The Human Mind Is Tribally Not Nationally Hardwired

The primitive base mind (the ego) is tribally not nationally hardwired — a demagogue’s delight. The focus of the typical Joe and Jane is local and narrow, with a strong preference for like kind — family, friends and community. That of course means that trying to hold together a large geographical area composed of heterogeneous factors of race, religion, custom and language will always be a difficult to impossible up stream swim. Indeed, it only requires the slightest difference between peoples to spark conflict.

As populations around the globe continue to mushroom evermore, pushing dissimilar peopled into each other’s space, each day it becomes a world increasing suited to a hell-raising demagogue like Donald Trump, a man best apt to leaving a trail of carnage in his wake. Tribal animosity is his playground. No wonder he is the excited choice of the Klan and neo-Nazis.

It has been said that hatred is the most powerful of unifying agents. All one need to see that as ringing truth is to take notice of late stage political ads on TV. The primary object is to vilify one’s opponent, to generate hatred toward them. That he or she is not one of us, the tribal ploy, is often the most effective type of hatred aimed for.

Hatred can often ware a smile or a smirk. Vilifying the “other” can be an electrifying pleasure, particularly when among a group of likeminded bent on sticking it to an object of common scorn. Look at all the fun that the Donald has with tossing out red meat to his adoring followers. His rallies are always a dog whistler’s convention of thinly veiled hatred, a fun time for all. Though many would not even admit to themselves the evil that dwells among them.

Alas, my friends, hate not love is the default state of the human mind, yet our hope keeps on pushing us to believe otherwise. That dynamic is perhaps the ultimate paradox. Of course this all fits quite well with my pet theory of probability balance — creation and good must at some point in time be offset by destruction and evil, or in celestial terms, stars are born and stars die.

And so one can see that when men like Hitler and Trump disparage Jews or Mexicans within populations where they are a distinct minority, it is like a child roaming through a dynamite factory playing with a pack of matches. In the end all gets blown to bits via tribal animosities.

This would seem to indicate that relatively homogenous nations like China and Japan would out last the amalgamated Americas, and the currently being overrun with outsiders, Europe.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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