Culture Conflict in Global Expansion

Inherited resistance to change and or protective shield?


by Michael Mifsud, Writer, Entrepreneur

Malaga, Spain



Culture – a strange word that evokes visions of substance, color and communal living. It can however refer to so many things that it needs to be defined in context to be able to appreciate it as the organic, slowly evolving, form of social expression that it is. In this study of conflict and change in the face of foreign intrusion, culture means customs and specific means of communication which may or may not involve any more than body movement or identifiably different ways of doing things that many a stranger to the shores often take for granted. Where at first contact acceptance seems guaranteed, reaction over a longer period can be devastating.


One very basic example of time honored custom is the traditional handshake, which could in some country be taken as a threatening gesture. Another, is the kiss on the cheek which could for example in some countries cause unbearable embarrassment. In fact, to be able to communicate effectively with any person, let alone a crowd, the identity of the people being addressed is of the utmost importance if any form of acceptable welcome or cooperation is to be provoked.  We have heard about  those peculiar accounts of nose rubbing, wife donations and even joint herbal smokes or drug ingestion. The pipe of peace of the classical Indians of cowboy fame and the sinister, almost ingenuous dance of the Basque welcome that could be anything but that. These are examples of social display that until recently marked the voice of a people and held them together with beliefs that would one day be denied, too suddenly, too aggressively. For those village priests, doctors  or even skillful politicians, the ease of with which local communities could be organized would disappear for ever. Nothing  would ever be as simple or as effective as they way things were always done, for good or bad.   If the size and complexity of the people and their cultural behavior had previously served to unite them in peace and individual interindependence, such changes of awareness, whether deemed expedient or in their own interests, have always in fact led to their own  detrimental slide towards chaos. These situations need no examples that we have not seen throughout the less evolved sections of world society – like most of Africa, the Amazon and closer to home.  Societies do not happen, they evolve and changing the name of the game demands an approach that serves to maintain the cultural links between the families in the society, whilst feeding in educational forces gently that do not destroy but cement them. The Catholic Church in its early attempts to globalize, destroyed without question and utilized terror to remove the cultural elements that stood in the way of replacement of religious cultures.  As macabre as it was, it could not have been  done any other way, in the face of such a cold, calculated challenge and the sin was being there in “destroy or be destroyed” clumsiness, but not the attempt to change. Later in Catholic history,  the approach through gradual infiltration and absorption of local cultural values, made it possible to send down the very roots that were to produce its vast following.


Bread and circus may be another form of gradual absorption into alien doctrines, as football does so cleverly today, but on its own it is unlikely that the doors of cultural acceptance can be left open.  In fact, given national vices as instruments of taxation by governments and the lethargy inducing aspects of the entertainment media, as a means of obtaining undisturbed time to rule and make mistakes, culture can be and is always  manipulated to political advantage. The business of collective abuse of public weaknesses is in itself often a cynical approach to cultural developments intended to erode political resentment. Public holidays, flag days, national mournings, with all their trappings further the political circuitry that fuses it with indigenous inherited values. Gangland goes to church and sectional chiefs show an interest in charitable deeds to get past those barriers that require the fusion of interests and identity.


The cultural porridge of a nation and its effects on the people can prove to be as detrimental as it is beneficial to a nation’s health if abused by a dictatorial regime.  In Iran for example, in times of recent grave crises and internal conflict, the speech by the Chief Minister was blatantly an appeal to religious oratory that for the West was impossible to associate with a country assumed to be of a high intellectual level. Both young and old, rich and poor, highly intelligent and barely educated rose to the occasion en masse endorsing the public confession of faith out of fear, condemning in so doing by such demonstration of unity those who dared to challenge the regime and who would later be handpicked for the hanging ceremonials. In North Korea, the ability to stage those magnificent but sad public displays relies entirely on ingrained cultural values and its consolidation to the point of blindness to modern aspirations for compassion and basic needs. Local cultural lore finds expression easily with the invocation of a relentless outside threat. In this country it has reached extreme levels of false reality as a result of an insignificantly small core of highly charged individuals guarded by military apparel and massive weaponry which drains the very roots of the basic needs.  None, like marionettes, would even remotely consider that the outside threat was really a compassionate force eager to free them from repression and modern day slavery Culture, as always stands proudly in their way.  In Fiji, the influx and incorporation of Asian immigrants which led to a cultural takeover, resulted in a civil war that the indigenous Pacific Islanders were prepared to shed their blood over. It took British intervention and a severe lesson in how not to do things to get the islands back on a level keel.  Culture therefore is a cement whose properties have to be understood in terms of degrees of strength. Only those people who form a part of it can be genuine advisors with respect to its complex idiosyncrasies and nature of acceptance expected from those outside. However, the cultivation of links with those who have broken away and settled in highly evolved societies can lead to important sources of envoys that can make future incursions into those societies of greater value to both native and negotiating outsider.


