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Essay about Classification Of Cultures

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Culture is a hot topic. Scholars (Fukoyama, Huntington, to mention but two) disagree about whether this is the end of history or the beginning of a particularly nasty chapter of it.

What makes cultures tick and why some of them tick discernibly better than others – is the main bone of contention.

We can view cultures through the prism of their attitude towards their constituents : the individuals they are comprised of. More so, we can classify them in accordance with their approach towards "humanness", the experience of being human.

Some cultures are evidently anthropocentric – others are anthropo-transcendental. These two lingual coins need elaboration to be fully comprehended.

A culture which cherishes the human potential and strives to create the conditions needed for its fullest materialization and manifestation is an anthropocentric culture. Such striving is the top priority, the crowning achievement, the measuring rod of such a culture, its attainment - its criterion of success or failure.

On the other pole of the dichotomy we find cultures which look beyond humanity. This "transcendental" look has multiple purposes.

Some cultures want to transcend human limitations, others to derive meaning, yet others to maintain social equilibrium. But what is common to all of them – regardless of purpose – is the subjugation of human endeavour, of human experience, human potential, all things human to this transcendence.

Granted : cultures resemble living organisms. They evolve, they develop, they procreate. None of them was "created" the way it is today. Cultures go through Differential Phases – wherein they re-define and re-invent themselves using varied parameters. Once these phases are over – the results are enshrined during the Inertial Phases. The Differential Phases are period of social dislocation and upheaval, of critical, even revolutionary thinking, of new technologies, new methods of achieving set social goals, identity crises, imitation and differentiation.

They are followed by phases of a diametrically opposed character :

Preservation, even stagnation, ritualism, repetition, rigidity, emphasis on structures rather than contents.

Anthropocentric cultures have differential phases which are longer than the inertial ones.

Anthropotranscendental ones tend to display a reverse pattern.

This still does not solv...


... middle of paper ...


...g that he has been thrust to the past, that he is experiencing a time travel.

A War of Cultures is, therefore, not very plausible. The neurotic cultures need the normal cultures. The latter are the generators of the former’s future. A normal culture’s past is a neurotic culture’s future.

Deep inside, the neurotic cultures know that something is wrong with them, that they are ill-adapted. That is why members of these cultural spheres entertain overt emotions of envy, hostility even hatred – coupled with explicit sensations of inferiority, inadequacy, disappointment, disillusionment and despair. The eruptive nature (the neurotic rage) of these cultures is exactly the result of these inner turmoils. On the other hand, soliloquy is not action, often it is a substitute to it. Very few neurotic cultures are suicidal – and then for very brief periods of time.

To forgo the benefits of learning from the experience of normal cultures how to survive would be suicidal, indeed. This is why I think that the transition to a different cultural model, replete with different morals, will be completed with success. But it will not eliminate all pervious models - I foresee cohabitation.


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