If you missed it part I of article is here: http://ufodigest.com/article/social-conformity-1007
Community spirit can lead people to do good things but on the other hand it has get people to perform mindless acts. An example is a short story called "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson where friends and family stoned a woman to death in her village.. An example is a short story called "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson where friends and family stoned a woman to death in her village. This came about as a result of a symbolic act of her picking a piece of paper with a black dot on it from a box. The public stoning was to insure a good crop to grow, as if sacrificing a person's life really made a difference. The story shows how a community can get a person to do something horrible and against their will if it was deemed necessary. People can be very lemming like at times.
If or when people stop to question why they do the things they do it might lead to better ways of doing things. One is to find other ways of releasing pent up rage or anger instead of public stonings in The Lottery or the two minute hate in Orwell's novel 1984. With this in mind I can see tradition getting people to do what is expected of them even if they hate doing it or don't question it. The Lottery shows how easily family members can turn against each other if it means living or dying. Love or loyalty means nothing at this moment.
Everything must change eventually and keeping things as they were just gets in the way of progress. Stories change over time therefore is completely different from what it started out as. Traditions operate much the same way.
Individuals are often fine and dandy by themselves but in a group we quite often go into tribal mentality. Just witness crowds at rock concerts, sporting events, and political rallies or at schools where the "excluded one" is bullied day in and day out. People have committed suicide after being tormented for long time periods. It's a horror story worse than what any slasher movie plot. Peer pressure is not a good thing as it eliminates all forms of clear thinking. Hitler proved this while leader of Germany in the 30's. Charles Manson is another example when he led his commune followers on several killing sprees. Groupthink is a bad thing either on a short or long-term basis.
People have to start learning how to think and not settle for being told what to think. Otherwise we will remain as cattle or zombies like the walking dead. Humans do have the ability to see past traditions and learn from history. Mob mentality is very powerful and is "justified" because everyone else is doing it. But people get terrified of what will happen if things change even it's for the better.
It could be past the point that us humans can develop a vibrant spiritual life on a collective basis. Or develop a higher code of ethics or reasoning skills as we are stuck so much in the same old ways of doing things