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Cultural Imperialism

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by ILuvEire, May 8, 2010.

  1. ILuvEire

    ILuvEireExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 5, 2010
     
    So, what do you guys think about cultural imperialism? I'm talking about the West, and specifically English and American culture sweeping in and pulverizing the native culture. I see all around the world, cultures wanting to throw away their centuries of history and tradition to become part of the "West" and enter our wonderful area of globalization. And it's sadly true.

    I hope I'm not offending anyone here, but can I just say how much I detest Japan? It is a PERFECT case of American cultural imperialism. They are SO desperate to be like the West, that it's just sickening. As an American, it really bothers me to see another culture, with its own wonderful traditions and traits, throwing them all away, then implementing a bastardized version of my culture.

    The other big way I see this is through linguistic imperialism. This is the kind of stuff that really bothers me. I was reading a book, called When Languages Die by K David Harrison, and it talked about a particular society in northern Russia that had this complex system of classifying reindeer. These animals were so vital to their daily life, that they developed a much more specialized vocabulary for them, it makes total sense. Now what's happening, is the Russian language is pervading the language, so that only the very oldest members of the tribe use it. There is an inexplicable loss of knowledge, when you move to the Russian language. The Russian language has a much more limited vocabulary regarding reindeer, therefore whole phrases are needed where in the old language just one word was needed (so things like "a castrated male, who has reached adulthood, and is good for riding" would have been just one word in the old language.)

    This is practically genocide! Killing the language and replacing it by the more "useful" language, that makes describing simple parts of daily life much more complex and tedious...it's ridiculous.

    What are your thoughts on this? Stopping it? Or is it not a real problem?
     

  2. statuliber

    statuliberExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 13, 2009
     
    I think I get what you mean... and I can understand your point of view.

    The problem is that this way cultural invasion is deliberate by the countries and interestingly they often reinvade the source (like japan with manga and anime). Another problem is that the people in these countries who fight it are often nationalists and I despise all alliance with them.
    What I actually think is that we should spread an universal cultural message over the planet: Equality, Freedom, Peace, Love (yes call me a hippie)
    these are values which every being has inside and this is what we should spread, in time it will differenciate to different cultures anyway, culture doesn't stop and cultural imperialism is just a phase
     
  3. jim-bean

    jim-beanMember Forum Member


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    May 7, 2010
     
    yeah, i know what you mean, i'm from Slovakia, which is a small country in Eastern Europe. in the Gemer region (where i lived) we have our own dialect, even though its a very small country we a extremely diverse. but anyways the same thing is happening there which you said was happening in the society in Northern Russia, we are slowly but surely loosing our particular dialect. i remember the last time i was there me and my great grandmother were talking, i did not understand half of the words she said, "only the very oldest members of the tribe use it". over the last 65 years or so its changed drastically and is beginning to sound more like Czech/official Slovak

    i also heard something similar happen in Ireland, i heard this story a long time ago so i cant exactly remember who it was, i think it was my teachers friend or something. but anyways, she was Ireland, and the area she was from also spoke a certain dialect, when she moved to Canada at age 10 or so, she brought the language with her. she went back like 10-15 years later to visit her grandparent, and saw that no one at all used her language, 10-15 years is really fast for something like that.

    and as for American Cultural Imperialism, there are countries that follow what they do, and there are countries that resist, again like in Slovakia, just about everyone there hates the west
     
  4. Probe

    ProbeExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 30, 2010
     
    yup same with Sri LAnka as far as i know..all the chicks dress like skanks now and theres even a new porn site :D
    my friend made me check it out :D
     
  5. jim-bean

    jim-beanMember Forum Member


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    May 7, 2010
     
    like a Sri Lankan porn site? and bitches dress like sluts EVERYWHERE man, i love women =P
     
  6. rude-boy

    rude-boyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Mar 12, 2010
     
    ya i know what your talkign about linguistic imperialism. here in quebec there is bill 101. it pretty much says all bilboards and signs and lables on everythign sold here in quebec has to have french on the lable. which is not the bad part. the worst part is that is has to be more dominant then english words. so you see alot the writing is big french and way smaller kinda off to the side is an english translation. if there eveen is any english. and also there is somthing about how you can only go to an english school if your perents were tought english in some other part of the country or were tought english before the bill was passed. i dont remeber 100% it has been a few years since i took history of quebec and canada in high school. b

    iif your selling products in qubec and it does not have french on the lable you can get huge fines! i was readin in the montreal paper the other day about how the city were doing big crack downs and goign out busting people for having english only lables on their stuff in stores. and they were trying to make an example out of some sex shop that had only english lables and they wanted to shut the store down till eveery thing was changed to meet the law.
     
  7. Anxiety69

    Anxiety69Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 18, 2009
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    You sound like an ignorant sexist idiot.
     
  8. nodz

    nodzExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Apr 4, 2010
     
    I find the change in the English language startling. I have found that even English is being bastardised (and yes in English you spell it with two 's') particularly by the Americans. A lot of the words and grammar that I was taught as a child in the UK has changed due to the American influence. I also find that there is a lot of pressure on the English language to change due to technology, due to computer talk and SMS speak. I find that the general standard of spelling is appalling. Actually don't get me started...rant over.
     
  9. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Yup that's exactly what i thought when reading this topic. Defending culture extinction and fighting imperialism is important, but we must also watch out because those movement are very often parasited by patriotism and nationalism... I think we could list dozens and dozens of examples of countries where the culture and the language is being destroyed by imperialism and colonialism..

    Even here in quebec, we can say we are being americanised and our french language is starting to disseapear more and more... We are the last french-speaking place in north america

    But anyway, anarchism is already has a solution for the problem of cultural and linguistic imperialism so i always thought that fighting for the preservation of a culture of a language is a waste of time. And like i said, these movements are associated with patriotism and nationalism except for a couple of rare exceptions, like the anarcho-independantist movement

    Sometimes it can even scale to a greater conflict... look what is happenning in belgium with the french against the flamands, it's starting to get out of control... the flamands want to see the french disseapear and vice versa...

    Differences are the wealth of the culture...

    not true, there is an english school in my town and everyone can go to it...


    it's comprehensive... that's like if i was selling french products without english label in USA
     
  10. AnarchoFem

    AnarchoFemExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Apr 15, 2010
     
    This is something I have always found very upsetting too. Japan was a very good example to use regarding this “cultural imperialism”. I am sure you’ve heard of the eye surgery some Asian people get to make their eyes look more Western. I have also seen horrific pictures of McDonalds in traditional Japanese style buildings. (Shudder) It really makes me sick. So many Japanese people are embracing Western culture (especially the younger generation), but I know there are still plenty of Japanese people who aren't. I know some people who have experienced racism (because they were Westerners) in Japan and although I am ALWAYS against racism, I really can understand their frustration. Japan is a rather good example to use also regarding the language. Right now I am learning Japanese and my Japanese teacher told me that approximately 40% of Japanese words come from English.

    Regarding “genocide of the language”, look at Ireland, 3% (probably less) of people here use Irish as their main language. Some people I know try to speak Irish regularly (I'm not good enough to yet :( )and believe it or not have been the victim of racism from IRISH people not realising they were speaking Irish, or have been called Nazis or members of the IRA.
     
  11. jim-bean

    jim-beanMember Forum Member


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    May 7, 2010
     
    yeah that was bad, it just came out wrong. and to me there is a difference between "bitches" and "women"
     
  12. rude-boy

    rude-boyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Mar 12, 2010
     
    un gov ya i had it kinda mixed up...i looked into it once i got some time...

    "as well as making it the normal and habitual language of the workplace, of instruction, of communications, of commerce and of business. Education in French became compulsory for immigrants, even those from other Canadian provinces, unless a "reciprocal agreement" existed between Québec and that province (the so-called Québec clause)"


    and for the lable thing i agree it is smart since every one talks french. i just dont like how punishable it is. if it not french you get fined and all kinds of bull shit.



    "Even here in quebec, we can say we are being americanised and our french language is starting to disseapear more and more... We are the last french-speaking place in north america"


    isent there a place in the marintimes where its a small island that talks french? it was the only island left to the french oncve the english came in and took over? part of the peace treaty was that france was able to have the island for a colony? since it was already filled with french army men that were taken as prisoners during the fighting over canada? i dont remember the island or if thats even what really happend
     
  13. jahjah

    jahjahActive Member Forum Member


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    Sep 10, 2009
     
    here's my two cents: cultural imperialism is not necessarily such a bad thing;after all,isn't culture one of those things people kill other people in the name of?so one global culture,one less reason to discriminate.the issue lies with what are the core values of this culture and the culture it replaces.for example,although i think political correctness is not the best approach,the us-exported culture does include a certain level of tolerance towards different people and some condemnations for homophobia,sexism and racism...much more than the "traditional" culture of a lot of places(where i come from included).at the same time i think the main belief that cultural imperialism brings is the gekko greed is good speech wrapped in some bullshit natural rights,economic freedom euphemisms for propertarianism.so for me the issue is a grey area

    as far as language is concerned,the things are pretty clear,we can't pretend we live in isolated communes,we need a lingua franca to communicate,and the best candidate(even if by numbers and reach alone) is english.the romantic days of esperanto or interlingua are gone and let's face it no matter how many languages help create a new one it's impossible for everyone's native language to be represented.

