Aug. 1st, 2016

brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
I sometimes think hate is sort of a long-term, survival instinct take on anger.

If you're afraid of something, anger helps you fight it or get away. But if you can't do anything, you get this brooding resentment as a survival mechanism, which informs your decision making for when you can't escape and you can't fight.

Any narrative is going to be exchanging the here and now for a simpler and less accurate way to process, a convenience when dealing with lots of information while low on emotional resources. To come up with actual hate, actual bigotry, takes a lot of stress. Without a lot of stress, it's illusory, it's training, it fades away with exposure to whichever group. Think about people who are targets of hate, or who you yourself might hate. These are almost always people you don't get to see and know as humans, so instead you've learned about them only as threats.

Since we're talking about having a lack of emotional space to cope with perceived threat in a more nuanced, by-situation, realistic way; it doesn't need to be stress generated by the group you might hate. If you're poor in the USA, you're under a lot of stress. If you're informed by a religion which tells you God is out there, providing only vague and conditional promises of Heaven while quite, quite willing to slam you into everlasting suffering for a relatively few years of poor behavior, you're already stressed and set up with hostile narrative.

I get the impression a lot of Trump's supporters are pretty darn stressed. I mean yeah, they're indulging in all sorts of prejudice, but I can sorta see where it's coming from; I'm dirt poor, I feel under siege, I'm sort of a left-wing version of the same stuff. (I see some of the same outpouring of resentment towards the Democrat establishment's dismissal of more liberal politics, and on my side, the seeming-official narratives that characterize Sanders' supporters as misogynists, privileged whites, and poor losers doesn't really strike me as a way to win us over.)

What I can't tell you is whether the people orchestrating all this feel some of the same fear and inability to fight or run. I've read that Rupert Murdoch bases a lot of his decisions in feeling constantly besieged, but it's hard to believe that a Trump, Ryan, Cruz, McCrory, the rest of the leadership types of seemingly infinite financial resource, actually could fear anything; it's hard to believe they're not being purely manipulative.

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October 2016

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