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Tribalism has come to the West Hostile and polarised, today's America reminds me of my Somalian clan

Credit: Brent Stirton/Getty


May 10, 2021   5 mins

About a decade ago, when I worked for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), I had to force myself to go to lunch with a friend. I dreaded the meeting because I knew that she was going to try to convince me to leave my job. AEI is a pro-business, conservative-leaning think tank in Washington, DC. My friend was an enthusiastic liberal.

After I had run out of excuses, the day arrived and, predictably, after a few minutes of the usual small talk, my friend launched into a tirade about the Iraq War, which several of my colleagues strongly supported.

“You don’t belong there, Ayaan,” she said.

I remember trying to steer the conversation on to actual policies. I had voted for supporting the American coalition in Iraq when I was a Member of Parliament in The Netherlands — and I started to explain why.

But she wasn’t interested in a rational discussion. She interrupted me mid-sentence, launching into a monologue about John Bolton, the former Ambassador to the United Nations and a fellow at AEI (and subsequently National Security Advisor to President Trump). Bolton, my friend insisted, was a loathsome, hateful, racist, neo-conservative warmonger. The list went on and on until eventually she said that he looked like a walrus with a moustache. You could tell by his physiognomy, she explained, that he was a psychopath.

“But what about the policies?” I responded, trying to redirect the conversation away from personalities. The more she spoke, the more I recognised her broad disposition as something I had experienced earlier in my life. Her attitude was almost entirely tribal. Two things, in particular, stood out: an almost blind hatred of a particular group (Republicans); and secondly, the use of deeply personal attacks on individual researchers to justify that hatred.

Today, ten years later, this attitude seems to be the prevailing norm. Numerous studies support the hypothesis that American life — not just politics, but life in general — has become deeply polarised. The deeply divided society we now live in increasingly reminds me of clan or tribal behaviour in Africa.

In Somalia, where I was born, my mother was blindly loyal to our clan. So much so that, apparently, she claimed she could detect the malicious intentions of an individual from a different clan just by the structure of his forehead. She would, for example, often warn my father that someone was trying to take advantage of him, purely by the way he frowned.

In Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman recounts meeting tribesmen in Baluchistan. What, they had asked Salzman, would he do if he faced a real danger in his home country? Well, Salzman replied, he would call the police. The tribesmen roared with laughter, then looked at him pityingly: “Oh no, no, no, they said: only your ‘lineage mates’ will help you.”

In tribal communities, neutral institutions of civil society that Westerners take for granted — such as the police, impartial courts, and the rule of law — simply do not, and cannot, exist. In such societies, everything is tribalised, and the task of building civic institutions is laden with difficulties.

In Somalia, I was taught to be suspicious of anyone from a different clan, to always think harm was coming my way and to be guarded against anyone that was “other.” I come from the Darod clan, and was taught to constantly listen to accents, examine face shapes and overanalyse all non-verbal cues, searching for any indications of a different tribe. I can still identify a Somali (and usually their clan) from across a room.

We were captives of an echo chamber, hearing constantly of the evils of the neighbouring Hawiye clan. We were taught from a young age that the Hawiye were coming to rape, rob, and destroy us. In response, we amassed weapons, hoarded food and exhorted young men (as young as 12) to join the military. The looming threat of the Hawiye was so great that my mother eventually sent my sister and me abroad.

In the end, because of such protracted tribal tensions, Somalia collapsed into civil war. Every attempt at mediation proved incapable of handling the deep-seated mistrust and hatred that accumulated by each clan over the years; tribal elders, reluctant to compromise, could not de-escalate the situation. With such high levels of distrust, the conflict spiralled into bloodshed.

While such violence is yet to seize America, all the tribalist ingredients are present. There is a blind commitment to one party or the other; emotions are running high; there is a lack of trust in civic institutions. If such tribalism isn’t overcome, it’s only a matter of time before the situation escalates.

Some of this has its absurd side: for instance, the strange ways that public-health measures such as mask-wearing and vaccination have become politicised, to the point that I know of fully vaccinated people in California who say they will continue to wear masks for fear of being mistaken for Republicans. Bizarre? Of course. But it is also symptomatic of a dangerous trend towards tribalism.

We are, I fear, close to the precipice of serious destabilisation. Many American cities are either militarised (Washington, DC), near a social boiling point (Minneapolis), or have capitulated to anarchist protests and pressures (Portland, Seattle).

These tribal quirks run deep on both sides of the aisle. Many Republicans continue to dispute the legitimacy of the result of the last presidential election; while on the Left, the woke are eroding the Democratic Party from the inside, as identity politics displace universalist aspirations. Some citizens are viewed as part of oppressive groups, some as part of oppressed groups. A person’s individual actions can generally do little to change the immutable characteristics of the tribe to which they belong.

Just as I noticed with my friend over lunch, there is frequently a visceral hostility towards anyone who leans even slightly toward the Right. Today, especially in academia, those who don’t conform with the “progressive” narrative, no matter how ethical they might be as individuals, are vilified as racists, white supremacists, homophobes or transphobes. Individuals can be attacked, cancelled, disinvited or even fired for the tiniest of verbal transgressions.

This kind of intolerance has for some time been apparent in high schools, too. Another friend of mine has a daughter who attends a private school outside of San Francisco. Last year, when it was revealed that she had expressed mild support for President Trump, she was pushed down the stairs by a fellow pupil.

It was a horrifying and, one hopes, rare incident. And yet there is something very striking about tribalism: it is a basic human trait, like skin colour or gender. However, despite being the natural state of being for many humans, it is not a positive or helpful trait, particularly in modern times. Tribalism developed as an imperfect social survival mechanism in the early stages of human civilisation. But in modern times, it can lead to social disintegration and severe violence between groups.

The beautiful story of America, the reason so many people around the world still yearn to come here, is to a large extent founded on our rejection of tribalism and our establishment of civic, neutral institutions, based on the fundamental principle of equality before the law. These institutions are imperfect, of course, but they are far superior to the tribalism that rules other parts of the world. Our overcoming of such a natural urge is an accomplishment.

As “woke” politics strengthens its grasp on our institutions — extending beyond the educational system into the media and now many corporations — that accomplishment is being eroded. The presumption of innocence, the commitment to blind justice and the whole notion of due process are all falling victim to spurious notions of “equity” and “anti-racism” — both of which carry within them an implicit intention to discriminate on racial lines.

If we continue to slip down this path, the thirst for tribalism will be unquenchable. That’s why moderate liberals need to stand up to the destructive forces that are taking over the Democratic party, just as moderate conservatives need to resist the tribal impulse that often grows in reaction to the other side’s excesses.

In Somalia, we failed to do this. In America it is imperative that we succeed.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an UnHerd columnist. She is also a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Founder of the AHA Foundation, and host of The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. Her new book is Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights.

Ayaan

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A good summary, and all this is known to those of us who follow the US podcasters, although I suspect that some of them sometimes exaggerate for effect. (Well, for clicks).
It all depends on how far the ‘woke’ ideology is pushed. As a belief system it denies reality to an even greater extent than communism. As such, if pushed too far it will inevitably destroy the US. Meanwhile, of course, the political classes of all western countries have been frantically importing millions of people whose mindset is, essentially, tribalist. Thus you will inevitably end up with tribalism.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

No, the writer is wrong. I have lived in actual Tribal places and Tribe means SO much more than this causation/correlation failure of an analogy. What she mistakes for tribalism (Which is a long time separation in culture, dialect, myth, history, genetics, custom, geography, marriage…) is in fact

‘Divide and Conquer’
The MSM runs the world today, and it is on a mission to destroy the Western Middle Class, as they are the only power block unified, productive, moral, able to keep the National power in the hands of the citizens. If they are broken the Government (and its masters, the Elite) will take control as the Russian and Chinese did during Communism, and European rulers did during Feudalism. Once the normal person depends on gov handouts they are Owned.
This is much more akin to Johnathan Swift’s story of Lilliput and the Big end- Little end Wars. The nation had been divided into the two groups depending on which end of the egg they broke, the big or little. Civil ward fought, rulers displaced and killed….

Like USA the people were culturally the same, there was no tribalism, they had just been polarized intentionally by MSM and social media. This is NOT Tribal, it is pure manufactured by the education and media industries, cynicall, and evil.

Read on the horrible beginning of all this ‘The Frankfurt School’ and then the Frankfurt School 11 points’. In the 1950’s the ‘School’ moved to Columbia University and then spread like a plague through out academia, and so the schools, and so now, the West being destroyed.

