There’s a deep divide (polarisation) that’s happening around the globe. Different ideologies are being used to further the rift between people of all walks of life. But why is that more prevalent in our time?
Psychologically speaking, we are not that different from one another. As human beings, we strive to live a life that fulfils our dreams, secure our future and that of our children. Our expanding societies needed law and order to ensure safety and growth and a hierarchy was established. But what happens when this hierarchy steps into the wrong direction? When it’s no longer working for the good of its people?
I came across an interesting theory known as system justification theory; it studies groups of the disadvantaged and why they don’t challenge the status quo of an institution even when it’s in their best interest to do so. When I read the studies, my mind immediately pictured a situation of an abusive relationship, but on a larger scale.
We all know, in order to have complete dominance over someone, you need to break them down, by constant and steady bombardment on their psyche, through put downs, covert threats to their well-being and livelihoods. In other words, brainwashing.
Using the victim’s ideology (especially religion) against them, reinforcing the abuser’s presence as essential to their survival and hence, authority is never questioned.
Hierarchism started out as a benevolent entity, leadership became tyrannical in nature over time. But why is that? Without going into a theological discussion, we are beings that worship power and control, psychologically wired for the need to be omnipotent and omnipresent, to have the universe revolve around us, it’s like a drug induced high that we crave. It’s a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself starting with our families, ending up with our societies.
When ‘social problems arose, people congregated into groups out of necessity, to ensure the survival of their ideologies. And since the one ideology that people never seem to agree upon is religion, a massive wall got erected between them, and everything else became secondary, blame shifting and projection is now the hallmark of a failing coexistence and we need to address those social problems from their roots, put our differences aside and identify a common place where we can start. Seeing where humanity is headed, we need to act now.
Image credit: Freepik
Alla Abdin is a writer, thinker, philosopher and an eternal student of life.