In December 2016, a group of young activists and scholars - Stefano Bartolini, Michelangelo Di Giacomo, Paolo Gerbaudo, Samuele Mazzolini, Tommaso Nencioni, Stefano Poggi - created a "Manifesto for a Democratic Populism", a few days after the victory of Trump, inaugurated the online platform www.senso-comune.it and started a "Giro d’Italia" discussion on the topics of the document. In this article two of the authors of the Manifesto reflect on the political, social and cultural climate in which they enter their initiative. The thesis, based on the lesson of Ernesto Laclau, is that there is no populist ideology defined as such. There are instead "populist moments" that open up in the acute economic and institutional crisis. Getting on the ground of populism thus means fighting the hegemony, now escaped from the hands of neoliberal oligarchies, of reactionary projects, to reconstruct the bond between democracy and conflict.
Keywords: Populismo, Senso comune, Egemonia, Crisi organica, Ernesto Laclau, Antonio Gramsci.