Etymology: Middle English, from Latin tribus, a division of the Roman people, tribe
Date: 13th century
1 a: a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers
b: a political division of the Roman people originally representing one of the three original tribes of ancient Rome . . .
2: a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest
Liberty bloggers do a lot of emailing to each other behind the scenes, hammering out the finer points of what we believe and how we can maintain, or recover, our traditional liberties. Here's an excellent statement of who we are and where we are from "Eeyore." After it, since he speaks of "tribal duties," I present some thoughts along those lines from John Robb's Global Guerrillas.
And after that, I have some concluding remarks.
I agree with the need for more explication of the philosophy that underpinned both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution/Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately, IMHO, even with a complete and powerful updated framework for political liberty and personal freedom, we still run aground on what is in my mind the single biggest gap between the folks in the 18th and 19th centuries and today's homo Americanus:
People back then would kill you if you stepped hard enough and often enough on their toes.
The bulk of Americans today have been culturally and morally castrated, in the post-WW2 European model. Hence, you can take their very children from them and they will simply bluster and cringe.
As I have said to Mike, priority #1, IMHO, must be to gird the "old school" folks with as much info as can be obtained and disseminated so as to max their chances for success and survival.
My concern is that if we are not pursuing that goal with ruthless, single-minded focus, we will be throwing much of our personal energy before sleeping swine.
In short, most Americans today want to be slaves, or at the very least, do not have any conception of how to be anything but same.
It's a hard opinion (fact?), but it is what has been chiming in my brain since the Collapse became irrefutable. For example, any sentient being with children has to understand that those kids' opportunities during their adult lives have largely been shattered by the FedGov's spending over the past seven months.
The best that the overwhelming bulk of these parents can muster? Waving signs at the "tea parties".
And singletons like myself are just as lame. My claim to fame? Helping to found a traveling basic rifle marksmanship class that, in its success, explicitly avoids discussion of contemporary American politics.
Don't get me wrong -- protest is a good thing, as far as it goes.
But how many of the protesters have even stopped "drinking taxed tea" (e.g., reduced their tax withholding beyond IRS-permitted levels, started paying only in cash or barter for the non-tax price of goods, and otherwise actively started to evade taxes)?
Anybody break any windows yet?
Anybody located their local tax offices -- for educational purposes only, of course?
Anybody identified their local tax apparatchiks -- to thank them for the great job they are doing, of course?
How about politicians and bureaucrats' homes? The various .govs know where each of us live and work, but how many good guys have even thought of finding out where the ruling class lives, works, and shops for groceries?
Remember -- the tea party attendees still think that they can fix the current catastrophe by voting. Ergo, by the "insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results" test, they are insane.
And they are the best of the lot. Gun owners, as a lot, are even worse -- even the ones that have new BRM skills and can recite some bowdlerized version of events 234 years ago.
Pouring more than a nominal amount of energy into anything other than saving one's own tribe is looking more and more like a losing play.
Patton probably stole it from Stonewall, as he did many of his quotes, but "fatigue makes cowards of all men". I am tired, both tonight and of the struggle. I am not quitting, but I am trying to quit deluding myself.
Oath Keepers, the War on Guns, Absolved, Sipsey Street, and WRSA are each important jobs. But I strongly urge each of us who can see the entire battlespace to remember that our first duty -- to God, country, and family -- is to survive the coming Force 10 shitstorm. We and those like us are Nock's Remnant. If we don't make it through the coming chaos, the likelihood of slavery and death for our kith and kin moves dangerously close to certainty.
Please don't neglect those tribal duties in the hopes of awakening a bunch of mouthbreathers who think the NRA, some protest signs, and the invocation of a few magic words are going to save them from the collectivists' knives.
PS: Was re-reading Night by Elie Wiesel recently. Anyone who doesn't know Moishe the Beadle, his message, and the reaction of Wiesel's village to that message needs to read Night this weekend.
Now "tribal duties" is a subject I have been thinking more than a little about recently. Absolved readers will recognize that Winston County, as I have described it, is made up of two distinct tribes along the fault lines created by the War Between the States. I have always been leery of tribes. Leery, I suppose, because of the collectivism implicit in most tribal organizations throughout history. On the other hand, there is no denying that, as John Robb says below, tribes are the "cockroaches of history." Read, and I will have more comments at the end.
