Cultural Identity



(Adapted from Cheikh Anta DIOP)



Three dominant factors contribute to the formation of a cultural identity:

  1. Historical;
  2. Linguistic;
  3. Psychological.

All three are necessary for the fullest sense of self.


historical factor

The historical factor is the cultural cement that unifies the disparate elements of a people to make them into a whole. This allows a people to distinguish themselves from other cultures with a different history. This creates the necessary cohesion for a secure culture when it transmits its history down the generations in order to safeguard the culture. However, this history must be true - not propaganda - otherwise the culture will be inherently weak through having to waste time defending the indefensible. The problem here lies in the interference of political ideology masquerading as objective history.

The thread of continuity which connects people to their past provides a bulwark against external aggression, this is why colonization, enslavement and a debasement of a people requires the erasing of any oppressed culture's history. One's past need not be grandiose, it simply must exist in and of itself – continuity (born of knowledge), is itself, more important than the bigness of ones claims about one's culture.

Without a true history, a people becomes a mere set of population statistics – an abstraction – not a true, fully self-realizing people. Any loss of national sovereignty interrupts the historical continuity necessary for a culture to exist; engendering stagnation or even regression, disintegration and the partial return to barbarism. A culture that never developed a true culture never really left barbarism behind to begin with. This happened in Egypt under Roman occupation despite the fact that ancient Egypt had civilized the world. A people leaves prehistory behind when it becomes conscious of the importance of history; necessitating the invention of a technique – written or oral – for its memorization, accumulation and transmission.


linguistic factor

The most important means of communicating history is a written or spoken language. Because history shapes language, both the form and the content of the language are equally important. Languages follow migratory currents, the particular destinies of peoples and so linguistic fragmentation is the rule. Yet, this heterogeneity hides a kinship; revealing that today's languages sprang from a unitary source; matching the monogenetic origins of human life on earth and explaining why the oldest written languages originated in Egypt 5,300 years ago. In terms of colonization, all attempts at expanding a mode of expression by official fiat leads to the detriment of one people or another for the benefit of the expanders.


psychological factor

Whites have been the only culture in history to decide that the psychological makeup of others is inferior to their own so that they could try to exploit others in order to try to avoid feelings of guilt or shame. Galen (2nd century AD) believed that Blacks had inordinately long penises and a strong propensity for laughter – a belief that has yet to die 1,900 years later; proving its necessity for White supremacism. The White belief that skin color determines character is the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy endemic in White culture. It helps explain the fact that so many Whites become psychological cripples because of the shame and guilt at discovering no evidence to support their contention of White supremacy. Yet, they continue to believe it as though belief itself makes it true –as though believing in fairies makes them a lived reality. Cultures that believe and practice such nonsense are doomed – both the originators of such claptrap and their intended victims. This factor is subjective and qualitative while the Historical and Linguistic factors are susceptible of rigorous scientific measurement. The Psychological factor is a matter of national temperament and not of genetics. Asking what characteristics never change despite violent political upheavals can test this Psychological factor. Blacks' communicative gaiety is a result of reassuring communally-securing social structures; creating a lack of great concern for the future; optimism, goodness and community-mindedness. The individualistic social-structures of Whites engender anxiety, pessimism, uncertainty about tomorrow, moral solitude and tension about the future amid all its beneficial effects on the material life. There is nothing genetic in this, despite Galen, only the profound psychological affect of any given culture.


Conclusion

There is nothing fixed nor permanent about any of these factors since they change with the prevailing metaphysical conditions: A state of permanent flux. Migration can break linguistic and historical bonds but psychological bonds can remain. This is why the only way to destroy a culture is to commit the near-impossible 100% genocide upon its people.

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Frank TALKER - Truth-Teller