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Tribes and Tribalism (Welcome to the Horde, Part Two)

January 15, 2014

Frith/The Soul of the Tribe

It can be difficult—at best—to separate these concepts one from the other. Like most things I discuss on this blog, all concepts have synergistic relationship with the others; take one away, and the others cease to have any legitimate meaning.

Frith is the state of being—the relationship, if you will—that exists between friends, brothers, kinsmen. At its heart, it means reciprocal inviolability. Think of the old cliché, “Yes, he is an asshole…but he’s OUR asshole!” and you START to get an idea of exactly what Frith implies. It doesn’t matter if you’re pissed off because your kinsman said something stupid. It doesn’t matter if you think the chieftain is being a fucktard this week; the good of the clan and the tribe come first (this is the biggest faux pas made when Anarcho-Capitalists start spouting their stupidity about “we don’t need government at all, we just need tribes, man…”).

Frith is the state of grace, if you will, that exists between family, kin, and clan. It is the state of mutual will, unanimity, loyalty, and peace that exists—must exist—between people living in close confines with one another. It’s also a demand of honor and survival in a tribal society.

I’ve been reading the Icelandic Sagas lately. For those unfamiliar with them, they are a blend of Viking history and legend. Throughout, the sagas are replete with killings. Some are justified by the circumstances, even in our modern worldview, some are not. Throughout all of them though, even the most heinous, there is not a single, solitary instance of a man refraining from a revenge killing because of the character—or lack thereof—of his kinsman that he is avenging. It just doesn’t happen, because the Frith of the clan, the honor of the clan, is more important than the individual’s sense of justice, or his personal relationships within the clan.

Likewise, when the kinsman does kill someone, whether in retribution or over something else—like honor—the killer knows he is committing his tribe to more killings. He returns to his own tribe with something like the following, “Hey, I killed Sigurd Sheepfucker, because he made a comment about my wife. While he would’ve done the same, had I insulted HIS wife, his kinsmen will not judge me on that, but on the fact that I killed their kinsman, so you fellas better grab your spears. We’ve got a fight coming.”

It doesn’t matter that everyone else in the Sheepfucker tribe knows that Sigurd was a loudmouth asshole that liked to start shit when he’d been drinking mead, the demands of Firth mean they’re going to ignore that and come for vengeance. It doesn’t matter if the killer’s tribesmen know that Sigurd probably said nothing insulting at all, the killer just likes to fight, they’re going to gird themselves for war and probably even go hunting themselves.

Personal sympathies and antipathies do not stand in the way of the demands of Frith; all obligations, all self-interests, everything is intertwined in the kinship of the tribe, because the survival of the tribe demands it, and the survival of the individual and/or the individual’s family demands the survival of the tribe. When you swear an oath—spoken or simply in deed—of loyalty to a group or tribe or whatever term you use, you are intertwining yourself into the Frith of that group. Today of course, we think, “Bullshit, we’re past all of that. If I want to leave, I can leave. If my kinsman is an asshole, I can just tell the other tribe, I agree, and let it go.” My response is, in TODAY’S society, you’re right…You can call the cops on your own family if you want to. But…show me a single tribal society that exists today—or has existed throughout humanity’s history—that didn’t subscribe to Frith in some form, with some label of recognition….Don’t expect me to hold my breath waiting though.

Honor

Honor is a concept that is given a lot of lip service in our post-modern culture, all too often either derided as an obsolete relic of an immoral patriarchal society, or misapplied to things that really don’t fucking matter. Consequential to this misunderstanding of honor, all too often, people do not know—or understand—the criticality of honor in tribalism. We look at modern tribal societies, like the Pashtuns—or outlaw gangs–and revenge killings, and consider them nothing but “stupid barbarians,” because the concept is foreign to our understanding of justice, protected and coddled as we are by a top-down culture.

The reality however, is that in a tribal environment, where there is no central governing authority to mediate disputes and provide (ideally) equal protections under the law, honor is survival. This is what leads to the endemic warfare so universal in tribal societies. Not retaliating to any insult, real or perceived—in an appropriately commensurate fashion—is not just about honor. Not doing something is seen as not being ABLE to do something.