This may fill in some gaps for people thinking about surviving the future intact.
How do you manufacture a strong community that protects, defends and advances the interests of its members? You build a tribe. Tribal organization is the most survivable of all organizational types and it was the dominant form for 99.99% of human history. The most important aspect of tribal organization is that it is the organizational cockroach of human history. It has proven it can withstand the onslaught of the harshest of environments. Global depression? No problem.
If you are like most people in the 'developed world,' you don't have any experience in a true tribal organization. Tribal organizations were crushed in the last couple of Centuries due to pressures from the nation-state that saw them as competitors and the marketplace that saw them as impediments. All we have now it is a moderately strong nuclear family (weakened via modern economics that forces familial diasporas), a weak extended family, a loose collection of friends (a social circle), a tenuous corporate affiliation, and a tangential relationship with a remote nation-state. That, for many of us, is proving to be insufficient as a means of withstanding the pressures of the chaotic and harsh modern environment (D2 in particular).
The solution to this problem is to build a tribe. A group of people that you are loyal to you and you are loyal in return. In short, the need for a primary loyalty to a group that really cares about your survival and future success.
So how do you build a tribe? A strong tribe, in this post-industrial environment*, isn't built from the top down. Instead it is built organically from the bottom up. A simple tribe starts with cementing ties to your extended family, a connection of blood. The second step is to extend that network to include other families and worthy individuals. A key part of that is to build fictive kinship, a sense of connectedness that leads to the creation of loyalty to the group. That kinship is built through (see Ronfeldt's paper for some background on this):
Story telling. Shared histories and historical narratives.
Rites of passage. Rituals of membership. Membership is earned not given due to the geographic location of birth or residence.
Obligations. Rules of conduct and honor. The ultimate penalty being expulsion.
Egalitarian and often leaderless organization. Sharing is prized.
Multi-skilled. Segmental organization (lots of redundancy among parts).
Two-way loyalty. The tribe protects the members and the members protect the tribe. If this isn't implemented, you don't have a tribe, you have a Kiwanis club.
The development of fictive kinship will likely be key to the development of resilient communities (as it is already for global guerrillas). We can already see this process at work in the UK's Transition Towns movement with their story telling, honoring elders, re-skilling, and leaderless approach (see the 12 steps).
*Nationalism is a form of fictive kinship manufactured/bent to serve the needs of the state during our industrial phase of economic organization.
Posted by John Robb on Friday, 06 March 2009 at 10:15 AM
"Americans are the Strongest Tribe"
"During the fierce battle for Fallujah, Bing West asked an Iraqi colonel why the archterrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had fled in women’s clothes. The colonel pointed to a Marine patrol walking by and said, 'Americans are the strongest tribe.'" -- Review of The Strongest Tribe at Small Wars Journal
There is no doubt that we liberty-loving Americans are bonded by something greater than simple nationalism. Yet everyday we see people -- nominal "Americans" -- who, like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers seem to resemble us, but are NOT us. The collectivist virus has taken over their brains and there is no reasoning with them. Their view of this country and its future are 180 degrees about from the Founders.
Yet this tribe of free Americans that we are is not based on genetics, matrilineal or any other. It is not a matter of race, creed, color or religion. (Although I would argue that we would not have a United States of America without the basis of Judeo-Christian ethics and English common law -- the faith of the Founders.)
Anyone can be a member of this tribe, but membership is not free. Anyone can rise, regardless of family background, to a position of leadership in this tribe, but he or she must be competent to lead. "Leadership" in our tribe is not synonymous with elected office. To lead citizens at any level calls for so very many more attributes than merely getting elected -- witness Barack Obama -- and principal among them is responsibility.
Yet the Body Snatchers eschew responsibility -- they run from it like the plague, for to them it is government which is the only repository of responsibility. It is the government which possesses a monopoly on good, an overabundance of munificence, the ultimate knowledge and competence, and yes, must possess the monopoly of force.
These are not Americans as the Founders would have accepted. They are human, to be sure. But THEY ARE NOT FREE MEN. They have elected, chosen, not to be free. Worse, they wish us not to be free.
They are of another tribe.
Let us then look to OUR tribe. The tribe of free Americans. The strongest tribe. Together we will get through the darkness to come.