A Tribal World

Is our internationalism hiding a new tribalism?

In 2016, it's all the rage to be post-borders, beyond tribes, a global citizen rather than a blinkered inhabitant of an old-fashioned, closed-off community. Among the new clerisy — those self-styled guardians of right-thinking, who are pro-EU, sniffy about national borders, and made positively nauseous by the sight of the St George’s flag — there’s nothing naffer than being tribal, than feeling like you belong to one community more than another. In fact in their minds, communities, especially local ones, aren’t only lame — they’re potentially dangerous, fostering narrow-minded thinking and in some cases even racist attitudes.

Modern-day commentary drips with contempt for community life and national sentiment and sporting or cultural tribes. Writing in the Guardian a few years back, Lynsey Hanley, author of the new book Respectable: The Experience of Class, came off like one of those Nietzsche-worshipping British snobs catalogued by John Carey in his book The Inte

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kyoung21b 28 December 2016

Nice to know that Mr. O'Neil is a proud member of the anti-tribalist tribe (I.e. what is this article about ?).

Alyson King 8 November 2016

The larger the group the more diversity evolves. Tribes maraud. Communities are inter-dependent. Interest groups are pegged to the wider community, to share their value, and benefit from the rest that the community shares for its mutual benefit. Greed is a risk that must be recognised and managed for the survival of the organism itself