toward complacency (on behalf of the “anti-racist” refusal of any discrimination) and intransigence in calling for authoritarian measures (on behalf of efficiency).

Finally, the elites are accused of being corrupt, or being particularly prone to corruption. The impotence of politics is related to the corruption of power elites, considered to be affiliated with those of wealth. And, again, the observable facts are overwhelming and they fuel distrust. Hence, the return of the old argument that pushes power to abuse power. That is what justifies the calls for advanced institutional regulation. But the anti-system protesters are primarily concerned with restarting a failed nation facing globalization, with saving a damaged and paralyzed national body. It is a completely different question as whether they can succeed.

Q: If the elites were to question themselves, how should they change to regain the people’s trust?

Taguieff: It would be both futile and ridiculous to ask the elites to be infallible and perfectly virtuous; who would dare require the working class to be perfect in their behavior? The challenge for the elite is not to please the people at all costs, as this would mean desperately sinking into the most pitiful demagoguery. Let us think of the sad example of these demagogues of all parties who try to find contemporary popularity by playing the football card, a new drug for the masses,[22] in particular, the French people, enthusiasts of shows and large gatherings of all kinds. As the political function is desecrated, political leaders, middle managers, and mid-actors now seek consecration beyond the ballot box, by trying to melt into the masses of supporters. This is just a way of launching the “I am like you” concept with ordinary people. Well, they are not, and they can fool only idiots.

The only possible way I can see elites to cease appearing repulsive: they need to prove that they are able to limit themselves in the exercise of their power, while bearing in mind the common good. And this is already a huge task, per se.

Q: How long this will this situation last? What could be the result in France?

Taguieff: I think this animosity toward the elite shows the deep dissatisfaction felt by most citizens of modern democracies, who do not recognize themselves in their leaders. Both on the left and the right, they are increasingly perceived as demagogues, or skilled speakers and impostors, who do not care for the common good. This negative perception of existing democracy (liberal, representative) has been based, at least for now, on the assumption that genuine democratic ideals, instead of being implemented, have been betrayed or corrupted. This is the path of direct democracy, multiplying the referendum procedures, or a populism, or rather a “good” populism (the “leftist populism”),[23] understood as a pure form of the people’s government by themselves, without mediation—a vision that can be considered utopian or categorized as a basic idea of reason (in the Kantian sense of the term). But it can also fuel a rejection of democracy as regime type and the search for alternative models of governments, where, for example, the principle of authority takes precedence over all others. History gives us examples of alternating ungovernable democracies and authoritarian regimes sacrificing individual liberties. Although improbable, revolutions that install dictatorships are not impossible.

Facing the dynamism of the insurgent identity movements in Western democracies, the poor imagination of “normal” politicians can now only offer a rusty weapon: the strategy of a “cordon sanitaire.”[24] (or the “republican front” in French version), a new Maginot Line doomed to be breached, overturned, and bypassed.[25] Those who imagine that, facing the “populist threat,” they can be content with silence or that they can restrain the opponent with legal tricks, cynical agreements, or intimidation, recognize, despite themselves, that the dynamism is in the opposite camp. By taking a defensive stance and re-locking the “system,” they only confirm the accusation that that the system is locked up.

What is certain is that liberal individualism, multi-community fragmentation, and democratic egalitarianism have converged to make the contemporary societies ungovernable. Of course, we could hope that this is all just a matter of temporary malfunctions related to the crisis. But the feeling of a threatened world hurled into chaos is already there, just like the feeling that the ruling elites are completely powerless. This feeling suggests a possible long-term meltdown or collapse. The ideological labeling of current uncontrollable processes consists of oscillating between a denunciation of a “barbarism” to come and lamentation of a “decline” or “decadence,” which is in perfect congruence with the beliefs of the “little” ordinary citizens. The arrogant and well-situated elite just sit laughing, and their contemptuous mockery is usually accompanied by a moral condemnation of declinist ideas. This overlooks the fact that the diagnostics of the decline allows for the formulation of political projects that are able to revive future prospects. The dominant ideology and politically correct discourse stays directed at the historical optimism derived from the religion of necessary and endless progress.[26] In this perspective, it takes only waiting: the progress to a better life is set once and for all. It is the argument of laziness, par excellence.

Faced with active minorities of all kinds, political authority has its hands tied. Preachers and censors ensure and monitor, and denounce the slightest sign of resistance to progressing chaos in the name of human rights or instrumental anti-racism, most often cloaking an undeclared communitarianism, insatiable in its demands. In seemingly democratic societies, where bureaucratic authoritarianism and sermonizing “humanitarianism” are associated with inefficiency, cynicism, and incivility, the growing dissatisfaction fuels the ongoing dispute. And this remains bearable as long as clashes are ritualized and do not result in civil war. It is the responsibility of the elites to prevent it, which implies understanding of situations, decision-making, honesty, and courage. They don’t teach this in our elite academies. This is why we cannot venture to make any prediction. The future remains uncertain. The belief in a brighter future belongs to the pre-history of the modern age. What are required are will power and a refusal of resignation, if both are conditioned by a sense of limits.


1. Georg Simmel, Secrecy and Secret Societies [1908], trans. Sybille Muller, afterword by Patrick Watier, Strasbourg, Circe, 1996, pp. 62–71.

