Culture as defined by Lawrence
Culture can be defined as the way of life exhibited by people, and often include a variety of activities like economic which refers to what people with a given region do to earn their living, the passage of rites, education, social activities like the way of worship, etc. Both Schiller and Nietzsche have written powerful philosophical resources as to aspects of culture, regarding power and humanity. While Schiller came up with what is termed as cultural imperialism theory many years ago, Nietzsche also produced a masterpiece philosophical work. Nietzsche has written a number of philosophical books and other resources, including the ‘will to Power’ and ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’.
His work has provided readers with a stunning tale of about monstrous moral past of a man, which narrates deformation history of the human animal in the hands of Christian moralization and civilizations, and has also hinted at coming to be established with the disappearance new form of humanity and the death of god. However, these philosophical works have received a number of criticisms from analysts as to the validity of each aspect in relation to culture. This essay paper will analyze by a way of comparing and contrasting philosophers’ ideas and con concepts in the subject of culture and which of the two seems more valid.
Nietzsche has written numerous essays and books on philosophical matters, touching issues of life and society at large. According to this Greek philosopher, morality consists of a series of errors which most of us have incorporated into our basic modes of feeling, thinking, and living. It represents the greatest symbolism of people’s profound ignorance of themselves and the world. In his work, it is illustrated how humankind often falsely rank themselves above inhuman beings. He notes that human beings usually see themselves only incompletely and endow themselves with attributes that are fictitious and often place themselves in an inherently higher rank of superiority than nature and other animals and eventually we keep inventing ever new tables as to what is proper and then they accept them as unconditional and eternal.
However, Nietzsche does not in any way suggest that we should feel guilty for such incorporated errors and mistakes. According to this philosophical work, there is a need for humans to thrive to be just and not to settle at the point of concentrating on what is good and evil. It is what Nietzsche calls morality prejudices that stand on the way to this and there is a need to transform things since morality has the tendency to assume knowledge of things which it does not have. The concern of Nietzsche is that individuals may probably never achieve the highest point of their potential. The role of culture should be to produce individuals who are sovereign but historically we only get a series of cultural deformations and pervasions of such cultural roles.
The role of culture
Therefore, the role of culture in our present society has been taken to be a continuously transforming society of human lives and aspects of culture that just breed a new human being. Man has been striving to become better creature every day and retention of cultural practices and values have been as such a bother. Consequently, we see man tending to become more African, more Christian, more Chinese, more European, more comfortable, and more mediocre……….. Nietzsche argued that our culture is in great exposure of danger in that, it is consistently being tried by the Europeans through such social groupings like the Buddhists, which are united in what he termed as the supreme belief of attaining morality of communal compassion.
According to this philosopher, European culture is characterized by what is seen as ‘herd animal morality’ that considers itself to be the morality definition and the only possible form of morality. Nietzsche argues that the challenge of philosophers is that they did not take it as problematic to analyze morality and that what they have actually done is developing an articulation. The proclamation which seeks to illustrate that the life philosophy which is ideal is that one in which individuals strive to live in accordance with the laws of nature has been quite a popular statement amongst moral and spiritual thinkers and philosophers over a long period of time.
This stance, generally speaking, emphasizes that since man is part of nature and that it is nature which nourishes lives of man- being an undoubted aspect of life, therefore must seek to find connection with the natural world if at all he is desiring to find peace in life, and to be ultimately happy as a living being. Nature not only consists of life but also non-life element and all these shapes the life man and culture at large. Since nature is and shall always be life, any attempt within cultural practices to live against the forces of nature are completely redundant. It is impossible to live against nature simply because it is nature that provides the means to better living for everyone.
According to Schiller, cultural imperialism manifests in various ways. Cultural imperialism as a theory attempts to look at core- periphery and media relations. Imperialism in this perspective refers to the establishment and maintenance of unbalanced relationships between civilizations that tend to favor the more powerful civilization. Imperialism can be termed as the way of imposing as well as promoting the progress of a culture that is usually of politically mighty countries over less powerful countries. Imperialism is the totality of all events and processes through which a society is brought into world systems that are modern, and how the dominating stratum gets attracted, forced, pressured and at times bribery being issued in attempts to shape social institutions so as to correspond or even have to foster and promote the structures and values of the system dominant center.