The collective cultural urge to close ranks.


Not everyone can be guaranteed to skate around the delicate minefield of the way things are done by a people unless they are neighbors of long standing. In which case, their foibles and stances are well known to each other and in most instances, what keeps them well apart. Their differences are their aggravations and their frontiers, their statement of  distance kept.  Europe is a good example of the principle in force as overall attempts to smooth the differences by a supranational form of government has led to increased cultural intolerance between the member states and  a marked increase in national protectionism.  It is the lowering of the sense of differences by mutual accolades and closing of cultural distances between host and guest that enables the ritual hospitality  gap in the door to make itself manifest. In the Pacific islands a substance called Cava which even their sovereign head, the Queen of England has to drink to renew her cultural links. In some South American cultures other forms of drug participation are  involved in the process when the visitor wishes to identify at a spiritual or community level.  Culture, therefore, in this instance stands for a variety of aspects of acceptance and also of the shutting of doors, as a vibrant, evolved, measure of positive and negative forms of communication. For many who display their local version it is a life-preserving force as the famous Hackas of the Maoris demonstrate in their intimidating awesomeness. It is in many ways a form of a locally-controlled, social and economic growth without the very members of the community involved, being aware of it as a stumbling block.  “Better to be safe than sorry”  is apt in this connection, as far as keeping that door fairly closed is concerned.  One could ask “Is a nation’s government a measure of its cultural capacity?” Conversely, “Is a nation’s government the guarantee of its cultural conservation?”


The barrier of cultural differences.


Cultural differences, particularly that which are manipulated by the wily chiefs or Heads of State of many countries, unfortunately lie at the very base of the wholehearted but mainly useless contribution towards world poverty that the wealthier communities of the world have ladled out. Where it has been given with every intention to educate and improve, it has unwittingly met with the barrier that allows such aid to be deflected where education means loss of power. The expressed gratitude expected may often be seen by insecure leaders, as acknowledgements of reconciliation with the blurred outside enemy that they utilize for confident, repressive government. In some communities, welfare funds do not even reach the middle strata of those impoverished and often starving communities for the very basic reason that their culture and social structures stand in the way. This may sometimes have nothing to do with selfish egocentric leaders, but act like massive barricades that prevent not just absorption of ideas and material goods, but leave relatively little room for the barest of mechanisms for self denied improvement.  This is strange and incomprehensible to those whose efforts went deep into the provision of these funds and probably even helped to open up the channels within those communities, where the call for help was not even uttered.  Culture as a barrier is seen by many as no more than a colorful display of feathers or exotic body movements chillingly responsive to the sounds of primitive instruments.  It is not seen as a way of insisting that things should be done differently and thereby hangs the tail by which many a good intention or misapplied innovation falls on barren ground. Questions have to be asked:

Do cultural values that have resisted the test of time and which prevent economic development deserve respect?  Does the replacement, reformation provide a quality of life that justifies the loss of ideals, however fanciful? There are no easy answers, but folkloric researchers and nostalgia seekers are in no doubt about the sadness and loss of identity that produce modern, sterile and egoistic societies. Can these transitions, however economically sensible, be justified as a means to an end that could have preserved the cultural values at least?  The way forward, it would seem, is not that simple. Back to basics finds a resounding echo in the dismal experiments of new towns and wholly manufactured communities. The destruction of the high risers and the return to the land for some were the first signs of the failure to take cultural values along with progress. The corner shop may not be that far from being enshrined in a protective status.


Tribal nations and ceaseless warfare.


