International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI)
April 6, 2018
Our basic packages of tribal instincts are causing problems in more than two hundred settings in the world today. We see conflicts between groups in all of those settings that draw on the basic thought processes, values, emotions and inter group behaviors that those instincts create.
We all instinctively divide the world into Us and Them.
We do horrible things to people we perceive to be a Them. We feel no guilt in lying to Them, damaging Them, and displacing Them.
This week’s report from the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) describes another dozen current intergroup conflicts that are damaging people in each of the settings.
Our journalists tend to miss the entire point of these conflicts. The news media almost always mislabels them as political differences. Those differences are generally tribal and ethnic — not ideological or political.
Tribal issues are relevant in over a hundred settings, because we live in a world where the current national boundaries of most nations do not reflect the natural and historical territories of local tribal and ethnic groups, and the absolutely consistent pattern is that when people from multiple groups are forced to live together inside artificial national boundaries, they dislike each other and do battle as groups with one another.
There are no converts or personal alignment decisions being made by the combatants in those settings. Birth determines who kills whom in every site.
Everyone with a gun in each setting was born into the group who has given it to them, and they are shooting people who were also all born into their groups as well.
People are born into ethnic groups, cultures, clans, and tribes — and that group identity, based on who gave birth to each person, determines whom they shoot and whom they defend.
Even though those particular levels of personal identity and group alignment and loyalty are extremely important to each person, we do not tend to honor that sense of who people are for several key areas of their lives.
We have an almost absolute disregard for democratic decisions to be self-governed made by people in any of those groups. The will to govern their own territory and group turf is very consistently overruled with great energy and power by other people with guns who were also born into their groups, and who do not want self determination to be the right or destiny of any of those sets of people.
Anyone who doubts the power of those intergroup instincts over people’s lives in today’s world should read this weeks report from the International Peace and Security Institute.
Those problems are happening in multiple settings. Intergroup conflicts exist in a wide range of settings and people are being damaged by those conflicts in each setting.
We need to understand clearly why these issues are all happening in all of those settings if we want to resolve any of them or keep them from reoccurring.
We also need to make very sure that those same sets of instincts don’t get activated at the most dangerous levels in America, and that we don’t’ become just another multi-tribal nation at war with itself.
It can happen.
It can happen to Us.