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View Diary: Has Anyone Bothered To Ask What The Majority Of Syrians Want? (210 comments)

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    The US has devolved into a largely tribal collection of interests. It's largely "ideological" (or rather "propagandistic"), though the actual familiy basis is very strong in some regions (Midwest/South/Rockies). Americans vote, work and talk against our own interests but according to the conventional interest of the greater tribe all the time. Most of the changes in America are towards more tribalism, especially among the religious, "Conservative" and rural.

    Meanwhile, in the Mideast tribal extremism gets worse in effect as more money and technology (weapons, comms, transit) give the extremists more ability to act. But overall the same developments that saw the US and Europe become less tribal a century or two ago seem to be working on the majority of people there, at least among the less rural.

    So it's really a question of degree. And not just in the "everything is everything" sense that humans are tribal animals. But in the specific sense that "it's a complex mix of different religious/cultural groups that identify more with their group than the nation as a whole" aptly describes the US in the same way as it does Syria, though not quite as extreme. But give the US a few more generations of climate change, corrupt economics and degraded education - as Syria has going on - and the degree of difference will be a lot smaller. Especially if Syria's current crisis somehow marks a milestone in outgrowing tribalism into actual pluralism, even as the US cycles downwards further into tribalism.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 11:42:29 AM PDT

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