A group of hungry apes is venturing into new territory and they confront a smaller group of apes, perhaps of a different species, perhaps not. In either case the smaller group stands their ground and marks their territory with some kind of visible and/or audible display. The leadership of the hungry apes, considering the fewer numbers of the other group and their own hungry baby apes, have a choice to make. A simple binary yes or no decision. Fight or flight. Are they so hungry and exhausted they will lose a battle even with this smaller group? If they lose they will be in a far worse position being even more exhausted and possibly with injuries and/or fewer numbers.
The leader of the smaller group trying to hold this territory is relying on his group to defend their ground for several reasons. First, the individuals collectively follow the leader because they instinctively believe it will lead to their collective and individual survival. There is some risk if they follow the leader into battle but if they do not there is the risk they will end up as hungry exhausted refugees like the group they are confronting. Second, if they fight well it will raise their status in their group. And third, if they run away they will certainly be punished by their own group later, unless their own group is defeated in which case by running they will have avoided death or life threatening injuries.
All of these survival scenarios are evaluated from either an individual or collective standpoint. The salient feature of social being is the inability to survive individually. This is why it is stated, “The Collective and their Individuals”, rather than the opposite order. Without a collective identity they will not be able to protect each other, successfully reproduce, or enjoy any of the many advantages the group confers and as a species they will cease to exist. For apes in the wild it is a simple matter of being eaten by predators if they are caught outside the collective which will fight to protect the individual. If resources are plentiful groups will multiply and if they become scarce due to a changing environment then separate groups will inevitably go to war.
In the modern world human beings are manipulated psychologically by those who take advantage of instincts going back millions of years. It is faux drama reenacting the eternal struggle for resources and territory, status and reproduction in the group. Changing environmental conditions and competition with other species all drive behaviors in human beings to this day and we are unconsciously influenced by these built-in instincts and behaviors. We are driven, even though as modern human beings starvation, heat and cold, and predators, are no longer life and death evolutionary issues. The lesser problem is both individually and collectively we are largely either unaware or refuse to acknowledge this heritage that drives us to act or not act in certain ways. The greater critical problem is the very tiny percentage of people and entities that are aware and use group and individual psychology to the detriment of the vast majority in pursuit of gross advantage for the few. Due to climate change this is actually a threat to the survival of our species.
The individual or collective view is key in manipulating both individuals and collectives because of an inverse relationship. To influence the collective it is the individual that must be affected (by manipulating their instincts and behaviors). To influence the individual lost in the crowd it is the collective that must be affected (by reaching large numbers in the shortest time with mass media and marketing-so all are exposed to a herd or mob mindset). If the individual logically understands both the smaller and bigger picture of their own world and a larger world including others they are extremely difficult to manipulate and take advantage of. If the individual is limited to only a very narrowly defined scenario where everything is about the individual and a programmed trigger of some kind is programmed in to activate a collective response, it is much easier to control individuals as a group.
Concerning the small group of “rich” apes and the larger group of “poor apes” who are competing for territory, or “wealth”, it may not be a clear binary fight or flight scenario. If some of the poor apes have any affiliation with the rich apes they may defect and turn against their own poor group in the hope of being accepted, even if only as new, low-ranking members, into the rich group. After the prehistoric era, as populations grew, human societies would often use this tactic of “divide and conquer.” In the 21st century, the dominant neoliberal ideology presently employed to transfer vast and almost inconceivable wealth to a tiny fraction of the population is the ultimate refinement of divide and conquer. The majority of human beings in developed countries have been indoctrinated with a set of false ideas they will fight to the death to defend. It is almost impossible to deprogram these beliefs once they are instilled in individuals, no matter what evidence or logical argument is presented to them. In the year 2020 we have the “forever trumper” phenomenon that baffles and terrifies the majority of citizens in America. As of this writing the several hundred year old system of democracy in the United States is in danger of falling apart.
Neoliberalism is the fundamental cause of this possible dissolution yet among another group, the “never trumper”, this fact is denied or ignored. Even among the third group, the “corporate democrats”, the over half a century of free market economic propaganda has had the effect of programming many to recoil in fear and alarm from any ideas promoting a “collectivist” view of society. The fourth faction, the “progressive democrats” are the minority who alone seem to have any idea of the true nature of the problem. Hungry apes.
Actually, this is what they have promoted- to let everyone get it so we end up with herd immunity. They are unashamedly willing to have an American Holocaust with 6 million dead. Since most of those dying will be elderly minorities with pre-existing conditions it is a win-win for the Neoliberals since those victims are “negative revenue” anyway. People just don’t get it: Neoliberalism makes money the god of this world. If you are not rich you are just a commodity and if you happen to be a worthless commodity you can, and should, die in the gutter. That is their religion and they believe it even if they have to deny it to the unwashed masses. And they have no problem at all lying and deceiving the general population as this is an accepted and admirable practice of their faith.