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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Feb-18 > Confessions of a cosmopolitan

Confessions of a cosmopolitan

There is no need to shut up about difference—but we should talk more about what we have in common

Western politics is being reshaped by an insurgent political force. From Donald Trump to Viktor Orbán, what unites these movements is their central strategy of using hatred against minority groups to gain favour with the majority population. We have taken to calling these forces “populist,” though in my view that sanitises their hate-based strategy, and falsely suggests that all their views enjoy real, popular support. If this were happening in one or two countries, we might put it down to national dynamics or charismatic leaders, but it’s not. It’s a pattern being replicated across Europe—and, of course, in the United States. That’s not to say that there is a single cause; rather, in each a range of factors are combining in different and dangerous ways.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s February 2018 issue: John Naughton, James Ball, Yuan Ren, Hannah Jane Parkinson and Houman Barekat outline the ways in which our lives are controlled by big tech giants. Naughton argues that Facebook and Google have created a new “surveillance capitalism” in which they battle to grow user engagement of their products and monetise our lives for their own gain as they do so. The cover package also explores how “bots,” fake social media accounts, influenced the US presidential vote and the Brexit referendum as well as the effects of removing net neutrality in the US. Elsewhere in the issue: Samira Shackle asks what happens to ordinary civilians affected by Islamic State as they attempt to move back to their homes and rebuild their lives; Shahidha Bari asks whether we can continue to appreciate the work of actors, filmmakers and writers who have been disgraced; and Christine Ockrent profiles Michel Barnier.