December 30, 2010
There are cliques within Skull & Bones that tend to gather together and elevate each other to power and then exert their control and influence ... It's not that Skull & Bones as an entity is specifically and directly pulling the strings. It's that individuals within the secret society are pushing each other to positions of authority and working their influence from there.
As soon as [G.W.] Bush got into the White House, one of the first social gatherings he had was a reunion of his Skull & Bones members. Then almost immediately he started appointing other members of Skull & Bones into positions into the Justice Department and later the Office of Homeland Security. ... It's sort of a realm of influence in America that a tiny club initiating 15 members each year shouldn't have. --Skull & Bones (Part I), Interview with Alexandra Robbins, author of "Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League and the Hidden Paths of Power
"We have bonded. We'd gladly die for each other." --A Special Forces soldier in ad for USA Channel's "Combat Missions," SciFi Channel, February 6, 2002

...a young person may join the military out of a sense of patriotism and identification with a nationality, but [psychologist Linnda R.] Caporael [of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.] and her colleagues suggest in their paper that soldiers in small, face-to-face fighting units sacrifice their lives less often for their country than for their comrades. --Bruce Bower, "Getting Out From Number One," SCIENCE NEWS, April 28, 1990, pp. 266-267

The Brotherhood of Soldiers... VClip ?

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Civilian to Soldier: Wilton Films

"You have an unshakable meaning in a small group that you can't duplicate in society." VClip ?

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Bill Maher's Real Time, May 14, 2010

Anthony Swofford: "Remember these are young guys -- 18, 19, 20 years old. They are put through brutal training and they're moved around until your only family is the guy to the left of you and the guy to the right of you. It [the first Gulf War] was about that and coming back.
Forrest Sawyer: It was just you and the men beside you?
Swofford: Yes, for me it was. --MSNBC interview with author of "Jarhead," March 14, 2003

Cindy Sheehan quoting her son, Casey, as having to go to Iraq because his buddies are going and need to be protected. --Democracy NOW!, December 26, 2005, 11:53:12

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- "I thought I was invincible. I thought I would never get caught," said Michael Thames. ... But now, this former New Orleans police officer is serving 11 years without parole in a Kentucky federal prison ... before he was even sworn in, Thames said, he learned police were expected to have a primary allegiance: to each other.

[Former officer] Thames: You were taught that in the academy. ... It's us against them.
[Reporter Bonnie] Anderson: Who's them?
Thames: The people. The public. ...
Anderson: Is this part of the basis for the code of silence?
Thames: Oh, yes, no question. There's no question about it.
Anderson: How strong is that code?
Thames: Ah, it's as strong as anything. --Living on both sides of law, Bonnie Anderson, October 10, 1995, Web posted at: 5:25 p.m. EDT

Clique Selfishness

In this chapter we will look at what researchers call "clique selfishness," an aspect of small-group behavior that was only implicit in our small-group face-to-face heritage. We will discover its clear and logical roots in that heritage, see how, while still remaining largely implicit, its effects became explicit as a result of much larger modern populations -- and we will explore a few of the problems this "clique selfishness" causes in today's super-pseudo-group world.

So, what defines a "clique" -- and what influences one of them to be "selfish?"

What Defines a Clique?

In general, the people who we subliminally include in our "clique" are most likely people we know very well. How well did those "Combat Missions" special forces soldiers have to know their comrades to be willing to actually die for them? People must share a great deal of experience, exchange significant amounts of information with each other, in order to bond in such a manner.

      As author Steven Johnson suggested earlier, we are "mind readers." As he described it remember, "Your facial gestures, eye movements, body language, would all be sending a steady stream of information about your internal state--signals that I would intuitively pick up and interpret. ... We are both locked in a communicational dance of extraordinary depth." The folks with whom our small-group ancestors had this "communicational dance" could only be people they saw rather regularly and face-to-face. [1]

What Makes a Clique "Selfish?"

      The main aspect of our heritage from which the selfishness in "clique selfishness" grows is now well known to us -- we have "altruistic instincts" which automatically cause us to keep our group mates alive, essentially because they are our reference librarys ^^w-- and also, in the case of credit (tomorrow's giving), savings banks. Our genetic ancestors took care of each other when necessary because they could literally see the pain of their distressed group-mates - - - and their joy - - - right on their faces, in their body language, and/or hear it in their voices -- and they knew the help would be returned if and when necessary.

The same thing that keeps a clique together -- the regular exchange of (mostly) face-to-face information -- and the desire to keep group-mates alive and happy -- also makes it, well, "selfish." Perversely then, so-called "clique selfishness" is a direct artifact of our face-to-face interactions and our desire to keep especially our face-to-face group mates alive and, if possible, happy.

There were undoubtedly sub-cliques -- we just naturally like some folks better than others. But as long as populations remained small [2] and largely isolated, everyone still knew everyone else face-to-face and thus regularly exchanged at least some information. As a result, everyone was at least slightly part of the "selfish clique" -- the small ancestral group was the "selfish clique."

BM: It's love isn't it. I mean your book "war" has three chapters -- Fear, Killing and Love. These guys are junkies kind of for the brotherly love. And I say that in a good way. They're not political, they forget why they're there, it's not part of their day. It's just about I'm going to defend this guy to MY death. I mean, that's sort of what they're hooked on.
SJ: That's exactly right. This one guy said to me, 'You know, there are guys in the platoon who straight-up hate each other but we would all die for each other.'
Every guy in that platoon was necessary to everyone else. And that necessaryness, I think, is actually way more addictive than adrenline is. I think that's what people are talking about when soldiers say I miss it over there. You have an unshakable meaning in a small group that you can't duplicate in society.

