Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sowell on Identity

During decades of researching racial and ethnic groups in countries around the world — with special attention to those who began in poverty and then rose to prosperity — I have yet to find one so preoccupied with tribalistic identity as to want to maintain solidarity with all members of their group, regardless of what they do or how they do it.

Any group that rises has to have norms, and that means repudiating those who violate those norms, if you are serious. Blind tribalism means letting the lowest common denominator determine the norms and the fate of the whole group.

Read the
rest of Thomas Sowell here.

[HT: Robinson and Long ]


Jeff said...

There is some connection to "blind tribalism" and status quo in business. I see it through my own frustration at my company knowing the market is changing around us and yet still adhering to old behaviors. Do you rise and create new norms, or do you establish norms and then rise to meet them? And how much energy does it take to keep them up there?
Just some musings on a Friday afternoon...

Michael Wade said...


Good musings. I worry about some of the new norms if their tendency is to divide rather than unite.