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Populism is a political ideology. Today, the term is often viewed negatively, therefore often used as a negative label by opponents, and with the definition controversial and disputed.

The term derives from the Latin "populus", meaning "people", and populism is often described as claiming to represent the people against oppressive elites. However, this could apply to a wide variety of ideologies and movements across the left–right political spectrum. Ideologies may be excluded by claiming that they are actually themselves elitist, such as Marxism-Leninism with its emphasis on an elitist "vanguard party". Alternatively, ideologies may be excluded by claiming that populism actually means not having an ideology or misrepresenting one's ideology, often with the implication that popular views are deceptively supported for personal gain or to advance some concealed ideology.

Those who have described themselves as populist, which few do today, have used more positive definitions.

Today, the term is sometimes used for individual or organizations that are critical of the mass immigration, the European Union, or have some other somewhat politically incorrect views, especially if these parties at the same time reject race realism and other more "extreme" politically incorrect views. The term "national populism" is sometimes used. One interpretation is that populism in this case refers to representing the people against oppressive globalist elites.

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