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The Real Source of Personal and Group Vanity

A man would not particularly care to pay the ultimate price—giving up his life—to protect his own group, unless he thought it worth protecting. It had to be superior in some way, or he might just as well transfer his loyalty to the competing group. So, he came to detest other culture, and other races for a perfectly honest and logical reason—they endangered his survival.

This is the real source of personal and group vanity.

On the surface of it all, groups on earth have evolved exactly the same number of years. That they have evolved different social structures provides no reasonable basis for thinking one is better than another … or that the world itself would be better if one group were to prevail over another. As to fitness—the sole standard of the evolutionists’ creed—all surviving genes are created equal. So, too, are all religions, cultures, and languages. And yet, since most religions claim to be the only true one, it must be that most of mankind lives in error. Likewise, since most cultures think of themselves as superior, they must all be wrong, since they cannot all be correct. Most races, too, feel (whether or not they will admit it) that they are somehow better than all others. They, too, must be making a mistake—but a rational one. For, not we see why, in an evolutionary sense, such bamboozles are rational; without them, the group might soon be annihilated.

Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics