In Groups/Out Groups

I’ve been reading, lately, how evolutionary theory offers insights into human behavior. Apparently, deeply ingrained within our genetic make-up, we survivors have certain inherent inclinations that, despite how desperately we may want to rationalize them away will always be with us. Our ultimate evolutionary need to pass on our genes has embedded within our psyches the drive toward group membership: like-minded individuals to share values and reciprocal support and the presupposition of a supernatural agency. I guess what happens over (a long, long, long) time is that the group establishes an identity: cultural, moral, spiritual, that separates it from other groups.

So, what this must mean is that we all will forever be divided into in-groups and out-groups. In the best of times, I suppose, toleration will reign, there will be peaceful co-existence. But even when such periods exist, the Ins will know that they are the trustworthy ones who recognize the true supernature, which means that there will always be a sort of tension between Ins and Outs that could, and sometimes does, fester and erupt into violence. And such a situation will be more likely to happen, I further suppose, when one group feels its existence is threatened if political power becomes imbalanced. And, as much as one might like to disassociate oneself from this ridiculous op positional stance, you really can’t since you wouldn’t be here to even think about it all if your ancestors hadn’t passed on the necessary survival genes.

I guess this evolutionary perspective explains a lot about the nature of the world today. I will try to remember that as evolution continues to slowly and erratically move along, in some distant future perhaps it will catch up to an intellectual enlightenment.

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4 thoughts on “In Groups/Out Groups

  1. Pingback: Identity Politics: the Root of Stupid – The Psy of Life

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