Until listening to this short clip with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, I had never considered tribalism and how I define the hierarchy in my relationships with others.
Paraphrasing Dr. Peterson, there are 3 ways to define how we interact with others:
- As their tyrant
- As their slave
- Mutual negotiation
In grouping ourselves into tribes, we do fine with the negotiation part at first, but now we often see ourselves as tyrants to others. After all, if we are advocating for special treatment to prop up our tribe, we are putting down all other tribes. That is a tyrannical power trip.
Instead, I suggest that tribalism, for lack of a better word, is bad. Grouping ourselves with others removes the focus from the individual and places it on the group. Therefore by definition, in a group, an individual is less free.
I care about myself as an individual and I want the most freedom for myself possible. You should care about yourself as an individual and want the most freedom for yourself possible. These are not mutually exclusive. When we are apart we are both free and happy. When we encounter each other and both choose Mutual Negotiation, we are not forming a tribe, becoming a slave or becoming a tyrant. We are simply each still continuing to act in our own best interest.
Mutual negotiation in a tribeless society would benefit all human beings always. What could possibly be a better way of life? Yet so many of us do the exact opposite and actually aspire to join this tribe or that tribe. Do not fall victim to that trap. Tribalism will always lead to either slavery or tyranny. There are no other possible outcomes. Tribes cannot war if there are no tribes.