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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Universalism

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My friend Doc is a universalist. He believes that all humanity is one. Many people do. Yet I as a culturist am not dedicated to the proposition of "humanity." I believe that people divide into cultures. What did I tell Doc?

In culturism I go back to nature . In nature animals live in groups. This is a necessary survival trait in animals that do not recognize eachother, such as fish. Animals, including fish, are quite territorial. This is not rational. When Chimpanzee groups split your old friends become your enemies. Plumage, smells, and sounds are used to differentiate the in group from the out group. This is universal and functional.

Mankind has lived in tribes for 97% of his time on earth. Tribes are defined by their group nature. Tribes shared the same characteristics as the animals described above. This is not a coincidence. Neither, I told Doc, is it a coincidence that all people on all continents in all stages of humanity's development have been found in cultural clusters.

This is still the case today. As much as we would love China's government to advocate for all of humanity, it does not. As much as we would love Islamic nations to work towards a united secular order, they do not. Nations and cultures exist; and in a world with scarcity (the one we live in) they are in competition. We all love a good "win-win" situation; but such a situation still has sides to win.

Lastly, Doc said, "Yes. This might all be true, but the world is getting diverse and globalized." This, however, is not the case. The West is getting globalized. We are opening our borders and refusing to take sides. Asian countries are still racially defined. I cannot become Japanese. Islamic nations are not allowing diversity in their nations.

All groups, in all times, have recognized they are on teams. From tribal times on people have rooted for their own side. The other teams in this league are united and loyal. We do not even recognize that we have a team. Cultures exist. Diversity exists. If our side becomes weak, the others gain. When others gain ascendancy, it will not be a win-win for us. But it will not be a bad day for "humanity" since there is no such grouping.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The West is NOT superior

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Culturism does not hold that the West is superior. We must recognize that Islamic peoples think that their way of life is superior, and we have no way to disprove that. There are joys of being an Indonesian headhunter that we will never know. The community that often accompanies poverty is priceless. Culturism recognizes no metaphysical or philosophical or self-evident way of proving our way is superior. It is just ours.

If our way of life were obviously superior, culturism would not be necessary; we could just sit back and wait for our triumph. And this is precisely the problem. To the extent that we think our way of life superior, we can ignore its sustainability. When we run up debts (personal and private), don't discourage our young from being tattooed, uneducated, single-mothers (sorry about the tattoo crack), we undermine our cultures economic viability. A large middle class is the backbone of democracy. Allowing massive third-world immigration undermines our middle class. Not being willing to discourage terrorists from be coming citizens shows a pathological indifference to our own well being. We must recognize that Western civilization does not reflect eternal universal truths; but fragile, temporal beliefs we and our forefathers chose.

International meddling also results from the belief that Western values are universal and obviously superior. When we go into other countries to make them like us it shows a profound lack of appreciation for cultural diversity. Islamic countries have their own brand of culturism. They, without the separation of church and state we hold obviously superior, promote their own culture. China's government promotes China's well-being, Korea, Korea's . . . This is natural. But China does not try to export her race based confucious ideals to us. Islamic countries have no universal right to build mosques and spread their ideals here. And, likewise, we must recognize that protecting rights, individualism, democracy, and progressivism are our culturist duty. Our culture is only our own.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Goddess

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Yesterday I went to the very excellent Brooklyn Museum of Art. They have a show on feminism that is quite provocative and an excellent exhibit on the creation of the American identity. Surprisingly, this blog will be about the feminist experience!

There was an excellent lecture on ancient Minoan Goddess worship. This genre of history is based on the findings of the minoan civilization on Crete that date back from 2500 - 1500. The lecturer noted that in over 1000 pieces of art there is no fighting or attacking of women. Females are central in many of the images and women are depicted participating in religious ritual. Symbols of regeneration, such as the bull, tree, and snake, appear frequently in this art. Then, according to the lecturer, it was wiped out in 1500 b.c.

I loved the art displayed and the idyllic civilization he portrayed. The problem stems from the constant beating up of Western civilization that such lectures are always enjoying. They contrast the peaceful images with the violent ones of Greece. Via art and reinterpretation of myths (such as the capture of the Amazons) writers claim that Western civilization was based on a patriarchal attack on peaceful female civilizations. Later, other authors show, that the bible starts by damning women and the bull (devil), tree (of life), and snake (in the garden) and establishing an angry sky god.

There are several problems to this condemnation of Western Civ. First of all, Homer does not even start writing until 1100 - 800 b.c. By this time the minoans would be gone for 400 years and on an island. Worse yet, though, is nearly every primitive culture we have found in historic times, no matter how isolated, is brutal and oppressive. If the goddess culture thrived, it did so for a short time in on an island. No major states that we know of, from Egypt to the Aztecs, to the Persians, have been paradisical. It is not fair to judge Western civilization by a standard that has only been found via archeological digs on an island.

In comparison to all the historic civilizations, primitive tribes, and current regimes, we are by far the most peaceful and respectful of women's independence and rights. A fair evaluation cannot be made to ruins and unrealized utopian goals. This is the real world. And the goddess worshippers should recognize which culture supports their right to pursue their dreams, create their religion, and feel empowered.

But again, aesthetically, the finds at Crete are gorgeous and the exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum very much worth visiting!!