THE GROUP PRINCIPLE

“If you are not with us, you are against us” said George W. Bush, as if it were not possible to be anything other than a gang member or a member of a rival gang, as if those who do not actively support the group and its leader must be actively plotting against them.

 

The corrupt Houses of Parliament

Are you with them or against them?

This is the group principle, and it has ancient roots. We have always banded together as tribes and competed with other tribes, just as other animals do, including our relatives, the chimpanzees, and other primates such as baboons.

Importantly, this attitude of us-and-them always operates instead of ethics and morality. The differences between good and evil, right and wrong, are subsumed into the perceived differences of ‘with us’ and ‘against us’, so that we support everyone in our group, good or bad, and oppose everyone in their group, good or bad.

No principles of justice, equality, fairness, decency, help for the suffering and stopping the abusers, no general ideas of crime, law, truth or freedom are involved in this struggle of the groups, only our pack against theirs. It doesn’t matter how well or cruelly we behave, or whether or not they are guilty or innocent. We are always to be supported, they are always to be fought, dominated, destroyed.

This basic animal instinct must not be allowed to govern our lives. It is the lowest-common-denominator least civilised and least advanced type of behaviour in human interactions. All of what makes us civilised, our culture, science, technology, art, all of this derives from those aspects of humanity that make us different from the apes. To threaten all that with the sociopolitical policy of forming into packs, jumping up and down and screaming at one another, followed by violent conflict for supremacy, is to threaten civilisation.

And yet this is what we see happening in today’s global politics and war, and in British society as part of the propaganda to support this group violence. Our very civilisation is being threatened, as we head towards a world in which the smashing of nations such as Iraq, Libya and Syria, with brutality and war crimes, is got away with as part of our group’s supremacy in the world, and forms the basis of global affairs, while those leaders who instigate this fill our media and cultural outlets with constant group-support and group-identity celebration.

We need to oppose the group principle with ethical principles. We must support those who are good and oppose those who are evil in any and every group. We must not support ‘us’ against ‘them’ if what ‘we’ are doing is wrong. We must oppose what is wrong in our country, and support what is good about their country, because what we celebrate is goodness, justice, freedom, decency, culture and happiness, and what we oppose is abuse, violence, oppression, crime, brutish behaviour, pain and suffering, irrespective of any group identity.

Those who commit or justify murder or torture of the other, including ‘waterboarding’, are to be prosecuted and imprisoned for their crimes, because we oppose murder and torture, never mind who does it, whether it’s ‘us’ or ‘them’ committing the evil. And the same goes for all other crimes committed in the name of ‘us’, while we will free and support and celebrate the culture of any of ‘them’ who are decent people – including all those who are better behaved than many of ‘us’.

 

DEFINING THE GROUP BY WHO THEY ARE NOT

The false talk of the ‘clash of civilisations’ is another aspect of this. It is not true that we live in an age where the armies of Christ are engaged in a bitter struggle with the hordes of Islam.

In fact, as the Arab Spring showed us, the people of the Middle East just want abuse and domination out of their countries and to get on with their own lives. The democracy demonstrations were not jihads organised by terrorists.

It is a major part of the enacting of the group principle to define your group not so much by what you are, but by what you are not. The very concept of the apartheid principle of ‘whites only’ can only exist where ‘white’ is defined as other to ‘black’. In a context where the ‘black’ is not the perceived other then a different group identity must be forged – ‘Aryan’ as opposed to ‘Jew’ for example. But there always has to be an ‘other’ for ‘our group’ to have a separate identity.

The current incarnation of the group principle in our land defines the foreigner in general as the other, but the Muslim foreigner as the worst. The hierarchy principle comes into play here, because the two principles are intertwined. Groups are defined with a hierarchy of otherness – Polish and Romany people were hated by self-styled Aryans but not as much as those at the bottom of the pile. Current Anglo-American group identity sees Europeans as other, deliberately opposing the truth that we are a European country with the attempt to portray us as a state of the United States. But all other foreigners pale before the Arab or the Muslim in general.

Of course, there is no such thing as ‘an Arab’ as opposed to ‘a White’ or ‘a Black’ or ‘a Jew’. There are Tunisians and Bulgarians and Britons and Tajikistanis, yes, but only by accident of birthplace. Tunisians are not ‘Arabs’ as opposed to ‘us’. The attitude that would say otherwise is the same attitude that fuelled the Nazi Party, and we must reject it now

 

US AND THEM, HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS

It is this group principle that we see in the creation of a country of haves and have-nots. The principles of hierarchy and the group go together in opposition to equality and human rights, and there are groups created within hierarchies as well as between them.

Mrs Thatcher used to ask of people she didn’t know but had to deal with, “Are they one of us?” She then behaved towards that person according to how they fitted in with her group-principle view of the world.

The simplest group-hierarchy identity is between masters and servants, bullies and victims. Hierarchical societies have groups of insiders and the outsiders they dominate. In totalitarian states such as the Soviet Union this usually means party members and non-party members, but the winners and losers can be less formally defined. In our country, a clearly evident rich ‘elite’ is lording it over the rest of us in a party-member manner, without actually having official membership cards.

Just as it is no fun for an abusive personality to be a dominant ‘white’ unless there is a ‘black’ community to dominate, so there’s no fun in being rich unless there are poor people to be richer than. Creating a rich group requires the deliberate creation of a poor group to dominate. In our country right now, the corrupt rich are not just enjoying their unearned wealth, but are calling those eking out a desperate living on benefits fraudsters and scroungers. This is the bully game of enjoying hurting the victim. The ‘austerity cuts’ are there to pay for the taking of the people’s tax money and sharing it out amongst the ‘party members’. It wouldn’t be a group-versus-group success if the loser group were not impoverished by the enrichment of the winners.

We must as a nation oppose this now. We will all get rich together – rich because our technology and our society-building enable us all to have wonderful lives. We will reject the group principle, the Nazi idea that ‘we’ are superior and ‘the other’ is inferior. And we will put an end to both bully-victim games: both the rich hurting the poor game, and the crusader hurting the infidel game. What we will replace them with is civilisation.