Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Establishment Group Monkey Dance

 

I am, sometimes, stymied at the establishment’s obdurate opposition to President Trump. Hey, the dude wasn’t my first choice for the Republican nominee, either. But Trump won the nomination, won the general election, and kept a no-kidding corrupt, scofflaw, sac of pulsating sociopathy and her machine out of the White House. So, I’m happy.

The reaction of the establishment, though, has been a little disconcerting. Logic, rational thought, and critical thinking have been thrown out the window. Not only have I been dismayed at the reaction to Trump’s election by people I’ve never met, but I read and thought highly of, for analysis and principle-based opinion, but by people that I know. People that took a different path than me and pursued Ph.D.s, wrote books, became experts in their fields. Many of these people have unyielding, uncompromising opposition to Trump, whatever he may do or say.

Then, re-reading a favorite book, I stumbled over — not the answer, but a partial answer. I was seeing a Group Monkey Dance.

I’m a fan of self-defense and violence expert Rory Miller. He spent 15-plus years as a corrections officer, where he experienced at least one fight per day, every day, for 15 years. Plus, he’s an old-school jujitsu expert. His book Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected is outstanding. In this work, he breaks down and explains the different dimensions of social and predatory violence.

Miller defines four types of social violence: The Monkey Dance, the Group Monkey Dance, the Educational Beat-Down, and the Status-Seeking Show. I see a parallel between the reactions of the establishment and the Group Monkey Dance.

The Group Monkey Dance (GMD) is a show of group solidarity. There are two levels, at least. In the lowest level an outsider is discouraged from interfering with group business–it is a way of establishing territory.

Families are tight-knit groups. Domestic violence incidents are acts within the group. Sometimes, when the police intervene, both parties turn on them. Even though one was a victim just moments before and in fear for her life, husband and wife, attacker and victim, often band together to drive away the outsiders.

This is behavior that is familiar in chimps and baboons–your tribe will band together to drive away or scare off members of another tripe or a predator. If you don’t play, you loyalty to the group might be questioned.

In the higher level of GMD the victim is sometimes an outsider but often an insider who is perceived in some way to have betrayed the group. The group bands together in an orgy of violence, possibly beating, burning and cutting on the victim. It is literally a contest to show your loyalty by how much damage you can do to the outsider. Some of the most brutal murders, lynchings and war atrocities are examples of the Group Monkey Dance.

Most GMDs occur when an outsider is within the threat-group’s territory. There is an exception. You may remember the wildings in Central Park or the roving band of young men randomly beating people in Seattle. This pack behavior follows a similar dynamic and serves the same purpose as any other GMD–it strengthens bonds within the group. Causing fear in others (and fear is power) is just a by-product.

In earlier societies, this bonding through violence was ensured by hunting large game animals.

The people that are characterizing Trump supporters as tribalists look a lot like a tribe.

There are 45 comments.

  1. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Man, where’s @whiskeysam when we need him?

    • #1
    • July 22, 2018, at 3:01 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Boss Mongo:

    The people that are characterizing Trump supporters as tribalists look a lot like a tribe.

    Indeed, they are making monkeys out of themselves.

    • #2
    • July 22, 2018, at 3:16 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    I couldn’t find a good clip of Johnny Bravo’s “Do the Monkey with me” so here you go:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWS3-9osoe4

    • #3
    • July 22, 2018, at 3:34 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Ooh, ooh!

    • #4
    • July 22, 2018, at 3:44 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Wow, that’s fascinating. It sounds like the actor/director recently who was saying nice things about Ben Shapiro, and he was just about tweeted to death. How dare he! I think that’s why so many of us are having trouble understanding the phenomenon, because we’re using reason and logic and this stuff is far more primitive. It doesn’t bode well, either. Thanks @bossmongo.

    • #5
    • July 22, 2018, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    It is weird to me to this day how we all put up with O for eight miserable years while he dismantled anything resembling a positive direction of America, and now that the guard change is doing everything he can think of to be positive for America and elsewhere, the world hates it. But not only do I think you are right Boss, on the group thing, but it is the extremities of the times. Is anyone happy that unemployment is low, that Trump calls out Germany for making an idiot decision to become dependent on Russia for fuel, that we are standing up to China’s schemes, dealing with the NK threats, Iran’s bull…., standing with Israel, our ally in the Middle East, you know the drill. No….they’d rather have the America apology tour and multi-gender bathrooms. This is way beyond politics…..

