As human beings, we tend to live a somewhat paradoxical existence. There are billions of us, and yet we tend not to celebrate our relationship with the larger body of humanity but rather the smaller groups that we are closest to. Whether we are Tennessee police officers, fraudsters involved in an incestuous group of financial investment companies, or members of the World Economic Forum, we are a part of small groups, and it is our behavior in these groups that best reflects the sort of people we are. This is admittedly not always a good thing that is being said about us, and it is worth exploring why that is the case.
How do people behave within small groups of people who fancy themselves to be special and distinct from the average herd? The answer, at least in the contemporary world, is that people do not behave well when they fancy themselves to be part of a special group. As this is a family blog, I do not plan on talking about the details of how these people behave corruptly, but it is it not hard to imagine that people who focus their time and attention on a small group of people who matter a great deal of them are going to find out that these people matter more than they ought to matter, and that is at least part of the problem.
Perhaps another related problem is that when we think of ourselves as being superior to the common herd of humanity, the end result is not only that we tend to make mistakes that only make sense if we are only looking at the small group we consider ourselves a part of but also fail to recognize that people outside the group are looking at us and judging us, using the behavior to even think that we might be worse than the common herd of humanity, which is bad enough, it must be admitted.