A primer in tribalism

I love a good story. In fact, this issue is full of them. The problem with a good story is that, when it etches itself so deeply in your psyche, it sometimes becomes intertwined with who you are.


You know, like, “I’m a Mac,” or “I’m a PC.”

That’s called tribalism.

Back in the day, the unity of the tribe, in its purist form, was based on kinship. If you weren’t kin, you were a stranger, i.e. the enemy. It’s how tribes preserved themselves, the village and their livlihood.

Tribes had a simple language that included lots of words like “we” and “them.” Solidarity was absolute, and loyalty critical to preservation.

Loyalty is actually a valuable and necessary bond in a family. No one tussled harder than I did with my brothers and sisters–but you never saw us kids align faster than if one of us was assailed from the outside.

Whereas loyalty is an appropriate conviction for kin, friends, churches, employers or clubs, it simply is not a proper bond of a civilized society.

Here’s why: Tribalism, albeit loyalty to kindred souls, is not the same as existing in a diverse, but civil society. Under the standards of loyalty, things like good citizenship are easily confused with loyalty to a particular position or candidate. Not good.

Suddenly the room gets divided, and fast. Sides become locked and statesmanship is lost. The orderly pursuit of reason and the common good quickly become a dive for personal ideology.

Alas, the Macs do not communicate with the PCs, and the PCs do not communicate with the Macs. I think that’s what happened with Congress and our budget, only with much larger stakes.

For our part, Correspondent Wendy Broffman was able to break through the gridlock for a great interview with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. There are a lot of changes happening on the Hill and Wendy gives a fantastic overview, as well as how said changes will affect our industry.

We also feature a great spread on NAHB’s Multifamily Management Company of the Year, The Bozzuto Group, and the latest news on our friend, Maxwell Drever, who was “Dreverizing” properties before it was cool.

The job of the media is to provide the news, background and commentary to help elevate the debate. I hope that you, our loyal reader, believe Multihousing Professional meets that objective.