Why are We so Groupish?
Hello again! Today I want to talk about some of Chapter 9. In the beginning of this chapter, Haidt talks about how after September 11th, he had the urge to be patriotic for his country. This reminded me of back in 2010 after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. I, being Haitian, was disturbed by all the news of the damage and the deaths. One thing that stood out to me about the whole situation was how after this tragedy, all of a sudden people who would never admit they were Haitian or were not very patriotic about Haiti started to claim that they were and were flashing their Haitian flags. They began to defend their culture and the country that their parents were from. It just really confused me. I just kept thinking, it took a tragedy like this for you to finally be proud of your racial background? Reading what Haidt said about wanting to “do something, anything, to support my team” (219) helped me to understand their thought process and why we think this way. Haidt relates this back to human nature.
Haidt says human nature is “groupish” meaning “our minds contain a variety of mental mechanisms that make us adept at promoting our group’s interests, in competition with other groups” (221). This reminded me of clubs and organizations that we do in school that cause us to think in the group mentality. Do you guys have any experience with that? Were you ever in situations whether it was with a group of friends or during a game with your other teammates where you had to really click into your “groupish” nature for the benefit of the group? Do you think this goes back to Darwin’s series of “probable steps” like Haidt mentions or from somewhere else? This chapter reminds me of “the survival of the fittest”. You know, how only the strong and the fastest and the fittest organisms would herd together to survive? Do you think we get this groupish nature from that? Do we surround ourselves with people we can relate to in order to survive or is it something else?