2. Pierre-André Taguieff, The Populist Illusion: Essay on the Demagoguery of the Democratic Age [2002], new edition revised and greatly expanded, Paris, Flammarion, coll. “Champs,” 2007.

3. It is possible to find an illustration of the opposition between the two wings of the new National Front: with one represented by Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (more identity than sovereignty) and one represented by the duo Marine Le Pen and Florian Philippot (more sovereignty than identity) However, the matter is less of an opposition than a difference of emphasis or focus.

4. Pierre-André Taguieff, Revenge of Nationalism: Neopopulists and Xenophobes to Attack Europe, Paris, PUF, 2015.

5. Raymond Aron, Peace and War Between Nations, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1962, p. 299.

6. See Dominique Schnapper, The Citizens Community: On the Modern Idea of the Nation, Paris, Gallimard, 1994.

7. See Louis Dumont’s classic works, Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications, Paris: Gallimard, 1966; 2nd ed. including a new preface, coll. “Tel,” 1979; id., Essays on Individualism: An Anthropological Perspective on Modern Ideology, Paris, Le Seuil, 1983.

8. On the Democratic Requirement of Similarity, see John Stuart Mill, The Representative Government [1861], trans. White Dupont, Paris, Guillaumin, 1862 and analyses by Bernard Manin, Principles of Representative Government, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1995, pp. 144 sq., 191 sq.

9. Christopher Caldwell, “Why Donald Trump Can Win Elections,” trans. Gilles Berton, Le Monde, May 24, 2016, p. 20.

10. Richard Schmitt, “Strache holt Le Pen zum “Patriotischen Frühling,” June 9, 2016.

11. Jean-Pierre Stroobants, “In the Netherlands, the populist Geert Wilders is leading the race,” April 9, 2016.

12. In his speech on March 15, 2016, denouncing the gap between the pro-European elites and the people, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated: “We will not allow others to tell us who we allow in our house and in our country, with which we want to live, and with whom we will share our country. That is why we reject forced settlings of populations . . . and we will allow neither intimidation nor threats. . . . It is time to wave the flags of proud nations, now is the time to prevent the destruction of Europe and to safeguard the future of Europe. . . . European leaders and their citizens cannot live in two separate worlds.” These positions have caused Orbán to be denounced as a “right wing extremist” or a nationalist embodying the “extreme right” in Europe. See, for example, Florence La Bruyere, “In Hungary, Viktor Orbán or Cream of Extreme,” May 20, 2016.

13. See Pierre-André Taguieff, Short Conspiracy Treaty [Court Traité de complotologie], following the “Judeo-Masonic Conspiracy”: making a modern apocalyptic myth, Paris, Thousand and One Nights, 2013.

14. Scott Atran, The Islamic State is a Revolution, Paris, Les Liens qui libèrent, 2016; Rachid Benzine, “The Islamic state is far from being defeated,” Le Monde, June 9, 2016, p. 23.

15. Julien Freund, Political and Impolitical, Paris, Sirey, 1987, p. 22.

16. Given the fact that about three million Muslims live in the United States, sympathies for Jihadism among young Muslims is far from negligible.

17. Quoted by Tara Golshan, “Read Donald Trump’s Most Inflammatory Speech Yet on Muslims and Immigration,” June 13, 2016.

18. Quoted by Jerome Cartillier, “Obama Slams Trump for Anti-Muslim Rhetoric,” June 14, 2016.

19. AFP/Rédaction Europe 1, “Un Allemand sur deux se sent ‘étranger’ dans son pays à cause des musulmans, selon une étude,” June 15, 2016.

20. Quoted by Trip Gabriel, “Both Disliked, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Accentuate the Negatives,” New York Times, May 10, 2016.

21. “The Guardian View on Jo Cox: An Attack on Humanity, Idealism and Democracy” (editorial), June 16, 2016.

22. See Jean-Marie Brohm, Sport Tyranny: Critical theory of a drugging of the masses, Paris, Beauchesne, 2006; Fabien Ollier et al., “Soccer, a Voluntary Slavery,” Which Sport?, no. 30–31, May 2016.

23. Those who celebrate the “leftist populism” forget the fact that its particularly repulsive embodiment was found in Venezuela, in the “Chavismo” mixture of military-police dictatorship, fitting ideology in the colors of “socialism,” demagoguery, and patronage toward the working classes.

24. See the article, of a distressing banality, by the American political scientist Jan-Werner Müller, “Facing populism, Sanitary Cordons Must Be Kept,” trans. Juliette Kopecka, Le Monde, May 25, 2016, p. 22. Müller is a supporter of “constitutional patriotism” theorized by Jürgen Habermas.

25. Pierre-André Taguieff, “Combating the National Front: Argumentation and Political Action,” in Pierre-André Taguieff and Michèle Tribalat, Facing the National Front: Arguments for a Counterattack, Paris, La Découverte, 1998, pp. 116–18; id., Devil in Politics: Reflections on ordinary “antilepénisme”, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2014, pp. 127–31.

26. See Pierre-André Taguieff, Religion of the Progress: Outline of the Progressivism Genealogy, ebook, Paris, TAK, October 2012.

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