Why are we all hating each other?
Only last month—but last month seems so long ago already— the world reeled in shock at the biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Orlando by a jihadist, while across the Atlantic, British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was hacked to death by a suspected neo-Nazi terrorist.
Only last week, jihadist terrorists did everything they could to stain the holy month of Ramadan in blood. Istanbul suffered 45 deaths at their hands; Yemen lost 43; Dhaka saw the deaths of 20 hostages; while Baghdad—poor Baghdad—mourned the loss of over 280 to ISIS directed or inspired terrorists.
Then there was Dallas, a slaughter of police coming in the aftermath of videos showing police killing black people, but not those police, not in that place. They were murdered as symbols, not as people.
And there is only one word that can possibly describe what has afflicted us the world over.
Global Hate is well and truly on the march, so ascendant that the last “worst ever” atrocity pales in insignificance to the current one.
Extremist Muslims are hating on kuffar infidels. Neo-Nazis and their Populist Right bed-fellows are hating on the multicultural Left. And the Hard Left are hating on neo-liberal globalists. The extremes are on the rise the world over as many people are wondering what on earth is going on?
Great change is afoot, and a consequence of this change is great upheaval. We often hear that globalization has disenfranchised people, but its most obvious and pernicious effect right now is that it has empowered parochialism. Due to historically unparalleled connectivity and mobilization, globalization has stratified entire populations.
Average Muslims now feel more connection and affinity with their religious counterparts across the world than they do with their fellow countryman at their local social club. For all their talk of anti-globalization, nationalism—and even Brexit—the Populist Right, too, are forging transnational global alliances with similar nativists the world over, while hating on their “liberal elite” neighbours. Meanwhile, the globalist Left protests neoliberal capitalism everywhere, while using the very technology neoliberal capitalists invented.
Globalised localism is what I call this. And as these political strands draw in on themselves due to connectivity, they grow further apart from each other. All of this is happening across borders that were drawn for another time, during another era.
Some seek to identify common cause amid all this rebellion.
The truth is, these disparate and competing strands have nothing but anger and hate in common.
The contradictory aspirations of global hate suffice in demonstrating this. Depending on who you talk to, we are simultaneously witnessing the end of progressivism and the return of state socialism. The end of borders and resurgent nationalism. The sidelining of religion and a revival of theocracy. Immigrants are stealing our jobs and unjustly claiming welfare.
Indeed, the only thing this Hate has in common is the overwhelming narcissism of its most devout adherents. Everything must revolve around us, only we are the victims. Nobody else’s pain matters, unless of course it can be used to teach them how much we have been suffering, too.
No, there is no single Great Rebellion against “The Establishment” worth talking about.
There is only the stratification and polarization of society.
None of these groups have anything in common but hate for the status quo, and hate for each other. This Hate plays on common human emotions that are easy to exploit. The uncertainty caused as borders and barriers break down is easily comforted by a time-tested retreat into the unholy trinity of victimhood, tribalism and cultural supremacy.
But those who plunge down such ideological rabbit holes must look at history. For Islamists, ISIS’s neo-caliphate is the logical consequence of theocratic ideology. For the Far Left and Right, Fascism and Nazism provide recent lessons for us all. To travel down this path is to return to the 1930s, before World War II devastated entire generations with state orchestrated hate.
We must take heed.
The new recruit in each group may start with the “good intentions” and seek to solve real grievances. But I’ve yet to witness evil rear its demonic head in this world without first beginning with good intentions.
African-Americans and other minority communities have suffered, and are suffering still. Yes, Muslims globally are suffering, too. The white working classes—especially the underemployed men among them—are in dire straits. Police and veterans have lost some of their bravest for merely doing their jobs.
But if the shootings by a Black Nationalist terrorist in Dallas this week, if the jihadist killings in Ramadan, and if the suspected neo-Nazi murder of Jo Cox can teach us anything, it is that the only winner from our perpetual state of victimhood is death, not life.
Reciprocal human rights, individual liberty and mutual respect are values much subscribed to but seldom adhered to in today’s hate-filled world. We have become quick to demand our rights while slow to afford those same rights to others. If all blacks are not thugs, if all Muslims are not terrorists, likewise all policemen cannot be racist killers.
Only a new commitment to the universality of human rights and human dignity can lift us out of this current quagmire. But that will require foot soldiers of peace who preach what we have in common rather than how we are different; what we have gained, rather than what we have lost; and what we seek to achieve rather than what we have failed to accomplish.
These foot soldiers of peace must be able to transcend their own victimhood while pulling people together. Love and empathy must win over hate and vengeance. Everyone is a victim, and everyone is an aggressor.
After the tragic, calamitous events in Dallas this week, the obvious must be restated. There are good and bad blacks. There are good and bad whites. There are good and bad Muslims. There are good and bad police. We are all good and bad humans, and we are all everything in between, too.
Righteousness breeds nothing but certainty, which breeds moral outrage, which breeds personal judgment, which breeds intolerance, which breeds bigotry, which breeds hate and violence.
I ask everyone the world over, please, let’s just all calm down.