Tribalism, resources and conflicts

To the editor:

“Tribalism” is defined as “A strong feeling of Identity with and loyalty to one’s tribe or group.” And so it is the world over. And so it is with clans, nations, groups, gangs, family, race, parties, religions, etc. These tribes self-identify, have same beliefs, support and protect each other, fight off the same enemies, worship the same gods, marry among each other. In other words they are cohesive groups who have a main mission in life — to procreate themselves so as to continue the tribes’ existence.


In the distant past these tribes were small and had humongous lands to disperse into and multitudinous animals to feed them. From meager beginnings  tribes and humans have grown geometrically, now today numbering 7.8 billion individual human beings. Land availability, a finite resource, has shrunk accordingly and the vast animal populations have disappeared, yet population size still increases. There are more births than deaths. Births increase geometrically into a finite land and resources, though some say that births are in decline in most modern societies. 

You cannot feed 100 head of cattle with one acre of grass, or so I have been told. Humans also need food, jobs and resources to survive. As populations increase, arable land decreases, jobs get fewer and food less available. There are winners and losers in this game with winners getting most of the resources while the losers get less and less. There is only one end result to all this: conflict.  

Human beings have been at each other’s throats since the dawn of human history. Just read a bit of history or peruse the Bible to confirm this bit of trivia. Conflict, war, competition and strife, have been emblematic of human history and still are. The main cause of all this conflict throughout history has been the constant fight for resources, be it either land and animals of old, or jobs and wealth of modern times. 

Now figure climate change into all this and you have a recipe for cataclysmic disaster. Do I have a solution for all this most certain disaster about to descend on us all in the coming years? I wish I did. But one thing that would probably help is to realize that we are all one species and that we all need to become one tribe to hopefully try to keep this one tribe from going totally extinct and our planet becoming just another lifeless Mars. 

James P. Chasse

St Agatha, Maine 

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