Many find it impossible to understand those who, reared in a developed and technological society, deliberately reject the ways of civilized living that the human race has struggled so patiently to develop. The current revolt against civilization is most incomprehensible to those who have struggled successfully against poverty and other hardships to attain a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families. But it is undeniable that many from upper-middle-class and upper-class homes are determining to “get away from it all” and to return to a tribal form of life.

Obviously, the socio-cultural rebel would call into question many words in the above paragraph, especially the expressions “developed society” and “civilized living.” He would point out that “civilized” persons resort to liquor, clandestine sex, tranquilizers, and a frantic social whirl to camouflage their personal failures and their frustrations with today’s living. Perhaps it is time for the Christian Church to engage in some heart searching to see whether through some misemphases it has contributed to the current yearning for the tribal state among these rebels.

The most obvious forms of retribalization are the rejection of monogamy, with its one-family home, and the abandonment of the “work ethic” in favor of a minimum-effort form of communal living. About a decade ago, there arose in California a tribal arrangement known as the “Perry Lane commune” which became something of a prototype for subsequent tribal establishments. The hippies of the Haight-Ashbury establishment sought to develop a parallel form of tribalization. The failure of this attempt lay, in good part, in ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.