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Pluralism: Setting the Battlegrounds for Tribalism

Updated: May 22, 2021

With western society having gone through its multicultural phase, establishing diversity of race and ethnicity. For the last 2 decades or so, we have been transitioning into a political philosophy and sociological theory known as pluralism.

Pluralism, as a phase, is marked by its deviation from the principles that positioned multiculturalism with acceptance and tolerance. Multicultural societies are diverse in race and ethnicity, but tolerance and acceptance within the dominate culture has been dependent on foreign integration.

This integration went beyond culture and included political and social philosophies. During the integration period, emphasis is placed on cultural characteristics and the transition from old ways and loyalties, to conforming to new identity was/is supported institutionally and by the dominate culture.

One would assume pluralism to be an organic progressive evolution of the multicultural phase. As racial and ethnic populations increase - power by numbers becomes realized. Within communal subsets, the desire to maintain rituals and traditions becomes an ever-increasing want and desire. Integration starts to erode as minority groups demand cultural acceptance.

Further contributing to this erosion of integration, is the creation of enclaves. Communities once founded on racial and ethic lines but have extended to include sexual orientation and religion as identifying factors. With such a creation the foreigner (outsider) is no longer introduced to the dominate culture daily. Instead their neighborhoods become echo chambers reverberating old traditions and rituals; the culture of the old world.

Within increases in population density and the creation of communal enclaves, one must ask why would these foreigners want to conform with social and institutional pressures being removed or restrained? The answer is, they don’t and never did. With the removal of such pressures there is nothing motivating them to conform through cultural change.

Tools deployed both institutionally and socially often applied the use of shaming. As we have come to see in recent years, this technique has facilitated great hostilities. This acting as a stimulant furthering frustration and deviation and is a result of enclave communities sharing mutual stories of oppression and discrimination.

Stories of discrimination being mutually shared carry many motivations. From actual occurrences to social status claims. Contributing to this matter is the ambiguity of that which defines a notion like discrimination. With a concept being loosely defined, its expression and experienced could be more an issue of perspective and less a matter of hatred.

Regardless of the perception of an action/behaviour or how perceptions can and is guided. The truth of the matter is, larger geographical neighborhoods have been transitioned from homogenise to diverse communities under multiculturalism. With foreign enrollment and integration, a key component of such variation.

Now those same communities are converting back to homogenised under pluralism. This transition is now focused on the foreign enclave’s culture being represented within the given neighborhood. Leading to the subjugation and isolation, for those who did not take ‘flight’ as the demographic transition took place and forcing the flight principle to take affect.

This re-segregation and new formed homogeneity established community is now based on objective homogeny and subjective variation. This organically lends itself to tribalism, with a communal emphasis being place on the ‘us vs them’. This mantra is required for communal consolidation, as unity ushers in a community’s ability to mobilize in times of emergency.

A community’s ability to mobilize is often dependent on the notion of the ‘other’. To strengthen a community’s unity, outside of a common disaster, comes at the cost of identifying the ‘other’ and defining them as a risk or liability, resulting in the segregation and subjugation of the ‘other’. Embedded in this reality of ‘us vs them’, leads no room for negotiation nor compromise amongst difference.

Companionship is only temporary and obtainable through mutual benefit. Benefits often stemming from the conquest of the ‘other’ and the obtainment of resources in all their forms. As such pluralism as a philosophy is nothing more than self destructive. How such a philosophy can creep in almost undetected, blurred by moral interest and intent.

Sold as enrichment, resulting in groups division, down to the most superficial characteristic. Each time a new identifier is present, conforming to the new is the erosion of what is. In the end creating smaller and smaller aggregates within a once unified group.

With a larger society broken into multiple groups (tribes), such communal division weakens the social fabric that unifies us, limiting resources and mobilization in the face of hardship. In turn creating increase risk and liability of third-party intervention; those who make big promises, with an empty reality. Short lived at most.

Looking to the risk associated with third-party intervention with conquest as an intent. We must ask is the ever-increasing variations within identifiers an organic or engineered process. Looking at the here and now, I think most would be hard pressed in stating there is an organic nature to this deviation from the central tendency.

If this was an organic occurrence there would be an almost universal acceptance and tolerance within each deviation from the norm. That is not present within todays societies. From doubting biological realities to laws look more to feelings and less about harms.

Transitioning in such a manner leads to confusion and alienation, furthering tribalistic outlooks and behaviours. This setting the battlegrounds for what will in inevitably become riddled with conflict and hostilities towards the ‘other’. It is this environment of hostility and conflict that will be truly an organic evolution of pluralism. Demographics are king here. For when your community is reduced to factions, supremacy from the position of establishing norms are lost in an endless battle for dominance.

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