Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Revenge of Tribalism ~ Is it really in the Social Imagination?

What is tribalism? Its the state or fact of being organized as a tribe or tribes; well, that pretty much means organized as a group or community through like minded ideas/traditions/customs in a place and what's wrong with that? Nothing. Why is that? Because, its naturally built into the human condition. Its sole purpose is one of social stability in terms of identity, one that is grounded, one that has a world view unlike any other. And, that is good. Yet, some think that is derogatory. Why is that? Because, such behavior and attitudes stem from strong loyalty to one's own tribe or social group. Is that so wrong? No, not at all.

Everyone has rules: cities/towns/ counties, countries as well as clubs or unions with defined borders of performance, restrictions, contracts, laws, and or institutional frameworks that keep everyone in line or at least in check or in sync and guided by/within certain perimeters of civil obedience that grants as much freedom to one tribe as it does to another. Our Founding Fathers did their best to guarantee exactly that.

What made their final documents so different from other 'group' attempts was that they were really after freedom for all kinds of tribes not freedom from tribes. They as a group of 'Founding Father's' were a tribe of ruling elite which they did not want to give up.

So, has tribalism gone away or had it ever taken a detour in our American history/society? No, not at all. Yet, there are some that mistakenly think the Founding Father's were anti-tribe and really wanted it engineered out, not true.  And, probably some think that they engineered it in to protect only certain groups. Which may be true. For sure, they were a kind of tribe among other tribes and they knew it.

Now, some think that tribalism has had its revenge. Really? That use of grammar is the past perfect. Which means that there was a revenge and its over but somehow affects us yet today. Don't think that is the case. If ever there was a time of revenge, its now. The top down engineers have been working hard and we are finally starting to see the many tribes that make up America buck the top down engineers who think that such a human feature can be destroyed or crushed or banished. It only keeps coming back and it will.

Of course, some will argue that we have seen tribalism decline over the years; and so, it may appear that way. However, any appearance of decline was largely imagined, debated and applauded in the confines or safe zones of the university lecture halls, or in the imaginations of 'well-intended' virtue signaling elites and community organizers, or antagonist leftist groups with their ax to grind.

Most of them like to argue its decline at dinner parties/rallies/conferences as it sounds noble. But, the intention has never been to allow tribalism to actually decline. Because, when it does, some will lose ground and the ones that never want that to happen are the ruling elite. So, out of such fear of losing ground, their tribal hunting grounds so to speak, they increase their holdings of it and overall while at the same time remain the dissident voice, the virtue signaler.

That is what brings this discussion to the front today.  Ben Shapiro writes that we can observe certain persons blowing their horn against tribalism; while, at the same time, defend and retain their positions of power. Why? Because, they are a tribe too and saw that America 'naturally' had begun to move beyond its historic racism which was a 'tribal' feature they did not want to go away. Why? Because, that feature more than any other was a control mechanism for their own tribalism.

As I understand what Shapiro points, the Left hijacked the conversation around race and divvied Americans up into subgroups of ethnic haves and have-nots. And, out of that we saw/see city governments became playgrounds for racial factions taking control of government and expanding their power. Student groups divided along racial and sexual lines and the social fabric frayed.

As it frays, many have scrambled to save remnants and or create a new place mat with left over threads to maintain their comfort zones. They are being criticized for that. But, even those who think they are on the same band wagon as the elites, are also scrambling. You see, those who 'virtue signal' don't really 'hate' tribalism or dislike it because they are just as much part of a tribe as is anyone else. So, they too scramble to save their 'tribe's' thread (s) as does anyone.

Unless, I am mistaken, this is tribalism's revenge and its not over. What no one is actually talking about though is what if tribalism is truly subdued or vaulted up, then what? And, how would that even come about? One can only imagine a radical change in the social imagination which would probably mean a machine housed or controlling program (in the human mind) to ban tribalism... and one with firewalls miles high.



  1. They elite only want to control what tribes are out there and these tribes must align with the propaganda used to break down tribes that are threat to them. Other tribes they are perfectly happy with maintaining as long as they never grow into a threat. Only the weak-minded actually thing a zero-tribal world is remotely possible. Even the high up elites know better.

  2. The real danger is that the new tribes rising up are as defined by who they are and are not as any other; including dysfunctional pronoun oriented tribes to the point of threatening tribes defined by biologically appointed pronouns.

  3. The only agreement reality there is... is in Jesus Christ! He is the Creator of all things seen and unseen. In Him, we live, move and have our being! Acts 17:28.

  4. The only agreement reality there is... is in Jesus Christ! He is the Creator of all things seen and unseen. In Him, we live, move and have our being! Acts 17:28.