“What is now in crisis is a whole conception of socialism which rests upon the ontological centrality of the working class, upon the role of Revolution, with a capital ‘r’, as the founding moment in the transition from one type of society to another…”
Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe-Hegemony and Socialist Strategy
The political alliance of the working class leaders with the bourgeoisie is disguised as the defence of the “republic.” The experiences of Spain show what this defence is in actuality. The word “republican,” like the word “democrat,” is a deliberate charlatanism that serves to cover up class contradictions. The bourgeoisie is republican so long as the republic defends private property.
Leon Trotsky-Lessons of Spain, 1936
The first thing that must be said about Chantal Mouffe’s new book: For a Left Populism is that it has nothing to do with Marxism, let alone Socialism. It would be more precise to describe her left populism theory as a rehash of the popular front politics of the 1930s under a new guise. The Stalinist popular front theory of the 1930s was responsible for some of the worst defeats suffered by the working class worldwide.
Mouffe is a leading theoretician of this “left populism”. While Left populism does bear some similarities of the Stalinist popular front theory, it is not merely a repetition of it.
One similarity is its subservience to the capitalist's system. However, Mouffe’s theory has no historical or political link to the working class. According to her book “What is urgently needed is a left-populist strategy aimed at the construction of a ‘people,’ combining the variety of democratic resistances against post-democracy in order to establish a more democratic hegemonic formation,”.I contend that it does not require a ‘revolutionary’ break with the liberal democratic regime”.
Chantal Mouffe is a crucial thinker for a large number of Pseudo Left movements around Europe and beyond. She is a critical advisor to the Momentum group. Mouffe bears directly Momentum’s endorsement of Aufstehen (Stand Up), a right-wing group that came out of Die Linke. Aufstehen repeats much from the right-wing especially its denunciations of “unrestricted immigration”.
Her writings influenced groups such as Die Linke in Germany and La France Insoumise. A fervent admirer of Jeremy Corbyn because he “stands at the head of a great party and enjoys the support of the trade unions.”
Mouffe likes The Labour party because of its break with anything connected to the working class in favour of a defence of “political liberal institutions. She writes “the traditional left political frontier was established on the basis of class. There was the working class or the proletariat, versus the bourgeoisie. Today, given the evolution of society, that is not the way in which one should establish the political frontier anymore,”
Mouffe believes that a change in society can come about without destroying the capitalist state, she writes that “it is possible to bring about a transformation of the existing hegemonic order without destroying liberal-democratic institutions.”
Let us be clear Mouffe’s ideas have nothing to do with Marxism. As a real Marxist once said: "Marx’s idea is that the working class must break up, smash the ‘ready-made state machinery,’ and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it."
Mouffe’s unnecessary use of technical terms in place of everyday language cannot mask over the fact that this populist strategy is anti-socialist and has disastrous implications for the working class around the world.
Many pseudo-left parties in Latin America and here in Europe such as Podemos and Syriza have implemented her theories which have seen the imposing of EU austerity diktats and blocking the emergence of an independent political alternative for the working class. Far from opposing the far-right, her ideas have been central in disorienting and demoralizing workers.
Her form of petty-bourgeois politics is shared by postmodernist and “post-Marxist” intellectuals, such as Ernesto Laclau. It is no accident that Mouffe teamed up with Laclau, an Argentine professor,who was responsible for training half the leading members of Syriza at Essex University in Britain.
The book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, co-written with Chantal Mouffe was a major attack on Marxism and the concept of the working class as a revolutionary force in society.
Laclau and Mouffe called upon their readers “to discard the idea of a perfectly unified and homogenous agent, such as the ‘working class’ of classical discourse.” The search for the ‘true’ working class and its limits is a false problem and as such, lacks any theoretical or political relevance. Evidently, this implies. that fundamental interests in socialism cannot be logically deduced from determinate positions in the economic process.”
Mouffe’s Attack on Marxism
Like many other specialists in her field, Mouffe uses a specific type of language to mask over a deep-seated opposition to Marxism. Mouffe bemoans Marxist’s “who keep reducing politics to the contradiction of capital/labour and attribute an ontological privilege to the working class, presented as the vehicle for socialist revolution.” In plain language, she is trashing the entire basis of Marxist politics.
While Mouffe is evident in what she rejects what she advocates is a little vaguer. Mouffe it would seem will collaborate with anyone to build an “amorphous, programmatically undefined, supra-class and nationalist movement.”
