Why do we scream at each other?
Argentines love to argue, said Carlos Maslatón, and sociologists say that’s because confrontation and division are deeply ingrained in our culture. There’s “something in the national psyche that favors conflict,” to the point where we “seek it out, even enjoy it.” The root, social scientists say, is the country’s original divide between the capital and the countryside. Starting in colonial days, Buenos Aires represented civilization and sophistication, while the entire rest of the nation stood for barbarism and bumpkins. That split caused Argentines “to always insist on belonging to, and defending, a band, a side, or a group.” Philosopher Sabrina Coscione Seid says that this trait makes it impossible for an Argentine to acknowledge the validity of an opposing view. “This way of seeing reality is in our blood, and in every conversation,” she says. We feel compelled to passionately argue the merits of our most trivially held opinions—and despise those who disagree. This dynamic is true for politics, of course, but also for any other topic, including religion, abortion, your preferred telenovela, and the most important, thorniest debate of all: Who is the greatest soccer player, the volatile Diego Maradona or the cool Lionel Messi? For us, it’s tribal.