Have you noticed how the left so often uses war rhetoric? They are social justice warriors, and they are fighting in a culture war. Karl Marx talked about class struggle. The national socialist Adolf Hitler wrote a book called “Mein Kampf” – my struggle. Incidentally, his book is translated into Arabic as “my jihad,” because Jihad is Arabic for “struggle.” Islamists almost always vote left-wing.
Apparently, collectivists like to think in terms of groups and conflict. Is all this a coincidence?
A Natural Occurrence?
The answer might lie in biology. Throughout the eons, the natural human group entity has been the tribe, an extended family of up to one hundred individuals. Most of that time it has served the role of tribe, race, culture, and nation, all baked into one entity. During most of human existence, tribalism, racism, nationalism, and socialism have been the same thing.
Almost invariably, tribes have been at war with each other. It appears that humans love their neighbors, but their neighboring tribes have been a source of strife and plunder. Those tribes that did not have a strong group cohesion would easily be wiped out. This could explain why collectivism is so prevalent in human societies across the globe. A strong group identity may have first evolved in response to fierce tribal warfare. War and collectivism are intertwined.
But that group identity seems to be more than mere passive self-defense. In most places, the successful tribes may have been those who wiped out others before they were attacked themselves.
If this is true, the following pattern should hold true: the more collectivist people are, the more conflict-oriented they will be, actively seeking out struggle to destroy enemy tribes. That seems to be a remarkably accurate description of the modern progressive.
Taking on an evolutionary biological perspective on human behavior allows us to reframe the political struggle in society. Conservatives and libertarians are mostly “leave me alone”-types who don’t care much for politics and just want to live their own lives without too much hassle from other people. Leftists, however, engage in cultural war, in jihad against various groups that they label as enemies: the patriarchy, white supremacists, capitalists, bigots, and sexists.
Consider now instead these not as political but tribal labels. The “left” is to the collectivist a synonym for “my tribe” and the “right” is the label for “the enemy tribe.” This would explain why people who regard themselves as left-leaning may suddenly find themselves placed in the Nazi enemy tribe for saying that there are only two genders, all lives matter or that white people can be diverse too.
Paradoxically, the people who scream the loudest about hatred and intolerance are the ones who themselves most strongly display these very traits in their own character. This is not as mystical as it may sound.
Everyone uses their own character as a map to interpret other people. If you are a thief, chances are you will believe all other people are thieves too. If you are hateful, resentful and intolerant, the chances are that you will believe that everyone you disagree with also harbors these attitudes. The irony is that while leftists are the ones who most feverishly warn against us-them dichotomies, no-one promotes tribal warfare like collectivists.