Disentangling Hate

Why is it that some forms of extremism and hate crime seem more difficult to manage than others? Identification of the problem does not generally seem to be as difficult as it’s effective interdiction.

There is a certain implicit or perceived “Otherness” that is at some level conspicuous by its absence in the logical sub-set of extremists identifiably “far-right” but as equally valid on any other ideological, tribal or political vector. It may prove to be a simpler psychological and affective (i.e. qualitative) task to acknowledge ethical impropriety in a social, cultural or ideological group and narrative that is at least putatively distant, alien and as much conceptually as geographically isolated as an “Other”. There are core tropes and idioms, emotions, expectations which align themselves to a familiar cultural and ideological cartography. It may prove harder to extract a self-propagating entity which is much less alien, much less unfamiliar and – beyond partisan political sensitivities – which reveals layered genealogical artefacts of one’s own cultural history.

It may prove to be true that the extraction of such cultural artefacts, entities, systems and ideological tumours bears all the hallmarks and risks of major surgery. Serious questions of history, self-identity and continuing ethical impropriety need to be asked. Who is it that benefits from a continuing presence of fear and insecurity, misdirection and misinformation in a cultural and media communications space? Who is it that extracts valuable political capital from generating nationalistic, xenophobic or racist rhetoric?

Cui bono? I think you already know.

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