Western modern polarizations vs. consensus in tribal communities

This module puts in a graphic form some of the content of Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil’s contribution to our dialogue on consensus.

Western modernity: polarizationsTribal communities: communitarian outlook
Hegel: dialectics (thesis, antithesis, synthesis)Consensus
Marx: theory of conflict (class struggle)Public reasoning, weighing pros and cons of important social issues
Darwin : survival of the fittestCare for the weakest
Majority – minoritySense of community
Majority decisionCommunity decisions
Imposition of the will of the majorityCommon will of the community
Western modern dialectics: synthesisTribal consensus
Reached through conflictReached through mutual and community acceptance
Element of forceDynamics of persuasion
 Appeal to the good sense and good will of each other
 Delving into the collective wisdom of the community
 Tapping the synergy that emerges from intense interaction among members of the community

Characteristics of tribal discussions:
Full participation of all
Liveliness and intensity of discussions
No contradiction of one another
Respect, full attention to one another, listening
Genuine interest in what each one has to say
Success of decisions made by consensus because of community approval
Consensus precedes any activity of common interest

Some tribal values:
Sense of equality
Dignity of labor
Family cohesion
Strong communal bonds
Collective responsibility for common good
Closeness to nature
Protection of the environment
Respect for life
Personal integrity
Deference to elders
Respect for wisdom
Systems of medicine closer to nature…