By David Brooks, Dec. 8 2015 (LINK to article)
"The purpose of an organization like ISIS is to get people to negate themselves for a larger cause."It is not about "negating" oneself, but realising oneself in a larger cause, which is deeply rooted in our inherently and intensely tribal nature, which, not coincidentally, I think, we are subliminally taught to trivialise, ridicule or demonise, rather than to take seriously and develop a proper understanding of.
The state conflates and confounds VERY different aspects of the original tribal environment in which human nature evolved, long before the first states and civilisations emerged from it, with the modern "nation state" now deceitfully posing as our tribe or nation (our intra- and inter-tribal environment) itself, while at the same time facilitating society’s SELF-exploitation (as an extra-tribal environment) to the personal advantage of its ruling elites and favoured (especially wealthy and academic - previously, priestly) clients, at the expense and ultimate self-destruction of society at large. Which is why all past civilisations have declined and disappeared. It is why our own civilisation is on course to self-destruct in the decades ahead, and Islam may well replace it.
ISIS is manipulating and exploiting people's tribal nature, just as the Nazis did, and as all states do. We need to understand this, so that we can take charge of the manipulation ourselves, consciously, and direct it in a way that is beneficial both to the individual and to society at large.