In the year of our many Lords, 2018, one would think the 20th century (at least) had taught us a few lessons regarding scapegoating entire groups of people, with the claim that “if they just disappeared off the face of this planet all major problems would be solved overnight”.
Unfortunately, that is still not the case. The post-tribal world remains an ideal few of us share (not nearly enough to count).
That can be expanded to any group targeted by scapegoating, even without the intention of deadly violence, but a whole array of other “solutions” requiring the dehumanisation of those forming it.
Before going into the main targets of hatred in the west today, a few things need to be pointed out.
- Inherent traits (race, nationality, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation) do not place anyone in a homogeneous group, attributing certain ideologies or behaviours to them by default. I would add inherited religion to the list, especially when forced on someone (living in a theocracy or a community where not adopting the label would be a safety risk).
- Dehumanising others is never the answer (that is how the Holocaust happened, and every mass atrocity).
- Nearly every group targeted by hatred includes innocent, vulnerable people (especially children), who become collateral victims of violence, without having caused the circumstances they find themselves in, even if the adults around them have participated in creating them. Making collateral victims is not acceptable (EVER), especially when the group advocating violence has got claims of superior moral values (which is usually the case).
- Advocating violence (war, murder, unjust imprisonment, torture, inhumane deportation) turns proponents into sociopaths and leads to sociopathic societies, where any kind of treatment is accepted, provided it is applied to the “enemy”. Mental distancing from these issues, should they be happening away from public view, does not change that.
- Finally, we are all susceptible to being drawn in by nefarious agendas and propaganda, as we all share the same nature. Unless we learn to see each other as individuals, treating others how we would like to be treated, the results of hateful propaganda will always be disastrous. Imagine being suddenly placed in a targeted category by a political class, whilst innocent of all accusations brought against you by default – you would like the same presumption of innocence, and humanity, shown to you.
“Jews are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, some hard-line Muslims, some conspiracy theorists
I don’t suppose I need to go into many details, as this shit is literally everywhere, some claiming Jews have conspired for millennia to “take over the world” and “are now succeeding” since they are “controlling the media, the banks, the entertainment industry” etc.
Some are so obsessed that every societal problem, either real or perceived (such as the so-called white genocide) can be traced back to some “Jewish agenda”.
Israeli politics are often used as an argument, as if every Jew on this planet were an Israeli (or a Zionist) and every Israeli agreed to these policies (which is not the case). The mass protests, in Israel and outside of it, are completely ignored by this camp, who wants to paint every Jewish person as an adherent to some ancient plan of world domination.
“Muslims are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, conservatives in general
I should mention that the cautious attitude Muslim apostates have, understandably, should not be mistaken for the above; many of these people have Muslim families and acquaintances they would not want to see unfairly targeted, especially with violence.
The two polarising attitudes in the west today are of either considering all Muslims dangerous by default, espoused by the right, or defending Islam as a whole, espoused by the left; both are equally stupid.
Claiming Islam as a dogma is innocuous is, of course, false, as shown by the polls revealing the prevalence of bigoted attitudes regarding women and sexual minorities among Muslims. The rest is all over the media as well – forced marriages, almost criminalising womanhood, advocating terrorism etc. Whereas the latter is undoubtedly connected to the violence western countries keep carrying out in the Middle East, constantly, the oppression of women, sexual minorities and apostates is a staple in Muslim communities. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
At the same time, it is irrational to claim any Muslim (there are 1.8 billion in the world) constitutes a threat to the safety of non-Muslims, or lives by radical tenets. Just as Christians do, many Muslims cherry-pick positive verses from their scriptures and live their lives accordingly. Even if many are bigoted in some ways, it does not make them a threat to others.
Imagine what the world would look like if every Christian today lived by the worst parts of the Bible. Human beings are not designed that way; dogmas are artificial and the good seeds of human nature (love, empathy, fairness) fight against them constantly. Muslims are no different than anyone subjected to the influence of a nefarious ideology.
People get into – and out of – cults all the time. Islam, Christianity and Judaism are no different. As long as religion keeps being propagated at this rate, it will keep happening. But a person is so much more than a label or a belief held at one point in time.
