Sunday, October 11, 2015

Communities vs Tribes

We fear being alone. We all want to be loved and accepted. We long for a sense of belonging.

That's why we form and join social groups. To share common ideals. To be part of something large and special. To mingle with like-minded people.

Social groups come in all forms and sizes, serve purposes trivial and serious. Their passions all run high. The boisterous sporting fan clubs. The evangelical religious cults. The violent rebels.

But folks, beware. Not all groups are good. Some create more problems than they solve. Keep close to communities. Stay away from tribes.

The Way of the Tribes
1. Communities build bridges, tribes build walls
- Communities welcome new members with open arms, regardless of skin colour and origins. Those departing are waved off with tearful fanfare. Their mission is to harness energy and wisdom to serve others better. They actively reach out to collaborate with other communities. Visitors are free to walk in and roam their grounds.
- Tribes are insular. They are selective in who they recruit. They don't treat leavers kindly. They are driven to compete with other tribes, and even friendly communities. They only care to help those within their circle. They act as gatekeepers. They treat visitors as trespassers, outsiders as threats.

2. Communities speak in a common language, tribes speak in secret codes
- Communities believe in the free exchange of goods, services and information. In view of that, they keep their communication channels open to all. They strive to demystify and simplify stuff. Nothing is taboo. Everyone is encouraged to speak out their minds. Their hearts are moved by empathy.
- Tribes guard their precious lore to themselves jealously, encrypted in technical jargons. Sharing with strangers is a sin. They weave illusions of godhood to scare others into submission. Deception is their forte. Anyone trying to learn their lingo without permission will be hunted and quelled. By keeping others in ignorance, they preserve their power.

3. Communities follow logic and conscience, tribes follow rituals and ranks
- Communities stay true to universal values. In science, in ethics. Freedom is not absolute, but freedom cannot be constrained by arbitrary commands. They create order to promote peace and prosperity. They care not for appearances. What matters most is meritocracy.
- Tribes are elitists. They make up all sorts of rules to divide and conquer. Layers and layers of hierarchy are built, purely to protect the underserving leaders at the top. They reinforce archaic traditions that enforce prejudices and privileges. They care much for crowns and swords. That's how they force their minions to fall in line.

The Way of the Communities

Communities Good, Tribes Bad

The rule applies across the board. Wherever and whenever groups of people convened. Whether they're political parties, professional bodies, business corporations, sporting clubs, entertainment houses, academic circles, local neighbourhoods, and so on.

The rule is simple. Communities are good. Tribes are bad.

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