Joining a Tribe

Joining a Tribe

Yesterday we discussed distributed power, and we described the Get It Back (GIB) Tribe, the group of young people dedicated to eradicating the Major Myths of Conservatism and freeing the future from the Fear that darkens the hearts of conservatives.

Today we will treat the topic of joining a tribe such as the GIB Tribe.

What does it mean to join a tribe?

Seth Godin, the author who has written so much about the work, has also written extensively on the concept of the tribe. See, for instance, his little book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (New York: Penguin, 2008). A tribe, as he sees it, is a group of people who connect over a particular interest or way of viewing  things. Joining a tribe indicates both that you stand for something and that you want to align yourself with others to promote what you stand for.

A tribe is a group of people who share a common viewpoint, or see a common problem they want to solve, or imagine a common object they want to create, or participate in a common enthusiasm they want to deepen. They discover one another through social media or other virtual forms of communication, then coalesce into a “node” of activity related to their interest. Finally, they connect to other similar nodes that have coalesced around the problem or interest, either in reaction to the forming of the first node or independently.

The tribe is an exclusive entity: there are people in it and people out of it. In the case of the GIB tribe, the people potentially in it are young people who need to reclaim the potential for growth and creative living that has been stolen from them by the previous generation, together with older people who are capable of seeing the plight they have visited on their children and grandchildren. The people outside the tribe are Mythers, people of all ages whose world view is dominated by the fears that animate the Major Myths.

The tribe lives by keeping the fire at the heart of the group burning brightly, while at the same time handing off a bit of the flame to other groups that want to circle around the same fire. Around these fires, the members find warmth, companionship, intellectual stimulation, and creative encouragement by interacting with the ideas of others. And they develop a collective voice with which to speak to those who do not belong to the tribe.

On Monday we will explain how belonging to a tribe can magnify your voice.

Until Monday, then.

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