(Hey everyone, I thought I’d post this older essay from 2016 on my site for readers who may be unfamiliar with it. It’s included in my ebook as well as the 3rd edition of A Beautiful Resistance, the journal of Gods & Radicals.
The past few months have been busy here in New England, but I should have new content out soon- another long-form essay, as well as upcoming podcasts with Jason from Reason Bowl.)
First published on the website Countercurrents.org, Jan 28th, 2016.
THE REAWAKENING OF TRIBAL CONSCIOUSNESS:
The Spread of Ecological Wisdom and Confronting the Artifice of Capitalism
When we learn to come together we are whole
when we learn to recognize the enemy
we will know what we need to know
to learn to come together
to learn to weave and mend.
— Anne Cameron, Daughters of Copper Woman
I am the guardian of life
all my children come back to me
I call you
hide you in my breast
you nourish me with your bones
and live again.
I am your Mother Earth
your dark Mother Earth.
If you insist on destroying me
you will destroy yourselves.
listen to my cry.
— Claribel Alegría, “Gaia’s Cry”
Recent world events are playing out a drama unseen since the mid-17th century. When the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1648, European borders were drawn so that sovereign states would establish the sole rule of law within their own respective territories. Today, transnational capitalism, huge waves of immigrants from war-torn and poverty-stricken regions, instant globe-spanning internet communication, and the threat of fundamentalist terrorism are dissolving borders at a rapid pace. In its wake, the notions of duty, respect for environmental rights, citizenship, and nations are being reformed to shape this rapidly forming interconnected global culture. Leaders of modern nation-states are proving less and less adept at handling crises and managing world affairs: they turn to various technocrats within the maze of various government ministries, powerful businesspeople whose lobbyists write the laws for the legislature, non-profits and NGOs who carry out needed health and infrastructure projects, and community leaders from civil society who are able to wade through ethnic and tribal antagonisms with ease.
As nations falter due to weak links of shared identity between citizens, new ecologically and culturally conscious groups of people are linking together, as globe-spanning tribes based on tradition, ritual, spirituality, reciprocity, and love of the environment are gathering to create the most important movement of the 21st century. As refugees from the Middle East flee warfare, as Latin Americans leave their homelands due to little or no job security, and as highly educated East and South Asians emigrate to pursue advanced careers in engineering, science, and more, global tribes are forming that transcend the modern nation-state. Millions of people now have dual citizenship and conflicting allegiances between their nation of birth and their new homes.