Posts Tagged ‘Responsible Citizenship’
Know Your Culture
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 17:08 - 3 Comments
Raymond Williams,the cultural historian defined emergent culture as,“the result of processes where “new meanings and values, new practices, new relationships and kinds of relationships are continually being created.”
Williams also used the terms dominant and residual culture in referring to two other mechanisms involved in general cultural dynamics.The dominant would refer to existing and widespread cultural features and practices in use by the majority.
Williams defines the residual element as follows: “The residual has been effectively formed in the past, but is still active in the cultural process as an effective element of the present” (Williams, 122). It is separate from the archaic, because the archaic is completely part of the past[no longer acting on the present], whereas theresidualis part of the past as well as an effective part of the present.
For my work on emergent culture, the social phenomenon, I am specifically referring to cultural aspects as they pertain to socio-cultural dynamics. One can refer to other cultural domains such as technology, architecture, spirituality, the arts, among others and employ general culture dynamics to discuss the dominant, residual and emergent elements of each domain.
As such I have chosen the term prevailing culture to denote the dominant aspects of the particular social class who by and large is the same agency responsible for the preponderance and maintenance of the dominant cultural traits as they pertain to socio-cultural dynamics.
The Traits and Values of Emergent Culture
Egalitarian leadership: Men and women hold equal positionand power in leadership matters. There is no logically justifiable reason for why it should be any other way.
Pacificism and diplomacy: Otherwise militarism is non-existent or used only for purposes of self defense.
Economic Self Sufficiency: Regionalized communal finance laws are needed for projects which benefit the whole community. Otherwise no one should be collecting taxes for the governors, their minions and their pet projects.
Common Good Economics: Due to differences in abilities between individuals certain collective resources are shared to assist the less fortunate and to prevent the accumulation of excess power in any one individual or group. Potlatch economics are neccesary to insure social balance.
Social Freedom: Public safety laws are necessary to protect against those who would impose upon the rights and liberties of others. This would include the rights to unpolluted air, water, soil and food.
Gender Equality: Men and women hold the same social status and have the same social power as men. No one gender is above the other.
Environmental Conservation: It has become glaringly clear that prevailing culture techno-economic practices degrade the environment. The environment, being finite, can only sustain an ecologically integrated techno-economic system. Any techno-economic system that is not harmonized and is then developed to maximum potential will assuredly destroy the biosphere.
The evolutionary importance of emergent culture becomes self-evident when one compares the emerging cultural values and offerings with those of the prevailing culture.
Prevailing Culture versus Emergent Culture
It is a characteristic of the prevailing culture to decide which emerging cultural ideas are adopted and which are extinguished or marginalized. But, what is the criteria for adoption or rejection of emerging cultural values?
Analysis of past and recent history (as of yesterday) indicates that an emerging element is adopted if the item in question somehow reinforces the socio-economic standing of the prevailing culture.
If an emerging trait or value is thought to diminish the political or economic power of the prevailing culture then the value or trait in question is suppressed to the point of tolerance.
The prevailing culture prevails precisely because they hold the power to decide what stays and what goes or to what degree an item is incorporated. Emergent culture means that which manages to escape (emerge) from under the 5000 year old boot of prevailing culture oppression.
Too Much Residue Doo
My discussion of culture focuses entirely around cultural phenomenon of Western Civilization, which first emerged around 6000 years ago in Mesopotamia—the cradle of civilization–present day Iraq. Mesopotamia was also the cradle of social stratification.
I use the parameter of social power to distinguish between the two classes who represent emergent and prevailing culture.
Social power in this context means the ability to lead and direct the majority of a given population by consent, force, coercion (enforced laws) deception or any combination of the four means.
Those who presently hold the power to direct and lead I call the governor class. The governor classin modern pseudo-democratic nations is made up of people with political titles such as senator, congressmen, statesmen, representatives, judges, governors, mayors and president. Lumped together the governor class is commonly known as government.
The primary socio-cultural function of the governor class is to design and apply enforceable laws. These laws then shape, conduct and influence the society in ways beneficial and detrimental, but mostly to the detriment of the general public.
The society at large and not part of the governor class is then what I call the subject class.
I refer to the subject class as such because we are subjected to the brunt, approaching 100 percent, of the negative consequences that result from the legislative directives (laws) of the governor class .
In the simplest of terms the prevailing culture of present day Western Civilization means the ruthless repression of ideas considered fair and just to general population. To say “ideas considered fair and just” assumes that the general population is thoroughly informed of all the facts pertaining to the matter in question.
Meaning, the US public would not have supported the invasion of Iraq had they known Iraq did not posses the weapons with which to threaten the security of the United States.
The Dominant Traits and Values of Prevailing Culture throughout History
Strict Patrist Leadership: Dominant male rule in secular, religious and domestic affairs
Economic Militarism: The employment of covert and overt militarized practices to capture more subjects (consumers), territory (political sway) and resources (corporate access).
Economic Parasitism: Complex and exploitive financial system.
Economic Engineering: Taxation of the subject class via increasingly complex laws pertaining to finance. The end purpose of which is to transfer wealth from the subject class to the governor class and those closely associated with the governor class–the corporate class. In modern day politics the governor class and the corporate class have fused into a single agency I affectionately call Govcorp.
Social Domestication: Laws designed to socio-economically dominate, restrict and pacify the subject class.
Gender Inequality: Women do not have have the same social status, power or prestige as do the men who hold masculine virtues superior to feminine virtues.
Environmental Indifference: Need I say more?
Countdown to Calamity and Cultural Transformation
Living examples of those practicing emergent culture traits as the dominant cultural traits existedbefore the advent and during the subsequent global expansion of Western culture. Many of those cultures were either converted, supplanted or exterminated by the advancing plague known as Western Civilization.
At the present speed ofeconomic development we would require the resources of 5 Earths to sustain the population of the entire world at USA consumption rates. The world presently finds itself in numerous predicaments of unprecedented magnitude. The reasons for the current global crisis are known as are the solutions.
The greatest perpetrators of socio-ecological injustice and destruction are those who brazenly uphold the prevailing culture of Western Civilization.
To avert one catastrophe after another the emergent culture must non-violently confront the prevailing culture and demand the implementation of measures deemed necessary reverse the monstrous effects of Western Civilization.
Emergent culture will not be defined by the brands we consume
nor the socio-economic status we achieve, but by the values we uphold.
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