Biologist E.O. Wilson on Why Humans, Like Ants, Need a Tribe

E.O. Wilson, The Daily Beast, April 2, 2012


{snip} In ancient history and prehistory, tribes gave visceral comfort and pride from familiar fellowship, and a way to defend the group enthusiastically against rival groups. It gave people a name in addition to their own and social meaning in a chaotic world. It made the environment less disorienting and dangerous. Human nature has not changed. Modern groups are psychologically equivalent to the tribes of ancient history. As such, these groups are directly descended from the bands of primitive humans and prehumans.

The drive to join is deeply ingrained, a result of a complicated evolution that has led our species to a condition that biologists call eusociality. “Eu-,” of course, is a prefix meaning pleasant or good: euphony is something that sounds wonderful; eugenics is the attempt to improve the gene pool. And the eusocial group contains multiple generations whose members perform altruistic acts, sometimes against their own personal interests, to benefit their group. Eusociality is an outgrowth of a new way of understanding evolution, which blends traditionally popular individual selection (based on individuals competing against each other) with group selection (based on competition among groups). Individual selection tends to favor selfish behavior. Group selection favors altruistic behavior and is responsible for the origin of the most advanced level of social behavior, that attained by ants, bees, termites—and humans.

Among eusocial insects, the impulse to support the group at the expense of the individual is largely instinctual. But to play the game the human way required a complicated mix of closely calibrated altruism, cooperation, competition, domination, reciprocity, defection, and deceit. Humans had to feel empathy for others, to measure the emotions of friend and enemy alike, to judge the intentions of all of them, and to plan a strategy for personal social interactions.

As a result, the human brain became simultaneously highly intelligent and intensely social. It had to build mental scenarios of personal relationships rapidly, both short term and long term. Its memories had to travel far into the past to summon old scenarios and far into the future to imagine the consequences of every relationship. Ruling on the alternative plans of action were the amygdala and other emotion-controlling centers of the brain and autonomic nervous system. Thus was born the human condition, selfish at one time, selfless at another, and the two impulses often conflicted.


Experiments conducted over many years by social psychologists have revealed how swiftly and decisively people divide into groups and then discriminate in favor of the one to which they belong. Even when the experimenters created the groups arbitrarily, prejudice quickly established itself. Whether groups played for pennies or were divided by their preference for some abstract painter over another, the participants always ranked the out-group below the in-group. They judged their “opponents” to be less likable, less fair, less trustworthy, less competent. The prejudices asserted themselves even when the subjects were told the in-groups and out-groups had been chosen arbitrarily.

The tendency to form groups, and then to favor in-group members, has the earmarks of instinct. That may not be intuitive: some could argue that in-group bias is conditioned, not instinctual, that we affiliate with family members and play with neighboring children because we’re taught to. But the ease with which we fall into those affiliations points to the likelihood that we are already inclined that way—what psychologists call “prepared learning,” the inborn propensity to learn something swiftly and decisively. And indeed, cognitive psychologists have found that newborn infants are most sensitive to the first sounds they hear, to their mother’s face, and to the sounds of their native language. Later they look preferentially at persons who previously spoke their native language within their hearing. Similarly, preschool children tend to select native-language speakers as friends.

The elementary drive to form and take deep pleasure from in-group membership easily translates at a higher level into tribalism. People are prone to ethnocentrism. It is an uncomfortable fact that even when given a guilt-free choice, individuals prefer the company of others of the same race, nation, clan, and religion. They trust them more, relax with them better in business and social events, and prefer them more often than not as marriage partners. They are quicker to anger at evidence that an out-group is behaving unfairly or receiving undeserved rewards. And they grow hostile to any out-group encroaching upon the territory or resources of their in-group.

When in experiments black and white Americans were flashed pictures of the other race, their amygdalas, the brain’s center of fear and anger, were activated so quickly and subtly that the centers of the brain were unaware of the response. The subject, in effect, could not help himself. When, on the other hand, appropriate contexts were added—say, the approaching African-American was a doctor and the white his patient—two other sites of the brain integrated with the higher learning centers, the cingulate cortex and the dorsolateral preferential cortex, lit up, silencing input through the amygdala. Thus different parts of the brain have evolved by group selection to create groupishness, as well as to mediate this hardwired propensity.


Civilization appears to be the ultimate redeeming product of competition between groups. Because of it, we struggle on behalf of good and against evil, and reward generosity, compassion, and altruism while punishing or downplaying selfishness. But if group conflict created the best in us, it also created the deadliest. As humans, this is our greatest, and worst, genetic inheritance.

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  • From watching the youtube vid,Congo soldiers explain why they rape, it would seem that blacks only extend ingroup to thier sisters.

  • E. O. Wilson is spot-on with his analysis. We are, indeed, all members of tribes. It’s the human way, just as it is in the animal kingdom — at least in the wild. And nowadays, black people, brown people, yellow people are all encouraged to have “pride” in their races, and to practice “solidarity” within them.

    When it comes to we White people, however, the argument takes a 180-degree turn. If we take “pride” in all that the Caucasian race has done, we are being “elitist” and “imperialist.” If we try to stick together as a race, we are, by definition, “racists.”

    Why does the Left, many of whom are self-hating White people, frame the argument this way? Because, they perceive the White man as the “privileged,” the “oppressor,” the “imperialist,” etc., and the only way they can knock us off what they perceive as our perch, is to try to shame and belittle us, while simultaneously building up the other races. Watch many TV commercials today, and note how if a family is depicted as warm and loving, it’s always black; but if it’s depicted as non-functional, especially with a wimpy, clueless husband and father, it’s always White. Same thing with the “Judge So-And-So” shows on TV nowadays. White male judges are apparently a thing of the past. All the ones depicted are either black, female, or both.

    See the plan? In order to try to elevate themselves, the other races and their White allies have to tear us down.

    • No

      I hate to say it but the commercials are not all that far off.

      I live in the country and many of the white kids I see today are  fat, loud-mouthed, slovenly and wearing some sort of ghetto costume.  Or else they’re in a Mad Max costume.  Girls are often fat, wearing clothing too tight for them and usually pierced or tattooed like a branded cow.

      I go into town maybe 2-3 times a week and you can easily tell when the welfare checks come in and when everyone is broke.  The newspapers have at least one drug-related story every day and usually more.  There’s still a general civility but the number of un-civil people (white trash) is still pretty big.

      And the population here is 95% white.

      When I go to the mall in the larger nearby city, I see a lot of metro-sexual white kids, homosexuals and mixed couples.  Everyone seems to be plugged in with a headphone or one of those obnoxious phones sticking out of their ears.  Whatever they’re listening to is far more important than the reality around them. 

      So we HAVE experienced decades of cultural genocide and it is starting to show. 

      I don’t think we have a lot of time to turn things around. 

      There probably is a point where you just say the larger mass isn’t worth saving and it’s time to focus on smaller, more disciplined and more resilient groups of whites and let the rest go.

    • .

      @Wayne Leon Engle

      Why does the Left, many of whom are self-hating White people, frame the argument this way? Because, they perceive the White man as the “privileged,” the “oppressor,” the “imperialist,” etc.,

      I’m not convinced that’s it. Maybe for some but not for all. I believe many on the Left are
      de facto members of their own separate tribe. And they attack us as they would a competing tribe.

  • redshirts

    We are all one race, the Human Race; we are all one family, the Human Family.

    It makes no difference if you go to a Christian Identity White Church or a Voodoo Negro Holiness Temple, you are still with your family.

    But you are morally required to eradicate your inner bias and bigotry, so definitely surround yourself with as much voodoo Diversity as possible, because your White family members will just make you too fond of Whiteness and harm your natural desire to be inclusive of blackness. They will interfere with your categorical imperative to send your White daughters to all black public schools and hip hop CD release parties. If your White daughters haven’t yet starred as the hot Whiteys in skimpy g-string bikinis in a rap video, then you’ve failed as a parent to help her join Human Family of the Human Race.