That of course, means you are weak. Weakness means you are susceptible. Why SHOULDN’T my tribe or clan come kill you, rape your women, and steal all of your shit, in order to improve our chances of success and survival in the long term? You’re so much of a pussy that you can’t even respond to a minor insult, so it’s not like you’re going to do shit about it, right? (You can actually see this in our modern world even…Look at out-of-control LEO who break the very laws they are sworn to protect? Why do they do it with impunity? Because what the fuck are YOU going to do about? Talk shit on Facebook?) The Christian idea of “turn the other cheek,” while considered noble and self-effacing in our culture, is a certain ticket to destruction of all you hold dear in a tribal culture.

Honor and Frith of course, are intertwined. If your tribesman does something to insult another tribe, you’d better expect that other tribe to come hunting vengeance, just like you would go hunting if the roles were reversed. It doesn’t matter that you KNOW your kinsman is an asshole who probably started the shit in the first place. The other tribe’s not going to care, and they’ll (speaking historically and anthropologically) take their vengeance on anyone they can get their hands on, not necessarily just the offender. You’re tied to him by loyalty, so if your tribesman is an asshole, you’d better be ready to answer for his sins.

At the same time, if your asshole kinsman is killed for being an asshole, it doesn’t matter that you know he was an asshole and had it coming, the survival of your tribe and your family depends on your willingness and ability to extract vengeance, because if you do the Christian thing and “turn the other cheek,” the other tribe—or even some other tribe—will take that as weakness, and continue fucking your shit up. Tribalism ain’t pretty or sweet. It’s sure as shit not some pastoral pacifist commune.

At the same time though, lest someone accuse me of only seeing the negatives, it is critical to point out that there is more to Frith and Honor than just slaying and slaughter. Whether we’re discussing Migration Period Teutonic tribesmen, Viking Age Icelanders, or Pashtuns with Pashtunwalli, a clan’s Honor, and consequently their Frith (or other appropriate descriptive term) More is demanded of a decent man in any tribe than just skill-at-arms. Rapport-building as well, is critical to the survival of the tribe. Generosity, hospitality, helpfulness, and goodwill towards other members of the tribe, and even strangers who are not enemies—or known enemies—is just as important. A tribe’s morality is not necessarily what you or what I define as moral, anymore than what I define as moral is necessarily the same as what you define as moral, or vice versa. Of course, there are broad generalities that can be made: murder is bad, rape is bad, theft is bad. Yet, how we define those things are not necessarily the same, and defining someone of another tribe as evil because they do one or the other is ignorant, at best.

Murder is bad. Yet, if I murder someone in order to avenge the killing of my kinsman, it may not be quite so immoral and bad, in a tribal sense at least, because it is protecting the tribe. Rape…well….rape is bad, regardless…or at least in my personal worldview, and I genuinely can’t see a way to explain it as a moral option. Theft though….what if I’m stealing materials from an enemy? What if I’m stealing to feed my family? Meh…..

The point is not to explain immorality as morality. The point is to help illuminate the fact that the definition of moral in any tribe, family, or group, is defined by that group’s worldview, not by YOUR definition of morality. Just because YOU are too moral, Christian, and godly to believe in revenge killings, or the importance of Frith in a tribale society doesn’t mean shit, because the other tribes will believe in it, whether they label it or not. You ignoring it is a good way to end up dead in the yard, with your wife raped and murdered, your kids sold into slavery, and all because you didn’t believe a tribe was important, because you were going to survive on your own, you independent stalwart, you. If you’re smart enough to recognize the critical nature of tribe and group survival, you need to consider the types of issues raised by tribal societies, so you can factor them in as you build your tribe (you didn’t really think I was going to write an article with NO instructional value, did you?).

Having people with critical skills is important, no one will argue that. Having people who can and will fight to defend the tribe is equally important; no one will deny that. Having someone who will die for the tribe is just as important though. Just as important though, is making sure the people you select and integrate into your tribe are not assholes who will start fights, or let themselves be drawn into fights unnecessarily.

A lot of people in the preparedness/survival community talk about the need for shared religion, race, and morals within a group.

