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Us and Them.....

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    Us and Them.....

    when mahatama Gandhi tried to understand oppression of indians by gora saab, he looked within himself to try and see the presence of similar traits ( need to exercise control and power) within himself...and story goes that he found the traces of it in his interactions with his wife.
    If we look hard , can we find the traits in ourselves, the presence of which is making ppl kill in Kosovo and colorado...
    I want to make it clear , that I am not talking about pakistanis , or muslims , collectively........I am interested to see if as individuals , we can see similar traits in us...

    [This message has been edited by Nova (edited April 27, 1999).]

    #2
    Nova,
    Interesting topic, one I could write pages and pages about, but I guess that will have to wait for now. But since I couldnt resist my two psychological cents here it goes.
    The thing is all of us share some inate behaviors, and emotions. We all have agressive tendencies. We all get angry and mad. But the difference is how we exercise our tendencies and restrain ourselves in certain situations.
    I also believe what happened in Colorado was due to social facilitation. I am sure you have heard of this perspective. According to this perspective people sometimes blindly conform to certain things. Those kids were a part of a group that collectively believed in what they did. Some of the members in that group might have not started out as being that agressive but because of the group they were in they probably ended up getting involved too deeply.
    Anyway I'll come back to this later, the point is yes we share similar traits, but the difference is the extreme, to which we adhere to these behaviors.

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      #3
      I have said it before, but worth repeating...

      Few people are as evil as to go kill another human. The ability to kill wantonly (as is being done in Kosovo) does not come easy. Most people wouldn't do it even if told to do so.

      The way to make people do it is to dehumanize or demonize. You identify some traits as characteristics of a group. Non-Aryans were thought to be lower on the evolutionary ladder by the Nazis. The German philosopher Haeckel even had a picture of a black man next to a monkey's picture, with a comment about similarities between the two. Or if dehumanizing doesn't work then demonizing does, i.e. the other group is out to get us today or some other day; that if we don't 'defend' ourselves today by killing and maiming them the same would be done to us. Usually old historical hostilities are re-ignited to substantiate such claims.

      No, very few of us feel the instinct to kill another man like that. What we should look for are the biases that we are fed, be they about Jews, Qadiyanis, Hindus or Bengalis. And then compare those to the Serb sentiment about Albanian Muslims.

      MNI

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        #4
        MNI,

        That was was excellent.

        Stud

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          #5
          hmmmm.....lets see..

          I am free of all prejudices. I hate everybody equally
          W.C. Fields once said and I like to read this to myself everytime I come across issues related to racism, bigotry and other good nonsense.

          We have all been programmed with the feelings of hatred and love. In fact, you hear people say, if you can't hate; you probably can;t love either. You first taste of hatred probably came when you wanted to beat up that big bully in the elementary schools, or when some kid came with better sneakers or clothes and you wanted your folks to get the same one. These are signs of hatred but at a very innocent level.

          As a person grows, hatred either grows or diminishes. It grows because the present environment breeds such ideaologies and thus strengthens it with time. People stop questoning the reasoning and follow the "leader" and blindly accept what has been thrown at them.

          It diminishes when individuals use their own head to come with answer rather than letting others come up with the answers for them. I use the word "diminish," and not "disappear" because I don't think you can ever wipe out these god given traits from a person.

          Comment


            #6
            Fel and MNI,
            Nice posts, I want us to bring it home though..
            MNI..do you know what shape your hatred has taken , if not directed against the usual Jews , qadiany, Hindu , or bengali ..Surely you dont think you are free of it , do you? ( its an invitation for introspection,,and we are talking about similar trait, not necessarily similar degree of intensity) Same question to you Fel.
            What fel and MNI both looked at is "them".
            This actually is a good example of us all, only being able to see it in others , not ourselves...How about trying to begin our response with an "I"..And not in any general term....

            Comment


              #7
              Proverb:

              The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

              Stop Press:

              Bill Clinton is going to withdraw the fighter jets from Yugoslavia and instead write a sharp letter to Milosovic to tell him to stop being so nasty to the Albanians. And he's going to underline it in red ink.

              Comment


                #8
                No nova, I don't think I hate anyone to the point of killing them, or let anyone else do it. There are many people I do not like, but that is normal, even commendable sometime. Every now and then I do apply the test of reason and rationality to my emotions. It's hard to get rid of all emotions that are unreasonable and unfair, but easier to keep them in check through periodic self-examination.

                MNI

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                  #9
                  Good MNI..
                  We need to talk about the place of hate or any other emotion in our thinking...and when at that , can also talk about Normality ..

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