Monday, January 21, 2013

These Tribes, They're Evil

Libyan militiamen stand watch atop the crumbling remains of an Italian colonial-era tower near the town of Bani Walid, home to loyalists of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi and the site of recent tensions between rival sets of militias. Though the country recently held successful elections, its politics are still dogged by long-standing tribal and regional enmities that too often spark into violence.

This photo and quote come from the July 30,2012 edition of Time magazine, typical commentary from statist apologists.  We've really no idea of the context of the photograph, it could easily be hunters looking for antelope or herdsmen scouring the neighborhood for missing sheep, perhaps in Morocco or even Egypt.  When Time says that "the country recently held successful elections", what do they mean?  That people showed up to vote?  What would an unsuccessful election look like?  Does a successful election, whatever that is, mean that the citizenry is buying into the whole "state" scheme of things?  They had a state before the election.

"Long-standing tribal and regional enmities"still dog the country's politics.  There probably are groups made up of common ancestry or affinities that are reluctant to forfeit their sovereignty to even elected plutocrats that owe them no allegiance.  The much maligned "tribes" have been able to successfully handle the interpersonal and external affairs of their members for thousands of years without ever dropping an atomic bomb on anybody, operating industrial crematoriums,  or sending their eccentrics to re-education camps.  This isn't to say that there isn't an occasional violent episode in tribal society.  But there's significantly more violence in hyper-civilized venues like Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans.  In fact, you might be able to make the case that the two major political parties in the US have many of the characteristics of tribes themselves.    

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