Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We Are The People

Anthropologically speaking, it is not at all uncommon for a primitive tribe to call itself 'The People' or sometimes 'The Human Beings'.

By definition in a tribal society, everyone who is not of 'The People' is an enemy. The tribal leaders are able to achieve a high degree of loyalty from their members, on the one hand by claiming that they know from their experience and wisdom what is best for 'The People' and on the other by maintaining an implied threat to exile any dissident, cutting them off from 'The People' and sending them out into an alien and hostile world.

Important problems present themselves for tribal leaders as members grow more sophisticated and begin to interact more with other tribes, for example by trading with them rather than just fighting them in the traditional way.

First, alternative sources of authority and alternative truths will be presented to members of the tribe. It will become obvious that other tribes have contrived to prosper without necessarily following the methods prescribed by the leaders of 'The People'.

Secondly, the tribal territory may become less precisely defined.

In the early tribal period of course nomadism precluded any notion of owning land. Once the tribe settled down to a more sedentary agricultural existence it was necessary to introduce at least a communal land-ownership concept in order that those who worked to grow food should also be able to enjoy eating it.

However once tribes begin to mingle then there arises the problem of whether anyone who lives within the territory of 'The People' should be regarded as a member of 'The People' or not.

Perhaps however of greater concern is the members of 'The People' who gradually lose their subservience to their traditional leaders and begin to suspect that peaceful mingling with other tribes is potentially better than enmity.

At this point, in order to defend their power, the tribal leaders will usually try and start a war.

Sadly it seems the SNP administration have declared war on a very large segment of the population of Scotland, probably still the majority. Whatever the outcome, it will not be good.