An observation from working with upper middle class people lately for [doxxy work stuff]:
There’s an interesting ritual whenever high-end [work dox] people talk to each other where they list off the people they know and have worked with over the years, looking for common connections. It’s about 50% bragging, 50% pedantry (think recitation of Bible verses or Shakespeare), and 50% searching for common interests to talk about. It strikes me as the exact same ritual as aristocrats comparing lineages. They’ll go through their family histories and find out exactly how they’re related, and talk about who they’ve known over the years, or who in their family they know has known well someone from the other family.
This is particularly interesting because high-end [work dox] has very much a guild structure. Similarly, from Gambetta:
Yakuza too, according to Hiroaki Iwai, displayed unique forms of greeting and identification…. When two yakuza meet for the first time, each of them will take up a pose. Stepping forward slightly, bending his legs, putting his clenched fist on the right femur, and stretching out his left arm each will recite at length his place of origin, present residence, the name of his oy-abun, and his own name in stilted archaic language. When he has finished, the same type of greeting is repeated by the other party.32
One of the advantages of belonging to an organization with a central authority is that by establishing conventional identification signals it can put criminals who have not met before in touch while reducing the risk of costly mistakes. And not just criminals: any organization that must both identify members and prevent opponents from identifying its members may resort to conventional signals.Gambetta, Diego. Codes of the Underworld (p. 163). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.
There’s a trace of this in the alt-right world where it’s common to give your “red pill” biography, which is a sort of ideological lineage comparison. This makes sense in light of Kmac’s idea of whites forming tribes more along ideological grounds than kin relationships, and the attempt to build a common ground for trust in a harsh, low-trust environment.
This is, AFAICT, a ritualized way of signaling that 1) you are reasonable, 2) you understand how power, individual competition, and group competition interact, and 3) you know your bargaining position in the world of power and economics.