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j10pilot
This thought stem from a discussion I had about culture with another member on this forum.

We all know that culture can be regional and trans-regional, national and international. In America, one can talk about jazz culture or punk culture or pop culture, but one can also talk about east coast culture or west coast culture, or New Orleans culture or LA culture or New York culture. But undeniably, there is an all-encompassing "American culture" both to Americans themselves and to everyone outside of America.

The same can be said about British culture, French culture, Chinese culture, Russian culture, German culture, Japanese culture and basically every other culture. Because at its heart, culture is formed by individuals, and every individual is different, which makes cultural variations among groups of people different. Yet, at the same time, humans are social animals, which makes interactions with other groups and adoptions of elements of other cultures inevitable.

Take American Idol for example, the format originated in Britain, but it flourished in America, and now, no one can deny that it is part of American culture. Personally, I was fortunate enough to have had the experience of being immersed in two very different cultures and learned quite a bit from the experience. From my experience, I feel that there are four stages to the exposure to a new culture:

1. Shock -- where the individual who is exposed to a new culture is stunned by how different it is from his or her own culture.

2. Acceptance/Immersion -- where the individual accepts the new culture and tries to learn as much of the new culture as possible and at the same time, discovers many of the negative aspects of the old culture; at this stage, the individual might be willing to embrace the new culture completely and abandon the old culture.

3. Disillusion -- where the individual sees and experiences the negative aspects of the new culture; at this stage, the individual might feel lost at this point, since does not want to be part of either.

4. Reconciliation -- where the individual reconciles what he or she perceives to be the positive aspects of both the new and the old culture, and creates something new in the process.

In my humble opinion, it is beneficial for different cultures to interact and learn from each other as I believe there are some positive aspects in EVERY culture. I also believe that with more and more advanced communications technology, we will see something that can be characterized as a "global culture" in the future.


So, here's the topics for discussion:



1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?

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Victoria Silverwolf
In almost all circumstances, it is a good thing for cultures to get to know each other better. This does not mean that every aspect of every culture must be "tolerated" or "respected" all the time. By this I mean that there are certain cultural behaviors which lead directly to great human suffering and death, and that these must be opposed. For example, one must speak out against the practice of female genital mutilation, although it is a normal part of some cultures.

(Which cultural norms are not acceptable within the broader framework of humanity as a whole is a difficult question, subject to great debate. However, the most extreme examples of cruelty and needless misery are clearly beyond the pale.)

I perceive the culture of the human species as an extraordinarily complex webwork, with layers upon layers of sub-cultures and sub-sub-cultures interacting with each other in unpredictable ways. I would not wish there to be a single "world culture," except in the most limited way. The world culture should, in the broadest possible sense of the words, be one in which governing is done in a liberal, secular manner which minimizes oppression. Beyond this, there are many forms of government and culture which I would "tolerate" and "respect," although I may not like everything about them.
RedCedar

1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?


I don't think it's benefial or not. For the most part I'd say cultures are different for a reason and viva la difference. There's no reason for people to HAVE to accept another person's culture and mingling is only beneficial if that person finds it beneficial to them.

I think things do tend to migrate to a global culture. People pick and take what they like from everywhere and the more the world becomes interconnected, the more likely you will see a global culture. You see it in the US where many cultures have melded into a distinct culture.

On an aside, I think it's important to understand other people more, maybe not necessarily mingle, but just have an understanding of the world and the people in it. There is a lack of that in the US. We are extremely myopic. Most Americans are horrible at international geography and politics. It stems from our culture that is too narcisistic.

BoF
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

I think anything that broadens one's horizons has to be good. Even if cultures don't exactly "mingle," there is a subtle cross-culturalization.

As Alfred, Lord Tennison put it in Ulysses, 1842:

"I am part of all that I have met."
RedCedar
QUOTE(BoF @ May 20 2006, 11:38 PM)
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

I think anything that broadens one's horizons has to be good. Even if cultures don't exactly "mingle," there is a subtle cross-culturalization.

As Alfred, Lord Tennison put it in Ulysses, 1842:

"I am part of all that I have met."
*




Yeah, but how about this quote:

"I am the worse for having met them"? laugh.gif

All experiences in life are not always for the better.
BoF
QUOTE(RedCedar @ May 20 2006, 11:56 PM)
QUOTE(BoF @ May 20 2006, 11:38 PM)
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

I think anything that broadens one's horizons has to be good. Even if cultures don't exactly "mingle," there is a subtle cross-culturalization.

