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Re: dialogue of civilizations?
by Bruce McFarling
03 May 2002 00:59 UTC
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At 02:28 02/05/02 -0700, francesco ranci wrote:
>If you put a certain number of trees together, you
>have a "wood" ("forest", "jungle"). The term "wood" in
>such a case is not more "ideological" than any other

>--- Andre Gunder Frank <franka@fiu.edu> wrote:
>> There has been a vivid discussions among Eastern
>> Intellectuals on the problem of inter-civilizational 
>> dialogue.

>> Indeed the UN named 2001 the Year of Dialogue of
>> Civilizations.  Therefore the UN University in Tokyo 
>> had a big conference about it.  Here is the first 
>> paragraph of my intervention there [the remainder is on
>> my web-page]

>> CIVILIZATIONS NO: There are no and have never been
>> distinct pristine civilizationS, societieS, cultureS 
>> nor even peopleS.  The very ideas are nothing but 
>> ideology, pure and simple although their use occults - 
>> that term is created chosen deliberately! - simple and
>> complex reality.

Its the distinct and pristine bits where the ideology 
sneaks in.  We might say that people who have treated 
societies or cultures AS IF they were things with firm 
and fixed boundaries have so muddied these concepts 
that we have to ditch them and start fresh under new 
terms.  But, seriously, anyone that takes things that can 
only be identified as open systems of individual rules of 
behaviour and folkviews regarding behaviour, and projects 
them out as distinct and pristine entities is going to make 
a hash of it no matter how many times we start fresh with 
a new set of labels.


Bruce McFarling, New Lambton, NSW

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