Discussions concerning the academic, political, and aesthetic aspects of culturism
Culturism is the opposite of cultural suicide.
Lex, Nice Photo!!! Good to see you!John
Terrific point. It could be said that the New Testament helped bring Classical Greek modes of thinking into the Western world, even though there is still some tension between old and new thinking in that set of books. The new thinking - where even God is restrained by truth and reason - clearly went over the head of the old pirate Mohammad, whose thinking was entirely pre-Greek. So much for the steady march of progress.Let's not forget that as China expands, the Chinese people themselves are westernising as fast as their little legs will carry them. Individuality and open-ness may be two areas where they still trail the West, but there is some hope they will catch up even in these areas. They're very smart people. We need their brains!
But doesn't China "westernizing" go against the whole idea of culturism, which is that people should enjoy their cultural distinctiveness? Or is culturism just for the west and everyone else must adopt western culture?
I don't think Culturism advocates individuals being chained to one particular culture when something better is available. Muslim women are another group in the process of swapping cultures.BrettMcS (wordpress signin not working at the moment)
Brettmcs, Yes. I have heard it say that Christianity is a poor man's Platonism and I think there much truth to it. In my classes I have taught that there is a morality that even God has to live up to - as you say "truth and reason." On your second point, it depends on what you mean by "westernizing" (always a problem). In general, the state there still seems to be very strong. As in the "China can say no" series, there is a great deal of nationalism and antagonism towards the West and its supposed arrogance. I am not sure what you evidence for their westernizing is. That said, my contention is much like that of Huntington's. I do not take your assumption that progress inevitably leads to mimicking our institutions. They are doing very well with a confucian, racist, authoritarian mode. And as they gain in power and we lose power, it would seem obvious that the attractiveness of our democratic model would diminish. That said, I would love it if they embraced our values. I would love it if they believed in the same universal ethics of our globalist friends. Until it happens, though, it is wise to see them as having a system in competition with us. It serves us well to know we have a side in all conflicts.Empedocles, you are exactly right!!!! All nations have traditionally been culturist. And as I say in the vid, I do not resent that, I expect and respect that. We are the ones who need to drop this globalist, multiculturalist vision or we'll lose out. And then we'll find that not everyone agreed on western principles being universal. Brettmcs, If women want to swap out of Islam, that is great. I won't say no. But I would not assume that is the natural direction because we're obviously superior. Many come to our lands and work ferociously for their home culture. If we want them to adopt our way in our lands, we should be clear that we have values and advocate them. This would increase swapping out. But I do not assume it is a natural and obvious move on people's part. As Empedocles would argue, people are raised with deep cultural baggage. Just because you cross the border into England does not mean you automatically begin to appreciate the Queen or have any attachment to the perpetuation of the British story, culture or culinary delights. We must be aware of cultural impacts. Thanks for posting all, John
John,Thanks for commenting over at my blog.I'm a little confused by your position here. You write: "That said, I would love it if they embraced our values. I would love it if they believed in the same universal ethics of our globalist friends." But on the other hand you have consistently argued against the notion of universal rights. Could you clarify your stand on the issue?
Empedocles, Sure. "I'd love it" means exactly that. If everyone agreed to western standards and cooperation over competition; it would make for a more stable world. But I'd also love it if we could run the world on solar panels and ducks could talk. I do NOT mean I expect it. Furthermore, since I do not now see a world community agreeing and do not expect it in the future, it is prudent if our policy decisions treat us as special and needing protection. Other civilizations fight for the safety and thriving of their model domestically. We must too. Universal rights conventions are just weapons cynically deployed against us because everyone knows we confuse our standards with world standards. "Send the refugees to America, make Europe pay for Palestine, the West believes they represent all people and all people love them" is the attitude. Mexico railing against our borders' interfering with human rights while enforcing theirs in the South is a classic example. Just as other nations, we have culturist rights. And, BTW, these must be made to balance out individualist rights' undermining cultural traditions here too. Down with the extremes of the ACLU!! Culturist rights acknowledge the import of cultural traditions though they may cause an individual the discomfort of being asked to bow their head at a football game or see a manger. And, thanks for having a blog for me to comment on!!
There is an objective measure of the relative superiority of one culture over another: How do people vote with their feet? I don't think it is a measure you can object to without taking an elitist position. But maybe you can.
Brettmcs, I do not think that is an objective measure. Some people come here because they love the West and all of its history and values. But many are just in it for the money. And, lastly, many come here with intensional plans to destroy us. People who come here illegally do not, apparently, consider our laws or our sustainability in their decisions. They are motivated by selfish interests. Their does not seem to be ideological. And if they undermine our economy in the process of getting bucks to send back home, so be it. They will just leave when it is done. The pockets in Europe where non-muslim police are not allowed to go and sharia reigns provides another example. They have been sent or come to Europe. They may be have just come for money, but they did not come because they love western lifestyles and civilization. It is not obvious to these immigrants that our ways are better. Furthermore, it is not obvious to the people of Iran or those in China or those in Africa who did not immigrate that our way is the best. And, on a related note. Many Africans and Indians are in Korea. It is not because they love Korean culture. As those who come here are not necessarily concerned with the sustainability of our nation, we must be. Some values are needed to keep our nation a first world nation. We need to acknowledge that to teach values. Otherwise the money that draws folks here will not even exist for us. Again, people that come here do not necessarily have any connection to those values. One final proof. It is clear that the values of staying in school and doing lots of homework and drinking less and postponing children add to your economic viability. Knowing this, many still do the opposite. They do it in poor countries - that is why they are poor - and they do it here cause we help them get by. Again, if the road to money convinced folks of the superiority of values, they'd reform. Thanks for the question, I hope you find some merit in the reply. Sorry for a too long answer to a short question. John
Regarding the Chinese, one needs to look at the young people. They are adopting western clothes, music, food and habits. The way the Chinese state tries to control communications is an implicit recognition of the lure of the west. Even the government itself just relabels many western values as "Chinese ...".
As I predicted, you can't object to that measure without being elitist. Some people come here for 'base economic reaons', eh?
Brettmcs, Just because I eat chinese food does not give me any affinity with Chinese heritage or understanding of their economic system. And, many Chinese listen to censored Chinese language versions of hip hop music. Does this mean that the Chinese will embrace the freedom of Taiwan and become less communitarian and authoritarian a culture? Perhaps. They may do so. Again, that would be great. But as far as now is concerned, they play hardball. They are moving much of their population into Africa. They are raping the Sudan for oil (from what I know), they are building a huge military, growing economically and pushing policies to create a trade surplus without an overarching concern for fairness. So, for now, we should acknowledge they are different and in competition with us. One last thing, do not forget that they are also a racist nation with great pride in their heritage. They are in it for Chinese types. The idea that they will become dedicated to promoting the international rights anytime soon is hard to swallow. If we want to continue to have rights we must protect our economy and our culture. China will not, I fear, do that for us. Thanks, John
PS Rights come from a nation that believes in them and can afford them. I do not think Mexico nor Islamic countries are very much concerned with the promotion or continuation of America or our economy. And, I believe that if America fades, not only will rights obviously diminish for us, but they will recede internationally. The best way to promote rights and increase the hope that China, the Middle East, Mexico, etc. will become progressive democracies, is to protect the viability of the West. In other words, the movement towards rights, democracy and progressive values is NOT a natural destined process that we can take for granted.
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