The full problem when it comes to staging a presence in countries with alien cultures and needs is simply that it cannot be done from the outside.  Africa, torn to shreds by outside demands for  precious resources is a case of incalculable importance with respect to how things should not be done.  Like the Maharajahs of India as doorways to national trading, so the ever changing chieftains that sit on power by sheer force of arms in Africa. It is difficult to imagine how a world modified by the highest accepted values has allowed this mockery of humanity to shed its images on TV screens within the wasteful comforts of Western homes. There, culture, overridden roughly with no more sensitivity than the removal of obstacles at the point of a gun, has all but disappeared to the detriment not just of the once consolidating racial structures, like the Zulus, for example,  but to those whose contributions could have meant much more than what it means today.  The reformed societies which now comprise of mainly warring, deprived and desolate survivors, are the result of forceful removal of cultural values that kept them on track.  Contribution with a mind and a heart could have kept the culture in place and its modern version would have astounded the hardest of the cynics.


Today, in some of the saddest remote areas of the world, what culture remains after centuries of conflict has lost its layers of social cohesiveness and harbors self-destructive forces. It is this that invites fundamentalism as a lifeline. Investment in cultural support therefore creates channels for minimum basics to reach their targets. Insensitive Western religious movements in their puerile soul collection fantasies have left a motley of identifiable cults all too eager to displace each other and utilize whatever regime to do the work for them.  Racial differences, once mooted by cultural similarities and perhaps origins, reduced to their mere markings literally, as happened in Nigeria, produced the most horrendous of mutual mutilations.  The cultural glue was not even there to protect them from their neighbors. The cohesiveness, long removed by abusive global expansion of greedy traders through the centuries had laid bare the primitive hatreds of the very early parochial existences.  History is littered with such monumental massacres.  The significant characteristics of these is always the determined  destruction by these invasive cultures to obliterate the weaker opponent almost as if they knew that the real enemy was in the form of expression and genes and not in the muscle power. Some have identified the merciless drive to an instinctive consciousness of the superior cultural balance of the target and not the economic weight.


Investment in Culture.


Putting funds into low economic societies as has been seen, is an imprecise science with much of it usually feeding itself sideways with little chance of it reaching the members of the community whose lives depend on it.  The same formula affects the entry of foreign innovations and trading possibilities. The reason, as we have seen, is the impermeability of a culture that has its reins in the “font honoris”, leaders or shamans with access to its system of communication.  Even in some European countries such systems are still in place and an inner world of cults and religious organizations ensure that foreign interests are kept outside the spheres of influence. In fact so strong is this hidden network that even European rulings are ignored if they in any way affect cultural beliefs like widely spread displays of the most amazing degree of animal cruelty.  Disdain for support that affects the politically-inspired deception of the state of the nations is also another obstacle to outside help.  The attempt to gloss over difficulties in favor of playing for time is also among the tendencies shown to delay the inevitable collapse of the economies.  Money therefore from an institutional point of view, even as an attempt open up new economies, cannot be simply given out, for the simple reason that in the extreme cases, where poverty and cultural prejudices are high, the recipients’ organizers would not know what to do with it and ignore any professional advice that did not come from their own cultural introspective beliefs. Much of the aid could also end up in overinvestment in commodities like cattle and grain without a suitable basic structure and environmental condition to sustain it. In Europe, it did not go into much needed infrastructures and institutional reforms, but to developers and wasteful council, not to mention corruption, for the simple reason that it was not accompanied by conditional references and inspections. Giving, therefore, in a cultural context, is not as simple as it sounds and even when it comes with visible tags, reactions vary in accordance with the degree of pressure that the local culture exerts on its people.  It is a chicken and the egg situation that even now plagues desperately stricken corners of the world.  Haiti is but one modern example of failure in this respect whilst the arguments go on as to whom are responsible for the chaos when even its immaculately attired leader in his shameful abode left the community to its fate. Ignorance can be found at every level of the game and much of it is based on the underlying culture and its nurtured beliefs.  Everything cannot therefore be solved with money and no culture can change without its organizers and leaders allowing it at their own peril.  So where do we start?


