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Old 05-09-2010, 01:27 AM   #26
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Default There's only one problem...

It's so hard to get it through to people what's going on and the amount of people who comply hugely outnumber the non-conformers.
Here's an interesting article which outlines compliance and how people come to complying.

Source -
A child's toy lies discarded. The child has already experienced many fun filled hours with it, but the cheap Chinese plastic has long since lost it's allure. Suddenly, it is rediscovered by a playmate. Freed from it's immobility the toy is once again reanimated by imagination. The toys owner sits to the side watching, a swirl of uncontained and uncontrolled emotion buzzing through it's undeveloped mind. The toy belongs to him surely, and the playmate has taken it from him. With trembling voices the duo fight over the toy, scratching, crying, and clinging over the once forgotten object. If Chinese plastic could talk, I wonder what it would think about it's change in fortune?

It is phenomena like this that has made me wonder what exactly makes something worth fighting for? As humans, we place value on everything we see. Mostly, these values are derived not from what we believe it may be worth, but what our society tells us it is worth. Children fight over toys all the time, and yet place little value on them when alone.

In this skit, it was the playmates interest, and his perceived desire for ownership that readjusted the value of the toy. Much like a supermodel wearing a dress, or a celebrity driving a car, or any billboard or advertisement ever conceived, it is not you that gives it value, but somebody else.

A billboard only goes so far though. The greatest endorsement man can ever give to an object is a willingness to fight for it. After all, our own bodies are our sole possession of greatest worth. How much could something be worth if you and I were fighting over it? How much value would be given to something if I died for it?

Value is a collective concept. Society agrees that money has value, and so it does. Those children agreed that the toy had value, and so it did. It is our liquid concept of value that the phenomena of polarisation comes into play, and has much larger ramifications on our world stage than a child's spat over a toy.

Polarisation is the reason why Australia is a multicultural oxymoron, why the Jews survived 2000 years in exile, and why Muslims are willing to blow themselves up. I'll explain all three if you are willing.

Australia's demographic is as varied as it is homogenised. If that sentence doesn't make sense, then allow me to expand. In the 2006 census the number of people that nominated Australia as their place of ancestry was 37%, the highest ranked. The rest was a mix of European and Asian nationalities. Immigration makes up the majority of our population growth and yet there is little sign of cultural diversity on the street. Second generation immigrants speak with an Australian accent and have adopted western values without reservation regardless of the colour of their skin or the shape of their eyes. The traditions and lifestyle that their families possessed a just few years back are dropped by the wayside as they hungrily embrace their new culture. Ironically Australia gives every indication of wanting a multicultural Australia. Our education curriculum promotes cultural tolerance, and places high importance on family traditions and values. People here generally don't care where you are from, and therein lies the explanation. By promoting a state of tolerance, we have engendered a 'who cares' mentality towards race, nationality, and religion. Without confrontation, we deprive foreign cultures of value. If our society is not willing to act against it, then it obviously has no power or worth. If our society ignores it, then much like the forgotten toy it has no value. A Chinese national may have been indoctrinated under communist china, with family values underpinned by Buddhism and speak not a word of English when he came to Australia, but his kids are just as Australian as a descendant of the first fleet. By promoting a multicultural Australia we have actually ensured that it never happens. It is only when a culture is not welcomed, and emphasis is placed on rejection rather than acceptance, is such a culture prone to survival. Some cultures can survive a very long time indeed.

I have heard it said with begrudging respect that Jews were able to survive 2000 years in exile, despite being persecuted throughout their entire history. I am more inclined to believe the opposite, that being persecuted was actually the reason for their continued survival. Ever since the Roman days, the European nations have never gotten on with the Jews. From the destruction of the temple by the Romans, to the mass forced conversions carried out by the Spanish, to the deportation of Jews from England, to the more recent holocaust, the Europeans have been polarising themselves against the Jews. This polarisation gave value to the Jewish culture. If all nations of the world were arrayed against you, you too would cling onto what you are, and by default, what they aren't. The Jews survived by being everything the Europeans weren't, because their hosts wouldn't accept them.

It is this very nature of polarisation that allowed the rise of early Christianity. The violence and fierce control wielded by the Roman Empire allowed Christianity to be the answer to Rome's violence. Christians died in the colosseum not because they wanted to live their life the way some carpenter asked them to, but because they sure as hell didn't want to live like Rome wanted them to. When Rome decided that Christians were an enemy of the state, they also said, by default, that Christianity was worth dying for. Such a sentiment is strangely reminiscent of the western world’s relationship with Islam, and is also the reason why Muslims will blow themselves up.

The west will never beat Islam. Religion simply doesn't work like that. Much like the might of the Roman Empire against Christianity, the 'Coalition of the Willing' isn't killing believers, as much as they are creating martyrs. The US has given the fundamentalist Muslims something they never had before, a cause to die for. Much like the Jews did, the Muslim's can now polarise themselves against west in a way they never before could. Islam can now be the answer to everything wrong with the west. The west has truly drawn a line in the sand. Islam is now something that is worth killing and dying for, which sadly happens on a daily basis. That cannot be said for Christianity anymore.

Christianity has declined more in the past few decades than in the whole of the previous millennium, yet it has had no active enemy. Christians are free to worship as they choose, and yet are doing less and less than ever before. The have not had the weight of the world set against them, telling them that their religion is backward, evil, and needs to be renounced. For the most part, Christians are ignored.

It comes back to Australian multicultural oxymoron. It seems that the intrinsic value of the culture needs to be compromised, and to do that requires society’s acceptance. The way to kill a religion isn't to fight it. Rather, it needs to be ignored. A culture will be dropped, so long as people don't care.

The phenomenon is beautiful in its irony. A way of life is discarded, not when it is promoted or when it is condemned.

It dies when there is no one left that cares either way.
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