The book 'We Talk, You Listen' by Vine Deloria Jr. was published in 1970. Robert LaRouche reported, "With Marshall McLuhan providing supportive logic, he sees the tribal system as the natural replacement for a worn out, self-centered economically directed society … Deloria sees two new social forms emerging today (in 1970) – social tribalism, as in the cohesive minority group, and economic feudalism, as practiced by the giant corporations.
"The contest of the future will be between the castle and the tepee. Feudalism can handle man's technology. Tribalism can provide surcease for the soul and reintegrate man with his environment. America today (in 1970) is undergoing 'a total replacement of its philosophical concepts.' The revolution is in progress, the inevitable product of technology. Violence and dissension are symptoms of transition.
"Because it is no longer capable of solving today's problems, the old individualism is giving way to a new understanding of man as a member of a group. Tribalism centers on the group, rather than the individual ... In a kind of inverse power formation, persecution solidifies group identity. Deloria sees this as a positive force, the means by which 'only minority groups can have an identity which will withstand the pressures and tidal waves of the electric world.'"
The book 'The Diamond Age' was published in 1995. 'The Star Tribune' made the comment, "This melting-pot business is not working out. America no longer seems able to meld all the various peoples within its borders into one harmonious whole. As the years go by, Americans seem to identify less with their nation and more with their various subgroups based on ethnicity, religion or race. The rest of the world, now that the Cold War is over, is resuming its long-simmering ethnic rivalries.
"The idea of the large nation-state, grouping people together within geographic boundaries, does not seem to work anymore. We have organized that way for several centuries, but its usefulness may be running out. People seem to identify more with those sharing a common culture or holding similar values. Digital technologies can enhance – or, depending on your perspective, exacerbate – such tendencies.
"They could allow people to connect with people more like themselves regardless of where they live in the world. And, ultimately, they could allow people to formally organize themselves that way. These new technologies simultaneously reinforce trends toward more localism and more globalism. They can empower smaller and smaller groups of people and allow them to function more autonomously in the world.
"At the same time, they tend to collapse the world into a more integrated global market which pays much less attention to arbitary political boundaries. That leaves the large nation-state trapped in between. It's too big to deal with the particularities of a small group's needs. It's too small to grapple with economic forces that are global in nature. And it does an increasingly bad job of trying to do both. Over time, we may see the nation fade in its importance until it's just a shadow of its former self.
"For every step toward more parochial localism, there's a step toward more universal globalism … In the digital future, we might even see international peace."