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the Tribe

October 1, 2012

In ancient times, people grouped together by familial relationships into social and protective units called tribes.

These social structures have continued throughout history but became looser as time progressed to the point of practical non-existence in today’s world. Instead the ‘tribes’ of today are by intellectual or social affiliation: alumni to a particular institution, members of a military unit, Republicans, Democrats, peaceniks, white supremists, football fans, etc. They are all bonded together by mutual experience, interests, or thought patterns.

But these groupings are artificial, non-tribal groupings not related to co-survival.

Most people in a group like Republicans or Democrats have the idea that they are united in some common cause, and yet the reality is that the group has a broad range of ideas on which individual members disagree. Many even consider decisions on these things as acts of survival; which, of course, they are not.

Likewise, many religious groups have individual sub-groups of varying ideas, concepts, or interpretations of doctrine. Though some may feel these moral and doctrinal issues are profound, they are virtually inconsequential in reality.

The tribe is grouped together by common survival. Although not all the members agree on all the actions of the tribe, conceptually they are all linked through mutual survival.

If a group feels strongly enough about some tribal action, it is not an option to take over the tribe – but they can certainly go elsewhere and start their own tribe built on their interpretation of necessity.

A tribe is concerned with its members. Mutual support is non-existent if it is not inclusive. Differences in members is generally embraced because it is understood that all people bring something different to the table: abilities, outlook, thought process, understandings, viewpoints. All variations are absorbed into the tribal whole.

Diversity is good for the tribe. If everyone who thought differently, spoke differently, acted differently, conceived differently, dreamed differently, were expunged from their ranks, the tribe would soon become torpid, their genetic pool stagnant, their actions routine, their existence boring, and their future bleak – as well as short.

In our own bodies, the differing organs use differing tools and techniques to supply all the varying processes we require to stay alive.

Some claim the heart is the most important organ. Should we therefore remove the others? Should we force the other organs to act more like the heart? Of course not. Such an idea is exceptionally STUPID. And yet there are many groups in today’s world who would try and eradicate all ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to what they think of as optimum.

Whether or not your ideas are more workable than others, there cannot be only one way to approach ALL problems.

Tribes that have done that are (fortunately) extinct.

Equally unfortunate, the great American tribe is headed for the same extinction. Driven by closed moral attitudes (this applies to the Mid-East as well as the Bible Belt), societies are becoming more myopic, more “cleansed”, and more DEAD.

Science has brought us “wonderful advances” in agriculture, creating seeds that grow crops less susceptible to infestation and disease (or so such is the claim), making each plant identical (basically a clone) to the next one.

But what will occur when a new blight, overlooked by the bioengineers, attacks the crops? In the past, with a wide range of gentic differences between the stands of crop, only a portion of the total would be ruined. Today, the monocultured crops would ALL be wiped out… and the greater tribe will starve to death.

That is NOT sane science. Nor is it sane social organization, either.

Medicine has sought for years to eradicate certain diseases, only to find they have returned stronger than ever and our immune systems not ready for them. Disease is GOOD! It keeps us and our immune systems strong.

Remember the Hawaiian Islanders almost wiped out by some simple diseases carried to paradise by Americans?

The same is true with ideas. If we all had the same ideas, notions, concepts, and thought patterns, where would the philosophers and creative artists come from? We would see nothing new and we as a species would be dead, eventually following the dinosaur and the dodo.

In tribes, they understood that differences kept them growing. Someone may have a little different mental faculty (today, they would be called ‘disorders’), but it would bring new and different abilities to the tribe. Rather than trying to eradicate (i.e. medicate) them into amorphous clones of the ‘normal’ tribal member (e.g. clones) they would try and understand, develop, and utilize the unique talents of the individual.

Tribes are built of individuals, acting in concert for self- and group-interests. And these interests should not be mutually exclusive, like politicians and religious leaders would have us believe today.

Tribes do not have “them or us” mentalities. Violence is a necessary part of the human make-up, but tribes know that to commit violence on the tribal level is to invite eradication of the tribe. Violence was channeled into activities other than war. Disagreements were handled by the tribe and the tribal leadership took responsibility for all actions of the tribe.

Imagine if today’s leaders took that stance. ALL errors in the government become the responsibility of the leader. Unfortunately, in our larger tribe, we have a marvelous thing called the “balance of power” which in practice turns out to be a “balance of blame” with NO ONE taking any responsibility for the course of the nation, the government, or the people.

Our present government is “top-heavy’. All aspects of local direction are being manipulated by Washington’s centralized power.

The “republic” for which it stood NO LONGER exists. A republic has the power vested in the individual member-states – our country has no such thing. I would prefer it returned to the republican ideal (no relation to the misnamed Republican Party), and each state formed by a “republic of counties”, and each of the counties formed by a “republic of municipalities”, and each municipality formed by a “republic of tribes”.

The organization should be “bottom-heavy” as the people in Washington have no real concept of what is needed at each local level.

I do not currently expect a true tribal-nation to come about, but decentralization would be a good start. It should NOT be used in a spirit of isolationism but a spirit of “equalizationism”. All tribes would find equal representation at all levels that matter, and the control over each tribe would grow LESS at each republic level going up, with the Federal Government having NO effect on the local tribe.

The Federal Government was meant to be the collective face of the American Republic to the nations abroad, a government of, by, and for the people, and NOT an overlord to the people.

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