Throughout history, the status of being the greatest industrial and cultural center in the world has belonged to a number of different cultures: the Chinese, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, British and Americans. When looking at the ethnicities behind them, we can see Mongolian and Japanese asians, middle eastern Persians, African Egyptians, Mediterranean Romans and Greeks, and white Romans and British.
Their ethnicities, as far as skin color or other anthropomorphic characteristics are concerned, had nothing to do with their advancements. What you see in each location is a particular convergence of thought that blossomed to allow each particular group to advance faster than others. It wasn’t an evolutionary step, but an economic and military leap forward that often propelled each ethnic group to national dominance in each respective world.
Our current world sits on the shoulders of the British empire, fed most through Roman infrastructure and Greek philosophy of government. Those cultures were dominated by Caucasian immigrants moving from the Caucasus Mountains straddling Europe and Asia, into Europa during Roman times and adapted and improved upon that original Roman system. “White people” then became the dominant ethnic group in the world, not because of superior skin color or genetics, but because of being at the right place at the right time.
Today, “Whites” are considered to be the priviledged class in Western society, and like most dominant ethnic groups, abuses have occurred. Slavery, economic oppression and imperialism of other-than-us groups are often the most common and worst abuses of a dominant culture. However, what cannot be forgotten is that ethnicity is less a reason to a rise in power as much as the ideas that fueled that rise.
“White culture” is the world’s economically dominant culture, not because of ethnic protectionism, but because of its root values of individualism, responsibility, management of money, and embrace of science. Judeo-Christian principles of the value of each person and the dignity of the human spirit, in addition to cultural and scientific breakthroughs such as the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, helped shape “white” culture into one that promoted freedom, encouraged multiculturalism (See also Roman History for multiculturalism stories), and paved the way for modern industry and society.
Our embrace of multiculturalism at different points in history have enhanced the root of individualistic ambition, helping reshape the dominant ethnic point of view from ethnocentric to behavior-centric.
Today, “white culture” exists largely without ethnocentrism. Interning cultures — i.e. Black Culture, Hispanic Culture, and other minority cultures — claim racism is the single largest obstacle to their growth, but I disagree. I believe that, despite a few small pockets where racism persists, the real issue has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture.
So let’s be clear. We call it “white” culture, but it’s not solely populated by “whites” any longer. Instead, we’ve seen Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Middle Easterners and more all succeed in that culture. Let’s call it what it is: “Individualistic Culture.”
And every race is spread across the three main cultures: Individualistic Culture, Family/Community Culture and Ghetto Culture.
You have our “Individualistic Culture,” which dissociates who you are from your skin color, economic background and cultural foundation, and says that if you want to succeed in the dominant economic culture (which is “Individualistic Culture”), you need to devoid yourself of discernible accent, wear clean clothes that fit your body without loud colors or designs, wear your hair in an orderly fashion, speak politely, and prepare to take all responsibility for your work, your success, and your failure.
Family/community culture is often driven by collective work styles. Rurally, these express themselves as farmhands and day laborers. Urbanly, members work in union jobs or family businesses, but rarely venture into industry or education outside of their community, as family is more important than other forms of success. Let’s be clear, success is subjective. If you live and work in a close family culture, and success is measured in starting your own family near your parents and brothers and sisters, then your success will be finding and managing that family.
Ghetto culture — white, black, hispanic, asian — also has its variances. Mostly populated with the poor, key features include faulty money management, a persistent atmosphere of hopelessness, a distaste for the system which it often lives off of, and high drama and addiction rates.
Forget black, white, asian and hispanic. If you think they’re important, then you’ll always find ways to blame the color of someone’s skin for their behavior, and thus commit the very crime you for which you blame for the persistence of poverty.
Individualistic culture’s focus on individualism says that if you can think it, you can do it. That culture gave rise to a nation where, in spite of what racism we did have, people were no longer bound by last names or background cultures. And while it hasn’t always been easy, we’ve seen a much better track record here than in other nations, where ethnocentrism still dominates politics and culture.
Current individualism is what allowed the most intelligent and ambitious of human beings who lived in this country to build the skyscrapers, the financial centers, the great industry and technological advancements we see every day. It is because they didn’t measure success by having a wife and kids, (or husband and kids), but by how far they could take an idea! Ideas don’t need your family, your friends, your skin color, national or ethnic backgrounds. All ideas need is an open mind, a willing heart, and two hands. That’s it. Ideas don’t care if you’re poor, or needy, or hungry. Ideas are all about solving problems. Ideas don’t need government or religion. What they need is one man or woman who is willing to do everything possible to see that idea come to life.
Individualism has its downsides. We get lonely. We get isolated. We grow addicted to physical activities to make up for what we miss in the family. But our benefits include high economic return, big houses for fewer people, multiple cars and the nicest gadgets.
Family/community culture is one with the security of knowing everyone around you. There is security in growing up in the same neighborhood with the same teachers your older siblings had and whom your younger siblings will have. Where everybody knows your name. Where you always have a support system and people willing to be there for you. Where momma is always momma until the day she dies. Downsides include high drama, persistent familial issues and suppression of change. Family/community culture is the world’s largest culture, and is the most stable. People get fed, elderly are often cared for, there is almost always someone who has your back. It is slow to adapt, but that makes it stable and comfortable. It has a lower economic return, but there is usually enough for everyone to get by with.