As Alfred, Lord Tennison put it in Ulysses, 1842:

"I am part of all that I have met."
*




Yeah, but how about this quote:

"I am the worse for having met them"? laugh.gif


Quotation? blink.gif

Perhaps you would be so kind as to point us to a source for this "gem." Otherwise, it's just a flippant one liner to be dismissed without further consideration. sad.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
Please let's refrain from unconstructive one-line commentary. sad.gif

Reminder of questions for debate: 1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?
Amlord
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

Yes, it is beneficial, as long as both cultures are receptive. One cannot force one's culture on somebody else any more than you should be forced to accept a foreign culture.

The real benefit is from seeing a different point of view, a different way of looking at things. However, such viewpoints are not always compatible.

All cultures have behaviors which a member of a different culture would find reprehensible. Killing infidels is accepted in some cultures. Killing blacks and gays was (is?) accepted in others. Slavery was once common in many cultures. Women are treated alternately as queens or servants, depending on the culture.

What should never happen is to have a culture forced upon a society. The basic viewpoint may be unpalatable for the populace. Native Americans believed that the earth was a living being and such a viewpoint was never fully grasped by Europeans. Without the underlying belief, how could the Europeans be expected to accept the common ownership principles which were widespread in Native American cultures?

2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?

There is not global culture currently. A simple glance around will confirm that.

I highly doubt one will form unless the globe becomes so small that everyone from every society meet all the time. Cultures are formed in part from isolation and insulation from other cultures and this separation will always be true to some degree.
moif
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

Define beneficial. If you are asking will it make a lot of people rich, then yes, probably. If your asking will it benefit a culture to be intermingled with another, then no. It will just mean the dillution of yet another individual culture into the coca colonisation of Planet Earth.

Some people like to imagine that the world will one day be a great big United States of Earth. That we will all live in harmony, rich and happy and well fed. In my opinion though, no matter how precious something is, once you've given it away, then you no longer own it and that goes for identity as well.

I don't want to live in a world where my identity is defined only by a meaningless passport. It is important to me as a rational human being to feel I have a sense of belonging to my family and to my people. I don't care about ideology but I am a patriot in that I love my nation, its history, its culture and its character. Yet I can sense that I am already a threat to my own culture in that I am a mongrel. An 'Anglo Dane'.

What does that mean? On the one hand its a boon for me to have two cultures from which to learn and draw inspiration. But on the other hand, how do I put the one above the other? What happens when these two cultures clash? Its not hard to understand why so many Muslims feel an antipathy towards Denmark when they perceive the very real clash of culture between western Denmark and their roots in the Islamic middle east. On the one hand they want to remain true to their ambitions and on the other to their heritage.

Is this beneficial for Denmark?


2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?

I think we are well under way towards that end and I don't know how far away the reality of the mono culture is, but I can't see it working in the long run. This wealth and over population is destroying the bio diversity of the planet faster than we can learn how to repair the damge we are causing.

Worse yet we seem to be heading towards a new period of warfare in Europe with a new threat arising from the millions of immigrants pouring into the sub continent and gradually eroding everything that the Europeans have spent the last two hundred years building and fighting hideous wars to preserve.

Everything we are, and were, everything we've built, even democracy and the rule of law is being dismantled, in the name of multiculture.

QUOTE(Asia Times)
During the 1990s, many attempts were made to enlighten the British about what was happening. But they refused to see this problem as having a religious character. If this was a religious problem, it became a religious confrontation - and the specter of a religious war was too horrendous. A religious war is different from any other war because you are dealing with absolute beliefs and the room for compromise is very limited. Religious wars are very protracted and bloody, and often end up with a very high toll of lives.

That is not denial, though, but revulsion. The British establishment may have recoiled in horror from the prospect of religious war precisely because it has sufficient institutional memory to know just what such wars entail. Religious war, however, is precisely what it will have, on the worst possible terms, and with an extensive fifth column in place. Successful manipulation of religious conflict is a lost art. Cardinal Richelieu and his successor Jules Mazarin kept the Thirty Years' War aflame in Germany by subsidizing new entrants into the fray, notably Sweden's Gustavus Adolphus (King Gustavus II), deploying French forces when proxies were not available.

