Friday, August 3, 2018

The Identitarian Dynamic

     I’m not back “all the way” yet, Gentle Reader. There’s still too much on my platter for me to be as regular as I normally strive to be. But I have enough gas in the tank for a short piece.


     I wrote some time ago about the influence of a tribal orientation on sociodynamics. The part that’s most relevant to contemporary political divisions and attitudes ran thus:

     Should political incentives arise that reinforce tribal distinctions and preferences, havoc will ensue. A nation-state cannot endure under conditions of internal inter-tribal strife; as Abraham Lincoln put it, a house divided cannot stand. There must ultimately be either a convulsive reduction of the tribes to political passivity, for example by warfare, or a parting of the ways that dissolves the nation-state into two or more separate units, as happened after the British relinquished the rule of India....

     Most fascinating of all, interior conflicts brought about by political forces can actually germinate new tribes within the nation-state. Those conflicts, and the nascent tribes they elicit, can arise from:

  • Legal privileges granted to some persons but not others;
  • National policies that have regionally, racially, sexually, ethnically, occupationally, religiously, or otherwise discriminatory effects;
  • De facto infringements or abridgements of the rights of recognizable groups.

     When such forces cause new tribes to arise within an existing nation-state, their tribalism tends to be irruptive, disruptive...and sometimes violent. The extent to which they take hold and attract allegiants is the measure of their impact upon the health of such a nation, and the prospects for its continued existence.

     When you hear someone decrying “racism,” or “sexism,” or “Islamophobia,” or lambasting the “white identity movement,” or the renascent American nationalism that’s accompanied the ascendancy of President Donald Trump, compare what he’s saying to the dynamic implied by the above. This is particularly important as regards one of the occupational tribes that has recently emerged: the journalists’ tribe.


     This recent exchange between CNN “reporter” Jim Acosta and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is massively illuminating:

     Acosta has acquired a reputation as the worst of the worst in the legacy media’s cadre. He’s rude, arrogant, and insistent: the archetype of an entitled personality. When he doesn’t get what he wants, he bitches at maximum volume. Nothing can restore order except his forcible expulsion from the room. And his network is solidly behind him and his tactics.

     Acosta is the perfect representative for journalistic identitarianism. That tribe has emerged in response to Donald Trump’s accurate characterization of the legacy media as fundamentally opposed to the interests of the American people. Under current conditions, it’s unlikely to dissipate. The legacy media have been enlisted as an auxiliary arm of the Democrat Party. Its barons are determined to keep what kowtowing to the Democrats has “earned” them – access to the luminaries and power-brokers of the Left – and will therefore brook no divergence from the existing playbook. If you doubt this, consider the unsavory case of Sarah Jeong.

     Journalistic tribalism is occupational in nature. There aren’t many other occupations following that pattern at this time, but one exceptionally important one must be mentioned: bureaucratic tribalism. It’s been “under the radar” for many years – see the David Boren quote embedded in this piece — but it’s now “coming out” for all to see as Trump’s “drain the swamp” agenda progresses. Tribalist sociodynamics apply to bureaucrats quite as much as to the races, sexes, sexual orientations, the journalism trade, and so forth.


     One final thought for today, which deserves to be in large font:

Tribalism + Politics == Warfare.

     Our social peace has been riven entirely because of tribal dynamics. Until the tribes disperse – i.e., until they subordinate their tribal allegiances to the higher cause of the nation – the mud-slinging, disruptions of public events, and violence will continue. Indeed, they’ll grow worse as some tribes perceive themselves to be winning (or losing) against their rivals.

     The prospects for social harmony in the near future are bleak. Nor is there any palliative available, other than the individual decision to withdraw completely from social and political life. Perhaps the most penetrating statement that could be made about it all came from Winston Churchill:

     Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

     Keep the faith.

4 comments:

sykes.1 said...

Blacks never accepted the legitimacy of America, and they have always regarded themselves as outsiders, not part of American culture or civilization. We now have an even larger Mexican/Central American population that by and large feels the same way.

Identitarian politics is a necessary part of a multicultural, multiracial society. Race and culture are not front and center as long as one race and culture is overwhelming predominant, as Whites were in the US prior to about 1960.

Democracy is impossible in a multicultural, multiracial society. Societies of that kind are held together by brute force, a la Hussein's Iraq. There is no going back unless you can expel all the blacks and Mexicans. Anyone under, say, 50, will see the coming dictatorship.

Glenda T Goode said...

FP has rung the bell of warning as to the coming conflict. We are seeing a dispute over political ideologies growing and growing. We are on the cusp of war. Real War. Not a war of words. A war intended to change the nation forever.

The deep state allied with the press and the democrats along with the Antifa and other left wing activist groups will continue their attacks and they will become more and more violent and when people start getting killed, the tinder in the fireplace that is the national debate will be set alight and burn fiercely.

I suspect in the ultimate form this conflict will take will be a revolution. Parties pro-socialism versus those who prefer liberty as defined by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. There will be no convenient boundaries similar to the American Civil war. This will be a conflict more akin to a guerilla war than anything else.

Who ever controls the bureaucracy will win in the end. Do not discount the power of the deep state. It goes far beyond policy and politics to every alphabet agency and organization that has been empowered to protect themselves.

This is a fight over the survival of the nation as founded, or not.

Paul Bonneau said...

It's interesting that Acosta was demanding Sanders make a collectivist statement - whether it was "journalists are the enemy of the people" or "journalists are not the enemy of the people". What was excluded was the notion that some are enemies and some are friends.

I don't think it is impossible that different tribes can co-exist. After all, religious tolerance is exactly this notion; Protestants and Catholics in Europe eventually stopped slaughtering each other. However, it is impossible when some of those tribes find it in their interest to start attacking others, first verbally and legally and institutionally, and then physically. And maybe we should add that it starts with the leaders of each tribe. It's the leaders who convince their adherents to go to war, as usual. A lot of people at the top benefit from strife.

I suppose at least a partial remedy would be to hang those leaders a la Mussolini at the end of the war. Not very satisfactory, but it's something...

Andrew Pryzant said...

What is so frustrating is the recognition that 'we' have the Presidency and the bully pulpit but not much else of the government apparatus. The most important branch of civilian gov 'Dept. of Justice' is still solidly in the hands of the other side. Thus it is not possible to fire a warning shot at the enemy press and their corporate colluders. Correlation of power still is not yet solidly on 'our; side so the Mule-er witch hunt continues and the propaganda press fears not the anger of the people. If the president cannot gain the necessary political power next year then there is little hope win the war short of a military coup d'etat.