they are not fighting under tribal flags. it is the flag of the future of humanity

NY Times Tom Friedmanhas pointed out, in a lovely article, that Libya, like Iraq and other countries in the middle east, is a tribal society and not a homogeneous society, like Egypt or Tunisia. He expressed his doubts whether such societies can handle the transition to democracy without deteriorating to a civil war waged between the different tribes.

It is true that  Libya's struggle to freedom from Gaddafi's regime seems more like a tribal war than anything else. I believe it has more to do with the way Gaddafi ruled than any other aspect. One doesn't have to dig deep into Libya's distributions of resources. Fact is that Gaddafi's tribe of origin controls the most potent weapons. This is why external intervention was so critical.

But with all due respect to Tom Friedman, whose point regarding the risks of an ethnically diversified society is supported by political research, I believe he missed a major point -

  1. All developed democratic countries can be described as tribes. Especially the United states, with its plural minorities, and clashing identities. The rules of engagement between rivaling tribes are determined by many factors, other than group identity. 
  2. The one critical factor which sets these rules of engagement is whether people have another identity, other than their tribal one and  our modern world suggest this alternative, broader identity: Globalization. 

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and modern communication are not playing a major role just for their technical efficiency. The citizens of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria and other countries of the middle east have another emerging identity, which globalization has created.

They are all citizens of the world, and as the internet has given them tools to see what other citizens of the world get, they want their equal share - and justly so.

Only time will tell whether the Globalistic identity can rival the Tribal identity. But if people in ethnically diversified societies of the developed world have been able to form a higher shared identity, there is no reason people all over the world cannot do just that.

Instead of calling the United States of America to fold into its own affairs, I believe movers and shakers of public opinion, of the caliber of Tom Friedman, should call for a different route: Barack Obama's personal biography can be a pattern for the world to follow. Obama can be the first person to be identified as a true leader of the world, thanks to his complicated, multi-cultured identity. He can raise the flag of Humanity, for all to follow.
As I've written elsewhere, The U.S does not have to intervene military-wise everywhere. But its moral sound must be heard.

אין תגובות:

הוסף רשומת תגובה