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Is it wrong to want to protect ones own culture?

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posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:36 PM
This stems from the discussion I’ve been having in the “Muslim call to prayer” thread * but it’s something I’ve noticed a lot of recently.

I think I’m safe in saying no one would object to protectionist measures being taken to preserve the cultures of certain groups such as the Maori or the Maasi. I’m also pretty sure that they would understand if members of the Matsés got a bit peeved when some big company turns up on there doorstep threatening to change there way of life forever. I’ve never talked to anyone who would disagree with that.

BUT it seems that in developed nations, particularly in Western Europe and perhaps to a lesser extent North America there is a vocal element that denounces any notion of cultural protectionism as being ignorant at best, downright racist at worst.

So; is it wrong to want to protect, and maybe take measures to protect, ones own culture?


posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:44 PM
I have watched and posted in the thread you are referencing. My way of approaching difficult issues is to interject a bit of humor into them. This helps me to feel less uncomfortable and it usually does the same for others. I do not know if my statements in that other thread came across as crass or not. If they did it was unintentional.

Having and protecting a cultural identity is paramount to us being who we are. My grandfather immigrated here from Ireland and I still think of myself as an Irish-American.

I think the problem between Christianity and Islam is that both cultures have endured literally centuries of conflict with one another. There is a ton of cultural bias already built into the mix. A Muslim shudders at the word "crusader", a Christian winces when he hears "jihad". This entire preconception is packaged and sold by media in both cultures.

I respect and admire the faith of others no matter who they are or what they choose to believe. In the other thread I joked that I would not protest calls to prayer here if I could have a hedonistic spring break in an Arab nation. It's a drastic way of saying "Be who you are as long as you don't want to interfere with who I am."

Isn't that, basically what everybody is really saying they want?

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:00 PM
People wearing their culture on their sleeves IS the problem for me.
Look at Isreal or look at chinatown in any city.
Why are people not just happy to be human instead of protecting THEIR culture....that kind of thinking starts wars in my opinion.
Willing to look down on someone else who isn't you is wrong.
We should all just be human and forget the silly pigeon hole labels.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:59 PM

Originally posted by Mike_A

So; is it wrong to want to protect, and maybe take measures to protect, ones own culture?

Would the protection of `your` culture, involve the suppression of another's ?

Is culture not a dynamic / organic outgrowth ?

What if `they` are also U.K citizens ?

IMHO, once somebody is a citizen they should be free to express themselves as they see fit , with observance of the law of the land, of course.

You can`t force fellow citizens to fall in line , but you do/should have control of immigration policy . (padlock in hand ..... horse galloping into the breeze)

I don`t doubt for a minute that this really concerns many U.K citizens , but this is just the fruition of government policies of the past , one might even say a remnant of "Empire" .

Population demographics , with declining birth rates in first world countries has lead policy makers to draw on the developing world to drive growth .
With the economic down turn , this will inevitable cause friction .

These are the often unforeseen consequences ....... of chasing profit, both as individuals and as nations .

Is it what we need or what we want ? A question we will all face eventually .


posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:05 PM
maintaining a belief, an action or an institution because of cultural reasons is generally fine, but just because something is a part of someones culture it doesn't necessarily make it right or tolerable for others.

also someones culture can represent their peoples history but it also encompasses traditions that were formed over a long period of time, alot of these traditions were created to control and habit and each culture needs to consider are those mechanisms still needed in the modern day world for that person to function normally.

i hope that makes some sense i haven't slept in 2 days and i suspect rationality is escaping me even more than usual atm.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:23 PM
One cultures taboo is another's cup of tea. Even if it does not affect anyone it will create hatred. I am ashamed at how my country sought to suppress the indiginous culture.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:30 PM

Willing to look down on someone else who isn't you is wrong.

But that’s a misunderstanding of what culture is. Being proud of or enjoying your own culture doesn’t mean you look down on others. I like my own family but I don’t look down on yours.

Cultures aren’t just pigeon holes or labels, travel around the world and you’ll find people, collectively behave in certain differing ways. In some places drinking alcohol is a sign of ill discipline, in another it means you’re a wuss and in yet another you’re a wuss if you don’t submit to having your face scared. None of these are better than any other but each is very important to the relevant group.


Would the protection of `your` culture, involve the suppression of another's ?

If for example the culture of an immigrant population includes self flagellation or animal sacrifice then potentially yes, but that doesn’t mean that this practice stops in the places from which the tradition originates. Is that wrong?

Is culture not a dynamic / organic outgrowth ?

It is but that necessitates the group in question at some point adopting or allowing new aspects or saying “no we don’t want that”; either by ignoring what it doesn’t like or actively stopping it. Which brings us back to the original question; is the latter wrong?

What if `they` are also U.K citizens ?

Well subcultures can exist, this question doesn’t really concern what other people do in there own sub groups or in private. People should always be free to do as they please so long as it does not affect other people. However it is when it does affect other people that this question arises.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:44 PM
Nothing wrong with protecting ones culture.

The problem is when that culture imposes on anothers culture. If you come from say Mexico to the US, then you can keep your culture, but you must also accustom yourself to the culture of the United States.

For example.

In the US it is our culture to speak english. Yet everytime I call my bank or anyother automated line I always have to push one for english.

I live on a military base and as I type this there is a whole family of spanish speaking adults and kids outside my window yelling and carrying on in spanish, as they do everyday. While this bothers me a little, as I never heard them speak a word of english, I accept it. It is their culture.

But when it overflows into the everyday way of life then it starts to irritate me a little more.

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