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Populism and the psychopolitics of morality

Lawrence R. Alschuler

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Jung’s theory of complexes sheds light on populists’ identity as the “virtuous people” who are opposed to the “corrupt elites”. Their complexes underlie three well-known populist attitudes. First is their antipluralism, their sense of moral superiority toward immigrants and minorities. Second, in reaction to the failures of neoliberalism, they experience moralistic relative deprivation regarding the “undeserving” underclasses that benefit from government hand-outs. And third, as native white Christians, their moral indignation stems from comparisons with ethnic workers in the same occupations earning the same pay. This psychopolitical analysis explains much of the populists’ anger, frustration, and resentment.

Keywords: populism, morality, Jung, complexes, neoliberalism


Bibliography: Alschuler, Lawrence R.: Populism and the psychopolitics of morality, PCS – Politics, Culture and Socialization, 1+2-2017, pp. 95-103.