Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Final Solution: Xenophobia

photo: Mcj1800
People are naturally xenophobic. You never know what's behind the stranger’s seemingly welcoming smile. Even when the other doesn’t speak a foreign tongue, there's a language that people from certain neighborhoods, cities and ethnicities share. Sometimes these are intentionally opaque, a secret code which is only shared by members of the cell. In fact, social cohesion, to one degree or other, is created through exclusion. Once you attain that hard earned acceptance, you're not going to confer it so willingly on others who haven’t gone through a similar hazing process. On the plus side the sharing of certain customs which might seem strange or even off-putting provides an intimacy that’s not registered in the normal comings and goings to the local hotel chains and fast food places that are symptomatic of the homogenization of society. Equality is a very pleasant byproduct of evolution, but the leveling effect is bought at the price of individuality. Small groups which extrapolate the most naturally selective traits of a particular demographic are, in fact, creating deeper bonds than can be found in mass gatherings where the lowest common denominator becomes the lingua franca of the organization. And it’s understandable that zealots and fundamentalists who share common beliefs might be afraid of dilution and assimilation by the forces of modernity.

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