Ghetto culture is rife with those who won’t do for themselves, blame others for their problems, and are similarly locked into place by others who promised free help but only delivered controls “for their own good.” This culture, at odds to individualistic culture, operates as a single unit so long as they suffer together, but abandons the group when good fortune falls upon the individual. Illegal activities run rampant because of a disdain for the most successful of apparent cultures (individualism), which furthers the plight of the ghetto culture in the first place, fueling addictions, prostitution, slavery and violence.
You cannot live by the downsides of your culture and expect the benefits of mine.
You cannot live in a family culture and expect the economic growth of the individuals. The individuals cannot live by their culture, and expect the closeness of a family/community. The ghetto cannot live by its standards and expect familial loyalty or individualistic growth.
So let’s take this to the harsh reality. Ghetto culture — black, white, asian, whatever — blames “white” culture for not helping their oppressed families from getting their due. “Why don’t you make us all equal? It won’t be until we’re all equal that things will be fair!”
I can tell you now, this hasn’t been a black/white/hispanic issue for years. It’s been an individualist/family-community/ghetto issue.
Individualism, while mostly populated by white males, persists with white males because they’re taught to be individualistic, not because they’re taught to hate blacks or hispanics. From an individualistic point of view, no one, regardless of color, deserves a leg-up to make anything fair. If you want a better job, don’t ask the government to help you get it. Go to school, learn from your teachers, get into college, join the military, make a life for yourself. You want to be taken seriously? Buy clothes that fit you, cut your hair, speak the dominant language of English, show up to work on time, tuck your shirt in, do good work, blame no one for your mistakes and you can take all the credit when things go right. If you want the success of individualism, conform to individualism. Not “being white.”
If you want to change individualism to your own family/collective or ghetto culture, you will only succeed in destroying the qualities that made that culture what it was in the first place. If you want to free family/community culture from its stable ties, you will destroy its stability. If you want to destroy ghetto culture, stop subsidizing it with public monies and let the people who live it truly see that it doesn’t work.
The lesson here? If you are a nominal minority (i.e. woman, black, gay, etc.) and you want to be taken seriously by the dominant individualistic culture, stop acting like the culture you come from, and EARN YOUR PLACE! Be smart, intelligent, and capable. Those in power aren’t hating you for your skin or gender differences nearly as much as an unwillingness to bend to your point of view. If you want the success of individual culture, LIVE BY INDIVIDUAL CULTURE!
I’m not telling you to stop appreciating your heritage of a family with a particular color skin, or achievements of your gender, or your interethnic history, but you can either keep complaining that the world won’t conform to you or you can find out what in the world became so desirable and adapt to it to make it work for you! You can keep isolating yourself to race or gender and look scornfully against those who don’t accommodate you, or you can rise up within your strengths and find success with or without the help of others.
And by that same token, if you want to live with the familial stability of community culture, LIVE BY FAMILY/COMMUNITY CULTURE!
There’s plenty of bleed-through between the cultures, as well. It’s not entirely all one or the other, but as far as understanding their foundational traits, this is one way to look at them. And life isn’t fair, neither are cultures. They aren’t supposed to be, because “fair” is subjective. What’s fair to one might not seem fair to another.
I’m individualistic. I believe that building a life for myself is more important than building it so my brother might be taken cared of in his old age, because I was raised to believe that his own success was his own responsibility. I’m there with my own sense of family to support him when he’s in trouble, but I don’t own him, and his continual welfare is not my sole responsibility. And this is my belief. And I’m fine with other people believing differently than me.
Tonight’s opine is one of protest against other’s complaints that they don’t have in their culture what I have in mine. Those in the ghetto culture or family/community culture might envy my culture’s large pocketbooks. But they forget that my culture sacrificed familial stability to get here, and that in turn, we want families of our own, and a network of brothers and sisters. But we give up things to get what we want, and it’s about choosing what you want.
So what is it you want? There is no such thing as racial equality, because there’s nothing to make equal. Humans are perfectly capable of choosing their own destinies, regardless of skin color, family or cultural background. Sure, they might be ostracized from their families by leaving, but they merely choose what consequences they will hold most dear and by which they will live their lives. Ghetto members might be hated by those they leave behind. They’ll be called sellouts. If it from an ethnocentric community, blacks might be described as “acting white.” Hispanics might be called selfish for leaving their families, in however poor a state they may have been if in the ghetto culture. Whites might be ridiculed for “acting black” by living in a high family environment with their friends or other family members of multiple cultures. The real point is learning to ignore how other people should think you ought to live and start living how you want to live!!!
So next time you look at cultural discord, look past color. Look past ethnicity. Ask yourself if the person you’re watching is living individualistically, family/community, or ghetto? Don’t mind where they came from, what family they belong to or even what language they spoke coming here. Look at what they want, what they’re willing to do to get it, and … well, let’s end with this cute little maxim I just got in my head.
Do not hope to reach success by expecting it to conform to you. Expect success only by conforming to it!