Erik Torenberg asks, do we side with political ideas to increase our status within our tribe?
I absolutely agree that we side with political ideas to increase our status within our tribes. And I agree that we’ll say and do some pretty crazy shit to fit in with our tribe. But I can’t quite sit with his too-Pavlovian view of psychology, and his assurance about why the brain functions the way it does. I don’t believe that ‘truth doesn’t matter when trying to arrange a society.’ At the moment I can only tell you why I disagree with that point through the lenses of totalitarians regimes. The most successful totalitarians arranged their societies around their truth, their Reich, their Great Leader, their General Secretary, etc. Totalitarians believe their lies (for those outside the regime) to be truth (for those inside), and their citizens damn well better believe it too, or else it’s off with their heads. Fear of anything but the truth of the regime is a powerful way to force citizens into coercion.