Monday, September 11, 2006


New York Times columnist David Brooks recently reflected on the September 11th anniversary with the following observation made on the NewsHour (emphasis added):
...I guess I -- I shared a sense, pre-September 11, a '90s sense, that the central story of the day was globalization. It was about the convergence of peoples and markets and communications and that human beings were fundamentally the same. We had different cultures, but we all wanted the same thing.

I think, since 9/11, I have become much more aware of how different human beings are, how in -- because they need identity, they form tribes. And those tribes are solidified by hating other people. They need not only freedom, but they need a sense of moral order. And those moral orders sometimes contradict each other.

And, so, human beings are much more unalike than I thought they were. And, when you go back and look at early days of the Iraq occupation, the -- trying to create a stock market, it was like they -- they were liberating a country sort of like our own.

But it's not. And the Sunnis and Shia are now not like they are. So, the -- the landscape of reality to me was -- was sort of rolling hills before. Now, there are cliffs and chasms between peoples and groups. And that's much uglier...
Bill Whittle has an excellent and highly recommended essay entitled 'Tribes' that delves into our tribalism.


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