Tylar Bubblar Article

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Tylar Bubblar Article

Post by Comrade Frank on Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:11 am


Tyler Bubblar
3 time President

Guest Commentator

Tribalism


In my opinion the strength of eRepublik is the community. We as individuals have gathered ourselves into groups. We group via eNations, Parties, and MUs. eRepublik advertises itself as the New World in which players can reinvent themselves. We can be economic Tycoons (allegedly), War Heroes, Diplomats, Journalists, Statesmen, and more in any combination we choose. In the real world I have been married for coming on 10 years now, I have 3 children aged 7,4, and 1. I work in a bank and live a modest but comfortable (for the most part) middle class life. I teach a Sunday School class for High School age teens. Here however I am a Federalist Party member with a long history of service there. I am along with many other national posts a 3 time Country President, and I am known as a decentish writer. I have also worked and invested into becoming a moderately strong fighter. We can achieve things here that might seem irretrievably out of reach in our real lives. Yet in some ways I believe we are more purely ourselves here than we are in the real world.


You see here in the New World we are largely freed from the criminal and civil consequences of our behaviors. This in my opinion removes the filters of societal norms and mores. We take here with us our passions, opinions, and biases, but leave behind most of the constraints of the real world. One thing I strongly believe we bring to the table of eRepublik is the natural human trait of drifting towards tribalism. Party rivalries are not what they were, but in 2013 they were very much alive. The Feds and AMP had a more than healthy rivalry. This Rivalry eventually expanded to WTP. For a very long time you would see USWP and the Feds firmly aligned together against a just as firmly aligned WTP and AMP. Tribalism. US vs THEM.


Tribalism has been a driving force throughout human history. The forging of Empires, the fall of Empires, Crusades, race wars, and more have all in large part had tribalism at its roots. The Romans, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, British, French, Spanish, Germans, and American have all had the core belief that they and their way of life is superior to those of others, and as such have sought to expand their wealth, power, and influence. Often this belief in Tribal superiority has led to seeking to subjugate other groups whose base crime is originating from another Tribe of people in some way or another.


Humanity has a tendency to categorize itself into social groups. Often these social groups creates an “Us vs. Them” mentality toward others who are different from us in some way. It could be race, gender, age, nationality, culture, religion, or socioeconomic status. Interestingly, studies have shown that people tend to favor a group bias even when they are categorized on relatively small distinctions: eye color, artistic leanings, or the mere flip of a coin. This illustrates that we potentially separate ourselves from others on any random or arbitrary characteristic. Therefore, everyone is a possible perpetrator and/or victims of social prejudice and ostracism.

It appears that thinking of ourselves in terms of groups automatically leads to a sort of group favoritism. In studies done on minimal group paradigm, participants are usually given an opportunity to allocate money or “points” to other participants, and tend to favor giving points to members of their own group vs. members of another group.
Even more interestingly, it has been found that participants will often maximize relative in-group gain (“Group A” vs. “Group B”) rather than absolute in-group gain. This means that participants are more willing to see their Group “win,” rather than have outcomes where all people end up better overall. In other words we will ourselves happily jump on the grenade if it screws over the other group. It’s fairly easy to see how an “Us vs. Them” mentality can be destructive to both ourselves and society. It is striking to think how susceptible we are to this mentality, even under completely random circumstances.

Despite all of this, it makes sense that we’ve evolved to perceive these social categories. During tribal times, it would be beneficial to perceive unfamiliar people as a potential threat, and treat them accordingly for protection and security. However, today many of these social categories and stereotypes are perpetuated by society, tradition, and culture. We see it all the time in politics (Conservatives vs. Liberals), the cold war era  (USA vs. USSR), sports (Red Sox  vs. Yankees), and other cultural  aspects.  However,at the end of the day a lot of this mentality causes no small amount of  tension and antagonism.

Group thinking often causes us to act irrationally and uncooperatively, because we are more concerned about our group rather than thinking  for ourselves, or recognizing other people’s interests and values outside of our own circle. We shouldn’t necessarily ignore these common differences between us, but we certainly shouldn’t use them to judge people as “superior” or “inferior” – or see them as a battle between “Us vs. Them.”
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Comrade Frank
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