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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:34 PM
Original message
The Politics of Rage
Tyrants across the generations have used terror and rage as the most powerful tools for controlling thier populations and making them responsive to control from above. Let's take a moment to see how this works.

To begin with, let us note that fear and anger are quite closely related. Both are responses to perceived threats. Think of "fight or flight." Developmentally, fear is the earlier emotion, and anger is actually a secondary emotion that arises out of the same roots. Fear is an acutely uncomfortable state, but it is much easier to tolerate chronic rage, so people use anger as an escape from fear. In fact, I think some people become addicted to ther own "rage chemistry," which is one of the major reasons Limbaugh has such a large following. People who, if they looked objectively at the state of the world (and at their own powerlessness to even understand the forces around them, much less control those forces), would find much to fear, can instead lock themselves in on being angry. The Right Wing Machine specializes in feeding them things to remain angry about: Welfare queens, gays, sex, Muslims, immigrants, dirty words on TV, etc., thereby creating and supplying their anger addictions and keeping them from engaging in any sort of rational thought.

I have a friend who is a right-winger and a very angry man. I have learned a great deal by observing him. He is quite intelligent, but is largely driven by his hate. He believes that he takes into account both sides of every issue, and I have challenged him by giving him various things to read. It is very interesting to watch him. He will start reading whatever I give him, and continue until he finds some minor thing--a turn of phrase, a positive reference to a politician he hates, whatever--and then he will launch into a huge diatribe about that person or topic and quit reading, thereby shutting off the incursion of unwelcome information. For example, suppose I gave him a piece on global warming. He might read about a paragraph until, say, he sees a reference to Al Gore. At that point he would begin raving about what a hypocrite Gore is, and soon he would be talking about how Kerry an even bigger hypocrite who has three big SUVs and thinks everybody else ought to drive Priuses, etc. Then he would trot out some oil company propaganda that he heard on Limbaugh and either deny the existence of global warming or claim that it's a natural, cyclic phenomenon or whatever. Then he would hand the article back to me.

There is really no point in making any rational argument. It's not about rationality. It's about turning his fear into anger and clinging to the anger as a sort of opiate.
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sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:45 PM
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1. plenty of people like that in all political camps. .. it's sad nt
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good analysis.
Anger is an escape and it is its own cover--a kind of all purpose salve.

The other problem arises from the fact that we humans react to emotion and later make up logical sounding reasons as to why our reaction was the correct response under the circumstances.
And then we react to the reaction by refusing to re-evaluate the original event and our response to it and spending a lot of effort on defending our positions as the only right and righteous position to take. (Suppressing the opposition)
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NotGivingUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. makes a lot of sense. it's been working that way on me...
i get angry just about every day. i don't like it.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I get angry but I also get depresed
Our planet has become a world without compassion!
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I know it often feels that way, and compassion is officially discouraged,
But I think the average person is really pretty decent. Most people will help each other, most people do care. Just watch the small interactions in your daily life & maybe you'll regain some hope.

The Rulers want us to feel helpless, depressed & angry. When we're in that condition we're powerless. We have to stay hopeful, loving & caring. It's from these things that we get our strength.
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