By Louis Lacroix
To humans, differences between them and other individuals or groups are enough to set them apart in their mind. From a different opinion to the color of the skin, everything matters from that perspective. It’s also hard to accept change as it can be scary and it is exactly what populism is trying to exploit since its creation. This is what author Ivan Kalmar tries to argue about Hungary and Victor Orbán creating a culture of Islamophobia. Immigration is a catalyst for fear and with Europe having large waves of immigrants coming in it’s the perfect excuse to channel racist thoughts based on fear and anxiousness rather than the plain “evil” side of individuals. It is an excuse and an easy way out to blame society’s problems on rather than work out complicated equations to accommodate everyone. Racism then becomes a tool for a political party to manipulate the popular opinion to achieve their social and political goals. This leads to more institutionalized racism like in Turkey with the White Turks defined as the bureaucratic elite and the Black Turks as the common population. This influencing methods are particularly efficient and pernicious because at a certain points these ideas become an individual’s own thoughts and he starts to accept more radicalized positions that the populist group suggests, creating a cycle of hatred. It is a lot easier to blame an external source than to face the problems within their own nation building roots.