First watch this video.
Politics and polarization have obviously gotten very bad and are getting worse by the day, not only in the United States but also in the rest of what has historically been called "western civilization." Tribal behaviors are primitive in the sense that they are entirely instinctually driven, so those engaging in these behaviors are never aware that they are doing so. These unconscious behaviors can be overridden over time, but only with great effort and only rarely. The rules below are for non-tribal observers who want to understand what they're looking at.
It is always alleged that new technologies will create a better world. Social media was sold the same way. But the more primitive tribal behaviors we see all around us today were enabled by social media. These tribal instincts were always there of course, but their expression became far more pronounced when it became possible, for example, to denounce and stigmatize somebody in a matter of hours, and often for no reason (rumors, bullshit, information taken out of context or motivated humans making shit up, aka., lies, total fabrications).
Of course nobody actually needs a legitimate reason to publicly denounce and condemn others as morally inferior because expressing moral outrage and one's own self-righteousness feel so damn good. There's nothing to be done about this. That's just how the brain works in these cases (Molly Crockett's video above). Social media is designed to create and reinforce tribal behaviors. Those designs keep people coming back for more feel-good stuff, for more dopamine hits, which is very good for business. I was not kidding when I said that human beings are self-defeating fuck-ups in the good old days on DOTE. All this primitive tribal behavior is a case in point.
Jordan Peterson has his twelve rules to live by, but here are twelve rules you've got to live with
- in large, complex modern societies, there exist various sociopolitical groups, each with some associated belief system (ideology)
- politics is intra-group conflict — in-groups (Us) versus (Them) out-groups
- all such belief systems necessarily have some grounding in reality but are delusional when looked at as a whole (the belief systems are utopian in some way which conflicts with human nature)
- such belief systems form the scaffolding upon which the group coheres — it is therefore easy to spot who is and who is not in the group (virtue signaling)
- for bonafide members of sociopolitical groups, being in good standing and remaining that way within the group are always paramount concerns; otherwise one becomes a stigmatized outcast (a pariah)
- there is inevitably the flatland "sincerity" problem — these belief systems are always motivated, though not for the reasons given (the usual post-hoc rationalizations)
- the actual motivation is usually some quest for social power & status (who will have it and who will not, however expressed); otherwise, the group member is question is merely idealistic (i.e., delusional naiveté)—which is far more common than you think, though we not discount the social benefits of going along with program (from the Flatland perspective, everybody in any of these groups is delusional in so far as they do not and can not understand their own instinctual motivations)
- those in out-groups will be (on a scale) viewed unfavorably, stigmatized, despised or dehumanized in the most extreme case
- the straw man argument is common — out-group beliefs are invariably misrepresented by in-groups, with the perceived worst case of out-group depravity often standing for the whole belief system
- there is always guilt by association — for in-groups, mere association with those in out-groups signals, fairly or not, membership in those out-groups
- there is over-generalization and contagion — although ideologies necessarily have some grounding in reality to maintain the appearance of plausibility, in-groups reject all the beliefs of the out-group, thus often throwing out the baby with the bathwater
- tribalism obliterates true individuality, nuance and complexity, case by case reasoning and practical solutions to real on-the-ground problems — overgeneralized black & white thinking is always the rule; anything contradicting the ideology in question must be filtered (see the list of filtering modes in the 4th Flatland essay)