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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Mar-18 > The enemy within

The enemy within

Immigrants are not a threat to European democracy—but the extreme right-wing reaction to them could well be, warns Daniel Trilling

English Uprising: Brexit and the Mainstreaming of the Far Right

by Paul Stocker (Melville House, £14.99)

Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy

by Sasha Polakow- Suransky (Hurst, £17.99)

Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right

by Liz Fekete (Verso, £14.99)

Donald Trump’s retweeting of Britain First videos in November last year illustrated in miniature the relationship between mainstream politics, the media and the far right. A racist political group built up a following far larger than its tiny group of real activists by using social media to broadcast antiimmigrant propaganda. The social media company in question makes money from audience “engagement”— people producing content; sharing, praising, condemning— and has been reluctant to take an editorial role in policing what appears on its site. The group’s claims were then co-opted by a populist politician in order to boost his claims about the nature of the world. In the row that followed, traditional media outlets offered hurried interviews with a spokesperson for Britain First. The result? Britain First gaining yet more attention.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s March issue: A series of writers turn their thoughts to the developing war over words in the UK and the US. Lionel Shriver, Afua Hirsch, Simon Lancaster, Hugh Tomlinson, Tom Clark and two students ask if free expression is truly compromised? What’s really going on in our universities? And what do voters think? Elsewhere in the issue: Michael Ignatieff questions why today’s left-wing leaders can’t live up to the high mark set by FDR, Sameer Rahim shows how western powers have been trying to dictate what Islam should be, and Mary Beard asks “How do we look?” as our perceptions of what is beautiful have changes over the centuries.