In other words, clique "selfishness" is a set of practices that benefits and is limited to face-to-face (usually) group members.

Under these small-group conditions, as observed in Chapter gn, Going Native, while there may have been "tensions about sharing, and a few interpersonal quarrels," "no one tries seriously to bully anyone else" and things were relatively peaceful. But suppose there are other people around we don't know face-to-face - - -

On The Splits

As populations increased however, there were too many people for everyone to know everyone else face-to-face and to exchange information regularly. The "clique selfishness" --and the implicit problems in it-- usually only surfaced seriously once there were so many of us in one place our face-to-face exchanges of information could no longer do the job of maintaining group cohesion as they had in our small ancestral groups. The eventual result was several more-or-less distinct small groups or "cliques" in the same area, either living together and possibly intermingled (the norm today), or more or less consciously splitting into geographically separate groups or cliques.

      In some cases this splitting into groups or cliques can be quite explicit. A good example is the Hutterites, a Christian sect which first settled in the United States in the 19th century. When a Hutterite colony gets too big -- which isn't unusual since Hutterites traditionally have high birth rates -- it sorts into two groups of equal size, skill, and compatibility. A lottery determines which group stays and which group moves to a new location. [3] Certain groups of Amish have the same tradition -- they limit group size to about 40 families. ^^w

Usually however, this splitting into groups, especially in the modern world where population size and density makes it inevitable, is much more implicit, subliminal and unconscious -- which tends to cause problems as we'll see.

But once cliques begin to develop, consciously or unconsciously we put folks into catagories based on where they fit relative to us. As a result, once groups get large enough and differentiation happens, there are TWO kinds of people in the world: people you consider members of your immediate group and the rest who, at least subconsciously, ARE NOT members of your group. In American high schools in the 1960s, we called them the "innies" and the "outies." The "innies" were the "in crowd," the folks we hung-out with and knew best and face-to-face. The "outies" were everyone else.

This sub-group formation is the logical and natural result of evolved small-group instincts that count on face-to-face information to work. Extensive modern sub-group formation is an unintended consequence, since nature and evolution couldn't anticipate the development of "super-groups" -- that is, "pseudo-groups" -- and hasn't since had time to evolve natural instinctive drives to keep the situation under control. We'll examine this "modern" problem extensively in a subsequent chapter, Chapter pg, Pseudo-groups.

Nepotism Is Natural. So Are "Good 'ole Boys."

Even in the modern world, we still respond to those we consider -- correctly or not -- members of our own group with the same small-group altruistic motivations to "take care of our own" as our genetic forbearers did. We even have a word for such "taking care of our own," particularly when they are members of our own family. That word is "nepotism" - - -

When elected [native American] officers exercised control of business enterprises, they tended to choose their own kin as employees of these enterprises. When a man was elected to an official position, his relatives often descended on him, not only for jobs, but to share his salary. --Journal of American Indian Education, Volume 3 Number 1, October 1963, INFORMAL POWER STRUCTURES WITHIN, INDIAN COMMUNITIES, James E. Officer
United Way is seriously worried that allegations of a $463,000 salary, Concorde flights to Europe and nepotism by their Chairman, Mr. William Aramony, will cause donations to dry up. --February 26, 1992
Clyde Barrows' sister [of Bonnie & Clyde] says she loved her bank robber brother Clyde. Clyde bought her her first bicycle and her first bedroom set. "We never questioned where the money came from," she says. "He was just taking care of his family." --Interview after auction of Clyde's bullet riddled death shirt, CNN HLN, 04-15-97

We also take care of other face-to-face members of our clique who aren't blood relatives -- the phrase "good 'ole boys network" is one recognition of this in business-government. This makes good, altruistic, small-group information-maintaining sense, remember.

The New York Post reported today that Jesse Jackson's boycott against Toyota was settled when the company agreed to place $8 billion with minority investment frims. As a result of settling other boycotts, Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition and their friends and family have been given things including a beer distributing business. Jackson will have to be careful in the case of this auto boycott because he will be subject to much closer press scrutiny. None the less, his friends and supporters will be rewarded because they will be on the "approved list" of minority firms handed to the company decision makers passing out the money. --Fox News, August 16, 2001, 08:45 See this link for related story.

And this "good 'ole boys" tendency is also alive and well and living in "economic society" as well. Eleven percent of U.S. Standard and Poors companies admit to hiring their own. And - - -

The Prevalence of U.S. Corporate Nepotism VClip 1:

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Beth Young, The Corporate Library, CNBC, February 28, 2003

This tendancy to favor one's group -- sometimes at the expense of outsiders (and even one's self) as we'll see -- isn't limited to individuals and groups in the "private sector." The problem is that this same "nepotistic" tendancy pervades ALL groups. Including government groups - - -

