I've often found anthopology and primatology to be helpful when it comes to understanding human behavior. If you ever watch a troop of baboons or chimps becoming agitated, you see a kind of "group mind" take over and individual animals lose themselves in the frenzy. It's the same with humans. The French explicitly recognize this: their word for mad ("fou") forms the root of their word for crowd ("foule"). When people form a crowd it rapidly becomes a mob, at which point all conscious thought disappears. Hence indiscriminate violence directed against those one is nominally allied with.


Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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