Friday, February 04, 2011
Traits and Attitudes and their Persistence
People and their Opposite Attitudes and Traits.
Obviously, these are not binary attitudes or traits, but degree-to-which traits depending on many factors. These are the poles that people lean towards or away from, and at times surprise even themselves at their attitudes either way in a given instance.
True Citizen;Citizen in Name Only
Same-Sex Marriage;Conventional Marriage
Far Left;Far Right
Applied to individuals, these attitudes and traits are somewhat malleable and can drift from one pole to the other over time as a function of many factors, including education, training, faith, experiences, maturation, stress, and so forth.
Applied to individual groups these traits tend more uniformly towards the poles in their outward behavior, because groups tend to form around one or more of these common attitudes, traits and positions.
Applied to groups of groups, serious conflicts can arise between the groups over one or more of the attitudes or traits, if one or more of their polar positions are in opposite directions.
Applied to a nation made up of groups, it requires strong laws and law enforcement to keep the conflicts between groups (and super-groups) at a minimum, such as represented by our Constitutional, State and Civil laws at many levels of government, together with their enforcement, as well as strong application of our mores, ethics, morals, institutions, customs and traditions.
The higher up in the government chain a conflict progresses the more polarized one way or another it tends to become, and the common factors and nuances between the groups tend to become lost as positions harden in their own defense. (This is one argument for subsidiarity in government. Justice can be better served the closer the impartial jurist is to the site of conflict.)
Then we arrive at the super-groups called nations, and their conflicting attitudes and traits, together with their goals and ambitions, their resources in men and material, and their will to succeed. Here lies the stuff of wars, of conquest, of subjugation, and of capture of resources and strategic territory.
Judging by the history of the past 50 years or so, we as a people have not arrived at a sound solution to either international conflicts between nations or internal insurrections within nations.
That a conflict such as Israel-Palestine can last for hundreds of years, even thousands of years by some accounts, speaks to the intractability of the problem. This conflict has brought to bear each and every attitude and trait identified above on both sides of the conflict, from each of the individuals through layers of groups (or tribes and religions) up to the national level, and no intermediation has had the slightest long-term effect.