PALESTINIAN President Yasser Arafat has enriched an inner circle of cronies and stashed billions of dollars in secret bank accounts, his former treasurer has claimed. In an interview in London, Jaweed Al-Ghussein, chairman of the Palestine National Fund for 12 years until 1996, said he handed Mr Arafat a monthly cheque for $US10.25 million ($Au14.3 million), ... Mr Ghussein ... said Mr Arafat had not taken money for himself, but preserved his power by allowing those around him to grow rich. [^^w FOOTNOTE generous leaders + ] Arafat 'enriched cronies', By correspondents in London, The Australian, August 16, 2004
[Pope John Paul II] In talking to young students at the University of Warsaw five years ago who had lived through this, they described communism in Poland as immoral, as a system of complete cronyism, everything dependant upon whom you knew, a system of lies and deceit. They spoke about it in the harshest terms, as absolutely immoral. Now, that obviously influenced the Pope. --The Legacy of Pope John Paul II (1920--2005), April 04, 2005

Newsweek Magazine reports that President Bush is considering appointing his personal friend and fellow 1968 Skull And Bones class-mate Robert D. McCallum to replace Deputy Attorney General James Comie, currently over-seeing "Bulldog" Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation -- involving White House advisor Karl Rove -- of who feloniously leaked the identity of CIA agent Valarie Plame, wife of Niger yellow-cake uranium investigator, former Iraq Ambassador Joe Wilson, to the media. -Amy Goodman, DemocracyNOW!, August 8, 2005

So our hunter-gatherer and tribal ancestors automatically took care of their face-to-face families and tribes; we do likewise for our families, tribes, and our "good 'ole boys" [4] or equivalent. Cat-rubbing-like, we automatically and "altruistically" protect the "reference library."

THE Equation

SC: MUST EXCERPT THIS!!! [probably use (or reference -- maybe make it an index) in "The Equation" below] --Award-Winning Playwright, Actor Wallace Shawn on "The Quest for Superiority" and His First Published Book of Nonfiction Wednesday, September 01, 2009

How much U.S. paid for killing Iraqis: $2,500 per adult, same for a destroyed car. SEE "Iraq's Secret War Files" LINK, ~December 22, 2010, 19:14:24

You don't know the vast majority of folks in the world today at all except, possibly, as faceless and rarely considered nebulous collective outie abstractions -- "the people of Afghanistan" for example. How many of them are there anyway? Do you know even one of them face-to-face? Would you feel worse if you heard, say, that ten of them were killed -- or if instead you heard that one of your close friends was killed? How much worse would you feel?

It was reported one American was on board a 737, chartered by Occidental Oil, that went down in north eastern Peru. Eighty-seven were reported killed in the crash. -BTV, 05-06-98, 10:44am EST

Were you more concerned, as apparently were the members of the Bloomberg news staff, by the one "American" - - - or by the 86 other human beings reported killed on that Occidental charter?

We tend to view and treat people VERY differently depending on whether or not we perceive them as members of our group, our clique. Remember, our small-group altruistic instincts make us want members of our group to do well and we want to help them when they're distressed. If this means "we" innies have to hurt or exploit "them" -- the geographically separated or even in today's crowded world, intermingled outies - - - for the good of our own group - - - well, that's just too bad. In today's crowded world especially, it's our face-to-face "selfish" clique vs. the "outies," or even worse, vs. a faceless and rarely considered nebulous collective outie abstraction -- like "the people of Afghanistan" for example.

It seems quite probable that there is an innate subliminal equation of sorts: X number of "them" for one of "us." Here's an explicit qualitative statement of this "our lives vs. their lives" perspective - - -
... there is a pervading feeling - among Iraqis as well as journalists covering this conflict [so-called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in 2003 A.D.] - that something is wrong with our Western response to New Iraq. Our lives are more valuable than their lives. The "terrible toll" of the summer months - a phrase from a New York Times news report last week - referred only to the deaths of Westepn soldiers. [5] What is becoming apparent is that we don't really care about the Iraqis. We may think we want to bring them democracy but, on an individual level, we don't care very much about them or their lives. Robert Fisk, Secret slaughter by night. 1000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week!,, Saturday September 13, 2003
U.S. General Tommy Franks, US CENTCOM, referring to dead Iraqis: "We don't do body counts."

The degree of emotional separation that's possible from what's being done to "outies" is well demonstrated by George W. Bush's mother Barbara, interviewed just before her son sent U.S. troops into Iraq in 2003 - - -

"But why should we hear about body bags and death and how many and what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" -Barbara Bush, Good Morning America, March 18, 2003

AND, she was talking about U.S. Soldiers likely to be killed as a result of her son's orders, not the approximately 1 million [^^wLINK] Iraqi men, women and children who would be killed.

We can get a very rough idea of how extreme such an equation can get: Consider the payouts to the victims' families in the "911" airliner attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City and the U.S. Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. Compare that to the amount offered by the U.S. CIA to families of a very few of the approximately 3,700 Afghan civilian victims of the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan shortly there-after.

Anyone who lost a family member in the September 11th attack will get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million. On the other hand, According to a report broadcast Monday by NPR News, senior Afghan officials said that the United States had already expressed regret over the raid at Uruzgan and had even paid the victims' families $1,000 each in U.S. cash. U.S. investigates claims of bungled raid, NBC, MSNBC and Newsweek correspondents in the war zone.

The implied equation here is at least 250 of "them" (@ $1,000 each) for one of "us" (@ $250,000 each) with an upward boundary of 4,700 for 1. My guess is that the equation varies. And it's fairly clear that while such an equation is wide-spread, it's very often implicit rather than explicit. My uneducated guess is that once the equation is made explicit in a particular situation (so people can be asked what the ratio is), the equivalence varies from a low of about 5 for 1 with even the implicit 250 for 1 (from the example above) an extreme -- as long as pictures of hurt outies aren't shown by the media. Once pictures of dead (or worse, hurting) "outies" begin to show up, our knee-jerk altruism seems to kick-in for some of us however, and the range narrows. Eventually we may see some specific research. Perhaps some already exists?