As such, according to Schiller, imperialism is a broad perspective which includes more than consumer goods. Involves dissemination of American principles like freedom and political liberty as well as democracy. Although this process sounds kind of appeasing on the surface of it, it does mask some quite frightening truth, which is the fact that many cultures across the world are presently disappearing due what is believed to be the influence of the corporate and the American cultural practices.
There is a growing aspect of the tendency by the western world notably the Americans to view their culture as the most superior to all other cultures in the world. Although the American market does often brag that it controls the world’s greatest and most powerful economy in the world, it is worth noting that no business enterprise really feels fully contended with having to control over only the market of America as corporations from America want to exercise control over the rest of the 95% of the world’s consumer markets.
With this, Schiller notes, it is easy to convince the people of America of the superiority of their culture and the market share they have over the rest of the less fortunate or rather less developed nations. Americanization of foreign corporations’ culture has been insignificant rise with many enterprises adopting full modes of doing business in American way, which is geared by the fact that the foreign markets and corporations to view the American culture as the most superior and therefore easily adapt it without necessarily weighing the impact it has over the values and other rich cultural attributes of the home business enterprises.
It is due to this attitude that the colonialists imposed their cultural values and attributes to their colonies without considering the need to respect the culture of the residents of the colonized countries. According to this culture, it was strongly believed by other philosophers that the superior or rather the stronger culture will eventually overtake the inferior or what is called the weaker cultures with time. This has been the thinking behind the spread of the American culture.
While Nietzsche sees cultural diversity as a continuous thing often under the great influence by the western culture through what he called transformations to always become better of what one is, in the Schiller’s philosophical work there is also such a thing but in a different perspective. In the imperialist culture, there continuous change from one mode of culture to another, often under great influence of the American corporations. It is almost given that most non-American corporations would feel that consumer products that are packaged in American style would attract more customers because of the notion that American culture is more superior to all and has the ability to transform others.
Schiller says that, whether making attempts to sell any item, an entire culture or a brand, marketers have frequently been able to attribute American products with modernity in the worldwide minds of consumers. Consumers are therefore ceaselessly made to stick to American made consumer goods. This process is a continuous one, with corporations altering their strategies to fit the American culture and business policies. Similarly, in the Nietzsche case, there is also a continuous process of change. The change is described as one towards becoming better ‘tamed’ animals.
The philosopher describes this mode of culture as a poor one since there exactly exists no real culture but continuous change. The Christians tend to become better Christians, the Chinese also strive to become better Chinese, and Africans too strive to become better Africans and so on. In both cultures, there is a consistent shift towards what they view as ‘better’. In both cultures, their criticism of what is seen as cultural erosion.
In the case of Schiller, American markets and corporations are seen to undermine cultures of foreign countries in the thinking that theirs has more power. Imperialism has greatly influenced the mode of conducting business in other countries, with foreigners feeling that adopting American style in marketing their products they would attract more sales. Critically, this can be seen as an ethnocentric measure and imposition of cultural practices that are intended to devalue other people’s.
According to Nietzsche, the change towards adopting what he refers as improved tamed ‘tamed animals’, is criticized because of the fact that it tends to work towards getting what is called morality, which the philosopher terms as a fake one. In the imperialism, there looks to be a fake ranking of the American culture as the most superior. In a similar case, in the case of Schiller, there looks to be a similar ranking where man looks to have placed himself at a higher level, unlike animals. The thinking behind this is that man is always higher than animals and trying to relate the two is unethical.
It is clear that the imperialist culture is more valid in the sense that it incorporates modernity in the development and growth of cultural values. Culture has been disseminated through technological innovations such as media and other systems. It looks more prudent for corporations to adopt modernity in their marketing and production approach, not just as conformity to American culture but as a way of appreciating decency. In the power mode, it looks quite traditional and invalid to apply power in expression and imposition of cultural values.
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