Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Ubiquity of Prejudice

One of the themes you see in various media outlets on the proud left - HuffPost, Vox, Salon - is that essentially everyone is racist. Oddly, it is a sentiment with which COTTonLINE is inclined to agree.

I believe the evidence from around the world makes this point clearly. Rejection of the "other" is a universal human trait. Racism is merely a major subset of the universal human tendency to root for one's own group, against other groups.

Chances are several human characteristics are things we wish were otherwise, we could readily do without wisdom teeth and the vermiform appendix, probably the gall bladder, as well. We often overdo the "killer ape" behavior, too.

Idealists, which I am not, wish human nature was more compatible with socialism, wish we were more like ants or bees, less like tigers or minks. That is, more collectivist, less individualistic.

They see the sacrifice some people will make for family and expect it to generalize to humanity - it doesn't, it won't. Evidence is relatively clear that collectives so large that not all members know each other personally just don't work out, too much free-riding happens.

Likewise, it's okay to wish humans weren't racist, just don't confuse the wish with what you know to be true. All of us to one degree or another are apt of think ill of those unlike ourselves, often manifest as racism.

Humans evolved to survive, it hasn't made us into saints or paragons. In our native state we more closely resemble a wolf pack: internally cooperative in small groups, externally remorseless.