The existence of THE Equation is hard to deny: Evidence of its existence shows up {even particularly} in ancient traditions. For example,

[Israeli author and scholar, Israel] Shahak singles out a passage from the Halacha (the entire body of Jewish religious law), taken from the Talmud, which clearly shows that a non-Jew should be put to death if he kills an embryo, even if the embryo is non-Jewish, while the Jew should not be put to death, even if the embryo is Jewish. He stresses that the above-stated difference in the punishment of a Jew and a non-Jew for the same crime is common in the Talmud and Halacha. 41 -Donn de Grand Pre, Barbarians Inside the Gates

And even more extreme,

One million Arabs are not worth one Jewish fingernail. -Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, quoting Deuteronomy as part of his eulogy for Baruch Goldstein

It's traditions like the above that cause researchers like Marilynn B. Brewer, then of the University of California, Los Angeles to suggest that, "if the sense of belonging and identity provided by small groups is essential to human functioning [-- and we know that it is and why --] then 'clique selfishness' may well be more powerful than even the most rabid individual self-interest." [6] I would never steal or kill for myself -- but my family, my tribe is hurting . . . .

I would strongly suggest that this is indeed the case and that the most rabid damage is usually done, not by individuals for their own gain, but by individuals in the name of their perceived group. A woman I knew well volunteered that if she were in charge of a college scholarship fund, the first person to get a scholarship would be her daughter. I would submit that such impulses, far from being unusual, are our normal, instinctive, altruistic nature. Remember, preferentially rewarding your own face-to-face group, your own "clique," makes perfect instinctive, altruistic, biological, survival sense --- for small groups. [7]

      [THIS SEEMS TO COME FROM LEFT FIELD. NEEDS WORK TO FIT HERE] This is our first encounter -- and certainly won't be our last -- with the problem of "fiduciary responsibility," a problem that infests modern societies like the cockroach infests garbage dumps.


CS: ^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w Germany is 16 states. In the U.S. the rich states have financed the poor states. We have done the same. We have to think European. -CNBC, June 8, 2010, 06:19:56 + "We are Europe," says German reporter. -CNBC, June 8, 2010, 06:20:25 [GET THIS]
It's clear that once there is a perceived difference among groups or "cliques," then "taking care of your own" (your family, your clique, your tribe) may sometimes mean hurting those you don't perceive as part of your own, that is, individuals who are not considered members of your family, clique or tribe. This hurting may be quite unconscious (as when it affects those people unknowingly relegated to your "faceless and rarely considered nebulous collective outie abstraction" catagory), but sometimes such hurting may be conscious -- as in the case of robbery, burglary, etc. -- and even intentional as in the case of warfare, raiding, revenge and such.

The irony is, altruism practiced for your own small group, can translate directly as "clique selfishness" when viewed from and applied to "outie" groups.

If [clique] selfishness and altruism both emanate from humanity's evolved capacity for social navigation within small groups, "there's good reason to suspect the same psychological mechanisms account for the most inspiring intellectual achievemants and the most discouraging failures of reason, the noblest of moral acts and the lowest of inhumane cruelties," [psychologist Linnda R.] Caporael says. -Bruce Bower, "Getting Out From Number One," SCIENCE NEWS, April 28, 1990, pp. 266-267.

In many cases, the difference between the "noblest of moral acts" and "the lowest of inhumane cruelties" depends on which side of the battlefield, which group, you're viewing them from. A current (2004 A.D.) example is the use of torture by the U.S. Government: Was it justified -- against international law and American tradition -- to torture many largely innocent suspected "enemy combatants" in hopes that it might {order to }possibly help to protect the U.S. "homeland?"

In a revealing twist, both the word "nepotism" and the phrase "good 'ole boys" have negative connotations today. As we can see from the examples, sometimes "taking care of our own" may indeed deserve negative connotations -- if it is done at the expense of others, usually "outies." Of course often the outies being hurt may be "just an unknown part" of someone's "faceless and rarely considered nebulous collective outie abstraction" and the damage may not be immediately apparent to those causing the damage -- or even to the beneficiaries. Clearly Clyde's sister didn't consider the damage bank-robbing may have caused for example. Who was hurt by Aramony's "nepotism?" Who by Bush's Skull and Bones cronies?

Selfish Cliques vs. Good Will Toward Men

The fact that the modern world is rampant with "selfish cliques" -- and that Hayek's "extended-order" trade (economic society) is an inescapable feature these days -- have significant consequences. For one thing, clique and group rivlaries are nearly unavoidable -- that's what makes sports fans for example. But remember, not everyone is predisposed to rivalry. Not everyone is a sports fan.

None the less, there are at least two group-related classes of rivalries that play major roles in the world. One is economics and economic competition, the other warfare and it's variants -- and they're usually related -- as we'll see, particularly in Chapter sp, Silent Partners.

PG: ^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w^^w Pesticides in tobacco fields and the kids with no genitalia. When I showed this, it was a bloodless display of good manners. Ghandi addressed this. He said you would -, October 22, 2007, 11:40:01
Why are people who are so good to their community and their kids so callous to what their business does. It isn't part of their community.
-DN!, October 22, 2007, 11:41:13

We already know the advantages of economic competition -- but not the perceived downside which we'll take a close look at in Chapter wn Why NOT To Trade. At any rate, we know that economic rivalries exist and can regularly spark warlike behavior. In fact, economic factors -- at base, protecting or expanding the "hunting grounds" -- are nearly always behind wars. This is especially true of the modern world as we'll see in Chapter sp, Silent Partners. There is an exception in the rare instances where raw alpha hierarchist domination causes them. Sometimes the dirve for "revenge killing" may also play a part.

