Vaccine Against Hate

August 9, 2020

By Xosé Gabriel Vázquez, CPS Global Community

This crisis is producing many facts and consequences. Among them is the race to create a vaccine to stop Covid-19 as soon as possible. It can be said that, today, it is the priority objective of humanity. Something that is logical and evident, since it is the most urgent thing at the moment. However, and above all to illustrate and/or draw attention to my vision and approach, I dare say that I am more concerned with finding an antidote to hatred among members of our own species. Sooner rather than later, if it is not our scientific knowledge, the body itself will develop defenses and immunity against the pathogen. Instead, against hatred it seems that nothing has effectively immunized us yet, despite the fact that it has been with us for thousands of years (ranking one group over another is a symptom of age-old domination systems), even from our origins according to biblical accounts. In fact, it is the worst pandemic of humanity, by far, and not only because of its extension in time but also because nothing has claimed as many lives, efforts, resources and misfortunes as our own and mutual hatred.

The contagion of human hatred is still more powerful and lethal than that of a microorganism.

In addition, it is and is more contagious than any other virus, illness or disease, since it is activated through feelings, something that we all have, while we can also all have something against someone or something. So it only needs to revive it for it to occur and, once it has been activated, it is already very difficult to eradicate; without masks, confinements, or anything to stop him. Like arsonists, peanuts, and other types of unhealthy and not good human behavior, there are also those who, from parties, the media, organizations, or (bad) causes, spread this evil, so lethal and disastrous for our species.

Hate is nurtured and is the way to vent frustrations, own mistakes, misunderstandings and, generally speaking, our anger with life and/or society, which is nothing but anger with ourselves but focused outward, holding the other accountable rather than assimilating our own circumstances. So, generally speaking, it is easier and/or more comfortable for us to “add fuel to the fire” than the effort and/or interest to “put it out”. In fact, it is very easy to follow and justify, since you only need to tell us “look at what they have/have done or what they have said” about something you appreciate. It can even give strength and/or be a “leitmotiv”, on which many have built their (counter-productive) existence. On top of that, the culture itself does not take care not to feed this pandemic, the worst of all, but, on the contrary and unconsciously, fosters it through hatred of the rival in competitions of all kinds, from economic, political, commercial , labor, sports, etc.

I cannot quantify how many deaths, money, resources, and costs of all kinds, including health and emotional, have been caused by hatred throughout our history. It is too huge to calculate; this shows that if there is something that we have to remedy, that it is urgent and that our existence is truly going for it, it is to be vaccinated against this monstrous pandemic of hatred, paradoxically created by ourselves. I am not talking about ideologies, or different ways of seeing or different worldviews, since that is something normal and natural, as science has shown, when discovering that conservative people perceive the circumstances or the environment in one way, by or through a specific functioning of the brain, and progressive people in another way, through or through other parts of our class. So it is not a matter of convincing or taking our own, we have and we can live with it.

But hate is and consists of something else. To illustrate this, I remember the precious film by the recently deceased José Luis Cuerda, “The Tongue of the Butterflies” (1999), in which the protagonist boy goes from admiration for his teacher to insulting him and throwing stones at him, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1939). It was only necessary to inoculate hatred through fear, defamation, repression and joining the mainstream. The same happened in Hitler’s Nazi Germany (1933-1945), who was voted and elected by democratic suffrage, precisely due to the crisis and corresponding blame thrown on the vexatious Treaty of Versailles (1919), which added to the fear to the nearby communist revolution (1917), to the “crack” of 1929 and to the “holocaustic” hatred of the Jews, he made the human cocktail no more lethal than it is remembered.

It does not matter that it is a world problem or that it behooves us to be united, to collaborate and not to use hatred for struggles of all kinds (territorial, ideological, religious, fratricidal, etc.). Its contagion is still more powerful and lethal than that of a microorganism. In addition and as they say, “from love to hate there is a step” or that they are extremes that touch each other, as unfortunately it can be verified, for example, in the multiple cases of gender violence. This illustrates that it is also an individual and not just a social problem. That is, it affects from the relationship of two people to those of the whole world.

As a scientist and sociologist, my main interest is to find a vaccine against this human pandemic. Although I have already referred to the symptoms and “modus operandi” of the same, in order to try to point out possible prophylactic measures and remedies for its non-propagation, it turns out that my treatise on our species recovers value, evidence, application and results. Both with regard to my proposal to enhance our identity and identifying characteristics, the capacity for ideation —as I gather in my book Animal of Realities, and in relation to the three existential keys that I explain and justify in my Existential Guide for (the) Human Being, this is: equality, collaboration without cheating and innovation. In a partnership society, we add caring as a core value to sustain equanimity and mutually-beneficial, creative collaboration. All this again has a very valid empirical and experimental field in this regard, since the vaccine against hatred must have these components.

Photo by Kayla Velasquez on Unsplash


Xosé Gabriel Vázquez, PhD, is a researcher, author, and professor of Sociology of Education at the University of A Coruña in Galicia, Spain. He is the Director of the Instituto Sondaxe, where he has directed more than a thousand studies and demoscopic works. His latest book, Animal of Realities: Our Evolutionary Identity as a Species and Individuals, seeks to identify what makes humans specifically different from otehr species, and to claim and prioritize awareness of our value. Xosé Gabriel has recenlty won the Diderot Essay Award for his publication Existential Guide for (the) Human Being. https://pdi.udc.es/en/File/Pdi/9999E Contact Xosé Gabriel: gabriel.vazquez@udc.es.


 

 

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