Maskers, non-maskers, same as big ends-little ends, not tribal, but people made to hate each other by the media for nefarious reasons..

arthur brogard
arthur brogard
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I don’t agree. I think she’s quite right.
Your postulate: that the media did it, is wrong. The people did it.
And they did it because it is the American way.
And that ‘way’ is violence.
America is devoted to guns and violence, mythical cowboy past, mythical super heroes who always win in combat, are always in combat, mythical belief in American combat superiority throughout history, mythical belief that they’re a Christian nation with god on their side and a total devotion to ‘getting ahead’ at all costs.
The whole, the total American ethos is that anyone can succeed and success is measured as wealth and the whole thing seen as a struggle with your peers – hence combat.
Devoted to combat, to black and white, to right and wrong, to good and bad, simple either/or choices and mired deep, deep, deep in myths they can come nowhere near rational contemplation of anything at all.
‘Tribalism’ is inherent in their system from the word go. Only two tribes, ever: with us or against us. That’s their basic mindset.
That’s what they’re brought up on.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Exactly why was this conspiracy unleashed? Parts of the West destroying itself? Human societies have always been divided. I agree about the dangers of identity politics, but don’t mistake them for puppets.

The 1970s were pretty divided as well, with. Left wing people in particular hating Conservatives

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

the political classes of all western countries have been frantically importing millions of people whose mindset is, essentially, tribalist.

Excellent informative article (as always with Ali), but what took me aback was less the woke-unwoke / left-right analogy with the “West”, but that what’s described in the article is the mentality in present-day Africa. Where the political classes are importing masses of people from.
The other week i spent an insomniac night with reading a long, dry, factual and informative study on the Rwandan genocide (penned shortly afterwards). Now reading Ali’s piece i can understand that study a lot more.

In tribal communities, neutral institutions of civil society that Westerners take for granted — such as the police, impartial courts, and the rule of law — simply do not, and cannot, exist. In such societies, everything is tribalised, and the task of building civic institutions is laden with difficulties.

^ Something the wellmeaning “philanthropists” and “humanitarians” should take heed of before they try to inflict and impose their version of Civic Utopia upon Africa.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

An interesting perspective from Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I don’t know about other western countries, but here in America much of the tribalism we now see is largely an overreaction to the cult of ‘diversity’ which aggressively prohibits group-allegiance. Notions of national or cultural pride are prohibited lest they exclude someone, and requiring new immigrants to learn US values and customs is decried as racist and discriminatory.
But the fact is people still want to belong to a group with shared values and norms. Americans long ago solved this problem, to some extent, through religion. Religious belief and practice is (so far) rigorously protected by the US and state constitutions. Unlike in countries such as the UK, where most Christian worshippers are part of a few, long-established religious traditions (e.g., Church of England), Americans simply create new churches, often with a strongly fundamentalist tone, that embody the values they cherish. The churches are as much social clan as an expression of religious belief.
The more the culture warriors decry anything that remotely resembles tribalism, the more people turn to their churches to find social groups that reflect their values and provide a sense of community. This is not inherently a bad thing, but as with the progressive vs, conservative divide mentioned by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the trend is becoming ever more extreme.
Division in America has become so much the norm that I find it hard to believe, as the author suggests, we might be on the verge of civil war. But I must admit that relatives outside the US suggested that possibility to me at the beginning of the year if Biden doesn’t succeed in unifying the country. We have seen how Biden is progressing in that regard, so maybe I should mentally steel myself for the possibility of more civil unrest.

Last edited 3 years ago by J Bryant
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

There will be continuing civil unrest. But not everywhere. It’s pretty obvious where it will occur. No one is required to live with civil unrest, although you can choose to do so. Many Americans appear to be voting with their feet not to do so.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago

Annette: In many of your posts you indicate that those of us who do not like living in places like Portland can either vote in better mayors, governors etc or vote with our feet . I would happily vote for better candidates but where are they? Should I move to New York with Andrew Como and Bill deBlasio and a cost of living most cannot afford? Should I move to a state with gun laws I support which borders a state with concealed weapons laws which I do not?
You seem to believe that moving from one state to another is as easy as choosing one Ben and Jerry’s ice cream over another. You do realize that the cost to move is way beyond my means and the means of many others I know who are displeased with portland. and at 83 it is not likely I will do so.
Many of us are working hard to improve the quality of our candidates and do away with the nightly riots. We prefer to stay and make changes rather than give up and move and bring our problems with us as has happened in Austin.
People do bring with them the very things they disliked about their previous home. I used to live in Prescott Az which was a lovely quiet town. Then Californians fled their problems and moved there in huge numbers only to find that they missed all of the stuff they had in California. So they destroyed a mountain to bring in a shopping center, raised home prices beyond the reach of many of the natives and increased the traffic to LA proportions.
If only your solutions were so easy.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

“Should I move to New York with Andrew Como and Bill deBlasio and a cost of living most cannot afford?”
what would you get there that you don’t already have in Portland? They are equally dysfunctional. You’d have to vote with your feet to a non dysfunctional place, not just shift from one dysfunctional place to another.
Plenty of peaceful states and cities between Portland and NY to choose from. You misunderstood me if you believe I meant move from one dysfunctional city to another and expect something different. The state you live in really matters as far as peacefulness and livability.
Moving across town isn’t easy, much less moving states. But lots of people do it, even during a pandemic. It all depends on what you are willing to abide. Perhaps in your case, you are not as anxious to escape the dysfunction as say, a couple with young children to worry about. Or someone who wants to start a business and needs some assurance that it can be protected by law enforcement.
I would not call Austin functional these days (for precisely the reasons you mention, too many refugees from dysfunctional cities and states who didn’t understand what they were trying to escape) although most of Texas is. But even Austinites are catching on. Oracle is moving out of Austin, taking 8,500 jobs to Nashville, a much more livable city.
“We prefer to stay and make changes rather than give up and move and bring our problems with us”
Thats a choice you are free to make of course, as I said. And for the record, those of us living in peaceful places are not advertising for migrants from places like Portland to bring anything with them. Most non-dysfunctional locations will not allow it, in fact.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

“Should I move to a state with gun laws I support which borders a state with concealed weapons laws which I do not?”
I would not live in a state which does not fallow the constitution. My State is a ‘Constitutional Carry State’, which means everyone may carry a loaded, concealed, firearm or weapon, with out ANY permitting at all. Just go to a gun show, buy a private sale pistol (no documentation,l just a cash sale), load it, put it in your car, pocket, holster, purse and carry it. ALL LEGAL.

I do not keep a weapon ready, I never even lock my house doors or truck, my policy is to trust people, but I believe in the right to self defense if you need it, and I would die to protect the USA Constitution if called on to do so by the Government.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The comment you quoted was not mine, but Dorothy’s. What I would say to her is that I choose to live in a state whose gun laws follow the constitution and are combined with low gun crime. The level of gun crime cannot be ignored. But that is my choice, she was asking what her choice should be. And that’s totally up to her. In her case, I believe she should live in a state where she agrees with gun laws. Whether she considers the level of gun violence in that choice is up to her.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

sorry, wrong reply. But still – I believe in the Constitution! And gun control violates that, just as when the ‘Public Square’ of Twitter and Facebook censor free speech it violates the First amendment! Dorsey and Zuckerberg should be tried as traitors for violating the constitution. They are evil and are a very great part of why this article has been written.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m with you on the Constitution. Without it, we would be truly lost.

samsa
samsa
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

This Portlander agrees wiith you, Dorothy. Even if we throw reality to the wind and assume that a 60-year-old just years from retirement can walk away from retirement and find a new job in another city or state in the midst of an epidemic and its accompanying economic crash–a big “if”–that other city and state will still face the same national problems.
It will still be ruled by the same unchecked fourth branch of government, aided and abetted by abdication by the other three. It will still be the target of the increasingly violent urban mob, who control the state house and promote the interests of domestic and foreign agencies and actors over the interests of citizens.
It will still get all of its teachers, administrators and physicians from the same elite universities that have chucked the scientific method and constitutional principles in favor of Gender Cultism and Critical Race Theory.
Having watched for 35 years now the drastic demographic change here in Portland, what I can see of it is a delegation by the working class of our state’s resources and power to those who most mean them harm. A drain of well-meaning but often unengaged people who believe that problems won’t follow them, and who never bother to notice that those who now throng Boise have not brought with them, to their new home, any humility or object lessons about the part they played in making their last city the kind of place they wanted to leave.
At some point one has to stand in the place where they are, and deal with what’s dealt them. Have the difficult conversations. Face the censorship and the wrath. Live not by lies.
And, when they do, Ali and her growing number of moral-relativist allies, who know better, will call it tribalism and accuse us of being just as bad as those who smash windows, burn buildings, bludgeon people from behind, and drag drivers from their cars–characterizing domestic terrorism as a “side” of an “aisle.”
It’s depressing.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

But the fact is people still want to belong to a group with shared values and norms.
those groups used to be known as communities. They did not fixate on skin color, sex, or some other immutable characteristic and they allowed for some deviation of opinion across topics. Today, complete unwavering belief to every single aspect of the dogma is required. Look at people on the left who don’t think boys should compete in girls’ sports.
Thus far, the unrest is confined to blue cities and the locals trashing their own backyards. If those people move into different locales, it may well get ugly. It’s going to have to get ugly to some degree if any order is to be restored. The baying mob is not going home just because it’s asked nicely to do so.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Lekas
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If you move into a locale where rioting and looting and attacking people in the streets is not permitted, and you riot and loot and attack people, you get arrested. This is the difference between what happens in places like Portland and the rest of the vast majority of the country. This is also why people who want to riot and loot and destroy businesses congregate in locales where it’s permitted. There’s a reason they don’t move to peaceful cities. If people want to self-select to live in Thunderdome, seems like that’s up to them, isn’t it?
Non-Americans forget how incredibly big this country is. A few spots of dysfunction don’t disturb the vast majority of Americans. I don’t even think about anything like that happening where we live.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago

