Found on Reddit: how extremism breeds extremism

But first: watch some racing, will ya?

Full quote:

There’s another step here with reform movements that I think is becoming even more prevalent with the rise of social media. I’ll preface this by saying that likely this phenomena has existed for as long as humans have existed, but with everyone having a “voice” and a platform to air their uneducated opinions to the world, it’s just getting that much worse.

Extremism breeds extremism.

OP actually laid out the progression quite beautifully. You get a reasonable person who wants to do right by people and do their best to make sure everyone else is happy and healthy. Then they’re told their wrong about something and to correct themselves. So they try to. But then they’re still wrong and now there’s another step to follow. But as they keep getting pushed and pushed to constantly “fix” their “problem”, they start to realize there isn’t a fix. Perhaps there was never even a problem. There is no way to satisfy the people who are constantly getting on their case, or so it seems, so they reject the stance that has been pushed upon them.

Which is how we get to this point:

I hate it all so much. I hate every last one of them. I hate them, hate them, hate them.”

Sorry, but I’m officially a “terf.”

Where OP goes from here is up to her, but we’ve essentially seen the potential birth of an extreme viewpoint. This is an important process to understand, especially because we are seeing it so much more nowadays. Often, these people begin to turn to established groups with genuinely malevolent intentions that are run by actually bad people.

For example:

White people who don’t want to feel bad about being white turning to white nationalism and hate as a defense mechanism.

Men who think they should be given equal parental rights turning to misogyny.

Feminists who want equal rights and pay for women becoming more extreme because of the pushback they receive from society.

Conservatives and progressives becoming more and more caught up in hating one another because they are becoming less able to understand and interact with each other and are more prone to extreme remarks about the other group. So they grow to hate the other side.

It’s important to clarify here that we can apply this to not just reasonable people - we can say this about all people.

Edit: Though the progression, I’d argue, is a little different in some cases, as outlined below.

So the nutjob holed up in his room with a fuckload of guns only ever sees the vitriolic opinions espoused on his favorite internet forum about how blacks and Muslims are subhuman, so he’s eventually radicalized enough to go out and kill a bunch of them. The Muslim boy in the Middle East who sees his friends and family beaten, raped and killed by US soldiers grows up to join terrorist cells. And so on it goes.

I’m not interested in providing advice about what to do about this or in providing some sort of crystallization of this circumstance here. In some sense, some ideas need radical pushback. We cannot give equal platform to every bad idea out there. However, I also do not know if we can trust people anymore with making the determination of what is “right”, because we are very clearly losing our ability to understand opposing viewpoints... assuming we have ever had it to start with.

But hey the ice caps are melting so we’re dead in fifty years anyway. So what’s it matter?


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