Tribalism and How To Overcome It

Tribalism and How To Overcome It

Show me one boy and I will find a fine young man.

Show me two boys together and I will find half a boy.

Show me three boys together and I will find no boy at all.

People individually generally share many common values and aspirations and can usually relate to one another. People in groups on the other hand are capable of committing terrible atrocities against people in other groups, often fighting to the death.

Tribalism is deeply rooted in human beings after hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. People, like wolves and lions, came together in family groupings to find and secure the resources needed for their survival.

Human groupings soon grew into increasingly more complex types of tribes, all designed to increase the resources and well-being of members relative to non-members.

Family groupings are tribes. Villages, states and nations are tribes. Religions and cults are tribes. Companies and sports teams are tribes. Gangs are tribes and mobs are spontaneous short-lived tribes.

Members of ongoing tribes all want to be better off than the members of alternative tribes. This fosters greed.

Members of ongoing tribes also try to differentiate themselves from the members of alternative tribes. This fosters intolerance and eventually, in highly competitive tribes, hatred.

Tribalism is too deeply ingrained in humans to eliminate. However, a world united and at peace would be possible if people join super tribes that cause them to work together to combat global threats. Such super tribes would temper the otherwise conflicting actions of the more parochial smaller tribes to which people belong.

To date, humans have only tended to unite on a global basis to combat specific threats like defeating polio and small pox and eliminating the use of aerosol sprays to protect the ozone layer.

Global institutions like the United Nations and its many agencies are totally ineffective because the superpower nations, particularly the United States, refuse to concede governance authority to them on any substantive issue.

Climate change is the most current issue on which countries are grudgingly coming together but even such an important issue to the future of humankind may not have sufficient support to result in adequate coordinated action.

We, the people aboard spaceship Earth, need to demand more of our political, religious and business leaders.

They will start to listen if we come together with unwavering collective support for issues like sustainable energy, sustainable food and water supplies, environmental protection and infectious disease control.

Once leaders start to work together across the globe on these types of issues we need to ratchet the pressure up to issues like disarmament and international laws and courts that override national laws in areas of global interest.

If we the people don’t force our leaders to think globally our national, religious and revolutionary tribes will lead us to our annihilation.

Kenneth B. Little

14 Replies to “Tribalism and How To Overcome It”

  1. Even within the smallest of tribes (say a couple with no children) there is frequent disagreement and lack of understanding.

    Small pox is the only disease which has been actually eradicated, and there was much resistance along the way. Even with the clearest of evidence of a solution, people don’t universally come together to achieve a desirable goal.

    Unfortunately the problems we are facing today do not have a single solution. They require a complete societal overhaul and there are many “tribes” (such as oil companies) who stand to lose much and continue to mislead the public. It takes individuals (such as Greta Thunberg) and “tribes” (such as Greenpeace) to help combat them.

    1. I agree with you that tribalism is ubiquitous and difficult to evercome. In “God’s Intervention”, even with the assumption of full support from a universal God and Sarah, the impish female emmissary that forces world leaders to finally come to the table to create a better world, it still requires human effort to overcome tribalusm.
      The book outlines in detail how “Greta Thunbergs” from around the globe come together to form the Church of Humanity which promotes and celebrates the process of the unification of human kind. It also outlines the creation of a fully functioning Earth Council to provide effective global governance.
      My hope is that people who care about the future take some of these ideas to heart before we totally destroy the planet.

    1. Do you have any thoughts about how we can get world leaders focusing on the important issues facing humankind rather than focusing on maintaining their own jobs?

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