Culture and imperialism
Analysing ideas should avoid preconceived ideas. We need a definition of culture and also of cultural imperialism. Philosophy in classic sense was preparing for survival and future then our valuation should build on sustainable ideas and not on glorifying the past
Culture, cultural imperialism, sustainability, survival of mankind, One-foot, Cyclopes, Cynocephalus, Adam of Bremen, Aristotle, Epicurean, Roman culture
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In our time we usual innovate and make culture just for the sake of the concepts. Should we call it kitsch or pretentious cult of doing nothing? Seldom they ask "What use and gain? and never "What influence on future?" still Prometheus is fettered to the rock.
In science concepts ought to be clear in verbal concepts. It can not be a matter of taste that varies with the viewer or speaker. That means it should be measurable, so that we can compare in time and space. Maybe it would then be that culture is the ongoing culture and the adds to it. Ongoing culture is the behaviour and production of humankind including all means.
Classification of culture is mostly a matter of taste but the only real measure is sustainability and the effect on survival of mankind with eternity as optional goal. Normally stony establishments are seen as "high culture". But in comparison with Time in perspective of more than thousand years most cultures are occasional. In fact all high cultures are leaving much of wasteland and then diminishing the space for the future child sorry Romans but your roads and aqueducts are taking living space from the future child.
A place like Mexico City with 20 million people sinks steadily and in the long perspective maybe they cannot get enough water and the culture decline. I think everyone who considers the pace we consume nature and that can not be going on in the eternal perspective without destroying earth and mankind. Then our culture is not optional and we should ask what went wrong if we are intelligent and care for the future child.
Once we consider that high-culture is not optional we can look at less consuming culture with more interest and respect. Still we have cultures practising nearly the same technique and livings as for thousands of years ago. Still they live, make love and are happy in their own culture.
Culture is also the value people give certain behaviour and production. It cannot been measured only in money but also in desire and need. Narrow-minded capitalists almost hate culture since they cannot get profit from it directly. However culture usually generates other needs and it is of course economy as soon as people are ready to pay or work for it.
Cultural values are defined locally in first stage. Soon mankind wants to use it as mean of power to affect others or to control other people. It begins locally where the local Mights get people to work for the cultural establishment. Great cultures empower often less complicated cultures and that goes on for thousands of years. Still there are many volunteers eager to be enslaved under a leading culture. Often it is a matter of rhetoric.
The Greeks told their afterworld that in Scandinavia lived these odd beings calledOne-foot, Cyclopes, Cynocephalus. This animated drawing drawn by C O Haakansson.
In plain words "The Scandinavians are fools, we can lure them as we wish". Since then many Scandinavians believe themselves that they are barbarians and animals like these. In fact as late as Adam of Bremen around 1070 AD believed in beings like these north of Limfjorden North-Jutland and east of Copenhagen. He is still used as an authority on Scandinavian history of early Christianity. Some people love to be heirs of barbarians.
Politics should be abandoned from verbal sciences as long as it is not a cause or part of the ideas. Then it should be described for what it causes and there should be no valuations. Nature is relative and so our living and there is no absolute truth. It is always depending on simultaneous conditions and how deep is our measuring. We can only talk about probabilities.
A friend meant I have wandered long way from the Karelian wilderness to my writing. He is of course right but I see myself as heir of the nobility of bear-hunters. In that surrounding you need to always manage by yourself and to be kind to everything in your surroundings. You never need when you need help.
My period of 11 years among Danish peasants under the occupation fostered me to absolute equality with my surroundings and the faith is in my bones from the bear-hunters. Maybe I would have got another worldview if I were fostered among the upper class. But I read much classic literature with a sceptical mind and that continued in my teens in an upper class environment.
From that background I have wondered why the superficial male He glorify fight and conquest. My fights told me that fight is hard business and a silly thing if you want to be friend. It is also a stupid way of making friends and agreement talking is cheaper. As a free man I would never let any power ride on me. Otherwise I would be the fool and slave in my mind.
I would tear my self-respect if I myself ride on others. Among peasants the woman was simply the other wheel on the chariot. That is the same expression as the nobility in India during Bronze Age. I do not know when women became slaves. Surely it was with rise of property and man wanted all the power and wealth for himself.
