Sunday, July 12, 2009
Culture is the Enemy
Our culture is what impedes us from progress on a social and even economic scale. The old traditions, the old standbys, all are ingrained into our heads from birth and for some reason held to a lofty standard of superior and prime validity. This is particularly evident to me in the assumed gender roles. Man works, woman tends etc. It's evident in many things however. Regional racism and bigotry, ideas about sex, drugs, politics and more. The culture we inherit (or are forced to inherit) is dangerous. Not just American culture, but ALL culture. Culture is the enemy of progress and of a better society. As long as we keep pushing what we've been pushing for a thousand years, we'll never get out of the Dark Ages.
I am not saying nothing good can come from culture. Certain values can be stolen and used to your advantage, the good ones. Every culture has some good values. Take them and use them for yourself, but let go of all of the things repulsive about culture (and there are a lot in my opinion). Most of all, never fall static, never become lazy and accept what cultural traditions are imposed upon you by your parents, your peers or yourself. Homophobia might seem culturally acceptable in your High School. Reject it. Sexism might seem culturally acceptable in the office. Reject it.
Force yourself to fearlessly question everything anyone tells you is right. Don't fall in line behind a mouthpiece, saying, "This is right because s/he says it is." Question everyone, even those you agree with. Not only will this develop a philosophy and culture all your own, unique to you, but it will refine your ability to think critically and give you more control over your own life. The ones who lose the fight are the ones who give up and accept what society is piling on them.
It's not easy to reject culture and make your own. Besides the lack of passivity necessary to accomplish this, we have the TV's, Internet, movies, billboards, magazines, commercials, churches and schools working against us. That's a mountain of opposition. Still, I know that people can overcome and develop their own culture in the face of these odds. If I did it, I know that you can do it.
This is a call. Make your own culture. Write your own commandments and your own constitution, but always leave space on the paper, because nothing can ever be totally forced to stay the same.