Why do many people hate thinking


In the etymological dictionary (Duden) the term “hatred” is paraphrased as follows: aversion, loathing, disgust, hostility, envy, discord, antipathy, aversion, idiosyncrasy. Hate is a quality and a form of attitude. Deviant behavior that provokes arguments, arguments.

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In her study of the conflict between internal and external reality, the psychoanalyst Margarete Mitscherlich (1917 - 2012) has already pointed out that hating arises from feelings of revenge, fear and envy and is to be understood as a faulty development in the formation of identity. Particularly significant is the assessment that people who hate can hardly be reached and engaged in dialogue with arguments, information and education: “Education is powerless here, because hatred of the minority serves the self-esteem. You yourself are humiliated; but there are people who can still be looked down on ”[i]. This stereotypical and prejudiced attitude stabilizes the hater, secures his sense of self and consolidates his worldview. The consequence that he thereby makes himself an outsider within the majority society, he does not experience as a flaw and deficiency, but as a remarkable and livable peculiarity that even drives him onto the street. The resulting feelings even act as a sense of mission and the need to proselytize - and thus have an almost “enlightening” effect.

At all times in human history, hatred has led to strife, strife, violent and armed conflict. In times of increasingly interdependent and delimiting global development, hating as ego, ethno-centered, nationalistic, racist and populist thinking and acting is booming again. Fake news, cancel culture and Qanon cacophonies are developments that encourage hatred. For people who think freely and democratically, it is important to track down the causes and effects of hatred and to look for ways in which hatred can be tamed; because that could be a rational realization: Hate is in the world! Hate is (also) human! It can only be a matter of mitigating the effects of hatred and making them bearable in such a way that they come close to the “global ethics” as they come close in the Universal Declaration proclaimed by the United Nations on December 10, 1948: “The recognition of all members of the The dignity inherent in the human family and their equal and inalienable rights form the basis of freedom, justice and peace in the world ”[ii].

Hate eats up the soul!

Why is there so much hate in the world? In the individual as in the social? In the local as in the global? The ugly as the bad and as the opposite of the good is always referred to in the anthropological, occidental philosophy with the absence of the divine and the earthiness of the human. The Greek philosopher Plato saw in the aischrón, the ugly, the inferior and despicable. And Aristotle gave the anthrôpos, the human being, through his gift of reason, the ability to distinguish between good and bad and to be able to direct his striving for a good, successful life on this. Because hatred is everywhere, as aggression, violence, abuse of power, domination, fanaticism, fundamentalism and ideology in the social and political, up to individual and narcissistic forms and is consciously and unconsciously exercised, it depends on the fact of human hatred not to make taboo, but to make people aware and to oppose hatred that what distinguishes people (actually): being able to think humanely! Because whoever hates gives his own mind to powers, influences, ideologies and world views that aim no more or less to manipulate people; in such a way that they do not just hate because others do too, but are sure of their hatred. This highest form of imposing hatred, which is expressed in racism, dogmatism, fanaticism, democracy, xenophobia and misanthropy, turns people into unrestrained and irresponsible subjects. The simplest answer to hating the haters, ignoring them, setting them aside and excluding them from the community of the good is not the best; because "hatred is not just there". It is made! And it is important “not only to condemn hatred and violence, but to look at the way they work ... (but) always to show where something else would have been possible, where someone could have made a different decision, where someone could have screamed where someone could have got off ”. The philosopher, publicist and journalist Carolin Emcke has traveled to crisis regions and war zones around the world for several years, dealing with hatred and reporting on how hatred turns people and powers into inhuman and powerless. “Precisely it is not easy to hate”, so they realize, because hatred is always based on the indefinite, illogical and indistinct [iii].

Hatred in two!

