Cultural Displacement Quotes

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When you’re talking about the culture, maybe there is something that just permeates sort of thing, you know you pass it on or take it in, without ever being aware of it. - Ivan Pavelić, Croatia
Peter Brune (Suffering, Redemption and Triumph: The first wave of post-war Australian immigrants 1945-66)
No settled family or community has ever called its home place an “environment.” None has ever called its feeling for its home place “biocentric” or “anthropocentric.” None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as “ecological,” deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of “ecology” and “ecosystems.” But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people. And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is “work.” We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is “good work,” for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth. The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is “bad work” – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.
Wendell Berry
I think sometimes a community's experience is so traumatic, it stays rooted in us even generations later. And the later generations continue to rediscover that experience, since it's still shaping us in ways we might not realize. Like losing the ability to speak Japanese, losing connection to Japanese culture, they're all lasting impacts of the camps that travel down the generations.
Kiku Hughes (Displacement)
Culture presumes an environment in which deep attention is possible. Increasingly, such immersive reflection is being displaced by an entirely different form of attention: hyperattention.
Byung-Chul Han (The Burnout Society)
Most of us have been displaced from those cultures of origin, a global diaspora of refugees severed not only from land, but from the sheer genius that comes from belonging in symbiotic relation to
Tyson Yunkaporta (Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World)
In short, the Enlightenment privatized marriage, taking it out of the public sphere, and redefined its purpose as individual gratification, not any 'broader good' such as reflecting God's nature, producing character, or raising children. Slowly but surely, this newer understanding of the meaning of marriage has displaced the older ones in Western culture.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Rape is integral to the cultures of war, colonization, and forced displacement that have turned gender oppression and sexual violence into a global currency of desperation
Michelle Chen (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
But artists aren’t the only marginalized folks controlling real estate. Think about the colonizing role that wealthy white gay men have played in communities of color; they’re often the first group to gentrify poor and working-class neighborhoods. Harlem is a good example. Gays have moved in and driven up rents, as have renegade young white students, who want to be cool and hip. This is colonization, post-colonial-style. After all, the people who are “sent back” to recover the territory are always those who don’t mind associating with the colored people! And it’s a double bind, because some of these people could be allies. Some gay white men are proactive about racism, even while being entrepreneurial. But in the end, they take spaces, redo them, sell them for a certain amount of money, while the people who have been there are displaced. And in some cases, the people of color who are there are perceived as enemies by white newcomers.
bell hooks (Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism)
Greek customs such as wine drinking were regarded as worthy of imitation by other cultures. So the ships that carried Greek wine were carrying Greek civilization, distributing it around the Mediterranean and beyond, one amphora at a time. Wine displaced beer to become the most civilized and sophisticated of drinks—a status it has maintained ever since, thanks to its association with the intellectual achievements of Ancient Greece.
Tom Standage (A History of the World in 6 Glasses)
we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
I see coming back to my village as significant, thanks to my privilege of being able to leave. But also because I can simultaneously cherry-pick my favourite aspects of my culture for anecdotes back home and social media, and keep the private, painful reflective ones for myself. This is what so many second-and-third generation immigrants experience visiting their homeland. We fine-tune the ability to find the nuances funny, deflecting the crushing weight of displacement and diaspora drama that becomes part of our everyday.
Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant)
By the time the sixties hit their home bases, we the kids, were already born, and our parents found themselves stuck between an entrenched belief that children needed to be raised in a traditional household, and a new sense that anything was possible, that the alternative lifestyle was out there for the asking. There they were in marriages they once thought were a necessity and with children they'd had almost by accident in a world that was suddenly saying, 'No necessities! No accidents! Drop Everything!' A little too old to take full advantage of the cultural revolution, our parents just got all the fallout. Freedom hit them obliquely, and invidiously, rather than head-on. Instead of waiting longer to get married, our parents got divorced; Instead of becoming feminists, our mothers were left to become displaced homemakers. A lot of unhappy situations were dissolved by people who were not quite young or free enough to start again.
Elizabeth Wurtzel
In the economies of late capitalism leisure displaces labor, consumption displaces production, and commodities become the instruments of leisure, identity, and social relations.
