Left and Right

The Nagging Persistence of Tribalism

Goad’s latest @ TakiMag.


Last week in rural western Alabama, members of the Christian Identity movement teamed up with Klansmen to host a three-day shindig that ended on Friday with a cross burning. The event gained national attention after local residents complained about a flyer that specified “All White Christians Invited.”

Without a dandelion petal’s worth of irony among them, News One for Black America and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People condemned the blasphemous idea of an event designed exclusively for whites. On the other side of Alabama, the preposterously well-funded Southern Poverty Law Center, helmed disproportionately by members of a group who deem themselves “God’s chosen people,” have condemned the Christian Identity movement as a hate group for daring to deem themselves “God’s chosen people.”

Other critics used this isolated event, which even provoked considerable local criticism, to issue blanket condemnations of whites, Christianity, Republicans, and, of course, “the South,” although the South has always been America’s blackest region.

Predictably, the event’s attendees were scorned by “humanists” as stupid, repellent, and genetically retrograde subhumans who crawled out from under a rock. These “racist” throwbacks are to be despised, shunned, spat upon, and deserve violent retaliation—which, through no coincidence whatsoever, is precisely the sort of stereotyping they self-righteously condemn in “racists.”

No matter the tribe, that’s how all tribes act—they seek to dehumanize and eradicate non-members. Why, it’s almost like they act that way without even thinking.

No cultural group on Earth seems capable of existing without demonizing and targeting a cultural “other.” Whether it’s manifested through blood (race and ethnicity) or water (religion and ideology), tribal behavior seems indelibly identical. Groups can’t seem to exist, much less thrive, without a designated scapegoad scapegoat.

Despite all the efforts to “get past” racism and “erace” it, all human social groups seem incapable of getting past the same sort of ingroup/outgroup, good guys/bad guys, devils/angels binary thinking for which they condemn those pesky, incestuous, snaggletoothed “racists”—who, as luck would have it, always seem to belong to the same race, even though, well, um, race doesn’t exist.

If “racism” is merely a dishonestly dirty word to describe white tribalism, it may cut deeper and ultimately be more ineradicable than relative trifles such as ideological and religious schisms. If it’s a natural instinct that can’t be eliminated without ceaseless Maoist-style propaganda, shaming, and coercion, then political measures to counter it must inevitably become totalitarian. I call it “egalitotalitarianism.”

If you want to get conspiratorial—or at least acknowledge the fact that “divide and conquer” is the oldest trick in the political playbook—stuffing a nation full of people who are bound to have tribal differences is a good way to keep them at each other’s throats rather than focused on the power mechanisms that control them.

I’m a rare bird in that I’m not seduced by any tribal drumbeat, whether ethnic, religious, or ideological. Yet by default, I belong to one of the world’s most persistently persecuted minorities in that I believe human history and social conflict are best viewed through the cold microscope of facts and logic rather than the dim prism of moralistic mystical groupthink. So when I approach the radioactive and comically stigmatized concept of “racism,” my first question isn’t “How do we stop it?”; it’s “Why does it exist in the first place?”

Modern social scientists, who are little more than unscientific socialists, variously view racism as a cancer, a sin, an aberration, and a mental illness rather than a natural and ubiquitous phenomenon. Ignoring the fact that every culture throughout human history has been ethnocentric, they frame racism as an exclusive product of white supremacy, European colonialism, and predatory palefaced capitalism. They also shellac it with a thick gloppy glaze of moralistic condemnation, depicting it as the worst and most destructive of all possible human instincts. The psychological establishment is well on its way to depicting “sociobiological” as personality disorders rather than natural drives toward self-preservation, which in a bygone era were seen as the epitome of mental health.

And they blame it all on “culture” rather than biology, oblivious to the idea that it is most likely sociobiological forces that dictate and generate culture.

Without devolving into the predictable orgy of cuss words and finger-pointing and crudely painted devil puppets and endlessly unspooling bloody-rag hysteria, a simple sociobiological explanation for the tribal instinct that’s known as “racism” would account for its ubiquity. It would also explain its nagging persistence despite the relentless and increasingly iron-fisted attempts to eradicate it. Maybe it’s merely a natural group survival instinct—neither innately “good” or “bad,” which are subjective value judgments—but objectively natural, so maybe you should all calm the hell down.

There’s a recurrent leftist tendency to mistake thought for reality and reality for thought. Accordingly, the mass-culture witch doctors known as social scientists, almost all of whom are balls-deep in cultural Marxism, have it upside down and ass-backwards—race is real, while “racism” is a social construct. They insist there’s no such thing as “the white race,” yet they blame “white people” and their “racism” for everything. They stomp their size-5 ballerina shoes and insist we need new double standards to counteract old double standards rather than, oh, doing the sensible thing and eliminating double standards.

Ever notice how no one on Earth seems more race-obsessed than so-called anti-racists? It must be exhausting to constantly have to stamp out all these fires that seem to keep lighting themselves. Unless an ocean of compelling evidence convinces me otherwise, I think the reason “we” can’t “get past” what’s known as “racism” is because tribalism is an evolutionary instinct. You see how much luck Victorian England had in squashing the sex instinct—it only yielded Jack the Ripper. I think the country is so psychotically perverse about race for similar reasons. Natural tribal instincts are being suppressed, yielding legions of tight-assed, insufferable weirdos.

Ethnic pride abhors a vacuum. The main problem with “cultural affirmative action”—or whatever you want to call the double standard that tolerates groups with “Black” or “Jewish” or “Hispanic” or “Asian” in their name but forbids it to whites—is that no one has defined exactly when “social justice” and “equality” are going to be achieved. Will it be when everyone scores exactly the same on intelligence tests and makes exactly the same income? Yeah, good luck with that project, Cap’n. What if that’s impossible without constantly imposing unfair rules—i.e., severely tilting the playing field you disingenuously claim you want to level?

For the longest time I was down with the whole “anti-racism” project until I realized one of its main platforms was continuing to allow people who didn’t share my biological ancestry to hate me for my skin. I thought the deal was that we were all supposed to drop the whole racial-pride thing. Instead, I wound up on my derriere in a game of Racial Musical Chairs. Not only did the other players refuse to abandon their ethnocentrism, they intensified it. Then I began to believe it wasn’t about fairness at all, it was merely a cleverly backhanded way of seizing power in a zero-sum Genetic World Series.

Conflict seems inevitable in human interactions. The term “the human race” would only acquire practical meaning if we were attacked by Martians. And if the only two humans left on Earth were identical twins, they’d find a way to somehow make it racial.

The sanest route would be to treat everyone fairly while conceding that life is unfair. Presume that anyone who ignores nature and thinks everything is 100% nurture is a natural-born idiot. And you should tolerate whomever you like, avoid whomever you dislike, but NEVER tolerate anyone who won’t tolerate you.

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