Do all humans have a right to the fruits of Western culture?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by StephenCampbell, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    #1
    We talk about "diversity" and we work so hard to make minority groups represented throughout America and throughout Western countries. Nobody is worried about having whites represented in Zimbabwe, and the reason is that Zimbabwe is not the home of anything that is important or profit-producing in the world right now.

    The plain reality is that the industrial revolution in the West started off "not diverse" because it was simply involving only those whose culture conceived those innovations, and whose work saw them created.

    Essentially what's happening now (though no one will put it this bluntly) is that we're saying "okay, the West came up with the best culture, everybody wants to be a part of it, and we think it would be fair to let them."

    It would certainly be nice, I agree. But am I wrong in asserting that if all humans had an equal role in the development of the modern world, that there would have never been a diversity problem to begin with because everybody would have been a part of it as it went along?

    It's not really "diversity." We have diverse cultures throughout the world right now. All but one, left to their purely native devices, would have no electricity, no computers, no airplanes, etc.

    What we're saying is "we think the West should share its wonders with everybody." That's different than a doctrine of diversity that implies that all humans have an equal stake in the developments of the West, and that white people have been unfairly and unjustly keeping many people out for too long.

    The current liberal doctrine of diversity implies that if Western Europe never existed, all the other folks on the planet would be living happily in utopian democracies, with no oppression from the white man.. except the white man conceived democracy, along with everything else that made America a country that the world wanted to flock to. So what's going on?
     
  2. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #2
    Whether they deserve it or not, it's just the way it is. It's called cultural diffusion. I find it laughable that some people blame the white man for Africa and the Middle East being the ****holes that they are. If there were no Western culture the whole planet would still be in the stone age. Western Whites did create a supreme culture in this world, there's no doubt about that. With that said, what's wrong with spreading it and letting others take part in it? Would you advocate deporting all the brown people because their ancestors had nothing to do with the development of western culture?
     
  3. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    No, not at all. That's the question I'm putting forth though. Are people generally on the same page about it being the right thing to share Western culture with everybody?

    My only problem is when people fail to attribute modern culture to the Europeans... this creates anti-European sentiment among people. For a lot of modern liberals, the question "should Western culture be shared?" is illogical because they feel that everybody else deserved a stake in it all along, and that all the white people did is unjustly oppress them and discriminate against them.
     
  4. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    Well i'm a modern liberal, and i don't feel that way.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    I'm not sure I understand the question. What parts of "western culture" are we not "sharing" with the world? Are we talking about a Starbucks on every corner, Friends reruns on the TV, and Katy Perry on the radio, or something else?

    I'm pretty sure that whatever aspects of western culture appeal to another culture can be copied. If somebody wants to create it for themselves, they will. I don't know how you would stop it.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    Western culture is standing on the shoulders of the Chinese and Indians.

    And Africa and the Islamic world were significantly more advanced than Europe in the Middle Ages.
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    The Athenians were quite swarthy fellows, by all accounts.
     
  8. Don't panic macrumors 603

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    #8

    where the heck you came up with this? :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    You aren't talking about culture. What the hell are you talking about? The empires of Europe and the USA (and the rest, of course) occupied land belonging to other people, slaughtered the inhabitants, imposed their beliefs and infrastructure while destroying what was there before, and stole their resources so they could sell them back the finished goods. I wouldn't really characterise that as "sharing Western culture" (whatever that is).
     
  10. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    I came up with that by observing that more and more people are blaming the white man for things like colonization, oppression, racism, discrimination, prejudice, etc, without recognizing that none of the stuff that the minorities were being kept away from would have existed if the whites didn't invent it.

    We call it progress when more and more minorities get high paying jobs in America, but what kind of progress is that exactly? It is not something that the minorities deserved from the beginning, but rather something that the Western cultures have graciously decided they should have a right to. Because without the West, those jobs, and the wealth that the minorities want a share of, wouldn't exist.
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    You need to step out of your white man's shoes for a minute. Western is not the same as white. You are in dangerous territory.
     
  12. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    I know it's not the same as white. But it was almost entirely white men of the Western world who invented everything.
     
