Why Politics = Hate – Red Dirt Liberty Report
There’s always the tried and true taboo of discussing politics amongst friends and family.
We have always been taught not to do it, but who can really resist occasionally bringing friends and family into an all-out brawl that leaves everyone’s inner selves bruised and bloody? So, why is it that this result is to be so often expected? What is it that incites such outrage that hits at the very core of our very being?
With no more than one high school class of psychology and three hours of basic psychology at the college level, I’m probably not the best person to answer these questions, but I think I can hazard a couple guesses that aren’t too far off the mark.
The further removed you get from interacting with other people, the easier it is to see them as being just a little bit less human. Obviously, you aren’t disconnected from the people with whom you would be arguing, but you might be a little bit disconnected with the people that represent the groups of people you would be arguing about.
The processes that place parties between us and other people have a dehumanizing factor, and the processes that place people into descriptive groups rather than individuals also dehumanizing.
It’s difficult work to deal with people as individuals because it means that everyone you interact with is completely unique and requires individualized thinking. In terms of finding solutions for what helps individuals to have the best possible lives and to be the best possible people, the answers are entirely unique to each individual, and so the task seems overwhelming.
So, if the task of approaching every person as a unique case seems insurmountable, we have two options: we can allow individuals to interact with other individuals to work out their own problems and issues, or we can somehow manage the process through intermediaries. We call that second one government.
It seems to be the primary choice, and it has been for thousands of years.
It’s only been in the relatively short period of the past few centuries that self determination has even truly begun to enter the human psyche. It’s been a long time coming, but we seem to keep pushing it back for some odd reason, occasionally replacing our progress with putting intermediaries back into place.
If you come into contact with someone whom you don’t know, that has lost everything financially, there’s a thought process that there should be a government program that takes care of that and there’s the urge to simply to assume other entities will take care of the problem.
It’s easier to not think of forcibly taking other people’s money when someone else is doing the taking for you.
People who would never break into their neighbor’s house to steal their money to give it to the poor, when removed from the process, don’t have an issue with government doing the same. And, people who don’t care what their neighbors do in the privacy of their own homes, when removed from the process, don’t think twice if the same neighbor’s house is raided for some activity that has no effect on anyone else.
Furthermore, when you replace intermediaries between you and others, a philosophic divide is created. You no longer fully appreciate why I think the way I do, and I can no longer fully appreciate the way you think the way you do. It’s as if we’ve completely lost touch with one another. We are waiting for someone else to do something to help each other out and have developed opinions on who those other parties should be and how those other parties should help.
Therefore, we can’t seem to relate to each others’ issues in the same way we might if we understand that if we don’t help our friends, family, and neighbors, others might not.
When you place intermediaries between management and employees, it creates a situation where, rather than view employees as individuals, we now view the situation as management vs. workers.
It becomes more about “someone said I can go this far, by law, so in order to best benefit the company or myself I need to go right to that edge,” rather than the thinking that says “these people are individuals and I need to help them help me; and while there may be nothing compelling me to do so legally, it makes sense to treat them very well.”
Remove the interactions as individuals working with each other by forcibly interjecting regulation and you create groups of people rather than individuals.
Because of government intermediation, companies are also more concerned with avoiding fines than they are addressing concerns that they might be causing harm to other people in some manner.
Rather than considering the consequences of lost interactions with new customers, they are more concerned with avoiding government problems, and rather than people being concerned with their interactions with a company, they are more concerned about government intermediating responses to corporate mistakes.
On a more macro level, when you begin to manage a population through the use of various controls, it becomes absolutely impossible to manage the population as individuals. You can’t possible manage all those interactions without standardizing, commoditizing, and institutionalizing – making everything uniform.
Now, you have groups of faceless masses and constructs of what people are like. You have stereotypes and misrepresentations of what individuals are like by placing them as an average in a group of people.
Once people are in groups, conversations about politics are now targeting and viewing the world in groups, in a way that individuals find insulting, because they don’t completely fit these groups but are forcibly placed in them. That’s going to create tremendous tension.
I think the bitterness in discussing politics that creates divides between people has significant roots in putting government between our interactions with one another.
It may sound strange to blame a government, standing between two people that are speaking directly to one another, but the constructs of viewing people (even our closest friends and family) as representing a group, and viewing others in terms of these groups, as well as not recognizing our personal role in helping others and interacting within society as individuals, tends to create lots of misunderstanding that might otherwise not be present.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t fully adopting the idea of direct individual interaction as preferable to government intervention.
So those deep political divides are going to continue causing heated arguments for quite some time.
For now, politics are too much a core of who we are rather than only a part of our philosophy. I could be entirely wrong in this, but I’m going to hope this might be on the minds of people who are into sociology and can better formulate these ideas than I. My hope is that one day we can see each other as individuals rather than representatives of groups and that human interaction is free to transpire without intermediaries blocking understanding.
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