Sunday, November 06, 2016

Tribalism

Decades ago, I remember some commentator, pretty far to the left, decrying use of the term "tribal" to refer to politics in some less developed countries. They noted that it carried an implicitly pejorative connotation of primitivism, and was never used for the developed west, where we used terms like "partisanship" or "factionalism". At the time it felt like political correctness in search of a target. I am happy to report that feeling has been validated. It is now entirely appropriate to refer to politics in many western countries as often having "tribal" characteristics. (the U.S. where I live, but I listen to enough NPR to know it is prevalent in many other places, too--note Brexit).

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