The world is divided. People are more extreme, everybody hates each other. Globalization is probably the cause for everybody's disdain. Want proof? Look at the United States. You have the living embodiment of anger as the sole leader of the world's super-power. This election caused everyone to move towards polar opposite spectrum of the belief system. It's not even worth having civil discussions anymore, because you're just gonna be called a bigot. ? ? ? Now that I just lied to you, you're gonna realize how dumb the topic question really is. The world isn't divided, people aren't extreme, and nobody really hates each other. It only seems that way. Why? Because people are idiots. Note that I said "People." ? On an individual basis, a person tends to be more moderate in their actions and beliefs, save a few exceptions that will be explained further on. For example, most of you have been to school. How many times have you feared for your lives while sitting in a classroom full of several different people you don't know? What inhibits them from getting up and punching you square in the face? ? So why is it that people are so polarly opposite that riots break out, wars start, and sports teams are cheered for? Yep. That third topic can be explained by the exact same reasoning: People are more predictable and easily manipulated as a group. ? But wait, how can people all over the world be manipulated if they're not all gathered in the same place? Re-read my opening paragraph. Why did I start out with that? Were you upset at either me for describing Donald Trump as a misogynistic bigot? Or are you crying because you're liberal scum and probably want to hide in your safe space and cuddle with your participation trophy and your women's study degree? Now re-read the last two questions and ask yourself why I only gave you those two options and phrased them the way I did. Who else does this? Where have you seen titles or quotes where words were used as weapons to disengage critical thinking and destroy the foundation of communication? I'll give you 5?reasons why you need to be critically aware. Number 3 will shock you! ? 1. All media is biased. Whether you read from your favorite news source that was clearly written to inflate your sense of dignity over your beliefs, or if you just heard it from your roommate, you will never get a story that hasn't been altered in some way or form to prevent any opinions from leaking through.? Now hold on. What if some outside source who truly doesn't have any opinions just documents what happened? Nope. Bias. It is literally impossible to tell a story without bias. Go ahead. Try it. Comment below and tell me a story that hasn't been manipulated in some form. Why is it so hard to do? Because the moment you decide to report on one subject, you'll be leaving another story out. It's simply because you just can't do it all. You're not omniscient nor are you omnipotent, so it's impossible to tell someone everything that happened all at once. The very reason why you decided to tell a story was because you considered it to be important.? Heck, in this forum post, I'm providing questions that I can easily answer just to make you think that I carefully thought it through from all sides of an argument. Besides, which would article would you rather read? "Trump gave speech at convention" with a picture of him waving at the crowd, or "Trump gave Nazi salute after speech" with a carefully timed picture of him with his arm outstretched? ? 2. Mass audiences are idiots. Have you ever been to a sports game, a concert, theater, whatever? When people all around you are cheering, do you have the urge to as well? If you don't, you're an idiot. Why are you even there if you aren't gonna participate? You're just gonna look like a loser for abandoning your team. I mentioned above that people as a group are easy to control. This is why. This is basically like a hive-mind thinking. You're all predictable because in a crowd, people in general don't like to stand out and do something different. ? 3. Extremism will get you killed. I told you that everyone has moderate beliefs. And I gave you an example earlier. People aren't committing mass atrocities every day everywhere because of the inherent result at the end: You will die if you're too extreme. There will always be somebody who disagrees with your way of thinking. If you have too much power, someone will rebel in some way. History is full of examples of one person or group that held too much power. In 1305, Pope Clement V was held in France, in the commune of Avignon, coined "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church." If Crusader1307 hadn't already mentioned it already in his History Articles, guess what most historians tend to agree would never have happened if the Papacy wasn't held in France? I'll give you a hint: It happened right after the Middle Ages. That's right. The Italian Renaissance. Secular beliefs became more prevalent among [wealthy, intelligent] men, and we all know that the Catholic Church had a lot of power, dictating everyone's morals and beliefs. The entire Renaissance, both Italian and Northern, was basically a long time period of a rebellion against the Catholic Church, which couldn't do anything about the Italian Renaissance because they were divided in power for 112 years between the Babylonian Captivity and the Papal Schism. 4. Individuals who know point 2 are more likely to take advantage of this. Which isn't to say that your leader is gonna be Hitler. It just simply means that people who DO want to stand out are the people who lead in the world. This is literally just a separation of leaders and followers. And the most successful leaders are the ones who are capable of manipulating emotion. Emotion is what all media targets because it's an irrational response to what you experience. Because there's no thinking involved, if you can control someone in an allotted time before they begin to question your methods, then you will be extraordinarily successful in selling your idea to the public. This is why people seem to be on opposing ends of the political or belief spectra. Leaders band them together to promote their own ideas to further their agenda. Mostly for profit. 5. Anonymity makes everything so much easier. So I mentioned earlier that nobody's going to commit mass atrocities every day because of extremism. That's part of it. The other part is because they're afraid of punishment. Read Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. In it, and I paraphrase, he mentioned that a ruler must exhibit some sort of cruelty and vigilance, because if he's too kind, no one will take his laws seriously. But if he publicly demonstrates what would happen if someone disobeyed his rulings, then everyone else will fall into line. I'm aware that The Prince?was written primarily as an observation of the time rather than as a guide. But the example still holds water. But guess what happens when you throw people from all over the world into the internet, where they're capable of communicating? Ever had road rage? Exact same thing. You're more likely to be angry at an inanimate object than you are at another face. Because the internet is generally faceless, even on Facebook you're not communicating with another tangible face, you're more likely to treat everyone as if they aren't real. This is why there are trolls. And how often do you rationally think when you're angry? If you want to manipulate a large audience, prioritize the preceding points in this order: 5, 1, 3, 2, 4 Which isn't to say that any of these points are significantly less important than another. Ultimately, the entire post can be summed up as this: TL;DR: Groups of people are less resilient to manipulation than individuals. The divide and conquer trick has been applied in order to cause people to perceive that the world is ending. But don't fret. It's happened before, it's happening now, and it will continue to happen, but the world is still standing. Humans are creative and adaptive, which is the result of our cognitive abilities.