Throughout history there have been efforts to incorporate individuals into social groupings and to maintain the loyalty of those individuals to their group. Dramatic narratives have been used to exalt the characteristics of one’s own group while denigrating the characteristics of competing groups. It’s proven to be very easy to keep individuals subscribed to the values and mythology of their own group. Shared culture has shown itself to be a powerful driver of cohesion within groups and divisiveness between groups.
Economic ethnicity is a force of social cohesion based on a shared belief in the primacy of money over all other values. It’s important to understand that it’s not necessary to have a lot of money to share in this belief. This is the trick underlying all ethnicity. Those who don’t share in its spoils can bask in the reflected glory of those who do.
The main tactic for promoting economic ethnicity is the use of Economics to arrogate a sense of authority for the group’s interests. This is the key to success in an era when deities and monarchs are no longer accepted as sources of social authority. The task of promoting economic values is the responsibility of a priestly class of lobbyists, consultants, academics, politico’s and media ho’s who attempt to convince the public that these values have an inevitability based on some kind of scientific principles.
The problem with economic ethnicity is the intolerance that is bred by the belief that one’s own values cannot be challenged. As is the case with other ethnic conflicts, the only morality is one of us-versus-them. This morality is evident in the case of the financial meltdown which cost investors huge losses but resulted in no calls for fellow members of the group to be called to account for their malfeasance. Such an accounting would’ve been harmful to economic values and protecting the group’s values is more important than the financial losses.
Ethnicity is a vestige of a more primitive stage in the evolution of human civilization when universal standards of ethics were not recognized and tolerance was not considered of value. Using the facade of modern science to move society in a backwards direction is a particularly treacherous irony.