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#58723 - 08/30/11 09:46 PM Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society
The Zebu Offline
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The issue was brought up in the Video forum, but I think it deserves its own thread so as to better address the topic.

A. Don posted:

 Quote:
I know about some tribes in the Amazon or back in Africa, I don't think you'd enjoy it there.

If we were to regress, we'd probably end up where we are now in a couple hundred or thousand years. Why not try to resolve this "massive tribe" in which we have evolved?


By "tribalism" is not meant an uncivilized barbarity, but rather a social structure based on close circles of tightly-knit families and comrades. Tribal relationships stand in contrast to a vast, depersonalized "system" that tears apart families and ruins cultural heritage, substituting them instead with "nuclear families" and half-assed consumerism.

I am not a Luddite by any means, but it is blindingly obvious that the capitalist West consumes and produces far beyond its own means and necessity. While modern society does enjoy certain benefits-- such as advances in medicinal sciences-- one cannot help but question whether or not economic subservience and foreign injustices are really necessary to produce such advances.

While I do think that this so-called "system" is an unpreventable by-product of human population growth that has existed in some form or another throughout human history (whether it is dominated by theocracy, feudalism, imperialism, nationalism, consumerism, etc), the human desire for freedom and natural living is also inherent in our nature.

The advantage of a neo-tribal stance is that it does not require some massive political momentum to have relevance or power. A tribe can exist independently, whether it in passive or active opposition to the state/economy. Various anarchist, freegan, sustainibility movements and others are actively pushing the line and vying for independence from the national-capitalist infrastructure.

Such movements demonstrate that one can dramatically reduce their dependence on an abusive hierarchy and fight the influence of conformist social engineering. Others go so far as to advocate going completely "off-grid" and seceding entirely.

What are your ideas of how a practical "neo-tribal" society would function in resistance to the excesses of consumerism?
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#58729 - 08/30/11 11:08 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: The Zebu]
Diavolo Offline
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You often hear the argument that it is either our civilization or back to the stone-age, as if a collapse of what most consider the height of our societal evolution simultaneously erases everything else. I'm sure the Greek and Romans has the same sort of apocalyptic fears. Western civilization is a continuous process of highs and lows and it is not because something is last in its time-line, it is therefor best.

It is obvious we no longer simply produce to fulfill needs but produce to produce. We have to keep creating new needs to keep this system functional. Everything is based upon consuming and thus everyone needs to consume, needs to be absorbed into the whole. There is no “outside” of this system.

The problem is that people have no choice; you are born into this, forced to its rules and have no option to get out besides killing yourself. Here I simply can not live outside the system since there is no outside the system. There is no place for those being fed up with it all. Getting out implies your paperwork will expire which again implies you being arrested at one point for not having papers which injects you into the system again.

So as a result tribes, or clans, will form within, and in opposition with the system. It's either a total submission or a state of conflict. That's all the choice one has; pro or contra. This of course will eventually lead to an explosive situation in which either the system has to go fully totalitarian or will inevitably collapse. As long as people are not given the choice to create and join independent tribes or clans subject to their own code of conducts, only those two options remain.

No matter how highly people value what we have now, it is in decline and will be gone one day and this will not be a pleasant affair. But then again, no change ever was a pleasant affair.



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#58730 - 08/31/11 01:26 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: Diavolo]
a. don Offline
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Registered: 07/25/09
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-Oh, the power of suggestion! ;\) -

This tribal utopia sounds quite appealing. Honestly, it really does. But I criticize tribal life-style maybe not in the sense of "uncivilized barbarity", but rather in that of isolation.

As far as tearing up families, and destroying cultural heritage: I've seen many cases where this generalization doesn't hold true. Maybe there is a large prejudice spread about by the mass-media (ironically) which tends to exaggerate things a bit, or maybe things can be shitty for some: But the will of maintaining a family together, or not lose yourself (as far as cultural identity) is up to the individual and the amount of effort such is willing for such.

Besides, are we defining society as only the big cities? Or in society are we referring to a people or nation with a few basic things in common? For example, in the U.S you have big cities, small towns, suburban neighborhoods etc. I mean, you do have a bit to choose from (given you live in the U.S --I don't).