    • #6
    • July 22, 2018, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 21 likes
  7. dajoho Member

    • #7
    • July 22, 2018, at 4:11 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  8. Jim McConnell Member

    That is a very unusual, and perceptive, analysis. I think there’s a lot of truth in that explanation of some of the reactions to President Trump.

    • #8
    • July 22, 2018, at 4:31 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  9. Randy Webster Member

    Boss Mongo: The Establishment Group Monkey Dance

    I didn’t even know this was a thing.

    • #9
    • July 22, 2018, at 4:39 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    What a great alternative framework for analysis, yielding a fun label for those busy applying other labels.

    • #10
    • July 22, 2018, at 4:49 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  11. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Coolidge

    Why is this tribally-focused self-validation/other-negation dynamic still a *thing* – here – or anywhere else? Don’t many of us have other areas of concern to prioritize? Genuine question…

    • #11
    • July 22, 2018, at 5:49 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    Why is this tribally-focused self-validation/other-negation dynamic still a *thing* – here – or anywhere else? Don’t many of us have other areas of concern to prioritize? Genuine question…

    Because their lives have no meaning or direction. These actions at least make them feel they are doing something important with the rest of the tribe. Sad.

    • #12
    • July 22, 2018, at 5:54 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. Western Chauvinist Member

    Status is the prime motivator of human behavior individually and as a group. DJT is the biggest threat the establishment has ever faced to the status quo. The GMD makes perfect sense in that light. He must be destroyed. It’s existential. 

    I don’t think they fully comprehend the fire they’re playing with, though. The Normals don’t want to go back.

    • #13
    • July 23, 2018, at 7:24 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    This is behavior that is familiar in chimps and baboons–your tribe will band together to drive away or scare off members of another tripe or a predator. If you don’t play, you loyalty to the group might be questioned.

    I thought perhaps tribe was misspelled, but perhaps that was intentional.

    • #14
    • July 23, 2018, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo Post author

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):

    This is behavior that is familiar in chimps and baboons–your tribe will band together to drive away or scare off members of another tripe or a predator. If you don’t play, you loyalty to the group might be questioned.

    I thought perhaps tribe was misspelled, but perhaps that was intentional.

    @thesockmonkey, good catch. It’s a type-o; I’m not that clever.

    • #15
    • July 23, 2018, at 9:35 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Boss Mongo: The people that are characterizing Trump supporters as tribalists look a lot like a tribe.

    Unpossible. They are highly educated and such primitive instincts are the province of the hoi polloi, not them. When they fling excrement, it is an act of altruism and civic virtues, the flung dung smells of roses and is highly nutritious.

    • #16
    • July 23, 2018, at 9:04 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  17. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Boss Mongo: In the higher level of GMD the victim is sometimes an outsider but often an insider who is perceived in some way to have betrayed the group. The group bands together in an orgy of violence, possibly beating, burning and cutting on the victim. It is literally a contest to show your loyalty by how much damage you can do to the outsider. Some of the most brutal murders, lynchings and war atrocities are examples of the Group Monkey Dance.

    Having done the crime, you are then particularly bonded to others who are complicit in it or similar: you don’t do that to people, and having done that it proves that the victims weren’t people. Since you’re a good person, aka loyal member of the group, what you do must also be good.

    Another taboo broken as a sign of belonging is that members of the group are permitted to use loaded words that outsiders may not use to group members without repercussions, sometimes lethal ones.

    Hollywood insiders have long been allowed to make pedophile jokes; this is believed in some circles to be due to the presence of very wealthy, very influential pedophiles in Hollywood who approve of the jokes since humor is a very good way to move the Overton window – defining deviancy down. This is known as being “edgy.” (I wonder how much of the artsy connotation comes out of the BDSM world which has been moving the Overton window for decades, with Hollywood playing a major role in the process.)

    That prompts the question: Are some of the people who make these jokes “just kidding, folks” themselves pedophiles using humor as a smokescreen? Junior members of the lodge, so to speak? (To see how pedophilia becomes tolerated in in-groups even when there aren’t Hollywood levels of money and influence, see Moira Greyland’s The Last Closet.)

