Why are so many white people throughout the liberal democratic world moving to the illiberal Right? The conventional explanation is that they are being driven by fear of the ‘demographic shift’. That is, because of immigration, both legal and illegal, and differing fertility rates among the relevant groups, white people of specific ethnic and religious backgrounds will soon no longer make up the electoral majority in the regions they currently dominate. Losing their majority status, in turn, is understood as meaning that the days of white privilege and political dominance in liberal democratic societies are now numbered.

An alarming number of whites, however, are not prepared to allow a commitment to liberalism to stand in the way of resisting the threat that the demographic shift seems to pose to their self-interest. They are accordingly embracing nationalist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-feminist and other anti-liberal attitudes, and the parties and politicians that express them, in an effort to retain their social, political, economic and cultural dominance.

This view of what is driving whites to the Right has lots of adherents. The demographic shift explanation […]

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