Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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 Couragism?

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Masculin
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Date d'inscription : 29/08/2006

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MessageSujet: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 16:48

I have always believed that people live their lives more or less on the basis of world-views, and these world-views vary from culture to culture. Moreover, how one sees the world influences how one deals with that world, but also shapes what routes one takes and with what intensity one pursues one's life-dreams or life-plans. it is in this context that I decide to argue that man should not be a slave to his culture since he would have invented culture as a means to his ends in an attempt to facilitate his existence, not as an institutional master to which he is unconditionally and perpetually bound. In other words, man has a moral obligation to assess his culture and to determine whether his culture is suited to the new circumstances of his time. why is this important? it is important because the culture that man has today was invented during a process of time and circumstances that his ancestors were accounting; therefore, by accessing his inherited culture to determine whether such a culture is suited to his own time and circumstances, man will be doing exactly what his ancestors had done in the face of their own contemporary circumstances.

In my short time of this earth, I have come to realize that most human societies have a propensity to make their culture an end to itself; and this fallacy caries itself in making members of those societies identify almost in all cases with their native cultural elements whether they are outrageous abuses and violations of human dignity; the fallacy stems from the following: if one identifies with his culture as what makes him who he is instead as a venue to the betterment of his existence, then he will tend to tolerate some of the worst pathological currents in his culture. why? because he would err into thinking that a rejection of such cultural currents is a rejection of himself. It is this kind of slavery to one's native culture that gives rise to collective acceptance of the worse types of violations to human dignity such subjugation of women, the mistreatment of children by adults and so on.

It is this fallacy that leads many traditionalists to accuse reform-minded individuals of being sell-outs or cultural subverts. In other words, from the traditionalist point of view, these reform-minded individuals or social and cultural critics are subverting the members of society by undoing the very nature of their existence. It is in facing this problem that I have attempted to develop a philosophy that I would call "couragism". By "Couragism", I mean a philosophy based on the idea that men's creations including culture, from time to time, need to be calibrated against the realities of time and the appearance of new circumstances; In other words, a worldview that encourages cultural innovation and creativity and in the process select cultural winners, and expunge cultural losers;and losers and winners are only so relative to the span and duration of their utility to men. it is worth noting that cultural elements with neutral value would not need to be calibrated, and therefore are encouraged to maintain as symbolic link to the past and ancestors.
At the very top of this philosophy's set of principles is the idea that human dignity requires five basic and uncompromised freedoms: intellectual, sexual, artistic, spiritual, and nutritional.
what seems to differentiate "couragism" from other philosophical contructs is that it is a philosophy that does not require anything on its own merit, but on the merit of what human dignity would mean to all people in the absence of cultural or religious coersion.

note: to be continued later!
feel free to critique, and your feedback will be highly appreciated.
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Sasaye
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 18:42

I follow your thought and subscribe to their premises, however the appellation of this philosophy is not quite descriptive of its purpose and goals.

Assuming that the root of this name is "courage", it evokes the will and the fortitude of the person who sets out to effect the change in the culture. This change is operated by a
"reasessment" of the practices and concepts in that culture.
Such a process is a "revision".

Perhaps, this might suggest the selection of a new name.

I will indicate that the reason I follow and subscribe the your ideas is my own conviction that the dismal situation we are facing in Haiti is caused by the overall retrograde mentality of our people, particularly of our elites.

I also believe that this mentality is even subverting the positive parts of our culture which are preserved by our peasantry.

Similarly, the modern North American society that dismisses the wisdom of the aboriginal people whose earthly environmental conservationism are depleted by savage consumerism.
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 20:13

I see your point, but it takes courage to challenge the accepted, and the resilient; and cultural elements are accepted and resilient by the very nature of their existence. as you know, cultural elements whether good or bad are resilient because they have been so entrenched in people's minds that their application is almost automatic; and thus their inertia is due to their own weight in the mind of their adherents. in face of that, courage whether political or intellectual is required for societal and cultural transformation.
Notwithstanding, I take note of your criticism, and I think that it is fair, and we have to be careful not to make the mistakes of the euro-centrists. However, I have come to realize that the culture of descendants of slave including my native culture had suffered a tremendous deficiency; and it perhaps is the result of something that many historians or anthropologists have failed to emphasize. you see, when slaves were brought to the new world, they were prevented from living by the good part of their culture. why? because whatever good in their native culture had to be repressed since such good cultural characteristics would have threatened the institution of slavery. so, the good parts of African culture had been repressed during the process of enslavement; but the problem was compounded by preventing the slaves from accessing the good parts of the master's culture; because in normal circumstances, when two cultures meet on equal footing or due to commerce, the encounter strengthens both cultures by allowing both cultures to absorb valuable elements from both side; and this process is known as cultural diffusion. However, the encounter between African culture and European culture in the new world did not occur under these normal circumstances because it was a slave-master relationship. such a distorted relationship facilitated the absorption of the bad as opposed to the good from the master's culture; and that negative absorption is matched by an equally reliance on the bad part of African native culture. In other words, in the case of Haiti, we become a combination of more of a bad African and a bad French; and this phenomenon is not restricted to the relation of slaves and master in the new world because the same thing happened after the collapse of the western roman empire; the Germanic tribes that took over became a combination more of a bad Roman and a bad German.
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Rodlam Sans Malice
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 20:32

The word "culture" must be defined clearly in order for us to write about the same thing.Culture also means the sum of knowledge acquired by a society during its evolution.Curlture also includes the religious structures established in a society;the artistic and intellectual realisations.

Indeed some aspects of a culture have to evolve with time in order to maintain its vitality; as in the cultural revolution of Mao Tse tong in China .This is the reason why you have revolutions in many countries because the beneficiairies of the status quo refuse to adhere to the new realities of their society.

It is imperative to distinguish between Culture and mores which are part of a culture but not the culture itself.During the cultural revolution in China I am sure the Communist Party abolished some bad mores of the chinese people ,but it did not reject the chinese culture as a whole.Yes one shoukld have the courage to reject certains aspects of a culture that is detrimental to the evolution of the society ,but one should not reject one's culture as a whole to imitate another one under the false pretext that it is better.It is this "snobbism" that makes some people reject their own culture in order to create a class society where a group assumes a certain disdain for the other classes.

Yes in certain country a cultural revolution is a necessity in order for that society to progress.We have seen the results of such revolutions in France, in Russia,in haiti in the 18th century, and closer to us in China.Should the Chinese during the cultural revolution reject the benefits of acupuncture because it is not recognized in the western world as a scientific method of treatment of pains,no.This is a knowledge acquired during the evolution of their society which is good.Should they abandon their music ,their cuisine etc no.These are habits that determined who they are.

I do not want to insinuate any wrong idea ,but I can not prevent myself of asking if keen wrote this piece to criticize those who want to preserve the vodou religion and its traditions in haiti.Again it is just a question ,not a statement.


Dernière édition par Rodlam Sans Malice le Mar 9 Déc 2008 - 20:49, édité 1 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 20:46

you are right sans malice, that is why I have intended to emphasize cultural elements more than culture as a whole since culture tends to evolve. but though they evolve, cultures do not evolve fast enough to keep up with the demands of new circumstances;and sometimes,the culture itself has barriers that make it very hard for it to adjust to new circumstances; for instance if a culture values the old more than the young, that culture will tend to be static since transformational changes are more likely to come from the youth than from the old.


Dernière édition par OBSERVER KEEN le Mar 9 Déc 2008 - 21:02, édité 1 fois
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Rodlam Sans Malice
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 21:00

"for instance if a culture values the old more than the young, that culture will tend to be static since transformational changes are more likely to come from the youth than from the old."keen

Again I do not agree with this statement completely.We are witnessing the deterioration of our society right now in haiti.Therefore, one can not conclude that the old values are always bad and the new ones always good.There must be a real effort to conserve those mores that are good and reject the new ones that do not value the sanctity of human life and morality.


Dernière édition par Rodlam Sans Malice le Mar 9 Déc 2008 - 21:38, édité 1 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: Couragism?   Couragism? EmptyMar 9 Déc 2008 - 21:09

no, I am not advocating that at all. how have you deduced that? I am calling for a critical assessment during which we espouse good and better from others or create good for ourselves while disregarding what is bad, keep both the positive and the neutral withing our cultural ranks.
we also have to base our morality on reason instead of religious dogma.
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