Culture’s Influence

See on Scoop.itIt Comes Undone-Think About It

It is important when considering economies and political systems to also consider cultural values and other social institutions.  Social norms, values, beliefs, expectations, objectives and sentiments all play a role in developing economic and political values and systems.  This is, for example, why in a Jewish or Muslim community you will not find many pig farmers, or how the ancient Egyptians very rarely traded with other peoples, even though they had prime real estate towards the Mediterranean and Red Seas as well as access up the Nile and, potentially, across the desert and seas to India, West Asia, Europe, North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.  Peoples were present to trade, but the Egyptians (according history) had a collective phobia and taboo against crossing large bodies of water at the time.  This is also how the United States can be so resistant to any form of governmental intervention in the economy and the society out of a kind of fear of what could happen to the individual’s perceived freedom and liberty, regardless if it is founded or not.

This is probably partially how we make sub-optimal decisions economically and politically even if we can know what the benefits of implementing policies and stances are.  A hybrid of Capitalism, Socialism, and Environmentalism may be best for the society and for the economy of the United States and the world, so long as the market is allowed to function while ensuring that benefits flow to every member of society who works in the economy while also preserving the environment in which we live.  All of these things require some policy work and some effective law enforcement by those who wield the monopoly on the legitimate use of force in society, ie, the government.  However, because of some Americans’ non-rational fears about the government using force or doing anything, even to help their own selves, or because they refuse to see how they as individuals relate to a larger social and ecological whole that they depend on, these policies will face an uphill battle to be implemented and maintained because of our individual and collective non-rationality and unfounded beliefs that things are and work in a certain way that they really don’t.  Thus, we shoot ourselves in the foot, and are less likely to achieve an optimal level of social, economic, environmental, and political function, in spite of being perfectly capable of achieving it.

It is frustrating beyond frustrating to see so much potential squandered.  Then again, I have to accept, love and still care for the society as best as I can, in whatever way that I can in spite of the fact that many people in this society are on their own place in the learning curve, and/or that I am way ahead of them in these respects at the moment.  Policy, especially economic policy, is technical.  There is even a technical aspect to foreign and social policy as far as maximizing well being in a society is concerned while functionally doing no harm to the society in question through those social policies.

Shades of things to come if I have children of my own (from my own perspective)?

Think about it.

Eli Levine‘s insight:

Culture, or more accurately put, the derivative of social neurology and neurological conditions, is key to understanding people, how they organize and what they’re going to do.  It influences their perspectives, which influence their individual and collective decisions in politics, policy-making, war, economics, finance, environmentalism and a slew of other decisions.

Even language acts as a cultural blinder, shaper, and influencer of perspectives and decisions.  You need to understand, at the very least, your own society and how it relates to all other societies, before, I think, you can be fit to be apart of a governing body in your society for your own sake and benefit at the very least.

Think about it.


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