Furthest Right

Culture of Light

In his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera describes human transcendental aspiration as follows:

The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful … Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.

We can surely imagine that a good culture will allow its participants to experience this beauty of life, even if it is only fleeting. And it can only be fleeting for most people, because participating in any good culture requires function, i.e. affirmative and independent action, for the culture to even exist in the first place. For example, a full-time artist depends entirely on culture to survive himself, because art only represents culture, it does not make it survive.

Reason makes culture survive. In a decaying society or organization, reason is eliminated to perpetuate dominance.

But why on earth would the controlling elite of any country seek to diminish the power to reason? Surely, reason is the basis of all independent thought — the catalyst for new ideas and improvement on existing goods and systems.

The answer, in a word, is control. Independent thought is the prime enemy of those who seek to dominate a people. For that reason, those who rule will happily sacrifice technological and social progress if it means that their dominance can be increased.

Without attempting to describe and define culture in any absolute manner, because it is either ever changing or never changing depending on your perspective, it would be appropriate to reference current opinions in a general sort of way. An attempt to define culture is as follows:

In brief, sociologists define the non-material aspects of culture as the values and beliefs, language, communication, and practices that are shared in common by a group of people.

Sociologists see the two sides of culture—the material and non-material—as intimately connected. Material culture emerges from and is shaped by the non-material aspects of culture. In other words, what we value, believe, and know (and what we do together in everyday life) influences the things that we make. But it is not a one-way relationship between material and non-material culture. Material culture can also influence the non-material aspects of culture.

Wider applications of culture have been developed between the public and private sectors resulting in organizations assessing culture as a means to improve or to address risks.

Society’s culture comprises the shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of society, and passed on to succeeding generations.

Culture is used in a special sense in anthropology and sociology. It refers to the sum of human beings’ lifeways, behavior, beliefs, feelings, and thoughts; it connotes everything they acquire as social beings. Culture has been defined in several ways.

Culture is the complex of values, ideas, attitudes, and other meaningful symbols created by people to shape human behavior and the artifacts of that behavior as they are transmitted from one generation to the next.

Generally speaking, a company driving a values-based organization can double its profits while a company that ignores the boundaries of its culture can go bankrupt.  This requires identification of characteristics and functions of culture where an example is as follows:

  • Boundary-defining function
  • Identity function
  • Commitment to something larger function
  • Social glue keeping things together function.
  • Sense-making and guiding function

Once the culture and its functions and characteristics are known, it can be improved through design, where the alternative is to wait for evolution. What the above references apparently miss, is that tradition leads to culture. This will be addressed later again but suffice to say that enough data and processing can shorten the process. For some reason public entities do not improve their “design” while enough private organizations have done so to prove the concept. While different design approaches is possible, this human centred design approach counters the intuitive (but wrong) machine-approach most organizations take.

Most importantly, it made the design process more deliberate. In the past, the people were involved at the final stage (validation) to see whether or not they accepted the final solution.

Once Japanese landscapers have designed a park, they let people walk freely without having a clearly defined walkway. Rather than deciding which path is the right one, they allow people to walk and find (design) the paths. After some time, by looking at where the grass had worn away, they paved those favorite paths.

What most people also miss when thinking about culture is high culture. This is not to be confused with high society such as Kings or Oligarchs but relates more to improvements in the development of languages. A more precise language can better describe requirements which allows for faster development of society.

This also expands art to where ordinary work can be executed artfully once the “art” is mastered. This can also be called “black art” because the one engineer could not execute the same achievement as another but could describe such differences, which then led to more development – which can be equated to lightness of being. The culture that achieves lightness of being is high culture i.e., it is a requirement.

The previous Empire driven by England attempted, and still attempts to use language as their preferred method for dominating society. They were clever enough to ensure that English is used as a maritime language to this day and that films and documentaries are expressed in English.

The mistake they made and still make, is to promote pidgin language via the British Broadcasting Corporation. Pidgin language is the opposite of high culture where its toxicity destroys high culture. In a 2014 google survey the “elites” were dismayed to find that language is still a major barrier to global science.

While it is recognized that language can pose a barrier to the transfer of scientific knowledge, the convergence on English as the global language of science may suggest that this problem has been resolved. However, our survey searching Google Scholar in 16 languages revealed that 35.6% of 75,513 scientific documents on biodiversity conservation published in 2014 were not in English. Ignoring such non-English knowledge can cause biases in our understanding of study systems.

By making their language that of the world, they allowed the world to change it, and it was no longer theirs, nor kept consistent. From this comes the pidgin polyglot of multicultural globlism.

Culture is best illuminated through human experience, any human, anywhere and having roughly 6000 languages tells one how wide this ever-changing field is, meaning it is difficult to provide a concise description of it all and therefore positive and negative real-life stories helps a lot.

For a positive example, over the last two centuries three new languages emerged in Africa. One of them is my own mother-tongue and was named Afrikaans. It has its own tradition that adapted over time to circumstances it encountered.

For example, before the conscious development of Afrikaans as a high-culture language, the symbol of the tribe was the Monument, now language is our symbol.

For a negative example one can refer to the life and times of American Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter. The experience I would like to point to however, is Scott’s interaction with Senator Joe Biden. It appears that the situation Scott finds himself in today with Ukraine is exactly the same as the situation where he found himself in the 80s.

In other words, now-President Joe Biden refused to adapt to tradition or culture for over four decades resulting in him making the exact same mistakes. One could almost say he is destroying his own culture, or that he lost the once revered American high culture by smearing and ignoring the traditional example set by lowly Scott Ritter. In short, Joe Biden eliminated reason to advance dominance his entire life.

The case for an American cultural upgrade is clear, but what is different in these modern times, is that a new and faster development is possible through re-design towards a public culture-of-light goal. Cybernetics and simulations of systems of systems can expedite traditional approaches to facilitate and maintain high culture and a lightness of being for most.

Tags: , ,

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn