Michael Sheen Gives Up Hollywood to Fight Far-Right Populism


[quote=from the aritcle]Sheen has lived in Los Angeles for the past 14 years

Well, that explains it.

Notice how the results of democracy get derided as “populism” when the results aren’t approved of by the left wing oligarchy.

Well, Hitler was also democratically elected. I’m not comparing Trump / Brexit to Hilter specifically. I do believe that all the xenophobia and nationalism that is resurging in Europe is unhealthy and reminiscent of attitudes that lead to the extermination of 6 million Jews. People are having a hard time, moderate governments don’t fix it, so they turn on a common enemy who has nothing to do with the situation at all.

Hitler initially governed via a coalition and in fact ironically the election that saw him come to power was one in which support for the NSDAP dropped quite a lot. Trunp is populist and crude at times but I believe that is partly due to lack of experience and I don’t view him as holding theories of racial superiorty, especially given that he has married women from a variety of ethnic groups in his lifetime. I don’t agree with him on many fronts but I definitely don’t view him as a Nazi, his style of rabble rousing is at times more similar to Mussolini but I don’t view him as akin to Il Duce in many other respects.

I don’t think too many are calling DT a racial supremacist. Demagoguery need not be racist in orientation to be worrisome.


You had me worried for a second - I thought this was about the famous Catholic actor Martin Sheen.

I have never heard of Michael Sheen and could care less about his delusions that Hitler is going to take over Cymru. The idea sounds a bit twp.

No not the results - the rhetoric used and the narrative framework put forward by Trump is populist by nature, as were those of Sanders.

In simple terms: vague class of political elites are bad and exploiting ordinary folk, the ordinary folk are good and always right, the elites always wrong. I’m not an elite and want to break the rotten system, so I’m the strong man you’ve been waiting for who will take up your cause and put the stall in order. Everybody needs a scapegoat so I blame xyz of minorities and/or experts - ethnic groups, illegals, rich financiers, aristocrats, intellectuals, bankers etc. - its all because of them milking the system created by the elites at the expense of the people that we’re all so angry and left behind in the first place. Purge that evil from your midst by surrendering to a political messiah and we’ll all live in perfect utopia.

Add in a lot of impassioned, emotive language and voila, you have a cardboard cut-out populist.

Populism can be left or right and sometimes both at the same time.

Demagogues and dictators often exploit populism for their own ends, since its such a useful tool in consolidating an autocratic regime bereft of the rule of law while giving it the image of popular acclaim.

Hitler, for instance, was hailed as “the People’s Chancellor” by the Volkischer Beobachter; Stalin the “People’s Comrade”. The first populists were the Populares party of the ancient Roman Republic, the last and most famous of whose number was Julius Caesar who changed the decaying Republic into an authoritarian, absolutist regime that became the Roman Empire under his successor.

Populism need not be dictatorial or racist.

But the three when mixed can be a particularly lethal concoction.

Demagogues and dictators often exploit populism for their own ends, since its such a useful tool in consolidating an autocratic regime bereft of the rule of law while giving it the image of popular acclaim.

Which would certainly include Obama’s campaign the last 2 elections. Maybe you had to be here.

Hitler was actually appointed Chancellor by President Paul Von Hidenberg. It was thought he’d be easier to control within the government than outside it. His party never had anything approaching majority support.

The majority of people may not have supported him but he was democratically elected to parliament. Therefore, we should be even more worried about any rise in fascist thinking, since clearly the minority can do so much damage.

Indeed, in fact as I pointed out earlier in the election in which Hitler came to power the NSDAP actually ironically lost a considerable amount of support. In the next election after that even with thousands of NSDAP party members watching voting at polling stations and bullying voters the NSDAP could not achieve a clear cut majority and as I recall got somewhere around 46percent of the vote roughly.

Technically Trump was not elected democratically.

No, but yes according to the accepted legalities.


Trump and Brexit supporters aren’t exactly Nazis ? Wow, thanks. anymore nice compliments ? :smiley: Seriously though, I’d like to give up my job to fight Hollywood full time.

Not entirely surprising since the US is a constitutional republic and not a democracy.

Merely democracy in action.

“Thus the representative principle works in practice. The ambitious man comes before his fellow-citizens and strives by every means to convince them that he more than any other is worthy of their confidence. What motives impel him to to this quest? It is hard to believe that he is impelled by disinterested zeal for the public good.
…He who, in the consciousness of duty, is capable of disinterested service of the community does not descend to the soliciting of votes, or the crying of his own praise at election meetings in loud and vulgar phrases. Such men manifest their strength in their own work, in a small circle of congenial friends, and scorn to seek popularity in the noisy market-place. If they approach the crowd, it is not to flatter it, or to pander to its basest instincts and tendencies, but to condemn its follies and expose its depravity. To men of duty and honour the procedure of elections is repellent; the only men who regard it without abhorrence are selfish, egoitstic natures, which wish thereby to attain their personal ends. To acquire popularity such men have little scruple in asusming the mask of ardour for the public good. They cannot and must not be modest, for with modesty they would not be noticed or spoken of. By their positions, and by the parts which they have chosen, they are forced to be hypocrites and liars; they must cultivate, fraternise with, and be amiable to their opponents to gain their suffrages; they must lavish promises, knowing that they cannot fulfil them; and they must pander to the basest tendencies and prejudices of the masses to acquire majorities for themselves. What honourable nature would accept such a role? Describe it in a novel, the reader would be repelled, but in elections the same reader gives his vote to living artiste in the same role.”

~Konstantin Pobedonostsev, The Great Falsehood of Our Time

Democracy is rule of the mob. Those you deem populists are just those who have recognized this fact and used it to their advantage. It is deplorable but it couldn’t be done without those true-believers who perpetuate the system. Neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton could possess any power without being given it by “the people.” It is the strange paradox of democracy, that simultaneously no one and yet everyone has responsibility.

You’d think it’d make people realize that simply being eighteen and having a pulse does not qualify one to “participate” in government (and keeping elections while limiting the franchise is no good; after all, we got to here from there), but alas the modern is content to bemoan the sad effects of representative government in one breath while with the next shouting down any alternative as tyranny and despotism, never recognizing the incongruity.

The pinnacle of human governance is, apparently, seeing who can rally the biggest mob behind them.

Would you hold the same opinion had HC won?:cool:

Semantics. Let us turn to Mr. Madison in Federalist No. 10:

“Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

All well and good. Let us continue,

“A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.”

So according to Mr. Madison a republic differs from a democracy in that it is bigger and has elected representatives. Is this better?

“The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.”

Hmm. Does this sound to you like what we see before us?

“On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.”

Ah, now this part actually sounds like reality. But Mr. Madison, I thought you were going to explain to us how a republic is superior to a democracy.

“The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations:
In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice”


“In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.
The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter.

Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.”

Seriously, this is comic gold. It’s almost as though he’s looking through a window into the future and is just spewing nonsense to troll us. The only way he could be more wrong would be to start going off on a socialist diatribe at this point. So democracy vs. republic, what was the difference again? At least according to one of America’s Founding Fathers and a drafter of the Constitution, I’m not seeing the appeal.

He probably would have, as the electoral result would then have aligned with the majority vote.


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