Thursday, March 01, 2018

General Principle

The general principle that motivates and binds people is "story".  The universal elements of a story are characters, a clear goal, and impediments to reaching that goal.  Every national story, without exception, is cast in these terms (usually with considerable distortion of the facts).

The best and most compelling stories involve righteous sounding goals and enormous obstacles.  We are fundamentally "wired" to be captivated by such narratives, and it's the most powerful force holding us together, much stronger than profit or self-interest.

-- Duncan McKenzie, in an on-line discussion about national identity, 1 March 2018

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