(This post is part of the ‘Guide to the Young Patriarch.’ The current draft of the Guide can be found here.)
Comment: In this post tribalism is used in the most general way as a term to describe the tendency of humans to create and identify with a group. The size of the group can be a pair, family, town, race, country, etc. While tribalism is created by (and eventually creates) genetically similar groups, the interplay between tribalism and genetic homogeneity will not be discussed here.
Premise 1: All genes seek reproduction.
Premise 2: Our emotions are an expression of our genes.
Lemma 1, based on premise 1 and premise 2: Our emotions facilitate reproduction.
Premise 3: The average reproductive success for members of a group is greater than that of humans without a group (e.g. for population of 100 people, 50 collaborating as a group will reproduce more than the 50 non-collaborating).
Contention 1, based on Lemma 1 and Premise 3: Humans have an emotional tendency to desire to belong in a group.
Premise 4: Within a given group, sub-groups can be created. All groups can be seen as sub-groups of group humanity.
Corollary 1 to Premise 3: The average reproductive success for members of a sub-group is greater than that of members of the original group without affiliation to a sub-group (e.g. if the U.S. consists of 100 American citizens, and 50 of them are part of a sub-U.S. group, and thus give preferable treatment to each-other, they will have an advantage over the 50 who only identify with the U.S. group and give equal treatment to all U.S. group members.)
Contention 1, based on Corollary 1 to Premise 3 and Lemma 1: The people outside of the sub-group would tend to create a counter sub-group so as not to be in a disadvantage. Hence, creation of a sub-group creates a counter sub-group.
Corollary 1 to Contention 1: A group, or a sub-group, is defined by the people outside of the group (e.g. whiteness only has meaning if there are black people acting as a group and similarly blackness only has meaning near whites. The enclosed rich white people don’t feel white, while the poor whites which are in contact with black groups have stronger white identification.)
Corollary 2 to Contention 1: Tribalism creates a rival and is created by a rival.
Premise 5: Division of a group to sub-groups weakens the group against external threats, and thus lowers the average reproductive success of the group members.
Contention 2 based on Premise 5 and Corollary 1 to Premise 3: Creating a sub-group within a group yields benefits over other group members but weakens the original group. Thus, a group will stay united if unity provides advantage over external threats which is more significant than the benefits a member might obtain by joining a sub-group.
Corollary 1 to Contention 2: A group (or a sub-group) cannot stay united without an external threat, interest or a rival group.
Corollary 2 to Contention 2: If one sub-group totally destroys the rival sub-group it will no longer be united (e.g. if there was a white vs black war and all black people were eliminated, there will be no more white identity, only sub-white-group identities such as French and English, etc., if Jews would somehow eliminate all gentiles, there will not be a Jewish identity, just spharadim and ashcenazim, etc.)