Religion

I’m not religious, as any reader of long-standing will be well aware. I respect people’s religious beliefs and customs, I simply don’t share their faith. If your beliefs are such that you cannot abide anyone not sharing those beliefs, then absolutely, it is critical that everyone in your tribe share your beliefs. A devout Christian who feels it necessary to proselytize to anyone who doesn’t share their face is not going to develop any Frith with someone who is annoyed as shit by “Christers” or “Bible Thumpers” (For the record, while I am not Christian, and am not looking to be saved, I don’t begrudge proselytizing. I recognize that it is a critical tenet of the faith. So, don’t get your knickers in a twist that I’m badmouthing Christians of any stripe.). The same thing would apply to pretty much anyone not a Muslim in an Islamist tribe…”Convert, die, or subject yourself to being my slave,” doesn’t do much to build Frith within the community.

At the same time though, I count amongst my dearest friends and “brothers,” very devout Christians who do not feel it incumbent on themselves to convert me anymore. While they willing admit they would like to see me saved, they’ve come to the realization that if God wills it, He will guide me. So, they pray for my salvation, and tell me as much, without actively trying to proselytize, beyond living their lives in a manner that shows an example of godliness.

So, no, I don’t believe it is 100% set-in-stone, critical that everyone within a group share religious beliefs. It sure doesn’t hurt though.

Morality

Morality—on the other hand—is pretty fucking critical. You’ve got to believe—or even know—that the man you’re willing to die to protect, will do the same for you. You’ve got to know that he’s not going to go out and willfully do stupid shit that will get you dragged into an unnecessary fight for something you really don’t believe in anyway.

More importantly, you have to share—between your kinsmen—a genuine belief in Frith and Honor, regardless of how you term it. A lack of shared belief in the importance of that is a sure way to lead to dissolution of the tribe and a failure to survive.

Race

Outside of the ongoing need to point out to the WN and neo-Nazi scumbags who invariably find their way to this blog, that I believe judging anyone solely on the basis of skin color is fucking retarded, I’ve never touched on race on this blog. That’s not my attempt to ignore a very real issue. It’s simply a matter of priorities and limited time and space.

Is race an issue? Yes. Is race going to be an issue in building tribes? Yes. Denying those things is ignorance at best, and dishonesty at worst. Why?

If you hold prejudices against members of a specific racial group, then you’re never going to trust members of that race. You cannot build Frith with someone you don’t trust. Even given time and situations arising to build trust, that’s not going to happen, because of your own preconceived notions. The same is true is reciprocal from members of races not your own.

A lot of racists like to play the Odinist card that Max mentioned in his recent article series. “Oh, we’re special! We’ve got our own ancestral Gods and everything!” Of course, using the term Frith in articles will invariably draw them in, more’s the pity. At the same time though, it’s critical for those dumbshits to recognize that it’s not that simple…tribes of every type, throughout history, have had their own pantheons, unique to their tribe only in name (how many cultures didn’t have a God of War? A God of the Harvest? A God of the Weather? Not very fucking many…and for the record: Do NOT post ANYTHING in the comments of this article talking shit about anyone else’s belief system. I believe in the Right of Conscience, and I didn’t insult anyone’s religion here, so I’m not going to let anyone else start either.). Beyond that, as tribes warred with one another, they took slaves, adopted members into the tribe, etc…It’s not about race, it’s about survival of the tribe…

Which brings us to my stance—for this article—on race as a prerequisite for tribes…It just doesn’t matter. No, I’m not going to let a member of the Black Panthers into my inner circles, nor a Latino who thinks WASPs stole Texas and California and wants to see Azatlan resurrected. At the same time though, I’m not going to let a would-be Brownshirt skinhead into my circle either.

Race is only a critical matter because stupid fucking people buy into the control technique of being made to believe it is important. I’ve worked next to men of every race whom I trusted with my life, and have not been disappointed more by members of any particular race than I have by members of my own.

To close this section, I’ll address specific comments made on the previous article in this series:

Tribes will form around race. Like they have since the beginning of time.

Wrong, whether a deliberate lie or ignorance. Tribes formed around family. As a tribe destroyed another tribe, there are innumerable examples within the historical record of outsiders being adopted into the tribe, with full benefits. If those outsiders were of the same “race,” it was simply a matter of proximity, not of skin color. American Indian tribes adopted whites into their tribes throughout American history, and the same was—and is—true of other tribal societies worldwide.

How about Inner Clan/outer Clan/Race? All the other races look at the world this way. Whites did too, up until 60 or so years ago. Part of the stripping of Culture from the White has the removal of any feeling for one White for Another, while boosting the self-esteem of the other races. Whether we are Goyium, Gringo or Cracker, we should wear it Proudly.

I am fully cognizant of the concept of the different “gards.” You’re interpreting them incorrectly, even from a Migration Age Teutonic viewpoint though. Inner Circle is the immediate family and clan. Outer circle is the rest of the tribe. Then there is the rest of the world, not just race. You think a dude from 3rd Century Denmark trusted a guy from 3rd Century Spain, just because they were both white? Bullshit. I assume, based on your repeated comments throughout the blogosphere, that you’re misinterpreting it intentionally, but if I’m wrong, and you’ve just been dumb enough to buy that load of shit, well, then you’re too stupid to trust your own experiences, rather than what you’ve been told. If it is based on experience, you need to get out more.

And I get why you’re extra-careful not to get sucked into the Rachel Maddow(g?) race-baiter trap.

I just hope that when rubber hits the road, you won’t be too “anti-racist” to see that the regime shock troops are more likely to be minority urban youths than not. I don’t hate those folks any more than you do, but I can’t ignore that the last five years have been one ethnic group celebrating it’s will to power over another…”

It’s not about worrying what someone else will think of me. If I was worried about that, I would either not write this blog, or I would self-censor my language better than I do. I’m anti-racist, because I think judging people solely on the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character is fucking retarded.

Which leads me to the second paragraph you posted. You’re wrong. The majority—by far—of combat arms personnel in the US military are of European descent in appearance. In fact, I actually commented on it once in the military, because my whole life growing up, I’d read the nonsense about how minorities were disproportionately represented within combat arms. I found the exact opposite to be true.

Outside of the military and law enforcement? You may be right, but as I’ve posted before, there are as many—if not more—poor white trash peckerwoods on the dole as there are members of other racial groups. Those people are going to be just as pissed when the State no longer has anything to give them as the minorities will.

In fact, the only real validity in your statement was your comment the last five years. I agree with that, and I believe they are just as ignorant, just as stupid, and just as pathetic as WN are. My disgust with racism isn’t limited to racism by whites, and I’m not stupid or ignorant enough to believe the lie that “only white people can be racist.”

(As a parenthetical note on this, since I am so good at pissing off the WN types…if you have a problem with something I write on the race issue, feel free to contact me, publicly, in the comments. I will gladly allow you into a class of your choosing, for free, in order to give you the opportunity to tell me what you think face-to-face. No guns involved, I’m not making idle internet threats that I won’t have to back-up we’ll just discuss it like men. You can demonstrate your moral and racial superiority in front of witnesses. Or just continue demonstrating your stupidity and cowardice publicly by posting stupid shit on the internet)

Conclusions

Tribes and clans are based on shared morals and world views. Trying to base them on convenience or the material possessions of one member of the group being enough to support the rest of the group is not tribe, and it’s not going to work under stress.

Simply claiming someone as a tribe member though, based solely on what they claim to be their beliefs is insufficient. Character has been defined as “what you do when no one is looking.” Morals can be defined the same way. Do you KNOW what the values and morals are of the people you expect to trust with the lives of your family? “Oh, they’re III like me!” doesn’t cut it in reality. How many of the cowards who lined up to register their firearms in Connecticut are walking around with a III patch on their jacket, or are reading blogs like this, talking shit about how they’ll never give up?

You have to possess a shared sense of the importance of Frith and Honor, regardless of the labels you use to define it, or your tribe is as useless as a bunch of individuals with no common goals can be.

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43 Comments
  1. Chan permalink

    Minor point of clarification: frith is tribal; firth is a small body of water (inlet). The second word is used accidentally in the title of the article and in a few places in the body. Could be a spell check forced error.

  2. Joseph A. Rohner III permalink

    With GOVERNMENT, not a single solitary one of these tribal qualities can exist. “Government is not reason it is not eloquence;it is FORCE! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master.” G. Washington.

    Coercive monopolies are attempts to exercise absolute POWER! “Power corrupts; Absolute POWER…”. Bet you all know the rest.

    Absolute power (Government) thrives on, and depends upon the fear/ignorance of the timid fools who need the lucky rabbit’s foot of faux security disingenuously offered by those who wield said power.

    Government crowds out, criminalizes, and destroys any attempt at competition in the “Rights Protection Service” of the marketplace. Ultimately it eats itself, tail first. We’re well along in that meal.

    I can quit the tribe any time I want – Government claims ownership of me simply because I exist, stand on the turf they claim monopoly control over. With all of its warts, I’ll take the tribe 8 days a week over Government. Those who choose government, and force it on everyone else, do so at their own peril.

    After all these centuries, human society is still very primitive.

    With Respect.

    FYI, A few more things:

    *The First is a limit on the use of Government Power to restrict free expression. It has no relevance to non-government challenges on free expression. It’s a “recognition by Government” that it has no moral authority to restrict that natural right. Your natural right to express your opinions is not a “gift” of Government. It is a gift of your “CREATOR”.

    *Beliefs are subjective, and are based on opinion only. Like assholes, everyone has his own, and every one stinks.

    *Knowledge is derived through the process of logical thinking. It is not subject to opinion, only to reason. That process is the only moral method to determine behavior among free individuals.

  3. dave decker permalink

    as a 65 year old man raised up from childhood in the ideals of a Celtic warrior culture, all I can say is this article is excellent!

  4. Brad permalink

    Great article, even though you bashed anarcho-capitalists. I consider myself one, even though I recognize that “system” as a utopia that should be strived for, with libertarianism as the path.

    The inherent problems with tribalism that you point out (their tendency towards war) obviates the need for emissaries/ambassadors and treaties/alliances among tribes. This will be an extension of the legal or justice system within the tribe. For example, two tribes at peace agreeing upon extradition terms.

    Of course, military parity will be an absolute minimum required to live at peace with other tribes.

    • cultcha tourista permalink

      Military parity doesn’t bring peace. A lopsided superiority will do better at that, with the underdog able to offer a painful price during defense. Intermarry some family, negotiate a treaty with trade and have less intertribal warfare. The inferior force can be a useful buffer ally, knowing that total destruction awaits them if a 3rd party successfully attacks/occupies them and their land is the site of warfare between 2 of their military superiors.

      Military parity is really expensive to maintain. See: mid-20th century alleged “missile gap” when the USA dwarfed the Soviet Union in quality and quantity of nukes in/on subs/bombers/rockets, but felt the need to not let parity happen. The USA also dwarfed/s everyone in SIGINT, but not in skilled agents/moles everywhere, so they stopped using RF or electronics for important messages, nullifying the advantage.

      • Brad permalink

        I didn’t say it brought peace, I said that it was a pre-requisite. Meaning that you can’t negotiate favorable terms from a position or weakness.

        (if not A then not B) does not equal (if a then b).

  5. Dave permalink

    I have really enjoyed these last two posts.

    I read an interesting article a couple years back that compared the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan and a major inner city in the U.S. ( Detroit or Chicago) can’t remember which, but they found the Fata was less violent than the inner city. They attributed it to the tribal structure. In essence the elders of a tribe work to control the younger hotheads because it isn’t to the tribe’s benefit to be constantly tied up in a slew of blood feuds.

    There is a great book titled Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud,Law and Society in Saga Iceland by William Miller that explains how Iceland functioned without a central government by codifying the laws for revenge and blood price between clans. Definitely worth a read.

    • Absolutely. As far as that book, I have got to find a copy…..$23 on Amazon, for the win.

    • Michael permalink

      Forgive the thread resurrection, but I recall Kadryov in Chechnya and I think the Uzbek government as well having “suspected militants” that the secret police think want to go off and play jihad are regularly brought into the bublic square to be publically shamed. When your mom is announcing to the whole neighborhood what a disappointment you are to the family, it can change a boy’s attitude.

  6. Attack Company 1/75 permalink

    Thanks for the article, John!

  7. DaShui permalink

    The reason there is not a worldwide Chinese restaurant chain, PDF Chang doesn’t count. Is that the Chinese don’t trust anyone outside the family to manage their business . Especially being a cash business they are under reporting income, so they are afraid an outsider will inform on them.
    Also Chinese Indians and Mormans have informal financing outside banks, so they can get money interest free, giving them an advantage over us rugged individualists, who r n perpetual debt slavery.

    • I’ve never heard of that from the LDS, so I’ll let one of the Mormon readers weigh in on that specifically, but as far as Chinese Indians….and you left out Muslims….perhaps the difference is that they actually just acknowledge that their faiths prohibit interest/usury, so they actually live what they claim they believe in?

      • Udaman permalink

        Muslims not charging usury is a falsehood. They roll the interest into the loan, call it all principal, and say they are not charging interest. Ann Barnhardt blogged on this topic last year.

  8. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit permalink

    I’m going to side with Brad up there as another anarcho-capitalist who’s never said, to the best of my knowledge, “what we need are tribes.” Not even when severely inter-mead-iated.

    Actually, though, I’m more interested in the discussion over the Hobbesian world you appear to portray for tribes in regard to everybody killing everybody all the time.* Working off of Icelandic sagas is interesting, but I notice a lack of discussion regarding the essential social concepts of “wergeld” and “outlawry.” Deliberate omission or saved for future article on intra- and inter-tribal relations?

    *yeah, it’s a strawman, but it’s sorta close and it’s funny. 😉

    • My point was not that all AnCaps believe in the need for tribes. The propensity within the preparedness and liberty culture for EVERYONE to blather about tribe this and tribe that was the reason for these articles.

      As far as the lack of discussion on Wergeld and outlawry, there’s two reasons you’ve noticed an absence. 1) They really didn’t become common until tribes began coalescing into larger elements. By the time the Icelanders were writing the sagas down, Harald Fairhair had already established a kingdom in Norway, for an example. It was no longer tribal, but feudal. 2) I just haven’t that far yet. This article alone was ten typed paged…..

      • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit permalink

        Kinda figured the “haven’t gotten there yet” one. The articles are too well thought out and written for it to be otherwise. Okay, carry on, ignore the short guy in the corner reading avidly….

  9. the fukkn A-team permalink

    “Tribes and clans are based on shared morals and world views. Trying to base them on convenience or the material possessions of one member of the group being enough to support the rest of the group is not tribe, and it’s not going to work under stress”. You go to war with what you have, not with what you want. Unfortunately, Team Freedom is going to have to make do with the assests that are available,-not what are desirable. The day is comming when the man to your left, and the man to your right is your clan and tribe. Some weeding may need to be done, but thats how things will be for most survivors

    • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit permalink

      I think the point that our host is making here – unless I’m mistaken – is that the person on your left and person on your right are nothing more than that. People who have a geospatial relationship to you. Simple proximity does not and can not, on its own, equate to creation and solidity of clan and tribe.

      For a more current example take a look at WWII and the way Germans and Americans handled unit replacements. Germans would leave regiments on the line until bled white, then bring the whole remainder back and rebuild it, allowing the FNGs time to develop at least SOME kinship with the unit. Americans would simply piecemeal put a new guy in on the left and a new guy in on the right.

      Which units, do you think, showed better cohesion under fire and stress?

      I don’t believe our host is suggesting that you *shouldn’t* try for building family/clan/tribe, but just pointing out that there’s a lot more to it than most people think.

      • the fukkn A-team permalink

        I fully understand. But… Reality is a bitch. The typical American family is spread out over the country, unless you all live in the same house, street, city? Not very likely these days. When the enemy is steamrolling thru your community, the man on your right or left, not your kin in another state is who’s gonna lay down covering and suppressive fire to slow-down their advance. What’s comming is gonna be real ugly. But I guess it doesn’t hurt to dream nice warm fuzzy thoughts.

      • You’re not paying attention. Historically, yes, the clan was blood kin. We don’t have that option. We have to build our clans in a different fashion. That just means we need to develop a blood-kin level of trust between ourselves and our new clan. I have “brothers” that I trust far more than I do my own blood-kin. They are my clan now.

      • Damn dude, law school did you good! Reading comprehension AND critical thinking, for the win! Thank you for making my point far more succinctly than I did.

      • the fukkn A-team permalink

        You’re right. I wasn’t paying attention. I agree with just about everything written here. In a post-apocalyptic world societies may indeed revert back to “tribalism”. The Dark Ages part deux. I consider that a lose for mankind and for America. We can do better than that.

  10. Tribe is Family at the core – that is me and my wife.

    Then there are concentric circles radiating outward, filled with people I trust while I sleep and people I trust to protect my wife when I am not physically beside her. Within that very first concentric circle is not one blood relative (how sad is that?!), but several III Patriots I have met. Several of those are III 300.

    I’m not sure what technical term belongs to each concentric circle, but as a whole I use the label “Tribe”.

    As to covering a Tribesman’s back, no matter what he does – no. If he commits a malum in se crime against a non-enemy Tribe, then I’ll probably kill him myself and deliver his head to the Tribe he wronged. If the other Tribe is an enemy, then Rape is the only malum in se crime on the table (as I rattle this off the top of my head). If my guy sneaks into the enemy camp like a Gurkha and slits a few throats – no foul. If he steals their bread, no foul. But I suspect many III “Leaders” will operate in a similar manner.

    John – when you get a chance I would love to read a column on discipline within the Tribe as *you* would apply it, given your SF background.

    K

    • That’s fine, and it’s certainly applicable. I don’t even disagree with it. The point of the ongoing article series, in fact, is that tribalism, as it is understood from a historical and anthropological PoV, is NOT a good thing, in light of our modern, fundamentally Judeo-Christian societal ethics.

    • Kerodin, I think you’re over simplifying things. You may lop of the head off your top LT if he got wasted one night and slid into a rival tribe’s AO and raped someone (I’m assuming you mean a woman..). But what if you only had 5 in your tribe and this dude was a fucking monster on the battlefield? I would suspect that the prospect of going into battle the next day with only 4 of you would cause you to let his transgression slide this time. Otherwise, you may have just weakended your tribe to the point where it will become extinct. Kind of how you don’t blow the brains out of the G Chief when he decides to off one of his own or some EPW. I’m certainly not advocating rape, but the reality of your situation will dictate exactly where you draw your lines in the sand.

      • Joseph A. Rohner III permalink

        Not a good answer; Giving Billy Bad-ass a pass on crime simply because you need him in a fight is short-sighted, and ultimately self-defeating of your ‘tribe’. He is the bad seed, the weak moral link. This man will bring you down by and by if you tolerate such SHIT! Replace him if you can, delay the battle if you can’t, but respect and protect the rights of all. Or reap the whirlwind.

  11. Dale permalink

    Very thought provoking; especially when you think about our past of Manifest Destiny and how we obliterated tribal societies here in the US. In fact globally tribes have and are at risk at being always overrun and distroyed by “civilized” societies.
    Are we creating tribes here and now in this virtuosity? Some would like to think so, but I don’t feel the true kinship banding with a neighbor over the fenceline brings when there is time of need. To that end, I am moving to a place where the real seems to matter more than the virtual. Where a few individuals live in rural isolation and depend on each other for shared skills. Being the interloper, I can only hope to be accepted into the Frith by my own skills that I bring to the band.

  12. Copper253 permalink

    Hey Mountainguerilla, you like LEO’s ? There are some good ones out there who think and believe what you do. Just sayin! I work with a few that used to wear the same uniform you did. Honorable men all.

    • I don’t like or dislike any GROUP. I like and dislike individuals. I have friends who happen to be cops. I also know cops I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, and I’d probably strike the match myself if they were soaked in gasoline. I judge people on their individual traits, behavior and character.

      • Joseph A. Rohner III permalink

        Good answer. My tribe follows those standards!

  13. jasam nitko permalink

    As a young man I had the chance to vacation at a small Ca. Resort where tribalism/ feudalism is still very much in practice, one of the most important parts of tribe discipline was that members of one tribe didn’t get to talk/ trade/ fight etc. With a member of a rival tribe. If you broke that rule you had to deal with your own tribe. If there was a “tribal” riot it was mandatory participation if you hid in the corner your tribe just might throw you off the tier. Its hard to trust some one you’ve never stood shoulder to shoulder with in high stress violent situation how do you sim that

    • jasam nitko permalink

      (Accidently hit comment early) …outside of a real life situation? I’m currently in a great community but how do we sift the chaff/wheat minus seeing someones willingness in a violent situation.

