August 16, 2017

Polarisation in Society and the Authoritarian position – is the media helping or hindering?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:30 pm by Aleksan

I have noticed an increasing polarisation in our Society over here, mirroring what is going on in the USA. There is a view that using the "Left, Right" labels is not helpful, but I can see something similar going on here, but more complex. Human Beings, like Chimpanzees, are inherently territorial and inclined to stick to tribal groups, where they feel safe with PLUs. (People like us)

But the world is now more diverse and we are all mixed up in terms of backgrounds, colour, privilege, wealth and political ideology. So the tribes are now more and more Facebook and Internet tribes, where we can huddle together and jointly despise and attack people not like ourselves.

We increasingly live in our own self selected worlds, becoming more separate from each other in these parallel universes. Apparently a sociologist has identified four political types: Authoritarian (? Conservative) – Egalitarian (? Liberal) – Individualist (? Business) – Fatalist (? Passive, powerless)

Of course we are all a mixture in reality, but sometimes in some situations, these types become more prevalent in a Society. When we feel we have power and influence perhaps we can afford to be liberal and magnanimous. When fear and injustice drive then the authoritarian type may prevail.

I think that we are in a fear and injustice driven Society now, and that there is a general tendency for people to entrench into safe positions and condemn or attack others – an authoritarian, divisive stance.

Is there a solution or must there be conflict, even war? How can people feel safe, well enough off, and able to accept other views? We need a just Society for this to happen – where people don't fear or hate others but rejoice in diversity and varying cultures and lifestyles. I am not yet sure whether the media or Facebook is on the side of the Angels or the Demons….as well as informing they promote more and more conflict and provocation in our lives. I resort to poetry as an antidote.

The Divine Image
BY WILLIAM BLAKE

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

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