How сollective emotions are reshaping the world

Whether we like it or not, we live under the power of emotions. Under their influence, we choose our clothes, food, books, films, and friends. Some scientists say that humanity is moving from an era of a rational attitude to life into a new era — an emotional one. Not for nothing Emodji – simple pictures depicting our mood – appeared in our messages, and we can’t do without them anymore. Emotions often affect our political choices and, as a result, they affect the quality of life in our country. 

Hope. Fear. Humiliation.

Three basic mass emotions in geopolitics

Joy, curiosity, sadness, anger, fear, sympathy, embarrassment, anxiety, disgust, disappointment and even indifference. Different theories of emotions allocate from six to several dozen emotional states of a single person. However, we are talking about the emotional mood of large groups: from residents of a small town to citizens of an entire country. 

What kind of emotions may guide their actions? 

In 2008, an outstanding French political analyst, Dominique Moisi, supposed that the people of each country mostly experienced one of the three basic mass emotions, hope, fear or humiliation, which affects the standard of living, the internal and external policies of this state. 

According to this theory:

  • Hope means people's confidence in the future. Hope for the future means a stable emotional state of people and becomes the foundation of a country's well-being.
  • Fear is the lack of confidence. If people feel fear, they fear for today and expect the worst from tomorrow. They may take a wait or aggressive attitude.  
  • Humiliation is a feeling of lost hope, uncertainty about tomorrow, an insult to dignity. According to Moisi, the sense of humiliation can pushthe person over the edge: “I can destroy you, because I cannot unite with you” *. 

Mass humiliation can be one of the most destructive driving forces in a country's life: 

“It was the humiliation of the masses that led to Stalinism and Hitlerism.

This does not mean that Ukraine, which lives in humiliation, will necessarily look for hope in aggression. However, such a probability exists. People’s aggression can manifest itself with a terrible destructive force, therefore, today it is important to be aware of the dangers of the “strong hand” coming to power with extremism kindling the people”.

(Savik Shuster "Freedom of speech against fear and humiliation. Social experiment on the air and the first card of emotions of Ukraine", p. 203)

Journalist and TV host Savik Shuster developed the theory of basic mass emotions and decided to put it into practice. Here you can read about his first experience in measuring mass emotions. 

“Open Mind Foundation”, a research media center founded by Savik Shuster, will work to further explore the emotions of the masses.

In some polls we plan to increase the list of mass emotions in order to get more detailed answers..

With your participation, this web-site will be able to show the daily change of well-being of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and eventually other countries of the world. Join now!

 

* Dominic Moisi Geopolitics of emotions. How cultures of fear, humiliation, and hope transform the world.