≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 365-366 of Tom Palmer’s important 2004 monograph, Globalization and Culture: Homogeneity, Diversity, Identity, Liberty, as this monograph is reprinted in Tom’s 2009 book, Realizing Freedom (footnote deleted; link added):

[I]mplicit in the conception of culture involved in theories of collective identity is a static understanding of what constitutes a culture. But for a culture to qualify as a living culture, it must be capable of change. To insist that it not be influenced by other cultures, or that it be “protected” behind barriers to trade and other forms of external influence, is to condemn it to wither and die. It is also to impose on people an “identity,” a vision of themselves, that they themselves do not share, as evidenced by the fact that their choices must be overridden by coercion in order to “protect” that vision. As Mario Vargas Llosa puts it, “Seeking to impose a cultural identity on a people is equivalent to locking them in a prison and denying them the most precious of liberties –  that of choosing what, how, and who they want to be.”