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One of the most haunting scenes in George Orwell's 1984 is the "Two-Minute Hate." On a regular basis, members of the ruling Party (but not the Inner Party) are gathered in a room and shown images of a contrived enemy state and its supposed leader, Emmanuel Goldstein. The Party loyalists scream profanities and hurl objects at the screen, and one particularly angry member runs forward and flails her arms wildly at the images.

The point of the scene is that the Party members are being manipulated into being blind to the political reality in their country. It's the very people presenting them with the images and encouraging their hate who are the tyrants and the oppressors. Combined with the equally powerful emotion of fear (which I will address in my next post), this hate prevents the people in Orwell's fictional society from rising up and achieving their freedom.

Of course, the United States in 2012 is not the same thing as 1984. But we do see a good bit of hate being encouraged by those who hold both the political and economic power in our society. And that hate does serve to blind us in many ways from the oppressive reality of the current political and economic system. The hatred that is stoked prevents the people from achieveing something more just and democratic.

The easy parallel to draw to 1984 is FoxNews, only it's not just two-minutes. It's 24 non-stop hours. I know people who watch FoxNews for a large portion of each day, and who watch in anger and bitterness.

Barack Obama plays the part of Emmanuel Goldstein, and the Democratic Party is the superstate that is responsible for all the evil in society. Every day presents a new reason to hate the president and his party, and to blame them for problems that are both real and contrived.

In the process, the FoxNews loyalists are never challenged to see the negative side of their own party and the politicians they support. In fact, the "24-hour hate" network enages them in a process of projection where they see in the hated Democrats their own worst traits. For example, I have heard several ultra conservative friends of mine describe Obama as the most divisive president of all time - which is utterly false and even laughable, but which they believe because FoxNews told them so.

FoxNews viewers are certainly never encouraged to look behind the curtain of where the real power in our country lies, and to ask questions about how the political system as a whole is being manipulated to enrich a small minority of the population.

The question for the rest of us, then, is who are we being encouraged to hate? For those who don't watch FoxNews, do we have our own forums that are the equivalent of the "Two-Minute Hate"? And how do we free ourselves from this manipulation?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The U.S. today is so Orwellian that even Orwell... (5+ / 0-)

    would have been shocked.

    Jon Stewart makes a living cataloguing and replaying the double think that occurs now on an almost routine basis.  

    Not to mention the changing of the past as needs dictate. (Sadam is our friend, he has always been our friend, Sadam is our enemy, he has always been our enemy).

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:48:07 AM PDT

  •  All the Same Things the Fox Viewers Are Being (0+ / 0-)

    encouraged to hate or fear.

    Fox is one outlet for one particular audience. But there aren't any major mainstream media promoting similar attitudes in the opposite direction. All the mainstream media programming is compatible with the Fox messages even though not so extreme.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:11:29 AM PDT

  •  Hate is easy, gossip is easy, discussion is hard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, roseeriter

    It's easy to manipulate people via hate.  I sometimes find a small bit of amusement in the fact that often times, politics is just glorified gossip.  This is a lot of what Jon Stewart highlights for his show.

    I know that might be how the 'game' of politics is played, but I don't have to like it.  If it bothers me, I just stop reading about politics for a while.  I don't really expect it's going to be something that can be changed.

    •  I think this is also true cause when I watch some (0+ / 0-)

      of the Cspan congress committee meetings, there's more civility and compromise than what we see on the floor- not that it makes me trust congress, but the perspective is a bit more hopeful behind the scenes.

      "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

      "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

      by roseeriter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:40:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Politicians are partly actors (0+ / 0-)

        Politicians sometimes have to say outrageous things to appeal to their base (especially if their base is outrageous).  But behind the scenes, even a bad politician would know that their art is working deals for their constituents through compromise.

        They know their base wants to hear them say certain things, and they all realize the source of a rival's public behavior is this same basic tension all of them feel.  I have no problem thinking that they are much more civil to one another in private than they appear in public.

  •  Yup, By the Conservatives LIES and Hate propaganda (0+ / 0-)

    I saw it really start Big Time with Bushco- 'if you're not with us you're against us' speech after 9/11.

