Tribalism seems to be the default setting of the human race.
Maybe it’s because we’re built on the frame of Great (or at least pretty good) Apes. Band seems to be the default unit of a Great Ape.
The people who do those cute and vapid studies on how your toddler is racist — by which they mean he prefers people who look like mommy and daddy, or their surrogates in his life — don’t seem to understand that. They don’t seem to understand that for most of human existence, (prehistory is much longer than history) for a toddler to stray outside his tribe meant at best he was raised as a slave, and at worst he became lunch.
I wonder if it’s this uncritical, sort of history-and-genetics free view of the world that causes the left to think that tribes are awesome.
Might just be their usual — and honestly, isn’t it tiresome by now? — view of the world which thinks everything “natural” by which they mean pre-civilized is better. This leads to nostalgie de la boue and therefore elevates primitive/non civilized cultures over western culture.
Or perhaps it is simply the fact that Marxism was “rescued” by Gramsci. Marxism was bad enough in its inability to see individuals, and ascribing everyone to economic tribes.
I remember when we were studying Marxism in four courses in 9th grade a left leaning friend (she wanted to believe) trying to fit Marx’s view of working class and capitalists into our own peculiar (village) situation. She was bound and determined to make my parents part of the capitalist class, and her own family part of the working class, because only this — in her mind — made sense of the fact I kept poking holes in St. Marx’s theories, and mocking them after class.
The problem was, of course, that her family was considerably better off than mine, both our fathers worked in factories in a supervisory capacity, and generally, really, there was not much difference between one or the other of us by Marxist “class” markers. (Except my mom had started life as a manual worker, which I don’t think her mom had. OTOH my mom owned her means of production which consisted of a pair of scissors, needles and pins.) She tried to pin it on my parents being more educated. But no. It was more or less the same.
And then in a flash of brilliance that would anticipate things my kids ran into in school when they pointed out to someone their “privilege” consisted of dressing from thrift stores and making everything from scratch because it’s cheaper: she told me my parents were part of the “oppressor class” because they read, studied and learned things all the time and our house was crammed with books. It’s that famous book-privilege.
This explained to her satisfaction why I kept poking holes in Marxism, and, look you, she wasn’t necessarily wrong. Growing up with a father who was an ancient history geek; being aware of the exploits of Catalina, and reading deeply into history myself did shape my mocking disdain for the theories of the little angry man who lived at the expense of friends and hatched one of the most murderous theories of history.
This didn’t change the fact that Marxism at best sits crosswise on the real world and misses any contact. Or that its predictive capacities are as good as those of our climate-predicting computers.
He knew in his heart of hearts that the workers would rise up and kill everyone else and take the means of production, and after a suitable underpants gnome break, paradise would ensue.
Only, of course, as anyone who understood the developments already taking place in his time could have told, the workers — except where manipulated by intellectuals attached to his crazy theories, and even then it was mostly intellectuals and psychopaths, not workers — became wealthier, lived better, and generally didn’t want anything to do with Marx’s revenge fantasies on people who did better than him.
Enter Antonio Gramsci who rescued Marxism from its self made ash heap by claiming by “workers” really Marx meant the dispossessed races of the world. (And by race, you should understand what Europeans do:each country a race.)
The revolution would surely come, only from the third world.
Part of this is what fuels our intellectual idiots’ “suicide by open borders.” They don’t believe they have the right to stand in the way of the dispossessed masses claiming “their own” (why it’s their own, only the gods know, but remember these are people who believe wealth can’t be created, only passed along like some game of hide the badger. So if we live better than the third world, self-evidently we’re holding their wealth. Which btw, is one of the worst forms of colonialism. Teaching this Marxist twaddle to people in backward economies just assures they continue backward, desperately poor, and resentful of the man who is hiding the stash.); they think that the dispossessed always win in the end, because that’s their comic-book understanding of Marx; they are craven cowards and wish to tell the nice dog they’re helpful and wish to be eaten last.
Anyway, back to our point: one of the great advances of humanity, possibly as momentous as the discovery of fire, was the overcoming of tribalism.
Forging tribe-like bonds based on “we share this land” and in fact, being able to tell ourselves stories about how “everyone in this land is one people” gave rise to the city state, the country, and eventually the “community of civilized men.”
Of course, yes, Christianity had a lot to do with this, but there was some of that going on already in the Roman Empire, where Persian and Greek could both declare (after the appropriate formalities and acculturation) “Civis Romanum sum.”
As bad as the super-states of the twentieth century got — because there’s nothing as a large nation with a good dose of crazy-making philosophical theory — it allowed commerce and industry, which are miles and miles better at creating and keeping wealth than hunting-gathering.
The problem is that the left, led by Gramsci, has re-invented tribalism. And no, I don’t just mean tribalism of place of origin or color — though they include that — I mean tribalism of EVERYTHING.
