Populism refers to political appeals and defense of "the people". "The people" are of course amorfous and diverse but populisms in general will appeal to that which can bring them a large amount of votes or adhesions whether that is labour rights and progressive taxation systems or xenophobia, racism and social paranoias over issues of "security". As such, within such a vague concept both Adolf Hitler and the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist trade union CNT (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederaci%C3%B3n_Nacional_del_Trabajo
) fit the populist label but both US republican and democratic parties will also have populist features. The vagueness of it all has been analysed in a large politology on the subject mainly from the point of view how "the people" are movilized.
The opposite of populism will be some sort of elitism which will note to the ignorance, "herd mentalities" (as Nietzsche called it see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_mentality
) and cultural poverty of "the people". On this point both neoliberal technocratic elites such as the International Monetary Fund and anarchist Emma Goldman could be said to be "anti-populists".
In the first case the right wing IMF and similar minded neoliberal technocratic elites who follow neoliberal economics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
) or as they call it in the US right wing "Libertarianism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism
) they argue that people are ingnorant on the subject of economics and stand againts what they call "populist" measures such as wealth distribution and extensions of the welfare state. Another different but not unrelated brand of right wing elitism is that of cultural and authoritarian conservatism which argues that since "the people" are an ignorant and irrational mass they need to be led by those who they think are "the best" and "the wisest" which in their opinion will tend to be right wing conservative politicians, neoliberal technocrats such as those mentioned before or landlords and succesful entreprenuors as well as in some cases church leaders who supposedly represent "God´s views".
In the second case anarchist Emma Goldman as influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche as well as for other reasons said in a controversial essay called "Minorities and Majorities" that:
"In proportion to its increase, however, principles, ideals, justice, and uprightness are completely swamped by the array of numbers. In the struggle for supremacy the various political parties outdo each other in trickery, deceit, cunning, and shady machinations, confident that the one who succeeds is sure to be hailed by the majority as the victor. That is the only god, — Success. As to what expense, what terrible cost to character, is of no moment. We have not far to go in search of proof to verify this sad fact...Today, as then, public opinion is the omnipresent tyrant; today, as then, the majority represents a mass of cowards, willing to accept him who mirrors its own soul and mind poverty...And how could the latter be acquired without numbers? Yes, authority, coercion, and dependence rest on the mass, but never freedom or the free unfoldment of the individual, never the birth of a free society." (http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/emma-goldman-anarchism-and-other-essays#toc4
The second case is an episode of a specific cultural left wing anti-populism (some will say a quasi elitism) which laments over the submissivenes and the cultural and political conservatism of "the people" and it stands next to other cases such as that of the marxist Frankfurt School of social criticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School
) or in the specific US context the existence of a "liberal elite" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_elite
). In the specific case of Anarchists, they tend to be anti-populist in issues such as their rejection of nationalism (a usual agglutinator of populist movilization), libertarian (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_libertarianism
) or frankly libertine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertinism
) on issues of sex and drugs and anti-religious if not frankly atheistic (againts religious "popular" conservatism), and highly anti-authoritarian and againts "cults of personality" (againts the strong tendency within populist movements towards cults of personality).
In this way anarchism will have both "populist" features such as calls for wealth redistribution and direct democracy as well as its general anti-authoritarianism while on the other hand it will appear highly anti-populist such as in its anti-religious, anti-nationalistic and anti-cults of personality traits.