Re: Racism and ancient history

Gerold Firl (
8 Jan 1997 20:24:05 GMT

In article <>, John Gorentz <> writes:
|> Gerold Firl wrote:
|> > Have you read turnbull's _the human cycle_? His orientation is similar
|> > to yours, though he avoids the generalized condemnation.

|> Is this the title of a book? A quick search of the MSU and U of Mich
|> card catalogs didn't turn it up. Could you give a more complete
|> reference?

_the human cycle_, by colin turnbull, simon and schuster 1983 isbn
0-671-22620-7 or isbn 0-671-50599-8 pbk

A couple of excerpts from the intro:

" ... we are born dependant. Independance and freedom are qualities
that we have to learn, and one of the major differences that we will
find between our way of doing things and the ways that others do the
same things is that whereas we carefullt teach the values of freedom
and independance, other cultures equally carefully teach the merits of
bondage and dependance and seem to emerge just as successfully."

"If we measure a culture's worth by the longevity of its population,
the sophistication of its technology, the material comforts it offers,
then many primitive cultures have little to offer us, that is true.
But our study of the life cycle will show that in terms of conscious
dedication to human relationships that are both affective and
effective, the primitive is ahead of us all the way."

Turnbull draws from his experience among the ituri pygmies and in
india to contrast with his own life experiences in britain, and
compares the different modes of acculturation and lifestyle. Many of
his observations seem surprisingly out of date already; he recounts
the homosexual gang rape of one of his friends at the elite
westminster "public" (private) school, apparently not uncommon 60
years ago, as an example of the pervasive brutality of western
culture. I have a hard time reconciling turnbull's perspective with my
own experience, but nonetheless he makes some very interesting
observations about culture, how it is transmitted down the
generations, and some of the significant differences between how
cultures relate the individual to society.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf