Ad people are easy to spot. They are different. So we're the Jews so are the black or Arab : they are not like us. So it is easy to create or use paranoia and design them as culprits. Migrants are different and are a threat since they would overwhelm the locals take their jobs and worst if all obligé our daughters to wear a burqa. I hear this kind of bs regularly even from people I would not suspect if racism.
I wasn't referring specifically to people in power, but rather to those who identify with the powerful and consider themselves as coming from a class which allows them to rise to power. That would include, for instance, all the "honest working people", i.e. lower middle class from my own country who support Reagan & his ilk.
Same thing as far as I am concerned. If you support the rigid ruling classes, you become part of them. That's why they are so proud to talk about their support base. These people are the pedestal of power.
You reminded me of a wonderful book I read in Italian. L'Orda by Gian Antonio Stella. The other title is Quando gli albanesi eravamo noi ("When we were the Albanians") It's a good humored look at how Italian immigrants were treated covering organ grinders with their monkeys to Sacco and Vanzetti. I think you'd like it. He writes with wit and charm.
I'll look both of those up. It is possible to search books by language at the Montréal library system; I was looking for Primo Levi's collected stories, but in Italian, not in French (or worse, English, translation). Idem Montalbano.
Smashing bad people with an iron fist will always appeal to the powerless poor classes, who don't always have nuanced ideas.
I thought it was a common feature of authoritarian movements that their activists tend to be people with some education and status who think they haven't had their due, or feel that whatever status they have is under threat, rather than the wholly downtrodden - though those who are can be swayed into blaming all their ills on whatever designated "other" is emphasised enough to them.
What you say is the theme of an essay about the French yellow vests in a recent New York Review of Books, Patrick. The author says it is not the poorest of the French who are out there, but lower middle-class, overwhelmingly white, people who have received quite a lot as their due from society (health care, free schools, welfare benefits, etc) but are afraid of "slipping back".
So far, the yellow vest movement has not displayed much racism or anti-migrant sentiment (other than that verbal attack on the Jewish philosopher in Paris), but if the right-wing or far left manage to gain more influence, I'm sure they will get nastier.
There are reasons to attack that philosopher - obviously I mean in debates or polemics, not physical violence or intimidation - that have little to do with his ethnicity. He is a bit of a nasty man. Those come in all colours and creeds.
El Creepo Salvini is happily dancing in the wreckage ~
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation Tuesday, blaming the collapse of his 14-month-old populist government on his rebellious and politically ambitious deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the nationalist League party. ... Conte said he was going to tender his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, who might ask him to stay on in a caretaker role ahead of any new elections or while he determines if someone else can cobble together a viable government. In the European Parliament election three months ago in Italy, as well as in current opinion polls, Salvini's right-wing League party has soared in popularity to be the No. 1 political force among Italians.
By the way, the Pope is holding a Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region - this was called before Bolsonaro was elected. Sorry for shifting continents, but this will piss off Salvini as well as Bolsonaro. Other than the dire crisis of the burning Amazon, the question of married priests will be raised, as likely candidates among the peoples in the region will be married family men.