It has became glaringly obvious to me recently that very, very few people REALLY understand “Tribalism” .
According to Dictionary.com Tribalism means:
1. the customs and beliefs of tribal life and society.
2. strong loyalty to one's own tribe, party, or group.
Tribalism is a base level term which takes more or less everything other ism into consideration but I think the reason why we don’t use that term very much is because of the deliberate singular thinking which we are engaged in. Look at the second part of the meaning especially and ask yourself how many other words that this is also the exact meaning for. Sectarianism and Racism are two very obvious ones. Can you see what I mean? Can you see how the term “Tribalism” is actually just an umbrella for so many other isms?
Even though most people abhor Racism and Sectarianism it must always be remembered that from the point of view of those who are engaged in such thinking they actually believe themselves to be justified in their opinions. So this makes these dangerous patterns of thought nothing more than an opinion doesn’t it? I have been looking at opinions in some detail recently and I have come to the conclusion that some peoples thinking has been twisted so badly by the modern age that they can justify this type of thing. More importantly it seems that having an opinion of any type or “belonging” to a grouping is now transcending the actual opinion or grouping itself, the reasons for it I mean. I have met quite a few people who claim to have BNP sympathies but upon speaking to them at length it became apparent that they were very confused and quite negative and this tends to be why, I believe, they harbour such extreme views. Negativity causes people to take extreme views because the views are often a direct reflection of how they feel.
Sexism though I believe is maybe not as explicitly in the same category because it is not quite as easy to say men are a tribe and women are another tribe but in terms of differentiating between “Types” of people sex is certainly probably a much more socially acceptable division to make. We all make distinctions of a sexual nature, jokingly of course, but many of the difficulties between men and women have come directly from the very ability to make such distinctions. Similarly people who have same sex relationships could not categorically be called a “Tribe” but groups of people in all their guises certainly behave and congregate just as tribes would.
For the last three years I have been looking very closely at the differences and similarities between people, all people, in spite of anything other than the fact that they are human for that is the thing that ties us all together. Sounds very obvious doesn’t it? Well it is surprising how easily that fact is forgotten and how easily we demonise one another for just about every difference we can find. We all do this without realising it about all types of people for all sorts of perceived differences. PERCEIVED differences. Remember that any distinction between people is nothing but a perception and it is often not the actual differences that have the clout, so often the fact that people are in a tight knit little tribe is the reason for their seeing so much in the way of difference and indeed why they foster it. Remember also that most people are followers, they do not have any ideas or theories of their own rather they “align” themselves with the ideas of others and with so much confusion in the modern age the chances that people will end up thinking along the same lines of some crazy grouping or other are much, much higher.
These perceptions that I speak of are actually the main problem we have, that all of humanity has, because we think in a very absolute way and yet there is nothing absolute about the world that we live in. People and moreover groups of people are not either good or bad and yet that is how we see the world. People are dependant upon circumstances. I am not going to delve too deeply into that just now because the various types of circumstances that aeffect peoples behaviour are much, much too complex to discuss. I will say this though, if you are of the mindset that some people are bad and others good you are fostering a very outdated mode of thought which is responsible for just about every ill in the modern age that I can think of. Peoples behaviour is aeffected by circumstances. Even the very worst description of human kind have been twisted that way due to experience and other factors such as genetics, emotions, chemicals, mental disorders etc etc add infinitum! Absolute thinkers would say that even by my acknowledging such a list of circumstances it is a cop out and this very mode of thinking is what stops the truth from being realised because no one wants to support a bad person by excusing their behaviour do they?!
War is also Tribalism, again sounds obvious doesn’t it? Talk to the sides any War scenario though and you’ll find seemingly good explanations as to why they are at War each side will always have their reasons but it is usually the other sides fault. In something so intense and important as War both sides will vie to make observers believe that their cause is the worthy one but behind all the excuses and disguises War is tribalism.
The modern age is very confused time and tribalism has become so complicated that you’ll find people undertaking roles in many, many tribes. Think of any grouping as a tribe including innocuous groupings such as Football teams supporters and Churches. Think about how people can be under many different tribes simultaneously. For instance you have those who are religious but they are also patriotic to their Nation so they practice their faith while working and paying tax to support their country. So what happens if their Nation is at War? It says in the bible thou shalt not kill. How do they deal with that? Well since it isn’t them doing the killing they’re ok aren’t they? Well they’re still technically supporting a system which is engaged in killing and this is a prime example of how bad deeds can continue because the people involved are able to pass the buck and often even excuse wholesale murder. It’s all about degrees, if something is far enough away it has nothing to do with them even though their money is paying for the weapons that do the murdering. Many people don’t like me saying this and that is simply because they must actually know about it deep down inside themselves.
Football is intensely tribal. Sport boils the blood and causes testosterone fervour but on a longer term sports supporters end up being psychologically exactly the same as War supporters. They will be hypocritical toward the views of their own “Tribe” and can excuse anger and sometimes even violence for the sake of it. The reason why I began writing this essay was due to sport. I came home Saturday night/Sunday Morning a week ago and read an article on Msn about the Anton Ferdinand saga. For those who don’t know Anton was the Footballer who accused John Terry of racial abuse on the field. Terry was subsequently found not guilty. Personally I don’t have a view on this at all, or rather I wouldn’t be taking sides. I used to despise Racists but having studied the social fabric very deeply I can see how people end up that way, indeed much of the beginning of this essay is an explanation of it. I do not condone Racism but I understand it, I understand how people can end up like it I mean. Weak willed, uneducated individuals end up supporting extremes because they are insecure in their own identity, so much so that the only way they can express it is by hating others.
In terms of Tribalism once you take up an opposing position to any grouping for any reason you are in aeffect creating the very conditions that need to be there for the trouble and difficulty to begin taking place. So in aeffect you have become the very thing that you despise. No matter how much information or proof you can give to show that you are justified makes no difference you are still allowing your emotions to go to the very same place which the group you are opposing are at.
In the article on Msn I looked down through the comments and found this interesting point of view:
"racism still exists in football because it still exists in society, the same way sectarianism exists in n ireland football (all those ulster flags, no wonder james mcclean wanted to play for rep ireland, prods still haven't figured this out!)
because it still exists in society!
Black people of england, continue to expose racism wherever you find it, because I can expose sectarianism in n ireland anytime I want, its dead easy, ask the * "sons of KAI" (Kill All Irish) marching band, see, that easy!"
In general terms I have already spoken about what this individual is saying throughout this article. He is taking about prejudice but he is clearly very prejudiced himself.
People do this all the time and they excuse it with self-righteousness, if the group they are talking about are intolerant then they believe it is alright to be intolerant about said group.
Prejudice is not excusable because no matter how right they are or think they are all they are doing is creating the conditions for tribalism to thrive. When this happens people begin mistreating one another in a social sense and if it gets out of control as it already has on this Island people end up killing each other. Think about this. There is no excuse for it. We’ve been here for 70 000 years for fucks sake, it’s time we started acting our age!