An Analysis of Herd Psychology in America

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is an essay that explores the origins of Groups Psychology. It also includes an analysis of police in American Society

If you look at all the related hominids and great apes we've discovered so far, both living and nonliving, basically all of them are physically stronger than us and have better senses. The ones whose senses we can gauge, anyway. They exhibit a certain amount of the same gregariousness (meaning 'of a social nature') as humans, but clearly not to the same degree, even with regards to what we know of the earliest and most basic human associations. 

Also, look at certain aspects of human nature, like how important it is to be accepted by the group. How people will kill themselves if they're bullied and feel like they'll never have friends, or won't have a good social life. In some ways, it probably feels like life or death to a lot of people. It IS literally life or death for the people who end up committing suicide. 
What does this imply about the evolutionary path of humanity?
The fact that we're so much weaker than our nearest ancestors, implies that there are some other qualities that allow us to compete against the other species. Something that allowed us to fade away from breeding purely on physical characteristics and sensory qualities. 
One of these is obviously intelligence and the adaptability that comes with it. I'd argue that another one is the gregariousness of mankind. The social nature. The group acts as an insulator against natural selection. Instead of living or dying purely based upon our personal attributes, the social group becomes, with regards to natural selection, a single organism. It lives or dies together. 
In addition to people's previously stated reaction towards being shunned from the group, you can also look to the fact that popularity or fame is very attractive to women. Like-ability and a mans capacity to have a healthy social group/support network often factors in very strongly to a woman's decision on who to partner with. And the instinctual reproductive behaviors of modern women are the same ones that evolution has been selecting for. Thats how evolution works.
Shame is a very powerful feeling. It is rooted in how you're perceived by your social group. People kill themselves over shame. Why? Because it means excommunication from the group. But why kill yourself? Because being separated from the group means death anyway, or at the very least no more opportunities to reproduce. Its generally just those deeply evolutionary in nature sorts of needs, that produce such a strong response. Being a member of a group is often as important to people as having food, shelter, safety, or even sexual reproduction, as evidenced throughout history (nuns, priests, gangs, cults, etc). 
Many people can understand that humans like to be a part of a group, that it's important. It's a natural understanding, something that most people take for granted, in part because it IS so natural. But, it isn't something to just casually accept. Groups are a powerful motivating force. People will literally kill to join a group. They will lie, cheat, steal or kill to protect their groups as well. Which is why we've got to understand that it is rooted in an evolutionary survival instinct, on the level of the importance of having a secure source of food.
When you truly understand the importance of groups to the human mind, you can being to pull apart certain aspects of our basic decision making process. Why we do the things we do. Why we think the way we think/have the opinions that we have. Why we react the way we do to certain things. Why we have the habits that we have. Why our society is organized the way it is. When you think about all these things through the lens of evolution, how VITALITY IMPORTANT groups are to us psychologically, much of what seemed to be mass insanity or stupidity is merely because of this basic fact. 
Its a constant buzzing bee in our subconscious mind, informing every single thing we do. Its impossible to list all of the different ways people are affected, but we can use a case study as an example of how to analyze some things. Socialism/communism is an obvious example, but its both too simple and too complex to bother with in a short essay. Obviously, though, at the heart of those ideologies is the evolutionary instinct to be a part of a powerful group that makes sure your needs are taken care of. 
The American Left Vs. Right; And their feelings with regards to the Law Enforcement Officer
It's fairly obvious to everyone, on both the outside and the inside, that American society is extremely fractured. There are only two main political parties. And to go one step further, I will make the claim that there are just two main political ideologies. The democrat/republican split is obvious, but what do I mean about ideologies?
The left/right divide. For the purpose of this discussion, the political left wing will be defined as those that want government to do more things, and the political right wing will be those that want government to do less. Anarchy would be the most extreme version of right wing ideology, zero government. Libertarian-ism being an example of another, or very little/weak government. An example of left wing ideologies would be totalitarianism, absolute government, or communism/fascism/socialism. They will be know by their government run economy, and high levels of government control/power. 
You might notice, hidden within those two ideologies, is a fundamental difference in how people think about themselves in relationship to the group. Left wing ideologies are collectivist, or place an emphasis on the group over the individual. Right wing ideologies are the opposite, placing the individual over the group. America is a republic, which is supposed to protect the rights of the individual, over the desires/needs of the group. For example, if someone is starving, it is still illegal for them to steal food or money from you. This would be considered a right wing ideology. 
Again, though. We come back to peoples perception of their proper relationship towards the group, as one of the fundamental pieces of human decision making. If you're physically weaker, less intelligent, less attractive, or less capable in some way, then you're more inclined to want a group that will insure your needs are taken care of. Its just evolution.
Those sorts of people fundamentally understand they cant compete, on an instinctual level. Hence why so many people who are in support of collectivist ideologies are often times the least capable and most vulnerable in a society. It might sound rude or to be just a stereo type, but if you look at the left wing protests, or meetings of left leaning individuals, you can see innumerable real world examples. They need society to force people to accept them, to take care of them, because they can't do it on their own. Hence all the Social Justice Warrior political correctness. This ceases the opportunity to criticise those individuals, giving them an elevated position in the herd, or high status. They are getting the group to accomplish what they can't accomplish on their own, through the typical means of high achievement.
This is probably why women who have husbands, according to statistics, tend to vote republican, and single mothers overwhelmingly vote democrat. Women with husbands don't need a powerful state to take care of them, to keep them safe, so they don't vote to expand the welfare state. Single mothers live extremely insecure lives though, constantly spread too thin, and thus they need as big of a welfare state as possible. Government sponsored childcare, literal welfare, foodstamps, state enforced alimony and child support payments, etc. 
There is no debtors prison in America, but you can get put into jail for not paying child support and alimony. If a 13 year old boy is statutorily raped by a 35 year old woman and he gets her pregnant, he has to pay child support for the next 18 years or go to jail in the majority of US states. 
This is the result of what women want from government. Women were also the instigators behind prohibition. A lot of men were alcoholics back then, and alcoholics are bad husbands. They're more abusive, and its expensive. Women wanted better husbands so they tried to use the state, aka the group, to enforce their will. They lack the physical power to control their husbands, so they used institutions of the group to do it for them. 
Men do it too, but because of the fact we're constantly competing with each other for resources and women, we aren't as inclined to organize amongst ourselves. We do organize, but generally it has to be around some sort of common ideology or interest. Women will back each other up against men, in my experience, purely based upon the fact they're both women. This is, once again, from evolution. Women who banded together to influence/control male behavior went on to produce more children. 

