The ethos of “find your tribe” “find your truth” actually kills tribalism.
Why? Because a tribe (a community) is meant to hold together when times are tough as well as when times are good.
Our tribes are held together by convenience. When one’s “truth” changes, one can change tribes with no regret – because the larger value in our society is that of being true to oneself above all else.
In the conservative online community, we talk often about the useful effects of community standards, and how soft methods of social control help maintain the community. And then someone looks at me, a respectable matron, and expects me to trot out the social controls.
But there’s a problem. No one cares. In order for social control to work, the person being controlled has to care more about the community than they do about the discipline. And we’ve all been taught to *not* care, to push back against any authority, anyone that might make us consider changing our behavior.
No one agrees on truth. This is less of a problem in religious conservative circles, because we can always go back to Bible. But even so, we argue. We argue because we don’t have a common tradition, a common, “this is just how things are done”. (If we did, being Western, we’d decide to throw it away because it was old and outmoded).
We’ve become so individualistic as a society that community is something we put on just for now, just while it feels good, just while it works for us. Why? Because we don’t need it to survive. Give the community the authority it had when our grandparents were young, the authority to regulate “respectable” behavior, and see how fast people leave. We’re humans, and humans don’t like to be controlled.
And that fact is why individuality will trump community until the community is a need, not a want.
Everyone can go somewhere else.