People Will Tend To Save Themselves Despite Their Nation And The State That Runs It

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Pablo Edronkin

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Normally, for a human being there is no prima facie differentiation between the survival of an individual and the survival of the group to which that individual belongs; we tend to help each other but to what extent? Is there a limit to this?

Survival instinct is a strong one and usually a personal one; survival is quintessentially a one-by-one issue among animals but our nature as social transform things a little bit. Whenever we find ourselves in a survival situation we also extend our concern to those around us, even if they are not our siblings or friends, but as the group becomes larger that behaviour becomes weaker. The group composed by individuals is replaced in our mind by the idea of a group composed by an anonymous mass. It is like in war: It is easier to kill at a distance, without seeing the face of the enemy. When survival means stepping over others, the same emotions are triggered: If we see their faces, we treat them as humans, but if we don't, they become a mass. We feel more pressure to help others when they are close.

Thus, as far as we go in direction to the abstract within our species, culture, country or society, that bond will tend to weaken and in such a fashion, at the same time that we help some, we ignore others. And in the extreme of this are the institutions of the world, of our culture and nations. Combine this with the common mistrust that people usually feel for political leaders and there is only one conclusion: Among those entities that we would least help, count the state and political leaders- And while patriotism might turn some even into self immolation for God and country, the truth is that these cases are less than one in dozen millions. The rest of the people will simply put their own survival as more important than that of the state.

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