Some policies—and some partisans—deserve forceful opposition, even contempt, from the other side. Vigorous disagreement, both within and between parties, is essential in a functioning democracy. But democracy also requires at least some level of mutual comprehension. No matter where people are on the political spectrum, they ought to know whom they’re fighting with and what they’re even fighting about.
December 27, 2021
Conservatives and Liberals Are Wrong About Each Other
[It is my belief that instead of treating people as belonging to one tribe or another people should treat each other as individuals. Individuals that have a much more nuanced set of beliefs and actions than the caricatures assigned to them by the leaders of their tribal opponents.
That may be too much to ask. The tribal behaviors are almost certainly deeply embedded in our psyche and difficult to override. As I have said many times before*, “It is irrational to expect people to be rational.”
The end result may be a tragedy of misunderstandings with a great mass of people “targeted” by each side when, if at all, it should only be that small fraction of extremists who are dragging the whole population into the fire.—Joe]
* For example:
- Relearning old lessons (2004)
- Natural disaster, Islam, When Prophecy Fails (2005)
- It’s hopeless (2006)
- Societal engineering (2007)
- One should not expect people to be rational (2008)
- Quote of the day—Alan Korwin (2012)
- Quote of the day—Don B. Kates (2013)
- We defend our… (2013)
- Quote of the day—Scott Adams (2016)
- Quote of the day—Jim N. Taylor (2018)
- Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman (2019)
- Amazing (2019)
- Quote of the day—Rolf Nelson (2021)
- Mental gymnastics (2021)
There are a relatively small number of Leftist activists and many fewer Right extremists. But especially on the Left, there are a very large number of passive supporters of the madness. The reason, I think, why the problem is more pronounced on the Left is the media, both news and entertainment. It is much harder for conservatives to live in a bubble than it is for leftists to do so. The concentration of leftists in urban areas where they only interact with other leftists as opposed to conservatives which are more dispersed is a contributing factor. Bubbles lead to misunderstanding.
The question is what do we do with the passive supporters of the Left. Suppressing them, violently or otherwise, is a danger to our souls and not a long term solution anyway. This is why I favor separation. Once we have our own polity we need to maintain vigilance against a new Long March.
You’re right, tribalism has been around a long time. It used to be the tribe was most Americans, not divisions among Americans. People came here from all over the world to join the wonderful American tribe and now people here s**t all over it instead.
A good principle, Joe. And I’m reminded of one of mine: don’t trust someone who tries to make you stop thinking. That’s what tribalism does — it makes you think only about the tribe, not about the individuals in that tribe.
Saying “You’re a Republican, and therefore I don’t need to listen to anything you say” is an excuse not to think. (And the same is true about Democrats.)
We must not make excuses not to think. Thinking is hard, and making decisions and drawing conclusions can be painful. But this is what makes us human.
The thing she misses in her piece is that the radicals on the left are the ones in charge. The vast majority of democrats don’t support defunding the police, are all for voter ID laws, would like to see increased border protection etc etc etc.
But the people who are running the liberal governments from the city level all the way up to the national government, are the radicals. They are setting the agenda for the Democrat party and they are the ones who are dominating the news cycles.
So is it any wonder that the right views any supporter of the democrat party that way?
In fact, I’d say it’s justified. Does it really matter that a particular Democrat voter supports voter ID, opposes unfettered border crossing, supports law enforcement and opposes governments mandating medical procedures when they consistently vote for people who hold opposite positions?
If they support the radicals with their votes, they are part of the problem regardless of their personal positions.
A friend sent this to me years ago and it does explain the polar opposite views of the same incidents.
One group looks at all interactions as individual events between individuals, each separate and looked at in that light.
The other group looks at things as a continuous string of related events. Their viewpoint is what you do to one of us you do to all of us.
Wow, that author has been smoking some strong stuff.
The lede: “Here’s the thing that all the “angry Black people know”, and no “calmly debating White people” want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.
Wow. VERY far off anything I’ve seen. The purpose is, as far as I can see, is to vilify and guilt-trip whites, instill a sense of resentment and victimhood among blacks, native Americans, and any other group less successful than whites, and be an ongoing humiliation ritual for average white folks. It’s either a psy-op take-over plan for Christendom, or at the very least a crafty grift, a long-con game.
But then I read the inspiration and it makes sense. It’s just part of the collective “whites are guilty” narrative. The number of lies and half-truths and what-not is pretty much par for the course. Yeah, sure blacks have “no upward mobility;”… in the nation with the wealthiest black population of any nation in the world….
