When I was 12 or 13, I used to have heated discussions with my father about Communism. Even then I had the wit to see that Communism’s major failing is its denial of human nature. Daddy, one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, had been so indoctrinated in Communism in the Germany of the 1920s and 1930s that he simply wouldn’t acknowledge this as a problem. That is, he agreed that I was correct that it denied human nature; he also believed, though, that humans could be changed from their feisty, competitive, greedy selves to fit into the Communist mold. I couldn’t imagine that Utopian event. Even then I touted Capitalism as the system most likely to turn human foibles to the greater good.
I thought of those long ago fights when I read Ex Cathedra on the subject of human tribalism, another quality that doesn’t seem erasable. As with capitalism, and it’s ability to harness innate greed and competitiveness, we need to hit upon a way to take our bone-deep tribalism and leverage it into mutual benefit for more than one tribe or, at the very least, to acknowledge that, in a tribal clash, we want our side to win.