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#58731 - 08/31/11 03:29 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: a. don]
The Zebu Offline
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It would be tempting to think of a tribal approach as "utopian", but it's not the case at all. Living in small groups would bring its own wealth of problems (especially were it in active opposition to the state), but the entire point is to bring issues down to the level of the immediate individuals, rather than deal with abstracts in the hands of oligarchical institutions.

The idea is not to "isolate" oneself or dismantle the idea of society altogether, but shift the focus away from constructs like the government, the economy, globalism, and other institutions, in favor of cultivating self-sufficiency and an awareness of the immediate environment and human relationships.

This is entirely the decision of those who desire to work towards such relationships, who are compelled to do so because they are not satisfied with the narratives fed to them by the status quo.

 Quote:
But the will of maintaining a family together, or not lose yourself (as far as cultural identity) is up to the individual and the amount of effort such is willing for such.


Exactly. And how far you are willing to carry such independence is only a question of the individual.
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#58732 - 08/31/11 07:56 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: The Zebu]
when7iseleven Offline
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The problem with any tribal approach is not so much external pressures but the pressures exerted from within; as an example the last real clan or tribal based society in the UK were the Highland Clans in Scotland. OK they were eventually smashed by the English State but their history before this time is a history of bitter infighting within each clan & with other clans. Usually, as with all things human, the fall outs were the results of power struggles, an inevitable human condition. The only thing that kept the clans together was all ruling patriarch that meted out justice in ways we would find barbaric. It would be nice to think that we could construct a tribal based society where decisions within each society were consensual but I just don’t think we are made that way. A leader will always emerge, inevitably followed by a contender for the leadership, followed by disagreement & eventual breakup of the tribe or at the very least a change in direction.

Consumerism is also a human condition that is engrained in our DNA. Consistent with archaeological evidence for farming, giving humans more leisure time, are found artefacts purely for decoration & nothing to do with need. Then as now, though in different ways, consumerism was used to subjugate the masses by the few. Then consumer products were used as status symbols to prove that the owner was somehow superior as they had more leisure time, now as telling them what they want will soon be what they need to fill their leisure time.

So I think our society today, while to the individual it may not feel like it, has all the attributes of any tribal system but on a macro scale; whilst any attempt at small family based groups living “off grid” may work for a short time they will, inevitably become a part of the established society.

PS...............do you have Romany in the US?
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#58733 - 08/31/11 09:09 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: when7iseleven]
Diavolo Offline
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 Originally Posted By: when7iseleven
Consumerism is also a human condition that is engrained in our DNA.


The same could be said about religion not? And yet there we are, calling ourselves satanists and taking pride in having removed that out of our mindset.

So the question is, how much of what we consider human nature is beyond control?

D.

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#58735 - 08/31/11 11:23 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: Diavolo]
MindFux Offline
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Indeed, the leaning towards 'tribalism' is perhaps a misnomer in some respects but it's the closest analogy that can be reasonably drawn. It's about the selection of a 'master' in some ways. As it currently stands we find ourselves given a master from birth, spoon fed memetics, concepts, ideas, what it means to be 'good', 'bad', 'evil', 'happy', 'sad', what we are supposed to want and desire and need, all of which is conveniently aligned with the needs that Consumerism has from a population that supports it.

Given the choice between feeding the cancer that is consumerism gone mad, at the expense of the progression of the species, individual responsibility, respect, self accountability, self defense, actual attainment, or living a life with a close bonded community of your own, who work for each other, have their own culture of self sustainability, support, respect, Honour, it's not a hard choice for me.

Naturally many out there will be quite happy to continue 'buying that ipod' and that's up to them. The point is, there are progressive ways of forming a 'tribal' community with associated and more modern rites of passage, traditions and memes, without retreating into the jungle and burying your kids alive because they are born twins. One has to look at what a tribe actually is. It's something that exists outside of a technological construct entirely.

