One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Having a second culture
Aristotle is known as the father of logic and it is not uncommon that commonly the name of Aristotle comes immediately in talks when one talks about the logic. Aristotle was the pupil of Plato whose biggest idea was that of “Philosopher King”. Aristotle became Philosopher but not King however he tutored a King, Alexander the great. So logically he was a big influence on this King who wanted to Hellenize the ancient world. In a way he wanted to open up the world for Philosopher kings through Hellenization. Though Greeks were worshiping many Gods and Goddesses but Greek societies were structured in a way in which Philosophy had the biggest influence, of course indirectly. We can compare the influence of Philosophy in ancient Greece to that of corporations in our time on cultures. If today we look back we see only relics of Hellenization in conquered areas of Alexander. At least people of conquered areas could have preserved Hellenic culture as their second-culture.
Why Hellenization was not adapted as second culture? Was it because Ruling period of Alexander was short or was it because the communication means were very primitive that the project of Hellenization was not so successful? I think all these things matter however the main cause of failure was that, the project itself was against natural law of diversification. Nature tends to bounce back and stabilize. As we know there were Silk Road in place and that was the main source of connections and communications between ancient civilizations and cultures. The same road was used to spread Buddhism and Christianity.
Now we live in a very different time. It is different because it is no more Tribal elders, religious authorities and Philosophers who are producing and leading cultures but the corporate businesses and Medias. As multinational companies are transnational and transcontinental so they are providing people with an additional culture, the second-culture. It is common to have second language or third language and so on beside the native language same is becoming true about the culture. The cultures that corporate world are producing are becoming the second-culture and it is global in nature. It is how globalization is making sense. As most of the corporate businesses are originated and grown out of West so it is also taken as Westernization.
My general thinking is that unlike Hellenization project of Alexander, this corporate culture will sustain and becomes deep over time. There are two main reasons for it, firstly corporate businesses have become integrated into societies and have emerged as a class in society that is going to grow. Secondly, it is not taken as something foreign but as outcome of technological advances and that is also going to deepen over time. While the second-culture is growing at much faster rate than native cultures, there are already concerns of overtaking of native cultures by secondary culture. My understanding is, while there are conflicts between the two however it is also galvanizing the native cultures as people are becoming aware of their identities and trying to preserve them. So in a way the secondary culture is modernizing the native culture and native cultures, whose people are conscious of the process, will benefit a lot out it.
An interesting question would be, does second culture or corporate culture make people more logical (as Hellenization were supposed to do) by increasing the choices? Well, I doubt that and I doubt that because corporate cultures are mostly short lived and are intended to increase the consumerism. And of course consumerism have turned the survival adaptations that human have evolved for millions of years (?) into weaknesses. One interesting example is that of “Survival of the Fattest”. Fat genes have been selected as a survival mode in famine but the consumerism culture has turned the same survival mode into danger mode. In the same way, collecting stuffs were a survival mode in ancient times when products were scarce however consumerisms have turned this survival strategy into something disastrous both financially and in terms of time management. You can just think on the same line of thinking to find more of how, what were logical are becoming illogical. I mean consumerism has pushed logic as something counterintuitive. And that is really interesting.