past historical structures

The Tyranny of the Past (Societal bondage - Societal breakdown)

From a History of God by Karen Armstrong, page 133:
They now had almost enough …and were making Mecca an international center of trade and high finance … some even believed that their wealth had given them a certain immortality. But Muhammad believed that this new cult of self-sufficiency would mean the disintegration of the tribe. In the old nomadic days the tribe had had to come first and the individual second: each one of its members knew that they all depended on one another for survival. Consequently that had a duty to take care of the poor and vulnerable people of their ethnic group. Now individualism had replaced the communal idea and competition had become the norm … unless … (they) learned to put another transcendent value at the center of their lives and overcome their egotism and greed, his tribe would tear itself apart morally and politically …