I remember standing once before a celebrated guerrilla fighter from Sudan who had taken on the reins of his nation. His tribal markings and solid torso made him one of the most ill adapted figures in the sophisticated surrounds of the country’s London embassy.  Nobody went anywhere near him and no doubt President Nimieri felt a little out of sorts in such blatantly plastic surrounds. Fresh from military intervention in the most bizarre corners of this vast country, even his collar and tie appeared to be parceling him up like an object for display.  I took his arm with some degree of bon amie which took him by surprise.  He froze, unused to such gestures of foreign closeness in a frigid and somber Britain of the early seventies. My host, Philip Obang, the acting ambassador looked on with some amusement, winked at him, made a hand gesture and broke the spell. Luckily for me I suppose, but President Nimeiri was then grinning and his arm encircled my shoulder in paternal greeting. I had, however, been saved from a potential rebuke for frivolity, but then I had my own smile and gestures ready made for the occasion to ensure that despite the intrusion, I had shown the hand of affection.  I got a lion out of him for the London Zoo, unaware that the timely intervention of a culturally identified member of the same tribe had been able to bridge the gap instantly. The wink had not been enough but had prepared him for the sign that meant “good man”. I often wondered what would have happened if the tribal link had not been there.  I hasten to mention that as an animal activist today, I would not entertain the asking or accepting a gift of that nature today. Cultural alertness therefore is tantamount to a language that global expansionists all too often have not done their homework on.  Modern technology assumes that barriers cannot be there in an age of international freedom of knowledge. What they do not realize is that such modern technology can be manipulated and often turned against its own users in countries where the sort of cultural repressiveness immobilizes not only systems by the very people themselves.


Matters as important as the way that a people do things and the nature of their aspirations are therefore not being given the priorities that they deserve. The simple business of investing and strengthening local cultures is obviously the only way to carve the channels that lead to the pipe of peace. False moves in a culture taken by surprise and harnessed to social systems we call primitive are not only bad mistakes, but cultural retaliation has a long memory.  Afghanistan today is an example because of the emergence of a highly restrictive religious “system” based on fear which tempers and gives credence to the underlying common religious base.  The trademark of these wanton killers is the recognition and use of the original culture with which they can identify by birth. There success is a result of being able to utilize that culture and upgrade it to a level to be seen to be the ultimate sacrifice against the outside enemy. Under those terms, there is little any unwilling member of their targeted communities can do to raise neighborly assistance. To stand up and be counted is to surrender to an insensitive force devoid of genuine cultural values. Perversive “system” of this nature is not in many cases, even remotely associated with the cultures it dominates, but a rabble-rousing technique based on fear which holds the genuine cultural background as a hostage. The closer the identity however with: “If you do not do what we tell you to do, you are betraying the sacred principles of your culture which is under attack” is infinitely more powerful. Effectively this is a superimposition based on executions and mutilations, but cultural debilitation based on submission to the will of God, renders the people helpless.   Even the ruthlessness of the Hashishim which gave us the word for Assassin, was nowhere near the shamelessness of the massacre of the innocents that the system of religious terrorism today, demonstrates.  The horror is compounded by the fact that it sets itself up apparently to protect the very people they cynically destroy.  Perhaps in this concept of bestiality there is a lesson to learn with respect to the creation of sustainable channels of communication based on cultural identification and support. I would be loathe to include intimidation in any form of sustained contact even in supposed amelioration of abysmal conditions. The business of reinforcing identity, where moral values uphold it, lies in investment in culture at arms length to establish the confidence that can later lead not only to  targeted confidence, but the industrial and commercial interchanges based on moderation. Modern technology at the disposal of cultural interests will do a job that serves the interests of local and foreign parties without allowing operators to expose ingenuous people to profiteering and ambiguous sales likely to deplete their much needed reserves. The mobile telephone, junk food and internet supply charges which are inducing expensive low standards of cultural behavior, are among those which immediately come to mind when watching the horrors of famine and natural disasters on the screen. Are these modern facilities apart from the expense and perhaps oddly useful circumstances, as progressive as they could be if channeled where they are needed most and do not encourage debilitating communication for its own sake?

Knowledge is important in the hands of intelligent minds, but overly useless in the hands of the rest for the simple reason that it ceased to be of survival interest and more encouragement to run away from day to day realities.


