Cultural identity. Interdependence of Diversity

Essay, 2013

12 Pages



Identifying one’s own way means acknowledging the other, for it defines itself only through and by the other. It consecrates interdependence and points to a superordinate unity, based on the interdependence of diversities in a vaster organism of mankind – provided that interdependence is understood and respected. Conversely, thoughtless, though maybe well-meaning rejection of one’s own way negates the entire field with its interdependence-based unity. Therefore the repression or oblivion of one’s way or cultural identity necessarily fires back at the diverse socio-cultural entities of the human organism as a whole and thereby impedes human unity and integration as a path to global peace.

It is important to appreciate the interconnectedness of the world we are living in at socio-cultural level and the interdependence of the parts with the whole as well as the parts among each other as well as the fact that it starts with the acknowledgement of one’s own way in the respect of the interdependent other way rather than at its expense, which has been the case for ages. And that was and is the cause of socio-cultural conflict, with its political and economic ramifications.

In today’s global world a new understanding of alterity is required that is inclusive rather than exclusive in one’s own as well as everybody else’s interest who are all part of the human social organism. As anything this may by abused by those who interpret it in a selfish way by implicitly saying to other interdependent parts of the social organism: “You shoulder my responsibility, while I sleep and let you do my work.” This is a lack of social responsibility based on a misunderstanding of one’s way and related responsibility with regard to the interdependent ways. It results in an overburdening of the interdependent organs of the social organism by the part of the organism that misunderstands or misconstrues interdependence-based unity and structural and functional integrity of the organism as a whole. Physiologically it corresponds to as state of disease, where an organ does not perform its healthy functions. But, as a rule, this state is not induced by human idiosyncrasy and indifference or lack of understanding of social co-responsibility of the parts among each other and the parts and the whole but it is part of the biography and the mindset of that part. It will and must therefore be taken care of by interdependence-based solidarity of the parts and the whole.

This metaphorical physiological conception of social organisms can be used for many types of social analysis, particularly, if more players are involved, as is the case in today’s increasingly complex and multidimensional world. Actually it is not new, but humans tend to forget or ignore it due to individual and social self-interest and therefore construe interdependence antagonistically as what can be termed a win-lose or zero-sum game that affects everybody adversely in the longer term. Then the part that indulges in such behaviour expands viciously like as social cancer that devours the parts of the organism and leads to its destruction. This may occur at the political, economic, ideological and cultural level in a similar way as it does at the organic level. The principles of life follow similar patterns in the diverse contexts where life manifests itself.

It can also be understood from a systems analysis standpoint which has become popular with the growing need of management in an increasingly complex scientific and technical world. But today the complexity of the material world tends to be paralleled by the complexity of the socio-cultural world due to demographic changes and multiculuralization and the pluralism that goes with them. This state of affairs needs a corresponding change towards an interdependence-based ethics in the interest of the interdependent parts of the social organism as a whole, for any voluntary or involuntary dysfunctionality of a part is bound to affect the organism as a whole as well as its myriad parts. The assumption that some part may be victimized by others for their own advantage at the detriment of the former without impacting interdependent parts and last but not least the part that holds this erroneous assumption and behaves accordingly is inappropriate as it will turn out to backfire on the parts that would like to take advantage of interdependence. It is merely a matter of time when the pendulum swings back for it cannot remain in a state of lopsidedness and imbalance. Therefore political, economic and socio-cultural imbalances are reversed in the longer-term based on the need of balance inherent in systems. Otherwise they may perish as a whole. And in order to prevent the end of a system as a whole its internal dynamics of interdependence-based equilibrium need to be restored.

Physiological disease, political uprising or sociocultural unrest and economic crises may be seen as processes of life preserving self-regulation of systems based on all-pervasive biological principles of life in its myriad forms and manifestations. The biological cycles in man and nature and their interconnected environments may illustrate aspects of that principle and if it is interfered with the ecosystems and their inhabitants suffer accordingly as well. Wherever the eyes of the observer of that nature of life and its manifestations may turn, the principle pointed to works in order to allow the expression of life in its own way, in life’s way, for which there is neither ersatz, nor even improvement – for it is whole and requires neither addition nor subtraction and only its unhampered unfolding – but only deoptimization through undue human interference.

What is required is an understanding of the specific expression of life per se or the way of life in a specific manifestation of that principle of life. Depending to the place a part occupies in an organism as a whole the unfathomable wisdom of life correspondingly enables different structures and functions. This principle has created structural-functional diversity that maintains interdependence-based unity of organisms. Anatomy and physiology of the human physical organism unveil structural functional diversity of the diverse part that make up man as a whole. And when every part expresses the one principle of life in its functionally required way with regard to the whole homeostasis and harmony prevail that are hallmarks of life and its proper flow and manifestation or expression.

This may again be translated to other levels of existence such as the socio-cultural, where life needs to manifest its timeless, unchangeable way in a similar way. Life per se will have to express itself in individually and culturally specific ways so as to viabalize interdependency-based social organisms. Ignoring functionally specific expression of life in nature or man means negating interdependence and therefore interdependence-based wholeness and thereby nature and mankind in their diversity as we know it.


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Cultural identity. Interdependence of Diversity
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social integrity, integrity of the individual, integrity of social relationships, truth, Christ
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D.E.A./UNIV. PARIS I Gebhard Deißler (Author), 2013, Cultural identity. Interdependence of Diversity, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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