“To trace something unknown back to something known is alleviating, soothing, gratifying, and gives moreover a feeling of power. Danger, disquiet, anxiety attend the unknown – the first instinct is to eliminate these distressing states. First principle: any explanation is better than none….The cause-creating drive is thus conditioned and excited by the feeling of fear….”
What Nietzsche is saying is that people naturally seek an explanation to the unknown. To live with the unknown is a cause for anxiety and an explanation has a gratifying aspect to it. The psychologists tell us that knowing or believing we know releases chemicals of pleasure in our mind.
How interesting. That explains why love is difficult. It is accompanied by anxiety. We do not know why we love and if it is true love. Hate on the other hand uplifts, excites. WE KNOW why we hate and whom we hate. And to get that gratification, that uplifting experience, a simple explanation is the most gratifying one because it is instant and simple.
Behavioral psychologists say this act of resolving the uncertainty releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. The fact that what we “know” (the explanation for the unknowable) is irrelevant or even wrong is not important to the chemical release.
This explains to me why the first thing people do in explaining a problem is to personify the cause, to have a witch hunt. It is so simple. Fast and no sweat to hang the bell on someone’s neck and say he is to blame. To study the system and find where the fault is, is complicated, confusing and not gratifying.
Well, this could also be one of the causes of anti-Semitism.
There is disease spreading? Aha, the Jews did it. This kind of explanation happened in Medieval times. In modern times, since there is an explanation for diseases, thank God, it is not the Jews who caused it. But if there is an economic crisis that is hard to explain, or the ignorant cannot explain it, or understand the explanation, no problem, the bankers did it and who are the bankers? The Jews.
There is Muslim terrorism? It is the Jews of Israel that caused it because of the Palestinian conflict although the terrorism is in ….the Philippines. Never mind. Simple explanation does it: the Jews.
I am really worried of a big, big anti-Semitic wave looming in the future, because of a big, BIG, huge, global disaster that will be difficult to explain and will cause the biggest wave of anti-Semitism ever: earth warming. Typhoons. Floods. Heat of unprecedented degrees. Millions of people losing their homes, businesses getting destroyed, people dying of diseases caused by atmospheric warming.
It is a disaster that will be difficult to find the culprit for because it is none of us alone who caused it. It is all of us together; it is called human activity.
But it is tough accusing everybody. Not a simple explanation. Not a simple solution. So here is one: it is the business world that did it and who are the leaders of business, who runs the world? The Jews. Here we go again.
If the Jews did not exist, they would need to be created to let the people have an easy explanation to their suffering.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes