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Will we hate ourselves into oblivion?

Look around you, my friends. Hate. Everywhere. At first I thought to myself “this is worse than it has ever been”. Then I remembered the Holocaust, two World Wars, the Crusades, the Inquisition. Maybe this is just the next wave. It seems worse because the global population is the most it has ever been, so there is more hate noise spewing forth. But is it worse per capita? Probably not. Too many people shouting out hate for “the other side” rather than listening, comprehending, learning: the very things humans pride themselves on being able to do that allegedly separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

This time IS different though. This time our home is at stake.

“Rich western countries are now siphoning up the planet’s resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate,” said biologist Paul Ehrlich, of Stanford University in California. “We want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones. We grab all the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event. The question is: how do we stop it?”

Despite the scientific community becoming more vocal than ever before, many countries, prominent, influential countries, have leaders who deny there is any environmental problem at all. Trump declares concerns a hoax perpetrated by China, Turnbull changes his mind once Prime Minister and, believe it or not, there are worse waiting in the wings. I don’t understand David Archibald at all, nor am I going to try.

I do understand people having different views, perspectives, beliefs, religions. What I struggle with is the vitriol of discourse, the hatred expressed. Nothing will be solved if the best the human race can do is hate the other side.

We have the unthinkable happening in the USA: press freedom under threat. Sure, some members of the media have not maintained the required degree of professionalism in recent years. The internet has made it difficult to determine the real from the unreal, a large proportion of the populace has become addicted to “reality TV shows” (that bear no resemblance to reality at all).

There is no escaping, however, the seriousness and historical learnings from silencing the press.

It isn’t just the press. As the people rise up in protest in the USA, those in power move to shut them down – in eighteen states. THE democracy that held itself up as THE political system all countries should follow, whether they wanted to or not, is trying to silence the people.

Hillary Clinton called the Trump supporters “deplorables”. Not a sensible move. Trump spoke of “draining the swamp” (but refilled it with worse).

There is no doubt Trump lies. The evidence is overwhelming and easily found. In Australia we have our current Brandis issue: not the first and not the last.

The efforts to disenfranchise the general populace is astounding. Trump’s administration is busy winding back school lunches, health care and protections for the LGBT community. The Turnbull government just readjusted penalty rates, probably on the basis parents’ should be buying houses for their children rather than the children working Sundays to put fuel in the car to attend their classes to try to get that good job to be able to afford their own house before they are forty.

But, you ask, where is the hate in all of that? Indifference might indeed be a better description of some of the actions taken, but that indifference leads to the have-nots hating the haves. The haves don’t listen, don’t learn, don’t comprehend and react with hatred.

During WWII we had the capacity to destroy ourselves. Surprisingly, we managed not to. Today we have even greater capacity to hate ourselves into oblivion. Whether than be by destroying our planet due to environmental mismanagement fueled by greed or firing nuclear and chemical weapons around the globe, we have more than enough capacity to annihilate ourselves.

The biggest threats are the “wannabe haves”. The ones that aren’t the billionaires but see politics as an avenue to power and prestige. Pauline Hanson – from fish and chip shop owner to a very nice high profile, well paying, powerful role. Both Hanson and Trump generate hate by attacking anyone who is not like them. Their followers take up arms, literally, in the belief they are faithfully following their leaders. What I do not understand is the inability of the followers to assess these dangerous leaders with critical thought processes. The blind adoration and acceptance is astounding. What have we become? Can we no longer think for ourselves? People like Trump and Hanson seize upon the lack of critical thought in the the population as an opportunity for them to rise to power, yet crush the very voters that put them there. Before we know it, we WILL be repeating history.

Even if we successfully manage not to blow ourselves up, we are at risk of stressing ourselves out of existence. Google “stress” with “health” and there are number of reputable articles.

Not having a lunch at school is stressful. Not being able to afford health care is stressful. Missing classes because the student is unable to afford to get to class or buy textbooks is stressful. Renting is stressful (refer Sally’s Tweets above). Being unemployed is stressful. Not having food to feed your children is stressful. Stress is cumulative and a massive health risk.

The human race must find a way to stop hating “the others” and work together for the benefit of all. Until that happens, every single one of us is at risk.

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36 comments

  1. Red Leaf

    People who talk about the Crusades, usually have a complete lack of understanding of what they were actually about. Didn’t read beyond that because I knew that everything you would say about them would be wrong.

