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Re: Difference, Community, and Sustainability
>Oh but I do ... because you see, without toleration and celebration of
>difference, the difference that is born INTO that community is going to be
>repressed ... i didn't ask to be born into this neighborhood i live in,
>its intolerance of difference ...
Yes, but then you go on to extoll the virtues of the "Mosaic of
Subcultures" - a pattern which I had in mind actualy when I wrote my post.
If such a mosaic exists, then if you are born into a community where you
don't fit in, you can go to a different one. If your choices are all pretty
much the same - a diverse but homogenized community such as we in the US
mostly have to live with - you can't. That's all I was saying.
>primitive peoples aren't intolerant of
>difference at all, tho peasants may be ...
It depends which "primitive" peoples you're talking about, and what kinds of
differences. Tribal peoples in fact were and are highly territorial and
often fought each other to keep their own values intact. And although
certain types of differences were tolerated, a high degree of social
cooperation is also required in a close-knit community, so tribal taboos,
religions, and customs were fiercely defended and had to be respected by its
members or you would most definitely find yourself without a community.
>... i don't think you can expect people to be the same as you ... that has
>name : conformity
Actually, I think the notion of "conformity" arose from people's desire to
have a community where there is none. They mistakenly believe that forcing
people into sharing certain values is a substitute for the kind of community
tribals enjoyed. Conformity is not the same thing as having a desire to be
>...and the simple fact is that most primitive tribes had a
>wide tolerance of difference so long as basic values were shared ... that's
>one of their wonders and joys ...
I think you are over-simplifying and idealizing this. It's true that most
tribal peoples did not seek to hunt down and kill every other tribe who
didn't behave as they did - or try to force others to behave the same way.
We do need to get back to that point and this is the problem you are having
with the white Christian majority. They are not content to have their own
communities, they must force every community to become like themselves.
However, if you think no individuals felt stultified in a tribal society,
think again. Fortunately, the "mosaic of subcultures" that exists where you
have a multitude of autonomous communities (such as the 300 different tribes
that occupied the Americas) allows you to marry into or move to another
community if you don't fit in.
Lee A. Flier
Atlanta and Ellijay, Georgia