Why is fomenting fear and hate so politically effective? Perhaps because blaming others makes us feel better about ourselves. Populist politics plays a role similar to religion in both the psyches of the oppressed and the rhetoric of the oppressors. It explains why our world is the way it is and imbues oppression with legitimacy.
It is tempting therefore to denounce all religion and all populism. But what if, in fact, one or the other is necessary? What if, without them, we are left with nihilism and power unconstrained by any values? Then, the question becomes how to turn religion or populism against oppression.