Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tribe Economics

A gift economy works well for a tribe. A person's status is based not on what he has, but on what he can contribute. In a traditional tribe, the good hunter who shared with the tribe was well respected. Those who were healers, those with plant knowledge, those who could build and use the tools of the culture, were all respected for what they could give.

To those of us raised in a money economy, the ability to get is what's respected. The idea of developing skills and gathering things only to give them away, seems odd. However, it makes sense for the tribe. If the tribe does well, the individuals in the tribe do well. Giving to members of the tribe makes the tribe stronger. A strong tribe gives support, caring, security, and love to the individuals. Isn't that what people really want? Getting it directly from members of the tribe is direct and unfiltered.

Many of us have, or are in the process of forming tribes of our own. It's rarely an official thing. We gather to share chores, building, repairing, harvesting -just about anything that needs doing. Money isn't exchanged. It's not barter, as no one is keeping score. The tribal mindset isn't all that hard to slip into. People have done it for thousands and thousands of years. It's not just work. We gather around our fires, (or maybe just the barbecue grill) where we laugh, sing, drink and dance. Our support is mutual. Membership is a bit loose, but those who act like tribe members are treated like tribe members.

One issue with living with a tribal mindset is that it spills into the "real" work. You just might find yourself doing nice things for people with no expectation of reward. Actually, if enough enough of us did that, we'd be the humanity tribe, and I don't see a downside.



  1. the family, the tribe, the clan... will be the basis for new civilizations hopefully more honest and truthful at all levels..

    this present system of diseased monkee crap got to end soon...


  2. It takes a village ?
    Of course it does.
    Not just a few privileged at the top reaping all rewards ?
    Left and right are both flawed systems.
    One must give to get....

  3. Makes perfect sense to me...and would be a better way to go than what many are doing now!

    Good post!