Fear begets hatred.
These two emotions are twins, with fear being the firstborn and hatred eventually becoming the larger, evil twin.
It is impossible for you to hate what you do not already fear.
Fear is the shrinking emotion, manifested in cowering and retreat. Hatred is the aggressive emotion, manifested in anger and aggression. Evolution has given us these twin emotions — the most powerful emotions we own — as survival responses to danger.
Bigotry is hatred, and like all hatred, bigotry is caused by fear. If you hate blacks, browns, yellows, or reds, it is because you fear them. It is your fear that enables your bigotry.
When you hate, you wish to harm the thing you fear. You stomp on a spider, but not on a butterfly. You fear the spider; you don’t fear the butterfly.
Often, you yourself cannot stomp on that spider, so you enlist a proxy to do your stomping. The Ku Klux Klan was formed to provide harm to the feared and hated blacks. For millions of bigots, the KKK provided the proxy, doing the harm the bigots could not or would not do themselves.
Hitler promoted the “danger” of Jews and Gypsies being traitors who polluted the Arian gene pool. Germans were taught fear, which progressed to hatred, against which no amount of logic, reason, or facts could prevail.
The result was mindless hatred. No amount of “stomping,” even a horrifying death camp for innocent men, women, and children, could erase the fear. Only total eradication — the “final solution” — could ease the distress of the haters.
Hitler was the proxy, who claimed he was the “only” one who could save the fearful Germans.
Bullying is another symptom of fear. The bully is afraid the world will see his/her shortcomings, so he seeks to express dominance. The bully tries to distance himself from those who are weaker, thinking that will make him look strong.
Bullying is encouraged by mobs of people doing what they don’t have the courage to do alone.
All those with a dictatorial bent — including the Donald Trumps of the world — are aware of the relationship between fear and hatred and the public’s wish to have a proxy do harm to those who are feared.
Trump told you Mexicans are dangerous criminals and rapists. He told you Muslims are terrorists. He told you Democrats would endanger you by taking away your guns and allowing vicious aliens to run wild.
And he told you he was the “only” one who could save you.
Trump manipulated your emotions first by making you afraid, then by stoking your hatred, then by offering himself as your proxy for harming those he has trained you to fear and hate.
Fear and hatred are such powerful emotions, they override logic and reason. Trump’s followers know he is a liar, a bully, a thief, and an incompetent. They know intellectually, he is one of the worst human beings ever to fall into the Presidency.
Those who are educated in psychology know Trump is a psychopath.
But his followers forgave him for everything because he promised them protection from what they fear and punishment to those they hate.
That fear-to-hatred path is what drives cults. Leaders of cults warn their followers about the dangers of the “outside” world, then claim that only they, the leaders, can protect the followers from those dangers, thereby generating absolute allegiance and obedience to the cult.
Breaking the hatred and unholy bond to the leader requires allaying the fear. Simple facts won’t do it; they are dismissed as “lies” by outsiders, and often serve as reinforcement of the leader’s warnings.
The hater not only must be made to feel comfortable with the object of his fears, but also be comfortable with rejecting the notion of fear, itself.
In short, it is a two-path journey.
On one path, the hater must be taught to look inward and to say to himself, “I am better than this. I am stronger than this. I safely can give these people my compassion.”
On the other path, the hater must be taught to look outward, at the object(s) of his hatred and say, “I do not fear them. They are people, just like me, and like me, they have hopes and loves and fears. They want the same kinds of things I want, and if I can get to know them better, we will find common ground.”
The most common fear-modulating device is called “exposure therapy,” which means what it sounds like. Graduated increases in exposure to the objects of your fear will reduce the fear which will reduce the hatred.
Example: Afraid of spiders? First, get a toy spider to play with. Then observe a real spider in a bottle. Then observe the spider on a table but trapped in a mesh cage.
Then reach into the cage with a pencil and touch the spider. Then reach in with your finger to touch the spider. Finally, reach in with your hand and allow the spider to walk in your palm.
