Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Culturalist's Manifesto

1. Culturalism is the doctrine that some cultures are superior to others and therefore there is such a thing as a superior culture.

2. Culturalism must be distinguished from Racism, for a Culturalist says that it is one’s culture that is the proper object of criticism, not one’s skin pigment.

3. The Culturalist maintains the criterion for determining whether or not one culture is superior to another is Love. If culture A is, on the whole, a more loving culture than B, then surely culture A is superior than culture B.

4. The Culturalist recognizes that just because Culture A is, on the whole, superior than culture B, it doesn’t follow that culture A is the most superior culture, for even though culture A might be a more loving culture than B, A could be more loving in regards to issue X than it actually is.

5. A Culturalist recognizes that her own culture is probably not the most superior culture possible, and therefore her own culture ought to be subject to criticism as well.

6. A Culturalist recognizes that he there might be a better criterion for evaluating the superiority of a culture than Love. Though she seriously doubts this, she welcomes any cogent argument to the contrary, because in being open to finding a better criterion for evaluating the superiority of cultures she would then have the opportunity to improve her own culture.

7. The antithesis to Culturalism is Multiculturalism- the thesis that all cultures are equally good and therefore there is no such thing as a superior culture. Culturalists reject Multiculturalism on the grounds that such nonsense amounts to Nihilism. A reductio against Multiculturalism, says the Culturalist, goes like this:
(1) All cultures are equally good.
(2) Nazi Germany is a culture.
(3) Nazi Germany* (a culture identical to Nazi Germany but was manifestly against any form of genocide) is a culture.
(4) By (1), (2) and (3) are morally equivalent.
(5) If Nazi Germany’s culture is morally equivalent to Nazi Germany*’s culture than the words “good” and “moral” do not mean anything.
(6) If moral terms do not mean anything, then moral Nihilism is true.
(7) But (5) is false, and therefore we must reject (1)
And since (1) is equivalent to the thesis of Multiculturalism, we must reject Multiculturalism.

8. The Culturalist maintains that any attempt to correlate one’s race with one’s culture inevitably entails racism- for if to be a member of a certain race has essentially something to do with being a member of certain culture it must be the case that some races are superior than others. Thankfully it’s empirically false that race and culture are so related, because two Caucasian people can be representative of two divergent, incongruous, and discontinuous cultures.

9. The Culturalist’s thesis that there such thing as a superior culture is equivalent to the thesis that Mankind is one.



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