  13. localoid macrumors 68020

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    So, history began in the 18th century, you're saying? Anything before that doesn't count? History began when some white guy invented steam. Not the steam engine, but steam, the vapor.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    What a halfwitted statement! What do you know of history - and prehistory? Who invented the wheel, the domestic fire, the domestication of grains, the domestication of animals, the spear-thrower, the bow and arrow, crop irrigation, gunpowder, printing, metallurgy, calendars, human rights, algebra, Christianity, alcohol, the magnetic compass? Were they "white"? Were they even "Western"?

    Answers on a postcard, please.
     
  15. Don't panic, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #15
    i would highly recommend Jared's Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel".
    and maybe add Tamim Ansary's "Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes".
    this also goes for some the specularly delusional folk on the other thread
     
  16. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Before this gets out of hand, I was not attributing anything superior in one culture to something Inherently superior in the people of that culture.

    Western Europe happens to be where all the right factors came together for those people to be able to develop an incredibly complex and modern culture, and lay the foundations for the industrial revolution.

    The question was whether the peoples of the world who had nothing to do with that have a "right" to the fruits of that Western culture. Surely there are non-Westerners whose cultures influenced Western culture, but there are also billions of people whose absence would not have slowed the progression of the industrial revolution.
     
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #17
    but the point we are making is that modern 'western culture' owes a significant cultural debt to other cultures.
    did they have the 'right' to share the fruits of those advances?

    once a decisive step 'forward' is made in human civilization, it belongs to the whole humanity.
     
  18. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Okay, that's a clear answer to my question.

    So do you feel that every single culture on earth contributed in some way to the advances of Western culture over the last 500 years?
     
  19. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    some did, some did before and some did not. but it is not the point.
    the point is that we don't know when the next leap forward is going to come and where it will be coming from. or the one after that.

    but when it happens it will likely be because the current cultural advances where shared and it will/should benefit also the far future 'western' generations, even if they will happen to not contribute directly to it
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

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    Why are you arbitrarily choosing the last 500 years? :confused:
     
  21. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Renaissance -> Heightened interest and pursuit of science in Western Europe -> Enlightenment -> All men are equal -> Democracy......
     
  22. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

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    You seem to be beating around the bush but fundamentally you are arguing against things like forcing diversity in the workplace, right? From your last posts I gather that you are saying if black people didn't invent the airplane, why should we be forced to employ them at airplane factories? At least that is how I'm reading your basic argument here.

    The problem is you are viewing the world as "white westerners" and "everyone else". Time to get with the program buddy - this is 2012 and race should not be an issue any longer. If someone is black their ancestors lived in Africa. Their historical background has nothing to do with whether or not they have contributed to "western society". If a black person grows up in the US, goes to school here and gets a job here, what exactly makes them different from a white American? Nothing. And that is why it is illegal to discriminate based on race, discrimination is hateful and makes no sense unless you really care what color someone happens to be.

    Also YES, the world has been shaped by every culture, white westerners are in the position they are now due to luck basically. Do you really think that if Europeans hadn't colonized North America that airplanes and computers wouldn't have been invented? If it weren't for a number of environmental factors it may as well have been Africans who colonized and invented iPhones.


    I have to interject here. You know nothing about history. Democracy has been around for thousands of years, and the "dark ages" really only happened in Europe. Did you know that while the Europeans were waiting around for that "Renaissance" to start the Chinese were busy inventing gunpowder and Muslims were inventing modern mathematics and science? The Renaissance occurred in Europe because the Europeans were exposed to these other, much more advanced cultures through trade.
     
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #23
    ....

    Democracy is much older than "western culture"
     
  24. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    First of all, no, I'm not arguing for segregation.

    However, regardless of whether the Europeans were influenced by other cultures, we did come to a point where they had the power to rule over others and to decide whether they would let them be a part of their society.

    So, no matter what we say is the "right" thing to do, they had that power, and for them to let others in in spite of having the choice not to, makes it a generous act on their part, does it not?
     
  25. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    How does China, Japan, and the rest of the Orient fit into all this?
     

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