Hate

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MediumTex
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Hate

Post by MediumTex » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:31 pm

I feel like there is more hate in our world at all levels than I have ever felt before.

The most obvious hate that many people feel is the hate of poor militant disenfranchised Muslims, but there is also the white/black racial hatred, the Democratic/Republican political hatred, the working class/elite economic hatred, etc.

It just feels like the world has greenlighted the indulgence of all sorts of tendencies toward hate.

Hate feels good, so it's no surprise that people indulge it when there is no cultural prohibition on doing so.

The trouble IMHO is that hate quickly leads to dehumanizations of one's adversaries, and that basically makes difficult problems exponentially more difficult to solve.

The thing we love about alien and monster movies is that the heroes can inflict almost any sort of brutality or violence on the "other" in the storyline and we are okay with it because they're not human, so who cares? It feels like we are sort of doing that in practice, however, with people we disagree with--i.e., refusing to validate their point of view in any way for fear that it might somehow empower them.

I think that this general tendency started with the end of the Cold War when people all over the world were suddenly free to think about tribal and cultural differences that the Communist/Capitalist divide had completely eclipsed. What we are seeing today seems like a ripened version of these tendencies toward hate that often go back far into history and on which the Cold War simply imposed a 40-50 year break.

Like violence, I see hate as a downward spiral with no logical ending point short of complete annihilation of one's enemies (or complete annihilation of oneself). The point I would make is that if an activity is self-defeating or self-destructive, is it still worth doing no matter how good it might feel at the moment?

More broadly, I don't think that anyone likes being played for a sucker, and I wonder if hate isn't ultimately a game for suckers perpetrated by corrupt political and other cultural leaders around the world as a tool to keep their followers in line (or, as in the case of the media, just a cynical way to make a buck).

I can't help but think that if Harry Browne were writing How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World today, he would devote a long chapter to "Freedom From Hate" because hate seems like one of those things that starts off as a seeming servant to one's baser instincts, but quickly comes to master all other emotions while reducing rationality and the capacity for understanding (or even comprehending) others' points of view.

I also think that hate is one of those things like the blues that can start off as what seems like a harmless indulgence, but given time can completely ruin a person's ability to see any good in the world.

When I read the way people from the same societies with the same cultural traditions interact with one another on the Internet, I wonder how they learned to behave in that way, and whether it crosses their mind that such behavior undermines the viability of society itself.

Defining oneself by reference to everything that he or she hates seems like a dark and empty existence that actually reminds me a bit of addiction in that each dose of the addictive behavior feels great, but the overall effect of the addictive behavior is to feel terrible.

Do these thoughts about hate resonate with anyone else? Is anyone else troubled by the legitimization of hate in so many areas of life?
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Re: Hate

Post by dualstow » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:05 pm

Great post, Med-Tex. Yes, it resonates.

I used to read essays about hate coming from fear. I think it comes from (1) a sense of injustice and (2) channeling unhappiness in one's own life.

It's been said a million times, but it's far easier than it used to be to express hatred from the relative anonymity of the net-connected computer. Take the anger directed toward Anna Gunn who played Walt's wife on breaking bad, or more recently, the comedienne and actress from the Ghostbusters remake.

I can't tell if we're more violent or less violent than our forebears. It seems like we've always been violent. Even my new kitten is ridiculously violent, albeit in an adorable way.

I think that this general tendency started with the end of the Cold War when people all over the world were suddenly free to think about tribal and cultural differences that the Communist/Capitalist divide had completely eclipsed. What we are seeing today seems like a ripened version of these tendencies toward hate that often go back far into history and on which the Cold War simply imposed a 40-50 year break.
Interesting that you brought this up, as the Reagan episode of 'The American Experience' was on PBS last night. Much was made of his use of the word "evil", and his asking Gorby, "Do you understand why we despise your system?"

Still plenty of room for hate before the Cold War ended. ;-)
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Re: Hate

Post by dualstow » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:07 pm

P.S. on a lighter note, I saw this on David Spade's twitter the other day:
David Spade wrote: When i see a mosquito i hate it. No matter what. I realize this is profiling. I never give it a chance to win me over. Ill work on this
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Re: Hate

Post by Mountaineer » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:27 pm

You all know my perspective already. I think MT's observations are on target. I also believe the cause is related to overt removal of previously widely held Judeo-Christian values at every opportunity under the guise of tolerance. We have become a society of me-focused people instead of one somewhat focused on helping neighbor in a free manner (vs government coersion and/or handouts). I suspect increased urbanization and cheap easy transportation has also played a role, as has the femenist movement which removed a 24/7 valuable presence from the home and replaced it with rent-a-moms.

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Re: Hate

Post by curlew » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:55 pm

MediumTex wrote:I feel like there is more hate in our world at all levels than I have ever felt before.
I think hate is a hard thing to define and harder still to quantify.

The one thing I think we have more of today that might make one feel there is more of it are vehicles for expression, namely the internet and TV. As terrorists and mass killers have learned very well, you can get far more than 15 seconds of fame for your hateful acts if you are so inclined.

Having come of age in the 60's I'm not yet convinced that the world hate-meter has reached apocalyptic levels.
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Re: Hate

Post by MediumTex » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:24 pm

curlew wrote:
MediumTex wrote:I feel like there is more hate in our world at all levels than I have ever felt before.
I think hate is a hard thing to define and harder still to quantify.

The one thing I think we have more of today that might make one feel there is more of it are vehicles for expression, namely the internet and TV. As terrorists and mass killers have learned very well, you can get far more than 15 seconds of fame for your hateful acts if you are so inclined.

Having come of age in the 60's I'm not yet convinced that the world hate-meter has reached apocalyptic levels.
I am actually more concerned about hatred within our own society.

It seems like racial/political/economic divisions in our country are more hate tinged than in the past, and the hate seems to be infecting all areas of disagreement.

I don't know how we get out of this downward spiral. Things seemed to change for a shot period after 9/11, but then the hate returned and it was worse than ever when it became clear that Bush's response to 9/11 was going to mostly consist of a cynical, misguided and unprovoked attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. We are going to be living with the fallout of that blunder for a LONG time. You might call much of the current unrest in the Middle East "Collateral Hate" from the U.S.'s bungling of the Iraq mission as well as the disaster that the Arab Spring mostly turned out to be. I can't say I blame many of those people for being upset with the U.S. We basically took out the centralized chief thugs and paved the way for countless minor league thugs to vie for power as the civilian body count increased without anyone in the west really seeming to care until the violence came to our shores.
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Re: Hate

Post by curlew » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:33 pm

MediumTex wrote: I don't know how we get out of this downward spiral. Things seemed to change for a shot period after 9/11, but then the hate returned and it was worse than ever when it became clear that Bush's response to 9/11 was going to mostly consist of a cynical, misguided and unprovoked attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. We are going to be living with the fallout of that blunder for a LONG time. You might call much of the current unrest in the Middle East "Collateral Hate" from the U.S.'s bungling of the Iraq mission as well as the disaster that the Arab Spring mostly turned out to be. I can't say I blame many of those people for being upset with the U.S. We basically took out the centralized chief thugs and paved the way for countless minor league thugs to vie for power as the civilian body count increased without anyone in the west really seeming to care until the violence came to our shores.
I can't disagree with that observation at all. They say history doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes. We went to war in Vietnam to combat communism and put an end to it once and for all and when we finally gave up and left what did we see? The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia - communism in its most extreme and brutal form - just like ISIS today.
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Re: Hate

Post by Benko » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:40 pm

MediumTex wrote:I feel like there is more hate in our world at all levels than I have ever felt before.
What of live and let live? What of free speech?

As people are programmed that these are not important, or not to be tolerated, it is only going to get worse.
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Re: Hate

Post by Cortopassi » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:10 pm

My kids (12 and 16) have friends of all colors and all religions. They don't care if someone is gay, or a nerd or a jock, etc.

Wasn't like that when I was growing up.

In my view the hate is more accessible if you want it on a insane level on the internet, but day to day life, for me, all I see are improvements in tolerance of those who are different (and might have "hated") compared to 35 years ago.

My two cents.
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Re: Hate

Post by MediumTex » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:17 pm

Cortopassi wrote:My kids (12 and 16) have friends of all colors and all religions. They don't care if someone is gay, or a nerd or a jock, etc.

Wasn't like that when I was growing up.

In my view the hate is more accessible if you want it on a insane level on the internet, but day to day life, for me, all I see are improvements in tolerance of those who are different (and might have "hated") compared to 35 years ago.

My two cents.
You're right.

Maybe we just have more mainstream promoters of hate than we used to.

My kids are the same way as yours. No hate that I can detect in them or their friends. Then again, they don't have a lot of things to be hateful about.

Compared to prior periods, life today for women, minorities, gay people and disabled people is better than it's ever been. Many in these groups lived with discrimination and hate every single day in earlier periods.
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Re: Hate

Post by Reub » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:14 pm

So hate is a new thing?

How about when the term is used to censor opposing ideas? To me that's the big threat.
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Re: Hate

Post by Maddy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:27 pm

Yeah, except that every time I hear the word "hate" used these days, it's being used as a one-size-fits-all label for anybody who objects to having every nutball and sociopath in the world pushing their various wierdnesses in your face.
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