Multi Neuro-Tribal Society

The futuristic elite living within the beltway of Washington and within sight of Starfleet Academy in San Francisco see themselves as the leadership of an Empire of Globalism endowed with Divine Right.

As they wear pristine white jumpsuit uniforms in oblong post-modernistic white penthouses with amorphous furniture that practically glows, they ponder the state of the world in front of pale blue holographic screens they manipulate with deft motions of their gracile hands.

For some reason, Iran furrows their brows to no end while their “own” rural provinces in Pennsylvania and Ohio escape their notice altogether.  Or at least, if these provinces force themselves into their attention, it irritates them to the core of their perfect beings.
*Error! Error!* Chimes the holographic display.  *There is an anomaly from the world of Covington IV in the Cincinnatus system.  The Harmony has been breached by a group of pilgrims sent to the Imperial Homeworld.  Class V discord detected! Warning! Error! Error!*

An agitated hand makes swatting motions now at the display to no avail.  The annoying red messages keep popping up and alarms blare…

In real life, no one truly believes in their gut any more that there is a single nation in the sense of a 19th and 20th century.  There’s a few places within the Pale where most institutions and production are centralized and then there is everywhere else, a flyover land full of barbarians that trade their raw commodities for the crafts of the cities.
Thus the geopolitics of Iran, Syria, or Russia matter far more to important people than the agitations of backwards people in nearby hinterlands.

If we could ever doubt it, let us look at wildly inconsistent immigration policy.  Beltway and Starfleet Academy cherry pick the best talent from the best institutions all over the world, making entry into their midst an exclusive privilege.  Everywhere else. outside of these walled-in green zones, anyone can show up from anywhere in the world and compete with the locals for their daily bread.
Not only are these policies complete opposites, the failure of elites to protect a larger territory belies the idea of citizenship within a nation-state—the idea that people are tied to a piece of land by birth and in return, the rulers give land-members certain claims and privileges over outsiders.
One way or another, the nation-state is over.  Without the protection of the state people both high and low turn to tribalism.  Yet with our new technologies, tribalism does not work the same as before.

Modern tribalism does not align neatly with any nation-state or piece of land.  It aligns with the interests of its members, wherever they may be.  The territory is wherever its people and its interests exist.  The territory of the state is concretely defined by borders drawn across pieces of land.  The territory of neuro-tribes is defined more abstractly, land is controlled only where it furthers their goals and is not too much of a strategic liability.

As the last of the fantastic economic elbow room freed up by the World Wars is taken up and we return to the Malthusian status quo, we are all forced to find groups that have our backs if we have any hope of thriving in this world.  History is not only not over.  History is just back to normal.  Now, with access to everyone online, we find those most like ourselves.

As people find their groups, the groups interact in a greater ecosystem, a multi-neural-tribal society.  These groups, like modern groups will not at all be equal.
We already have a caste system in all but name, but neuro-tribalism will develop and formalize it to a science.  The most effective tribe rises to the top and rules.  The people in this tribe are high intelligence, high agency, high creativity but recognize that most people need guidance and rules to function at all.

So while pursuing their own ways suitable to their kind, the golden-souled master morality rulers back a strict state religion and rigorous code of law that proscribes the lives of those who need it most.
The key problem of secular egalitarianism is it tries to treat everyone the same.  Worse, it tries hold everyone to the standard of the aristocracy of cognition and character.  Every one of us supposedly has the potential to be an intellectually-curious entrepeneur best-selling novelist astronaut.  Looking back, this will be seen as one of the most tragic and disastrous ideas of all time.

The freedoms that high agency people thrive on destroy those who need structure.  The rigid routines and strict punishments that make most normal people feel safe and secure are an unbearable burden for natural cognitive aristocrats who chafe until either they sabotage the social order or are killed off.
Secularism makes the society like a single aquarium with both salt and freshwater fish.
An aristocrat of the soul thrives on freedoms and spiritual challenges.
An ordinary guy turns to TV, drug abuse, and despair if he’s not given something to do at all times.
The obvious solution is to have them in separate societies with the aristocrat managing things, the ordinary guy following their lead.

The aristocrats, of course have to be a responsible elite that creates a social order that allows ordinary people to have families, friends, and healthy amounts of leisure.  When they fail at this, they lose the Mandate of Heaven and with it the ability to exercise their sacred freedoms.  With aristocratic freedom comes the responsibility to rule.  This is the post-secular social contract.

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

8 replies on “Multi Neuro-Tribal Society”

Plus their state religion sucks. No God but there is a devil, no heaven, confession without absolution, uninspiring architecture, boring rituals, and continuously stressful and unnatural demands. There are cults that are more humane.

As was so well covered in the “Macro-economics” piece and by Mr. Stark, outside the Pale might as well be the Sahara Desert to the current Elites, and those in their immediate Courts. And that Pale seems to shrink by the year.

To be blunt, most of those who were not selected to be part of those courts, that are not “bright enough to shine in (their) places”, they have been written off. Their labor and loyalty are required to fuel the global plumbing of the Empire’s soft power, but safety, dispute resolution, status, acknowledgement, almost all of these are being stripped away. In some cases as the resources are needed to fight the ever-increasing inflation in the Elite and near-Elite circles, in some cases out of a desire to weaken the non-Elites, and in an increasingly obvious number of cases, sheer contempt if not hatred. They don’t even have the justification of being two great families of the Italian commune (city) to cover their venom.

The new social compact discussed above is a reasonable deal by historical standards. The exact codification of such a compact would depend on thousands of factors, influences, deals, interests, and compromises. To reach that stage requires understandings, which may already be forming as the Mandate of Heaven is so obviously been conceded by the Elites. As noted above, “An aristocrat of the soul thrives on freedoms and spiritual challenges”, and I can think of few more relevant to this time than the challenge of building a functioning society from an Empire of Nothing.

Hunger Games but worse because they keep packing people into the territories of the flyovers that they don’t want.

(Formerly Garr) Permanently banned by Scott Alexander! No more commuting from nowhere to nowhere submerged in dense glop of groping clammy melting-cheese Slatestar goblins!

This is the post-secular social contract.

The rules have to be flexible enough to change — ends more flexible than middle, declarations of meaning clear and pyramids of power climbable. Speaking of power pyramids, it would be wise to accommodate the ambitious from the middle reaches. The poor are always poor because of their poor genes, but the middle class often produces a hard gem diamond from its ranks which quickly acclimatizes to the new order and introduces its own particular contributions. The biggest contribution to the future may well be a better state security system. The Elite will always have its Lucifers after all. Read the White Mountain series by a certain SF author…

Also apparently banned by Quillette (for commenting that Effective Altruism is a cult offering its votaries redemption from the sin of non-procreation).

The question is how will online tribes achieve cohesion. How will they enforce loyalty? How will they solve the free rider problem?

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