August 05, 2003

Culture wars

Michael William's post commenting on Steven Den Beste's thoughts on anti-US xenophobia that passes for concerns about cultural purity. Michael William's belief is that at some point, the world will become homogenous, and thus stagnant.

I don't think that's likely. What's more likely is that cultural separation will no longer be geographically derived but created by information overload. I live in the US but have never gotten further West than Minnesota. Passing over a few short Disney visits, I haven't gotten south of Virginia. The weekend after next will be my first experience of Texas. In short, I've lived decades without experiencing a great deal of my own country, the United States. Even in a world without boundaries with instant communication, a planet populated by 6 billion people produces more culture than can be absorbed by any one person. Thus we all will have to create our cultural allegiances and in doing so, will eliminate the homogenous, stagnant future that Mr. Williams predicts.

That isn't to say that culture is likely to remain nationally oriented. It's not. Just as 'our ancestors, the Gauls' came out of the lips of countless algerians who had no blood relationship to the gallic tribes conquered by Rome, varying circumstances and differing interests will create cultural allegiances that transcend history and geography.

In this new cultural landscape, blood and soil will become of marginal interest to many. Perhaps this is the true reason for all this anti-american xenophobia? People see their blood and soil cultures being subsumed into this new type of culture that does not depend on blood and only lightly depends on soil. They have different degrees of ability to handle regular cultural cross-pollination but what's coming is something different and they view it as a cancer that upsets the natural order.

Posted by TMLutas at August 5, 2003 12:40 PM