Evolved from Marxist idea of class struggle which emphases on singular demand, populism suggests a simultaneous connection of all demands through the logic of equivalent to confront against the hegemony. It realizes a total, instead of representational, democracy. (Laclau, 2005) Its attempt to consider all demands from the society makes populism seemed to be a brilliant solution of democracy. However, due to the increasing frequency of usage of the word "populism" in daily (political) language, especially during the election debates, the meaning of populism has been distorted. It becomes a negative term in describing a kind of thought which blind worships the power of "the people" and is no more than destructive force for the governance. Is "populism" a solution, or an obstacle, to democracy? Is there another model in solving the challenges of satisfying the demand for democracy? This essay attempts to discuss these problems by firstly reviewing on Laclau's populist logic with reference to its attempt to resolve the inadequacies of Marxist's class struggles. The challenges, contradictions and limitations of his logic will be explained with an emphasis on Zizek's criticisms with supports of Hong Kong examples.

Recommended Citation

CHAN, Wan Hang (2013). An analysis of populist temptation : example in Hong Kong. Cultural Studies@Lingnan, 33. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol33/iss1/2/