"By Thomas B. Edsall
- I fantasize about a natural disaster wiping out most of humanity such that a small group of people can start all over.
- I think society should be burned to the ground.
- When I think about our political and social institutions, I cannot help thinking “just let them all burn.”
- We cannot fix the problems in our social institutions, we need to tear them down and start over.
- Sometimes I just feel like destroying beautiful things.
this study provides insights into the kinds of thoughts and behaviors that people are motivated to entertain when they sit alone (and lonely) in front of the computer, answering surveys or surfing social media platforms.
In many ways, as we have technologically advanced, we have also regressed to more immediate, emotional, and personal forms of political communication. And it is only in understanding the nature of that personal political psychology that we can begin to grapple seriously with the challenges of today, including the consequences of global populism.
We face an Age of Discontinuity in world economy and technology. We might succeed in making it an age of great economic growth as well. But the one thing that is certain so far is that it will be a period of change — in technology and in economic policy, in industrial structures and in economic theory, in the knowledge needed to govern and manage, and in economic issues.While we have been busy finishing the great nineteenth century economic edifice, the foundations have shifted beneath our feet.
The authors set out to explore the psychological underpinnings of the tendency to share hostile political rumors online. The sharing of hostile political rumors has often been attributed to partisan motivations. Supporters of one party share this kind of information to mobilize voters against another political party. Yet, in the paper, Petersen et al. introduce a second motivation to share hostile political rumors and that is what they call ‘chaotic motivations’.
It remains an open question whether those with higher chaotic motivations also turn their “motivations” into action. One could expect that those higher on chaotic motivations are more likely to protest and actually revolt against the political system. Moreover, I could see a role for chaotic motivations in understanding why people support populist politicians. Populist politicians share a message that the elites in, for instance Washington, Paris, Berlin and London, are corrupt, evil and self-centered. Perhaps this rhetoric resonates well with a tendency to like to see the democratic system go down.
Opinion | The Trump Voters Whose ‘Need for Chaos’ Obliterates Everything Else