freetown fred wrote:
I always thought it interesting for us to expect a crazy person to act normal--whatever that really is.
In one sentence Fred has gone to the root of the thing. To this man normal behaviour was crazy. At the very least the need to socialize which most of us have to a greater or lesser degree is absent in him. He wants and needs the fruits and benefits of the social group without belonging to it. Historical normal behaviour would be to just kill him or banish him which would also be a death sentence except for that very rare individual who could survive and then be looked on as a holy man. A man who can transcend the normal. That's a view that some will take and is what Don was warning against.
To form groups is an instinct and genetic imperative with us and we do it in spades, forming groups within groups, within groups. Our family, our clan, our race, our town, our country, our political party, our sports team. even the fuel we burn as is evident with this forum.
There is constant rivalry between groups and within groups and if the group turns to violence we call it a gang, when nations do it, it is war. Both are perfectly normal human behaviors.
Never to be forgotten though is the most basic dictum of all and that is to still be an individual regardless of group. We see that need all the time in long hair, or strange dress, or tattoos, or maybe an earring, or long beard. When expressed as an ideology things can then get dangerous, especially when that ideology threatens individualism as communism or some religions do. Conformity can go only so far before trouble erupts.
Have I gotten off topic ? I hope not since that is how the topic appears to me and have tried to see it as an ethologist would, to the best of my own understanding of that science.