Frameworks of hate and bigotry may effectively induce members through the concept of original sin. By charging that all people are inherently flawed, wrong, and bad, hatemongers peddle a solution in the form of accepting responsibility for the colossal weight of past sins, confessing loudly among groups of fellow confessors, and then being redeemed and reborn as someone who, though imperfect, is more perfect than others, who have not yet attained that level of enlightenment.
Orwell chronicled this structure quite well, having Napoleon lead a revolution for equality that ended in something a bit less. Hate structures built on divisiveness inevitably lead here; it is inherent in their structure from the beginning.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.Here's the basic model:
1) All [entities] are guilty of [wrong]
2) All [entities] are [flawed]
3) Only those [entities] which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality
4) Those [entities] which have so admitted fault, [enlightened entities], are superior to those [entities] which have not so admitted fault, [ignorant entities]
5) Because those [enlightened entities] have admitted their fault, they are good, just, and superior, while [ignorant entities] are more responsible than ever for the [wrongs] of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them
6) Because [enlightened entities] have been guilty of [wrongs] themselves, and have admitted to them, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the [ignorant entities].
Eve's sin in the garden, and its place in Christian mythology, is one of the readiest examples of this model to westernized humans of the 21st century. By philosophically justifying the propertization of women and patriarchal dominance, structured around a damning supernatural entity, Eve's sin, and various doctrines of "everyone has sin," required that all subsequent humans submit themselves to God/Jesus for forgiveness, by following codes from Kosher to Mormon.
Here's how the model looks with Christian variables plugged in:
1) All humans are guilty of sin
2) All humans are sinful
3) Only those humans which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality. They must submit to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior to gain forgiveness for their sins and come closer to God.
4) Those humans which have so admitted fault, Christians, are superior to those humans which have not so admitted fault, Heathens
5) Because those Christians have admitted their fault, and admitted that they have, themselves, sin, they are good, just, and superior, while Heathens are more responsible than ever for the sins of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them. And they don't even ask for forgiveness!
6) Because Christians have been guilty of sins themselves, and have admitted to them, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the Heathens.
Insanity and hate are easy to spot in the Hate Structure for many westerns when the variables are Christian. One of the greatest horrors of these types of hate structures are the curses they place upon children. If each human child is born encumbered with the sins of the past, life can never renew itself. Antilife exults in this foulness; to crush a new person with the transgressions of all those who have come before, and forever limit that new person's potential based on original sin, is a delightfully efficient way to shackle the new world to the preserved corpse of the old.
Is each little girl baby born cursed by Eve's sin? Is each boy born cursed by Adam's? Is it possible to live a good, wholesome, healthy life, without needing to submit to the authority of a man-god who lived thousands of years ago, and beg for his "forgiveness," lest eternal torment result?
The idea of a child growing up, and being forced to shoulder the burdens of all humanity's past wrongs--and submit to a corrective moral code as punishment thereto--has turned many people "off" of old-style religion. Many religions are adapting to this, but the Hate Structure is not found only in old-style religion.
New Two Minutes Hate
Let's plug some new variables into that same old equation:
1) All humans are guilty of prejudice
2) All humans benefit from privilege in some form or other
3) Only those humans which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality. They must confess to their prejudices, apologize for the benefits they have received from privilege, and submit to radical academic theories in order to be part of the solution
4) Those humans which have so admitted to the benefits of their own privilege, Redeemers, are superior to those humans which have not so admitted to those benefits, Blinds
5) Because those Redeemers have admitted their own privileges, and admitted that they have, themselves, been prejudiced, they are good, just, and superior, while Blinds are more responsible than ever for the prejudices of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them. And they don't even ask for forgiveness!
6) Because Redeemers have been guilty of privilege themselves, and have admitted to it, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the Blinds.
Just as with Christianity's version of hate-justification, the variations on the model curse all new humans with the sins of the past, in order to explain why it is okay to pre-judge other people based on appearance and social status. It has appropriated feminism, stealing the idea of dismantling a deliberate patriarchy and turning the tools of revolution into the tools of oppression, where any claim to "victim" status can make someone an oppressor--a justified oppressor. Because someone was mean to me once in high school, I get to fuck up your shit, goes the argument. He started it. No, he started it. No, he started it! Punch, punch, an eye for an eye, mutually assured destruction. Yay.
