- synthesis and melting pot
- Uber Identity (above and beyond identity for the sake of unity)
- Consumer class identity: See page 487
- Bifurcated or two-tiered consumer habits like the Mini Cooper Vs. The Suv.
- Blue Vs. Red America: See page 488: boutique vs. chain shopper
- elitist vs. proletariat: See page 490
- Education divide on how to deal with terrorism: See page 493
- High school cafeteria analogy. See page 494
- cliques: nerds, jocks, bohemians, AM Anger Radio fans, fashionistas, hipsters, hedonists . . .
- exclusive vs. inclusive cliques
Part Two. Tribalists and Cosmopolitans
The Ten Signs of Tribalism, (tribalists only associate “with their own kind”)
- You see the world in the oversimplistic “Us Vs. Them” template.
- You interpret history and current events through a screen or prism of narcissistic self-interest.
- You are closed to other cultures as you cling to your cultural myopia.
- You suffer from a condition known as provincialism, which means you deem people from your “province” superior to others.
- You operate on self-image of victimization and entitlement.
- You have a reductionary view of the world, which means you reduce all current events and history to
- You constantly “beat the drums” of tribal self-exaltation that serves the purpose of therapeutic self-affirmation
- You drink the “Kool-Aid,” which means you believe everything that is said by your tribal leaders.
- You embrace paranoid conspiracy theories.
- You embrace the romanticized historic “narratives” that show you and “your people” belong to the “pure” tribe before it was “contaminated” by “outsiders.”
The Ten Signs of the Cosmopolitan (the opposite of a tribalist)
- You are exposed to the world’s diversity, which defies stereotypes.
- You thrive on “café society,” a lifestyle that is a synthesis or hodgepodge of cultural influences. Thus you embrace an eclectic mix of influences.
- Your strong identity allows you to mix with diverse groups of people without feeling threatened.
- You see more unity and common ground in the human condition regardless of who people are or where they’re from.
- You are skeptical of self-serving propaganda and the “Kool-Aid drinkers” who follow it.
- You are open-minded to ideas that contradict your long-held assumptions.
- You are driven by intellectual curiosity so that you thrive on exploring new ideas.
- You’re more interested in understanding people than being “superior” to them.
- You have an intense distaste for those who fancy themselves as cosmopolitans or “hipsters” as they look down at “the peasants” or the “bridge and tunnel” or the “tribalists” because their snobbishness is what precisely makes them tribalistic.
- For you being cosmopolitanism is not a pose to appear trendy or hip but a sensibility of humility combined with genuine curiosity and reverence for life.
Part Three. Writing Option:
Summarize David Brooks' major points in about a half page. Then contrast a Red State person you know with a Blue State person.
In the context of David Brooks' essay, analyze the cliques at a school or college you attend or have attended.