The Only Populists that Billionaires Fund are Right-wingers

The 372-page book that the European Center for Populism Studies published in March 2023, The Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on Right-wing Populism in Europe, opens its Chapter (p. 200-209) on “The Russia-Ukraine War and Right-Wing Populism in Latvia” by saying something that has broad applicability across all U.S.-and-allied nations,

Right-wing populism, and populism more broadly, has long been a feature of Latvia’s political landscape. Indeed, in December 2021, a few months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Latvia’s president, Egils Levits, a former judge at the European Union Court of Justice, warned that populism was a threat to Latvia’s democracy:

“We see what happens when populists are elected to parliament in Latvia and elsewhere. They collapse. They are not capable of meaningful politics, simply wasting your vote and creating difficulties for the parliament and the state.” (“President urges voters to be on guard”, 2021)

Mr. Levitz was stating the common fear that billionaires have against all forms of populism: the need that populist politicians have to at least seem to be representing the interests of the public instead of only the aristocracy’s interests, creates instability and unpredictability in the government, and might even cause the aristocracy to lose its control over the government.

That Chapter goes on to say:

The late Joachim Siegerist, a shadowy far-right German-Latvian politician who never spoke Latvian, is generally regarded as Latvia’s first major post-communist populist. Having been kicked out of the radical right-wing Latvian National Independence Movement (Latvijas Nacionalas Neatkaribas Kustiba, LNNK) in 1994, Siegerist founded the People’s Movement for Latvia (Tautas Kustiba Latvija, TKL). During the 1995 parliamentary election, he campaigned on both a nationalist and anti-corruption platform of “Russians to Russia and Latvia for Latvians,” handing out free medicine to emphasize the perceived failure of government economic policies and promising to weed out corrupt bureaucrats and politicians who were supposedly holding Latvia back.3 This combination of Russophobe nationalism and criticism of a corrupt and out-of-touch elite set the template for right-wing populism in Latvia for the next three decades. Twenty-first-century additions to this winning formula have included criticism of liberal ideas spreading to Latvia via European elites and, of course, anti-Soros conspiracy theories.

Right-wing populists typically campaign against corruption (of politicians who don’t characterize themselves as being right-wing populists) in order to appeal to the fundamental sentiment of all populists (but not of any aristocrats), which is an abhorrence of corruption.

For example: when the U.S. Obama Administration, started in 2011 to plan, and then, during 2013 and early 2014, he carried out the coup that overthrew the democratically elected (in 2010) President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the way that they attracted huge crowds to their public demonstrations on Kiev’s Maidan Square to overthrow Yanukovych was to focus against his corruptness, which is actually a feature of all of Ukraine’s leading politicians ever since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 — no different than any of the others. And, of course, America succeeded in its overthrow and replacement of the democratically elected government, and its replacement of that neutralist government by a racist-fascist rabidly anti-Russian government, on the basis of that virtually universal public abhorrence of governmental corruption, but the public-approval ratings of the subsequent, the U.S.-controlled, Ukrainian governments, have all been even lower than the public-approval ratings of President Yanukovych had been while he was in charge there.

What that showed was the public’s disappointment when a right-wing populist has come into power by attacking the corruptness of the existing billionaires-backed government, and then they find out that the right-wing populist replacement-government isn’t merely corrupt like its predecessors had been, but is in some ways even worse than the overthrown government was.

This is the difference between what the public perceives, on the basis of the billionaires-controlled media they see and hear, versus what the actual reality is (a choice between conservative fascism versus liberal fascism), which has been hidden from the public by those billionaires — that is, by the censorship that they operate and run (on their behalf), to fool the public to vote for candidates that have been funded by billionaires.

This is how it happens that, if an Establishment, or liberal-fascist, government — a “liberal ‘democracy’” — becomes replaced by an ‘anti-Establishment’ (or populist) government, then this will be done by installing a right-wing-populist (or right-wing-fascist) one to replace the prior, more liberal, regime. But they both are fascist (ruling the public for the benefit of the billionaires, the aristocracy). For the public, the only viable options — the only options that the billionaires will fund — are between liberal fascists versus conservative fascists. But that still is an aristocracy instead of a democracy.

There simply are no billionaires who will fund a left-wing-populist politician’s campaigns. The difference between a left-wing-populist and a right-wing-populist politician is that in order to be a left-wing populist, or “democratic socialist” and “anti-imperialist,” politician, the basic necessity is to NOT be financially dependent upon the donations from ANY billionaires — in other words: the necessity is to NOT be corrupt. The reason for this is that all of corruption in government is corruption to and by the super-rich, the aristocrats (or, in a colony or vassal-nation, it’s instead called “the oligarchs”), against the public — and, so, a left-wing populist wouldn’t even possibly be a left-wing populist if he or she were to be financially dependent upon any of the super-rich.

That is why, for example, in America, the right-wing-populist Donald Trump was able to become President but no left-wing-populist (such as Bernie Sanders or William Jennings Bryan) ever did. And, of course, so many Americans were disappointed in Trump as President so that he became followed by the Establishment, or Democratic-Party billionaires) nominee, Joe Biden, who has turned out to be just as much of a disappointment as his immediate predecessor had been.

By contrast: the leaders in three Eurasian countries — China, Russia, and India — have somehow been able to have and retain very high public-approval ratings for a very long time, and each of the three has a unique way to do that, which none of the U.S.-and-allied countries has yet been able to match. Is it left-wing populism? If so, it’s of a different type than in The West. It is secular-populist as opposed to either theocratic or aristocratic, and as being anti-imperialist instead of imperialist (or “neoconservative”), and as being traditionalist-patriotic instead of globalist. Is it “left-wing”? Maybe that can be reasonably debated. But, of course: no Western (or U.S.-and-allied) country has any sort of left-wing-populist government. The U.S.-and-allied countries are various forms of fascism, even including racist-fascism or nazism such as in Ukraine. Those three Asian countries might establish somewhat new ideological categories; but, whatever it is, it seems to be more successful than in the West (which is obviously in decline). The U.S.-and-allied countries are, apparently, too corrupt for any form of left-wing populism to be possible there. Where the billionaires control the government, how would left-wing populism of any type be even a realistic possibility? I see no way in which it can be.

Eric Zuesse is an investigative historian. His new book, America's Empire of Evil: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public. Read other articles by Eric.