  2. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I didn’t read the second part of your post because the first part was enough to make me realise that you think your opinion is more valid than anyone elses, so I didn’t read on.

    Robyn – we are just seeing the logical endgame of a species that thinks it is actually smarter than it is, and gives too many people who aren’t smart enough too much authority over what the smart people invented for the common good, then used it for personal gain. Hate is a very significant tool in that control mechanism, and always has been.

  3. corvus boreus

    Robyn Dunphy,
    I enjoyed your central dissertation regarding the historical events and underlying factors of the medieval crusades, but unfortunately you then allowed yourself to digress into some relatively peripheral subjects, like the unfolding biospheric/climate crisis and current political events in Australia and the US.

  4. Roswell

    For your information, Red Leaf, the Crusades weren’t mentioned again.

    There, it is safe for you to read the article without your dreaded fear that something might be incorrect.

  5. Sheila Newman

    Banning CNN and a few other corporate presses makes sense. They don’t inform; they sow unrest through dishonest reporting. The previous administration is trying to overthrow the government. How does that serve anyone? The disinvited press are globalists and they cannot stand that Trump won. They are conflating the paid professionally led violent protests in some west coast states and NY and Washington as if there were protests everywhere. Same with the protests in France and with the upcoming anti-Trump protest in Britain. We are much better off with Trump’s direct tweets and speeches which we can then evaluate for ourselves. There was plenty of media allowed in to the Whitehouse anyhow. Including Murdoch, who is also a fake newsartist if you must have them (but he doesn’t like Soros, so maybe that’s why he’s invited). I find that the anti-Trump ‘Left’ movements are very scary and hateful and remind me of Hitler’s thugs. People don’t dare to say how they feel because they are afraid that the so-called Left will attack them. That is where the hate is coming from. Also, Trump has not done anything racist. If controlling immigration, legal and illegal, and trying to do something about the risk of terrorism is racist, then everything is racist and nothing is racist; the term is valueless. I am generally for governments running most things, but it is obvious to me that the Obama and previous Clinton admins were just using the government as a cover to sell arms and otherwise line their own pockets. The most scary thing was their warmongering. The fact that they have still not given up and are prepared to try to bring the government down is pretty hateful, IMHO.

  6. Robyn Dunphy

    I find it interesting that some of the comments illustrate my contention so well. That’s an unexpected bonus.

    Corvus, nice touch. Sadly, until we connect the dots, we’re doomed.

  7. lawrencesroberts

    The population crash of some significance is almost inevitable but The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse are on motor bikes.

  8. silkworm

    Robyn, you encapsulate my feelings and concerns exactly.

  9. silkworm

    Roswell, when are you going to give the sock puppets the heave ho?

  10. Michael Taylor

    Sheila Newman, you forgot to mention the Crusades (another Leftist plot).

  11. Matters Not

    Banning CNN and a few other corporate presses makes sense. They don’t inform; they sow unrest through dishonest reporting.

    Interesting. Now look on the other side of the ledger. You know – making Fox your preferred source of info – after Breitbart of course. And the rationale is – they ‘inform’! They don’t engage in dishonest reporting. Fair and balanced?

    Hilarious! But then again when you are addicted to fake news – anything goes.

  12. Michael Taylor

    MN, you forgot this bit:

    We are much better off with Trump’s direct tweets and speeches which we can then evaluate for ourselves.

    Personally, I prefer the indirect tweets over the direct ones.

  13. Sheila Newman

    The responses so far don’t address the violence of those parading as the Left in the United States, in support of Hillary et al, and those financing them and those press promoting them as a valid movement.

  14. Matters Not

    which we can then evaluate for ourselves

    Guess what. I do give meaning/evaluate/interpret same for myself (an inescapable part of being human) and to suggest that Trump is anything but a buffoon is laughable – and very, very frightening!

    Did I mention that Soros is the devil incarnate on the world stage and that Labor is the cause of all things bad here in Australia – or maybe Soros is behind Shorten as well.

  15. Michael Taylor

    The responses so far don’t address the violence of those parading as the Left in the United States, in support of Hillary et al, and those financing them and those press promoting them as a valid movement.

    I can only think of two reasons why that’s the case:

    1. That’s not what the article is about.
    2. We’re waiting for Donald to tweet about it first.

  16. Johno

    One Nation + David Archibald = No more Notion…… it’s pure maths.

