Many of the things humans do are stupid, but it is hard to know
what else to do, sometimes. Often the stupidities are only in good
things taken to excess, or taken up the wrong way. For example:
The ideal of Globalism is that all the people in the
world can benefit and share in the goods in the world, and work
together to have a beautiful world. There need be no more wars.
People in country A who can produce what others need can trade their
produce with other countries that produce what country A does not,
and so there is great economy in mass production and in meeting
The stupid thing is that the way globalisation is working just
now, is to extend the freedom of the powerful to be powerful
everywhere, not just in their own little spot. They can exploit
anywhere, and play one region against another, one government against
The ideal of tribalism is that people who are close
together in locality/blood can help each other and share together and
work together and develop a distinctive culture together which
contributes to the socio-diversity and pleasures of the whole world.
You cannot love the people you do not know, unless you can experience
loving the people that you do. Everyone can feel they 'belong' to
their local tribe, with the security of help close at hand in time of
"Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself has said
This is my own, my native land?"
The stupid thing is when people do not also feel they belong to
the whole world. The stupid thing is the way that tribalism has
generally worked - working up internal solidarity by the strategy of
combing in enmity against Them, who are the outsiders, or the
'different people' who are within their borders. Us and Them. So
there is extermination and cleansing to be done to get rid of them,
and to Advance the Tribe. Nations are like large tribes, and some
people think that nationalism is the most dangerous element in the
modern world, that can bring peoples to Mutually Assured Destruction
- truly, MAD.
"My tribe is better than yours Yah! Yah!
Social class is another
form of tribalism. Football tribes are possibly one of the least
dangerous ways to siphon off our instinctive tribalism into merely
barracking and shouting and wearing fancy gear.
¥ Civilisation is a
marvellous ideal - that we should all progress to make the world and
ourselves always more bountiful, beautiful, gracious, cultured and
courteous, treasuring our heritage from the past, enjoying the
present, and ever seeking the best for the future.
The stupid thing is that while 'civilisation as we know it' - is a
nice phrase to fight for, it includes some horrible dilemmas as well
as the comforts of modern life.
One great dilemma about Western civilisation is its spread across
the world, turning everything into a monoculture and not a very kind
or beautiful one at that. Its media culture has spread ideas of
violence, rather than ideas of peace.
Yet without unifying civil organisation of some sort, there is
anarchy, there is chaos, there is famine, there are the unfolding
tragedies in East Africa.