17 April 2006

My country, right or wrong!

... even when you know you are wrong. David Friedman experienced some "hardwired tribalism" the other day, when a usenet poster labeled him Pro-Bush just because he said something bad about Clinton,

Not long after, I heard a radio report about the French government caving in to the demands of demonstrators that they rescind legislation making it possible for employers to fire young workers. Oddly enough, part of my reaction was a feeling of satisfaction. The news implied a further decline of the wealth, power, and status of France, France is part of Europe, Europe is at the moment the obvious status rival to America, and I am an American. Speaking as an economist, my best guess is that the decline of the French economy makes me worse off, not better off. But to some part of my mind hardwired by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution in hunter/gatherer bands, there is only us and them, and anything that is bad for them is good for us.
I remember thinking the exact same thing when I heard the news!

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