Culture Politics Psychology

Love, power and “othering”

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

Jimmy Hendrix

In this time of increased polarisation and conflict everywhere, a new verb has appeared in the English language. To “other” someone is to stop seeing them as a fellow human who has motives and emotions that are understandable and relatable. The “other” might as well be an alien or a malevolent android: they can be opposed, blamed, hated, even killed – but not understood.

This “othering” is a real problem. It massively reduces our options for dealing with behaviours we don’t like. Here’s why: