Originally posted by FishHead111
But.....but.....all cultures are equally beautiful and we must learn to appreciate them and accept their differences.
Typically racist and idiotic remark from our resident hate monger.
The idea of learning to understand other cultures is not to find them all equally attractive and beautiful, though in many ways that is the experience reported by those who take the trouble. That would imply the thought crime of moral relativism. Why would we find beautiful things that are obviously intolerable to our way of thinking?
The idea rather, is to discover that other people in other cultures do not share our ways of thinking and behaving and work from very different concepts. Only by understanding them can we begin to build a productive relationship with them. That may indeed entail them changing to accept some of our values, but not necessarily with the outcomes we imagine. This story actually exposes something the multinational Unilever's market research department understood long ago, initially marketing their products in rural India. Western consumer goods have unexpected impacts in the developing world and we need to be open to thinking differently about them. In this case, when you put mobile phones into the hands of uneducated people in an impoverished rural society and a physically remote environment, the impact may be unexpected and not always benign.
Studying other cultures can be a very cynical process because Western culture does offer some distinctly unfair advantages and Western goals are typically exploitative. For example, when the British were unable to subdue the Nuer people of the Sudan, a backward people who nevertheless repeatedly defeated British forces, they welcomed the anthropological research of E Evans Pritchard. After living with them for a time, he was able to describe in detail how the Nuer society was organised, on principles quite unlike what the British formerly understood. Armed with this knowledge and some planes with bombs, the British were able to target the key weakness of the Nuer and put a violent end to their resistance.
By contrast, the Americans, armed with total pig ignorance of the way the people of Iraq think, accepted Rumsfeld's fiendishly economical strategy of bombing and eliminating the entire military and governmental structure of the Baathist regime, and provoked sectarian and ethnic conflicts which have become a nightmare which the US is incapable of resolving.
The problem with American racism in foreign policy is that it fails to take seriously the people it is dealing with and, through ignorance, achieves disastrous outcomes over and over again. Fine while you want to bomb people into submission but just flatly stupid when you want anything constructive.