Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 6, No 11 (2017)

Not Everyone Can Tell the Truth. Foucault, Parresia and Populism

Sebastian Barros


The main approaches to populism describe it as a form of politics that implies the emergence of groups portrayed as new participants of the political arena. Additionally, their political articulation is explained in terms of the creation of a polar antagonistic division of the community between the people and the powerful elites. This general definition of populism embraces political phenomena which are very different from each other. This article points to the necessity of giving some sort of specificity to this general definition of populism. In the first place, it tackles the problem of the emergence of these new groups and their political inscription taking the example of Peronism in Argentina. Secondly, it examines Foucault’s treatment of parresia and, finally, it argues that the distinction between good and bad parresia might be important in order to make distinctions within the field of the so called populist political articulations.