Additionally, given the level of understanding and social priorities in societies whose tenuous links between its members rest on witchdoctors or anointed chiefs, even a simple thing like a television screen linked to the outside world could cause panic not merely through its innovation, but through the misapplication of the messages, uncensored images, can launch. Massive insubordination as cultural taboos are broken easily wrecks the very fibers of the simple controls that kept each family united in a purpose. Eroded, ancient tribal differences can emerge if we consider that the top layer is  removed and lower levels balance out by attaching themselves to new aspirations which result in the fragmentation of  the original body.  These emerging tides often seek benefits through newly-defined identities which puts them at odds with those that went off at different angles. In fact, at times they create new social strata where there were none before.  It is the question of the feathers in the headgear where number and color can produce symbolic challenges.  This is what happened in parts of Yugoslavia with known terrible results. Even those survivors who lived through the ordeals and reign of terror still question what caused them to turn on their own cherished and accepted neighbors. President Tito may have been a harsh and inflexible ruler, but  maintaining an overall cultural balance whilst creating links with its two outside enemies was an experiment that may well have been a little too adventurous for the time. Upsetting the cultural balance can therefore at worst provoke the sort of violence that continues to shock the world almost daily.  Globalization, in the main, lies behind these triggers or perhaps, “unplanned, insensitive globalization”. In short, cultural values exposed to alien concepts, however well meaning, are often at the heart of these breakdowns with such calamitous results – not just for those running in circles with fear and incomprehension, but for the very alien representatives in the country who have to flee,  unaware of their part in the disaster.


The mind used to manipulation rarely finds time or has the capability to meet changes rashly imposed. Social cohesiveness is often taken for granted but the weak force that keeps it together is  easily displaced by something as simple as the promise of an illusion – the promised land.  In the East, at the time of  the  removal of the Berlin wall, one of the great sources of inspiration for those who moved into Berlin with such force, was, according to many interviewed, the size and power of the cars they only saw on films.  The distress, it would appear, that scenes of crashes in Hollywood films produced in the minds of those whose sole aspiration was to go behind the wheel of one of them, was incomprehensible to those in the West.  Cultural values were obviously different and power and wealth centered curiously on the classical archetype of glory on wheels. Owning and being seen to move about in one of those instruments of perceived strength was the overpowering drive for change. Perhaps it had to do with deep rooted archetypes, but the anticlimax for most of these vision seekers, was all too obviously round the corner, and many now have nostalgic feelings about what they left behind, despite the inherent evil of the system.  Tolerance and concern therefore are essential as means of consolidation when globalization exposes balanced communities to a view of itself it had never had a need to countenance before. It will take a long time before the destructive forces of disillusion are sufficiently diluted and replaced by new concepts.  Second class citizenship is the result, and until the overall cultural balance is restored, it will remain there. Another example of cultural conflict.


The cultural glue of social unity.


Culture is the glue of society.  Without it there is little sense of unity of purpose or genuine zest for life. The trials and tribulations are highlighted in its absence whilst the challenge is negated.  If we examine the very basis of our own modern structures and go back through their histories to the dawning of civilizations, we see “common survival needs” emerging.  Not just the basic human need for protection of the young and the food and shelter of survival, but the need to draw closer to all others within the same structures for support and comfort in numbers.  Family units in nature are often quite self supporting and in fact deny access to other families because of the potential confrontation of the males. To glue the males therefore,  a very special outside force is required that will override the fear of impregnation of the females by their guardians. There are many cases in nature where the male eventually leaves the mother and children to their fate as he spreads his seed, but in the first instances, the protective shadow is there. Making friends with the people next door requires the male to share interests with his friend or collaborator. Fraternity, for that is what it is, then becomes the building block of the emerging community and later civilizations. The male social unit so prevalent throughout history is the only force that keeps whole communities together under an artificial non-natural political structure. The secret societies that have harnessed the power sources of most countries at any one time demonstrate the peculiar and powerful nature of the force. In some countries these are practically states within states and curiously enough, they are conservative in essence and have proven overprotective as far as national “tribal” values are concerned. It does not need too much thought to realize that at times they add to the background cultural resistance of the country when faced with foreign invasive cultures in the form of immigration, debilitating outside competition or importation of  non-aligned ideologies. The countries which enshrine fraternity in their constitutions, can be guaranteed to have powerful elements of this nature in their social framework. This is yet another factor that has to be worked into the globalization process before it reaches shores likely to contain inner elements of this nature. Despite the sophistication of these hidden social networks, they can be present in even the most underdeveloped countries where social strata permit. The massive international reaction against a different type of male bonding called “Gay” and based on sexual preferences, is born on the back of the protection, not of the family, but the concept of fraternity, which is the backbone of most great civilizations. It is this that Jesus referred to as the greatest love –  for a man to lay down his life for a friend and which Plato alluded as the highest expression of love.  It is for this reason that the appellative of “Platonic” is put into place to define its existence beyond sexual motivation. Both concepts may be based on the same forces, but have otherwise little to do with one another. The Spartan dream and the so called Grecian “Patrician Love” belongs to the Platonic concept as were the male marriages of the ancient emperors and the Templar pairings now emulated in the legal halls of the advocacy, the compulsory pairing of  upper military personnel and the Spanish Guardia Civil – a semi chivalric movement based on fraternity. Friendship as a binding force is, perhaps for these delicate reasons, often neglected with the erosion of the most powerful social force known to human society.  The behavioral expression of this force in any society is therefore a language to be learnt long before any social contact is entertained. 