Any human is guilty of privilege. A black lesbian Jewish unemployed woman is privileged because she is not handicapped. A four-year-old child on a ventilator in an Idaho hospital is privileged because he is male. An abused woman in Georgia struggling to buy gauze for her bleeding eye from a convenience store clerk is privileged because she is white.
We've come roundabout:
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.~Animal Farm.
Absurdities abound in absolute Hate Structures, like the old one about, "You mean, if I look at a handsome man just once, and think about kissing him, I'm going to Hell?" It doesn't make any rational sense, without the long monotheistic understanding of antilife hatred of human sexuality and the living expression of physical love. Within that context, it makes perfect sense, just as within the context of, say, American Women's Studies, it makes sense to call the black lesbian Jewish unemployed woman "privileged" for not being handicapped. She's blind to it, all right? She's blind to her privilege, because she's, like, a fish inside a pond who's never seen outside the surface. Even to have grown up taking care of her handicapped mother, she can have no idea of the diverse experiences gone through by those who are themselves handicapped.
That message is the message of un-understanding: it says that you cannot understand someone unless you've actually been them. It suggests that humans are disconnected from one another, lumped into innumerable classifiable castes, and from no one other than an approved representative of this caste can a "perspective" rightfully be given.
Of course, when a Christian of thirty years steps forward and says that he doesn't feel that Christians have to be against homosexuals, he's just being ridiculous and doesn't really understand; when a woman of forty-seven years steps forward and says that radical feminism has not helped her at all, but has in fact hurt her, she's just being ridiculous and doesn't really understand. Built into the absolutes of these Hate Structures are plenty of defensible hypocrisies, to ensure that what really matters--the ability to hate and discriminate--is not spoiled by the compassion of any given individual who belongs to any given sub-group. And so, white slaveholders who granted freedom to their slaves were ostracized from pre-Civil War society, because they just didn't get what the point really was. And women who don't adopt the precepts of radical feminism are immediately labeled stupid, ignorant, patriarchal tools, who couldn't possible have thought their way there themselves.
Each new Structure produces a priesthood--those who have learned the lingo well enough to recognize one another as independent agents of the movement. As social power spreads through trade associations, education associations, and governments, it becomes unthinkable to openly advocate anything other than the Hate Structure.
Like all Hates, it is justified by a citation to the past. It's okay to insult, discriminate, and abuse, because you're defending yourself. Everyone knows that, in the past, [bad thing] happened. Therefore, [discriminatory behavior] is not actually discriminatory. Rather, it's a logical reaction to the Facts As They Lie. The KKK has used this for over a century: there are always bell curves, statistics, and anecdotes to demonstrate why any illusory sub-group should be slurred or marginalized. Churches had, for many years, pamphlets proving the power of prayer, community, and religiosity in surviving surgery or traumatic illness.
All of these Structures, though, depend on the Other. To say, "I once was lost, but now am found" is not merely to speak of oneself. Rather, it is to say, "I once was lost, but now am found, and because of that experience, I know that YOU are still lost!"
How To Tell If You're A Bigot
(1) Do you believe that certain subgroups of people, based on a genetic factor or factors, should be prohibited from taking certain actions?
(2) Do you believe that you can identify members of that subgroup based on sight or manner of speech?
(3) Have you identified terms which can be used to describe, in shorthand, persons belonging to members of that subgroup?
(4) When questioned about your beliefs, do you prefer to say, "The matter has already been settled," rather than suffering the pain of explaining in detail why you feel as you do?
(5) When you have refused to explain yourself to someone, do you then relax by returning to the company of those who agree with you in order to talk about how silly members of the bad subgroup can be?
And finally, double-updated, courtesy qvaken, who says openly the stuff that only Fran Mushpie used to say. Priceless:
Even if they’re an asshole, I still feel delighted to see a powerful woman.and:
I look back on my sexual history, and I realise now how bad it all really was. For my part, it was all a complete act – the act that I was taught to give. For men’s part, it’s all about taking, taking, taking, and never giving. It’s at the point where I realise that heterosexual sex, as an act, truly just isn’t worth it. It’s always proclaimed to be about pleasure, and about personal and political freedom, but that’s bullshit; every minute facet of heterosexual sex is about dominating women.
"My experience is everyone's experience"--the bigot's summary of the world. If one person had a few bad partners, every partner is bad; if one person didn't enjoy something, no one could.