    When there really is a criminal inner circle, they may well use the lower ranking tribe members as pawns: James Gunn attracted unwanted attention by mildly defending Ben Shapiro, prompting a Group Monkey Dance. But it may not be that simple; that unwanted attention also included drawing attention to Hollywood pedophiles, at least one of whom Gunn knows and who sent Gunn a vile but probably non-kiddie porn video involving pubescent girls and which Gunn hosted on his website. Since Gunn isn’t exactly nobody in Hollywood, if his firing was a diversion by pedophiles, that would make the hypothetical perverts very high up indeed.

    Or it may have been a garden variety expulsion of a newly revealed political pariah. The thing is, we don’t really know though there are people in the chans that think they do. (4chan is now apparently compromised, and 8chan may well also be.) This stuff moves fast.

    • #17
    • July 23, 2018, at 11:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. tommybdeepv Inactive

    If someone was against trade wars from 1982 to 2015, and then remained against trade wars following President Trump’s rise, does that make them a stupid dancin’ monkey of the establishment? Or does that make them a person with principle? It’s OK to say that a person is a wrong, but to lazily shoo away all criticism with childish cries of “The Establishment!” is something that Ricochet members should be above (especially now, in 2018…for God’s sake). I was a sophomore in high school over 12 years ago but those days ring awfully familiar after reading a post like this.

    • #18
    • July 24, 2018, at 1:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):
    If someone was against trade wars from 1982 to 2015, and then remained against trade wars following President Trump’s rise, does that make them a stupid dancin’ monkey of the establishment?

    Not necessarily, or not taken alone. I am generally against trade wars. Tariffs are taxes on the people of the country they are imposed in. I just saw that these trade wars are basically wiping out the tax cuts as far as money in the pockets of the American people. Not happy about it. But I’m not going to yell and scream about it. I’m willing to see how long it lasts, and if it gets the desired effects (which are for others to drop their tariffs and have true free trade). There are some pundits who really are fair, and praise what should be praised and criticize what should be criticized. Then there are other pundits who have been participating in the three-year beat-down against Trump. I’m not impressed by their monkey dance. To recognize that there is a monkey dance going on (on both sides of the GOP, by the way) is just sensible.

    • #19
    • July 24, 2018, at 4:15 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. tommybdeepv Inactive

    Arahant (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):
    If someone was against trade wars from 1982 to 2015, and then remained against trade wars following President Trump’s rise, does that make them a stupid dancin’ monkey of the establishment?

    I’m willing to see how long it lasts, and if it gets the desired effects (which are for others to drop their tariffs and have true free trade). There are some pundits who really are fair, and praise what should be praised and criticize what should be criticized. Then there are other pundits who have been participating in the three-year beat-down against Trump. I’m not impressed by their monkey dance. To recognize that there is a monkey dance going on (on both sides of the GOP, by the way) is just sensible.

    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!? My goodness. I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    • #20
    • July 24, 2018, at 8:14 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!? My goodness. I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    I care to the extent that failing to push back against their absurdities leaves a public impression that some “conservative” is pummelling Trump. We have to stop every ten minutes for the benefit of the onlookers. We don’t expect to change the minds of Rubin, Frum, et al.

     

    • #21
    • July 24, 2018, at 8:33 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. tommybdeepv Inactive

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!? My goodness. I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    I care to the extent that failing to push back against their absurdities leaves a public impression that some “conservative” is pummelling Trump. We have to stop every ten minutes for the benefit of the onlookers. We don’t expect to change the minds of Rubin, Frum, et al.

     

    This is 100% a fair point. The fact that the Washington Post calls Jennifer Rubin their “conservative” columnist is a joke. She has been exposed as a massive hypocrite multiple times. How many more times do we need to do this? I’m ready to move on as I think Jennifer Rubin has moved the public needle by 0.0%.

    • #22
    • July 24, 2018, at 8:48 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Judge Mental Member

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!? My goodness. I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    I care to the extent that failing to push back against their absurdities leaves a public impression that some “conservative” is pummelling Trump. We have to stop every ten minutes for the benefit of the onlookers. We don’t expect to change the minds of Rubin, Frum, et al.

     

    This is 100% a fair point. The fact that the Washington Post calls Jennifer Rubin their “conservative” columnist is a joke. She has been exposed as a massive hypocrite multiple times. How many more times do we need to do this? I’m ready to move on as I think Jennifer Rubin has moved the public needle by 0.0%.

    Until CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYTimes and the rest stop identifying them as Republican or conservative, and start calling them what they really are. Simple.