“Non-believers are the problem”
Copyright: religious fundamentalists of any persuasion, “cultural Christians”, conservatives in general
Christianity has a long tradition of painting non-believers as servants of Satan, who have no moral compass and will drag the world into an infernal dystopia, their paranoid fantasies ranging from secular governments forbidding spiritual beliefs to placing microchips in people’s heads to read or control their thoughts. Islam, of course, advocates for atheists to be killed.
Refusing religious tenets is associated with depravity, whatever that means outside of a religious context, as well as utilitarianism (seeing people as no more than animals and not valuing their lives). Whereas the latter is still a fact today, it always has been. Humans have a long history of dehumanising “the other” (other races, other nations, people of other faiths, the poor etc). These prejudices stem not from a genuine, individual thought process but from the collective.
They have nothing to do with the lack of belief in a god, in times where wars continue to be fought on religious grounds.
Of course not many religious people want to literally murder non-believers; most simply want them deposed of decision-making powers or converted. But the mass scapegoating is very real.
“Gays are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, religious fundamentalists, conservatives in general
Many today, having fallen into the nets of the far right (or the right in general) are of the opinion that the west started degenerating during the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
And apparently, “it all started with the acceptance of gay rights”, and from there everything snowballed into a “disaster of mindless promiscuity”, sexual “perversion”, mainstreaming radical feminism etc. I keep reading stuff like this on social media – the fantasy some have of returning to a Biblical understanding of social life, with the “traditional family” at the centre of it.
Because before that everyone lived in a rose garden, presumably, with Jehovah floating over it. These people are deluded. All that is happening today in the open, in terms of sexuality, has always happened behind closed doors. Adultery was always an issue, as well as other factors leading to broken homes. Too blame all that on gay people living openly, knowing that homosexuality has always been a variation in nature, is just idiotic.
Sexual repression was the status quo for such a long time, and it didn’t work, unlike what these people claim – and mind you, many of them are angry young men who never experienced those times in the first place.
“Non-white races are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis ( aka white supremacists, white nationalists, ethno-nationalists, the Alt-Right, identitarians)
It has become a habit now to intellectualise racism – as opposed to skinheads congregating in slums, the most famous proponents of racism today are eloquent, dressed in elegant suits, sporting one degree or another and basing their ideas on “studies” (claiming to be objective when their drive is the same old supremacist mindset).
Very often, their followers didn’t start out as racists, but arrived there through a gradual process (starting as anti-left, anti-immigration, anti-PC etc). The last few years have seen an explosion of public speakers who dragged their “freedom-loving” supporters down this path, cashing in on revived communal fears. Some, I have no doubt, have gone along with the flow for profit.
Again, nothing new under the sun – this gradual radicalisation, however, is something I find really perverse and repulsive.
The virus has expanded now to some having a visceral reaction when they see people of non-white races “over-represented” in the media, entertainment industry etc. Many have taken issue with the wedding of prince Harry to Megan Markle, incorporating a young couple’s marriage into their paranoid delusion of “an anti-white agenda or promoting racial diversity”. Others even take issue with adverts “designed to show white countries as multicultural”. It’s gone beyond the point of craziness.
“White people are the problem”
Copyright: the far left
One of the causes of resurgent racism was the media’s emphasising of the role white people have had over the centuries in colonising and oppressing others, which would presumably apply today and involve every white person, regardless of their background or personal circumstances.
Of course, pinning historical crimes on those who have not partaken in them is absurd – and when hearing that, some disenfranchised white people went into a state of rage, not realising this was a ploy towards division, from the top down.
Idiots such as Lena Dunham were trotting out rubbish about the need to breed white people out of existence, and many took this rhetoric seriously, coming up with the concept of “white genocide”, embraced as a just cause for a new crusade.
This phenomenon could not have been more damaging in terms of causing division, as the far right feeds off such rhetoric, presenting this as evidence of an actual worldwide “oppression” of white people (which overall is not happening, though they love to take the situation in South Africa and extrapolate it to a global scale).
“Immigrants from poor countries are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, conservatives in general
It is such a complex matter in every case – why people from certain countries decide to emigrate – and these plank-heads reduce it to “they come here to take our jobs and benefits and women”, lumping everyone into that mindset.
Some countries are in dire poverty, whilst others are torn by war – I have no doubt that should these skinheads find themselves in a similar position they would flee for their lives, just as anyone would, as a matter of survival, despite facing the difficulties of not being wanted elsewhere.
