Hatred, suspicion, and prejudice are easier to spread than love, compassion, and understanding. Fear is a strong driver for human beings and, in times of uncertainty and turmoil (such as our own), it takes hold of us. In the digital age, expressions of hatred and fear can interact with each other, connecting and forming ideological networks based on these root emotions. A prime example of this is the rise of the alt-right (alternative right), an online (initially) far-right, white nationalist movement, originating in the US.
Today’s guest is Ipsita Chatterjee, a human geographer interested in the economic, cultural, and geopolitical impacts of globalization. Ipsita is also a prolific author, and her latest book “The Alt-Right Movement: Dissecting Racism, Patriarchy and Anti-immigrant Xenophobia” served as the basis of our discussion. To help me better understand this phenomenon, she took me through how the alt-right came to be, its rise, and its ideological basis. We also talked about the role of the internet as a driver of alt-right ideology, but also as a potential remedy against it. Overall a super interesting discussion that I really feel gave me a much better understanding of the subject, as well as new perspectives on it. 🎙️Our conversation was actually so interesting that we ended up talking for quite a while, so I split this recording up into 2 episodes. Please enjoy part 1 and stay tuned for part 2!