The carnage claimed the lives of more than half of the German speakers and left France the dominant power in continental Europe until 1870. On a smaller scale, Britain played such divide-and-conquer games throughout its imperial history, most obviously by transplanting Scottish Protestants to Northern Ireland. Some in India read malice aforethought into the 1947 partition of the sub-continent. Britain no longer has malefactors with the iron stomach and broad culture of a T E Lawrence or a Sir Richard Burton to undertake such projects.
Link.

QUOTE(The Gates of Vienna)
Two Swedish girls were sent home from school for wearing sweaters showing a tiny Swedish flag. The headmaster was concerned that this might be deemed offensive by some immigrants. Helle Klein, political editor of the newspaper Aftonbladet, boasts: “If the debate is going to be about whether there are problems with immigrants, we don’t want it.” Hans Bergström, former editor-in-chief of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, worries that Sweden has become “a one-party state.” According to Friedman, the elites are nervous and worried to see their power slip away. And therefore they want to silence critics, as for instance the Sweden Democrats, a small rightist party outside parliament opposed to immigration. “It is a completely legal party, they just aren’t allowed to speak. It is absurdly undemocratic. They are marginalised. They are isolated and ridiculed. . . . and then they are called undemocratic.

[snip]

Before the national elections in the fall of 2006, members of all the established parties, including the so-called right-wing opposition, are cooperating in efforts to boycott any collaboration with the Sweden Democrats or other “xenophobic” parties after the elections. This is widely applauded by the Swedish media establishment. The majority of headmasters in Stockholm’s high schools want to block the Sweden Democrats from participating in pre-election debates at their schools because they disagree with their “perspective on humanity.” Party members can seldom hold meetings without being hassled by political hooligans, who make noise, destroy equipment or even resort to violence. Violent assaults and life threatening attacks against members of the Sweden Democrats, by Muslims or “anti-Fascists,” have taken place many times, but are rarely mentioned in the media. No dissent is tolerated in Sweden.

In one such attack, which extreme Leftists were later openly bragging about on the Internet, around 30 members of the Sweden Democrats were attending a private party outside the town of Växjö. “To clearly demonstrate that the Sweden Democrats are not welcome in our area, about 20 anti-Fascists chose to attack the party.” “The Sweden Democrats were attacked with knives, axes, iron bars and other weapons. After that, their cars were destroyed.” The brave Leftists then smashed the windows and threw tear gas into the building, forcing people outside, where they were again attacked and beaten with iron bars and axes. Several of the people were hospitalized after the attack. This was a peaceful, private party by unarmed members of a perfectly legal political party that just happens to be critical of the country’s immigration policies. These brave Leftists or “anti-Fascists” do, for some curious reason, seem to behave pretty much like, well, Fascists, a bit like the Brown Shirts in the 1930s, physically assaulting political opponents to silence them.
Link.
Mrs. Pigpen
1. Do you think it is beneficial for different cultures to mingle?

To an extent, yes. I think I am richer today for my experiences living overseas, for example....

2. Do you think there already is a "global culture"? Or there will be a "global culture" in the future?

Again to an extent, yes. When the sun never set on the British empire, and over 560 million people living across 11 million square miles owed their allegiance and obedience to King George VI, the "global culture" was British. Now, there are very few nations on the planet that aren't influenced in some way by the US. Look at the products we are buying anywhere from China and Sri Lanka...even the US flag is produced in China. Does anyone believe there could be no influence? While we consider how buying products from China (for example) effects us, there is the other side of the coin. How does producing those products effect the Chinese? It must. It has.

Of course, then there is the question of what is the American culture? Pretty much a melting pot/ fruit salad or whatever you want to call it. My husband's dad came over as a teenager and was the first Hernandez in the Miami phonebook, and he is only a little over 60 now, so that shows how quickly things (cultures and melting) can change. Now, Hispanic-Americans are "hyphenated-Americans", but the term came to being back when my grandparents arrived from Switzerland right before the first world war. They were "hyphenated" because they spoke German, and the American culture was being inundated and influenced by so many German immigrants. That's the way things are over here...
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