Nietzsche suggests in his book On the Genealogy of Morals a historical account of a nation that was harmonious and peaceful inside, while periodically going on crusades against other nations, committing the most heinous crimes; rape, murder, torture. And they enjoy it. He suggests that this nation has developed this mechanism as a way to vent the more animalistic tendencies that are suppressed inside its civilization.
Why do we get so angry about politics? Why do we see a flag or a famous monkey and are so hyponotized by it that we elevate it, in our minds, above all of those who oppose it? Why are we seemingly ready to kill people who disagree with us about political issues – and yet seldom dare to speak our own minds if they oppose that which is morally accepted?
I think the answer is simple.
Political issues and political leaders give us the permission to be angry. Something we are generally not allowed to be.
To be angry and violent, those are qualities that are looked down upon in society. To use force and power to get your own way, that is perhaps the greatest crime of all. Beware the selfish man. Serve the others, always be compassionate and so on. And yet, when our personally chosen leaders talk about the enemies of their values, we become feral, with foam at our mouths, ready to do almost anything to silence them. Very peculiar.