Polarized protest against problems
Other Names: Polarization of thinking
Nature: At a certain stage in the evolution of recognition of a problem and of the articulation of protest against those perceived as reinforcing it, extreme forms of polarization become counter-productive. Such polarization makes it impossible for any middle ground or alternative to be explored through which movement beyond the problem can be opened up.
Incidence: Examples can be seen in the anti-apartheid movement in which any not in favour of sanctions are perceived as being pro-apartheid. Similar examples occur in the protest against nuclear power, armaments, multinational corporations, communism, capitalism and abortion.
Claim: Restructuring human institutions is impeded by the tendency of human beings to think in terms of polar opposites: either we win or they win; a statement is true or false; an ideal is right or wrong. The tendency to divide reality in this way is found in all cultures and may bve rooted in the brain.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 29.06.1999 – 00:00 CEST