Re: Culture & symbols

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 12:18:53 -0400

In message <19960730153523.AAA9038@LOCALNAME> Robert Snower writes:

> Multiculturalism denigrates individual merit in favor of ethnic
> collectivism. Ethnic collectivism is the theme of prehistoric culture, and
> we owe to it such survivals as racism, sexism, statism, imperialism, as well
> as the less noxious versions, namely modern foraging and tribal peoples.

The multiculturalism that I am familiar celebrates both individual merit and the
diverse ways in which humans have adapted to their physical and social
environments. Indeed, an important aspect of "multiculturalism" is the
insistence that individuals can be meritorious without necesarily being members
of any privileged ethnic group.

I don't think we really know what the "theme" of prehistoric culture(s) was; I
repeat, it is not necessarily true that any existing culture, foragers, tribal,
or whatever, is a fossilized "prehistoric" or "primitive" culture.

I agree that racism, sexism, statism, and imperialism are "noxious." I don't
think it's clear that they are "survivals" from an archaic past. If anything,
they seem to reflect relatively modern developments stemming from the invention
of agriculture...

Ron Kephart