The paper analyses the relationship between populism and ethics. There is a fighting ethic in the populist and the anti-populist camps – and a clear moral rejection of political opponents that often shows hints of Manichaeism of the world between light and darkness, between good and evil. This “combat” is based on the moral division between the “good” and the “bad” – liberal-democrats against populists and vice versa – which deprives legitimacy of political opponents who, from adversaries, become enemies, either of “democracy” or of the “people”.
This article was first published in 2018 in a Portuguese volume dedicated to applied ethics in politics. Since its publication, we have witnessed both the strengthening of populisms globally and also an increased dramatization of their showdown with a combative mainstream antipopulist movement. The irreconciliation of both camps’ opposing ethical views seems to have only furthered in the time span since the Portuguese version originally appeared.]