ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, ‘the pure people’ versus ‘the corrupt elite’, and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people.
seems to give us "class struggle" and thus basically Marxism if we conceptualize "the pure people" as the working class. (Conversely, it gives us identitarian aka right-wing populism when "the pure people" is conceptualized on ethnic/cultural grounds.)
If classes cannot be hegemonic without articulating ‘the people’, ‘the people’ only exist articulated to classes. The degree of ‘populism’, therefore, will depend on the nature of the antagonism existing between the class which is struggling for hegemony and the power bloc … Therefore, the only social sector which can aspire to the full development of ‘the people’ power bloc contradiction, that is to say, to the highest and most radical form of populism, is that whose class interests lead it to the suppression of the State as an antagonistic force. In socialism, therefore, coincide the highest form of ‘populism’ and the resolution of the ultimate and most radical of class conflicts. The dialectic between ‘the people’ and classes finds here the final moment of its unity, there is no socialism without populism, and the highest forms of populism can only be socialist.
Is this theoretically uncontroversial though? Are there grounds to object to calling Marxists (left-wing) populists?
Edit: I see from the answer below that one objection is that not all Marxism (broadly construed) is revolutionary, especially some "post-Marxism" like Wertkritik ("Value criticism "). But what about Marxism-Leninism? Does it entirely fit in the populist envelope (as defined by Mudde)?
Edit2: I see (from the 2nd answer) there's the impulse here to answer "you're wrong, you Marxist fool, capitalists are not the corrupt elite!" I'm not asserting from my own viewpoint that capitalists are corrupt anymore than I am asserting than "the pure people" needs to have a certain skin color. As an aside, there are some who argue that capitalism is corrupt.
Those who regard capitalism as corrupt have often based their indictment on the charge that the process in which labor is bought and sold is typically exploitive and have looked to Marx’s writings as the classic exposé.
I'm simply saying that in Mudde's populism template (in which "the pure people" and "the corrupt elite" are variables--he could have called them X and Y) there are some obvious substitutions one could make, based on antagonisms posited in other political ideologies. My question is: when we make the substitution in Mudde's template with the Marxim-posited antagonism (quoting Wikipedia: "Marxist theory considers the proletariat to be oppressed by capitalism and the wage system."), do we get something resembling an actual Marxist movement, e.g. Marxism-Leninism? Or is that off-the-mark in certain respects? (If so, in what respect[s]?)