The Pyramid of Humanity

Pearls Before Swine is a syndicated comic strip [by Stephan Pastis] that runs in over 800 newspapers around the world.  The strip pairs an angry, arrogant Rat with a sweet but dumb Pig, the latter of whom is protected by a violent, albeit delusional Guard Duck.  Pig and Rat’s friends also include a bookish, intelligent Goat, and a poor, besieged Zebra whose only goal is to keep from being eaten by his inept and inarticulate next-door neighbors, the Fraternity of Zeeba Zeeba Eata crocodiles.”

https://stephanpastis.wordpress.com/about/

I particularly liked how this comic captures in-group / out-group dynamics. You’re either cop, cyclist, vegan, Republican, pick your in-group of choice, or you are “little people”, scum, exotic, and so forth and so on.

Cults: Dissociation, Group Psychology, and Cognitive Dissonance

“”How does cult psychology work? How is it possible to persuade human adults to enter a weird cognitive landscapewith no basis in reality? To enter a fantasy realm so profound that they’ll willingly die for whomever has been selected as the local Messiah?”

–Matthew J Sharps Ph.D, “Cults and Cognition: Programming the True Believer.” Psychology Today. October 2, 2020.

Partial answer: Through dissociation group psychology, and cognitive dissonance.

“…cognitive dissonance (e.g ., Festinger et al. 1956), which manifests itself in the tendency to overvalue anything in which we’ve invested too much—money, time, emotional energy, whatever. Cognitive dissonance essentially means that the more you’ve paid, the better you like. Whether it makes any sense or not.

-ibid.