tribal drum
Contemporary tribalism should be familiar to any sports fan.

It doesn’t require special insight to see the tribalism that provides the emotional basis and marketplace foundation for, say, a successful professional football franchise.

We support our local sports tribes with great passion, collectively exulting in “our” triumphs on the field of combat, agonizing over “our” defeats, and celebrating our tribal identity via all manner of insignia, banners, and specialized forms of clothing--sometimes even going so far as to cover our faces and bodies in war paint.

There is nothing wrong with any of this. It feeds a basic human need for belonging and participation in something larger than ourselves.

Our team/tribe mediates between us and the larger world, which is so vast that it tends to render us individually insignificant. The team/tribe is simultaneously big enough to make an impact on the larger world, and small enough to enable us to identify with it.