Re: virus: UTism and Media Memetics

Sodom (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 19:10:46 -0400

Good posts - It just occurred to me that if you cannot make a bigger them (even if it is temporary), perhaps you can make them not so threatening or rare. I tend to think that people at some level think they need a "them" or feel unbalanced. That without an enemy, many cannot properly function.

Are there instances where a group has successfully avoided war and UTism for their survival? Anywhere in history? Even a little bit?

Bill Roh

psypher wrote:

> Prof. Tim opined:
> > This is the "Lathe of Heaven" theory--override the minor US/THEMs by
> > creating a larger THEM. But it doesn't work long term. At best it
> > sublimates the smaller UTisms for a time, but it doesn't ever remove
> > them. And they come back just as soon people have ajusted to new
> > framework.
> >
> > For instance, did WW2 end the "THEM" statis of African-Americans,
> > Native Americans or Asians when they all banded together to fight a
> > common enemy? Or did it simply side-step the issue in some branches
> > of the service until that particular crisis was over? (Not that it
> > even "side-stepped" it that well at the time, to be sure.)
> ...I wonder. The idea of a bigger THEM uniting us has been used time
> and time again - give everybody something big to work against and
> they'll set aside their differences for the time being. There's even
> been research done [I seem to recall from my schooldays] that common
> struggle unites people.
> ...What I'm wondering though is this - is the dynamic of working
> [against THEM] different from the dynamic constructed around working
> FOR a common goal. Proactive instead of reactive?
> ...if so, what sort of goal could that be?
> -psypher
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Fastmail's Free web based email for Canadians