The rise of populism in Europe -- and here in the United States by way of Donald Trump -- is a rebellion against postmodern weightlessness. Political commentators are right to point out voter concerns about immigration, economic distress caused by globalization, and the technocratic establishment that holds them in disdain. But underneath these concerns lies a metaphysical disquiet....Reno is almost always worth reading; and whatever one thinks of some of the positions taken by writers at First Things, it is well worth getting a subscription and reading it.
.... Populism is a response to this vacuum more than a movement of economic grievances, or even anti-immigrant sentiment. It reflects a concern that our common life lacks metaphysical dignity: There's no longer something greater than utility or some other bloodless good capable of binding us together strongly enough that the rich and powerful remain accountable. [emphasis added]
Friday, January 22, 2016
R.R. Reno writes, in "Populism," in the Public Square section of the latest issue of First Things (February 2016), p. 3: