Public Universal Enemy
That's often why but I think people often bond over mutual interests too especially obsessive ones. Like fandoms central point isn't a unified problem looking to be solved and I think people would still want to share that stuff too. Humans are social animals so they don't just get together to problem solve but also teaching people info they think is useful or exciting. But I guess it depends on what you mean by group.I have noticed, that groups of people don't usually have a positive theme going on, not when you dig very deep into them anyway, they are usually complaining about others, and people who don't act the same way are more of an irritant than anything. I think there is a rational reason for this, as I think the cohesion of most groups is due to having a common problem, without one groups will often make one.
That just leads me to yet another thought, if there were no problems to be concerned with, and no problems that could be created, would groups of people even be a thing? Would people still gravitate to one another, or would they slowly go their own way? I think the one uniting thing for people, is trying to solve problems - if there were no problems, nothing left to solve what would it be holding them together in larger groups?
I have noticed many times in the past, positive people are usually the target of others, they are actively ridiculed, called frauds, delusional, whatever. Cynics on the other hand, are often embraced, considered "real", tell it "how it is" believed to be realists, and people feel more trustful of them in a group setting, I think the reason for this is that positive people are like a solvent for the cohesion present in most group settings.
People usually have a negative bias and this makes sense from a survival pov, you are going to pay more attention to signs of threat and danger. This is partially environmentally mitigated too. Nowadays a lot of people aren't having their basic psychological needs met and a lot of Human socialisation has radically changed due to technology and also current events even:
Virtual intimacy: is the era of actual sexual contact under threat? | Sex | The Guardian
I don't think a lot of what you see now is actually healthy/normal behaviour like you can't really make judgements about Human nature off it in a broader sense because it's increasingly more sick especially on social media. There are different theories about why like whether it's connected to population density, technology, capitalism, over protective parenting, mass media, and so on. I think it's likely a combination of things and I think most explanations are usually too neat if you follow them absolutely also gets connected to political ideological viewpoints in the West like the population density argument suits fascism and the capitalist critique communism.
This video is US centric but it somewhat applies to a lot of industrialised nations and certainly the West.
Hard to think of an exact video to link and that channel also has a few that touches on this, but it's just crisis after crisis now both economically and in other ways that are poorly managed and these events are also often exploited and so younger people in particular grew up with this background in their formative years of constant accelerating chaos. This documentary also kind of touches on that I guess but is really long:
Those who ran the Soviet Union had believed that they could plan and manage a new kind of socialist society. But they had discovered that it was impossible to control and predict everything and the plan had run out of control.
But rather than reveal this, the technocrats began to pretend that everything was still going according to plan. And what emerged instead was a fake version of the society. The Soviet Union became a society where everyone knew that what their leaders said was not real because they could see with their own eyes that the economy was falling apart. But everybody had to play along and pretend that it WAS real because no-one could imagine any alternative. One Soviet writer called it "hypernormalisation". You were so much a part of the system that it was impossible to see beyond it. The fakeness was hypernormal.
TANNOY ANNOUNCEMENT IN RUSSIAN
In this stagnant world, two brothers - called Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - became the inspiration of a growing new dissident movement. They weren't politicians, they were science fiction writers, and in their stories, they expressed the strange mood that was rising up as the Soviet Empire collapsed. Their most famous book was called Roadside Picnic. It is set in a world that seems like the present, except there is a zone that has been created by an alien force. People, known as "stalkers", go into the zone. They find that nothing is what it seems, that reality changes minute by minute. Shadows go the wrong way. There are hidden forces that twist your body and change the way you think and feel. The picture the Strugatskys gave was of a world where nothing was fixed. Where reality - both what you saw and what you believed - had become shifting and unstable. And in 1979, the film director Andrei Tarkovsky made a film that was based on Roadside Picnic. He called it Stalker.
At the very same time, in 1975, there was a confrontation between two powerful men, in Damascus, the capital of Syria, One was Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State. The other was the president of Syria Hafez al Assad. The battle between the two men would was going to have profound effects for the world and, like New York, it was going to be a struggle between the old idea of using politics to change the world, and a new idea that you could run the world as a stable system.
President Assad dominated Syria. The country was full of giant images and statues that glorified him. He was brutal and ruthless, killing or imprisoning anyone he suspected of being a threat, But Assad believed that the violence was for a purpose. He wanted to find a way of uniting the Arab countries and using that power to stand up to the West.
(Magical sounding countdown, juxtaposed with images of nuclear explosion.)
Kissinger was also tough and ruthless. He had started in the 1950s as an expert in The Theory of Nuclear Strategy, what was called “The Delicate Balance of Terror”. It was the system that ran the cold war. Both sides believed that if they attacked, the other side would immediately launch their missiles and everyone would be annihilated.
Kissinger had been one of the models for the character of Dr Strangelove
in Stanley Kubrick’s film.
(Dr Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick 1964)
Peter Sellers: “Mr President, I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens, it would be quite easy (laughs) at the bottom of some of our deeper mine shaft.”
Nuclear Strategest, Thomas Schelling:
“Henry was not a warm, friendly, modest jovial sort of person. He was thought of as one of the, more, er, anxious, temperamental, self conscious, ambitious, inconsiderate people at Harvard.”
Kissinger saw himself as a hard realist. He had no time for the emotional turmoil of political ideologies, he believed that history had always really been a struggle for power between groups and nations.
But what Kissinger took from the cold war was a way of seeing the world as an interconnected system. And his aim was to keep that system in balance and prevent it from falling into chaos.
“I believe that with all the dislocations we now experience, there also exists an extraordinary opportunity to form for the first time in history a truly global society carried out by the principle of interdependence, and if we act wisely and with vision, I think we can look back to all this turmoil as the birth pangs of a more creative and better system. If we miss this opportunity then I think there’s going to be chaos.”
And it was this idea that Kissinger set out to impose on the chaotic politics of the Middle East. But to manage it he knew that he was going to have to deal with President Assad of Syria. President Assad was convinced that there would only ever be a real and lasting peace between the Arabs and Israel, if the Palestinian refugees were allowed to return to their homeland. 100S of thousands of Palestinians were living in exile in Syria, as well as in The Lebanon and Jordan.
Soraya El-Hayan, Syrian Social Affairs Ministry 1975 :
“Have you found that Palestinian here want to integrate with the Syrians at all?”
“No, never. They don’t wan’t, neither here nor in Lebanon nor in Jordan. Because they want to stay as a whole, as Palestinian. They call themselves “those who go back”, Al Idoun, we say in Arabic”
Asad also believed that such would strengthen the Arab world. But Kissinger thought that strengthening the Arabs would destabilise his balance of power.
So he set out to the do very opposite, to fracture the power of the Arab countries, by dividing them and breaking their alliances, so that they would keep each other in check. Kissinger now played a double game, or as he termed it ‘a constructive ambiguity’.
In a series of meetings he persuaded Egypt to sign a separate agreement with Israel. But at the same time he led Assad to believe that he was working for a wider peace agreement, one that would include the Palestinians. In reality the Palestinians were ignored. They were irrelevant to the structural balance of the global system .
Leslie Gelb, United States Department of Defence 1967-69:
The hallmark of Kissinger’s thinking on international politics, is its structural design. Everything is always connected in his mind to everything else. But his first thoughts are on that level, on this structural global balance of power level. And as he addresses questions of human dignity, human survival, human freedom, I think they tend to come to his mind as an adjunct of the play of nations’ at power game.
When Assad found out the truth it was too late. In a series of confrontations with Kissinger in Damascus Assad raged about this treachery. He told Kissinger that what he had done would release demons hidden under the surface of the Arab world.
Kissinger described their meetings, he wrote:
Assad’s controlled fury was all the more impressive for its eerily cold, seemingly unemotional demeanour.”
Assad now retreated, he started to build a giant palace that loomed over Damascus. And his belief that it would be possible to transform the Arab world, faded.
A British journalist who knew Assad wrote:
“Assad’s optimism has gone. A trust in the future has gone.
What has emerged instead is a brutal, vengeful Assad who believes in nothing, except revenge.“
The beautiful ones always reminds me of this song though lol: