The Partitioning of Power


Power sharing - Other grouping attempts

Concepts are useful when they help us understand ourselves or our times. In 1914, the Germans, the French, and the British, went to war because they were German, French, or British. National pride was so strong that men went to a war that a sane person would have avoided. By the time the Americans were in Vietnam national pride was too weak for them to die for it. They would support their buddies, but they were not there because of national pride. The concept was no longer strong enough to make men go to war.

As we think, so we become. When our concepts are outmoded we cannot understand our times. We continue to look at the Emperor who believes he has new clothes. We cannot see these new clothes but the concept is so strong that we continue to believe. We know something is wrong and might even believe that some of our concepts could be the cause of our problems. However, until we have a superior concept we continue to bemoan our fate.

Our present structure is a triangle with national government at the top and the family as the base of the triangle. With the tribalised community as the principal societal structure the triangle becomes a circle. All other structures, governance, justice, and production, form a ring of support.

Tribalised communities are a heterarchy, a computer term, which means that the forces of change, or ideas, can come from any part of the organism - there is no central pivot or point of progression. Conceptions about the development of tribalised communities are necessarily loose. Growth cannot be assumed to be a progression of steps. Their ability to transform and evolve is a dominant factor. They must invent different attitudes and processes where there is no previous experience to guide them.

Tribalised communities cannot be compared with capitalistic or communistic society. It diverges from a capitalism based on material profit as its focus is inter-personal and naturalistic values. It diverges from a communism based on class struggle. It was not that all the ideas of communism were so wrong. What was wrong was that its execution, in the hands of politicians, merely transferred ownership from the capitalists to the party. The dictatorship of the proletariat proved to be the dictatorship of the communist political party and instead of the state `withering away' the party political apparatus dominated.

Communism is also a hierarchal structure through its dictatorship of the proletariat. As Jon Elster pointed out in his INTRODUCTION TO KARL MARX, this dictatorship was Leninism not Marxism.

Karl Marx never developed a theory of organisation, except for the general remark that "the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves." Lenin, with relentless pragmatism, insisted on a centralized and hierarchical organisation of the workers.1

Tribalised communities represent the personal politics of individuals. A political stance is expressed through an alignment with an organisation, such as Rajneesh, computer hackers, or IBM. A tribalised community creates a pattern of interests and the presence of shared political attitudes. These political attitudes share concepts opposed to national government and seeking a partitioning of power.

Power sharing

Tribalised communities interact with each other spatially, usually through a web of relationships. Energy is nurtured and developed with other communities. The model is of organic growth through social interaction with the entire organism continually expanding. This process is part of a steady devolution from larger social organisations, usually nations, and a seeking of power, including legal and political power, within the smaller community. It is a conscious movement towards the partitioning of national political power.

This accurately reflects how most of Western oriented society is developing; how we devote our thinking and energy. There are newspaper, legal, medical, environmental, gay, and dockworker, tribalised communities. They are composed of people who act in certain ways because of their tribalised community more than any other reason. External politics, religion, and race, no longer determine the actions of people or how energy is expended.

The Yuppies are dedicated to being successful members of upwardly mobile professionals. They have the correct regalia (B.M.W.s, ski holidays, etc.). Their sexual relationships are goal supporting mechanisms. They are tribal in interest and have not recognized what that means. Their actions are determined by what a Yuppie should be doing and not politics, religion, or race.

It has its complement in the Japanese clan as described by Peter Trasker in THE JAPANESE: A MAJOR EXPLORATION OF MODERN JAPAN:
`Kaisha' is the Japanese word for company. If the two characters with which it is written are reversed, they read `shakai', which means society. The salaryman's company is his society, providing a network of relationships that gives meaning to his whole existence. In comparison all other human activities are unfocused, lacking in reality. Private life, as Westerners know it, is merely a basic support system which enables the proper business of life to be carried out with the minimum of difficulty.2

Other grouping attempts

The discussion about structures other than pyramidal have, surprisingly, elicited considerable discussion in communist nations. Tatyana Zaslavskaya is an economic sociologist and an advisor to former Soviet leader, Gorbachev. She has written a book titled THE SECOND SOCIALIST REVOLUTION: AN ALTERNATIVE SOCIALIST STRATEGY, where she rejects the orthodoxy of Marxist classes and believes that a person should be the master of his own labour. She has been quoted as follows:

"There are actually 75 groups in society and it is not even called a class structure, it is a socio-economic structure. We should understand people's actual situations to determine their interests, and then we can begin to study their behaviour and understand their characteristics."3

East Germany created an economic tribal situation that was controlled by politicians and not seen as the primary social structure. The East German government created 150 `Kombinates' that are a series of factories in a single industry structured horizontally and sometimes vertically. They operate as a single reporting unit. They created 150 tribes of twenty to thirty thousand people concentrated in 150 areas. All the chemical people would be in one and all the acting people in another would be an example.

The Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living in Japan has suggested six categories of economic and social groupings. These are the Crystal tribe (attracted to famous brands), My Home tribe (family-oriented), Leisure Life tribe, Gourmandism tribe, Ordinary People tribe and Impulse Buyer tribe.

To have a society of tribalised communities means that national geographical boundaries have no validity. Saudi Arabia only came into existence as a nation in the early 1900's. Before that time it consisted of tribes that roamed over a certain part of the land. Similarly, tribalised communities are not attached to land but to an interest that may exist all over the world. The jojoba growers have an interest in producing jojoba oil from the bean of the jojoba bush. When they meet at a symposium they discuss production in the U.S., Australia, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. Their interest is jojoba, not whether they are American or Mexican, Moslem or Hebrew, black or white.

Actors are another good example. They are a segment of the population dedicated to performing before an audience. They go to the same places, they do the same things, they think in a certain way, they relate to each other, and relate only peripherally to engineers, schoolteachers and others. They do most things because they are actors, not because they are British or American, black or oriental, communist or capitalist, atheist or Bhuddist. They have their heroes and models; they know what is acceptable or not in their society; they can join schools of acting in their youth and die while still actively engaged in their profession; their life is spent, as with most people, with a group that really is `their life'.

The most elegant conception of actors and jojoba farmers is that of tribalised communities interacting with other groups, usually on an economic level. Actors interact with other actors. Jojoba growers spend their life growing better strains of jojoba. They belong to a community of growers, not nations. The artificial boundaries of nations represent trading barriers, nothing else. For a society of tribalised communities, boundaries are limits of bio-regional economic areas; natural boundaries of geographic and economic viability, such as the Los Angeles basin.

Our need for identification and material/consumer demands suggests that tribalised communities will have their greatest growth in business. Individuals already strongly identify with a type of skill or commercial enterprise. The usual question of identification is "What do you do?", not "What family do you belong to?", or "What is your nationality?". Tribalised communities of business ventures express the ascendancy of consumerism as the dominant world allegiance.

Peter Drucker in, THE NEW REALITIES, describes the growth of some organisations as the "new pluralism". He describes "organs" of society, such as a hospital where the "product" is a cured patient, or a school where the "product" is a student capable of entering the workforce. Drucker calls them minority groups. To him they are a minority group because they operate independently of the main motivation of society, ie., producing for a profit. However, rather than concentrating on the "product", these pluralist organisations can be thought of as tribalised communities that share a commitment to a mission such as health or teaching. Health and teaching are essential to society and because they do not produce an obvious profit is no reason to believe that they are pluralistic.

Kirkpatrick Sale in, HUMAN SCALE, describes the resurgence of localism where organisations, committed to neighborhood projects etc., form independently of state control. Others have described it as a multiplicity of communities or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The essential element to be noted, however, is that through these organisations real choices are made. The resulting movement towards political devolution is being made by organisations that have the confidence to break away from authoritarian structures.

This breakdown of the monolithic state into a multiplicity of tribes or communities not only restores a feeling of belonging to individuals but also restores financial control at the proper level.

For example, the librarian tribalised community wants libraries to function in a specific manner. They may wish that this function should be their concern, not the politicians. Librarians are providing a service that the public consumes and are in direct contact with their consumers. Libraries are an `organ' of society whose usefulness to society is dependent on funding provided by their patrons. However, this funding is in the form of taxes and it is at this junction that the library tribalised community interconnects with the political tribalised community.

At present, the political tribalised community decides for the public the value of the library service. The library, the hospital, the school, the taxi, the optical company, the book store, are all organisations providing a service – is there any reason they should be treated differently? The members of such organisations are psychically involved in its well being and naturally resent outside interference. The present structure is artificial with the political power deciding who will receive funding based on political bias. The ultimate test, who is willing to expend energy on the service is not applied.

Librarians believe their operation should be the concern of librarians and their patrons, not outsiders. They want some measure of control over their lives and this is expressed in the connection between their work and their psychic investment. In simple business terms - operational decisions should be made by the persons who actually perform the operations.

The concept of tribalized communities includes the devolution of power away from power centres to libraries, hospital boards, school boards and the like. The present political power system removes the responsibility of good governance from the populace. Tribalised communities, where organisations are governed by local boards of patrons or members, places the responsibility and accountability where, according to superior organisations structure, it should be, as close to the customer as possible. Communities should be formed around specialised knowledge and interest. An example is actors located in Los Angeles where the specialised knowledge of supporting crafts are located. Such a location brings together the individual desires for community and the demands of the global market for efficiency.

1. An introduction to Karl Marx, by Jon Elster. P. 13.
2. The Japanese: A major exploration of Modern Japan, by Peter Trasker. E. P. Dutton-Truman Tally Books. N.Y. P.92.
3. P. 34, Time Magazine, September 7, 1987.