It’s very easy for those of us living in safety to pass judgement and talk about numbers, without considering the causes and the fact that each individual fights for survival, regardless of the barriers.
It should be common sense, even for those who are against immigration, that no one sits idly by to let themselves or their families die, without having exhausted every option, including going, temporarily or not, to countries where they are looked down on.
Of course there is a culture clash in some situations, and that needs to be handled; of course it is a very, very complex and difficult matter at times.
Dehumanising others is not the answer to anything.
“Poor people are the problem”
Copyright: conservatives in general
It’s a consensus among Daily Mail types that some people are inherently inferior due to the circumstances they were born into, their level of education and their assumed lack of prospects – and therefore “should not be allowed to breed”.
My old conspiracy-minded self infers some TV productions exploiting these people have had a role in constructing that mindset over the decades – take the Jerry Springer Show, the Jeremy Kyle Show, or anything of the sort, where people are invited to air the dysfunctional parts of their lives, made much worse by living in poverty.
Eugenics and snobbery are re-surging in popularity, at an alarming rate.
“Humans are the problem”
Copyright: the far left, environmentalist fanatics
There is also a faction so worried about overpopulation they advocate radical measures such as a Chinese-style limiting of the number of children per family, sterilising the “undesirables”, or even mandatory abortions.
It’s fair to say that these people are deranged authoritarians – and also that they are themselves growing in numbers.
I can’t even count the unrelated discussions on social media, swiftly turned into “it is unacceptable for more children to be born”. A recent one was based on a fertility expert managing to manipulate genetic material from three individuals, leading to the birth of a healthy baby – whilst the idea itself is controversial, the thread quickly exploded with the ire of these fanatics.
Being childless is seen by some not as a private choice but an absolute necessity nowadays, to the point of claiming “breeders need to be shamed”.
Anyone can agree that pollution is a problem, as well as using resources in a wasteful way, for the profit of those who have a monopoly on exploiting them.
Most people, on the other hand, should find it common sense to reject that particular solution, of forbidding those of child-bearing age to live the normal lives past generations have.
“Beta males/ liberals/ “normies” are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, conservatives in general
Whereas no murderous violence is proposed against people who do not share “patriotic values” to the point of turning against any immigrant or hating religious minorities, “betas” and liberals in general are blamed for the “decay of the West”. Violence is, of course, not excluded, and occurs in isolated incidents (the left does initiate at times).
In the US for instance there are talks of civil war, since people have become so polarised between the left and right. Leftists are seen as “communists”, “authoritarians” who seek to deprive the rest of their fetishism for guns and freedom in general.
“Alpha males are the problem”
Copyright: Incels, the far left in general
With the mention that the far left does not advocate murdering “alpha males”; Incels, however, do.
This is a new phenomenon yet very dangerous, and is probably a backlash to the rest of the Men’s Right’s Movement (the Red Pill, PUA etc). Incels, as in “involuntarily celibate”, are a fairly new group, and while sharing the abysmal misogyny with the rest of the crowd, they also have a pathological hatred of men who manage to secure relationships with attractive women. Such men are referred to as “Chads”, while their female partners are known as “Stacys”. Death to all Chads and Stacys is a frequent slogan on Incel forums.
A few have already crossed the line between murderous fantasies and murder sprees (mass shootings), which is extremely worrying.
“Women are the problem”
Copyright: Neo-Nazis, conservatives in general, the Men’s Rights Movement with all its subdivisions, Incels
Much is pinned on women’s impact on society – their right to vote, their “too compassionate” politics emphasising equality, tolerance and immigration. Some on the far right are convinced women are ruining the western world (among online celebrities, Stefan Molyneux and Black Pigeon Speaks are two examples – and increasingly, the far more popular Jordan Peterson).
The rejection of third wave feminism, whilst healthy at first, has led to a resurgence of the purest misogyny, with every right women have gained over centuries being questioned and its revocation being proposed.
I needn’t say these are the same people who rightfully refer to Islam as backward in terms of its view on women, at the same time as spouting this nonsense.
Whereas most of the hatemongers merely seek to control women’s lives, Incels have taken it to the next level – that of murderous rage.
This list is probably incomplete, as more and more people seek a communal scapegoat for the world’s problems. It seems that the availability of information is not leading to a more complex analysis, but rather, to oversimplification and radicalism.