TRIBES KEPT THE EARTH IN BALANCE AND MINDS SHARP, BUT HAVE TO BE PHASED OUT. IN AFRICA, AND ELSEWHERE.
Abstract: Tribes are WMD. In light of this, overall, empires allowed progress: transnationalism and overlords are a necessity to hold back the well ingrained tribal Dark Side of man. Although one should not forget that the battle of ideas has been helped by the battles of tribes.
EMPIRES CONTROL TRIBES WITH HIGHER PHILOSOPHY:
In a more distant past, land transportation was very difficult, so the nations were smaller. Now we call them tribes. But tribes were a stronger notion than nations. Tribes are often characterized, and separated, by language, religion, color, often biological inheritance. Denying the later is futile: just look at Pigmies.
When Africa was completely administered by Europeans it was cut up in larger administrative units the size of large European nations (except Ethiopia). This arranging was not arbitrary. For example, there used to be an empire of Mali, pretty much where the French decided Mali was. Nevertheless, the creation of each of the African nations was an experience in TRANSNATIONALISM (otherwise we would have several hundred African nations). Under the overlordship of the Europeans, that forced experience in calm understanding of the other worked just fine. But it’s unlikely it can be pursued without overlords.
In Europe nations fought each other for centuries, and before this, tribes did it for even longer. Europe has improved recently, but mostly because of the presence of OVERLORDING STRUCTURES (occupational armies and now the EU).
Lesson? Africa should be overlorded upon. The African Union (AU), the EU, the UN, the IMF and NGOs can play such roles. This is how the crises in Rhodesia, South Africa, the Sahara, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Darfur and Kenya have been dealt with. This is how Europeans have been dealing with their own tribal conflicts, using supranational structures (many now part of the EU).
It’s fashionable among some shallow European intellectuals to scorn the Europeans for having “created” a mess in Africa, although such an attitude only denotes a dismissive lack of knowledge of not just World, but, also, of European history. Europe used to be all cut up in smaller nations, in other words, tribes. Tribes used to fight all out (with plenty of Shoahs, as in the Bible). The Celts invaded North Western Europe, and then half of Italy (where Rome stopped them with extreme difficulty); some Celts invaded all the way to the center of present day Anatolia, “fearing only that the sky would fall on their heads”. Four centuries later, Julius Caesar used a migration of the Helvetic tribe across Long-Haired-Gaul (Gallia Comida) as a pretext to invade all of Gaul. Caesar won, because Rome represented progress and union, and many Celts could feel this, so they did not resist (a similar phenomenon happened when Judea got conquered). Europe united because the empires of the Romans and Franks crushed most tribal organization (including, in the end, their own: Romans were forbidden to enroll in the … Roman army!).
The emotional mess in Southern Slav lands (Yugo-Slavia) was a consequence of the fact those were, in the fullness of time, at the intersection of no less than seven empires. Yugoslavia did not erase its tribal differences because it was never solidly inside one empire long enough (emperor Heraclius had allowed the Serbs to settle in present day Serbia in the 7C, to reward them for fighting (the ancestors of) the Mongols; the frontier with the “Pars Occidentalis” was just west).
The Greco-Roman empire and various versions of the Persian empire, were gigantic experiments in transnationalism, in tribal extermination, and in the advancement of higher philosophical principles, especially tolerance, and even enrichment by difference (this is also true for the Mongols and early Islam). This was deliberate: after Rome destroyed “Judea” (70 CE), she immediately installed Yahve, the Jewish God, in the Roman pantheon, to grab Yahve’s best. That courtesy was not extended to Celtic or Punic divinities, which depicted traits Rome viewed as inferior. One hundred fifty years later, all free men of the empire were made citizens.