This doesn't mean that clique differentiation necessarily leads to Thomas Hobbes' chronic war "where every man is enemy to every man... In ...continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Among groups even as large as tribes, neither warfare nor overly destructive economic competition are inevitable -- or even common. Remember the Iroquois Confederation. And trade as often cements groups together as drives them apart -- "When goods cross borders, troops don't," as the saying goes.

We even have a "good Samaritan" streak with regards to strangers, and generally our information conserving altruistic face-to-face instincts tend to prevent us from killing each other, including strangers, even in times of war remember. Our altruism automatically extends to others of our species -- even strangers -- and even those of other species (we're the only animals to keep pets). [8] The payoff remember, is most likely the special skills and information these strangers may bring us. Except for certain situations, remember, [9] our ancestors probably exhibited "good will toward men." On the other hand, as Boehm points out,

Tribesmen, for my purposes, are nonliterate people who have domesticated plants or animals' have an egalitarian ethos' live in small, locally autonomous social groups; and refuse to permit strong authority to develop in the context of everyday group leadership. They are prone to raiding, feuding, and territorial warfare, and they often play "balance of power" games by forming intertribal coalitions (Boehm1994a). But in theory a tribe could be entirely peaceful. (Boehm 1999:90) [italics added -lrw]

And not only in theory could tribes be peaceful -- once again remember the Iroquois Confederation. And, especially in today's modern "economic society" world, it usually isn't necessary to damage others to "take care of our own." In fact, particularly in the modern world, it often makes much more sense to co-operate with others, even others we don't know face-to-face (or at all) -- by trading with them in "extended- order" "economic society." As we know from Chapter wt, Why Trade, everyone gains time and/or money from good trades and thus "trade" generally makes it much easier for us to "take care of our own."

Clearly history and even current (2004 A.D.) "news" indicates that there is a tension between small groups, particularly selfish cliques (good ole' boys, etc.) vs. generalized altruism and "good will toward men" in general. This tension regularly shows up at the interface between taking care of our "innies" -- and what happens to "outies" as a result. This is a key to understanding the distinctions between Hayek's two societies, distinctions which, once perceived, are glaringly obvious but which most people don't, as of 2009 A.D., make consciously very often. This "innie-outie" tension is often based on what you might call "hunting ground" competition, which for centuries now has often involved extended order (economic society) trade vs. local (family, tribe, good 'ole boy) trade.

Historically, we humans have often attempted to resolve selfish-clique rivalries over trade by resorting to force and coercion (for example the loom-stealers and vat-smashers, remember), even warfare. If we were somehow able to hold governments and their Silent Partner business cliques in check, perhaps we could much more often solve the dichotomy between innies and extended-order outies by understanding and free-trade in free markets rather than by violence.

Why should we? Because of the "comparative advantages" of trade -- as we learned in Chapter wt, Why Trade remember. Because we gain time and/or money rather than having people killed and property destroyed. But as things are, the outcomes of this innie-outie tension are currently quite variable -- we regularly see both "the noblest of moral acts and the lowest of inhumane cruelties" on the 6 O'clock News. Which one should win out? Which one will?

Modern Clique Membership Quirks

From Chapter gn, Going Native, we know that our ancestral groups were not only small, they were largely isolated. Group mates only rarely encountered "strangers," folks they didn't know well face to face. And their associations usually lasted for life and there weren't usually easily accessible alternative groups for our ancestors to belong to or join. As a result, ostracism was severe and unlike today, often amounted to a death sentence -- which is one reason Socrates chose the hemlock rather than banishment. But, because of the importance of distributed information, a group had to think several times before banishing a part of what was essentially their "reference library," and it was undoubtedly rarely done. Though fiercely independent, our small-group ancestors counted heavily on each others' knowledge, information and skills to survive. This is the "normal" group life of us humans, and the context our genetic makeup is most suited for.

But things in the modern (2004 A.D.) world are clearly quite different. On any given day -- especially in cities -- we are likely to see and encounter far more strangers than members of our own core face-to-face "selfish cliques." And they're not all, strictly speaking, strangers either. And as far as groups go, we are, formally or informally, probably already members of many more than just one. Our family or equivalent. Our work group or "band" perhaps. The Friday night bridge club, Rotary, etc. But we depend, if at all and quite tentatively compared to our small-group ancestors, on only our work group for physical survival -- and we're able to quit even it and move on to another if we're determined to do so (the average American changes jobs something like seven times over hir lifetime).

Others' information and knowledge are no longer as essential as they once were -- for one thing, we have books, libraries and the internet. And our small-group ancestors had strong face-to-face lifetime ties that came from regularly sharing major dangers and triumphs -- like the special forces guys in the opening clips to this chapter -- and perhaps sports teams [SEE footage on DVD Clips 001? on Steelers loss of the playoff game to the NE Patriots]. Not to mention that those small groups acted as "reciprocally altruistic" savings banks in which each member had a life-time of equity.

It turns out that modern group membership "requirements" are usually a trivial matter -- perhaps because, it seems, most modern groups are themselves trivial. Researchers have discovered that total strangers combined into groups on superficial grounds -- such as whether they overestimated or underestimated the number of dots in a display. We'll take a closer look at this phenomenon in Chapter pg, Pseudo-groups.

It seems likely that membership in ancestral groups was relatively easy, though more so for women. Men might disrupt any pecking order perceived by any already resident hierarchical males. At this level, affiliation would be powered, cat-rubbing- like, by the addition of unique knowledge, information, and skills to the group by new members. "I know where a water hole is."

In the case of modern groups, the researchers further discovered that members would "choose to distribute greater sums of money to members of their own group." It seems that "clique selfishness" is very easy to come by in modern groups. We'll find this significant in the context of the looting of pseudo-groups by selfish cliques, particularly The Ultimate Selfish Clique and it's Silent Partners, so-called "fiduciary responsibility," etc.

Affiliation is one thing, but committment is another. There's almost certainly a difference between today's easy affiliation with trivial groups and the total acceptance necessary in groups where survival regularly depends on the competence, honesty, etc. of your group mates. And trust. As it was in ancestral groups. It was not easy to become a member of TIGER Blackjack -- or to get top secret security clearances -- those are modern analogs. And such things, especially trust, take time. You may be hired easily by a modern group -- but it takes awhile to become CEO.

There's a difference in simple affiliation and the type of committment expressed by those special forces soldiers willing to die for each other. Taking the chance of dying for someone is a significantly deeper level of committment than trying to save him. [10] You might try to save a stranger if you beleived it wasn't too dangerous, but let things go if it would cost you your life. Even a Carnegie Hero may attempt to save a stranger without thinking he would die for that stranger. And there's always the question of judgement. For example, my Carnegie Hero friend says, realistically or not, he thought he could catch the guy without getting seriously hurt. Of course, he could have been wrong! Would he have tried had he been convinced he would die as a result?

And, compared to the context of our genetic heritage, there are large numbers of anomalous folks, catagories of people our early small group ancestors almost certainly had little or no experience with. For example, there are large numbers of people we know face-to-face but don't regularly exchange other than cursory information with -- the cashier at the gas station, the flower lady on the corner. And there are even some who's faces we've seen, even regularly, but none-the-less, we've never exchanged any significant information with them at all, not even the inane pleasantries we sometimes exchange with the flower lady. The really strange upstairs tenants of our giant apartment block maybe.

There are also folks we have been well acquainted with in the past, but because they no longer live near-by, we rarely if ever see them face-to-face anymore. This may even apply to members of our own family. The closest equivalent for our ancestors would probably be dead former group mates -- or folks who, because our Hutterite (or Amish) group got too large, moved and now we don't see them much if at all. And then, particularly in cities, there are the huge numbers of average "people on the street" whom we've never seen before and will most likely never see again -- and if we do, we're not likely to recognize them. There was almost no equivalent to any of these anomalous folks in our small hunter-gatherer ancestral groups. The result is we inherited little, if any, cat-rubbing-like guidance for dealing with them. None-the-less, we still tend to react to them based on our ancestors' evolved "altruistic" drives -- because, like it or not, we inherited those.

Do all these differences matter? At least in some significant ways, yes indeed. In particular, ostracism and shunning, etc. have much less power in the modern world than they did for our ancestors -- if our primary group shuts us out, we can almost always find another group to join. Divorce and remarriage is an example. This also means we have much less easy social leverage on "deviants" such as potential peristent hierarchical bullying free-riders who's "behavior threatens the autonomy of others and therby becomes deviant." And there are other, often related, consequences.

And we "moderns" don't normally depend on our family group to be our prime source of sustenance -- in addition to being our family -- unless we live on a farm, etc. And if we lose a sustinance-group position (get fired, etc.) or if our current sustenance group expires (goes out of business) it isn't a death sentence -- we can usually find another one to join -- or go into business for ourselves. And if we lose a group member with key information, he/she can likely be replaced by running a want ad. Thus individual people -- and their unique information -- aren't nearly as important to our survival as they were to our ancestors' survival.

One thing we have in common with small ancestral forager groups is that we are clearly largely ignorant -- particularly in the face-to-face department -- of the overwhelming majority of the people in the world. This ignorance is the basis for much of THE Equation above. For our earliest ancestors, there weren't likely many other people around, and if there were, they were likely relatives; any others were likely to be completely unknown. Since our ancestors were likely to encounter few such folks, it was easy and profitable (unique knowledge in new minds) to be charitable to "strangers" and where appropriate, bring them into the group. Our ancestors were probably quite friendly to strangers.

But we are much more likely to be at least dimly aware of such folks than were our small-group ancestors -- and meet way more of them as "strangers." For one thing, there are a lot more of "them" on earth today. Even so, nearly all of "them" still only exist even for us as "nebulous rarely considered collective outie abstractions" who we'll never meet face-to-face and who we don't care that much about. The "people of Afghanistan." The Iraqis. The other eighty-six passengers on that downed Occidental Oil flight in Peru - - - [11]

To us they exist, if at all, only as a nebulous collective abstraction. None-the-less, unlike our small-group ancestors who lacked mass communications -- they didn't even have printing presses -- we are likely to know at least a few of these nebulous outies -- George "Dubya" Bush, Tony Blair, Ossama bin Laden, etc. [12] But how do we know these "outie" folks? - - - And "Dubya" isn't an outie you say? [13]