  17. Miriam English

    Robyn, extremely important topic. You’re describing a problem that seems to be the foundation for so many other problems in the world today… and all through history.

    Red Leaf, what kind of person stops reading an article in the third sentence because they think a word might be incompletely understood by the author, then takes the time to make a comment about that?

    Red Leaf, you misunderstood.

    Sheila, Please, Sheila… you do yourself no favors relying on propaganda for your news. Violent, paid, professional protesters??? If they were professional protests there would be no violence because it is well understood that violent protests are counterproductive. The violence has broken out only in some, but has sadly caught the overwhelming attention of the news, defeating the message the protests were intended to send. Where violence has erupted it’s because of simple anger at Trump/Bannon’s dismantling of public USA with the intent of selling off to corporations everything that isn’t nailed down. I’m surprised that someone with a broadly anti-corporate view is fine with this. Trump isn’t draining the swamp, he’s stocking it with the biggest, most vicious alligators he can find. Racist white supremacists, corporate mouthpieces, religious extremists, and warmongers — those are the people he’s filling his cabinet with.

    Sheila, you really think Trump isn’t racist and hasn’t tried to enact racism as policy? Really??? I’m genuinely amazed how far propaganda has managed to bend your mind. Please, please come up for air and check out the real world. Things are very different than what you’re being fed.

  18. Miriam English

    Sheila, Trump allows Murdoch’s propaganda “news” in, but excludes the BBC. That must tell you what he is doing.

  19. corvus boreus

    Sheila Newman,
    I accept that CNN et al get things wrong, and may sometimes even possibly be guilty of deliberately misinforming, however, based upon their proven record regarding verifiable claims, Fox news are far and away the worst the worst of the major US networks when it comes to erroneous/fallacious reporting.
    As for Trump inviting Breibart but banning the BBC, if you condone that then you really are abandoning any pretense of supporting factuality and decency in news reporting, and instead choosing to embrace vile bigotry and patent bullshit.

    Ps, even Sean Spicer, speaking a few weeks back, described the act of selectively excluding media agencies from attending governmental announcements and news conferences as something more akin to dictatorship than democracy.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Sheila doesn’t just rely on propaganda for the news – she publishes it at some site that she used to link to all the time here. She is the one who thinks the Port Arthur massacre was carried out by Israeli agents or some such rot. The site covers every loony tune thing you can think of so it’s no wonder she has jumped on board the Trump bandwagon. Her site makes Breitbart look factual.

  21. Matt

    Kaye Lee,

    I think you are being unfair regarding Sheila’s site. She publishes a lot of news that is of high relevance to the local community (eg: she has published articles by local groups working on homelessness), and much valuable environmental news. Look, maybe you don’t agree with all she says – but she does make a good point about our mainstream media – and she is not alone in criticising it such leftists as Noam Chomsky (manufacturing consent) and John Pilger have also been vocal about its role in promoting neo-liberalism. I would urge people to address the arguments and issues carefully and separate out good from bad (from their own perspective).

  22. corvus boreus

    Matt,
    ‘I think ‘mainstream media’ is a very imprecise and rather unhelpful generalisation.
    Dishonesty and bias have distinctions of degree, and are not exclusively or inevitably the domain of the established ‘players’.
    For example, Fox spouts out and out falsehoods far more often than any other major US outlet (same goes for Murdoch’s domestic papers compared to their rivals), and the mere fact that Breibart are often categorised as ‘fringe media’ does not alter the fact that they serve as a platform for extremist views and completely fabricated stories.

  23. Kaye Lee

    If Sheila really cared about homelessness she would not be pushing the bullshit George Soros paranoia – it is a clear sign of right wing propaganda. If she cared about society she wouldn’t be publishing anti-vaccination crap. I find it hypocritical to be commenting on factual reporting while publishing whacky conspiracy theories.

