“The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.” -Ben Okri, Nigerian poet
Clearly, there is a widening gap between political views in America and the rift is only getting wider. Imagine a Tea Party rally today, and try not to cringe. Such a thought is cringeworthy because the evolution of the political Left in America went from a party of “liberals” to the violent and childishly emotional group we see today determined to push their ideology on the rest of America.
It is evident that the political left in America realized during the Obama administration that when an open and honest discussion about their beliefs is engaged, they lose. All it takes is a person who values logic and reason over their own emotional needs, and the Left cannot win.
What does a movement do when it is evident their views are not adequately accepted?
What alternatives do the leftist have when the grassroots are no longer effective?
Paid protestors and ignoramuses used to preach tribalist gospel is an option, but in a world in which there is a camera with nearly unlimited capacity and clarity on the hip of everybody walking down the street, this is most often shown as an obvious deception. Although such actions will never stop, the effect is not strong enough to move a nation built on moral values.
Therefore, what is the next logical step for the Left in America?
Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, Democrats, and Progressives are bent on diminishing free speech, and this is without question to quiet the bullhorn generated by the Tea Party, Libertarian, and other capitalist movements that permeates a significant portion of “conservative” politics today. The true capitalists of America realized that the core of America’s values was well on its way to ruin once Obama was in office and his goals were clear.
Bush, Clinton, and so many others prior to Obama laid the foundation of this by doling out money to states, making them dependent upon Federal handouts for housing, schools, and infrastructure. Then, using this addiction to “free” money, the power brokers in Washington use this leverage to force the hands of local officials to shape their communities as they see fit.
Yet despite all of this, politicians that desire limitless power still had an incredible obstacle to overcome: Making people who would normally agree on certain commonly held principles to instead disagree passionately.
Tribalism is defined by the Mariam-Webster dictionary as, “consciousness and loyalty especially exaltation of the tribe above other groups.” In other words, tribalism is dedication to the point in which the individuals in a group value their group over everything else; including what is reasonable, logical, and in the best interest of their children’s future.
Tribalism is permeating nearly every aspect of America today, and this is by design.
Tribalism in the Workplace
The first area in life this mindset is pushed is in the places people earn a living. It is not uncommon for XYZ Business to feel a certain superiority to another company when they are competing in the same market space. This is not necessarily tribalism. In a healthy market where businesses want a competitive advantage over others, this is normal and even encouraged. It is only when members of a certain group begin to suspend their ability to reason and view their product, service, or group as more important than nearly everything else, does tribalism come into play.
For example, attempt to get permission to place a sign in New York City without a union contract, and you will find very quickly that regardless of how many jobs and opportunities you can create, you will be forcibly removed from the marketplace.
Or try to have a logical discussion with a public-school teacher about the state of education today and watch how quickly the discussion turns ugly and emotional.
Tribalism is evident when individuals of a particular group take their loyalty outside of their sphere and then insist that others play along with their pleas to emotion. One must either agree with the tribalist or stop talking, because someone might get hurt . . .
This is where we are today.
Public sector unions and pseudo-government organizations obviously promote a tribal workplace. Trade unions are not yet tribal in nature, but since nearly their inception, public sector unions were inundated with tribalism.
This group was easily converted to a tribe mentality because they are pseudo-government agencies vying for the same finite resources. Government exists off the production of others, therefore its resources are always limited. This is essential to fuel the tribal mindset for those who work for the government, or are a primary beneficiary of government resources, because they must struggle to take as much as they can, ALWAYS at the expense of someone else.
This is altogether unlike a free market in which the production of one product or service often adds value, longevity, or functionality to other products and services. Other people and businesses that create the same or similar product or service may lose out, but only insofar as they do not adapt. The desire to succeed and profit is strong with entrepreneurs, and therefore will most often choose the path of innovation and efficiency to address any new threat.
This is NEVER the case with government institutions and those pseudo-government organizations. Unlike a business seeking to grow the size of the market by producing something better, stronger, more effective, or more affordable, government can only take parts of the pie others produced. This makes the resources of government limited and these resources can only grow if someone else’s resources are taken away.
Therefore it is so important for the government to either unionize or bring under government control nearly every form of business in America. The more government can tribalize people’s ability to earn a living, the more tribalized society will become overall.
Tribalism through Identity
The second and equally effective means to impose tribalism in society is through people’s primitive desire to identify with groups based upon physical and psychological attributes. Simply turn on the news or listen to nearly all politicians today and they will be reinforcing the myth of identity politics while attempting to bolster their tribe as they vilify others. African Americans against whites, Hispanics against whites and African-Americans, gay people against straight people, men against women, police against minorities, even urban dwellers against suburban dwellers . . . No matter how one identifies themselves, there is a faction vying for their support against another identity they deem the cause of their problems.
The key to tribalism through identity is to appeal to the lowest form of intelligence possible, making it easy for the masses to process the information. Our innate desire to take the path of least resistance makes tribalism through identity very effective and easily delivered. Convince someone that the facts of life do not apply to them because of some wrong done to them at some point, and many will do anything to maintain that world view.
Tribalism is primitive, lazy, and unintelligent thinking. Nothing more, and nothing less. Only until society accurately identifies such thinking and calls it what it is, nothing is going to change.
Politicians count on most people’s submission to primitive and lazy thinking as the foundation of tribal devotion. As Americans fight over “union rights” or “gay rights” or “women’s rights” and so on, politicians are utilizing this discord to stifle the real discussion about the fact that rights are only rights if they apply to everyone in the exact same way.
This has always been the message of capitalists in America, yet try to stand on the public square and state that today . . . . it may be the last time you stand anywhere.