Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity (effrenata) wrote in freedomofbeing,
Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity
effrenata
freedomofbeing

Welcome to the Freedom of Being Millenium.

To kick things off, I'd like to post a link to a New York Times article, "All Cultures are Not Equal" by David Brooks, which talks about an emerging trend in the new century.

The title, and the manner in which the author slants his account, are somewhat misleading. Of course all cultures are not equal. Nothing in nature above the molecular scale is ever exactly equal to anything else. If you clone a cell, creating two genetically identical cells, the odds are vanishingly small that both will grow to the exact same size in microns, or live for the exact same length of time in nano- or picoseconds. So what? That's no reason why a thousand upon thousand different flowers shouldn't bloom and flourish.

And that, according to this article, is exactly what is happening in the world now. When the globalization of the world economy began, many feared that it would result in total homogenization -- everything controlled by a few large corporations, everybody drinking the same soft drinks, wearing the same tennis shoes, and watching the same movies. Instead, the global economy has generated innumerable niche-markets for different subcultures, preferences and lifestyles. And with them come "designer identities", rising above demographic constraints to embrace new definitions of self.

A couple of relevant quotes (with negative value judgements omitted):

Not long ago, people said that globalization and the revolution in communications technology would bring us all together. But the opposite is true. People are taking advantage of freedom and technology to create new groups and cultural zones....

The members of these and many other groups didn't inherit their identities. They took advantage of modernity, affluence and freedom to become practitioners of a do-it-yourself tribalism. They are part of a great reshuffling of identities...

Although the author focuses heavily on negative aspects such as separatism, inequality and conflict, I regard this development as fundamentally positive. For the first time in history, people around the world increasingly view themselves as free to create and choose their own identity, rather than merely accepting what is "given" by by birth, location and circumstance -- that is, by default. Increased mobility allows us to seek out those of like minds to form new geographic aggregations, shaped by choice rather than accident, while the rise of electronic communication allows us to form virtual communities across worldwide distances without leaving our seats.

As individuals take an active role in creating their sense of self, so also do we, as communities, form cultures and environments which foster such self-creation. And the cycle continues.

Welcome to the 21st century -- the age of Freedom of Being, identity by choice. This board is about exploring this new freedom, both on a cultural-historical level and an individual, practical one.

- Marlana, Anomia, Claribel &c., of Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity.
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From Rome to Oregon, antiglobalization types create their own subcultures.

I find it amusing that globalization itself enables anti-globalization movements.

Anti-market advocates often complain that the market has co-opted the anti-market movement, regarding this as subjugation of opposing views, whereas I see it more as enabling a "loyal opposition" which creates checks and balances. For example, folks like nologo.org challenge the poor corporate ethics which result in the exploitation of Third World countries, and, by bringing the ethics violations to public notice, are often successful in getting the corporations to change their policies. Since ethical policies are, in the long run, beneficial both to the economy and to the corporations themselves, the anti-capitalists are actually aiding the market.

So, I see a lot of the criticism as essentially healthy and useful, even if guided by socialistic motives. Corporate leadership, currently, does involve a lot of short-term thinkers who want to make a quick buck, by any means, rather than take the long-term perspective and contribute toward building a global economy that will result in more prosperity for all -- including themselves.

I should probably post this on the Libertarian boards.

These bolded words are all active verbs. None of these are passive. Individuals are viewing what is in the world and are accepting or creating ideas and concepts that they judge to be virtuous while rejecting ideas that are unacceptable.

Yes. I think it's important to refute the idea that people who join extremist movements are "brainwashed sheep." Calling people "sheeple" dehumanizes them, and true brainwashing -- which involves physical confinement and/or torture -- should be clearly distinguished from mere persuasion or indoctrination. Most extremists have reasons for being extremists.


Having read Brooks Column (and as usual not been impressed with him), I never thought of seeing it your way - but I have to agree now.

In a globalized world, we have a choice, more choice than perhaps we ever have. Choice requires action (even if its to try and ignore choice).

Our dangers now are people who think their cultures or their choices are the only choices for people - and will enforce them agressively. The dangers are those who would deny choice.
I am definitely joining this board.
I like this community