This is exactly right. I reside in rural Ohio. Some Antifa were protesting in a very small town in the southern part of the county. The Sheriff advised those protesting (no locals among them) that everyone in the village owned a firearm. The rabble packed up and moved on in short order.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sharona

Precisely. Life isn’t cheap in rural Ohio. People want and need their businesses and others are not allowed to take them away from them. Antifa stays where it’s welcome. And that’s the way it should be.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sharona

Here in rural WA State, the antifa types rented a bus and drove out from Portland to a town 20 miles away to show their colors. They were met by a dozen men holding AR-15s. None of them pointed at the bus or its riders, who nonetheless immediately got back onto their bus and left.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jake Jackson
James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

A few spots of dysfunction don’t disturb the vast majority of Americans”
Except, turning a blind eye makes them more powerful and more power changes laws. Leave it too long and you will be like Portland whether you like it or not

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

If we were not living in a republic, I’d probably agree with you.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

I live a thousand feet down a driveway in a secure, undisclosed rural location. I don’t want antifa to show up, but if they do I will consider them target practice. These people aren’t the brightest bulbs on the porch, but I doubt they’re stupid enough to venture too far.

Ruth Weiner
Ruth Weiner
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Thank you Ayaan Hirsi Ali! I have admired your writing for a long time. Like you and many others, I am an immigrant, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria, and a naturalized American citizen. We — my parents and I– came to the U.S. to escape certain death rather than for a “better life.”
Your observation about tribalism is spot on! I do, however, see evidence that influence of tribalism in the U.S. is considerably less in much of the U.S. than in the Northeast Coast and California. The U.S. Constitution and state governments are the sources of political power; the Presidency is not, even though the current incumbent is trying to stretch the power if his office to the breaking point.
However, the tribalism has to be stopped. We have let it go on too long, continuing to demonstrate the “Oh. they will get over it” attitude that is much too prevalent in the U.S. In a way. the pandemic has served as a wakeup call to pay close attention to what the government — the unelected “deep state” — does and how that has a long-term effect on American lives. I remain optimistic, for the time being.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ruth Weiner

My maternal grandfather was an Austrian refugee of the great inflation of 1923. My Mexican landscaper, a refugee of the narcotraffickers, is here on a green card and becomes eligible for citizenship this year. I am haranguing him to do it.

“Jose, you are already a great American,” I tell him. “You are exactly the sort of person we all want here. The only difference between you and my grandfather is the country you came from. I want you to be a citizen.”

zac chang
zac chang
3 years ago
Reply to  Ruth Weiner

The current incumbent hasn’t stretched his powers to say…whipping up a crowd of domestic terrorists into an insurgency in the capitol yet though has he?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

There’s an upside: That “civil war” will be like most of our crime: black on black. Why? Because they know that the rest of us are armed to the teeth. Play around in the ghettos, but get seriously out of line and then it will become quite real.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I can’t speak for the US, JB, but in Britain diversity very much encourages group allegiance. That is the irony of the multiculturalism agenda: by insisting that all cultures are as valid as the indigenous culture, it has discouraged integration and cross-community understanding. Instead of a multicultural society , we have a multiplicity of monocultures.

zac chang
zac chang
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes believing in medieval mumbo jumbo and a fantasy friend in the sky will solve all the worlds problems bwah ha ha

nick woods
nick woods
3 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

Islam?

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Group allegiance is encouraged in the US on a racial basis if you aren’t white

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago

Clannishness is inherently about relatedness. What has torn America apart is ideology, not tribalism. With ideological polarisation you can switch sides, just by changing what you believe. A Hawiye can’t become a Darod by adopting Darod values. The ‘Great Awokening’ is much more akin to a religious conflict, such as the Protestant Reformation, than to tribal conflict.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Ali is missing the fact that the US is a republic made up of sovereign states. It’s the saving grace of the US and what makes us able to live in the same country. The idea that one state would attack others in a civil war is ludicrous.
What happens in California or Chicago or New York is up to the people who live there. If Portlanders are okay with nightly riots and property destruction, and attacking the mayor’s residence, it’s their choice to make. The consequences are theirs alone. The rest of the country doesn’t obsess over the dysfunction in such places. We see it but it doesn’t affect our lives. We are living peacefully in states and cities that don’t permit rioting and looting and nightly shootings.
As to permanent mask wearing if people in some states want to do that, how is that a problem? Should everyone in every state have to do the exact same thing about masks? It’s their right to wear a mask for whatever reason they want – forever if they’d like. That’s not tribalism, that’s simply making a choice. That’s freedom. If a state wants to pass a permanent mask law, they can do that too. It affects no one else in other states.
Visceral hostility is part of some people’s personality but you don’t have to choose to associate with them. Why would anyone choose to have lunch with a hostile person? If you do, have you not asked for a hostility filled lunch? Friends are not viscerally hostile.
Ali’s story about a child being pushed down the stairs over politics, it’s predictable where that happened. The cities she mentions as being militarized, engulfed in anarchy or near a social boiling point, all have one thing in common, which the author neglects to mention. Three guesses as to what that is. You can’t riot and loot all over the US, you have to choose a place where that behavior is tolerated. When Ali worked for the AEI, she was in one of these seriously dysfunctional places. But these locations are the minority and those who choose them know what they are getting.
Where I live people of all political persuasions live together peacefully because you are expected to do so. You cannot use violence to get your way, it’s not allowed and you go to jail if you try it. This protects everyone,
In Somalia, the violence and dysfunction were everywhere, there was no place to escape it. The US is markedly different.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

What’s happening in Portland, in particular, is shocking. But I agree; non-Americans need to understand that cities like this are far from typically American. There are many places still where things like this just don’t happn because they’d never be tolerated for a second.
All it would take to bring peace back to Portland’s streets would be one show of overwhelming force by law enforcement. If the consequences of violent lawlessness are made unpleasant enough – in the form of lengthy prison sentences or (if arrest is resisted) painful injuries, the behaviour won’t be repeated. This is what I find so weird about the whole thing. When I was young, people engaged in rioting (or just tagged along for the excitement) in the full knowledge that they were risking getting their ribs broken, their faces punched, or their heads bashed in. Or felled by rubber bullets, or sickened by tear gas, or temporarily blinded with pepper spray. Or worse. The police had a job to do, and dealing with riots seldom brings out the best in police officers. It’s not a normal part of their work and most don’t do it very well. Nobody – much less the media – was shocked when these things happened. Rioters who got injured by police weren’t held up as martyrs, not even by their supporters. It was a dangerous game and everyone knew that.
I too have to conclude that the majority of people in Portland are OK with it, though. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t keep voting in politicians like Ted Wheeler, whom they know are going to excuse and enable this nonsense to continue.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Yes, it looks like violence and dysfunction are just habits and this may be where the author was going as well. Portland and Somalia have much in common in this respect, violence has come to be expected as a means of public intimidation. Life is cheap in Portland. If there is no will to stop violence and dysfunction, it won’t be stopped. But this is a choice, made by local people in Portland and no one else. And a conscious choice for Americans in Portland because unlike in Somalia, Americans can escape the violence and dysfunction without leaving the country. This was not true in Somalia.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Exactly. The people of Portland, Seattle, SF and Chicago etc have consistently voted for the squalor and violence that blights their cities, so they can’t really complain.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Except that very vocal democrat supporters like Bette Midler are among a growing group selling up in these cities because they claim ‘its time for someone else to enjoy this home’ not this city is such a mess ( helped by them) I’d better capitalize and leave as soon as possible.Then they start turning the places they move to from safe’conservative’ areas to something a bit more ‘ vibrant’

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

There is some hope. According to Elijah Schaffer, 7 out of 10 of those who have fled CA for Texas plan to keep voting Republican. And, of course, so many people are leaving CA that it will lose a Congressional seat.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Hopefully otherwise they are just extending the problem. There will be nowhere left to go to except the mountains with the bears and the bald eagles-who I understand are not natural ‘sharers’.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Conflating Portland and Somalia is so insane it is like saying the sun and moon are similar as they are round.

zac chang
zac chang
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes but these are people who are terrified of the world being much more complex and nuanced than they thought it was

Susan Mills
Susan Mills
3 years ago

My husband and I lived in Portland for 18 years, a very beautiful city with a fine and easily traversed downtown and the best bookstore in the country. We left it 10 years ago to retire in my homeland, Canada.
The problems I do recall when we were there was the proliferation of homeless people even so far back as the 90s. SF and LA wouldn’t allow transients and Portland became known as a city that not only allowed homeless people, but also provided social services. It didn’t seem like a good solution even then, but people either put up with street begging or moved to the suburbs and never went downtown.
From what I understand of recent developments nobody came forward in the last civic election to oppose the current mayor. It seems to me there’s a general lack of foresight and maturity in many of our local and national leaders these past few decades.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

You are not allowed to call them ‘homeless people’ any more. The correct/approved terminology is ‘transients’. I suppose some of them are ‘trans transients’.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Or “residentially challenged” perhaps?