TRIBAL CONFLICT AS AN ADJUVANT TO IDEA FORMATION:
“What does not kill me makes me stronger” said Nietzsche famously. One could say a fortiori the same for ideas: “War does not kill ideas, it makes them stronger” (for examples, the Franks invented plenty of new techniques as they faced the Muslims in a war of extermination, including the idea of nationalization of the church). Inter tribal murder makes ideas stronger, and they don’t even have to die. In other words, inter tribal holocausts have encouraged mental creativity. Desperate situations make for innovative thinking; the brain is first a survival machine. (When Syracuse was sieged, super thinker Archimedes helped with war machines (giant claw, burning mirrors, steam canon) which struck imaginations for millennia to come, if not the Romans; the first recipes for gunpowder are found in a Chinese military textbook of 1044; the first recorded use of rockets was by the Chinese in 1232 against the Mongols.)
So much innovation came from deadly conflicts that it is unlikely that the world of ideas would have achieved as much without the world of war (the point is moot, anyway, because without war, mankind would not have survived agriculture). It is actually unlikely; the human brain’s high energetic demands required fat and flesh. Not only is it in general true that in the fullness of time, the best way to become a successful carnivore is to have a big brain (wild chimpanzees love meat, and dolphin know how to kill sharks), but, as early Homos became more and more delicate and precise in their physiology, hence weaker, armed bellicosity became ever more important (Homo is much weaker than a chimpanzee in muscle and compensate this with brain and weapon).
As we do away with tribes, we want to keep mock, make believe conflicts, lest we fall in mental torpor. That is why a lot of academia is organized so as to promote strong emotions to keep those mental juices flowing with lots of tempting payments, and titles, and even as they had it in the Middle Ages and similarly retarded places, silly costumes.
TRIBALISM IS FASCISM:
Hominids are social predators, they fight best in groups, as one mass, and the delight they take in satisfying the fascist instinct makes sure of that. As agriculture made tribes possible, those masses became enormous, and so did the fascism. The Dark Side of human beings made tribes into Weapons of Mass Destruction. The foundational document of Judeo-Christo-Islamism shows Israel being born from holocausts (“Shoahs”). That was pretty much typical. The alternative was to eat everything down to the last rat.
Hominids have been on this planet for millions of years, as top predators, and they knew no enemy as lethal as themselves. This gave plenty of time and necessity for evolution to hardwire the hatred of man towards man in man. Homo killing Homo not only created Homo (by eliminating closely related monsters), but also kept the earth in balance (Homo being the top predator had to self predate). Man had to kill man so man could be, and it’s somewhat hypocritical to deny this. And also dangerous, because the tribal instinct feeds on the fact that the Dark Side, deep down, for the reasons we just sketched, is more enlightened than it looks, and, thus, cannot be completely avoided, ever.
To deny this is to fall into the trap of extinction. Hillel the Elder abstracted his view of Jewish morality this way: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. The rest is commentary” (~0 CE). The problem with this (Babylonian) “Golden Rule” is that it eschews the Dark Side, which, as we said, was necessary not just to the continuation of man, but to his evolutionary creation. If one chooses to ignore this formidable, constitutive element of the moral universe, one ends with a lower dimensional hypersurface in reality. The resulting low dimensional morality can get folded by higher dimensional reality, like a crepe can be, because it’s all it is, and it is so voluntarily naive, that it should be viewed as a morality made conveniently edible, something to consume, a self immolating accomplice of the greatest evil (except in genuine mental retards).
Nazism was a typical modern synthetic tribalism. All united, in the hatred of the other (French, Jew, Communist, Slav, etc.). Tribalism is made to kill, the rest is commentary. Commentary can actually augment tribalism: Germany was the most literate country in the world, as she sank into tribal fascism. This has to be kept in mind as, thanks to the Internet, literacy is augmenting worldwide. It’s not reading which does it, it’s what you read: garbage in, holocaust out.
The moral idea of tribe is now too dangerous (because of Weapons of Mass Destruction). The future belongs to the UN, the EU, and honest brokers therein, or imperial principles built along those lines. Tribes have got to go.