Tribalism has become a sort-of meme these days people use to describe small groups of like-minded people. And that definition has a ton of problems; negating reality, it ignores the entirety of the dominant social order in a place. Whether you like it or not, the reality is you have a spot in the hierarchy and/or power structure. And its not something that can be replicated or recreated overnight. When ‘shtf!’, that order will very much still exist and it’ll be enforced by blood rather than a hollow implicit threat.

Take the Chechen example. Theirs is a society based on centuries-old familial alliances, quite similar to our cultures dominated by Scotch and Irish traditions in the Appalachian and foothills regions of the mid-Atlantic.

There’s a lot of lessons to be learned here; first and foremost, that there’s no such thing as anarchy even in the absence of a formal governing power structure as they experienced during both Chechen Wars. You will be held accountable for your actions (or inactions) to a larger community. The second is that in the absence of a formal power structure, the informal patriarchy will become the dominant influence. Challenges to that get disposed of. Third, the armed culture is reflective of the larger, dominant culture. They’re not simply armed to be armed, its a threat they’ll make good on. Maybe not today, but definitely when you least expect it. Last, outsiders find themselves of no value to the larger community. Don’t be the outsider and look like everyone else. That guy squawking about being a sovereign citizen will find himself in a ditch.

On the bright side, societies become far more cohesive. The recognition of a common struggle creates a stronger and more unified culture. Words gain meaning, people tend to behave within the bounds of normality. It is a return to sanity that many strongly desire and while that learning curve is high, it’ll also rectify a number of problems we currently experience at the hands of the social divisions inherent in post-industrial society.

If you want to know what a post-breakup US might look like, Chechnya is a good example.

 

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