John Fiske (Television Culture (Studies in Communication Series) (Volume 3))
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
Ania Walwicz
To separate the Adivasi from his land is to stop his breathing. If you want to see an Adivasi's extinction, take him away from his land- as it is happening at present. It is a strange irony that when the Adivasi could lead a life of self- reliance, he is being compelled to become disabled and parasitic. The Adivasi, after having been uprooted from his land through the establishment of big projects in the name of public interest and national development, is ending up in slums in the peripheries of modern cosmopolitan cities as an army of landless labourers and domestic servants losing altogether their self- reliance and self- esteem.
Ram dayal munda (adi-dharam)
Isaiah 5:8–10. The oracle in Micah has a close parallel in the poetic oracle of Isaiah 5:8–10. This poetic segment also begins with “Ah” (“woe”), anticipating big trouble to come because of destructive social behavior. The indictment is against those who “join house to house” and “field to field,” exactly the language of the commandment and of the Micah oracle. The process consists of buying up the land of small peasant farmers in order to develop large estates. The vulnerable peasants are then removed from their land and denied a livelihood, and now coveters can bask in their newly secured isolated self-indulgence. The prophetic judgment pertains to such rural displacement; in our time, the same crisis might refer to urban gentrification that dislocates the poor and the vulnerable. The poetry traces the destruction, by acquisitiveness, of a viable neighborly infrastructure.
Walter Brueggemann (Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now)
We live in a day of superheroes and superstars, in a world of the haves and the have-nots. In our culture being somebody really matters: being smart, good looking, educated, athletic or musical – the pressure is on to be somebody. This thinking has seeped into the church as well. The mindset that God only uses the “special” people, those who are ordained or have graduated from seminary, is pervasive. As a result, many are left feeling that they are simply not good enough to be used by God. The world pushes us to be “somebody” and get recognized for our achievements. But God’s Kingdom – a Kingdom made up of the weak, the broken, the pushed-aside, the ordinary – is opposed to the world’s obsession with the superstar.
Dave Arnold (Pilgrims of the Alley: Living Out Faith in Displacement)
Most of the institutions that come in to offer help after disaster don't have the resources to provide concrete help. . . . Donor communities invest billions funding peace talks and disarmament. Then they stop. The most important part of postwar help is missing: providing basic social services to people. Not having those resources might have been a reason men went to war in the first place; they crossed a border and joined an armed group because they didn't have jobs. In Liberia right now, there are hundreds of thousands of unemployed young people, and they're ready-made mercenaries for wars in West Africa. You'd think the international community would be sensible enough to know they should work to change this. But they aren't.
Leymah Gbowee (Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War)
The problem with Western culture is that it is a show-off culture that intimidates. This is why it is generating so much death, loss and displacement. To perform ritual for show is to generate some kind of death or loss. Concealment of ritual is an act of life preservation because it is only in its concealment that needs are met that cannot be met in any other way. If
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass))
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
When we think of gentrification as some mysterious process, we accept its consequences: the displacement of countless thousands of families, the destruction of cultures, the decreased affordability of life for everyone. I hope this book is a counterweight to hopelessness abut the future of urban America that enables readers to see cities are shaped by powerful interests, and that if we identify those interests, we can begin to reshape cities in our own design.
P.E. Moskowitz (How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood)
Another site of Leftist struggle [other than Detroit] that has parallels to New Orleans: Palestine. From the central role of displacement to the ways in which culture and community serve as tools of resistance, there are illuminating comparisons to be made between these two otherwise very different places. In the New Orleans Black community, death is commemorated as a public ritual (it's often an occasion for a street party), and the deceased are often also memorialized on t-shirts featuring their photos embellished with designs that celebrate their lives. Worn by most of the deceased's friends and family, these t-shirts remind me of the martyr posters in Palestine, which also feature a photo and design to memorialize the person who has passed on. In Palestine, the poster's subjects are anyone who has been killed by the occupation, whether a sick child who died at a checkpoint or an armed fighter killed in combat. In New Orleans, anyone with family and friends can be memorialized on a t-shift. But a sad truth of life in poor communities is that too many of those celebrate on t-shirts lost their lives to violence. For both New Orleans and Palestine, outsiders often think that people have become so accustomed to death by violence that it has become trivialized by t-shirts and posters. While it's true that these traditions wouldn't manifest in these particular ways if either population had more opportunities for long lives and death from natural causes, it's also far from trivial to find ways to celebrate a life. Outsiders tend to demonize those killed--especially the young men--in both cultures as thugs, killers, or terrorists whose lives shouldn't be memorialized in this way, or at all. But the people carrying on these traditions emphasize that every person is a son or daughter of someone, and every death should be mourned, every life celebrated.
Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six)
In ‘Colonization in Reverse’41 (a famous poem much anthologized) the speaker is presented as a more or less reliable commentator who implies that Jamaicans who come to ‘settle in de motherlan’ are like English people who settled in the colonies. West Indian entrepreneurs, shipping off their countrymen ‘like fire’, turn history upside down. Fire can destroy, but may also be a source of warmth to be welcomed in temperate England. Those people who ‘immigrate an populate’ the seat of the Empire seem, like many a colonizer, ready to displace previous inhabitants. ‘Jamaica live fi box bread/Out a English people mout’ plays on a fear that newcomers might exploit the natives; and some of the immigrants are—like some of the colonizers from ‘the motherland’—lazy and inclined to put on airs. Can England, who faced war and braved the worst, cope with people from the colonies turning history upside down? Can she cope with ‘Colonizin in reverse’?
Mervyn Morris (Miss Lou: Louise Bennett and the Jamaican Culture)
I had never seen this type of clock, carved from hardwood into the shape of our homeland (...) Some craftsman in exile had understood that this was exactly the timepiece his countrymen desired. We were displaced persons, but it was time more than space that defined us. While the distance to return to our lost country was far but finite, the number of years it would take to close that distance was potentially infinite. Thus, for displaced people, the first question was always about time: When can I return? Refugee, exile, immigrant — whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time-travelers. But while science fiction imagined time-travelers as moving forwards and backwards in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer (The Sympathizer #1))
At a particular moment in history, I believe, something happened to Western humanity that changed it at the deepest levels of consciousness and at the highest levels of culture. It was something of such strange and radiant vastness that it is almost inexplicable that the memory of it should have so largely faded from our minds, to be reduced to a few old habits of thought and desire whose origins we no longer know, or to be displaced altogether by a few recent habits of thought and desire that render us oblivious to what we have forsaken.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
Our postindustrial, materialistic, secularized culture does not encourage the awakening of our essential Self. Widespread consumerism, self-indulgence, habits of immediate gratification, the moral relativity of our age, and the displacement of individual and communal responsibilities by large corporations, institutions, and bureaucracies bring us fewer moments of truth, fewer encounters with our essential and authentic selves. The distraction of entertainment that appeals to every human weakness and the pervasive artificiality that technology has brought leave us little chance of being what we are meant to be.
Kabir Helminski (Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self)
More recently, Dallas Willard put it this way: Desire is infinite partly because we were made by God, made for God, made to need God, and made to run on God. We can be satisfied only by the one who is infinite, eternal, and able to supply all our needs; we are only at home in God. When we fall away from God, the desire for the infinite remains, but it is displaced upon things that will certainly lead to destruction.5 Ultimately, nothing in this life, apart from God, can satisfy our desires. Tragically, we continue to chase after our desires ad infinitum. The result? A chronic state of restlessness or, worse, angst, anger, anxiety, disillusionment, depression—all of which lead to a life of hurry, a life of busyness, overload, shopping, materialism, careerism, a life of more…which in turn makes us even more restless. And the cycle spirals out of control. To make a bad problem worse, this is exacerbated by our cultural moment of digital marketing from a society built around the twin gods of accumulation and accomplishment. Advertising is literally an attempt to monetize our restlessness. They say we see upward of four thousand ads a day, all designed to stoke the fire of desire in our bellies. Buy this. Do this. Eat this. Drink this. Have this. Watch this. Be this. In his book on the Sabbath, Wayne Muller opined, “It is as if we have inadvertently stumbled into some horrific wonderland.”6 Social media takes this problem to a whole new level as we live under the barrage of images—not just from marketing departments but from the rich and famous as well as our friends and family, all of whom curate the best moments of their lives. This ends up unintentionally playing to a core sin of the human condition that goes all the way back to the garden—envy. The greed for another person’s life and the loss of gratitude, joy, and contentment in our own.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World)
The people who hitched to Katmandu (and are doubtlessly still doing so, despite the usual reports of official prohibitions) seem to me to be of this sort, displaced persons, aimless couples without papers. They are ill-suited to play the role which they are conventionally given; that of proletarian playboys, outriders of a modern sub-culture, who intend, mainly through will-power, to end injustice and rule the world. For the most part they have chosen to be the sole inhabitants of private worlds, and their aspirations will not be found in the bazaars of the international youth movement, or of the global underground or any other such tentative organizations.
Patrick Marnham (Road to Katmandu (Tauris Parke Paperbacks))
I am tempted to think that when the focus of everyday living displaces ritual in a given society, social decay begins to work from the inside out. The fading and disappearance of ritual in modern culture is, from the viewpoint of the Dagara, expressed in several ways: the weakening of links with the spirit world, and general alienation of people from themselves and others. In a context like this there are no elders to help anyone remember through initiation of his or her important place in the community. Those who seek to remember have an attraction toward violence. They live their life constantly upset or angry, and those responsible for them are at a loss as to what to do. For
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass))
War and peace. There are blurred lines in the realities of both. A separation anxiety as the paradigm shifts from the air that a sniper wears on his face (real life, entertainment for the masses or the propaganda machine you decide), to the blueprint of an assassination in a driveway (Chris Hani lying in a pool of his own blood). You know that we cannot eat stones but we can burn, butcher, necklace, murder, forcibly remove and displace entire families, races of different faiths in the name of apartheid. Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Chris Hani instruments of change, war, tolerance or peace. The Romantics got it right before anyone else did. Truth is beauty. The truth is South Africa is not cool anymore.
Abigail George
As a displaced community, Tibetans often speak of learning to look to the future without forsaking tradition. And as Tibetans continue their flight from Tibet to India or Nepal and then scatter farther and farther away from the physical land of Tibet, the conversations on identity and culture become more crucial and complex. As the distance increases so does the desperation in keeping Tibet as the eventual home, our aspired home. Yet it is the loss of Tibet and its very distance that also awakens us to view patriotism and identity in new ways that are not guided solely by Buddhist philosophy. Self-assertion- an approach avoided in the past because of the Buddhist aspiration to prevent focus on the self- enters our identity as Tibetans.
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa (A Home in Tibet)
[M]ost Americans are still drawing some water from the Christian well. But a growing number are inventing their own versions of what Christianity means, abandoning the nuances of traditional theology in favor of religions that stroke their egos and indulge or even celebrate their worst impulses. . . . Both doubters and believers stand to lose if religion in the age of heresy turns out to be complicit in our fragmented communities, our collapsing families, our political polarization, and our weakened social ties. Both doubters and believers will inevitably suffer from a religious culture that supplies more moral license than moral correction, more self-satisfaction than self-examination, more comfort than chastisement. . . . Many of the overlapping crises in American life . . . can be traced to the impulse to emphasize one particular element of traditional Christianity—one insight, one doctrine, one teaching or tradition—at the expense of all the others. The goal is always progress: a belief system that’s simpler or more reasonable, more authentic or more up-to-date. Yet the results often vindicate the older Christian synthesis. Heresy sets out to be simpler and more appealing and more rational, but it often ends up being more extreme. . . . The boast of Christian orthodoxy . . . has always been its fidelity to the whole of Jesus. Its dogmas and definitions seek to encompass the seeming contradictions in the gospel narratives rather than evading them. . . . These [heretical] simplifications have usually required telling a somewhat different story about Jesus than the one told across the books of the New Testament. Sometimes this retelling has involved thinning out the Christian canon, eliminating tensions by subtracting them. . . . More often, though, it’s been achieved by straightforwardly rewriting or even inventing crucial portions of the New Testament account. . . . “Religious man was born to be saved,” [Philip Rieff] wrote, but “psychological man is born to be pleased.” . . . In 2005, . . . . Smith and Denton found no evidence of real secularization among their subjects: 97 percent of teenagers professed some sort of belief in the divine, 71 percent reported feeling either “very” or “somewhat” close to God, and the vast majority self-identified as Christian. There was no sign of deep alienation from their parents’ churches, no evidence that the teenagers in the survey were poised to convert outright to Buddhism or Islam, and no sign that real atheism was making deep inroads among the young. But neither was there any evidence of a recognizably orthodox Christian faith. “American Christianity,” Smith and Denton suggested, is “either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself,” or else is “actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith.” They continued: “Most religious teenagers