I’ve been a soccer (the real football) fan since I learned how to walk. I played the sport for decades and, of course, I developed a serious interest in following various teams. When they win, I’m in a celebratory mood. The defeats are part of life, and I don’t like my team’s losing, but that’s life, so I accept it. Sports are supposed to be for fun and excitement even if a particular game’s outcome isn’t what I/we want. Yet, many fans forget this. Why?
It seems that humans have had an innate sense of tribalism. “We versus the others.” It probably made sense when competing for scarce resources to exclude the others. As humans congregated in smaller groups, they developed cultures that reinforced the notion of “us” and how special this group was compared to all others.
As conditions changed and smaller groups joined together, there was a transfer of allegiance from the smaller unit—say, the clan or the tribe—to something larger, like the nation state. Tribalism, however, has survived even in the advanced societies. Humans have the need to belong to something special, but if everybody is in it, then how special can you be? Right?
| | | Next → |