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  #1  
Old 02-22-2006, 12:32 AM
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Cultural imperialism

The author claims that European colonialism was a force for good and that history has been tampered with in recent times. Here are the firts few paragraphs. It is really long, so to avoid mutiny of the carageous...

B

The Adversary Culture
The perverse anti-Westernism of the cultural elite
Keith Windschuttle
Address to: Summer Sounds Symposium
Punga Cove, New Zealand
February 11 2006

For the past three decades and more, many of the leading opinion makers in our universities, the media and the arts have regarded Western culture as, at best, something to be ashamed of, or at worst, something to be opposed. Before the 1960s, if Western intellectuals reflected on the long-term achievements of their culture, they explained it in terms of its own evolution: the inheritance of ancient Greece, Rome and Christianity, tempered by the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the scientific and industrial revolutions. Even a radical critique like Marxism was primarily an internal affair, intent on fulfilling what it imagined to be the destiny of the West, taking its history to what it thought would be a higher level.

Today, however, such thinking is dismissed by the prevailing intelligentsia as triumphalist. Western political and economic dominance is more commonly explained not by its internal dynamics but by its external behaviour, especially its rivalry and aggression towards other cultures. Western success has purportedly been at their expense. Instead of pushing for internal reform or revolution, this new radicalism constitutes an overwhelmingly negative critique of Western civilization itself.

According to this ideology, instead of attempting to globalise its values, the West should stay in its own cultural backyard. Values like universal human rights, individualism and liberalism are regarded merely as ethnocentric products of Western history. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many “ways of knowing”. In place of Western universalism, this critique offers cultural relativism, a concept that regards the West not as the pinnacle of human achievement to date, but as simply one of many equally valid cultural systems.

Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different. It comes in two varieties: soft and hard.

The soft version now prevails in aesthetics. Take a university course in literary criticism or art theory and you will now find traditional standards no longer apply. Italian opera can no longer be regarded as superior to Chinese opera. The theatre of Shakespeare was not better than that of Kabuki, only different.

The hard version comes from the social sciences and from cultural studies. Cultural practices from which most Westerners instinctively shrink are now accorded their own integrity, lest the culture that produced them be demeaned.

For instance, although Western feminists once found the overt misogyny of many tribal cultures distasteful, in recent years they have come to respect practices they once condemned. Feminist academics now deny that suttee, the incineration of widows, is barbaric. The Indian-American cultural studies theorist, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak gives suttee an honourable place in Indian culture by comparing it to the Christian tradition of martyrdom. Feminists once denounced the surgical removal of the clitoris of Muslim women as female genital mutilation. Lately, the procedure has been redefined as genital “cutting”, which the literary and art critic Germaine Greer now argues should be recognized as an authentic manifestation of the culture of the Muslim women concerned.

more

http://www.sydneyline.com/Adversary%20Culture.htm

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Old 02-22-2006, 07:37 AM
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I wonder what Bono whould think?
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedMech
I wonder what Bono whould think?
I thought Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:17 AM
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"But without this concept, the world would not be as it is today. There would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin. All of these thinkers profoundly offended the conventional wisdom of their day, and at great personal risk, in some cases to their lives but in all cases to their reputations and careers. But because they inherited a culture that valued free inquiry and free expression, it gave them the strength to continue."

If Copernicus, Galileo and perhaps even Newton had drawn cartoons of God like the Danish fella, they would have been burnt on stakes
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Last edited by Vronsky; 02-23-2006 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:21 AM
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Maybe we should stop imposing our beliefs, tyranny isn't all that bad if your the tyrant.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:33 AM
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It seems that if one removes perceptions of hierarchy then existentialism is all that remains.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:34 AM
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