Humans are social animals. For the most part, we like having other humans around, and even if we don't like other humans, we usually have pets of one stripe or another (dogs, cats, fish, ferrets, chinchillas, pot-bellied pigs, snakes, birds and goats). One of the ways humans detect danger in other humans is looking for the guy that either doesn't fit in, or doesn't like being around humans or doesn't care if he's around humans or not. The lack of a pack mentality is disturbing to many humans. We like people to fit into our group, our tribe. When someone acts in a way incongruous to how we expect a tribe member to act, it frightens us.

In many primitive languages, stranger was synonymous with, or even was the word for, enemy. If a member of the tribe acts like a stranger, what does that mean? To many people it means that they may not have actually been a member of the tribe.
"Perhaps he was lying to me, perhaps he's really the enemy! And I trusted him! That bastard!"
There's a reason people like to use the Sheep/Wolf/Sheepdog analogy. They're all pack animals/herd beasts.

Now consider, that there are two fundamental types of tribe; familial and associative. Familial tribes are families, clans and ethnic groups. Familial tribes one is born into and tend to form the base cultural matix upon which all further behavior is based upon. . Associative tribes are joined through voluntary association. Examples of associative tribes include professional organizations, clubs, political parties and most modern countries.

Familial tribes are a stone bitch to deal with, and the bigger they are, the harder it is. think about what people go though, seperating from an abusive parent or spouce? How about the centuries of ingrained ethnocentricity of certain nations/ethnic groups? Familial tribe exist to protect and nurture the members of the tribe. And while the tibe as a whole is more important than the individual, the tribe exists becasue it defends the individual.

Associative tribes are almost as big a pain, but tend to be even more acrimonious about those who break with custom and tribal law. Associative tribes don't exist to care and provide for the tribe members, but to accomplish particular goals or provide specific services. Literally; the tribe is more important than any individual.

Now I'm not much of a joiner, and I don't particularly like humans. In fact I don't particularly care if I'm around them for the most part (are your hackels rising yet?). I have my familial tribes; my ethnicity and my kin. I also have some associative tribes, but not many; my kith, the RKBA comunity at large (though not too close an association, I make too many of the louder members too nervous), and my religion. I also consider myself an American and obey the laws, if not the mores of that tribe as well. Not that I get on with all of the sub-tribes of that particular nation, and I keep finding myself less and less satified with the association. In short, I am a conservative. But because I am not a "pack animal" I often don't fit in, like a goat among the sheep, or rather, a bear among the sheepdogs. I have my own ethics, my owm morals and my own mores. I go my own way and do as I see fit.

In short, I make people nervous. I can't help it. I know no other way to be. I'm fairly certain I'd not want to be a herd beast.


What tribes do you belong to?

1 comment:

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I belong to the kith who put up with me and like me anyway, to the tribe of two I've formed with my husband, and remain in contact with my immediate blood relatives and very loosely to the flying community. But I never make the meetings. (which should be no surprise to you, knowing I barely manage sustained contact among friends!)

My voting ID says Libertarian less out of a conformity to that tribe (if there is such a thing as conformity there) than because it gets far less political spam than putting independent.

In the end, I'll stick with my husband and my friends, and with my immediate family, and the rest can go hang. I think I get away with it more than you just because I'm cute and look non-threatening, like a doe that's grazing in the meadow with the sheep.