BRICS+: Cure for Intellectual Toxicity of Cultural Relativism
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 28 Aug 2023
27 Aug 2023 – The rampant anti-Chinese (and Russian) bias pervasive in today’s Western society has a lot to do with the fact that people have been conditioned by a very messy world outlook known as “cultural relativism”.
While attractive on the surface due to its promotion of “respect and toleration” for other cultures on the one hand and its condemnation of imperialism on the other, an ugly paradox sits below the surface of such ideology which ironically facilitates modern imperialism’s grip on the world.
The paradox is most easily seen by exposing the core assumption of reasoning that lay at the foundation of all cultural relativist theory which follows:
ASSUMPTION: Because every culture is unique and equally precious, no culture has a right to influence another culture since:
A) all influence could only be exerted by force of the stronger upon the weaker and B) if such influence were to occur, it can only be to the detriment of the culture being “influenced”.
CONCLUSION: Cross pollination of cultures can never occur organically as there is nothing intrinsically universal amongst all cultures that can serve as a basis for their poetic, artistic, scientific exchanges. Since all cultural groups contain no universality, “truth” is reduced to the subjective personal experience of each culture. The very definition of “knowledge” and “truth” is thus rendered totally impotent.
An embarrassing moral and political problem thus arises.
Since the “whole” of humanity objectively exists in the form of many people, cultures and nations spread over the surface of the earth in space and time, it is a fact of life that cultures will and must co-exist. The questions then follow: in what form will those cultures co-exist and how will the whole be defined? How can diverse cultures interact with each other in such a way where that each contributes the best of their own discoveries and poetic treasures with their neighbors if there is no such thing as “better or worse” (as everything is relative to personal experience and “feelings”)? How can any harmony of the parts relative to a whole exist if there is no such thing as “truth and beauty” (or inversely “lies and ugliness”)? How can one’s mind cease from turning into reason-free ooze of gender-free societies, woke-ism and post-truth-ism?
Ugly Twins: Cultural Relativism and Imperial Geopolitics
It was blindly asserted by such modern “geopolitical philosophers” as Samuel Huntington and Sir Bernard Lewis whose ideology exerts such powerful influence over western thinking today; humanity could only exist as a sum of infinitely divisible parts within a “multi-cultural mosaic”, at best ignoring each other and tolerating differences but never taking the time to understand or appreciate our sameness.
Huntington famously concluded in his influential book “Clash of Civilizations” that peace on earth is fundamentally impossible since Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism are all fundamentally incapable of coexisting peacefully due to their distinct ideologies and intrinsic differences. This cynical perspective fundamentally denied each cultures’ parallel characteristics, and common discoveries clothed behind different appearances yet containing the same substance of Love, Justice, Truth, Beauty and morality shaping both the universe and human condition as a living expression of the force guiding the creative unfolding of that universe.
The Reality of Universal Progress
The annoying fact which such thinkers as Huntington and his followers choose to ignore is that the greatest renaissances and rates of progress recorded in the human experience never occurred by distinct cultural groups simply transforming themselves at random, or doing what ones’ ancestors did, but rather all periods of progress were shaped by the cross pollinating of the best ideas of various cultures, never just replacing one set of ideas FOR another, or adding one set of ideas TO another, but rather creating new wholes that are more than the sum of their parts and containing ever greater degrees of power to creatively discover and communicate truths of those universal principles guiding mankind and nature. This is the proper definition and purpose of “science” and “art” and their effects as technological progress as expressed across ALL cultures.
The explosion in Population growth is not a proof that humanity is a cancer as some misguided modern environmentalists are want to do, but rather that we are a species of constant perfectibility.
This was true when the Greeks Solon, Pythagoras and Plato ventured to North Africa to learn the greatest philosophical and scientific discoveries of their day. It was true when greatest ideas of India and China cross pollinated during the Gupta Period. It was true when African/Greek ideas and modes of thinking were re-discovered and applied by the Jewish, Christian and Arab scholars who organized the great 8th Century Ecumenical Alliance of the Carolingian Empire under the leadership of the Caliph of Baghdad and Charlemagne.
Matthew Ehret is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, a journalist, and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Patriot Review, Senior Fellow at the American University of Moscow and host of The Great Game on Rogue News. He has authored the book series The Untold History of Canada and the recently published book series The Clash of the Two Americas. Email: email@example.com
Tags: Bias, China, Cultural Relativism, Cultural imperialism, Russia, Western World
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