    also,cultures and languages go extinct or they transform,that's how new ones come to be.languages are organic and they have continually developed throughout time.until rather recent times in human history,languages weren't regulated and they evolved freely.every dictionary is growing each year,and grammatical rules change all the time to adapt to the realities of popular speech.ultimately if a language dies,it does so after becoming obsolete
     
  14. AnarchoFem

    AnarchoFemExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Apr 15, 2010
     
    Can you please inform me of the difference...
     
  15. Anxiety69

    Anxiety69Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    not picking on you, but generalizations like that are complete bullshit. also I hate it when people say "there are black people and there are niggers" or "there are jews and there are kykes" or "there are mexicans and there are beaners." It's all totally ignorant, racial or sexual stereotyping stupidity that needs to end.
     
  16. mediattackanarcho

    mediattackanarchoMember Forum Member


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    May 9, 2010
     
    trends cum and g to fuck life industrial progress only makes it quicker and less painful does being conservative really matter anymore who cares about any political race fuck it we were just ignorant

    folks beware of products tested on animals and sentient consumption. our ecological nature is screwed by radioactivity since the beginning of time
     
  17. ILuvEire

    ILuvEireExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 5, 2010
     
    US exported culture needs to burn as far as I'm concerned. It is pure capitalist propaganda, it says "work harder! Maybe someday you'll be rich enough to afford the material luxuries of the US!" US culture also seems to stress, the world over, that we all need to be the same. All of our differences shouldn't be made fun of, but ultimately they're different and need not to be. It tells us that we all need to marry someone of the opposite gender, have three kids, and live in a nice house in the suburbs.

    I also don't think that a lingua franca is a bad idea. I have no problem with English be used as the lingua franca, sure, go for it, but my problem is when English (not as a lingua franca, but just as a native language) squashes out the languages there before.

    Don't worry, I don't want to take the prescriptivist approach to language change (that all them teenagers are ruining the beautiful language we spoke in childhood blah-blah-blah)

    But would you argue that all of the indigenous languages the world over that are dying because of the leftovers of western colonization and imperialism are dying because they became obsolete? I certainly don't think the reason that no one speaks Tzitzil and everyone speaks Spanish in Mexico isn't because the language became obsolete. It'd work just as well as Spanish for running a country and government.
     
  18. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    yes, it's called french guynea (not sure of the english spelling) but it's in south america, and i was talking about north america ;)

    There still would be discriminations about the ethnic and cultural origins, culture and origins leaves traces..

    imperialism and destroying people's culture is definatly the opposite of anarchism
     
  19. back2front

    back2frontExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 26, 2009
     
    American Imperialism has been the monster since 1945 and before that it was the British and before that it was the old European empires that carved up the world cos god told them to do it. The dominant response to imperialism was actually nationalism and this is what pushed the old empires apart particulalrly after the 1848 revolutions which swept across Europe. The result was smaller nation states as we know them today and where nationalism is still extremely dangerous and a tool used by the boss class to divide workers.

    But what we've been seeing for the past 50 years especially is a new breed of imperialism where monocultural capitalism is forced upon the world under the name of globalisation. Struggling economies are given IMF and World Bank hand outs in return for austerity measures that see huge cuts in social spending and a foot in the door for corporate interest. The results are the same world wide, local culture is decimated and replaced by transnationals all of whom are involved in everything from treating their workers as 'resources' to environmental destruction and the destruction of local custom.

    It's up to people who live in these areas to decide how they want to live and to make decisions that affect them locally rather than have it imposed by corrupt regimes who only want a slice of the pie and jobs for the boys at the expense of their own people. One thing I learned while travelling in South America recently was that I was going to learn at least one other language.
     
  20. Rathryn

    RathrynExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 21, 2009
     
    Speaking of language dominance (no pun intended): here in Holland there are at least 3 obligatory languages in high school Dutch, English and German/French (the last are the two most common). As there are several distinct types of education based upon the person's ability to learn and study (which can be changed both up and down based upon performance, I got dropped a level, for instance) other languages my include Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek. So I see absolutely no need for any kind of language dominance, whatsoever. And find it arrogant of some 'nations' (extreme generalisation here) to NOT learn a different language, 'cause they're too chauvinistic to acknowledge a different language might work as well as their own.
    I have to say however that each language seems to have a certain feel for it, a certain ingrained melody and intonation.
     
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