Karl Valentin's enlightened realization - "The stranger is only strange in a stranger" - should actually cause people to be afraid of strangers and strangers and therefore develop rejection and hatred. Xenophobia and xenophobia are derailments of humanity; Empathy, on the other hand, is given to the anthrôpos thanks to his reason, his ability to form general judgments, to be able to differentiate between good and evil and the necessity to live peacefully, equally and justly with fellow human beings and nature. So much for the ideal! Wherever people hate and fight each other, there is a lack of humanity, and education and clarification are required to prevent hatred. This raises the question of all questions in human coexistence: How can it be possible to convince people that they want to be enlightened? The psychologist and psychotherapist, training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Verena Kast, in the book with the ambiguous title "Wi (e) der Angst und Hass" [iv] asks how the increasing negative tendencies and fatal developments can be countered that personal and social insecurities and fears, e.g. B. also caused by the refugee crises, express themselves as hatred of people and xenophobia. The author develops trains of thought from her psychoanalytic practice and teaching in order to explain how hatred can arise from non-reflected anger, how thirst for revenge can develop and which strategies and character traits can be used to counteract these bad attitudes. Using a psychotherapeutic case study from depth psychological therapy, she shows causes, processes, effects and solutions. It is resentment, prejudice, greed and envy complexes, which often come from everyday life and are unconsciously fixed in the own ego and are only made aware of and thus changeable by dealing with one's own identity and individual and social actions. A goal towards this is without a doubt the effort to discover and develop one's own self-esteem. Recognizing fears, feelings of rejection and hate is one of the most important things; to deal with it with the aim of changing it and avoiding it, the other. Because dealing with fear is an existential and responsible challenge [v].

Whoever hates gives up their own identity to ideologies!

The confrontations with political, religious, ideological and social radicalisms range from warning calls to the misanthropic, power-dominating attitudes to calls for clarification. There are analyzes of local, national developments up to and including positions of caution because of the global spread of racist, ethnocentric, selfish and populist ideas and policies [vi]. The extreme right as a misanthropic ideology has long been global. It is networked and no longer only communicates in secret, locked and locked channels, but is open on the Internet. With her digital agitations she organizes and supports the visible manifestations of her followers and recruits them. The journalist and behavioral trainer Karolin Schwarz is committed to countering right-wing extremist, racist, populist slogans, disinformation and fake news in social networks with education and practical counter-positions. In February 2016 she founded the education network Hoaxmap.org, with which she takes action against false reports about refugees and non-white people. In her diverse efforts she is aware that the confrontation with socially, ethically, morally divergent ideologies and policies is always subject to the paradox that on the one hand it may support the visibility and public attention sought by right-wing extremists; on the other hand, there is nothing better for enlightening and educating people than enlightenment and education. It is the necessary question that Bertolt Brecht, for example, posed in his play "The Temporary Ascent of Arturo Ui" (1941): Is the womb from which it crawled still fertile? - Nationalism, fascism, racism and contempt for human dignity! And it is the current strategies of the right-wing extremists in repeated attempts to undermine the efforts of state and civil society institutions to monitor and defend themselves against radicalized political activities. These are manipulated social media platforms, which are not always immediately recognizable as radical right-wing appearances for the uninformed, in which a concoction of nationalist, anti-Semitist, anti-Muslim and xenophobic, linguistic and musical slogans is offered. It is the guise of the renewal of democracy under which it is to be abolished. Whether as parties, such as the NPD and AfD, as loose associations and associations, or as registered Internet presences of followers and influencers, it is very easy to spread right-wing extremist ideologies on the global network. Using the example of strategy and action instructions from the AfD, the author refers to the influence exerted by the party strategists on often unsuspecting users. The example of the current anti-corona demonstrations illustrates the intention to attract attention and supporters from the various social groups: On the one hand, the euro and euro-skeptics are addressed, the bourgeois-conservative value-oriented people, protest voters, non-voters, losers and the precarious. Taking action against hatred, right-wing extremist, racist and populist ideology, violence and terror is a humane mandate for democrats. It is the individual challenges for the defense and realization of tolerant, humane thinking and acting. Values ​​and norms are necessary in all civil society and political areas. And there needs to be responsibilities in the economy, in corporations and in the media. It must be worrying what opinion-forming and attitude research has discovered in the meantime, namely that ideologically determined, manipulated and indoctrinated people are no longer or hardly accessible for information and factual knowledge. We need experts who are able to show foreground and background knowledge about deviating, inhumane ways of thinking and behaving and who are on the lookout for ways in which changes in behavior and a change of perspective are possible [vii].

