Friday, June 24, 2016

The hidden dangers of a post BREXIT Britain.

Brexit. It's a catchy name, isn't it?
Politicians love catchy names and slogans too.
Trump used nicknames to insult Hillary.
Nicknames are catchy too, aren't they?

Heartless Hillary, Crooked Hillary, ...

It's easy to remember and it sticks in the mind.
We know what Trump means when he talks about Heartless Hillary or Crooked Hillary.
He is talking about specific accidents in Hillary's career and they come instantly to mind.

Anecdotal data is easy to remember, it's not the most accurate data to make decisions from but because of it creates a strong emotional impact it's easier to retrieve that information.

Using nicknames to insult the 'other side' is what all parties do.
Some are just better at it than others and some are better at hiding it than others.

The people on the receiving end of insulting nicknames and the people who identify with the group that person represent are much easier to be upset and enraged by it.

Two very strong emotions that create a strong impulse to action.
Most of the action most probably aimed at returning the favor.

On the one side being insulted reinforces our resolve to stay in the group we are in and to identify more strongly with that group. On the other side when we insult a group they are more likely to react strongly towards the group you are in....and the cycle continues.

Thus insulting creates cohesion in both parties what strengthens the power of those who lead the groups or parties.

There is one type of insult that is very dangerous and we have to watch out for.

I saw somebody on facebook say that Trump was "subhuman".

When you call a human being less then human you are dehumanizing that person.
When somebody or even a group of people is considered less than human all our human values and human rights aren't applied to those people and that situation anymore.

Now, it seems ok to do inhuman things to that person or group because they aren't considered "humans" anymore.

If you are interested in the social neurological nature of this you may want to watch this amazing talk from David Eagleman:

Now, what has this to do with the Brexit? 

The EU was particularly designed to make decision-making slow so counterproductive and harmful decisions could be spotted and stopped in time. Especially decisions that would go against human rights. So that when countries start 'throwing stones' it won't create a domino effect that results in international warfare.

When this safety mechanism is gone it's easier for people who want to create exactly that type of situation to make a profit from it. There is nothing like a conflict or war to make profits when you don't worry about other human beings at all. 

Those people would love to create fear of  'the others'. To do that they have to create an 'others' first.
That's why being insulted is such a great advantage for them. It creates a strong divide between people. It creates sides. It feeds into our tribal bias. 

It's not always easy to see what politicians are doing. They say one thing and do the opposite and more cunning politicians do both. They support both sides of the equation. They support groups that follow him, and groups against him or her, they both are for and against the same issue at different times. 

"But wait, now you are just confusing me! "

And that's the point. From the moment other people are confused what you are exactly doing you have put them in a mist where it is difficult for them to criticize you. You can get away with a lot more. 

It's not the time to be afraid of hidden conspiracies. 
The game is played openly and the people are being put in what seems a catch 22 situation.
Both sides work together to create the narrative that benefits them all and stops us from seeing that they are working together. 

Therefore it's important, more than ever, to understand how dehumanisation works and how we can spot it. It's important to understand how fear is a creates obedience and how confusion creates the ideal situation for cunning people. 

It is also important that I as a writer take a step back and let you know that when I say "them, they, those people.", those people are also people just like me and you. 

I can not stretch the importance of The Power of Empathy enough.
Let's take care of each other. 

Have a great day.