On Clans

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how it is that similar tribal governments arose in faraway places like Scotland and North America.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Book of Mormon, there is an episode where the entire government collapses due to gross incompetence and corruption. The people lose all faith in their elected government and decide to simply pay it no more heed, because the corrupt elements pay it no heed and it is powerless to stop the corruption.

The end result is that the land divided itself into tribes or clans. The tribes were made up of people related by blood and familiarity. Each tribe managed their own affairs, and the rule of law between the tribes was “No war.”

Compared to the previous government, this sounds, especially to Western Europeans, like a regression. The previous government was based on laws and courts and such. This new government had no laws, and each tribe was free to create their own laws.

We are living in a day when this style of government sounds increasingly appetizing.

At issue, the corruption of the governments. When governments no longer perform their duty of protecting individual rights, but when people, on a large scale, come to understand that it is simply a tool by which their labor and wealth is exploited for the benefit of a few who don’t have to live by the same rules, then people simply stop paying attention to it and live their lives ignorant of it. In order to protect individuals from the malicious government, people naturally bind themselves together, and the most natural bond is the bond of friendship and family. If enough people bind together this way, there is nothing government can do anymore.

Clans provide a lot more than governments can. For instance, welfare is more properly distributed by clans than governments. If you have a need, you turn to your friends and family, and together you pool your resources and find a solution to your needs. If there is someone perpetually in need, then their friends and family intervene in their behalf. For instance, if drug laws were non-existent, and my son or daughter got hooked on drugs, I would be much more able to care for them than the state would simply because I actually care about my own children. If I reached out to my extended family and my network of friends, I would be much more capable than I would alone.

Some people might turn to community organizations or churches when clans would better suit the need. Unlike churches and community organizations, clans are not optional. You automatically belong, and others are automatically bound to you. This demands duty, it demands respect, it demands some sort of law that everyone must abide by and that no one can be exempt from.

If the federal government continues on its current trajectory, I recommend you look into building up your own “clan”. Connect with your family. Connect with your friends. Let them know that you have an unbreakable bond, that you are very deeply interested in their welfare and you hope they have the same. When you have a problem you can’t solve, turn first to your family and friends, and be available to help them in exchange. As more and more people do this and your network grows, naturally you’ll want a leader, either formally or informally, to see that justice is done and people don’t abuse each other. That leader will naturally build a council he can turn to to make important decisions. These things happen naturally and are coded in our very essences the same way we have ten fingers and ten toes. Embrace it, and use it for good.

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