flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2024-07-05

Strategies to perpetuate conflict for personal gain

In any ongoing conflict involving significant numbers of people, there are individuals and groups whose power and influence derives from the very existence of the conflict, and/or from repeatedly pressing buttons related to the values, beliefs, concerns, and fears of certain communities. Such people have a vested interest in ensuring that the conflict continues, and in ways conducive to allowing simple messaging that provokes strong emotions, but not complex or critical thought.

Common strategies in this regard include:

If more than one side of the conflict has influential people engaging in these sorts of strategies, these people end up boosting the influence and power of their equivalents on the other sides, via mutual reinforcement. “They ignore what we've been through, and our suffering! They're uncaring, have no empathy, and can't be reasoned with! They can only be dealt with through the application of force!”

At the age of 50, i've seen this stuff over and over and over again: from conflicts i'm directly involved with, to conflicts i'm only indirectly involved with, to conflicts i don't have any stake in. And it's my experiences and observations in this regard that have led me to make this comment on my “Short thoughts” page:

i refuse to erase or misrepresent the perspectives that aren't my own. i strongly feel that erasing or misrepresenting others will not resolve conflict in the long term - that, on the contrary, it's more likely to exacerbate it. If you find me animatedly talking about something i feel has been erased or misrepresented, you can not assume i am partisan of “that side” - i might be doing so out of frustration with what i feel are the unethical tactics and behaviours of “my side”.

-- “Short thoughts”

🏷 politics,psychology,sociology

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