Discriminatory speech - 'hate speech'

Bad thinking leads to bad perception, bad seeing and hearing, and bad doing, to hatred [viii]. It is the intellectual, social, cultural and socio-political conditions that make people good or bad, bearable or unbearable, humane or inhumane. The fundamental dilemma is that, in the philosophical, anthropological understanding, every person strives to lead a good, successful life, but the realities of life are influenced by ideologies, manipulations and temptations that lead to egoistic, ethnocentric, racist and populist thinking and doing to lead. In the socio-political discourse, the demand for “political correctness” is raised against discriminatory, degrading public speaking. The sociologist from the University of Freiburg, Nina Degele, points out that the demand for political correctness is always context and milieu-dependent: "Politically correct speaking is recognition-oriented speaking against minorities and excluded groups". It is the aim to make correctness thinking and acting in the local and global social discourse effective. The constant and current challenge is that mentality, opinion and political differences should be dealt with in a dialogue and democratic way. The linguistic term "p.c.-ness" used in the American identity and social anti-discrimination discourse changed to demands for human rights and equality, right up to the current Black Lives Matter movements and against cancel culture. It is the cemented local and global social inequalities that emerged (also) under capitalism that divide societies and humanity. And it is hate speech, now used in democratic parliaments by populist, right-wing extremist parties, that turns words into verbal, virtual and actual violence. So how can one succeed in thinking and acting individually and collectively, in everyday life and socio-politically humane, honest, credible and convincing? The author sums up suggestions and advice from the abundance of her examples, such as: B .:

  • Living together respectfully and fairly in the local and global community.
  • Use the correct expressions and terminology when communicating on an equal footing.
  • Make stereotypical expressions and prejudiced speech recognizable through inversions and comparisons.
  • Allow relativizations and differences in the language code.
  • Enable mutual respect and appreciation not through exclusion, but through involvement and cooperation [ix].

Cancel culture?

Political scientist Yascha Mounk, who teaches at John Hopkins University in the United States, founded the online magazine “Persuasion” in July 2020. Persuasive communication aims to influence the communication partner and to induce them to change their thoughts, actions and behavior and to ask: "Who says what to whom?" [X]. There are questions about how truths and facts are dealt with in the socio-political, civilizational process, and how fake news bends realities and humanity [xi]. In view of the global, anti-democratic tendencies to restrict the human right to freedom of expression for very different reasons and thus to create “collective censorship awareness and acceptance” in public opinion, Yascha Mounk shows the populist developments in the USA where inattention is going , Disregard or sitting out of freedom of circumcision: "Because sooner or later, as can be painfully seen in the USA, it is precisely the real enemies of democracy that will benefit when democrats fail to consistently stand up for values ​​such as freedom of expression" [xii].

The term “cancel culture” is derived from “to cancel”, which means “to cancel, abolish, dissolve” in English and is concretely represented in public discourse in such a way that the main stream, a certain public opinion or dictated ideologies cemented political Opinions differing information is reacted with assumptions that are not only directed against them, but also against the perpetrators: If you are not mine and against my opinion, I'll finish you! With statements and allegations below the belt! It is not the dialogical argument, but the discrimination and the expectation that, even if the utterance is absurd and easily refutable, “something sticks” in the public consciousness. It is just not true that one can live unabashedly when one's reputation is ruined; rather, the consequences of damage to reputation and false statements for those affected are often psychologically and existentially devastating. The consequence of this is that not only are every means taken against other opinions, but at the same time those who think differently are “disposed of”. The past and current social histories are full of such inhuman and unworthy cases. In view of the many examples of cancel culture that can be found and practiced in the USA and beyond, Yascha Mounk warns that these tendencies - because they are also relatively easy and non-binding in the www.can be disseminated - incite the natural, individual and collective interaction of people with one another: the loss of courage to express one's own opinions! Oppose a self-confident, well-founded no to what appears to be "reasonable"! Contribute facts against fake news! It is Kant’s categorical imperative, as it is expressed in the saying: What you don't want to be done to you, don't do it to anyone else! What does that mean in concrete reality? It means listening to the opinion of the other in a tolerant manner and dealing with it, dialogically, not demagogically, in the hope that the social disputes with different opinions will be carried out in a humane and humane manner! In such a way that the existential values ​​“I” - “You” - “We” become the basis of a peaceful, equal and just coexistence of humanity [xiii].