Being unable to see individuals (has anyone done studies of their brain? Maybe there’s something missing) they instead keep sorting people into increasingly smaller groups based on things that have bloody nothing to do with what the person IS capable of, or thinks or believes: Color, who people sleep with, what people have between their legs, who people like to sleep with, what people call their deity, etc. etc. ad very definitely nauseum.
Then they itemize these groups according to oppression — because Marx says that workers are oppressed, and Gramsci says people who tan are oppressed and — waves hands — everyone who has ever been looked at sideways is oppressed! — and call it intersectionalism. Which I suppose is better than “bloody mentally deficient recreation of tribalism by the pampered children of western civilization.”
The problem is this is that we’re fast re-discovering the evils of tribalism.
Sure, tribablism gives you a warm fuzzy. It cues in to very deep instincts that make you feel safe, when you identify a group as being “just like me.” It’s that whole toddlers aren’t racist, but leftists are stupid studies thing.
But the warm fuzzy it gives you is like the feeling of sitting by a warm fire in your living room, while a storm hammers at the room. “You’re safe and warm HERE.” “You’re safe and warm inside.” “You’re safe and warm as long as you don’t leave.”
The end result is not just the proliferation of “safe rooms” but people panicking and feeling unsafe when they read things that question their beliefs. Such as their beliefs that, say half-Chinese-half-Japanese left handers are uniquely oppressed and should have everything made nice and easy for them. It is an actual and real feeling of panic. I’ve seen people experience this and it isn’t pretty.
Heck, even the larger of tribe of intersectionalist leftists experiences this when their beliefs are disputed.
It’s irrational, it’s back brain, and it’s genuine and insane panic. People suffer from this. (Which is why they think our speech is violence.) Because at some level they know that if they listen to us, understand us, question their fundamental beliefs, they’ll stop being part of the ideological tribe. Which means being ejected from “one eyed feminists with a lisp” land. It means being alone and defenseless, which is a very old fear of humanity and of humans, individually, too.
This explains why people feel so threatened by the — handy, but not earth shattering — ideas of Jordan Peterson, say, to the point of breaking into an auditorium where he’s speaking carrying a noose. (This is because most of these misguided and pampered children think in cartoons. I suspect she expected him to not only have no defenders, but stay very still while she throttled him. It’s insane. When you let your back brain do the driving, you’re not going to come across as very smart.)
The other side effect of this is that everyone who isn’t a member of the tribe is potentially the enemy. This is what leads to the internecine fights within the left, and why if they should win (forbid) we’ll be stuck in civil war after civil war forever. Adapting the Arab proverb: Me and my Marxist classmates against the world; Me and my black Marxist classmates against our white Marxist classmates; Me and my black Marxist female classmates against our black Marxist male classmates; Me and my black lesbian Marxist female classmates against our black straight Marxist female classmates… and so on ad infinitum, until the tribe of one is at war with everyone else, and worse stuck in a pit of anger and resentment because he/she isn’t given all the recognition and compensation he/she should have from the rest of the world at large.
At the same time anyone outside it is viewed as less than human. This is why they think they can tell everyone to shut up because “white privilege” or “male privilege” or whatever, and they honestly think there will be no resistance and no back lash.
Which is why Trump’s victory surprised and scared them so much. I mean arguably it should scare them. They continue with their policies of suppression and deplatforming and they’ll get FAR WORSE than Trump (who is not bad, particularly in terms of the economy.)
They are thinking in tribal terms, you know? “We win, the other tribe disappears.”
The back brain knows very well how the other tribe disappears. History is littered with the gnawed bones of defeated enemies.
But the neo-barbs have no clue. Not a one. They think we just “shut up” and, as someone who is — delightfully — only five years younger than I told our side in the SF/F wars (and keep in mind I’m one of the oldest of that group. I’m old enough to have babysat my friends, if we’d all been in the same neighborhood) that we were old and “should just die.”
Because the future is Marxist and tribal and whatever the hell these perpetual babies have been told.
Only it’s not. It can’t be. Because tribalism isn’t the future. It’s the deep past. The past of caves and eternal war, and famines, and pestilence, and piles and piles of dead babies.
We can’t let it win. We must go into the culture and rescue it from this trap. We must pluck the neo-barbs from their panicky-irrational-self-defense.
We must, once more, rebuild civilization where men and women of good will can communicate, trade, marry and be given in marriage as members of humanity which we all are.
In the end we win, they lose, because we are the future and they’re the deep past and a dead end. One that can’t go forward and is killing the human race.
Here’s your torch. Go into the deep dark and bring our brothers and sisters forth. Eventually they’ll get used to the light and stop clenching their eyes shut.
Be not afraid.