Globalism & Tribalism: Two Forces At Work

Globalism & Tribalism: Two Forces At Work

Lately I have been fascinated with the idea of two opposing forces going toe to toe. I can’t help but to think of Newton’s 3rd law of motion stating that for every action there is an opposite yet equal reaction. That all the energy in the world is already out there looking to be converted into another means. This brings me to the concept of globalism and it’s opposite, yet equal, force tribalism. In a nut shell it basically states that as the world is constantly getting smaller (globalism) the world is in fact getting larger (tribalism). Through globalization, there is an active blurring of boundaries yet our world seems to constantly be splintering into smaller and smaller categories. The world is a mass of niches which we can constantly subdivide.

If globalization is forcing a world of black and white into a thousand shades of grey, we know that it is actively blurring the distinctions between the two. However, with tribalism, we are constantly creating new categories and subcategories with an infinite amount of possibilities. Here we are putting up more boundaries instead of blurring the distinctions. Thanks to these two forces, we are all more similar yet constantly reminded of our differences; often creating more differences as we go along. Maybe the analogy of the spectrum does not make sense here but it is an interesting one to think about. The question arises, when do we create too many boundaries that is just looks grey. Is it simply a matter of perspective? The duality of these two forces is at least something to think about.


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4 responses to “Globalism & Tribalism: Two Forces At Work”

  1. Tetoro says :

    A well thought post, the analogy with Newton’s 3rd law is interesting.
    I don’t think that it’s globalization that makes people to gather in tribes. But the way that governments and big companies are forcing the people to be global makes them frightened to only be one similar being among so many other. So they build tribes to feel different and distinguish themselves from the crowd

    • Dan Fonseca says :

      Very interesting! As a survival instinct kicking in perhaps? It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to specialization, simply difference. Seems as though the governments and big companies are viewed as a little “too” big. All very interesting.Thanks for weighing in!

    • John Garrett Jones says :

      Doesn’t tribalism spring from the idea that one group of people is inherently different from other groups? When one lot goes to war, the other lot becomes the enemy and can be murdered or wounded – which certainly does not apply within the tribe. Globalism on the other hand has as its basic premise that we are all humans and all humans have the same rights. There has recently been a NATO summit meeting in Wales. Main items: how to react to the Islamic threat in Iraq and Syria and the Russian threat in Ukraine and the need for every NATO signatory to meet its commitment to pay 2% of GDP to NATO.
      It is our contention that these are matters for an empowered UN, not for one segment of the global population in opposition to other segments of the global population – which is simply tribalism writ large and a denial of our common humanity.
      It is not a human right to be able to wage war. In fact the war which began a century ago deprived 16 million human beings of their most basic right, the right to life. Another 21 million were wounded, many of them incapacitated for life. See and

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  1. The Globalism – Tribalism Collusion | Tetoro's Lair - May 16, 2012

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