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Modern “Tribes”

October 31, 2012

The study of tribes today will hardly help us in an understanding the tribes from prehistory.

First, there are few – if any – tribes around today that have not had some connection with the outside world. Perhaps they have not been directly contacted by “modern civilization” but they will have been in contact with other tribes who have. True isolation is nonexistent on this planet, it seems.

So, the people who study such things are at a decided disadvantage. Sociologists and anthropologists are not able to find the Rosetta stone for this field.

And therefore they have studied modern social groupings that their profiling says equates the ancient tribal systems. What are termed today as gangs or cliques are often seen to fall into their study of tribes. One author even went so far to term a police force a tribe of sorts.

But putting a group of people together for mutual support – even if many are related – does not make a tribe in the prehistoric sense. The roots of “tribe” did not somehow evolve into nation-states as most social anthropologists believe. And how do I know this? It is in the very process of evolution they are talking about. Things evolve incrementally, one change here, another there. If the basic form of the organism is altered it is no longer evolution, but mutation.

Modern societies, including the subgroupings of “tribes” (gangs and cliques), are all ruled by a mechanism called social inequality, or what we might call pecking-order. There is no real equality in these things as some people are believed to have abilities that set them “above” the others.

But this is only a by-product of the tribal structures the sociologists can view today, and it is far from the true picture of the past.

How do I know? Research.

Rather than look at the present, I examined the data we have that has come down to us from the shadowy beginnings of the species through a red-headed step-child called “mythology”.

And, as anyone who has studied the subject will know, there are different ways to interpret that data as well. But if you will remove the psychological basis of the myths, strip of all conceptions of archetypes, and try to understand the myths for what they usually were, you will get a firmer grasp on those primeval peoples.

The result has been the concept I present as what the tribe was all about, stripped of modern preconceptions and modern ideas.

Perhaps you will think otherwise, but that’s your right.

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