Aristotle thoughts that there are three kinds of men women were nothing. Some men are wealthy other are poor and the rest in between he thought. Since he divided body and soul he surely meant that the rich have soul and the poor body. That is the old Sumerian definition of gods and their human bones. That makes the rich suited as owner of slaves and capable of leading others. Women were a kind of slaves.
In ancient philosophic terms he was an Epicurean which means those with an attitude of using their surroundings only for their own good and be sitting "above the cur" = EPI-CUR and steer the world. That attitude conquered the world through the upper class and their Christianity. Our religion was/is pressed on us from above as a child they taught me that I would be a sinner if I did not believe in what the church tell. That does not correspond with what I was told about freedom.
It is only natural that I loved the opposite philosophic attitude of the stoic. The main theorems lead to you living in the middle of the world feeling with all your senses that you are a part of it. It lead to an equal and democratic mind oh, the Epicureans are also democrats but only within their class and the male league.
Ancient philosophers were investigating the world as deep as their knowledge and sources allowed. That means to the roots of atoms and nature. Especially for the stoic philosophy and "the love of wisdom" was meant to create a better life and a stoic mind". In other words it was preparing for future and survival. The Epicurean attitude leads often to superficial living for the moment and caring only for the male superiority.
Wisdom grows with age and thinking about life and behaviour of mind. Reading and learning from others are shortcuts, but you can also sit in a nest in wilderness and become wise. The Indian term "woodman" tell us about that and I think the orang-outang is a wise creature orang-outang = woodman".
With age you have seen with your eyes the consequence of many kind of behaviours. The sense of consequence grows and you really understand that foolish behaviour will cost much in time. Even the peaceful mind settle and you really understand that "fight is for small boys". The mature man settles his matters by agreement. You understand that when respecting others you can live in peace, while violence always leads to revenge.
The rule of Alexander and Milosewich was only for 13 years just as dayfly in history. The Roman culture building on violence did not last and nowadays we can see the consequences of nature-consuming culture that is not optional in the eternal perspective.
Every big military victory was celebrated with some monument telling about the brave slaughter. Sometimes they were fortunate and the weather god protected them
When Romans make a weather god it is high culture. But when for instance Aborigines of Australia make the same image it is primitive art. It lies in the attitude and it like an automatic switch in the brains when we hear is it high or low culture. Then we expect the low culture to be primitive with magicians and shamans in trance.
Shamans and magicians are usually private entertainers while especially in agriculture and megalith cultures there must have been some collective organisation behind. The rituals also delegate jobs and enrols all people in the work, while the shaman is the specialist and he have often many skills and knowledge he keep for himself until he get paid in some way. In other cases he is the spiritual leader but there have also been singer in that profession in some tribes.
The great cultures have of course influenced their surroundings and even the entire Europe. Why bother invent when you can get it cheaper from others. Big cultures have the amount of thinkers that is needed for making adds to culture. Still local cultures have to adapt new invention to the environment, which was more different those days. In our rock-carvings we can follow how new inventions were brought to Scandinavia almost immediately. However we do not know if it fitted the local culture.
In our days we see the influence of Roman culture, but still it is mostly formalities. In Rome a father was "only" allowed to sell his son three times to slavery. I cannot see that Roman law has influenced Scandinavian mentality too much. The layers have learnt something about procedure of course, but not about the kernel of our society.
The same is with our grammar that builds on Latin, but the language is still Scandinavian. In Swedish they still use Latin terms in grammar when the Danish have translated them. That is a consequence of cultural imperialism managed by the Roman church.
In my life the inner cultural imperialism has been the real hindrance. I was taught to admire all culture from south. In time I learnt about the superficial mind of man. Seldom he analyses in the deep where things lead and to what cost and consequences. Mostly it is like buying the label without knowing the solution.
In many minds it is a kind of self-censure and fresh Scandinavian /other thinking is not allowed. However it seems that the generation after me is questioning the superiority of the old cultures. They did not stand forever and that fact makes man the sceptic.