India’s AAP and Spain’s Podemos: Distributive Justice and Rise of the New Populist Left

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.” – John Rawls in ‘A Theory of Justice‘.

In the Spanish capital of Madrid and about seven thousand kilometers away, in Delhi – the Indian capital, significant ground surges are being felt in the political arena, surges that may very well mark the beginning of reformation and abolishment of unjust institutions in their respective spheres of influence. Both India’s AAP (abbreviation of ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ – Common Peoples Party) and Spain’s Podemos (translated from the Spanish as ‘We Can / We Can Do It’) rose to national political prominence with unprecedented rapidity, united with the central rhetorical and political position of zero tolerance for all forms of corruption, especially political corruption and corruption in high office. With regard to this, I choose not to use the term ‘Populist’ in my commentary title in a pejorative sense, but more to hint at the ground surge popularity seeded by a certain kind of political rhetoric founded in distributive justice and egalitarian ideals. Read More…

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