Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tribal suicide

Too many years of good rains and bountiful harvests have made the members fat and idle. They've lost the memory of droughts and hungry winters and with it, the wisdom to save the grain and salt the fish. They mock the wise ones who know the sky and the waters and say the soils are harder and the sea is wrong, then shun those who question the idolisation of merchants and warriors at the expense of farmers and fishers. The chiefs, to the cheers of the members sitting in their little palaces with no memory of huts, then say to the young ones, 'if you want to hear our elders and their silly babble go forth and bring us more meat and gold like the children of the other tribes who come here to listen to them. We need the tribute pay for our feasts and debts. Let the warriors punish those who question us.' 

It's funny, when many of us imagine the end of society, social disintegration, I think we get visions of Mad Max, Katrina, or something out an Atwood novel. You know, wide spread poverty, violence, and social strife, and not a lot of governance. If there is anything like the latter, it is some fascist type thing with plenty of goons to protect the elites.

Yet here we are watching society as a whole eat itself by attacking its youth, its poor, its disenfranchised based on some stupid narrative of 'entitlement'. No one has really seized power in a coup, there's relatively little wide-spread poverty or violence.

There's no sense of collective responsibility. Lesser sense of the social investment required to keep us all moving coherently through time. There's plenty of people thinking and encouraging investment in the future, but the bulk of that revolves around individual (corporations are individuals too) money-making schemes that often enough directly challenge those who favour environmental and social investment schemes.

The tribal identity embodying the survival-grade social capital that has sustained human groups since the caves is perishing like the pagan Earth gods before the violence of the blind emissaries of the skygod.

The ancient practice of passing wisdom and knowledge to the new generation is itself being attacked. The children of the tribe are being told by the members and the chiefs that if they to know how to perpetuate the group, they've got to find a way to pay tribute for the privilege. The shamans and elders, teachers, are also mocked, suppresed, and told to work harder for their keep.

Strategic thinking, or the open consideration for the future and how to sustain the group through the coming challenges is integral to the survival of societies. If those of us who think about this are shunned by our own tribe, perhaps we must now carve out our own space.

There is little point in continuing to petition people who put on blindfolds before they leave the house and attack their own children.

More in past and future posts.

1 comment:

karen said...

We are told to work harder at meaninglessness. They take away the industry that requires skills and leave us with coffee shops with frozen doughnuts and call centres and we forget how to make cloth and clothing, how to grow food and preserve and prepare it, how to build our shelters, to say nothing of being able to make our own tools.
And yet at Occupy camps all over North America (the world?) they were feeding anyone and welcoming anyone. I think there is a great wish for community, and the beginnings of a rejection of this stupid single file march to be self-made men.
I have appreciated the message of the recent posts here and have been thinking much about a societal re-section,as well as a personal one, and I notice a similar tone elsewhere and I can't help but be a little bit hopeful.