ABSTRACT

It seems redundant to explain why there is a need for a book like this. We are writing these lines in the midst of a massive migration crisis as Europe is transforming itself into an impenetrable fortress. The times when walls were falling and barbed wires removed seem so far away. Everywhere rich nations are trying to isolate themselves from the waves of desperate people fleeing from wars, poverty, persecutions, and disruptive environmental changes. “A wall will save us”; this is the easy mantra repeated by the professionals of fear, the gardeners of the new and pernicious hate plantations. Xenophobia, racism, and nationalism are gaining terrain, breeding on a toxic narrative which redirects class conflicts towards the “outside.” According to this narrative, if in the Global North the working class is becoming poorer, this is because of immigrants and not the unequal distribution of wealth, the attack against workers’ rights, and the neo-liberal erosion of the welfare state. When hard times come, having an “other” to blame has always been a handy resource in order to preserve the privilege of the few. The rise of terrorism has even aggravated this situation with a continuous overlapping in the public discourse of migrants and terrorists. An exotic name does all the work here; the fact that often the terrorists were born and raised in the West is easily buried under the inflammatory rhetoric of the new right-wing nationalists.