Religion & Liberty Online

Acton Line rebroadcast: Tackling populism with Ben Domenech

Populism is gaining traction, both abroad and in the United States. In 2017, the Swedish libertarian think tank Timbro and the European Policy Information Center released their “Authoritarian Populism Index,” showing that populist parties have gained the highest percentage of the vote in nine countries, including Hungary (65.2%), Poland (46.4%) and Greece (45.1%).

Zoltán Kész, co-founder of the Free Market Foundation in Budapest said in 2015 that “Populists are especially dangerous enemies, because they are strategizing in the terms of democratic competition. That is the main principle of populism: gaining power once and never, ever letting it go, reshaping democracy and deconstructing the rule of law step-by-step.”

Populism poses a threat to freedom by rejecting pluralism and classical liberalism. Where are we seeing populism take shape in America today and how is it effecting our public discourse? Ben Domenech, writer and co-founder of The Federalist, joins the podcast in this redux episode to break it down.

Check out additional resources for this episode:

Authoritarian Populism Index 2017

Populism vs. capitalism: The myth of the market as a ‘tool’

Rev. Robert Sirico on Russell Kirk and populism

Freedom and responsibility can turn back the tide of populism

Video: The Rise of American Populism with Benjamin Domenech

Bad ideas are spreading like the plague

Podcast: Populist Moments In Politics And Culture Around The Globe

New to the Acton Line podcast? Subscribe here! We also recommend starting with these episodes:

Mourning the Notre-Dame cathedral inferno; Rev. Robert Sirico on education

F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom; The media vs. ‘Unplanned’

Rev. Robert A. Sirico on the reality of socialism; Interview with a Venezuelan dissident

Do you have feedback for the Acton Line podcast team? We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]. If you like Acton Line, don’t forget to leave a rating and review on iTunes!


Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.