Oneiromancer666 (oneiromancer666) wrote in michiphilosophy,


Once upon a time, humans lived in harmony with the Earth. Then in Mesopotamia a culture decided that it was going to conquer the world. They brutally expanded their cultural empire by either forcing their neighbors to assimilate into their culture or by outright slaughtering their neighbors. Over the course of ten thousand years this metacultural conquest has covered the globe, with only small pockets of aboriginal cultures remaining unassimilated. The seemingly diverse modern cultures of the world all share one common metacultural trait which began in Mesopotamia: they all believe that the world belongs to humans. This belief has a corollary: that the individual is separate from the world around it. These beliefs of separation and ownership have justified all atrocities against fellow humans and Earthly inhabitants. The reason that the ancient ecologically harmonious cultures of the world fell under this conquest is because as a collective they lacked a cultural immune system.
As a visual metaphor, let us label the warlike Mesopotamian metaculture as "black", and the ecological metaculture as "white". The "black" metaculture successfully conquered the peaceful "white" cultures due to their lack of militarism. What was needed was an immunological "gray" metaculture. A gray culture appears for all intents and purposes as a "white" culture under normal conditions. However, when a gray culture identifies a "black" culture, it enters immunological mode and annihilates the "black" culture, possibly destroying itself in the process. Had the ancient world been composed of gray cultures instead of "white" ones, then our current world would not be corrupted as it is by greed; we would not be living in a "black" world. Greed directly stems from the notions of separation and ownership. If humanity survives its current "black" metacultural infection and returns to ecologically harmonious ways without first destroying itself and the ecology of the planet by its current path, then humanity will have to adopt the wisdom of gray metaculture, otherwise the cycle of global ecological devastation will begin again when another metacultural infection arises. No sufficiently complex system, be it a peaceful global culture or a biological organism, can survive without an immune system.
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i agree, but what's to be done about it?
Unfortunately, I believe that the collective of humanity will maintain its destructive path and will incur an apocalypse upon itself. What the dreamers and thinkers of the world must do is survive this apocalypse, so that they can be there to rebuild a new world from the ashes of the old one.
sounds a very long term strategy.
I'm still clinging to the hope that humanity will begin to see the errors of its ways and change. There are a few, very few, instances of positivity but it's still looking bleak.
I'd like to think there's something we can do to stop it, but then i'm still young and idealistic
In general, diversity increases survivability of the species. Some of us will prepare long-term survival strategies, others should try to avert the catastrophe. Everyone has their function within our species. The world needs idealists just as much as it needs alarmists.
A far more apt label for the destructive culture would be the "whites"
Attempting to avoid the racial connotations of adjectives for color is exactly why I kept the words black and white in quotation marks. I wanted to employ the classic visual dichotomy of good "white" versus evil "black", rather than to make any references to race. Though for the most part I would agree with you, especially in reference to the past several hundred years, but the reason that I avoided racial references is because I wanted to emphasize that the culprit was memetic rather than genetic. Memes can readily jump any manner of "racial barrier".
"I wanted to employ the classic visual dichotomy of good "white" versus evil "black","
The classic dichotomy turns out to be a cultural creation that is quite arbitrary. It might be the case that the Shakespeare you studied employed a social convention that was not without it's own ingrained racism.
The core hues of colors have psychological flavors that are hardwired in our human brains and that predate such things as human racial distinctions and arbitrary cultural creations. Red reminds our animals brains of blood, blue reminds us of calm skies, black reminds us of nights huddled in caves in fear of nocturnal predators, and white is the color of clouds on the brightest of days.
Well, psychology is not my field but I recently attended a lecture on applied anthropolgy that contradicted what you have to say about hardwired "flavors." The lecturer spoke at length about the difficulties with cross cultural marketing by colors. Some colors that tend to stimulate the appetites of westerners -the ugly greens, yellows, and oranges so common in fast-food joints here - actually have opposite effects in some other cultures. McDonalds has changed the interior colors of their Japanese restaurants to blue because of this. As much as I hate everything that McDonalds stands for I do trust that they employ sound techniques when marketing the crap that they pass off as food.
Though I guess it is possible that the neuropsychology researchers failed to account for cultural bias in their studies, I think it is more likely that cultural experience has the ability to easily overwhelm within the conscious mind such subtle programming as hardwired color-induced affectation. Certain types of hardwired programming can easily remain dormant and unexpressed within the conscious mind if environmental conditions either fail to activate the programming or overtly "overwrite" that programming. All humans carry within their brains vast stores of unexpressed programming. Much of this is designed for survival situations from which our modern civilization shelters us.