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Is retaining Culture better than allowing people to suffer?:

 1 The Earth Sheep, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:28:52 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
I've seen the argument all over the place, from Africa to Asia, South America to the United States. A lot of people seem to think that modernizing and westernizing a third world country is an inherently bad thing, because that damages the culture of the region. What are your thoughts?

Personally, I could see it going both ways. While yes, globalization and westernization does effectively rape a culture, the exponential hike in standard of living is well worth the cost. As of right now, we're beginning to see the benefits in places such as India and the Middle East, places that Europe colonized hundreds of years ago that are now seeing a huge increase in economic and cultural influence. Despite the centuries of persecution of Arabic Muslims by white Christians, Islam is now gaining huge amounts of Western converts. So, my point is, although a culture takes an initial hit when it begins to westernize, when it becomes a world power it will be able to bite back, giving it otherwise unheard-of levels of cultural influence.

Thoughts?
Still Sheepin'
 2 Blurring, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:33:22 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Just caped
Cultures change with time. However, I do object to active destruction of culture by anybody, unless it involves something cruel like human sacrifice. Other than that, if a culture has to die, those practising it will make the choice.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:42:46 PM by Blurring

Those bigfoots think they are better than us by being so hard to find so raise a ruckus at their favourite places, that will teach them.
 3 USAF713, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:34:21 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Colonization is never good.

Period.

Japan did the same thing India is doing and it never had to be colonized. Colonization only destroys.

However, I would allow the reasonable, non-coercive disappearance of a local culture into nothing more than notes in the history books and museum pieces if it meant helping them lift themselves out of the hell they live in. I say "reasonable, non-coercive" and mean it, because stupid shit like letting transnationals destroy everything is not helpful.

As I understand it, the Canadian model of economic aid to Africa is reasonably effective; simply invest in their industries and see where it goes. Other things we could do is to stop subsidizing farm products and low-grade consumer goods—the little plastic shit China makes, for example—and instead focus on subsidizing and protecting higher-quality industries instead. That way there are things Africa can do to trade with the First World without getting screwed by competition-proof zombie industries like the US farming sector...
I am now known as Flyboy.
Are we assuming a country in Africa, Asia, and South America cannot be modern and retain its culture at the same time? Because that needs explaining, really.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:36:02 PM by melloncollie

 5 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:38:18 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Are we assuming a country in Africa, Asia, and South America cannot be modern and retain its culture at the same time? Because that needs explaining, really.

Yes! Point for you.

What is so great about western culture that everybody must be western instead of whatever culture they happen to be? Seriously?
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 6 Blurring, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:39:36 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Just caped
Which portion of culture are we talking about anyway? My country was colonised but we kept our arts and language traditions.
Those bigfoots think they are better than us by being so hard to find so raise a ruckus at their favourite places, that will teach them.
Prince of Dorne
What is so great about western culture that everybody must be western instead of whatever culture they happen to be? Seriously?
Well, what is western culture, really?

Of course countries don't need a Mc Donald's at every street corner, but if we're talking about individuality, democracy, equality, etc. etc. then yes, that must always come before any local customs and culture.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
 8 The Earth Sheep, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:45:54 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
[up][up][up][up] While it isn't necessarily completely destroyed, modernization almost always entails Christian-ization, as well as the loss of ability to practice certain aspects of the culture, for example, a native quilt-maker would be quickly taken out of business by a more practical, more industrialized company. And even beyond that, many people say that getting, say, a tribal, sub-Saharan African into a shirt and tie and making him speak English so you could do business with him is "destroying his culture".

[up][up] Which country is that, exactly, if you don't mind my asking?

[up], what [down] said. Seriously US, you keep taking words right out of my mouth.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:47:26 PM by TheEarthSheep

Still Sheepin'
 9 USAF713, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:46:00 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Well, in this case, I don't think "Western" culture is really the right term for it. Industrial culture is more like it.

It's not as if they'll become model Euro-American-style countries, culturally. They'll have similar government systems and economic systems and such, ideally, with improvements. That's not really because we expect them to be like the good white people, though. Just because it originated in Europe and America doesn't mean it's actually a real product of our culture. It's simply what has become the most feasible, efficient manner of conducting industrial and, now, post-industrial society.

I would actually object if the proposal was to ship off fucktons of stuff like movies and such, suppress all their old traditions, and actually impose culture, rather than systems. However, it is undeniably true that the new systems will modify their cultures.

After all, if we thought about Europe like we think about Africa, in terms of culture versus technological development, we'd consider it bad that today we don't prance about with loin clothes shouting Celtic war cries, or riding about in Roman legions, or fighting at Agincourt. At the end of the day, technology shapes culture, and their culture will shift. If it shifts towards something vaguely similar to Western culture, and they don't mind, then fine. If they do mind, well, I'm not sure what we can do about that...
I am now known as Flyboy.
 10 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:46:59 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Octo: I guess those things are a part of western culture, but I don't think of them as inherently western in nature (with the exception of Mc Donalds). Since there are 7, 000 languages in the world, I'll assume there are a similar number of cultures, and at least some of those cultures have got to believe in at least some of those things, and in all probability many of them probably do because we are all human after all.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:48:42 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 11 Blurring, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:50:07 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Just caped
@8

WAS is a keyword here. Malaysia as stated in my location. After independence, we still use the native language, and our arts are mostly intact, in fact flourishing right now, even if it means using industrialisation.