  24. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    how is “If Sheila really cared about homelessness” and “she would not be pushing the bullshit George Soros paranoia ”
    What is the link with homelessness and Soros?
    am I missing something

  25. Matt

    Corvus,

    This is outside my expertise say anything authorative on this, but for those who are interested here is Chomsky’s thoughts on the issue of what is main stream media:

    https://chomsky.info/199710__/

    An extract:

    “The elite media set a framework within which others operate. If you are watching the Associated Press, who grind out a constant flow of news, in the mid-afternoon it breaks and there is something that comes along every day that says “Notice to Editors: Tomorrow’s New York Times is going to have the following stories on the front page.” The point of that is, if you’re an editor of a newspaper in Dayton, Ohio and you don’t have the resources to figure out what the news is, or you don’t want to think about it anyway, this tells you what the news is. These are the stories for the quarter page that you are going to devote to something other than local affairs or diverting your audience. These are the stories that you put there because that’s what the New York Times tells us is what you’re supposed to care about tomorrow”

    And Pilger’s (an extract):

    “Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?”

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/war-by-media-and-the-triumph-of-propaganda

    But of course on the internet we know there are many fringe players who publish all sorts of stuff – but their influence is not so significant, and hopefully people can make their own judgements. I suspect one of the factors in making propaganda meaningful is a broad reach and the frequency with which you can get ideas out there.

  26. Miriam English

    nurses1968, George Soros gives enormous amounts of money to help alleviate poverty and help refugees. He is a billionaire with very strongly held left-wing beliefs and supports those causes with big contributions.

    When he was young his family avoided the Nazis and helped many Jews and others escape the Nazis. It left a big mark on him. He hates racists, authoritarians, and violence, and works strongly against them. He spent an enormous amount trying to stop Trump getting elected.

    The right-wing media hate him to the point of spitting blood. They constantly circulate ludicrous conspiracy theories about him. One of the easiest way to know when someone has been poisoned by right-wing propaganda is to hear them spout conspiracy theories about George Soros.

  27. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    that was a quick re edit of the original comment 😀

  28. Harquebus

    “If you don’t read a newspaper every day, you are uninformed. If you do, you are misinformed.” — Mark Twain

    Cheers.

  29. Miriam English

    Matt, yes the mainstream media have to greater or lesser extent been sources of propaganda, but they are not all the same. For example, the Guardian is more carefully researched than most, whereas all Murdoch’s “news” outlets barely disguise their contempt for actual facts. The different sources form a spectrum. Trump has welcomed the worst, most corrupt liars into his fold and rejected all the most reliable sources, and there is a sensible conclusion that can be drawn from that.

    The internet changes things up as well as down. While it gives us the ability to check information, most people don’t bother, taking what is written at face value. As Robyn points out in her article this leads to people circulating hateful memes back and forth driving themselves to ever greater levels of mouth-foaming hate. The internet also makes us all more prone to information bubbles too:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles

  30. corvus boreus

    Matt,
    Chomsky’s passage covered the repetition/amplification of stories, both real and manufactured, within media syndications.
    A classic example was a climate denial tactic employed by Newscorp, where a completely false story in the UK Daily Mail was imported by the Australian, then repeated in the tabloids (Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail and Herald Sun).
    Headlines nationwide brayed a chorus of false report concerning IPCC findings, but the subsequent correction/retractions (stipulated as a requirement after investigation by media regulatory authority) were buried as a few lines on page 17.
    This is precisely the reason that there should be a diversity of both ownership and coverage within the media, and the main reason why serial liar Trump’s deliberate and selective exclusion of some of the less dishonest news agencies (whilst warmly welcoming the totally false but friendly) is so worrying..
    It eliminates the ability to make a rational assessment based upon critical scrutiny of information from a variety of sources..

  31. helvityni

    Harquebus, Mark Twain usually gets it right, and he’s funny at the same time. Delightful…

  32. Harquebus

    Something else that have read recently and that others might be interested in.

    The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking
    https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/03/baloney-detection-kit-carl-sagan/

    helvityni
    For you.
    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” — Mark Twain

    I tend to lean toward the latter. “Imbeciles who really mean it.”

    Cheers.

  33. Miriam English

    Here’s another for you, Harquebus:

    If you want to be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.
    — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    As for your quote about smart people putting us on or imbeciles who mean it, I agree. It reminds me of Hanlon’s razor:

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

  34. Miriam English

    Carl Sagan was a wonderful human being. I’ve always wondered if the leukemia that killed him was related to the nuclear tests he protested against. 🙁

  35. townsvilleblog

    I simply can’t address all the items here but “Single mothers are a “drag on society” doesn’t stop for a moment to think the situation may have stemmed from an irresponsible man walking away from his family. These 1 nation people are not deep thinkers, they have no solutions, only problems, 1 nation voters are the problem children of Australia.

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