  14. Conn gun registration cowardly? Well, I suppose that may be opinion based. In my experience, martial skill is perishable. It may be prudent to divide one’s collection into the register pile, and “rainy day” pile. In this way training could continue with a minimum of entanglements…

  15. After reading your series of essays regarding tribes and clans- I thought back to this article I had read regarding a group of Pahtuns that had been targeted by US drones. I placed the excerpt below and also the link to the article. (I’m not necessarily supporting or defending the premise in the article- but it does go in line with your essay regarding tribes)

    —Their first and most compelling connection is to their tribe and to their lineage group. The strength of this affiliation is demonstrated by a statement made in the 1970s by a Pakistani leader and quoted by Ahmed. “I have been a Pashtun for six thousand years, a Muslim for thirteen hundred years, and a Pakistani for twenty-five,” the tribal leader explained. —-

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/books/item/16557-the-thistle-and-the-drone-the-real-story-behind-the-inhumane-war-on-terror

    • I haven’t read the article yet, but the quote from Ahmed that you cited is spot on the point of these articles. Thank you for adding to my reading queue……..

  16. i heart monkey permalink

    With the understanding that I may be picking a fight with, well.. everybody. I wanna go ahead and throw my $0.02 in again.
    -It get the feeling that ‘tribe’, in the context that it is being discussed, is a complex term in search of a definition. I’d think we’d agree, and very broadly speaking, a tribe being a tightly banded group of individuals, primarily united by brotherhood/kinship- likeminded in purpose, worldview, and shared morality or i.e. Firth – essentially.
    -I see the brotherhood/kinship of ‘tribe’ run aground on the definition of morality. If the standard of morality is relative, by what right can you condemn other tribes? They may well be acting within the bounds of their definition of morality…revenge killings, rape, blood-killings, murder (defined as the unlawful taking of life (but again, by whose definition of lawful?)) By what standard do you base your morality…? By what arrogance would you impose ‘your’ morality over those whose morality would dictate you dead? Might make right? If yes, then what argument have you against a Marxist gov/looter gang/big Arab guy with a sword?

    -There ARE moral absolutes, and they begin with ‘Thou Shalt Not’

    -(JM, said earlier that Christians are going to proselytize, and he’s cool with that…..soooo I’m taking him up on it to a degree)
    -Murder is the unlawful taking of life as defined by God. Not by state, not by ‘church’, and not by tribe – those laws are only just when they mirror the laws of the creator of man….ditto the other nine. Point being.. if we don’t recognize moral absolutes, that morality IS NOT relative… at the very least, if we can’t find our way out of that ‘wet paper heresy’ we’re in one hell of a lot more trouble than we realize.
    -Look, I understand I may have dropped kicked a hornets nest here. Want to make clear I confidently presume that every individual reading these posts by JM are lovers of liberty, see bad shit a coming, and want to protect their family and their own. My point being – when it get’s hard, and I mean really hard – and choices have to be made…morality matters. Without moral absolutes you may well end up on the wrong side of a very important decision.
    -Last point: While I hold JM’s posts as the ‘tactical gospel’, and continue to do so, I believe the point on ‘turn the other cheek’ as a giant swing n’ a miss. I’m in total agreement that “It’s sure as shit not some pastoral pacifist commune” (lol, btw). It depends upon what ‘time’ it is. Does the aggressor misunderstand context/application, and thus aggression?…well, then you take the hit, and stand ready for another. Or by a ‘time’ is understanding lost, and taken out to absurdum – .i.e. if a man rapes your wife-do you turn your cheek and give him your daughter as well? The answer is no. Given the ‘time’, Christ also calls us to take up a sword-to protect the meek, to bring justice, and to harvest the wicked. Only God knows what ‘time’ is coming as he sees fit. Meanwhile, Christians, fellow lovers of liberty, who see dangerous times approaching – sharpen swords, and thank men like you, Mr. Mosby, for the training and application of swordsmanship.
    ~Blessings

    • Dave permalink

      Do you have a way to reconcile “absolute morality” with Rahab lying to hide the Israelite spies and being praised for it as an act of faith?

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