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Thanks for the links, too. Interesting as always.

Politics are about the jockeying for power and position amongst the various sub-groups in a society. Each sub-group forms an identity, and the unconscious processes kick in to defend and/or expand that identity.

Any time someone starts arguing about politics, one can pinpoint that person's identity and sub-group, and see what they're trying to protect, and how they bend the reality of the situation to do so.

Sadly, the urge to protect one's own sub-group only leads to greater demarcation lines between each sub-group. Demonizing the other only causes the other to fortify their own sub-group's identity. In times of stress, for instance, one starts thinking of themselves more as R or D, or Southern or Northern, or urban or rural, or white or black, and so on - instead of simply American. These fractures work on each other as a vicious circle, amplifying the process.

Just about everyone does this, and in that way, everyone is the same in so far as they are just trying to defend/further their own sub-group's priorities. The elite, as its own sub-group, does win most battles, as they've already secured most of the resources and instruments of power, and can use those as leverage. Additionally, a characteristic of any group identity is to fail to see and understand positions outside that identity. Or, most of them can't see the big picture, and the elites can use that to help instigate divide-and-conquer situations - the "culture wars" in the U.S. being a great example.

Humans can choose their own fate, but only in so far as one sub-group gains temporary advantage over another. But in the end, we can't alter the larger picture, which is a hierarchical one of those at the top, those at the middle, and those at the bottom. That picture never changes, at least in complex societies.

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