Susan Mills
Susan Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The definition of the word ‘transient’ as I recall means moving through a space – the exact opposite in my experience of how people without homes live in the world. Perhaps indigent is a better descriptor.
I realize this may be off topic but at the same time social divisions among people equate with higher levels of violence. It’s also true that people who have nothing or feel they have no hope are easily manipulated by people whose goals may be less than benevolent.
The way I see it is that there are natural divisions among those we’ve come to call ‘homeless’ in the recent past:
1. Those who have lost their homes because of financial issues – no more friends with couches to spare.
2. Those who have chosen to be non-rent or mortgage payers because they prefer the perceived freedom.
3. The chronically mentally ill and addicted.
I abhor the idea that small businesses and local municipal offices have been attacked in Portland and in other cities but the frustration expressed by those who perform these acts is an indication of general rage against an entire system.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

Indigent just means poor. You can be indigent but not homeless. You can be homeless but not indigent. The county I live in once found a woman in truly terrible condition living on the streets and begging in businesses. Because that’s illegal where I live, she was taken into protective custody, and a place was located for her in a shelter. Come to find out, she was worth millions and her family had long been searching for her. She was mentally ill which was how she fell through the cracks. But she was most definitely not indigent.
Transient is actually a better descriptive word for those without homes because they do not stay in one place. Either they are not allowed to do so by local law enforcement, or they wind up in a shelter where they are also transient or the weather prevents them from staying in one place for long.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Susan Mills
Susan Mills
3 years ago

Thanks for the clarification, Annette. Nevertheless, no matter how we define a word the large scale problem remains.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

In some places, yes I agree it’s a big problem. And those areas do indeed need to take action. But it’s not actually a big problem everywhere. In the US, homelessness is concentrated. It generally flourishes where it’s better accepted. In SF, for example, people can simply set up tents and live on the streets, wherever they want to, blocking entrances to businesses. If you allow people to do that, some will. But you cannot do that everywhere in the US.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

I’d love to live in a place where that’s not allowed, and where aggressive street begging isn’t allowed. Compassion fatigue sapped up every last vestige of sympathy from me at least a decade ago.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

CATO
40% crazy
30% addicted
20% hoboes
10% out of luck
Government can help the 10%, but that’s all.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

That’s a fascinating insight. I’m a Brit (which I only mention to distinguish the point), but here the thinking (of ordinary people that is) is quite the opposite, we (feel) that we understand the issues of the 90%, and have measures in place (effective or not) to deal with them, it is the 10% you mention that we seem unable to mange or understand, especially at a governmental level, where they tend to be used as political ammunition, rather than people, sadly.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

I don’t think there’s any question that the majority of people who are living on the streets, or illegally squatting, are doing so because of a long, long series of very bad choices. Among our many homeless people here in Vancouver there are many who were once in supportive housing, but got evicted because they kept violating the rules. Aside from the substance abuse issues, there’s a high rate of antisocial personality disorder, aka sociopathy, among this population. This is not like other mental health problems, like schizophrenia, which can be treated with medication. These are severely damaged people who have no empathy, and no conscience. Theft, threats, assault, and sexual assault are commonplace in homeless encampments. Everyone claims to hate the police, but their help is called for constantly. People who end up on the streets through no fault of their own do everything they can to leave them as soon as they can, to get away from those predators. In an earlier, less tolerant time, many of them would be in prison serving long sentences, or in mental institutions. Not saying I want to see a return to that, but what we have now is the alternative.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

Well Vancouver Canada with its needle excahnges and down town homeless hassling resturant users were just like Portland in the 1990’s

The difference with Vancouver is its ‘Minority’ are Hong Kong Chinese who hate underclass – so some balance is kept. If Vancouver was just White it would be SF and Portland on steroids.

Susan Mills
Susan Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Hi Sanford. Having lived in Victoria, BC the past few years we’ve seen the city parks taken over by 24/7 campers after our mayor and council lifted restrictions in the spring of 2020. The province overruled the municipal officials this spring saying there’d be housing provided for all the unhoused. Unsurprisingly, as word got out people could live free in Beacon Hill Park more campers are moving in all the time.
We worry about the SF Portland scenario ourselves.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

Many city councils across North America have been taken over by slates of social-justice far-leftists intent on creating some kind of utopia that always swiftly degenerates into a dystopia. Victoria (I used to live there, too) seems to be one of them.
I don’t know where or when this whole idea started that cities owed it to everyone within their limits to “provide housing”. Who is going to pay to build that housing? Where is it going to be built? At what point are you going to say “enough” as more and more unskilled, unemployable people swarm into the city from elsewhere demanding the right to a place to live?
Maybe I just wasn’t raised to see housing as something you expected the government to “provide”, but as something you find and pay for yourself, with something called a job. And if you can’t afford to live in a particular city because the rents are too high, you move somewhere else.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Mills

Just a few years ago I remember Portland being lauded in the media as one of the few cities that had successfully addressed the homeless problem in the city centre, by constructing fully-serviced tiny-home or manufactured housing “villages” complete with all needed social supports, on the outskirts of the city, as transitional housing for homeless people trying to recover from addiction or to to get back into the job market. What happened to them; are they still there? Personally I am always very skeptical when I hear about these projects. For one thing, there are never enough of them to make a dent in the problem, and for another, many homeless with addiction issues aren’t motivated enough to get clean and don’t want to give up their freedom, so they don’t want to live in these places where there are rules against drugs, alcohol, or smoking, and they’re expected to go to classes or look for jobs, rather than just sit around all day.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kathy Prendergast
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

According to Bret Weinstein, the person opposing Ted Wheeler as mayor was even more unpalatable.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

She was indeed. There was no rational choice, as with most elections.

zac chang
zac chang
3 years ago

A bit like old Trumpy excused and enabled it on 6th Jan?sounds like tribalism to me 🙂

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

Naive I think Annette. In America the real power is slowly but surely moving from States to Washington.
It is what leftists do. Long March and all that….

Last edited 3 years ago by James Rowlands
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

It’s just factual. Americans can choose non dysfunctional states and cities. And they do judging by the census results. Dysfunctional states send very clear signals of their condition so they are very easy to spot and avoid. Somalis did not have that option, there was nowhere to go to get away from dysfunction.
Surely there is an attempt to force one size fits all policies but states still have sovereignty. For example, several states are stopping the extra unemployment payments because businesses in those states cannot find workers who are being paid more to stay home than to work. And they’re paying back to work bonuses. Subsequently these states will be ahead of others who maintain higher unemployment, higher welfare payments and the dysfunction that comes from large numbers of people not working. Particularly young men who don’t do well floating around without a job.
Another example is gun rights with states passing 2nd amendment protections. Election integrity laws as well. If states want permanent mask mandates they can pass them into law. And those who don’t want permanent masking have lots of choices of where to find that. It’s the US, something for everyone.
Dysfunctional violent states cannot create dysfunction and violence in other states. The left cannot erase the constitution.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

“The left cannot erase the constitution.”
You sure about that? Biden is the glove puppet don’t forget.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Maybe if they got two thirds of the states to dispense with the constitution. Think that’s likely?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

Highly unlikely.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Is Biden still living or is that a hologram we occasionally see?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

And they are appealing to people who go in for person attacks. However they don’t like the criticism directed towards them-I happened to mention that Starmer comes over as rather’chilly’ in public and you would have thought I had criticized their first-born. However left wing parties are supported by many in the media, especially actors , so you would think they know the value of good PR?

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Divide then conquer

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

 Should everyone in every state have to do the exact same thing about masks? The left would emphatically scream “yes.” It’s been doing so since the start and hasn’t let up. And it’s not like red states are free of people who think this way; those folks are just less common than they are in, say, Portland.
Ali’s story about a child being pushed down the stairs over politics, it’s predictable where that happened. I’m sorry, but we hand wave what is assault at the very least because of the location? Pushing someone over politics is psychotic. I’m in a red state but ever here there Biden signs. There were also zero cases of assault over that.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes, the left would scream yes and this is why it’s so great that the US is a republic and it offers choice. If people want to live directed to wear masks permanently they can do so. They can also do so on their own without being told to do so.
Red states offer choice. While people on the left can live in them, they have to live with the freedoms associated with them. This was my entire point. The author misses this about the US which makes it radically different from Somalia where people had no escape.
In my view, recognizing that it is unsurprising that a child could be assaulted in SF over politics is not hand waving. Of course it’s psychotic. It’s Somalia-like except there you’d have been more than pushed down stairs. Do you feel it’s better NOT to recognize that actions like this are associated with pathologies common in some areas of the US? But again, people are choosing this, they are choosing to have this be accepted practice in some areas.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

I agree that people living in those areas are getting what they voted for, and any sympathy for them has long since been exhausted. Perhaps the following is where my confusion lay:
Do you feel it’s better NOT to recognize that actions like this are associated with pathologies common in some areas of the US? In a sane world, a schoolhouse assault over politics would be heard as a shrieking cry that a major problem exists. Instead, it becomes more a case of “what do you expect?” Must the crazies kill a few people before the pendulum swings back? Increasingly, it appears that the answer is yes.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I don’t think we need a child pushed down the stairs over politics to hear a shrieking cry. After all, this is hardly new behavior. I didn’t say what do you expect. I said it was no surprise as actions like this are associated with the pathological behavior commonly found in these areas. And it isn’t a surprise, is it?
Yes, the killing and attacks and property destruction and looting will go on in Portland and SF and Chicago and other dysfunctional cities as long as they are allowed to. Why would they magically disappear? Has anyone stopped the dozens of killings every weekend in Chicago?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Frankly, I am a bit surprised that someone would be shoved down stairs in a high school over politics. Perhaps that is naive on my part, having lived through times when people could disagree like rational adults.
The ongoing carnage in Chicago and other urban areas mostly emphasizes that black lives really don’t matter. Maybe that’s why a lot of black people have little use for BLM, a group that seems to get its biggest support from white beta people.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If you are surprised then you likely haven’t been paying much attention. Personally I cannot be repeatedly surprised by the same types of behavior.
And yes, sadly, life is very cheap in some places in the US. the student who pushed another student down the stairs will not go on to be a successful, mentally stable adult. This is how the pattern continues.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Brack Carmony
Brack Carmony
3 years ago

As to permanent mask wearing if people in some states want to do that, how is that a problem? Should everyone in every state have to do the exact same thing about masks?”
I feel you miss the point she was making about masks. It’s not that someone would choose to wear the mask that is the problem, it’s WHY they are making that choice. If someone decides they don’t want to wear green because they don’t like it that’s one thing, if they decide they don’t want to wear it because ‘Green’ has been co-opted by a local gang and to wear it would mean that you’re part of the gang, that environment is the problem.
The idea that one state would attack others in a civil war is ludicrous.”
I mean, how many wars in history have made sense? We try to rationalize them after the fact, but the majority of them are not started or perpetuated for grand ideals or honorable reasons.
“If you do, have you not asked for a hostility filled lunch? Friends are not viscerally hostile.”
Not all people are willing to cut someone out of their life because they will get into heated discussions, sometimes there is good reason to keep them in your life, even if you drastically disagree with them.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Brack Carmony

“It’s not that someone would choose to wear the mask that is the problem, it’s WHY they are making that choice”
no it really isn’t. In the US if you want to permanently wear a mask, you can. And you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it.
“We try to rationalize them after the fact, but the majority of them are not started or perpetuated for grand ideals or honorable reasons.”
but they all have one thing in common. A military. You’re thinking of states as countries. In this case, it would be one US state attacking another. With what military?
“Not all people are willing to cut someone out of their life because they will get into heated discussions,”
clearly. As in the author’s case. So again, the question you neglected to answer. Was she not asking for a hostility filled lunch? You can’t very well complain about a hostility filled lunch if you accept lunch invitations from hostile people, can you? Go if you want but please, no complaining that a hostile person was hostile.

Johnny Rottenborough
Johnny Rottenborough
3 years ago

The beautiful story of America is to a large extent founded on our rejection of tribalism and our establishment of civic, neutral institutions, based on the fundamental principle of equality before the law
America was founded by whites, who are the least ethnocentric (in your terminology, the least tribal) of all the races. As America becomes less white it will inevitably become more tribal, and the ‘beautiful story’ will become a horror story.
If it’s any comfort, all (formerly) white Christian countries are undergoing the same process of demographic demolition.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johnny Rottenborough
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Perhaps you didn’t think before you posted that. It’s a bit racist.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

My rule of thumb is this – if a person resorts to instant insults (you’re a racist etc) then they immediately identify themselves as being unable to debate like a grown up.
Do you refute the claim and if so, why?

Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Danny K

Yes I guess it shouldn’t be shocking at this point, it’s still better than the Guardian though where reading something that says as America becomes less white it will become a horror story, would not at all be surprising. It looks like a few others didn’t read it carefully. Either that or they agree that whiteness is the key to places not being horror stories.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

It’s the qualities that all the critical race theory hucksters associate with “whiteness”, i.e., with people of European origin (because we really are talking about culture and ethnicity here, not skin colour) – eg., punctuality, work ethic, delaying of gratification, saving money, owning property, traditional family values, self-sufficiency, belief in small government, right to self-defense, law and order, due process, education, patriotism, free speech, respect for authority, belief in monogamous marriage, etc. etc. – like they are actually negative traits rather than virtues, that keep nations from becoming “horror stories”. There’s nothing racist about pointing that out. Also, there are plenty of nonwhite countries – eg. Japan – that are very successful because they also embody many of those virtues.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Well I haved lived in other countries and every non-Western place is 1000X more racist than the West. There it is thought Good to be what we call racist, they think it means you love your people and nation. They think we are MAD for filling our country with many, many millions of people who have a history (in their lands) of being unsuccessful.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
3 years ago

Let me guess, you’ve never been to Belfast. Or Sarajevo.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Corrie Mooney

Or Stow-on-the-Wold?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

all (formerly) white Christian countries are undergoing the same process of demographic demolition.

Not all. Not my birth country Hungary, or the other V4 / V+ countries.

For much of the rest, i agree though.

Harry Potter
Harry Potter
3 years ago

Everyone I know who has run to the United States in pursuit of freedom to escape authoritarian rule in home now says Americans are completely insane. This country is hopeless.

A society with shallow historical tradition, a short-sighted small government that does nothing in nation-building, hollow cities and large numbers of small, isolated communities, and the education system and media controlled by large numbers of foreign immigrants/self-proclaimed “liberalism” elites, coupled with today’s social media as a catalyst, create the left-wing populism and extremism in the US today from my perspective.

Last edited 3 years ago by Harry Potter
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Harry Potter

You must be a Londoner. The arrogance is recognizable the world over.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

I am a ex-Londoner and London is MUCH WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people there have decided to self-genocide.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I got free pints in Scotland and in York for describing London as “a city with all four cheeks sucked in.” LOL

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

Good one! Mind if i nick it?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

The key for Americans traveling in Europe is to figure out the, um, tribal divisions and hop a ride. I’m here to tell you that it works. And yes, you can nick it. Now, if you go to Milan, casually mention that you’ve just been in Rome, and while the sites were fascinating, the city is full of garbage, and will someone please knock it off with all that olive oil? That’ll get you a glass of wine. LOL

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

Well, i’m a Hungarian traveling in the Shires hereabouts. (Once in Paris i was mistaken for a Parisian by rural French folks, that boosted my ego quite a bit.) Thanks for the Milan tip! Something similar worked mighty fine in Catalunya, full meal and rounds of wine for four (family trip).

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

It was on a business trip in Milan about 20 years ago when it hit me.

There I was at lunch with two Italian clients. I am a big traveler: all 50 states, half of Canada’s provinces, and 26 foreign countries. Including Hungary, by the way. I don’t know if you are aware of a Count Harazthy, a Hungarian who played a pivotal role in the early days of the California wine industry.

In any case, I love the tokaj. Virtually unknown here in the States, and that’s unfortunate, because tokaj is a world-class wine. I raise a toast to Hungary for that reason, but there are others, like Budapest. I am not much of an opera fan at all, but how could I pass up a ticket? It was fantastic!

Anyway, I’m at lunch, and I’m one of those Americans who was brought up to be an ambassador for my country when I go anywhere else. So, wanting to be anything other than the stereotypical ugly American oaf, I tell one of them that it was my third visit to Milan, and the food is out of this world. (I wasn’t lying. The food there is delicious.)

I’ve never been to Rome, I said, but I really want to go sometime. I was not only telling the truth, but who could object? Well, he did!

“Rome!” he said, as he spit on the floor and stomped on the stain with his foot. “They are nothing but a bunch of fat, olive oil-slurping peasants! Don’t go to Rome!”
Hey, at least I didn’t skip the wine and order a Coke.

I did go to Rome a few years after that, older and wiser. I got a complimentary glass of wine after telling the waiter that we’d just been in Milan, and that it was interesting but that I’d never encountered such snobbish people in my life. LOL

Last edited 3 years ago by Jake Jackson
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

Ha! Brilliantly played. The Italians have this rivalry about the other town / region, they are all “forestieri” (i.e. stinking savage peasants, not like us Florentines!!) – i think it has something to do with being city states until quite lately. Good to keep in mind, shall i ever come to some money (not likely)!
Sadly i haven’t travelled much myself, due to the aforementioned reason.
My secondary school art teacher was a relation / descendant to Count Haraszthy. (Excellent painter too, i think – hope – he’s still alive.) I hear you Americans have some superb wines yourselves, my good friend lives by the vineyards in California.
Good taste in wine – Tokaji is up with the bests on Earth. Hard to come by here in England too. The Tokaj region (North-East corner of Hungary) is my favourite part.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

Sorry for my bad spelling. I don’t know what it is about the Magyars and how they seem to drop a “z” into words at random. I will never get used to it, but I shouldn’t talk so much given how many contradictions and irregularities are part of the English language.

Haraszthy founded the Buena Vista winery in Sonoma, California. They have a little shrine to him. Unfortunately, I visited on a cold and rainy day so I didn’t linger outside. But it’s how I learned about Haraszthy. One of those “who the hell knew?” moments.

Fast forward to my visit to Budapest. I found the Hungarian national museum, and was on the lookout for any mention of the guy. Nothing, at least when I visited about 15 years ago.

So I went to the office and asked to speak to the director. I politely explained that I was an American tourist and was curious about the lack of recognition there. He seemed irritated, but maybe that’s a Hungarian national trait, like the goulash and the tokaj? LOL

I don’t know why people do or don’t do things, but you’d think that the Hugarian national museum might want to mention that a Hugarian was one of the founders of the California wine industry. By the way, Haraszthy made his first attempt in Wisconsin and failed. Went back home, and returned a few years later, but to California.

Poor guy. I grew up in Wisconsin. Lots of things you can grow there, but grapes aren’t one of them. Oh, they’ll grow but you don’t want to drink the wine. He learned! LOL

Last edited 3 years ago by Jake Jackson
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Harry Potter

Perhaps we should return to burn (torch*) the White House, Capitol and other Public buildings as we did on the night of August 24th, 1814 last?

(* translation for US readers).

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
3 years ago

What else are identity and gender politics for if not to divide and set faction against faction?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

I remember very well the build up to Iraq War. I opposed it party because I never served in the military (accusation of hypocrisy ) and partly because i found the argument about “we rebuild Germany/Japan we can rebuild Iraq” utterly risible. Germany, the land of quantum physics, work ethic, aspirin, and Gauss was compared to Iraq, a country of tribalism, cousin marriage and blood feuds.
Many of those people that supported the War now pretend that they did not. And they were and are (in large part) Republican voters. And by 2015/6 many of them had turned against the war and many (including President Trump – yes Trump!!!) lied about their support.
We have tribalism in USA for a simple reason – demographic change. White America is on the way of becoming a minority. I am a white American and I (eventually) will side with my tribe. But I hate many of these charlatans that make up the conservative movement. The ones that;
– never reformed immigration system (yes Trump is one of them)
-abandoned academia and culture to the left. There are the ones that opposed high culture (the redneck was the true American, the one that spoke Greek and Latin was a wimpy intellectual continental).
-cut taxes for no real reason and blew up budget holes from here to eternity
-wasted political capital fighting idiotic battles about evolution at school, gay marriage and so on…

to paraphrase the Great Bismarck the question facing America will only be solved by blood and iron. Voting will achieve nothing. Republicans in power have proven themselves to do absolutely nothing. The last president was too busy tweeting….

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

And they were and are (in large part) Republican voters
Like Hillary, John Kerry, and every other Dem who later ran for president, save Obama who was in IL at the time?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Obama won partly because he opposed the war.
you seem to have a comprehension problem:
And they were and are (in large part) Republican voters

not all, but most of them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

you keep claiming it was all, or mostly, Repub voters when the reality says otherwise. Every Dem but Obama was for the war, and he wasn’t in the Senate at the time so he could safely vote ‘present’ from Illinois. And there were Repubs/conservatives who were opposed to it.
We get it; you don’t like Repubs or the right, but it is clouding your commentary to the point of saying things that are demonstrably untrue.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Lekas
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

What part of “voter” you don’t understand?
I say voter you say “dems in the senate’
When the country turned on the War Republicans still won their heartland – the South and lost everywhere else. That is the proof.
P.S. I consider myself a Paleconservative (google it) but the current Republican party (and its entourage; talk radio, Fox News, etc.) is full of slow people.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

What part of “voter” you don’t understand?
The same left that embraced Cindy Sheehan under Bush shunned her when Obama came into office. When Bush declared ‘mission accomplished,’ were his chief critics on the right or left? If you want to say both parties are populated by unprincipled hacks save for a very small minority, then I’d agree.
The country turned because of two wars, both of which began to appear as they had no end because no one could define “victory.” And mid-terms always favor the out-party. Do you not recall the debacle for Dems after the passage of O-care, which I was told the public desperately wanted?
The same Trump who once favored Iraq also wanted to end our involvement in Afghanistan. The left attacked him for that, too, because the left would attack if he said water is wet. Now Biden sets a date and the previous critics are suddenly supporters.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Trump lied about his original support of Iraq War.
O-care has nothing to do with Iraq War – but sure show me the Republican “Repeal & Replace” – where is it?
Trumpcare?

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

If Obama “opposed the war,” he had a funny way of showing his “opposition.”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Didn’t Bismarck say Iron & Blood not the other way around?

How on earth your Commander in Chief could have been a ‘draft dodger’ certainly baffled many in this ‘Sceptered Isle’, but I suppose the same was true of Clinton.
Not a good report by any standards I think you will agree?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Our Commander in Chief had weak knees (Yes, trump)
Bush Jr. was a fighter pilot in the Texas National Guard
Clinton was the 60s generation, Vietnam was bad and he was/is a degenerate.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Exactly, thank you.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Tribalism has always been here. The left simply dropped its mask of tolerance during the Trump years, as the example of the girl being pushed down the stairs demonstrates. The cultish level of group think on the left has leeched out in attacking its own members who dare to stray from some tenet of the religion. And it is far more religion than politics.

Gandydancer x
Gandydancer x
3 years ago

In tribal communities, neutral institutions of civil society that Westerners take for granted — such as the police, impartial courts, and the rule of law — simply do not, and cannot, exist. 



So, given that in the US that ship has sailed and that we no longer have impartial courts and the rule of law… now what?

Dick Barrett
Dick Barrett
3 years ago

I don’t know why this writer portrays conservative tribalism as a reaction to liberal tribalism, when it can just as easily be explained as the reverse. In any case, I am hopeful that the tide of moral tribalism may begin to ebb and common sense will make a comeback.

John Jimenez
John Jimenez
3 years ago

Thank you Ayaan for pointing out how identity politics leads to “tribal” warfare. It can only be overcome by what institutions like Stanford once stood for, study, critical analysis, open and fair discussion, listening to those who are “different”, understand their experience. Thoughtful essays such as yours, on websites such as this, are a good way to overcome this.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  John Jimenez

They are doing exactly what you are asking – you just don’t like their interpretation of history.

ffxslim04
ffxslim04
3 years ago

It’s tough to argue against any of the points made in the article. In the US today, we are more likely to suffer discrimination and hatred due to party affiliation than any minority status. We were getting along fairly well until race or gender was injected into every social ill. What followed was a perceived social awareness coming from one party, and oppression from the other. With academia and media corporations feeding the narrative, it became impossible to have reasonable dialogue in the town square. It’s now an “Us versus Them” battle, all by design, in hopes that the warring tribes will toe the line. Divide and conquer strategy via brainwashing.

Savithri B
Savithri B
3 years ago

This is true of us in any part of the world. We all labour under the delusion that we are modern ‘civilized’ people. But scratch the surface, and there is a tribal in all of us. Any social change or trauma is enough to rip away the thin brittle veneer from us

Derrick Hand
Derrick Hand
3 years ago

I tried to explain the advantage of our republic to my German friends and how each state is basically a testing ground for what works and what doesn’t. We don’t necessarily have to wait until a wrongheaded federal policy painfully plays out. We can watch and learn from the idiots of another state, as they suffer under their own stupidity, at the state, county or city level. But the bigger picture, I believe, is that classical liberalism that has devolved into our current political liberal/conservative rift, has run its coarse. It is based on the blind belief in several patent fallacies that we have been able to comfortably entertain prior to the world population explosion that developed under post WWII Pax Americana. Now cultures overlap and crowd each other beyond artificial borders, and irreconcilable differences and the failure of democracy and the world economy are creating pressures that are unavoidable either by vote or by foot. Reversion to tribalism is the logical and unavoidable outcome. We should plan accordingly to the extent that we can.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 years ago
Reply to  Derrick Hand

I have upticked you not because I agree with your comments (I do, some) but because I am a former longtime derrickhand and driller myself.
Tribalism at work!

fxzzqr55wn
fxzzqr55wn
3 years ago

“While such violence is yet to seize America, all the tribalist ingredients are present.” This is spot on. Cases in point: Portland, Kenosha, and DC.

Sadly, the tribal members have no clue they are being played by forces that are all about division and conflict. We need to understand the conflict is NOT Republicans vs Democrats but, rather, good vs evil.

The political war, race war, and gender war are completely manufactured, designed to encourage us to devour ourselves. This is a time for discernment — the other side has succeeded in hiding the truth and even changing the definition of the word “truth.” Our mass media is beyond complicity in the constant barrage of disinformation; these platforms are now plainly aligned with the strong arm of the Orwellian Thought Police.