    • #23
    • July 24, 2018, at 8:51 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. tommybdeepv Inactive

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!? My goodness. I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    I care to the extent that failing to push back against their absurdities leaves a public impression that some “conservative” is pummelling Trump. We have to stop every ten minutes for the benefit of the onlookers. We don’t expect to change the minds of Rubin, Frum, et al.

     

    This is 100% a fair point. The fact that the Washington Post calls Jennifer Rubin their “conservative” columnist is a joke. She has been exposed as a massive hypocrite multiple times. How many more times do we need to do this? I’m ready to move on as I think Jennifer Rubin has moved the public needle by 0.0%.

    Until CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYTimes and the rest stop identifying them as Republican or conservative, and start calling them what they really are. Simple.

    And this moves the needle how far when it comes to the 2018 and 2020 elections? Be careful what you wish for, because Team Trump has successfully leaned on the “Establishment” to help further their cause. It’s a bit like tug of war – if one side releases tension the other side may just find their backsides in the mud.

    • #24
    • July 24, 2018, at 9:04 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Arahant Member

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):
    With regards to the “other pundits” beating down against Trump – are we really that scared of Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Eli Lake!?

    Personally, I don’t fear anyone.

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):
    I keep hearing how the Trump Train is rolling on down the line, full steam ahead – but GASP – we must stop every 10 minutes in fear that JENNIFER RUBIN is tweeting something ridiculous. To quote Melania’s back, “I really don’t care, do U?”

    I think you have missed the point of this post. It’s that people are not always so evolved as they claim. These oh-so-civilized behaviors of ours are found in the other apes, too. It’s the science that makes it interesting. Personally, I don’t think I have ever read anything by Jennifer Rubin. I don’t really know who she is, and no, I don’t care, either. What I do care about is human nature. It is one of our most frequent topics around here.

    • #25
    • July 24, 2018, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Personally, I don’t think I have ever read anything by Jennifer Rubin. I don’t really know who she is, and no, I don’t care, either.

    She used to have a Ricochet podcast; Left Coast Right Coast. It was always more interesting to hear what Mickey Kaus had to say.

    • #26
    • July 24, 2018, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Arahant Member

    Hank Rhody, Possibly Mad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Personally, I don’t think I have ever read anything by Jennifer Rubin. I don’t really know who she is, and no, I don’t care, either.

    She used to have a Ricochet podcast; Left Coast Right Coast. It was always more interesting to hear what Mickey Kaus had to say.

    Don’t remember that one.

    • #27
    • July 24, 2018, at 10:35 AM PST
    • Like
  28. tommybdeepv Inactive

    I bet this will own those dancin’ monkeys!

    • #28
    • July 24, 2018, at 10:45 AM PST
    • Like
  29. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Possibly Mad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Personally, I don’t think I have ever read anything by Jennifer Rubin. I don’t really know who she is, and no, I don’t care, either.

    She used to have a Ricochet podcast; Left Coast Right Coast. It was always more interesting to hear what Mickey Kaus had to say.

    Don’t remember that one.

    I recall listening to two or three episodes when they started. I enjoy listening to Mickey, but Jenn was unbearable. Pretty sad when the representative of the left is further right than the supposed right-winger.

    • #29
    • July 24, 2018, at 10:53 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Arahant (View Comment):
    These oh-so-civilized behaviors of ours are found in the other apes, too. It’s the science that makes it interesting.

    Anecdote isn’t data, but here’s one. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before but it’s relevant to primate behavior.

    Scene: Africa, water hole, drought.

    Dramatis personae: Troop of baboons. Various ungulates coming to drink. Crocodiles in water.

    Female baboon with infant goes to drink. Crocodile snatches infant and slides back into the water hole. Mass consternation in troop.

    Alpha male of troop approaches water’s edge. Leans forward. Leans back. Very distressed expression on his face, alternating fear and… something else.

    He reaches a decision and plunges in, struggles with the crocodile, rescues infant which on reaching shore proves to be dead.

     

    Comment: Reading his body language and facial expression, somewhere in his little brain was the knowledge: “I could get hurt.” Maybe even “I could die.” It’s possible, maybe even likely, that the infant was his progeny. Either way, his conflict was his own future vs something bigger. I saw this video not all that long after we all saw the video of NYFD Ladder Company #3 heading up the stairs.

     

    • #30
    • July 24, 2018, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 5 likes