Psychological need for an enemy.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by gekko513, May 4, 2006.

  1. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #1
    Rasism is getting out of control in Russia according to Amnesty International. The sosiologist Nikolai Fydorov sees the extremism in connection with a psychological need for an enemy that stems from the times of the cold war. [dagbladet.no] (In Norwegian.)

    I wonder if the relative aggressiveness and readiness of the American people to wage war based on weak arguments stems in part from the same reason.

    People are so used to have an enemy that when it disappears there's a void needing be filled in the human psyche of those that lived through the cold war and was subject to propaganda war of those times.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    i'm always struck by americans' mentality of winning. and i'm talking about civilians, not necessarily politics. winning is everything, losing is an embarrassment, regardless of that bit about how the game is played.

    examples just from today:
    1. a guy made a right turn on red right in front of me
    2. at the grocery store, two teenagers ran to beat someone to the checkout line

    okay, just two. but i was mostly at home working today.

    i've traveled a lot, and i see examples of this in every place i've been, so i'm not pretending it's a US-only phenomenon. but is it more heightened here? are the stakes for the "little victories" higher? does this translate to acceptance of bombing civilians in faraway places? do sports satisfy the masses because there's a clear winner and loser?
     
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #3
    Just imagine how awful things would be for the military
    if the world broke out in full scale peace! :eek:
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    Well, you're talking US and Russia here. These aren't just any two countries. They are very high on the list of countries that believe they have a special mission to conquer or dominate the world. I think most counries just don't promote that kind of propaganda to that extent.
     
  5. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #5
    Iran? China? Iraq? North Korea? Germany? France? England? Japan? Rome? Greece? Italy?

    The mentality is or has been everywhere before. Many countries have waged useless wars on other cultures before. It's MANKIND, not America and Russia.
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #6
    Hey, gotta nuke something.

    If you don't get the reference, don't send me an angry PM. If you do, I will declare you my enemy. See how that works. ;)
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    "nuke the whales?"
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    Yep. Gotta nuke something. We need enemies because every good story needs conflict. Plus it's easier to control the masses when you're protecting them against some ill defined threat. Look at Iran or immigration. What's sad is that people fall for it all the time.

    Of course, I'm planning on voting for a Dem come election time because I hate the Bush administration, so it can work both ways. ;)
     
  9. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I don't think that people need an enemy, I think that politicians use common enemies to unite their own people. The common enemy could be anything from the communists, to the terrorists, to the jews, to whoever. It's always convenient to have some group to blame all of your problems on - especially if you're the one that's responsible for fixing those problems.
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    Of course there are elements of this in every country and culture--and social interaction. I made more friends freshman year of college finding people who "hated" the same things that I did than I did friends who liked the same things that I did.

    Still, I just meant that different cultures focus their hate on different things and that Russia and the US are a little different from most places because of their global vision for themselves. I'm pretty sure that no Greek person realistically thinks that Greece should conquer and dominate the world. They have pride and hatred focused in different directions (to the past and east respectively, I believe).
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #11
    Sell Fear then grab power and control. Mussolini did it, Hitler did it, Bush is doing it,Putin is doing it. Its a common theme for Govt and the control freaks that infest all govts. Sell that fear then take away liberty & freedoms from the people for what is false security. How many times has Bush done this yet they still arent looking at cargo containers or even wanting to acknowledge the mexican invasion. Its about control not security.
     
  12. gekko513 thread starter macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #12
    Yes, Russia and the US are in special positions here compared to smaller countries who haven't been in a war for some time and haven't been the main actors in a cold propaganda war for some time.

    The question is really if mankinds potential for and desire to hate an enemy is impossible to quell or if it's the "habit" of a culture that can change even if it takes some time to change it.
     
  13. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    When I play league hockey, I always feel a little empty and somehow unsatisfied after a win.

    It's almost like I'm better at accepting defeat than celebrating victory.

    I think I'm atypical in that regard, and I'm not sure how it plays into my overall psyche.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    Touche... Smell you later.
     

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