Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm the Choir for This One

If I wasn't posting so much today already, I'd consider sharing this whole article. It relates to a conversation I had with Gobula a few weeks back, and certainly makes sense to me. The bigger question, in my mind, is not whether he's right or wrong but what to do about it. If culture and not economics shapes the world, how can we most successfully pursue peace and justice?

"All of this has thrown a certain sort of materialistic vision into crisis. We now know that global economic and technological forces do not gradually erode local cultures and values. Instead, cultures and values shape economic development. Moreover, as people are empowered by greater wealth and education, cultural differences become more pronounced, not less, as different groups chase different visions of the good life, and react in aggressive ways to perceived slights to their cultural dignity. . . . "

"The fundamental change is that human beings now look less like self-interested individuals and more like socially embedded products of family and group. Alan Greenspan said that he once assumed that capitalism was 'human nature.' But after watching the collapse of the Russian economy, he had come to consider it 'was not human nature at all, but culture.'

"During the first few years of life, parents, communities and societies unconsciously impart ways of being and of perceiving reality that we are only subliminally aware of. How distinct is the individual from the community? Does history move forward or is it cyclical? How do I fulfill my yearning for righteousness? What is possible and what is impossible?"

For the rest: it's another one that's not free on the web, but it is on the editorial page of today's Kansas City Star or can be found with databases from the New York Times on 2/19.

1 comment:

Gobula said...

Ok, I COMPLETELY missed this post and now the links do not work. This sounds like a converstation that I would like to renew.