"Do you believe in anything? do you carry it around just to burn things to the ground"

People are driven to belong. We care about our communities. It is so natural to identify yourself with a group and have your identity invested in that group; your tribe. Our tribes become the lens through which we see the world and we want to be seen and valued by our tribes. Adam Smith wrote "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely." The drive to matter to our tribe, to be seen as lovely, can also lead to destruction.

In fighting so hard to defend their beliefs and tribes we have witnessed some horrific shootings. The recent terrorist act by a white supremacist in NZ saw outsiders encroaching on his tribe. Islamic terrorists claiming support for their tribe, in response to American foreign policy in the middle east have committed similar acts. Even a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a Republican baseball game.

These may be rare and extreme examples, but I think the tribal aspect that in part motivates these acts is present in all of us. If you see someone as being in your tribe you will perceive their words and actions in a positive light. Just as if someone is outside your tribe you are much more likely to view their words and actions in a negative light. We are not going to, nor should we, get rid of tribes. However, we should be careful who we are carrying a torch for and who our young men are carrying torches for.