I have seen what you're talking about Whatever, I've seen it in its worst incarnations here in NI actually were people have very exclusive and exclusionary definitions of group identity and the "other" or "others" who they hate, what I would say I've learned about that is that it is a very curious thing because they unmistakeably "need" the "other" no matter how much they hate or seek to eliminate, even through murder, the "other" most of their time is spent thinking about them, getting irrate, angry and escalating about them, fixating, obsessing and acting out with respect to the "other".
There's no way that its possible for me to profess this kind of thinking or belief, in my teens was probably the closest that I ever got to it but it was totally unsustainable because we'd been brought up to be too critical thinking in my family.
I think its a pretty awful position to be in, anyone whose identity and meaning depends upon something or someone else in that manner has a pretty meaningless existence, its interesting to see some of the philosophers or thinkers who've hit upon this and how they have changed their thinking or redefined it, for instance AC Grayling's move from self-identifying as an atheist towards self-identifying as a naturalist.
For whatever reason in human nature this seems to be pretty widespread, I know that a lot of the discussions I've had with people, not only political or cultural ones but usually, they are arguing often with the "other" who they associate the poster or speaker with and not really paying much attention to what the individual poster or speaker is saying, in some ways that's an ego defence against persuasion but I think its mainly that "them vs. us" with a dose of hostility.
I really liked to hear what you had to say there Whatever about the people you've met, you've met many more interesting people than I have, I'm jealous of you there, and I never heard of this studs terkel guy but he sounds really interesting and thanks for that tip. I've been striving towards a more developed attentiveness and listening skills for a few years now. I find people interesting too, its what results in my answers to quizes which place me over the line into extroversion rather than introversion.