Tribes have a disintegrating effect on law and order when they are not integrated into their civil societies. This pattern is obvious at the scale of nation-states with warring tribes, military juntas, smuggling rings, urban gangs and drug cartels. Their honor code refutes the imposed legal code that frames them as "outlaws" to be hunted down and killed. The same pattern emerges less violently within stable institutions as the shared identities of political action groups, sports teams, fraternities, "the old guard", splinter groups, rival factions, and privileged elites. Tribes within institutions undermine change efforts, polarize issues in need of consensus and disrupt more inclusive communities.
When we're outsiders to a tribe, we can see them "doing the tribe thing" in an unstoppable way that does not listen to reason. It looks to our uppity outlook like they are over-identified with their shared identity, solidarity and safety in numbers. Their devotion to their own kind, while demonizing outsiders, appears dysfunctional and counter productive from our separate perspective. We can perceive how the tribes don't get how they've become contaminated, captivated and compromised by "being a tribe" This outlook falls far short of integrating tribes into our civil society. We look down on tribal behavior as if we're superior and levels above all that. Devaluing tribes merely returns the favor of being devoted to our own non-tribal kind while demonizing "those nasty tribes". Our counter dependence on tribes is getting us nowhere quickly. We are feeding the tribe problem by doing unto tribes as they do unto us.
When its no longer about us, we can respect tribes with what we now discover. We reverse our outlook so it's all about them that we now care about, respect and seek to include. We then see what results tribes are able to get successfully. We see how appealing tribes are to our human emotions, urges and instincts. We see how similar "doing the tribal thing" is to getting followers, building a fan base, generating buzz and spawning loyalty. We realize that tribes aren't all bad and don't have it all wrong. We learn a lesson as if tribes are our teachers. We get the point of tribes doing their thing to fire up emotions, engender enthusiasm and inspire dedication. We discover common ground with tribes when we outgrow using policies, "law and order" enforcement and institutional doctrines to get buy-in. Totems, tokens and rituals take on new meanings. We realize the benefits of tribal conduct in market niche creation, advertising campaigns, product launches and crowdsourced innovations.
When it's no longer about them, we can integrate tribes into civil society. It's about all of us with no one excluded. The feeling of belonging, connection and interdependency becomes palpable. We "come from a tribal place" where it makes sense we're all in the same tribe beyond the level of obvious differences. Mutual respect becomes the new norm. Stories change as members of tribes, institutions and markets get the societal transformation that's emerging. Misunderstandings get cleared up as we depend more on each other with added trust, respect, and fascination. It appears we've done the integration thing at a personal level and it has shown up on the outside as our experience of living in the world.