Forget civil war. We are fully engaged in another WORLD war — quite different than anything we’ve seen in the past, but a world war nonetheless. America has been invaded not by land or sea, but by years of psychological warfare. It’s horribly naive to assume federalism and our Constitution will save us when the checks and balances — in every branch of government — have demonstrably failed us! No. It’s up to US to save the country we’ve taken for granted.

Wake up people. The enemy has breeched the gate. All hands on deck.

Steve Payne
Steve Payne
3 years ago
Reply to  fxzzqr55wn

With all due respect it’s this type of hyperbole that creates the problem. It is the responsibility of those with power to work to unite not divide. Unfortunately Trump actively promoted division. Let us hope that Biden really does promote unity, including by neutralising extreme woke ideology.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

The pathologies associated with living in large cities are becoming very hard to ignore. I grew up in NYC but today you cannot live there peacefully. And it isn’t only US cities like SF, Chicago, LA, the same illnesses associated with large cities are visible in London and Paris and other large cities around the world. Knife attacks and people being de-capitated seem to be the norm today in big non-US cities.
I loved growing up in a big city and I am grateful to have had both experiences, city-living and non-city. I remember asking my dad when we moved from NYC to Westchester just north of the city (when it was far more rural than it is now) what borough we’d be living in because of course, you must still be in one of the five boroughs, right? It’s still NY, right? City kids!

Catherine Newcombe
Catherine Newcombe
3 years ago

Very interesting.

jamesgarethmorgan
jamesgarethmorgan
3 years ago

Very good. Thanks.

Michael Harrington
Michael Harrington
3 years ago

Yes, as some comments here argue, tribalism is a problem for US national politics and much less so for state and local politics, except in those places where urban communities become obsessed with national and international issues. But selective sorting continues to happen as people choose the milieu they agree with. This will create state secessionist tensions, which does threaten the strength of the union. Our international adversaries would like nothing more. Tribalism defeats the idea of a national identity that Americans used to embrace in the past. National identity based on an idea does not threaten racial or ethnic identities, but rather includes them.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago

What is called “tribalism” in this piece Fukuyama refers to as “patrimonialism” in his “Origins of Political Order.” It’s a feature of all human societies and never really goes away — the difference between say Somalia and the USA is the extent to which it has been subsumed under functioning states, rule of law, and accountable government.
But always and everywhere it lurks in wait should those institutions fail …

samsa
samsa
3 years ago

Sorry to see Ali succumbing to the “both sides of the aisle” caveat. No. No. No. No. No. There is no aisle down the center of constitutionalism.
There is the truth–that life is flawed, and there are no perfect solutions, thus we need the least-harmful guidance to resolve disputes by preserving the sovereignty of the individual and limiting governnment to the maximum extent possible–and there is a lie–that life can be made perfect, and that people can be made perfect so long as you eliminate the imperfect ones through re-education, censorship, shunning, or worse.
It is not tribal obsession with arbitrary physiognamy that leads to doubts about the integrity of mail-in elections where social media giants strew outside-chain-of-custody kiosks all over rioting cities, and our own constitutionalist Supreme Court justices lament that our highest court has failed to secure electoral integrity.
Sometimes the other tribe really *does* mean to destroy you. You can tell when they march into your streets, set fire to your business, injure and kill people, while chanting and bearing signs that clearly state that they mean to destroy you.
The proper response to that is *not* to sit back in your academic chair and say, well, yes, but “our side” is just as much at fault for asking questions and having doubts.
Peterson and Murray did that in their two-hour BS session. And now I see Ali has joined in the nabob-nattering. Enough.
There are such things as right and wrong. And characterizing the effort to do what is right as “tribal” and just as misguided as deliberately choosing wrong is a kind of moral equivalency that left me standing on the road a hundred miles back.
If Ali doesn’t want *true* tribalism, then she should stop casting law-abiding, constitution-preserving citizens as just another ugly bug in the jar.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago
Reply to  samsa

Well said.

Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago
Reply to  samsa

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Danny K

Yes, and I’m sure you love the rioters in Portland.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
3 years ago

One thing the Democrat voters may not have noticed is that their despised Neocons are now Democrats! They have left the Republicans a while back. The last prominent member of that tribe Liz Cheney is about to be booted off the party involuntarily as well.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Yes, but they did their damage as members of the Republican party. I remember very well the build up to war on Iraq. The segment of the population that supported the war was overwhelmingly Republican voting. But we can all pretend that it didn’t happen.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The Ds voted for the Iraq war resolution, and were especially enthusiastic about the Afghanistan invasion. Look it up, if you dare.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Don’t disagree with you on that one. And moreover, a rather interesting question now is, would Republican voters do the same again today?

Last edited 3 years ago by Emre Emre
Derrick Hand
Derrick Hand
3 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Keep in mind that the neocons came from the Democrat party with William Krystal and were basically unhappy with Democrat international policies in general and Israel specifically. They are basically the warmonger portion of the Democrat party. As “conservatives” they have always paid lip service to real conservative issues while doing basically nothing other than talk. Now that the Trump has started the long awaited exodus from the endless wars of the world, they will switch back to being the real liberal Democrats they are.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

I wouldn’t disagree with a word in that article, but what lies behind this descent into tribalism?
I wonder whether we ought to take a more global view, and examine whether humanity as a whole is increasingly susceptible to division, to polarisation.
First and foremost, I would have thought, the tendency to become polarised is a psychological phenomenon.
I wonder whether it is increasing as the capacity to think is decreasing. A thinker – a true thinker – will be less likely to become polarised because the process of thinking of itself overcomes polarisation.

To be polarised means to be rendered intellectually immobile. How can it mean anything else?

The polarised person is also less free in his emotional life. The evidence clearly shows that the more one is polarised the more acute, and negative, one’s emotions become – to the point of hysteria, or vehement hatred, or intense fear. These are imprisoning emotions.

Polarisation makes us less human, and even threatens to defeat that which makes us human.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Penelope Lane
Penelope Lane
3 years ago

Oh, at last! A thoughtful, reasoned, informed comment, on topic, and worth reading! Thankyou!
I would suggest, actually, that things are not as bad as people make out.
When viewed globally and from a cross-disciplinary perspective, it can be maintained that the ability to think intellectually and reason logically, i.e. in an enlightenment sense, is actually increasing among human populations worldwide. This ability to stand back and objectively detach must, in the long run, produce a free, secular society with separation of religion/church and politics/state. Much of the human race has only relatively recently come into contact with this type of Western thought. Given that ethnic traits and cultural mores lie deep in the psyche, and are hence slow to change under new influences, we should not be surprised to be seeing something of a backlash right now. Everything progresses slowly on the whole—one step forward, one step back…
We are seeing the sores and underlying shadows of western societies—poverty, inequality, etc. at home—surface, at the same time as non-western societies are getting on board with the internet and social media and their youth is coming into conflict with the way of life of its patriarchal elders. So no wonder we are seeing conflict and unrest.
But to acknowledge conflict and unrest does not make it follow that therefore everything everywhere is going to the dogs, or that everything everywhere is the same, as so many on this thread seem to think. On the contrary, social division may with just as much justification be seen as growing pains on the way to something better.
There is no doubt that the older western societies are facing a threat of degeneration from increasing intellectual polarisation into reified intractable positions underpinned by an untutored emotional immaturity, mostly although not exclusively on the part of men. But that does not mean it can’t change. And there is evidence it is changing.
The way forward, surely, is to do what ALI does here: look at details, facts, and think hard about them; discriminate between things that are different, pinpoint disparate streams, avoid motherhood statements and don’t lump everything together into one ugly mess.
The worst thing, surely, is to reduce Ali’s quality article to a bogan exchange about whether or not to move house, as too many on this thread have done!

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago

Call my opinion simplistic, but here it goes: This issue is identical to American’s perception of war as something they cannot loose. Both sides are 100% sure that they will ultimately prevail, with the other side somehow evaporating from the planet.
That insane belief leads both sides to “drop the gloves” in the fight and seeing no problem in whatever spurious means get used to push for victory – after all, they cannot lose, and the defeated “enemy” will vaporize, remember?
There are obvious issues on both sides that deserve honest discussion, but honesty is now seen as unjustifiable, as it could come across as weakness.
No side is able to candidly consider the fears of the other, or what exactly makes them be perceived as so malevolent. No side is sufficiently honest to admit its own share of falsehoods.
So no, tribalism cannot be de-escalated. And there is no way this ends well – for anyone.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andre Lower
Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Danny K

Your comment is an excellent example of the mindless tribalism she wrote about.

Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Danny K

How is that TV you looted working?

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

I wonder if we can escape our tribal nature.