As was made clear in the first paragraph, Mouffe does not class herself as a socialist and does not advocate a struggle against capitalism. In her many books, she does not rule out collaborating with right-wing forces.
In a recent Guardian article, she writes “It is vital to realise that the moral condemnation and demonisation of rightwing populism is totally counterproductive – it merely reinforces anti-establishment feelings among those who lack a vocabulary to formulate what are, at core, genuine grievances. Classifying rightwing populist parties as “extreme right” or “fascist”, presenting them as a kind of moral disease and attributing their appeal to a lack of education is, of course, very convenient for the centre-left. It allows them to dismiss any populists’ demands and to avoid acknowledging responsibility for their rise ”.
It is hard to think of a more crass idea or a more shaper expression of her political bankruptcy. The genuine dangers of fascism cannot be opposed without mobilizing the working class on the basis of a revolutionary program. It will need to do more than “decorate reformism with a new vocabulary”. The logical outcome of pandering to the fascists is her fascination and rehabilitation of the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt.
Schmitt was a leading Nazi jurist who opposed the doctrine “no punishment without a law” writing “Everyone understands that it is a requirement of justice to punish crimes. Those who, in the Van der Lubbe case constantly spoke of the Rechtsstaat did not place primary importance on the fact that an evil crime must find a just punishment. For them the issue lay in a different principle which, according to the situation, can lead to the opposite of a just punishment, namely the Rechtsstaat principle of no punishment without a law, nulla poena sine lege. By contrast those who think justly in a case see to it that no crime remains without a just punishment. I pit the Rechtsstaat principle against the principle of justice: nulla crimen sine poena—no crime without a punishment. The discrepancy between the Rechtsstaat and the Just State then becomes immediately visible. As the old adage says “by their friends shall ye know them”
Carl Schmitt is not the only fascist that is having his work rehabilitated. A significant number of avowedly fascist theorists like Julius Evola and some still active today such as Alain de Benoist, Paul Gottfried and Alexander Dugin are increasingly been given a platform both in bourgeois and petty-bourgeois media.
Mouffe’s attitude towards fascism bears a striking resemblance to the professors of the Frankfurt School who were advocates of the utilization of myths and other forms of irrationalist politics” in combating the fascists.
The demoralized professors of the Frankfurt School were experts in denying the revolutionary capacity of the working class, objective truth and the “grand narrative” of the revolutionary class struggle.
As Mouffe’s writings owe a lot to the various professors of the "Frankfurt School" it is worth bearing in mind its origins as David North writes “Associated with the work of Max Horkheimer, Theodore Adorno, Karl Korsch, Herbert Marcuse, Ernst Bloch, Erich Fromm and Wilhelm Reich, the influence of the Frankfurt School reached its apogee during the heyday of radical student protests in the late 1960s. After that wave of middle-class radicalism receded, the influence of the Frankfurt School was consolidated in universities and colleges, where so many ex-radicals found tenured positions. From within the walls of the academy, the partisans of the Frankfurt School conducted unrelenting war—not against capitalism, but, rather, against Marxism. In this struggle, they were remarkably successful. With rare exceptions, very little resembling Marxism—even if one means by that term only the rigorous application of philosophical materialism to the study of history, society and social consciousness—has been taught for several decades in the humanities departments of colleges and universities.
Mouffe’s new book is not an easy read and should only be attempted on a full stomach and with a glass of wine or two in hand. As was said earlier in the review her theories are nothing but rehashes of Stalin’s popular front theory and owe a lot to the professors of the Frankfurt school. That does not mean they are no less dangerous. Acceptance of her ideas are leading to significant betrayals of struggles throughout the world and should be opposed.
 :For a Left Populism-by Chantal Mouffe-Verso-112 pages / August 2019 / 9781786637567
 State and Revolution, V Lenin:
 Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (Radical Thinkers)-
 Populists are on the rise but this can be a moment for progressives too- https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/populists-rise-progressives-radical-right
Chantal Mouffe- https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/populists-rise-progressives-radical-right
 [Carl Schmit, Nationalsozialismus und Rechtsstaat; Juristische Wochenschrift 63, 1934]
 The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism:The Political and Intellectual Odyssey of Alex Steiner—Part 1
By David North-22 October 2008- https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2008/10/fran-o22.html