Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mormonism as a tribe, Part 2: Tribalism as an instinctual road map to survival

If you've read my last post on Mormonism as a tribe, then we can move onto the next part of the series.

Tribal instincts lead towards survival of the individual and the group

Nature has provided each of us with a road map to survival: the tribal instinct. These instincts will lead us to work together in and for the group in order to live.

In the tribe, there are certain roles for certain people within the tribe. Each one has their place, and when they are working together, they achieve a level of survival for everyone involved.

Our tribal instincts help us survive

The human instinct towards tribalism is a form of evolution that has allowed us to stay alive. If you have two separate groups of animals, and one group works as a tribe and the other group works as lone individuals, you would see that tribe is able to overcome many aspects of their life much easier than they could if they were alone. The lone individuals have a harder time to overcome obstacles because they have to be a jack of all trades, which means they won't be able to specialize in an area because they are so busy trying to do everything themselves.

Tribalism is very similar to specialization in our market economy. In the market economy, you have individuals that specialize in certain areas, which they will then be able to profit from because they trade their specialty for the specialty of another individual. And by that trade, they both are benefited. In the same way, human animals have specialized in areas that will best serve themselves and then the tribe. For instance, there may be a man that is very good at understanding the emotional side of life, i.e., feelings, emotions, nuances, but he has a hard time making decisions that are not deep in emotion.

On the other hand, the chief is adept at making decisions based in the context of what is really going on; he's not emotional, he's rational. But because he's specialed in his rationality, he can't see parts of life that are emotional. Because of the formation of the tribe, he then can use the emotional man to make better decisions. He listens to the emotional man and a new part of life is exposed for him to understand in regards to certain decisions. Now, the chief benefits by having both the emotional and the rational. This works for all the parts of the tribe: the warriors specialize in defense and attack, the chief specializes in rational decisions, the emotional shaman specializes in emotion, etc.,

But what if your reality is all emotional? What if you don't have a chief to make rational decisions? Then you're tribe would be out of balance. You make your decisions in a world of emotion and not in a rational reality.

That's why it's important to understand the different roles of the tribe and to make sure the tribe is structured correctly; otherwise the decisions made by the tribe become dangerous as they swing too far to one side.


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