Exposure therapy is difficult with humans. Even if you put a dozen black-fearing whites into a room together with a dozen white-fearing blacks, the two groups will tend to separate into”us” vs. “them.” Quite possibly, their fear and hatred will grow.
You see that effect in high schools and in prison populations.
Government encouraging inter-racial marriage probably long-term would reduce inter-racial fear and hatred. Presumably, there is some far away tipping point at which there are enough biracial children to create a quasi “herd-immunity” to racial fear and hatred. We won’t live long enough to see it.
There isn’t one basic cause of hatred-inducing fear. Every group is feared for something(s) different. For instance, blacks probably are feared most for crime. So, perhaps, the best cure for anti-black bigotry is to eliminate the anti-black fear by eliminating poverty.
Poverty is the single best predictor of crime, and crime begets fear, so eliminating black poverty would reduce anti-black bigotry.
Ironically, one way to reduce fear is to follow the lead of the cult leaders and induce another fear, a more acceptable fear.
During crises, people have been known to come together for mutual protection. Wars, for instance, tend to unite citizens of a nation under the banner of patriotism. The entire nation becomes the “we,” with the enemy becoming the “they.”
Ultimately, there may be no better way to eliminate hatred than to recognize it for what it is: An admission of weakness.
Haters like to pose as strong and forceful, when in fact they mask vulnerability and impotence. It was the cowards who comprised the lynch mobs and wore the KKK robes. It was the cowards who invaded Congress, doing in a mob what they would not have the courage to do alone.
Expressions of hatred are admissions of fear and weakness.
Teach that until it becomes common knowledge, and hatred may become less socially acceptable.
And maybe, just maybe, our democracy can avoid falling under the thumb of a brutal (and cowardly) dictator.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
6 thoughts on “Fear and hatred, the evil twins of human emotion”
You may find Scott Smith’s perspective on macroeconomics and wellbeing interesting. He published a new book drawn from a prior one. The prior one is secular and he has added a spiritual point of view in the new one.
Thanks for the reference, Eric, but there are problems with it.
He wrote, “If we taxed payments instead of income, your tax rate would drop to 0.2%. Our nation would have a $2.6 trillion annual surplus, and we could afford the following benefits for all citizens.”
This, of course, is completely wrong. The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency. Thus, it can afford anything.
What would a Monetarily Sovereign government do with a surplus??
He also wrote: “We could pay every adult citizen in America a basic income of $24,000 per year, which would increase to $30,000 at age 70.”
The federal government could do that tomorrow if it wished. No taxes necessary or used.
Then he wrote, “We could provide free basic healthcare for all citizens.”
Again, the government could do that tomorrow, and even eliminate all taxes.
Everything he writes would apply to state and local governments, but not to the federal government. He demonstrates that he doesn’t understand the differences between a Monetarily Sovereign government and a monetarily non-sovereign government.
Indeed, Scott Smith’s plan is excellent but for one flaw: it’s glaring ignorance of even the very basics of Monetary Sovereignty. As I like to say, MS is so simple a child could understand it, but yet most adults (especially those in positions of power) either can’t understand it, choose not to, or pretend they don’t.
This August 15 will in fact be the 50th “golden” anniversary of our exit from the gold standard. Any day after August 15, 1971 we could have chosen to embrace Monetary Sovereignty. But of course, the oligarchs had other plans….
Yes, Monetary Sovereignty is dead simple. Anyone who has played the game of Monopoly knows that (direct quote): “The Bank “never goes broke.” If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much as needed by writing on any ordinary paper.
Perhaps it’s too simple to be respected by the university economists??
A few quotes showing that fear springs from ignorance.
“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence. This is the equation.” — Ibn Rushd, Averroes: Antologia
“Fear always springs from ignorance.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Ignorance is the parent of fear.” — Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale
“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.” —Christian Nestell Bovee
Hmmm . . . I’m not sure that fear always comes from ignorance. But hatred does always come from fear.