This takes us directly into some notable group-membership quirks that result from modern technology -- television, telescopes, printing presses, and even Pony Express for example. These enable us, far beyond the imagination -- let alone the cat-rubbing-like instincts -- of our ancestors, to be aware of events and people far beyond the reach of our unaided senses. By contrast, it has been suggested that in London during the 14th Century black plague -- which killed about one third of the population -- neighbors on one block thought it was only their neighborhood being decimated. They didn't know that others were dying in huge numbers all over the city -- let alone all over the continent. We on the other hand, because of TV news, the internet, etc., can know about the latest tragedy in Belgium (currently, July 30, 2004, a huge gas line explosion) or even the latest outbreak of West Nile Virus, Salmonella poisioning (Western Pennsylvania), "Mad Cow" Disease, or even SARS anywhere in the world. [14]

Further, technology lets you see and talk to folks in a facsimile of face-to-face contact. Videocams are an example. Even voice-only communication such as telephone, wireless, etc. permits a fairly dense "communicational dance." If we've met someone previously face-to-face -- and have known them and previously accepted them as members of our group, phone conversations may be sufficient to maintain them as innies. We may sometimes even affiliate with others on the basis of these pseudo face-to- face or even non-face-to-face communication modes -- sometimes even on the basis of writing alone. We'll find one aspect of this effect to be of particular interest in the way "centralized political control" "centralized political authority," remember. is maintained in "pseudo groups" in Chapter cm, Control Modes.

The Age of Conscious Decision

Once populations got large enough that clique differentiation occured, a whole new world of problems and possibilities emerged, ones that couldn't have existed previously. And these problems and possibilities have led to what one writer called "The Age of Conscious Decision." That is, automatic genetic programs don't exist to deal with this level of things, and in fact existing ones may interfere. As a result, we have to work things out "for ourselves" in deliberate, conscious, ways and pass the results on memetically.

It would be really helpful if we in the modern world had a process which, in an analogous fashion to the scientific method, encouraged trial and error testing of the various ways of handling common community problems. This is especially true in the case of newly imagined solutions -- called "legislation" today. The few "handling methods" that worked well over time would be increasingly applied, and eventually, if absolutely necessary, become codified into "law." We did have such a system -- it was called "Common Law." We'll take a closer look in Chapter ww, What We Can Do, Common Law vs. Positive Law.

-Aristide of Haiti; Ousted by U.S. coup: 11:20 Super-powers will do what they want. The media continues to claim you resigned. Is that true? 11:34: The UN was supposed to investigate, They lied about me 11:35 -Democracy NOW!, May 10, 2005, 11:34:46 Same hands behind the coups since 1991, but now the UN is there but not helping the people but the wrong folks instead 11:41 32 coup d'etats is too many 11:44


"Clique selfishness" is a natural result of our small-group "altruistic" instincts which cause us to keep our face-to-face group mates alive and, if possible, happy. During the period when most human evolution occured, all our groups were face-to-face and small enough that everyone exchanged information in a two-way face-to-face "communicational dance" rather regularly. There were few strangers so everyone in the vicinity was a member of our ancestral group. The ancestral small group was the "selfish clique" and our genetic heritage was set under those circumstances.

When human populations got bigger however, everyone couldn't talk to everyone else regularly or at all, resulting in separate groups even in the same geographical area. Sometimes groups split intentionally, as did the Hutterites, but often things were more implicit, subliminal and unconscious. Once cliques begin to develop however, we tend to divide folks into two catagories: "Innies" (our "in" group) and "outies" (everyone else.) This is a natural result of small-group drives and instincts which count on face-to-face information to work.

Because we don't know most of the people in the world face-to-face, however, to us, they are a faceless and rarely considered nebulous collective outie abstraction. "The people of Afghanistan" for example. We suggested there is a subliminal equation of sorts, THE Equation, which ranges between five and 250 "outies" for one of us "innies." With such an equivalence, it's not surprising that Marilyn B. Brewer observed, "'clique selfishness' may well be more powerful than even the most rabid individual self-interest." I'd never steal or kill for myself, but my family, my tribe is hurting. If this means "we" innies have to hurt or exploit outies - - - for the good of our own group - - - well, that's just too bad.

Instinctively and altruistically "taking care of our own" innies means that nepotism is natural, and so are "good ole' boys" networks. While our basic altruistic genetic tendencies translate into "good will towards men," it's clear that in some cases at least, to take care of our own, we may injure, knowingly or unknowingly, purposely or by mistake, members of other groups. The irony is in the heavily populated modern world, altruism practiced for your own small group can translate directly as "clique selfishness" when viewed from and applied to "outie" groups -- often the difference between the "noblest of moral acts" and "the lowest of inhumane cruelties" depends on which side of the battlefield, which group, you're viewing them from.

The modern world is rampant with "selfish cliques" and that makes competition and rivalry among them likely. Of particular interest in this respect is warlike behavior and economic competition -- which are usually closely related today as we'll see in Chapter sp, Silent Partners. And we haven't had time to evolve cat-rubbing-like instincts to help us deal with this situation, which often pits selfish cliques against each other -- and against good will toward men.

But this doesn't have to mean Hobbes' chronic war of all against all "where every man is enemy to every man." In fact, quite the contrary: Not only do we have a good Samaritan streak, we know from Chapter wt, Why Trade, everyone gains time and/or money from good trades and thus co-operative trade generally makes it much easier for us to "take care of our own." As a result as the saying goes, "When goods cross borders, troops don't."

