Letras Libres, April 2012
Can one speak of a Mexican populism? If so, who would be its Mexican exponents? Is there a danger of neo-populism? César Cansino reviews Mexican history in order to find the answers. First, he explains that populism has implied high costs for the country as it has either inhibited or postponed development, democracy, and social justice in Mexico. According to Cansino, it would seem as if populism has appeared and disappeared in Mexico in a pendulum effect, impulsed by inefficiency and opacity of previous administrations.
Cansino identifies three characteristics in the political experience of populism: 1) placing the people above the power of existing institutions, thanks to an artificial symbiosis created between the people and the populist leader, 2) the absence of institutional mediation, given that the figure of the populist leader becomes assimilated to people, 3) a personification of politics into the populist leader, leading the people to believe that they can only be heard through the leader. The recurrent presence of populism in Mexico, Cansino believes, have to do with the poor modernization of the country’s political system. Continue reading “Populism in Mexico: A Tale of Damage [In Spanish]”