either do not really comprehend what their own religious traditions say they are supposed to believe, or they do understand it and simply do not care to believe it.” . . . An ego that’s never wounded, never trammeled or traduced—and that’s taught to regard its deepest impulses as the promptings of the divine spirit—can easily turn out to be an ego that never learns sympathy, compassion, or real wisdom. And when contentment becomes an end unto itself, the way that human contents express themselves can look an awful lot like vanity and decadence. . . . For all their claims to ancient wisdom, there’s nothing remotely countercultural about the Tolles and Winfreys and Chopras. They’re telling an affluent, appetitive society exactly what it wants to hear: that all of its deepest desires are really God’s desires, and that He wouldn’t dream of judging. This message encourages us to justify our sins by spiritualizing them. . . . Our vaunted religiosity is real enough, but our ostensible Christian piety doesn’t have the consequences a casual observer might expect. . . . We nod to God, and then we do as we please.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
However marred, the world vessel of clay is not without some of the influence of the Master Molder. God has not left Himself entirely without witness in the global calamity; He discloses Himself in the tragedies as well as the triumphs of history. He works in history as well as above history. There is a universal confrontation of men and women by the divine Spirit, invading all cultures and all individual lives. There is a constructive work of God in history, even where the redemptive Gospel does not do a recreating work. The evangelical missionary message cannot be measured for success by the number of converts only. The Christian message has a salting effect upon the earth. It aims at a re-created society; where it is resisted, it often encourages the displacement of a low ideology by one relatively higher.
Carl F.H. Henry (The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism)
Augustine confessed, which is precisely why “our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” The announcement of the law and the reading of God’s will for our lives represents a significant challenge to the desire for autonomy that is impressed upon us by secular liturgies. The reading of the law is a displacement of our own wants and desires, reminding us that we find ourselves in a world not of our own making—which is why all our attempts to remake it as we want (as if we ourselves could be little creators) are not only doomed to failure; they are also doomed to exacerbate suffering. The announcement of the law reminds us that we inhabit not “nature,” but creation, fashioned by a Creator, and that there is a certain grain to the universe—grooves and tracks and norms that are part of the fabric of the world.[
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom (Cultural Liturgies): Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation)
The Arab world has done nothing to help the Palestinian refugees they created when they attacked Israel in 1948. It’s called the ‘Palestinian refugee problem.’ This is one of the best tricks that the Arabs have played on the world, and they have used it to their great advantage when fighting Israel in the forum of public opinion. This lie was pulled off masterfully, and everyone has been falling for it ever since. First you tell people to leave their homes and villages because you are going to come in and kick out the Jews the day after the UN grants Israel its nationhood. You fail in your military objective, the Jews are still alive and have more land now than before, and you have thousands of upset, displaced refugees living in your country because they believed in you. So you and the UN build refugee camps that are designed to last only five years and crowd the people in, instead of integrating them into your society and giving them citizenship. After a few years of overcrowding and deteriorating living conditions, you get the media to visit and publish a lot of pictures of these poor people living in the hopeless, wretched squalor you have left them in. In 1967 you get all your cronies together with their guns and tanks and planes and start beating the war drums. Again the same old story: you really are going to kill all the Jews this time or drive them into the sea, and everyone will be able to go back home, take over what the Jews have developed, and live in a Jew-free Middle East. Again you fail and now there are even more refugees living in your countries, and Israel is even larger, with Jerusalem as its capital. Time for more pictures of more camps and suffering children. What is to be done about these poor refugees (that not even the Arabs want)? Then start Middle Eastern student organizations on U.S. college campuses and find some young, idealistic American college kids who have no idea of what has been described here so far, and have them take up the cause. Now enter some power-hungry type like Yasser Arafat who begins to blackmail you and your Arab friends, who created the mess, for guns and bombs and money to fight the Israelis. Then