The majority of people in America don't have strong feelings about most things with regards to politics. This is why a huge part of political campaigns are focused on MAKING those people care. The swing voters. The people on the center, and the people that rarely vote. It was the swing voters, the Reagan democrats, that won the election for Donald Trump. 
They just want to have good lives and aren't ideological driven. Unfortunately, the political discussion is dominated by people to the left and right of that group. So, for the purposes of this discussion, while recognizing the majority of people don't fall into either of these categories, we must also recognize that most of the political discussion is done by a vocal minority on each side. This vocal minority is in a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the majority. 
The left wing paints police as criminal thugs, bad people, dangerous, evil even, bigoted, racist, a visible expression of the patriarchy, an example of fascism, jack booted thugs with ill intent, etc. They chant things along the lines of "Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon", implying they should be killed. These are all personal attacks on the character of the police themselves. 
Their criticisms have nothing to do with the actual INSTITUTION of policing, the actual organization, the actual LAWS they're enforcing. They never mention, every single year that goes by there is a new law giving cops the right to pull you over for something. They can take your blood without a warrant. They can take your money, your property, without a warrant or accusing you of a crime. For Hurricane Irma, the cops are going around and forcefully locking up homeless people, "for their own safety". Civil Asset Seizure laws are LITERALLY legalized government theft. 

They never mention the numerous lives that are ruined, families that are ruined, because of police actually following the laws and procedures perfectly, not being racist or bigoted in any way, acting in good faith, with good intention. 
The right wing are the exact opposite. Trump is a perfect example. He continually talks about about how the police are "some of our best", or "Some of the best we have, folks, lemme tell you", or "If I could have anyone at my back, it'd be a policeman or member of the military. They're honorable noble people". Rhetoric to this effect. You might hear things like, "Sure, they do some bad things sometimes. Every group has bad people in it. Its not right to judge a whole group of people  for the actions of a few, thats the exact same thing racists do". Things of that nature.
Once again, everything is revolved around the personal characteristics, intent, and supposed virtue of the police. The exact opposite, in that regard, but strikingly similar to the fact that it has nothing to do with the actual INSTITUTION of policing. The laws, rules, regulation, restrictions that we all live under daily, and have come to accept. 
Its not an uncommon thing to get a minor traffic ticket, not be able to afford it, lose your licence, and then lose your job because you can't get to work anymore. 
Unfortunately for everyone, we can't have any of those discussions. Because everything revolves around the CHARACTER of the police, and not the actual institution of policing and our laws. This creates a sort of grid lock, like we see in Washington overall. 
Why is it this way? Because those on the right, for whatever reason, consider the police as members of their "group". They blindly favor those within the herd, the tribe. The left wing feels the exact opposite. Police are "outsiders", not group members. 
The thoughts/feelings/opinions/safety of group members is infinitely more valuable than those outside the group. The very HUMANITY of those outside your group is less. Hence why we can so easily commit genocide against one another, and go to war. We're preconditioned to dehumanize the outsider and glorify the insider. It's just evolution. Live or die together. As a single meta organism. Times of warfare or conflict greatly exacerbate this instinct. 

Submitted: September 16, 2017

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