@10

I'm sure that there are far more cultures than languages.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:53:01 PM by Blurring

Those bigfoots think they are better than us by being so hard to find so raise a ruckus at their favourite places, that will teach them.
 12 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:52:34 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Malaysia has had much better luck than Connecticut.

[up] I honestly don't know how to make an estimate. I mean, there are geographically small places with a very high language density, such as Papua New Guinea, where bilingualism is a fact of life because when you get married you're highly likely to marry someone who speaks a different language.

I'm apt to guess that there are more languages than cultures, but that's not a guess I can be sure of, so I assume they're more or less the same.

edited 4th Dec '11 8:57:24 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 13 The Earth Sheep, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:57:06 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
Malaysia as stated in my location.

D'OH. Wow, I feel stupid now.

Anyway, language and art isn't what I'm trying to say, I'm talking about the belief I've heard stated that industrialization is the downfall of native society.
Still Sheepin'
 14 Blurring, Sun, 4th Dec '11 8:57:10 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Just caped
@12

Western clothing is much simpler though. I couldn't event tie my samping properly.

@13

If the native society is willingly giving up some of their culture, I see no problem with it, if it's help them integrate better with the society. Stopping from being hunter gatherer is beneficial I believe. Or are you implying industrialisation actively kills native society?

edited 4th Dec '11 9:01:24 PM by Blurring

Those bigfoots think they are better than us by being so hard to find so raise a ruckus at their favourite places, that will teach them.
 15 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 9:01:16 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
That's because it's not something you're used to. For example, there are many people out there who have never tied a tie, or never fastened a modern western belt, so they would be as confused by those things as you are by a samping.

When I first learned to fasten a belt in the archaic european style, I was a little confused the first couple of times, but after doing it a few times it's no more complex than tying a modern belt to me. It is in fact extremely simple, but I didn't see the simplicity at the time.

edited 4th Dec '11 9:05:06 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 16 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 4th Dec '11 9:03:34 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] Seriously? You found it confusing? It's just a standard half-hitch! tongue

edited 4th Dec '11 9:03:42 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 17 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 9:05:52 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I'm easy confused by loopy aroundy weavy things, even when they're very simple apparently.

This is bad because the culture I study is obsessed with loopy aroundy weavy things.

edited 4th Dec '11 9:06:34 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 18 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 4th Dec '11 9:11:06 PM from Castle Geekhaven
@Anne: Let me know how it goes when you start tablet weaving. tongue

/derail

In any case, I don't think that industrialization is the antithesis of culture. If that were true, none of us would have a "culture" any more. However, it's very apparent that industrialized nations still have a strong cultural backing that's very distinct from other nation.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 19 Polarstern, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:09:58 PM from United States Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Just because a culture isn't "modernized" like ours doesn't mean that they are bad.

Some people don't want elements of Western lifestyles and cultures. And their wishes should be respected.

I don't even think Western cultures are as "modern" as they like to claim to be anyway. We have nicer toys, yes, but that doesn't mean that we are anymore modern in our thinking or actions.
"Oh wait. She doesn't have a... Forget what I said, don't catch the preggo. Just wear her hat." - Question Marc
It is a good question. Specifically, should a culture be respected just because it's "culture" if it allows human rights violations?

Personally, I don't think it should. Are people suddenly have less rights just because they were not lucky enough to be born in a culture that acknowledges them?
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 21 USAF713, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:19:13 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Well, I would say that if a group turns our help down, then there's very little we can do. I'd also support helping industrializing societies retain elements of their culture that can survive the democratic-industrial system. At a certain point though, we must come to terms with the fact that technology shapes culture, and decide which is more important: traditions or quality of life?
I am now known as Flyboy.
 22 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:19:43 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up][up] Well, that depends on if the people in question are unhappy with it or not.

For example, being the sacrifice in Aztec times was considered a great honor, and most of them were unhappy when the conquistadors made them stop practicing it.

edited 4th Dec '11 10:19:52 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 23 drunkscriblerian, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:24:22 PM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@Beholderess: Yeah, that's a toughie...another example might be some of Islam's practices regarding women. AFAIK some Islamic women are comfortable with their place (even though they're aware of other options) and resent the assumption that there's something "wrong" with it.

This was rather expertly speared in the television show "Community" where Annie was being forced into discussing sexuality...I believe the line was "I'm comfortable being uncomfortable with my sexuality!" or somesuch.

I guess the question is; are they rights, or privileges? Not everyone wants a privilege.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
It is true that some people within society are comfortable with it, and if they agree with it, then changes should not be forced upon them. But what about those who are not, and so become victims of their society's rules? Do they not deserve protection?
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 25 Polarstern, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:45:26 PM from United States Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
That's why you give them a pass to come to our country.

WAIT! I'm advocating selling our country to immigrants! And that makes our culture suffer!

or does it?

-raises eyebrows-
"Oh wait. She doesn't have a... Forget what I said, don't catch the preggo. Just wear her hat." - Question Marc
Total posts: 181
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