08 April 2021

Hate Culture


Hate Culture   topic by Ines

Essay by Lawrence


The term Hate Culture (or the Culture of Hate) is really a modern term introduced to reflect human behaviour on social media. The ease to join a social media platform makes it even easier to find a topic to express and spread hatred. By implication, hatred speech varies from the mild to near criminal incitement. And of course, hatred can be directed for various reasons.


Except that the internet and social media is even more important for hate groups to mobilise and spread their hate in the real world. It is a mistake to assume that what happens on the internet does not have an effect in real life.


I shall, therefore, start by briefly try to understand what we mean by hatred. But my main concern will be about hate culture in politics today. Hatred is a natural phenomenon that we experience either as an emotion or even a mental disposition. In general we can say that hate is a product of someone doing harm to us: when it is serious we enter into a hate mode towards that person. And by us I mean both as an individual and a group. The harm itself might not be directed at us personally, for example we might just be victims of the system, this is not like being scared.


Just feeling hate should not be an alarming event in normal life, it is natural, the problem is when hate manifests itself into anger, aggression and violence. Hate need not be rational or logical, and political hate is probably more a case of group behaviour than wrong done to a single individual. What is clear about hate in a political context is that it becomes more intense the more we consider extremist views at the spectrum end of an ideology.


An important type of hatred for us is racism and xenophobia, when hatred is directed not to the individual but rather the race and origin of that person. In other words identifying the individual with the group identity usually based on superficial features.


We can understand hatred directed at an individual for harm done to us, but hatred based on race is something beyond emotional hatred. Racism seems to be very close to biological hatred rather than emotional hatred. I would argue that a biological trait, such as biological racism (hatred), is subject to evolutionary processes and would persist as long as it created an advantage. However, no matter how much a trait becomes redundant because of a changing environment, the trait might still be present anyway. By biological racism I mean something where the agent is violent against someone intruding on the group: for example nursing mothers in many animal species just pounce on anything outside her group when approached.


I would argue that racism in the 21st has no scope in human behaviour, on the grounds that today biological racism alone is not a threat to human beings. In other words there is no advantage being racist because today racial groups are quite diluted.  


One of the reasons is that the bonds of individuals with the group (ie race) are not as comprehensive as in the past. Today as individuals we depend on knowledge and tools developed in other cultures, other racial groups and by methodologies that have survived the test of time. A second reason is that racial groups are much bigger today probably due to the higher standard of living and easier communication. Thus the competition has move from group solidarity to individual intelligence. But most important is that racists societies run on pure xenophobic principles are biologically destined to fail because of inevitable inbreeding.


The Nationalist Socialists (Nazis) in 1939 were very close to categorical demise because of their inbred ideology at the very least: a similar situation exists today in England with the brexit supporters.


So why do we still find racism and racial hatred today? To be fair hate culture is not only about racism, but also about group identities: capitalists vs communists: science vs science sceptics:  mask wearers vs mask rejecters: and so on. But just because today there is no scope for biological racism it does not mean that biological racism has disappeared. Indeed today in most western societies there is no fear of genetic stagnation, but these past few years biological racism has been well exploited by those interested in power.


Today we know that racism, and specifically antisemitism, as a political tool was established with Nazis in Germany between the world wars. What is unclear is why specifically antisemitism for the Nazis when the Jewish population in Germany was well integrated in the German war machine and institutions: the political fight of the Nazis was against the inequity of the Treaty of Versailles and not the performance of the indigenous Jewish population during the war.


At the time of WW1 and before many Jews had to move to Western Europe including Germany, from Russia because of the pogroms: another antisemitic programme in Russia similar to the final solution in Germany. Today the influx of Syrians and other Middle Eastern (mainly) people into Germany have already established themselves in the country contributing to the German economy. And that after tacking into account the Covid effect.


This leaves us with the argument that a hate culture, and more precisely racism, is exploited by so called right wing parties to alienate the population to gain power and authority. Although I say right wing parties in reality it is any party that has seized and abused the democratic process of a country to control the population.


What is clear is that those who resort to some organised hate culture, their intentions are not necessarily honest. After all, the Nazis were dangerous not because they killed millions of people, but because they were very good at using language to manipulate law abiding people. Today we don’t have bombs falling on our cities but we still have the racist rhetoric in the West.


Best Lawrence


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