I meant alienated from society at large, not from LW, although the influence of society at large obviously affects discussion on LW.

One aspect of my feeling is that I increasingly suspect that the fundamental reason people believe things in the political realm is that they feel a powerful psychological need to justify hatred. The naive view of political psychology is that people form ideological beliefs out of their experience and perceptions of the world, and those beliefs suggest that a certain category of people is harming the world, and so therefore t... (read more)

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There is a quote commonly mis-attributed to August Bebel and indeed to Marx: "Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus des dummen Kerls." ("Antisemitism is the socialism of the stupid guy", or perhaps colloquially, "Antisemitism is a dumb-ass version of socialism") That is to say, politically naïve people were attracted to antisemitism because it offered them someone to blame for the problems they faced under capitalism, which — to the quoted speaker's view, anyway — would be better remedied by changing the political-economic struct... (read more)

1NancyLebovitz6yTentatively: Look for what "and therefore" you've got associated with the feeling. Possibilities that come to my mind-- and therefore people are frightening, or and therefore I should be angry at them all the time, or and therefore I should just hide, or and therefore I shouldn't be seeing this. In any case, if you've got an "and therefore" and you make it conscious, you might be able to think better about the feeling.
2Viliam_Bur6yThe part where the emotional needs come first, and the ideological belief comes later as a way of expressing and justifying them, that feels credible. I just don't think that everyone starts from the position of hatred (or, in the naive view, not everyone ends with hatred). There are other emotions, too. But maybe the people motivated by hatred make a large part of the most mindkilled crowd. Because other emotions can be expressed legitimately also outside of the politics.

Open thread, January 25- February 1

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read25th Jan 2014318 comments


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