The capacity to hate lies within all of us. The capacity to dehumanize the “other” in order to be rid of people we consider dangerous or deviant or difficult or just plan stupid is universal. To a large extent, the only progress humanity has made since we were a bunch of Naked Apes hunting, gathering, and scavenging on the African savanna has been our increasing willingness to tolerate each other.
Even that is an on again and off again proposition. The protests inspired by the murder of George Floyd show that many millions of people care. The fact that they were needed show that millions of people still don’t care.
Hate can easily be turned into public action. That’s why politicians use it so much. Take a dab of fear or even legitimate anger, mix in a convenient target and a bit of adrenaline, and whip well. It is a powerful emotion that suspends the logical thought process. It is a tool in the trade of every despot and demagogue from Stalin and Hitler to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and more than a few who are still in power.
And sadly, the American presidency does not seem immune. Recent events have shown how easy it is to stir up a populace to violence, even in a liberal democracy like the US. The attack on the Capitol can only be viewed as mob insanity. There was no practical effect other than to unify their opposition. There was no benefit to them except the joy of destroying a symbol of their hatred. The act receives massive publicity and Trump gets to show he still retains some power even as he loses the White House.
Does this remind anyone of another incident in recent history? (Sorry, but I consider the entire 20th century to be recent history.) Do some research on the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 by none other than Adolph Hitler. The parallels are eerie.
Source: This is my place.
Original publication 7 January, 2021, The author republished this post. It was originally from their other blog at I’m Not Dead Yet…
Posted on NatCorn 25th January 2021
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.