Thomas Frank at Harper’s Magazine:
“Populism” is the word that comes to the lips of the respectable and the highly educated when they perceive the global system going haywire. Populism is the name they give to the avalanche crashing down on the Alpine wonderland of Davos. Populism is what they call the mutiny that may well turn the supercarrier America into a foundering wreck. Populism, for them, is a one-word evocation of the logic of the mob: it is the people as a great rampaging beast.
What has happened, the thinkers of Beltway and C-suite tell us, is that the common folk have declared independence from the experts and, along the way, from reality itself. And so they the learned must come together to rescue civilization: political scientists, policy wonks, economists, technologists, CEOs, joining as one to save our social order. To save it from populism.