Monoculture is bad.

Posted: 16/12/2010 in Personal, Philosophy
Tags: , , , , ,

I have spent most of my 2010 travelling in Europe. I have noticed that most of European cities looks alike: they have the same infrastructure, the same currency, the same food, the same shopping malls, the same of everything.  I have a feeling that Europe is a big country rather than many countries united under the same name.

This has advantages, it was never easier to travel before: I don’t have to worry about currency, I don’t have to worry about languages, I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble in the new destination. Etc… But wait a minute, What does traveling mean? Is it just to move from place A to place B where A and B are distant but identical?

Imagine that the whole world is like Europe. The same currency is everywhere, the same language (English) is spoken everywhere, you find everything everywhere, the same food (junk one) is served everywhere. The same culture exists everywhere. What would that mono cultural world looks like? Is this good or bad?

The pleasure from travelling comes by discovering new things, by living an experience outside the usual. It is the difference in potential that produces an electrical current. In travelling it’s the same. If there is no difference between your current city and the city you’re going to visit, you will ask yourself: What’s the point of leaving home? Everything there, I have it here and you will stay at home.

It is known that the more the things are identical, the easier it is to rule, to fix, to upgrade, to manipulate, etc…

The irish potato disaster

You have to study one thing, and then you apply your results on all the others. But this works for the good and the bad. In a monocultural world, security doesn’t exist: Imagine the whole humans on earth are eating the same food manufactured by the same mega giant company. And one day, the food is contaminated by a virus. Than what? The whole world goes down? Perhaps the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-9 is the most famous monoculture-related disaster. The Irish planted only one variety of potato, and the genetically identical potatoes succumbed to a rot caused by Phytophthora infestans. Compare that with the diversity of potatoes traditionally grown in South America, each one adapted to the particular soil and climate of its home, and you can see the security value in heterogeneity.

More dangerously, if all people are raised the same way, under the same circumstances and urged to think the same way, all of them, everywhere, how can we expect creativity? If no human being on earth has the same genetic material of another one, why does  cultures have to be identical?

Youwere born an original. Don’t die a copy. ~John Mason

I guess it is the wisest decision from the UN to work for cultural diversity by protecting some cultures and languages from extinction. Always take care, and think twice before going with the flow.

Economic globalization, and the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), are homogenizing global cultures and values; soon every place may be just like every place else. Supposedly, this brings efficiency and growth: “the rising tide lifts all boats.” Alas, it’s only lifting yachts. Source here

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