Putnam (1995), Florida (2002) and Welzel (2013) have at least one common argument: social capital, in the way we knew it, is dying. According to new theories, it is being replaced by a different mode of interaction, marked by weak-ties relationships and benign individualism. If that’s true, why is far-right populism becoming so strong in Western democracies? This paper does not aim at creating a new theory or at presenting a final answer for this question but rather at pointing out at why Florida’s and Welzel’s theories didn’t anticipate the rise of a 21 st century mode of populism. As a core concluding element, I highlight the unforeseen triggering role played by increasing emancipative values in the mobilization of the now far-right electorate.