I'm in New Mexico. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is Indian Country. Tribal peoples, in other words. Rather adaptable and successful ones, all in all.
Up and down the Rio Grande, there are more than a dozen active pueblos, and there are ruins of many more on the river and elsewhere throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Northern Mexico. Zunis are over on the West, and, a little further west in Arizona, the Hopi -- also a pueblo people -- live surrounded by the Navajo, who are not a pueblo people. Of course the other major non-pueblo tribe in New Mexico is the Apaches.
Human history in New Mexico goes back about as far as human history can be traced in North America, the Clovis site having some of the earliest evidence found yet. Elaborate Indian cultural centers (one hesitates to call them "cities" because that's not really what they are) have arisen and and have been abandoned over the centuries.
Today's pueblo peoples are quite certain that they are the direct descendants of those who built the astonishing structures in Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelley and elsewhere. There is really no reason to doubt them, while there may be reason to doubt the tales the latecomer Navajo tell that they were enslaved and were forced to build the structures scattered in ruins around New Mexico. The pueblo peoples laugh. The Navajos accuse the ancestors of the pueblo peoples of cannibalism. Yes, well. That's as may be.
The social structure of all these peoples and their ancestors is tribal, and for them it works very well. Strong kinship ties, strong rivalries, strong social bonds, weak political ones.
In 1540, then again in 1598, and yet again in 1692, Spaniards invaded the native world of New Mexico, and with considerable violent persuasion -- the stories of which are told with a passion today as if the events occured yesterday -- they took physical control of the land, planted their own colonists, and exploited the labor (and the souls) of the Indians. The Spanish entrada and reconquista was never without resistance, most famously the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 that forced the Spanish out of New Mexico for the next 12 years, but in the bye and bye, the Indians and the Spanish came to an uneasy truce and accommodation with one another that was shattered by the American conquest of the Southwest in 1846-48. In fact, the American conquest of New Mexico was marked a singular event. The Spanish and Indians joined together to resist the imposition of American authority, a resistance that led to the death of the American governor and a number of other Anglos in
Thus began the American occupation of New Mexico.
As I say, these events are as yesterday to many of the peoples of New Mexico. One thing about a tribal society is that the past is never entirely absent from consciousness. It is living history. In some ways all the peoples of New Mexico share this tribal sense of history and the present, though in the eyes of the Indians, both the Spanish and the Anglos are highly defective in basic social concepts. It's taken the Indians hundreds of years to begin to bring the Spanish around to proper social understanding. The Anglos often appear to be hopless, though bless their hearts, some of them try to adapt.
I'm sure my history of New Mexico is in error in many respects and is defective in other ways, but my point is simple: Tribalism and tribal peoples are alive and well in New Mexico, and the fact that they are is a benefit to everyone.
In other words, there's nothing wrong with tribalism. In fact, it's a profoundly good thing in many respects.
Yet there are those, especially of a Libertarian bent, who like to level the accusation of "Tribalism" on others as a means of disparaging their social/political/economic activities.
As if somehow Tribalism is defective, unevolved, primitive, and usless in the Modern World, and the Higher Development of Libertarianism is by far superior. Darwinian Evolution and all.
Of course anti-tribalism is flavored with racism. "Tribal" peoples of the US and the world being of the blacker and browner persuasion by and large, though often the accusation is leveled at race traitor white folks who adopt those icky primitive tribal ways, as if white folks were never and are never "tribal" themselves unless influenced by the "mud people" whose social concepts are a pollution.
Libertarians deny it, they always do. They will change the subject and accuse their accusers. They are opportunists first and foremost. Since "Tribalism" is used as a dogwhistle by Libertarians to identify one another and express their solidarity against the tribal Mud Peoples, and to identify potential recruits to their cult.
I simply reject notion that there is something wrong with Tribalism. There isn't. It is perfectly normal, a matter of human nature. Tribalists will survive long after the last Advanced Libertarian has breathed his last.