None the less tribes "are prone to raiding, feuding, and territorial warfare, and they often play 'balance of power' games .... But in theory a tribe could be entirely peaceful" (Boehm 1999:90) like perhaps, the Iroquois Confederation. But we haven't consistently resolved Hayek's dichotomy between "tribal" society and extended order "economic" society -- nor selfish-clique rivalries -- at the conscious level yet, and thus we regularly see both "the noblest of moral acts and the lowest of inhumane cruelties" on the 6 O'clock News.

We observed some quirks in modern group membership as compared with our small-group ancestors. First, unlike our small-group ancestors, we experience huge numbers of strangers daily; they way out-number our innie group-mates. This wasn't the case for our ancestral groups -- without modern media, they didn't know most other groups even existed. We are easily members of many groups, and can easily pass from one group to another because many are available. This means we can "group hop," thus attenuating the effects of shunning, ostracism, etc. which were very effective in keeping free-riding bullies (potential persistent leaders) etc. under control in small groups.

In the modern world, our survival isn't completely dependent on the well-being of the core group of our innies, and in fact, that core group is often poorly defined. Others' information and knowledge are no longer as essential as they once were -- for one thing, we have books, libraries and the internet. Our ancestors on the other hand, knew exactly who their group mates were and probably that they were essential to their own survival. They also had strong face-to-face emotional ties to bind them together.

Our ancestors couldn't have been aware of the large numbers of "outies" that inhabited their world -- because they had no reporters or printing presses and couldn't even write. Although, because of modern communications, we are in a position to be aware that a vast number of people exist in the world -- even so we can only know a miniscule number of them face-to-face, and thus the majority of them can only exist, even for us, as a huge faceless nebulous abstraction.

None-the-less, we still seem to know some of them -- George "Dubya" Bush, Tony Blair, Ossama bin Laden -- but how is this possible since we haven't met any of them face-to-face? And "Dubya" isn't an "outie," you say? Technology allows us variations on the face-to-face theme our ancestors didn't have. The telephone, TV and movies, and computer video cameras are examples. The videocam and television produce a facsimile of face-to-face contact which can allow us to affiliate with others without actual face-to-face exposure. The other technological media may also permit this, and there are consequences as we'll discover, especially in Chapter pg, Pseudo-groups.

Once clique differentiation occured, a whole new world of problems and possibilities emerged that couldn't have existed previously and didn't have evolved genetic cat-rubbing-like solutions. This means we have to work things out "for ourselves" in other conscious, memetic ways which places us solidly in "The Age of Conscious Decision." It would be really helpful if we had a tradition that encouraged trial and error testing of the various ways of handling such problems and possibilities, especially the newly imagined solutions -- called "legislation" today. We did have such a system -- it was called "Common Law."


[1] This reflects the reality that the information density (bits per second) effectively transferred face-to-face (including voice), especially emotional data, exceeds other communication modes by orders of magnitude. Part of this "density effect" has to do with what I call emotional shorthand: We know and connect our own experience directly with the wide range of "feelings" human faces are capable of broadcasting. We see an instantaneous "look" and immediately know the full range of emotions, etc. that "look" would reflect if we had it ourselves. A whole pre-existing file-folder of information is called-up in our minds in a split second. A simple "look" and "We feel their pain," etc. BUT if they can't see our faces, they don't and can't feel ours. return

[2] Remember, there may only have been 10,000 or fewer humans alive ~73,000 years ago after the eruption of the Tambora "super-volcano. return

[3] -Bruce Bower, Return of the Group, SN, November 18, 1995, pg. 328 return

[4] A friend of mine used to work at a resort called Nemacolin Woodlands when it was owned by Rockwell International. The Woodlands was used particularly to provide hunting perks for politicians and bureaucrats that Rockwell wanted to influence. Among other jobs, Mike would release cage-grown pheasants and other birds for the guests to shoot. return

[5] While at this point in the "war," about 500 U.S soldiers had been killed, estimates of Iraqi civillian casualties alone ranged from 5,000 to as many as 30,000 dead. return

[6] Bruce Bower, "Getting Out From Number One," SCIENCE NEWS, April 28, 1990, p. 267 return

[7] One very important question is, how big is your "clique"? We'll take a very close look at that very question in Chapter pg, Pseudo-groups. return

[8] Amreicans spend $30 billion a year on their pets, $900 million a year on cat litter alone. -CNBC, March 21, 2000, 12:44PM EST return

[9] Remember, two of those situations where small group ancestors didn't exhibit good will were in revenge for killing one of "us" innies -- and, what ever you do, don't mess with our women. return

[10] And even so, the equation here has to be one or more of "us" probably saved in return for my probable death. return

[11] But because of modern information media, "nebulous outie abstractions" as a catagory is much more real for us than it was for our small-group ancestors -- especially our very distant ancestors. They rarely encountered strangers -- and certainly didn't know that "millions more" existed. return

[12] If you happen to have stumbled on "The HI-JACKING of CIVILIZATION" a good many years after the year 2000, you may not know who these folks are --- but you are probably most likely to remember Osama bin Laden. Why do you think? return

[13] Keep that reaction in mind for Chapter pg, Pseudo Groups. return

[14] This isn't all good -- our nervous systems aren't adapted to being able to perceive the volume of troubling images now available to us at the press of a button or the click of a mouse. Perhaps that's part of the reason a reported 75 million U.S. citizens out of about 280 million, about 27% are taking psychoactive drugs. return

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