November 30, 1977
What’s the Agenda?
A Look at a Tribal Future
In the cultural wars engulfing the nation, one often wonders what is the final long-term goal of the other side. The liberal attack on Christian civilization is so intense that there must be some kind of goal. And yet, it is very unclear as to what kind of civilization is to replace Christian civilization.
Leftist ideologues have long pointed to an ideal stateless society with total freedom and total equality. This anarchical ideal, which forsees no government at all, leads one to ask if it is a simple matter of trading civilizations. Looking at the writings of many postmodern authors, civilization itself seems to be the target.
Indeed, civilization is the target. Hierarchical models are being pulled down. Morals, effort and restraint are losing ground. In business, education, culture and so many other fields, the tribal archetype is appearing ever more frequently. Companies encourage workers to work together as a tribe. Youth get together and socialize as tribes. Even some religious worship has taken on tribal overtones. The breakdown of old structures and old morals opens the way for this transformation.
“The New Tribal Revolution is an escape route from the prison of our culture,” writes Daniel Quinn in his 1999 book, Beyond Civilization, Humanity’s Next Great Adventure. He continues:
“The tribal life wasn’t something humans sat down and figured out. It was the gift of natural selection, a proven success – not perfection but hard to improve on. Hierarchalism, on the other hand, has proven to be not merely imperfect but ultimately catastrophic for the earth and for us.”
What is this tribal ideal that goes beyond civilization? What are its characteristics? What is the philosophy behind it? Who supports it? What exactly is the long-term goal?
These are the questions answered by this fascinating study. Indian Tribalism, the Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira is a study of these trans-civilized goals.
Set in the seventies, Prof. de Oliveira took issue with a whole school of missionary ideologues who found the primitive Indian tribalism in Brazil to be a model for all society. This same school vehemently attacked Christian civilization as a source of social evils. “We have only to learn from the Indians,” claimed these missionaries as they extolled the nudity, community of goods and mysticism of the primitive tribes.
Today, the ideas of these avant-garde missionaries are approaching mainstream and Prof. de Oliveira’s study shows his extraordinary foresight and takes on a new timeliness. His masterly defense of Christian civilization is a perfect antidote to those who would impose communal tribal values on what is left of Christian civilization.