Ego-, ethnocentrist, nationalist, racist, fundamentalist and populist, local and global movements endanger democracy. Like many ideological activities and opinion dictatorships, they rely on simple, apparently easily understandable and comprehensible statements finding followers who no longer recognize or find important the differences between truth and lies, between self-thinking and manipulation. Apples and pears are fruits - and that's enough! It is the unification of thought that creates power and impotence [xiv]. And it is the numerous warnings and analyzes that want to develop people's awareness and life lesson that democracy, as the “rule of the people”, is to be striven for, to be achieved, to be defended and to be further developed [xv]. "We are experiencing the creeping transformation of parliamentary democracies in the direction of authoritarian systems". There are quite a few political analysts, social and political scientists who have doubts that the grown, historical, democratic foundations can be continued in times of an increasingly interdependent, delimiting and globalizing world; For example, when it is said that, given the middle-class orientation of party democracy, “participation and self-organization ... are not suitable means for activating and involving the lower fifth of society” [xvi], and an active criticism of the system and capitalism is required [xvii]. The socio-political debates should move on two levels: One on the conviction that democracy is the best of all forms of order, government and life that have been tried and tested to date; and the other, that democracy is the work of man and can only be made and maintained by man. Where the democratic order and power structures are only facades and undemocratic, inhumane conditions spread behind them, people speak of the “dark state”. Anti-democratic, dictatorial, hierarchical, individual and collective forms of dependency, oppression and exploitation develop; Mind you, under the cloak of democratic, liberal thinking - with the human right to freedom of expression. It is all too often disregarded that the “global ethics” proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948 is based on two essential foundations: On the one hand, on the “recognition of the dignity inherent in all members of the human family and their equal and inalienable rights, (the) the Forms the basis of freedom, justice and peace in the world ”; and on the other hand that "everyone () has duties towards the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible".

The sociologist Ullrich Mies and the cultural scientist Jens Wernicke take up the term “dark state” coined by Bernd Hamm (1945 - 2015) by addressing the progressive destructive activities of the enemies of democracy and wanting to erect bulwarks against it. It is forms of dictatorship, hierarchy and autocracy that determine the socio-political structures and draw attention to these un- and anti-democratic developments with the label “deep state”. It would be astonishing and more like an angel, rather than a human being, if “pure” objectivity were to determine the discourse in these disputes about actually existing, negative, anti-democratic developments in democratic societies. The developments towards the “deep (undemocratic) state” and the resulting changes and disadvantages for civil societies need a clear hint, knowing that some fingers point back to the accuser [xviii].


Democracy as the best possible form of life, order and government is not a sure-fire success, but relies on individuals and societies to defend it and further develop it humanely [xix]. This is only possible with the human condition [xx]. Hate is a condition to be overcome, humane!

[i] Margarete Mitscherlich, Must we hate ?, Munich 1972, p. 63f

[vi] see also: Thomas Greven / Thomas Grumke, eds., Globalized right-wing radicalism? The extremist right in the era of globalization, 2006, www.socialnet.de/rezensions/3708.php; as well as: Bente Gießelmann, et al., ed., hand dictionary of right-wing extremist fighting terms, 2019, www.socialnet.de/rezensions/25964.php

[xii] Yascha Mounk, collective censorship, in: DIE ZEIT, No. 34 of August 13, 2020, p. 13