Penelope Lane
Penelope Lane
3 years ago

I wonder if we can escape our tribal nature.
A key question!
The response from an active, progressive spirituality (as distinct from mere passive external religion) is:
Yes! But Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Western esoteric Christ-centred spirituality marks the incarnation of the Christ on Earth as a dividing point between:
—on the one hand, a prior tribalism, grounded in heredity and extending to blood-related family and kin, a tribe or clan presided over by a chief with absolute inherited patriarchal power and authority, utilising slaves drawn from non-tribe foreigners, with members inheriting to greater or lesser degree a shared clairvoyant consciousness, a group soul whose clairvoyance was passed down via the pure tribal blood—a dividing line between this and:
—on the other hand, extension of society to include kith as well as kin, a legitimisation of miscegenation (the inner meaning of Christ sanctioning that marriage in a mixed area), a looking forward to larger groupings beyond tribal boundaries, based for the first time in a common humanity such as would eventually emerge as the modern nation state; and now our current situation, where we face the challenge of evolving beyond the nation-state to a truly planet-wide consciousness-conscience, where we share and enjoy our diversity within the embrace of experience of our common shared humanity.
That’s not to minimise or deny in any way the difficulties encountered along the way. Just to say, it’s not all bad… we definitively are not trapped in our tribal past.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
3 years ago

In my view all tribalism is fake tribalism. All groups — of globalists or nationalists or racists or clans — are artificial, ginned up by political leaders to fight some existential peril — which might be Nazis, heretics, or the people across town that don’t look like us, or the people next door that don’t think like us.
The problem is that after you have united people, as FDR united the US for WWII, and won the war, then people start to divide again, as politicians cunningly work to divide us.
Right now, our betters want us to unite and sacrifice to win the war on climate, bless their hearts.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
3 years ago

As usual, people assuming everyone is as interested in politics as they are. The silent majority just want to get on with it no matter what colour, race or activity of whichever government in power. When the law breaks down the mob mentality takes over which, from this side of the Atlantic, seems to be the USA case. To watch the MSM videos and headlines you’d think London was apocalyptic. Most see a few hundred kids painted in war paint brandishing their slogans and adjust their route accordingly. If you want to see tribal, try european soccer where lads get drunk, get into fights and go home to be scolded by their wives and a week in the doghouse.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

“These tribal quirks run deep on both sides of the aisle. Many Republicans continue to dispute the legitimacy of the result of the last presidential election.” Ayaan spends too much time talking to her husband, Niall Ferguson. The 2020 presidential election was stolen. To say so, doesn’t put you on the path to Mogadishu. It’s just a fact, or, if not a fact, certainly what the existing evidence suggests.

hiberneander
hiberneander
3 years ago

Something that arose from a discussion with a Somali friend whom I have known since about 2000. I showed him the extract below from the Telegraph of November 2011, and asked for his reaction.

Save our war memorials: Lottery to fund anti-tribalism project to teach youths about ‘Mad Mullah’

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is to be used so disaffected youths can learn about a Somali religious leader known as the “Mad Mullah” while Britain’s war memorials are starved of cash they need for vital repairs.

   the HLF has found money for the project in Hounslow, which is being run by the Anti-Tribalism Movement, a non-profit social reform movement which works to eradicate “tribalism”.

   Somali society is divided along clan lines, with bitter feuds between rival groups, and there is deep concern that tribal divides are influencing the large Somali population in Britain, particularly teenagers.

   Called A Legend to Learn From, it will see young people research Hassan, a key figure in Somali resistance to colonial rule. Somalia had, in 1884, been divided into five parts by the colonial powers, with one part, British Somaliland, in the north of modern Somalia.

When I showed this to my friend, asking for his comment, he detonated. He is a member of the Idoor clan (prominent members of which include Rageh Omaar and Sir Mo Farah) concentrated in today’s unrecognized state of Somaliland, and who fought with the British against the “Mad Mullah”. He is incensed that his people have not received recognition or reward for their cooperation with the British. I searched online, and it seems to me that the foul and vituperative language used by other Somalis against the Idoor is a manifestation of the “tribalism” referred to above. But why was the HLF preparing to honour a late 19th Century version of Osama bin Laden rather than those Somalis who had fought on the side of Britain? (The item itself has disappeared from the Telegraph website since I last accessed it in 2018.)

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
3 years ago
Reply to  hiberneander

Tanzania has the least amount of tribal unrest in Africa because Julius Nyerere spent 20 years of hard work creating a pan tribal culture-if he can manage that in africa then we know that it is possible ……..

drrd121555
drrd121555
3 years ago

And from where does all this division actually originate? Is this an agenda, led by hidden forces, to accomplish the goal of dividing us? It appears conservatives, or any who don’t prescribe to the woke crowd are now targets. Who benefits from this division? I have to honestly say, after watching Janet Ossebaard’s documentary, “The Fall of The Cabal” and its sequels, I am beginning to understand. The Deep State is alive and well.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  drrd121555

Division originates from diversity. It is not very hard to understand – unless you are desperate for a good conspiracy theory.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You’re right. This is why multiculturalism doesn’t work in the long run.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Did your parents have the inestimable good fortune to be born in British Somaliland or the terrible bad luck to be born in Italian Somaliland may I ask?

Rohan Loveland
Rohan Loveland
3 years ago

Well said, Ayaan! Thank you for clarifying the literally society-ending danger that tribalism poses to America. Wokeness is fundamentally based on dividing us into “identity groups” (aka tribes). Somehow many fail to see this – or understand the corresponding dangers.

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
3 years ago

Police forces in some parts of America are not arrested leftists who commit acts of violence – but conservatives who fight back are prosecuted and punished. The Federal “Justice” system is also well known for persecuting conservatives – and winking at the crimes of leftists. It is tribalism of the worst sort – and it is not acceptable.

vince porter
vince porter
3 years ago

AHA makes too much sense to be taken seriously by those leading us to chaos.

johndozier
johndozier
3 years ago

From my perspective [and many others like, say, Os Guinness’ must-read, “Last Call for Liberty,”] America’s “tribalistic beginnings” can be seen in the sea change of the ‘60s [albeit germinating before then]: the two warring “tribes” consist of Secular-Humanism-Progressivism VS. Judeo-Christianity.

The comparison being “1789 vs 1776” — The French Revolution vs American Revolution.

It’s not many, but two warring worldviews, factions.

Last edited 3 years ago by johndozier
John Sherbioni
John Sherbioni
3 years ago

What a wonderful piece of writing. I thank you for the insight.

Paul Cloutier
Paul Cloutier
3 years ago

These tribal quirks run deep on both sides of the aisle.” I detest that many of our leaders on the Right use bromides like this in a transparent attempt to get the Left to come to the table, listen, and calm down. Um, no. Only one side turns quickly to violence. Only one side foams at the mouth when the other side is attempting rational discourse. One side is not listening. One side takes it to the street. Not two. No.
This is why so many like me have turned away from the various think tanks on the Right. And its talking head politicians. We know a bully when we encounter one and rational discourse is not how you engage with a bully. Any 10 year old knows this. You’ve learned and read so much that you’ve forgotten your instincts; your gut; your unconscious, if you will. It knows. Shut up and listen.
Stand up. Fists up. Ready to engage? Let’s go. This is gonna hurt you as much as me. Sadly, that’s all a bully understands. I know what you’re thinking — by fighting, taking it to the street, and getting down in the dirt with the Left, we on the Right will turn into the Left. Um, no. That’s not what happens when a person fights a bully. That’s not how bullies are made.
The only people who are worried about truly engaging these blind, deaf, egotistic children are the ones who’ve never stood up to a bully.
“I hope that when I have kids of my own they really don’t get shook, When I tell them that there are things they’ve got to learn, that can’t be found in books.” – Gil Scott Heron, “Sex Education: Ghetto Style”

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago

Very interesting, concerning and unfortunately true.

However John Bolton is still a vicous warmonger,who wants to needlessly expend US treasure and blood on fruitless bloody wars and conflicts (resulting in the deaths of millions of civilians)

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

In September 2021, we discern that this is still an appropriate admonition.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

S

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

‘Woke’ is a great catch all phrase for all the Critical Theory and Post-modern absurdity that has captured most of the American left and a fair share of the Democratic party.

Come to think of it, delirium would be a more appropriate term.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Raiment
James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Y

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

All I want them to do is drop the ‘woke’ nonsense, then this so called culture war, one of the left’s own making will disappear and be replaced with policies and not stupefying ideology.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Is Blairite an insult or simply descriptive?
Agree with you about ‘woke’, though, and am trying to avoid the term. Usually well-understood words like ‘bigotry’ and ‘intolerance’ do the job just as well.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew D
James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Well, you can rest assured that labeling anyone that criticizes the right wing as “woke” is the best way to make the problem worse. Just like labeling every living right winger as “white supremacist”. Two sides of the same coin – the pitiful strategy of negating honest (and respectful) discussion “because you are angry”.
I fear it will take some suffering and destruction to just go back to understanding and acknowledging the rights of “the other side”, so it is possible to move forward.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

The tribesmen roared with laughter, then looked at him pityingly: “Oh no, no, no, they said: only your ‘lineage mates’ will help you.”

They’re not wrong. Your race is your extended family. Why would non-family help you?
I can’t help wondering why you are friends with such a disgusting moral incompetent?

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago

So Ayaan, why did you vote for the illegal, immoral, and destructive invasion of Iraq?
What is it about your buddy John Bolton that you like so much – his sense of humour as he engineers invasions and death across the planet?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

why did Hillary Clinton vote for it? Of everything in the article, THAT’S what you got from it?

Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K