Lets take an example of the Navajo, and before anyone goes on a rant about 'drunk Indians' I was fortunate enough to spend a month on the reservation just outside of Kayenta, and what you have is something remarkable. The generational gap between young and old is enormous, but the young people carry something with them into the technological age. They carry that culture, their traditions, their rites of passage, their 'earned' status of adulthood, with them. Consumerism is as a general rule secondary to them. (Before one invariably brings 'Indian Casinos' into the mix, I'd remind them that in Navajo customs gambling is considered weaksauce and they don't have any Casinos on their reservation (they have one in New Mexico for others) and are generally unwilling to bend their cultural mores internally for consumption). Though that's scarcely relevant.

My point is, they aren't living in the dark ages. There are Navajo lawyers, doctors, shop keeps, workers, police, etc. but the common bond they share isn't one of mutual consumption under the same construct. It's one of real culture and bonds that cannot be broken.

That's a modern 'tribal' culture in many respects. One with a commonality of purpose beyond self enslavement. No 'Dark Ages' required.

MF.

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#58736 - 08/31/11 11:57 AM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: MindFux]
when7iseleven Offline
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But how would you propose constructing such a tribe from scratch? The Navajo Indians have a long tradition & timeless customs that are the foundations of their society that can & has been passed from generation giving them a unified purpose.

Do you think this could be done from a blank piece of paper?
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#58737 - 08/31/11 12:02 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: when7iseleven]
Diavolo Offline
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You seem to assume this formation of tribes isn't possible but look at the 1%ers as an example.

They successfully formed clans during the last couple of decades.

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#58738 - 08/31/11 12:06 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: Diavolo]
when7iseleven Offline
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"So the question is, how much of what we consider human nature is beyond control?"

Probably very little but our belief that we are in control of our own actions are fundamental to the foundations on which human society is built; as Steven Pinker said "Free will is a fictional construction, but it has applications in the real world"
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#58739 - 08/31/11 12:06 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: Diavolo]
MindFux Offline
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D beat me to the punch with the exact example I was going to throw out there. Customs and culture arise from common ideology and geographic necessity to a point. They then become aeonic over generational time.

Some use past instances of culture as a basis, others have built their own, but if they stand the test of time and pass that culture to those who come next then the culture will persist.

So yes it can be done with a blank piece of paper. 1%ers being an example, for another to use a more 'magian' example, the Navy SEALS would be another. They have a tribal culture all of their own which started from 'scratch' not that long ago at all.

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#58740 - 08/31/11 12:08 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: Diavolo]
when7iseleven Offline
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Sorry Diavlo...........never heard of the 1%ers & nothing on google; can you enlighten me?
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#58741 - 08/31/11 12:12 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: when7iseleven]
MindFux Offline
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Posts: 174
You've never heard of the Hell's Angels? Los Bandieros? Etc.

Motorcycle gangs my man. They call themselves the 1%ers because some idiot once made the comment that 99% of bikers are 'law abiding' so they often roll with a patch that says '1%' on their shoulder for reasons that should be obvious. Lol.

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#58742 - 08/31/11 12:28 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: MindFux]
when7iseleven Offline
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Posts: 199
Loc: High Peak, UK
ahhhh the penny drops & no, I've never heard of them being known as 1%ers. I have obvioulsy heard of Hells Angels but I think in the UK Satan Slaves seems to be the preffered nomme de guerre, or certainly was forty years ago when I was a lad.

I know nothing about them so the question is borne out of naievety but do you think these clans will bare the test of time? What is the average age of a clan member?

Where I used to live there was a Harley Davidson convention every August Bank Holiday that used to get four or five hundred bikes each year, all the riders in their chains & leathers donning various satanic regalia & insignia, which on their return home would be exchanged for their pin stripe three piece. Back into the rat race they lept!............purely anecdotal but true.
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#58743 - 08/31/11 01:37 PM Re: Tribalism and the Question of Contemporary Society [Re: when7iseleven]
MindFux Offline
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Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 174
Well the Hell's Angels were founded in 1947, making them significantly older than globalized Consumerism, which really came to the fore with the advent of widespread telecommunications.

They're also still going strong, which is more than can be said for our current cultural 'economy'.

I'd say they have a shot at it. They're already three generations in and growing. As long as there's the open road, freedom and a way of getting access to it, they'll be around.

MF.

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