Mutual Radicalization

Political behavior is sometimes influenced by mutual radicalization, when two groups take increasingly extreme positions against one another, reacting against real or imagined threats, moving further and further apart, with the ultimate goal of thwarting, blocking, or even destroying the other. Associated with this process is pathological hatred, in which each side interprets a loss for the other side as a gain for the self, with the destruction of the other bringing maximum self-satisfaction. Mutual radicalization is a dynamic process that can involve individuals competing against other individuals, as when two people become extreme in hatred and acts of aggression against one another. However, the more common and destructive form of mutual radicalization involves large groups, such as when groups formed on the basis of ...

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