  • Yeah, no culture has ever targeted groups, per se, as “evil”.  We know this because northern Europeans didn’t really have a culture before JudeoChristianity.  Those idiots kept blithering about “dragons” and “serpents” and “worms” and “giants” due to psylocibin-induced hallucinations or something.  Two men going out to an isolated area to hunt each other down with one returning alive was just something they did because they were overgrown adolescents.  Things got much better when the JudeoChristians got “the King’s champion” and similar social norms to protect the “nobility” from challenges to their group authority by “commoners” — although it was necessary to allow the nobles to blow off some steam from time to time but under silly dysgenic rules so that the practice would die out (the colonization of the New World was a temporary problem in this area — now solved thank Jehovah!).  The old Norse law seeing any group of men wandering the countryside as an outlaws worthy of death, such as “Olaf the Lawbreaker”, was a mere historical aberration having nothing to do with inherent hostility toward groups.
    The pre-JudeoChristian northern Germanic peoples are rightfully reviled by respected authorities throughout history up till the present day such as Jared Taylor who says:

    As we shall see, the peoples of northern Europe contributed nothing of fundamental importance to Eurasian civilization until the last thousand years; they simply had the good luck to live at a geographic location where they were likely to receive advances ( such as agriculture, wheels, writing, and metallurgy) developed in warmer parts of Eurasia. 

    • IstvanIN

      Europeans didn’t really have a culture before JudeoChristianity.  There is no such thing.

      • redshirts

        Organized Anglo Christianity had a tendency to universalize for White Humanity, but it was hi jacked and now it’s the Voodoo Temple of St. MLK.

        Why doesn’t racism in America make blacks homesick for Africa?

    • loyalwhitebriton

      Pre ‘judeochristian’ Celtic tribes of Britain were renowned throughout the ancient world for their metal-working skills, as Vic has already pointed out, and also their mining skills, glassware industry, and they invented enammelling. Celtic Britain had a sophisticated society, with it’s own unique architecture, town planning, and even schools of learning (universities).
      Though Celtic tribes were often war-like, and some tribes more than others, they were anything but primitive, or “idiots”.

      • As genes for individual integrity are absorbed by the dragons, the dragons are infused with integrity, and you get great renaissance phenomena.  You can’t build great civilizations without component parts that have integrity. The problem with American Renaissance and White Nationalism in general is that it reaches for the fruits of high civilization directly rather than understanding its foundation, let alone cultivating that foundation. W D Hamilton wrote of this phenomenon in “Innate Social Aptitudes of Man”, although he doesn’t directly refer to it as genes for integrity per se:

        The incursions of barbaric pastoralists seem to do civilizations less harm in the long run than one might expect. Indeed, two dark ages and renaissances in Europe suggest a recurring pattern in which a renaissance follows an incursion by about 800 years. It may even be suggested that certain genes or traditions of pastoralists revitalize the conquered people with an ingredient of progress which tends to die out in a large panmictic population for the reasons already discussed. I have in mind altruism itself, or the part of the altruism which is perhaps better described as self-sacrificial daring. By the time of the renaissance it may be that the mixing of genes and cultures (or of cultures alone if these are the only vehicles, which I doubt) has continued long enough to bring the old mercantile thoughtfulness and the infused daring into conjunction in a few individuals who then find courage for all kinds of inventive innovation against the resistance of established thought and practice. Often, however, the cost in fitness of such altruism and sublimated pugnacity to the individuals concerned is by no means metaphorical, and the benefits to fitness, such as they are, go to a mass of individuals whose genetic correlation with the innovator must be slight indeed. Thus civilization probably slowly reduces its altruism of all kinds, including the kinds needed for cultural creativity (see also Eshel 1972).

        • loyalwhitebriton

          Firstly, what do you mean by dragon(s)?. Please explain that metaphor.
          Secondly, what, in your opinion, do we need to do to ‘cultivate that foundation’ in order to ‘reach for the fruits of high civilisation’?. Are you suggesting Eugenics of some sort?. Just curious.

          • The “mythological” creatures of our ancestors were very real; they were the group organisms that E.O. Wilson and company describe as eusocial organization of humans.  “Serpents” were simple groupings, with which communication was impossible but otherwise were not an immediate threat.   “Vipers” were “serpents” that engaged in underhanded behavior, as in “Ye generation of vipers.”  “Dragons” were “serpents” that engaged in overt aggression.  “Giants” were groups small enough, or with enough integrity, that communication with them was feasible.

            When humans form themselves into these eusocial organizations, they transfer integrity from the individual to the organization.  As the group evolves in conflict with other groups, it becomes the locus of genetic selection.  There has never been a single case of such a group organism recognizing the importance of maintaining the integrity of the individuals of which it is a part.  The individual is always degraded until it is a “dwarf” organism.

            To maintains individual integrity you have to uphold individual sovereignty and that means natural duel for men (two individuals hunt each other down in a natural setting, using equipment that an individual can fabricate from locally available materials — with at most one returning alive), enforced by killing cowards outright, and freedom to choose the sires of their children for women, enforced by killing rapists including those who women feel have manipulated them into sex. 



          • loyalwhitebriton

            You obviously quite an interesting take on things, as they stand. I have a simpler take on things: indigenous white Britons vs the usurping blacks and muslims. No prizes for guessing which side I’m on.
            Thanks for the explanation, anyway (at least the parts I understood).

          • StivD

            To LoyalWhiteBriton,

            I’m not sure what he was saying was meant to be understood.

  • holyflower

    In an In-Depth (3-hour) interview with in 2007, Wilson elaborated on his views of tribalism:

    CALL-IN LISTENER: How do you explain man’s
    capacity for brutality against out-groups — for example: slavery?
    WILSON: …I think it’s embedded in the trait of humanity that we
    haven’t paid enough attention to. We’re often nowadays saying, well, you know,
    religious extremism is the cause of all our troubles. It isn’t. It isn’t.
    It’s the instrument and proximate justification extremists use — that they are
    obeying God when they kill, murder, take over. What really is — how shall I say
    it — the killing field of humanity is tribalism.* * * …Why is
    this so? Actually, Darwin in the DESCENT OF MAN probably had close to the right
    answer . . . He said that human evolution was driven in substantial part by
    group selection, that is, group versus group, inter-group competition, one group
    — tribe, clan, whatever it was — acting aggressively toward others, defending
    territory, acquiring territory, dominating if they can, enslaving if that’s
    possible.* * * . . So what we need to do is think more about our
    origins in terms of why we act the way we do, and this is one of the best
    theories ever extended as to why such a complex species, filled with kindness
    and love, filled with suspicion, filled with hatred of strangers and invaders .
    . . Religion someone once said — he should have said tribalism — is the
    one thing that can make good people do bad things.

    SOURCE: E. O. WILSON featured on In-Depth,, August 5, 2007:COMMENT: The American government’s high-risk project to transform the United Stats into a multi-cultural, multi-racial highly diverse melange of peoples will put Wilson’s — and Darwin’s theory — to the test. 

  • JohnEngelman

    E.O Wilson’s “Sociobiology, the New Synthesis,” is as important a contribution to genetic determinism as Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve.” E.O. Wilson recommends pessimism about human nature; Charles Murray recommends pessimism about human potential. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that because something is natural does not mean that it is good, or even to be accepted. Rape evolved because for many men it has been an effective reproductive strategy. 
    Also, people define their tribes their own way. Some define their tribe by race, some by ethnicity, some by religion, and some by shared beliefs. American Renaissance conferences are advertised as an opportunity to meet those who are in essential agreement with Jared Taylor. 

  • redshirts

    We are over due for naming names and starting boycotts. We just can’t afford to let the hateful Myth of the Safe Negro go unanswered.

    Offensive ads didn’t just happen naturally. Advertisers are pressured to “reflect Diversity in a more positive light to overcome hurtful stereotypes and biased reporting about youth crime”.

    Keep your eyes on the Maynard Institute, famous Diversity Con$ultant$.

    “changing the face of media since 1977”

    Boycott these TV Advertisers:

    Allstate Insurance- proud, strong, dignified, wise, articulate, atypical negro spokesman, projecting middle class Whiteness, offers comfort, security, and solutions to problems through Diversity leadership

    Chevy Dealers- proud, dignified, wise, bemused atypical negro, projecting middle class Whiteness, watches White salesman make a buffoon of himself

  • IstvanIN

    So much of our personalities and our abilities are innate and determined before birth, ask anyone with children. The “antis’ just pick and choose what they believe is inborn and what isn’t, defying all reason and logic, just so long as it fits their argument.

  • redshirts

    A judge in Michigan has dismissed charges against several Muslim football players who left an opposing team’s quarterback with a concussion in an on-field skirmish after Muslim and Arab-American leaders complained about the prosecution.

    The Detroit Free Press reported today that following complaints “from Arab-American and Muslim leaders,” the judge dismissed assault and battery counts against four high school football players “of Arab descent.”

  • JohnEngelman

    Many whites have collective identities other than racial identities. 
    As I pointed out earlier, to say that rape is an instinctive tendency does not mean that it is good. It means that the punishment against it must be very severe. 

  • Evidently, the crucial info was omitted. I suppose that, translated in physiology lingo, amygdala arousal  signaled “friend” or “enemy” when endo- or exo- race was perceived. Black “doctor” may be relevant only to White participants- not Blacks- in the experiment, who, supposedly, silenced or dispersed “enemy” impulse after learning that Black was harmless, i.e., MD.

    Although I’m not sure that Black MD, squeezed through by AA, is a harmless creature … 

  • I don’t understand EO Wilson’s reputation. Perhaps his field work gave him scientific credibility- I don’t question this- but his entire world view is extremely trivial & banal. This is not only 19th century social Darwinism slightly refurbished (Darwin, Haeckel, Spencer, Max Nordau,..). More- this is one of those trivial “observations” everyone knows without any science- people prefer people who are like them, parents are protective of their offspring, men/humans are both selfish and selfless …

    I’ve read his book on unification of arts and sciences- disappointment. Doubt his other works are magisterial.

  • Jared Taylor, “Guns, Germs and Steel” page 51:

    Here’s what I really believe:

    There is only one culture known in history to have deliberately bred for the individual, rather than the group, as the unit of selection.  The reason they did this is due to a visceral reaction against gangs — not unlike the visceral reaction any of us have when seeing a group of men wandering around exhibiting the “strength of unity”.  Any gang that formed on their side of the dead zone, or in the dead zone, they summarily killed by any and all means necessary — including temporary formation of counter-gangs — but they never had any standing gangs of their own.  As civilization continued to pressed down upon them in its dragon form they, from time to time, invaded the land of the group organisms to slay a dragon.

    That culture bred the white race.  That culture is now denied by white nationalists because they hate and revile the ways of their own ancestors.  To white nationalists, the idea that someone would be “pressed down into the slimy bog” for refusing to a challenge to a natural duel is “psychotic” (to quote several white nationalists who would probably last all of a week in the ancestral environment described by Tacitus).  

    White nationalism has nothing of value to offer in terms of eugenics because it denies the the eugenics that cultured the white race.

    White nationalism is as “white” as JudeoChristianity is “Christian”.

  • Yes.  The Celts of the era you cite had been in nearly continual contact with the civilizations of the Mediterranean and Middle East for millenia.    Specialization set in.  Group selection got a foothold by virtue of the fact that continual contact of individuals with existing groups mandated formation of standing counter-groups to protect individuals from the existing groups.  Celts were Germanics who failed to maintain a deadzone between them and civilization and as a result shifted from the individual integrity of sexual organisms to the group integrity integrity of asexual organisms.