    And read this from another diary earlier that RINGS true-

    Q: What is conservatism?
     A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.
     Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
     A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:37:54 AM PDT

    •  Nope, it came back with Nixon (0+ / 0-)

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:41:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe for you-I wasn't into politics back then. (0+ / 0-)

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:43:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was a little kid then, but I listened to my (0+ / 0-)

          Parents. I hate saying that my parents were right, but they were. I'm Obamas age, aware of the 60s but not understanding them except that Nixon was part of the problem not the solution. I was stuck with the sucky 80s& 90s.

          The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

          by a2nite on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 03:01:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You don't see any hate... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Singing Lizard

      of Republicans coming from the left? Please open you eyes.

      •  Oh its there- I can't stand them so Yes its (0+ / 0-)

        affected me also- Its a word that was never in my vocabulary until Bush residue and it upsets me a lot. Also why I stay here less and less. Add the hypocritical xtians to that also..

        I'm going back to nature to find my inner peace and sanity again..good luck to all:)

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:30:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  that's a quote from a whole essay on conservatism (0+ / 0-)

      What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?
      by Philip E. Agre, August 2004

      Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:
      Q: What is conservatism?
      A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

      Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
      A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

      These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves "conservatives" have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:28:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, I agree (0+ / 0-)

    A song I wrote last year, right before someone close to me blasted some of their Fox News hate on me and questioned my mental illness, hatefully, with the result of my having to go back on medication so I didn't have a stroke:

    The Hatewell

    I thought I heard a rumble from the ground
    The sky was dark, the sky was brown
    It could have been an army marching down the road
    It was just the sound of the hatewell flow

    There are mothers killing babies and fathers killing wives
    The radio’s gone crazy as it feeds the hatewell lies
    Whatever side you choose to take you must decide to taste the hate
    As you lock and load, the hatewell grows

    With fingers on the keyboard and eyes fixed to the screen
    My caplock’s stuck in uppercase so you can hear me scream
    If you don’t drink my koolaid I will say that you’re naïve
    Puppet masters laugh away as their rats sip cream from the hatewell stream

    I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian, I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Jew
    If you’re a non-believer, then I must hate you too
    As we wrap our flags around our gods, it grows from stream to flood
    As we feed it blood, when there’s no one else
    Will you hate yourself so the hatewell grows

    When the hatewell comes it starts out slow
    When the hatewell comes there’s nowhere to go
    It will eat your soul as it takes control
    When the hatewell flows

    There is enough on Earth for everybody's need, but not enough for everybody's greed. - M. Gandhi

    by Singing Lizard on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:39:00 AM PDT

    •  the point is hate is hate (0+ / 0-)

      They feel as sanctimonious about their hate as our side does.  For me, it is people like Keith Olberson, although he is not in the same league as Rush Limbaugh.  
      The more disrespectful we are, the more we are like them.  I have "evolved" this opinion.  I have friends who are devout Catholic, or who see themselves as tea party independents, and tow the party line.  Although I disagree with them on many issues, I agree with them on many more.  They love their children and want a better world for them, just like me.  They are caring, loving people who I respect, but disagree with wholeheartedly on many things.

      There is enough on Earth for everybody's need, but not enough for everybody's greed. - M. Gandhi

      by Singing Lizard on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:48:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know I am; they hate me & I hate them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roseeriter

    Evil in Anerica is winning.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:40:15 AM PDT

  •  It's a concept that's hard for some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag

    to get their heads around.  We are more the same than we are different.  Like Gandhi's peaceful revolution, or MLK, Jr's peaceful marches, it was hard to contain the passion and not want to strike back.

    There is enough on Earth for everybody's need, but not enough for everybody's greed. - M. Gandhi

    by Singing Lizard on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:57:36 AM PDT

  •  and my conservative friends seem more distant (0+ / 0-)

    to me day by day. They KNOW there is something causing them duress and they are lashing out at whatever boogeyman the media presents them... I am pretty sure some of my friends of 20+ years are soon to be downgraded to acquaintances.

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:07:27 AM PDT

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