The hand of friendship – a sacred commitment little understood.


Feudalism, within its own cultural structures required little more than an overall figure in the concept of crown or major warrior to create an increasingly complex community, utilizing alliances with other culturally similar forces to produce a township where all its varied elements served a common purpose. When the ancient peoples of Israel with diverse religious structures and cultures asked for a King it was precisely what they need and wanted to lead the way and protect them from each other. Alliances between feudal lords essentially fused the communities together and when these alliances deteriorated, the fragmentation was far from ideal in that new friendships and physical relations pulled in different directions. Conflictive loyalties could mean death and still do in many a present feudal or fundamentalist religious faction.  Feudalism therefore was doomed from the start as a means of sustainable government and the concept of the healing King or overlord, with stronger powers,  allowed for internal executive breakdowns within feudal alliances, without affecting the integrity of the families caught within the structure.  The commonwealth of nations was born.  Ideally however, fraternity is the master builder of the great society and breakdowns of communal friendships when they start to wear, through neglect, show that the end of that social network  is near enough. It is exactly what happened in the Caliphates of Cordoba and Granada and what ushered the enemy in with such resounding success. Internal strife within families and alliances, reduced loyalties to day to day bartering and what had not been achieved by force, had been achieved by simply looking on and moving at the right time. Chaos reigned and the shriveled hand of trust and mutual respect dropped down for the last time.  Human conflict today offers very vivid examples of this breakdown where leaders challenge their own executives as distrust settles in with drastic results.


Perhaps male bonding in the socio-political sense needs a closer look. In its original concept, the term “soldier” came from an ancient meaning “to solder” i.e. to join. The Basque, according to the greatest etymologist of all times, Professor Higgins, had a cultural sacramental degree called “soldurii” which in effect bonded men in lifelong friendship or blood brotherhood. The use of fraternity therefore was the concept of the soldier – the human military machine that utilized the force to encourage discipline and create a double headed warrior. Ancient mystery societies also supported fraternity in this ceremonial conjugation which gradually established a family of families throughout what would later on become nations.  There is evidence in Mithraic stellae of male sacramental vows and ceremonial bonding which was taken for granted before the family took its place. The Spartans are an obvious case and the social contribution to security becomes all the more obvious as the men share a society all to themselves and thus supporting communally and  indirectly, however paradoxically, the much revered and religiously enshrouded natural blood family. Today, both institutions work side by side comfortably and take strength from one another  in moments of adversity when friends help out.  Fraternity, therefore, as a cushion in the process of the irreverent expansion of global interests, cannot be underestimated and it is no coincidence that organizations like the Lyons, Masons and Rotarians are spearheading global fusions that guarantee, at least, favorable social responses before the avenues open up to trading and mutual cultural sympathies. Given the need to be able to move large numbers of people in stable and self-reliant enclosures we call communities, the need for common beliefs is paramount in its consolidation objective. Constantine was the greatest exponent when he understood the principle clearly enough to absorb Christianity in protected state belief.  Whilst merely a ploy, and outcasting dissenting cult leaders who interpreted Christianity differently, it served the purpose and curiously created the platform on which the greatest international culture that ever existed took its stand. Not only did it do that, but it absorbed the declining Roman culture and assumed its mantle.  Culture therefore is, as said, the glue of the nations and whatever destroys its social acceptance has little time to replace it with an exact, acceptably modified alternative, to prevent the breakdown that always follows otherwise.  Civil wars, for example, are cases in points and need little analysis to determine where the fractures first appeared.


Responsibilities of global interests.


Global expansion is not only an unstoppable process, but a much needed one in terms of the world society that will hopefully eradicate unnecessary hunger of the many at the hands of the few. The spread of education in all its primary points of assistance is a natural result of this globalization process, but like all things relating to human nature, it is not as immediately productive as all that.  The story of the Tower of Babel often seems to be a folkloric residue of some ancient downturns in social evolution. It could not be starker in its implications and applies to modern situations with as much clarity as it does to those ancient days of empire building.  When cultural gaps develop, the fragments consolidate in opposition and the explosive repercussions fed by fear and human intolerance are always round the corner.  In societies emerging from very basic values attached to the land and accustomed to strife and denial, very few modern systems of government or conditional support is gong to displace the cultural glue that has helped to conquer the demands of mere survival.  Any attempts to do so, in the name of compassion, will often appear to be rebuffed ungraciously, but only because it is seen through the filter of its component commitments.  Sadly, however, no second attempts with better interpretation of the cultural reasoning behind it appears to follow. Leaving them to their fate comes easily to the minds of those who were not genuine in their approach in the first place.


Even if pressed with every attempt at providing explanations for their behavior, the simple answer is that these recalcitrant people, bound by cultural tardyons that has been the language of their existence from time immemorial, are through fear defensive fears, not going to be able to make up their minds or obtain the courage to go against the teachings and indirect threats of their doctors and chiefs. It is not difficult to understand therefore why modern gadgetry like telephones and television aerials, which  unite globally at the touch of a button, can cause such cultural confusion and interfere with the organizational processes of the community.  In fact, in some of the lower economic countries of “modern “ Europe, the effect on harvest gathering and family labors has been disastrous to the point of driving them not only from their ancestral lands, but from the very villages that they lived in. Watching cheap soaps and lewd programs have not only removed the will to work under what are fairly harsh conditions, but displaced the urge into fanciful and usually inaccessible sources of new income.  Immigrants, desperate to send money home, have taken their place and unhappily exploited like slaves in encampments more reminiscent of concentration camps where their very identities can be wiped by dogs and guns from the face of the earth.


Many denounce the primitive undemocratic structures that accommodate some so called backward societies, but on analysis they will find that both family and fraternal traditions are in place and often with great ceremonial display to accentuate their blessings.  Their needs, unlike those where there is no remnant of family security and dog eats dog, cultural unity has, like the rocks of time, been eroded so seriously that only the application of strict religious principles based on fear will ever get them together again.  This, unhappily, was the achievement of Communism and later on similar political forces garbed in fundamentalist religious aspirations. Sudden changes towards instant modernization, particularly in large social groupings already displaying accumulated wealth  by the exploiting few, may well not serve the purpose and perhaps even unleash ancient fragmentations that would be difficult to reconfigure.


Insensitivity, therefore, is the bane of modern globalization and major international interests which supply addictive, inconsequential products and services need to be controlled, and if necessary, offered alternatives through incentives, to adapt to real needs.  It might sound a bit facetious, but fizzy drinks and somber burgers may be whims for the West, but if it replaces the very meager basics required to feed so many, it is easy to understand how destructive it can be even in the short term. If enticing signs which appear on television screens of other similar societies, the need for such spurious and disdainful merchandise is obviously going to be created,  Some may consider expunction of these or mere censorship of footage as outrageous in an age of freedom of expression, but when millions die in the so called “third world” through alcohol abuse and diabetes-induced soft drinks without proper nourishment, it is a sad state of affairs.  Controls therefore are necessary in many instances.  Profits can and are being extracted from trading interests in these countries, but the nature and quality of the service at the right price is the sum total of contribution that carries its own sense of real values and pride in the supply.


Some, as always, would call this unfair in terms of democratic values, but then in the main, well-fed sectors of the world,  where variety is not really the spice of life but pretends it is, mistakes can be absorbed in the same way that some of the mishmash is, at no cost to life or social breakdowns.  In places where food is limited and often consumed in unfair quantities by the few, bad habits or trends can be adopted to provide good results, like cheap nutritious whims and fancy-wrapped educational products. Why this is not the norm is because inefficient leaders and greedy merchants often associated with corruptible administrators, go for easy pickings in their personal ambitions. How millions of helpless families, devoid of access to both education and food if not shelter, can be left to the agonizing ends they face is beyond the understanding of those brave and intelligent international organizations like Greenpeace, Amnesty, Doctors without Frontiers and Transparency, among many that mercifully provide some sort of reprieve.  Democracy, therefore, is not always the panacea in all manner of places.  Cultural expressions unite and healthy values support, and whoever disrupts this in the pursuit of gain is a persona non grata in the world of men.



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