Institutionalizing Human Experiences through Culture

Societies form cultures to maintain the common experiences needed by its members to collectively maintain their society. Culture institutionalizes our human experiences. It defines what our human relationships should be.

Culture both defines those individuals that identify themselves with the culture as well as being redefined by its own membership. Therefore, culture can change through its own membership by adopting additional things or by them rejecting things that were once believed to be sacrosanct.

What is Democracy really?

The town hall meetings that have been disrupted by protestors intent on preventing any discussion on healthcare reform have claimed that it is their democratic right to disrupt what they don’t like. This begs the question of what do we really mean when we say democracy?

The foundation of democracy is government by the people. It requires that the people take an active part in their own governing process. But what is actually meant by taking an active part? Does it include disrupting the governing process and therefore, disrupting the democratic process? If the essence of democracy is positive participation and disruption is negative participation, is there such a thing as negative participation within democracy?

I believe that democracy is a process and anything that disrupts that process is by definition undemocratic. While disruption is essential, when all else fails and your safety or life is in danger, democracy requires debate and discussion and without it there is no real democracy present.

What makes us Human?

What is it that makes us really human? Some say that it is because we use tools. But we now have evidence that chimpanzees also make and use tools. Other say it is because we have emotions that animals do not. But this too has now been debunked by science. I say what makes us human is that we live in a world of our own making that defines who we are within it.

We are born in this self-made world that defines us as particular people based on the national cultures that we are raised with. It is the culture that we inherited from our parents and society that defines us to others as well as ethnically to ourselves. But it is the culture that we create for ourselves based on the personal choices we make that is the one that we self-identify with.