Saturday, August 8, 2015

What is culture?

Someone asks me whether I understand culture. He certainly wasn't referring to the making of suitable conditions in a laboratory that facilitates rapid growth of bacteria and viruses. I understand culture. As the Romans who invented the term described it , it is the cultivation of the "soul". It shapes people and the society. I have a problem with only one type of culture- Barbarism. You may tend to think about violent tribes when you hear the term but I go by the Marxist definition.
"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism." Rosa Luxemburg. Barbarism is the opposite of Socialism.
Now, what makes a culture a barbarian culture? According to me a cultured society should have the following incorporated into it, failing which I wouldn't hesitate to call it Barbarism.
1. All members of the society have equal rights and limits.
2. Laws, rules, norms and beliefs ensure justice, fairness, equality and safety for every member of it.
3. People are free to express their thoughts, beliefs and views.
4. Adults are free to engage in any legal activity and children's, unprivilegeds' and other incapable members' rights are well protected.
5. People have the opportunity to be creative, different and optimistic. They feel they can contribute to progress in any manner they wish to.
6. People mind their own business and do not insist in enforcing their personal views opinions and beliefs on others. They are taught by the culture to respect individuality.
7. People do not believe they have a right by birth, position or power to enslave, exploit or exterminate others.
8. People do not form vigilante groups or kangaroo courts and take law in their hands.
9. All members of the society feel safe , protected and taken care of by the culture of the society.
10. Nobody hates or vindicates you for no fault of yours. You didn't choose your race, ethnicity, place of birth, parents, skin color, caste, creed, tribe, gender, physique or abilities. You shouldn't be blamed for no fault of yours.
See, it's all incredibly simple and obvious.
If the culture cannot embed these simple, basic and essential elements, I would term it as barbarian culture. By the way, majority of the cultures that exist now is barbarian in my opinion. Do you agree?

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