Keywords:Keywords, Time-binding, “human nature”, culture, social justice
AbstractAbstract In every known culture, humans operate in a systematic manner: to survive as a society, they reproduce, raise and educate their young, devising new and useful ways to do so, and pass these creations on as gifts to the future. In other words, humans everywhere deal with three important jobs: to learn an available portion of his/her culture, to contribute to that culture in some way, and to pass on what s/he has learned to the next generation. Alfred Korzybski called this process time-binding, and noted that anyone holding this view of the human process must view all humans as valuable contributors to the world. In the United States, most of us live in a rich and wasteful culture. We throw garbage into “dumps” and once it’s out of sight, we don’t think about it any more. Our culture produces lots and lots of garbage. One of the most important—and least noticed—kinds of garbage we create consists of people. Since we can’t throw them on a literal garbage dump, we have to find other, less obvious ways of getting rid of them. After that, we can forget they ever existed. We have many ways of assigning people to the “garbage” category, and have invented many ways of “dumping” them: prejudice, colonialism, poverty, exile, taking (and misusing) their land, assimilation, genocide, and now biocide. Some psychologists claim that humans “instinctively” divide people into “known/friend” or “unknown/enemy.” Others claim that humans “naturally” dislike anyone who might compete with them for resources or wealth. We must interrogate both “instinct” and “nature” when applied to humans. Time-binding creates a more just and humane way to deal with our fellow humans; without a variety of humans, culture cannot survive. I recommend that we try it.
How to Cite
Bartter, M. A. (2006). Re-Constructing Culture. Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2006, Sonoma, CA, USA. Retrieved from https://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings50th/article/view/300
Systems Philosophy & Ethics