Mmmmm you might want to pick a different adjective than “tribal.” I know what you’re getting at, but actually “tribal” societies have invented quite a lot of quite important things, like (to name just a few) the use of fire and the wheel; domestication of plants and animals; wine, beer, cheese and yogurt; yeast breads; the saddle and bridle; the plough; silk; sailing; the fishing net; the fish weir; spinning, weaving; pottery; the twist drill; the forge… and probably American democracy (early US government was influenced to some extent, so they do say, by the complex governance conventions of the Ho-de’-no-saunee (the Iroquois League)).

I hear what you’re saying about factionalism, male bonding, gang loyalty, but use of that word “tribal” means that some of it reads like a big ol’ diss on indigenous people — who by and large are not responsible for much of the mess we’re currently in. Not saying I myself would be particularly happy, as a paid-up modernist, in most ancient pre-tech societies — but I’m not about to pretend we don’t owe them (their ingenuity, their perseverance, their inventions) everything we are today. Tribal humans have actually always been extraordinarily inventive, adaptive, ingenious, and wildly successful. Which is why we’re here, now, feeling so terribly perplexed :-)

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store