And if you don't pick sides in this game of life you end up with little resources and community to draw support from. "He who feeds me his song I sing." From sports, politics, nations, religions, languages, families, our species gets its meaning and identity from the reflection of others like us and not like us. "The narcissism of small difference" indeed. We are social animals par excellence.
There is a group in Washington DC trying to bridge the partisan divide and I appreciate their desire to be more pragmatic and less dogmatic however they still have to label themselves. Their label is "No Labels". So there is the irony even when you are "no labels" you are condemned to be labeled by necessity. The limits of language and the necessity of labels is part of the human drama. I think a tragic and unfortunate part at times when you consider the impact of playing the tribal game has had on our species. "Party spirit is the madness of many for the gain of a few." To move nations you must give people a uniform and a target even if it is just in the metaphorical identity game.
"Man cuts out for himself a manageable world"
dear life onto the self-transcending meanings of the society in which they live . . . a new kind of instability and anxiety are created.
In seeking to avoid evil [(death)], man is responsible for bringing more evil into the world than organisms could
ever do merely by exercising their digestive tracts. It is man’s ingenuity, rather than his animal nature, that has given his fellow creatures such a bitter earthly fate.
Anything that reduces the other organisms and adds to one’s own size and importance is a direct way to gain self-feeling . . . . in man we find that he is in an almost constant struggle not to be diminished in his organismic importance.
Persons have to keep from going mad by biting off small pieces of reality which they can get some command over and some satisfaction from. This means that their noblest passions are played out in the narrowest and most unreflective ways, and this is what undoes them. From this point of view the main problem for human beings
has to be expressed in the following paradox; Men and women must have a fetish in order to survive and to have ‘normal mental health.’ But this shrinkage of vision that permits them to survive also at the same time prevents them from having the overall understanding they need to plan for and control the effects of their shrinkage of experience. A paradox this bitter sends a chill through all reflective people.
Men’s fears are buried deeply by repression, which gives to everyday life its tranquil façade; only occasionally does the desperation show through, and only for some people. It is repression, then, that great discovery of psychoanalysis that explains how well men can hide their basic motivations even from themselves. But men also
live in a dimension of care freeness, trust, hope, and joy which gives them buoyancy beyond that which repression alone could give. This, as we saw with Rank, is achieved by the symbolic engineering of culture, which everywhere
serves men as an antidote to terror by giving them a new and durable life beyond that of the body.
Ernest Becker, Escape From Evil