  • No

    “two other sites of the brain integrated with the higher learning centers”

    Well, that explains the negro.  There is no “higher learning center” in the negro unless he breeds with non-negros.

    I used to live in a city with a lot of blacks.  I’d observe them at stores and fast food places and they just behave differently than whites.  They’re louder, more boisterous, more argumentative and they can’t seem to sit still.

    Just from watching them, you get a sense of how hopeless they are.  We could dump ten times the money we’ve already spent and it wouldn’t change a thing.

    The situation just has no easy solutions.  Either we breed with them to improve their blood line . . . thus destroying ourselves in the process  . . . or we separate from them totally and just let them be as nature intended . . . a low branch on the evolutionary tree.

    • IstvanIN

      They just do not belong in our nations.  I never get in the self-check out line behind a black because they usually have so much trouble trying to get the thing to work.  Never fails. A clerk has to come over and help.

      They should be in their own little villages back in Africa dancing around a bon-fire.

    • Sigh… have you ever read something from Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott, Agostinho Netto, Aime Cesaire,…
      Probably not, because you couldn’t claim that Blacks have no “higher learning center” (which is, after all, only a metaphor).

      • IstvanIN

        The odd-ball black who can write does not represent the typical black.  Just look at black Africa.

  • IstvanIN

    I have always understood that people prefer to be around those they have something in common with.  The classic example is Thanksgiving.  In a large family group it is so common for the women, men and children to self segregate.  The women wamt to talk about lady stuff, the men want to watch football and the kids like to play.   Sometimes the men will play outside with the kids.  Teen girls want to be with other teen girls, not mom, dad or their little siblings and cousins.  It is just natural.  Doesn’t mean we do not like each other but it is just natural to socialize with those you have something in common with.

  • Kurt Plummer

    But to play the game the human way required a complicated mix of closely calibrated altruism, cooperation, competition, domination, reciprocity, defection, and deceit.  Humans had to feel empathy for others, to measure the emotions of friend and enemy alike, to judge the intentions of all of them, and to plan a strategy for personal social interactions.

    Why -do- whites measure a friend as an enemy, alike?  Particularly among our greatest betrayers as females?  Could it be that, in an ice age environment where breeding strategies were restrictive among the beta and omega females that a vision of personal genetic prosperity was one of looking to the outsider?  Enabling him or her, as ‘fresh blood’, and thru them, the reality of their own geneflow, between groups and generations (which they would otherwise be denied as you cannot support multiple pregnant females on an HG diet in the glacial wastes)?

    Could it be that the solitary white ‘aberration’ which is ultimately our greatest gift but also weakness is that of social altruism -as- a selfish choice?  I think it is.  I think that, in empowering women to equality we empower a selfish instinct which is ultimately, ironically, reproductive in it’s basis.

    Civilization appears to be the ultimate redeeming product of competition between groups. Because of it, we struggle on behalf of good and against evil, and reward generosity, compassion, and altruism while punishing or downplaying selfishness. But if group conflict created the best in us, it also created the deadliest. As humans, this is our greatest, and worst, genetic inheritance.

    Which is why this study is being made public.  Because it’s a guide to the other side too.  “Shame them and the desperate instinctive need to belong to -someone- will bring them into line with the ‘new ideal’ of miscegenation and uplifting of low IQ, low social adjustment potentialed races.  Breeding a new generation of dumber but more conformist slaves.  Rather than rebellious, dominant, individualists.

    In this, the implication of the author to ‘go tribal!’ is one which will destroy our people’s differentiation from our competitors.  For we alone have made of defeated deceit as ejection, the need to go find a new group to belong to.  To conquer new horizons.  To gain new knowledge.

    It is why we and we alone are the group responsible for a historical legacy of the rise of modern civilization through exploration and the various scientific, philosophic, artistic and legal ideals.

  • The_Bobster
  •  Gosh you’re right!  Jared Taylor would _never_ say such a thing!

    Or would he?

  • In most case, white settlers or conquerors have not tried to eradicate the indigenous population even when, by their technological advance they were able to do so, and showed some respect and interest for other cultures. What enraged them and why they  engaged  wars even against their own interests, is ritual torture and often slavery. If every society is by nature genocidal, as it is written in the holly book, in the Deuteronomy, then this does not apply, or at least not to the same extend, to whites. An indication for that is the holocaust, which could happen only because of its great secrecy and which results in a sense of guilt which has spread over all whites.

    Unfortunately, E. O.Wilson shows  political concerns but none for our demographic decline and the unbalance, Africa for Africans, Asia for the Asians, White countries for everyone. This said, we should not forget that he was and is one of the must vilified sociobiologist of our time and it would be an unforgivable error if we would obliterate the invaluable contribution he has made to our cause.

    The article answered an old question that Jean-Jacques Rousseau put in this term. “[The social contract] can arise only where several persons come together: but, as the force and liberty of each man are the chief instruments of his self-preservation, how can he pledge them without harming his own interests, and neglecting the care he owes himself?” After the second world war, there was the atempt to formulate this question into a rigourous mathematical model, which study always begins with the prisoner dilemma. It has lead to three schools of thought which, for the political corrects, have different degree of devilry so that a less devilish one may be used as straw man to distract from the next. A proponent of the first one is Richard Dawkins (the man, who wear the t-shirt “We are all Africans” in one of his talk shows and has an aversion for religion and reality) with his book “The Selfish Gene”. All is oriented around the gene or the individual as selection unit. It is a biologism which negates sociobiology and is under some condition even encouraged by political correctness. The second school is those of William Hamilton and his inclusiv fitness, which see the social behaviour comming from the defense of one own kindred and is the point of view of Franck Salter in his higly recommandable “On Genetic Interest”. The third position, the one the though police attempts to neutralize under all circonstances, is those of Edward Osborn Wilson and is a derivation of group selection known as multi level selection. In colaboration with David Sloan Wilson, E.O Wilson wrote a paper which answered Rousseau’s question. This paper has been reedited in a accessible and enjoyable article with the title “For the Good of The Group” in the September-October 2008 edition of “The American Scientist”. The material is available on D. S. Wilsons’ blog:

    But why is it that E. O. Wilson hasn’t been acclaimed as liberator, as someone who has resolved an essential question so that we can focus on new ones? He has probably succumbed to anti-racism. He failed to sufficiently defend the existence of the whites,  which has led to contradictions and has made his truth a burden even for himself. If he had choose racism, he would  have no doubt that white can shoulder his truth, he would not have been lured by the one peoples ideology but on the contrary, have known that many more peoples are to come. That they will be in such a multitude, that when a people will disappear, it will not be a much greater lost as if an individual disappears today. He would know the whites’ destiny.
    They fly a star-ship across the Universe divide,
    And when they reach the other side,
    They’ll find a place to rest their spirits if they can,
    Perhaps they may become .. highwaymen again,
    Or they may simply be .. single drops of rain,
    But they will remain,
    And they’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again….

    (From Jimmy Webb, “The highwayman”.

  • kminta

    Believe it or not, I believe in tribalism. I see nothing inherently evil about having a preference for one’s own. 

    It’s just that when one’s sense of tribalism distorts his view of fair play and a general, universal understanding of right versus wrong…that’s heading in a dangerous territory that I call “hyper-tribalism”, which can lead one to defend one’s tribe against the indefensible. 

    Case in point: was the decimation of the American Indians and the taking of their land the right thing to do? For you white tribal racialists, the answer is yes because it served the best interests of the white tribe. But from the perspective of a decent and moral human being, the mass murder of an indigenous people is both unjustifiable and inexcusable. However, to the individual afflicted with “hyper tribalism”, right and wrong can take a back seat.

    Ever heard of the phrase, “Too much of something is a bad thing”? Well, that’s also true to tribalism. While it is typically a normal thing to cling to one’s own, an individual should be able to regulate his/her tribal instincts for the sake of the greater good.