Let's look at some examples of how this can happen. It should be emphasised that, when a threat is genuine, group identification is a natural reaction and may be an necessary step along the road to a healthier mode of interaction. Let's look at the Black Pride and Gay Pride movements. The threat which led to the development of these forms of group identification were and are very real. Violence and discrimination against blacks and gays in various parts of the world have been extreme. People have been treated as if the colour of their skin or their sexuality were a cause for shame. And long term prejudice of this kind easily becomes internalised. People can come to think less of themselves because of the way they are treated and viewed by others. So the declaration of pride in the characteristic of which we have been told we should be ashamed is a crucial step forward. But it cannot be the end in itself. Our sexuality or the colour of our skin is not the real source of the pride. Sexuality and race are characteristics on which we cannot place a value. It isn't better to have one sexual orientation than another or to be one race rather than another. The source of pride is the way we as individuals have dealt with the challenges and threats placed in our path. If we are black or gay this may involve many cases of prejudice. But the healthy state towards which we are headed is one in which we are individuals first and everything else second. And, in the end, a state in which our self-acceptance is so unequivocal that the very question “Am I proud of myself?" becomes meaningless.
Communication is the key to freedom, happiness, safety and creation. All of these things grow out of communication. Freedom is the ability to do the things we want to do and not have to do the things we don't. Without communication we can do very little. Most of the things which make us feel happy involve some form of communication. Sometimes it is one way communication, as when we enjoy watching something or listening to something. Sometimes it is communicating with others, which can range from a chat over a cup of tea to engaging in an orgy. A large part of safety is knowing about potential threats. A lack of communication can have dire results. A young man sits alone day after day, not wanting to have any communication with others, and then one day he takes a bunch of guns and heads to the local pre-school. If we had been able to find a way to get him to talk to us we might have found out what was going on in his head and averted a tragedy. And, on an international level, imagine what the Cold War would have been like if Russia and the United States shared a language and had the internet. People from each country would have been conversing with each other on a daily basis. Tension between the nations would have been greatly lessened and the governments of both nations would have been held more accountable by their citizens. People will always go easier on their government if they feel they need them as protection against the “Evil Empire" across the other side of the world. But when some of our best friends are “evil ones" the picture changes. Plus, international communication of this kind makes national censorship impossible. Finally, most of our greatest creative endeavours are cooperative projects which require lots of communication. Even a lone artist gets ideas from others.