Blaming the ‘other’ for our problems

People under stress often regress to rigid, authoritarian behaviour for self-protection.

A risk of Fascism?

People under stress often regress to rigid, authoritarian behaviour for self-protection. For many, defensive elevation of oneself depends upon having an ‘other’ over whom one feels superior.

We have seen much great and grievous harm done by people who live by such attitudes, especially when they gather in numbers, encouraged, emboldened, by validation.

In both the U.S. and Canada, among whites who feel economically and socially displaced, a frustrated sense of entitlement inspires blame of visible others. People will attempt to restrict others’ rights and freedoms, to allow more for themselves. President-elect Trump validates their frustrations and their blaming, and we learn of increasing incidence now of racist, xenophobic, and related repressive activity, in both countries.

We do well to be both vigilant and active, to protect our neighbours and our communities from harmful actions of those who would prosper by others’ disadvantage.

 

John Mowat Steven

Cowichan Valley