A Word Or Two On The History Of Cultures


In 1948 there was a movie, "Paleface", which featured a song, "Buttons and Bows". A portion of the lyrics to this song includes:

"East is east and west is west

And the wrong one I have chose."

Generally speaking, of course, we don't get to choose the culture in which we were brought up; that we can credit (or blame) our parents, their parents, and so forth.

As we are all aware, the cultures of the East and of the West are not the same. They evolved differently and over different time spans.

The culture of China, for example, has its roots going back over 10,000 years. The cultures of Western Civilization go back to ancient Greece.

Both of these major cultural groupings (i.e., East vs. West) have, of course, subcultures incorporated within them. Neither culture has remained unchanging. Both have evolved from a 'city state' type of government through various stages to "nations" status. More often than not such evolution has resulted from the effects of wars, exploration and subsequent conquest, and the like; but not always.

These geopolitical evolutions can be viewed as having followed the tried and true "two steps forward and one step back" syndrome. As an example of this, medieval Europe was going along just fine, suffered through the "Dark Ages", and then was followed by the Renaissance.

I mentioned the forcing effects on culture change. Here's a specific example:

As one people conquer another, the "newly arrived" insert their culture onto the old, thus causing the old culture to diminish and/or disappear.

Consider the Native American view of what happened to their culture after Columbus discovered the "New World".

Running orthogonally through these geopolitical evolutions has been the influence of religious cultures.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism all have had an effect on geopolitical cultures throughout the history of the world; Christianity and Judaism in the West - Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism in the East. And, of course, 'crossovers' have occurred and do occur.

As time has progressed the mores of the day have changed accordingly. For example, in the Old Testament, among other things, the eating of pork is forbidden. Nowadays, it is understood that when the Old Testament was written , i.e., before refrigeration, if one ate pork that had spoiled one would most likely die. Today, except for the most strict followers, many Jews eat pork.

Again from the Old Testament, homosexuality was to be "rewarded" with death. Today, this, thankfully, is no longer even a consideration by Jews and Christians alike.

With Catholics, their tradition of not eating meat on Fridays as a means of remembering Jesus' sacrifice was followed until 1966. Their most "wonderful" concepts such as "The Inquisition", for example, have long been abandoned and discredited by them. They still refuse women into the clergy. But, even this shows signs of changing.

The founding documents of these religions do not change over time, peoples' practices do. Mores change over time - but not always with everyone.

Islam has not evolved since its founding in 610 A.D. Of course not all Muslims strictly follow Islam's rules on the subjugation of women, the permissibility of rape - adult and child alike, slavery, the required death of homosexuals, the permission to lie and deceive in the pursuit of furthering Islam, etc. But, far too many, even in this day and age, do strictly follow these precepts - with little or no criticism by those who don't.

We are all probably aware of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Well, back in 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , identified 8 stages of a civilization:

   1. From bondage to spiritual faith;

   2. From spiritual faith to great courage;

   3. From courage to liberty;

   4. From liberty to abundance;

   5. From abundance to complacency;

   6. From complacency to apathy;

   7. From apathy to dependence;

   8. From dependence back into bondage."

He had this to offer:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

Now, of course, the flowing from one of these stages to another is not marked by a line. These stages can, and do, occur over a long period of time and coexist during the continuum. As a case in point, I believe we, in this nation, are witnessing stages 5 through 7 in varying degrees.

Our nation was founded on principles that are being abandoned. Consider that over 1/2 of our people pay no federal income tax and over 1/3 are on some form of government dependence. At some point down the road our nation will likely collapse financially. And, our political leaders are fostering this decline to ensure their continuance in political office.

It is fairly easy to see how and why the founding principles are slip sliding away. With this vast number of people being at least partially dependent on the government, who of these is likely to vote for those who would do away with the satisfaction of their dependent needs ?

The poorer among us tend to be populated in our larger cities - as well as the majority of our citizens on a numbers basis. There is little likelihood that the poor would view their possibility to rise above subsistence level as being positive. They need the government's financial aid. And, heavily vote for a continuation they do and have done; much more so than those not so much in need.

Just look at the demographics of the Obama-Romney election cycle:

The majority of the area of this country is clearly within the "red" states; the electoral votes are just as clearly within the "blue" states". i.e., most heavily populated areas. People who are considered "poor" and those with "liberal ideologies" tend to live in the most heavily populated areas - i.e., the "blue" states. Both the poor and those who feel the poor are "owed" the help of the government made Obama's election possible - twice.

Now, I know of no one who believes that the poorest among us doesn't need help; they do. However, such help should not be in the form of "free stuff" from the government. Just take a look at any, mainly urban, area where free or heavily subsidized housing is offered. Most often they are referred to as "ghettos".

Pride in one's self and where one lives is enhanced when one has invested; invested in personal responsibility and invested in earning the things they have. Lack of such investment leads to a downward spiral of one's self worth creating a scene not too attractive. More importantly perhaps, such lack of investment leads to dependence; which, in turn, leads to subservience. The benefits we enjoy as part of "The American Way" were derived not from dependence but, rather, from independence.

Perhaps Ronald Reagan put it best: "We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added." This site offers an interesting look at welfare statistics.

Now, if we can agree that this nation is somewhere in the continuum of the above stages 5 through 7, it would seem that a decrease in those who are dependent upon the government is warranted. But, if politicians need more people dependent to ensure their job security, then a conflict arises.

Recent calls for unfettered immigration - illegal or otherwise, sold to us as the compassionate thing to do, may not be in the best interests of our country and not really the compassionate thing in the long run.

Over 1/2 of all immigrants - legal and illegal - are currently on welfare. Combine this with approximately 90% of all the "refugees" from the Middle East the government is trying to bring here are/will be in need of welfare assistance.

Of perhaps as great a concern is that the recent and heavy influx of immigrants to the US seem to have little interest in assimilating into our culture. It appears that a majority want their origins' culture transplanted here, resist learning English, and are resistant to our laws - they, specifically the Muslim immigrants, are in favor of Sharia law over our own. This is problamic to the future of our Nation.

These Muslim refugees' culture is different than is ours. To destroy and replace a culture, overwhelm it with numbers. - that is what the Qur'an offers. The Muslim's Qur'an teaches this is a viable way to spread Islam. This is called Hijrah. There's more on this here.

And, there is another way Islam has of "spreading the faith". It can be thought of as "out breeding" the competition. For a critical look at how they are progressing on this, Click Here.

Relative to these "refugees", just look at the turmoil they are causing in Europe - beyond dependence needs: Cologne, Germany, Sweden, and elsewhere.

We, in this country, need to increase our vigilance. We are at risk. Just take a look at the known Islamic terror-related organizations operating here - right now. And the below chart is from 9 years ago:

We must take care that the "American Way" is not supplanted by increased dependence on the government and by an incursion by those who want a different culture - one you will not like.

Finally, there is a well written article touching on the issues raised here but from a different point of view; Click Here to read it.