Monday, March 13, 2017

"The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true"

Rep. Steve King (Iowa): "The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true."
Well, yeah. There is a sense in which the ethnocentric Rep. King is right, but it's not the sense he was thinking of. Some years ago, in Exploring the Ways of Mankind (1960), anthropologist Walter Goldschmidt proposed some criteria for objectively evaluating cultures without being ethnocentric. He suggested that we look at how well a culture satisfies the physical and psychological needs of its members in terms of:
--Nutritional status
--General health (physical and mental)
--Crime, violence
--Domestic stability and tranquility
--Stability of relationship to resource base

On these measures, American culture is not doing so well. Don't tell King.

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