Monday, September 4, 2017

Brief blurts about tribes and tribalism — Karen Attiah:

““The Americans on both sides of the political spectrum like to talk about identity politics, or white identity,” said Mustapha Okango, a Kenyan anthropologist based in Nairobi. “The Americans like to lecture us and other Africans about keeping tribalism out of our politics and putting country ahead of our ethnic groups. America’s institutions are strong. But when I saw the images of those white men in polos carrying Party City tiki torches and weapons, it’s pretty clear American white tribal politics are alive and well, explicitly fueled by President Trump’s regime. White supremacy doesn’t just hurt blacks or other minority groups, it hurts the whole country. Take it from us Kenyans, it’s a dangerous recipe. We had hoped better for America.””

[Brought over from my Facebook page post, September 2.]

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Brief blurts about tribes and tribalism — Intro to a new series + Robert Wright

In posting a series of readings on Facebook that express sustained views about the significance of tribes and tribalism in America (and sometimes elsewhere), I’ve passed over many good short quotes where the author is making more a passing or wrap-up remark than a sustained article-length argument. By now I’ve accumulated so many of these, and many are pithy so and illuminating, I figure I might as well pass them along in quick blurts.
So here we go, in no particular order.
Robert Wright:
“… But I will say that the evidence I see for purpose includes not just the direction of biological evolution, but the direction of technological evolution and of the broader social and cultural evolution it drives — the evolution that has carried us from hunter-gatherer bands to the brink of a cohesive global community. And if the purpose involves sustaining this direction — becoming a true global community — then it would seem to include moral progress. In particular, our purpose would involve transcending the psychology of tribalism that can otherwise divide people along ethnic, national, religious and ideological lines. Which would mean — in light of recent political and social developments in the United States and abroad — that our work is cut out for us.”

[Brought over from my Facebook page post, September 1.]