4.1.17

TRIBAL SURVIVALS.

Christopher Chantrill's "I Want a President Who Loves America" is a no-punches-pulled polemic, in the midst of which is a social science point that still calls for subtle thought.  First he gets digs in at boutique multiculturalism and the joys of listening to Hillary, suggesting that "citizen of the world" doesn't resonate with a lot of voters.  "Because we humans have always loved our nearest and dearest, our family, our tribe, our little patch of home."  That brings you kinship ties.  It also brings othering.  Perhaps such behaviors confer evolutionary advantages.  Then comes a Complex Proposition.
Now that we live in a continental patch of North America, we have had to take those social instincts and reprogram them. The most successful efforts to do this just happen to be the nation state and the neighborhood church and the voluntary association and the employment-at-will workplace. The least successful efforts were the Soviet Union and Maoist China.
The term "reprogram" misleads, precisely because it leaves the field clear for efforts to deconstruct or reconstruct or socially engineer the institutions: the Fatal Conceit of Communist or Crolyist alike.  Neighborhood churches, voluntary associations, and market allocation of resources are all emergent and adaptive, and the boundaries between internal structure and external interaction are fuzzy.  The nation state can help or hinder the emergence.  That may be the message of the Declaration of Independence, asserting Liberty and the Purfuit of Happiness as Unalienable Rights and Governments established to Secure thofe Rights.  But nation-states, holding, as they do, a monopoly on determining insiders and outsiders, can also be enforcers of Othering.  Open markets and voluntary associations can serve as ways to unite people otherwise divided by Politics or by Tribe.

No comments: