The reason we're becoming more extreme

1 year 11 months ago #364653 by ZealotX

The following user(s) said Thank You: Alethea Thompson, Carlos.Martinez3, Kobos, Kwitshadie

Please Log in to join the conversation.

1 year 11 months ago #364662 by Adder
To me it boils down to Social Identity Theory as the driver as to why people replace genuine free self identity with a group actor identity. I think the later appeals to people who feel disempowered (rightly or wrongly), and the extent of that feeling determines their membership but also commitment to the particular group cause. I think this can happen to anyone, and is not limited to 'types' of people so much beyond the factors directly associated to the feeling or actual disempowerment.
The power of that a particular group has can more easily translate to a capacity to project its motives outwards upon others... compared to groups without power. But power can take many forms, and often the group identity dynamics seem more about a feeling of group identity than actual real change. So the struggle seems to be between is a group actually defining power by a desire to justify its existence (and by extension meet need for a feeling in social and self worth) or is it doing the hard work of making real positive change in the landscape of the resolving the root cause of the problem.
Extremism seems to be when the efforts of a group (for either of those reasons) is not meeting the narrative of the groups purpose (and by extension success of the actors in it) and that the lack of success makes the group diverge from lawful or 'normal' conduct to get some advantage in the perceived power dynamic. The are various ways to do that, but in effect it revolves around undermining other groups because efforts to raise up ones own group to ones expectations have failed. Whether those expectations are valid or not probably speaks to the longevity of the group under normal circumstances, but when a group can display lots of power and success (whether it be by legal/normal methods or illegal or abnormal methods) it can attract a new cohort of followers who care less about the cause and more about just being on the winning side. When 'conflict' uses factors like nationhood or race for example it can start to recruit other groups entirely which happen to share those 'identifying' features of a group despite the root cause and purpose of the group. Nazi's were a hybrid of distorted nationalism and distorted socialism and bigotry, so they really played to three distinct groups even though their root cause was a power trip of one bloke and his mates, imo.

Here's a vid lecture I sometimes post on social identity theory which to me speaks to the fundamental drivers in these topics;
The following user(s) said Thank You: Loudzoo, Kobos

Please Log in to join the conversation.

1 year 11 months ago #364666 by Alethea Thompson
TY Xealot for sharing this.

I agree with the SME in the video that a massive part of the problem is with the algorithms on social media. It makes it seem like one side has more power than they actually do. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the discrepancy in numbers between Left & Right Wing thoughts on using violence is due to the perception that “Left Extremism” is far more prevalent than it really is.

I can only hope that as people start looking closer at the truth of how Social Media is the root of misunderstandings, they’ll start to come back to their senses with the knowledge that “Not all is what it seems….until you make it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kobos

Please Log in to join the conversation.

1 year 11 months ago - 1 year 11 months ago #364686 by ren
Boils down to anger and fear. You heard it in star wars, and all the media you consume is designed to make you feel these emotions ( for money).

Fear of the other (different) guys. Anger that they somewhat have it better than you. Etc
Last edit: 1 year 11 months ago by ren.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kobos

Please Log in to join the conversation.

1 year 11 months ago #364694 by ZealotX
Excellent responses, all.

I think the three responses can be merged together into one explanation. The algorithm, the social identity, drives fear which leads to hate.

I want to take this one step further.

Is freedom in society equal to chaos? In other words, would we have these issues if we had a king who didn't tolerate such freedom?

Adder talked about power. Freedom itself could be viewed this way. In fact, I think a lot of people who fight against certain government positions (like vaccine mandates) is more so because of the power struggle between the individual and the state.

Social Media, even though I believe it started much earlier with radio, creates an echo chamber where ideas can be magnified to an extreme. I think this is the forge that creates extreme people. I believe we're programming ourselves based on the ideas we consume.

It's not the same "person A plays violent video games so they will be more violent". No, because person A also knows those are games, not real life. On the other hand, there are people on the radio and on social media making these "viral ideas" sound like they are absolutely true.

For example... people keep bringing up what Bill Gates said about a coming pandemic. I think he said this in a speech in a Ted talk. It's not like he was caught on a hidden camera or a hot mike after an interview. So the idea that he uttered some evil plan to reduce the world's population in such a public way is fundamentally silly and yet people believe it's true. And then that belief is echoed which plays into the fear which leads to hate.

I personally view misinformation as well as bigotry to be viral ideas that are worth Jedi fighting against. But that is my personal view of how we could make the world a better safer place... if we could somehow block the fear before it turns into hate.

I grew up in a church but it's not like it was my choice. My parents made us go and I think a fair amount of their authority and credibility (similar to MLM schemes) got credited to the religious view they wanted their children to adopt. Socially, we all want to belong to something. It's natural to want to belong to the same thing your parents are. That could be a religion or a political party.

In this same way... I think the credibility of the people who brought us in, is credited to the ideas that the group proposes; almost like a genetic bias towards certain traits.

I liked what Ren said "to make you feel these emotions (for money)" but often this is no different from what churches do. Think about it. How many people are afraid of going to hell? How many people truly care about saving the environment when they believe God is going to destroy it soon anyway? Even when people know it's for money do they care?

And how much is this about freedom when people are mainly using their autonomy to pick a side that a zillion other people picked and that maybe their parents directly or indirectly influenced them into?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kobos

Please Log in to join the conversation.

1 year 11 months ago #364709 by Kobos
So this is a real simple way to put it and I know not everyone will agree but if we sit back and look at the history of advertising/propaganda it can be noticed.

2 words: Targeted Marketing

The most powerful tool any sales man can use is fear. Now just divide it upon the millions of different products and find which fear they apply the most too and all the sudden it's all you notice. Suddenly you are always asking what should you be afraid of? And I bet the same people telling you what you are of afraid of have the product or service that says it can fix it (note:I did not say will fix it.) Replace the most common form of communication (good ole fashion talking) with a form that can always be altered at the level of advertisement via whatever means (interwebs) apply, repeat because people get desensitized over time, things get more shocking because you aren't afraid unless you are reminded you are.

Much Love, Respect and Peace,

Please Log in to join the conversation.