He admits that “better schools” means “whiter schools.” He might want to ponder “why is that?” and consider that fact is true pretty much world-wide, even in black-majority countries.
I will always take people as individuals. I learned it at an early age and that thought process has worked for me over 60+ years.
But the article does show how a different thought process with different givens leads to a completely different conclusion.
Having traveled and worked in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, I have come to the conclusion 1+1 can equal anything but 2 to some groups. Us against them is a pretty universal human behavior.
A pleasant-sounding but self-defeating principle. Collective action with a strong leader will almost always defeat individual action, no matter how smart or well educated the individuals are. “Divide and conquer” is an oft used strategy because it works.
Most people do not handle isolation and individual action well. They need a “tribe” or group to function and not go crazy.
I have often thought about this. When a person rejects their tribe, whatever that might be, they are also left with having to ask themselves what is the ‘right’ decision over and over again. This is tiring, time consuming, fraught with regrets, and leads to ‘new’ traditions and rules.
And it is more true of the progressives who have thrown out all traditions and rules. It has led to gender ‘science’, CRT, and a lot of other BS.
Historically, people who leave their tribes in a time of turmoil or war are considered “traitors.” One constant in civil wars is “ethnic cleansing,” the separation of different tribes and clans and faiths. Why? they can trust each other more than “others.”
Humans will always do individual things inside groups. Were just hardwired that way. It’s the nature of the beast.
Thats why our forefathers set up the written word as the ruler of the tribe. To guide us and shut down the worst of tribalism before it gets started.
As certain individuals are always present in any tribe that will take advantage and turn it to personal gain.
(One might notice that the ink was not even dry on the constitution before evil started co-opting it.)
And being imperfect beings means we can never achieve the perfect system.
And once again we see ourselves going out of balance. As the system starts to wobble.
I’m of the opinion that our forefathers had the right idea. It fit our nature quite well. What it lacks is a spiney backbone. (As government cannot be counted on to police or balance itself.)
But we now have the technology to give it that backbone. And humans will quickly adapt. Give the right perimeters of individual freedom.
We will just need blood and pain to glue it in place.
Or not. And the next generations will suffer.
Big problems are always caused big individuals. We should start there.
From Chet, above: “When a person rejects their tribe, whatever that might be, they are also left with having to ask themselves what is the ‘right’ decision over and over again.”
This is a key point. “Following the herd,” even at a distance, is much easier than “breaking a trail” even when that new trail may potentially lead to greater, sometimes much greater, things. Individual Independence has been quite subtly attacked and vilified, gently driving out individualism with group identity. While this manipulative technique is not the sole province of the Left, they have mastered it, primarily because of the substantial advantages it offers power-seekers.
People have become trained to pursue affiliations because it is perceived that those affiliations offer advantages, however slight; “belonging” is a powerful psychological driver, rooted in the basic tribal instincts of the mammalian brain. Opposities attract primarily in magnetism, socially like attracts like, and since the human brain seeks order, the focus becomes the center mass of the bell curve, not on its tails.
Maintaining individual independence is work, often hard work, unless one is predisposed to it, or has become acclimated to it. Banding together is, or, logically, should be, a minor condition based on specific need or requirement, not the default setting. Consider the organizational aim of the education industry from the late 19th through the 20th century and how its structure and operation promoted group membership; having tribal affiliation(s) is not necessarily bad, until it becomes the foundation for all, or most, perception and the resultant behavior.
Advancing individualism against the Left’s proselytism against it, since that offers a specific target, will be easier than modifying half a million years of evolution favoring tribal affiliations. I suspect that, at least in the West, and especially the U.S., given the quite obvious disasters of so many groups engaged in Covid-based mass manipulation and the sudden distributed achievement the so-called pandemic has driven, advancing indivdualism may be slightly easier over the next couple of years; someone who has moved from the high rise warrens of New York City or the New Haven suburbs to a 1/2 – 1 acre lot in Florida or Texas is already thinking differently.
All other ‘tribal’ allegiances aside humanity is divided into two different types. One type just wants to be LEFT THE HELL ALONE to live their lives as best they can.
The other half CANNOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. They are congenitally designed to MEDDLE in the lives of everyone telling them what to do and how to live.
Two fundamentally different outlooks that can never coexist. And guess which group gravitates towards politics and power over others.