Arafat creates hell for the world starting in the 1970s with his terrorism, and the “Palestinian refugee problem” becomes a worldwide issue and galvanizes all your citizens and the world against Israel. Along come the suicide bombers, so to keep the pot boiling you finance the show by paying every bomber’s family twenty-five thousand dollars. This encourages more crazies to go blow themselves up, killing civilians and children riding buses to school. Saudi Arabia held telethons to raise thousands of dollars to the families of suicide bombers. What a perfect way to turn years of military failure into a public-opinion-campaign success. The perpetuation of lies and uncritical thinking, combined with repetitious anti-Jewish and anti-American diatribes, has produced a generation of Arab youth incapable of thinking in a civilized manner. This government-nurtured rage toward the West and the infidels continues today, perpetuating their economic failure and deflecting frustration away from the dictators and regimes that oppress them. This refusal by the Arab regimes to take an honest look at themselves has created a culture of scapegoating that blames western civilization for misery and failure in every aspect of Arab life. So far it seems that Arab leaders don’t mind their people lagging behind, save for King Abdullah’s recent evidence of concern. (The depth of his sincerity remains to be seen.)
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
The artist and the fundamentalist arise from societies at differing stages of development. The artist is the advanced model. His culture possesses affluence, stability, enough excess of resource to permit the luxury of self-examination. The artist is grounded in freedom. He is not afraid of it. He is lucky. He was born in the right place. He has a core of self-confidence, of hope for the future. He believes in progress and evolution. His faith is that humankind is advancing, however haltingly and imperfectly, toward a better world.   The fundamentalist entertains no such notion. In his view, humanity has fallen from a higher state. The truth is not out there awaiting revelation; it has already been revealed. The word of God has been spoken and recorded by His prophet, be he Jesus, Muhammad, or Karl Marx.   Fundamentalism is the philosophy of the powerless, the conquered, the displaced and the dispossessed.
Steven Pressfield (The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
In Kerouac’s work, the search for the authentic is thus part of the dualism that marks his life and writing, a dualism between two distinct but nevertheless intertwined imperatives—domesticity and “kicks,” tradition and progressiveness, nostalgia and possibility—an ambivalence on both a personal as well as a broader sociocultural level of significance. Kerouac’s nostalgia was for an American past he romanticized and mythologized, the prewar America of the Depression, the westward expansion, and the Old West, which he imbued with “glee,” “honesty,” “spitelessness,” and “wild selfbelieving individuality.” This desire to reconnect with “old American whoopee” was at the same time intimately linked to his idyllic yet haunted youth in Lowell, Massachusetts. By locating the imperatives of individuality and innocence both in his own and America’s past, the authenticity Kerouac sought pointed him outside the social and cultural mainstream, as well as indicating a displacement from his own historical time.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road: The Original Scroll)
ONE OF THE peculiarities of the white race’s presence in America is how little intention has been applied to it. As a people, wherever we have been, we have never really intended to be. The continent is said to have been discovered by an Italian who was on his way to India. The earliest explorers were looking for gold, which was, after an early streak of luck in Mexico, always somewhere farther on. Conquests and foundings were incidental to this search—which did not, and could not, end until the continent was finally laid open in an orgy of goldseeking in the middle of the 19th century. Once the unknown of geography was mapped, the industrial marketplace became the new frontier, and we continued, with largely the same motives and with increasing haste and anxiety, to displace ourselves—no longer with unity of direction, like a migrant flock, but like the refugees from a broken ant hill. In our own time we have invaded foreign lands and the moon with the high-toned patriotism of the conquistadors, and with the same mixture of fantasy and avarice.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
Once the next life - the better life, the fuller life - has to be in this one, we have a considerable task on our hands. Now someone is asking us not only to survive but to flourish, not simply or solely to be good but to make the most of our lives. It is a quite different kind of demand. The story of our lives becomes the story of the lives we were prevented from living. (…) Because we are nothing special - on a par with ants and daffodils - it is the work of culture to make us feel special. (…) This, essentially, is the question psychoanalysis was invented to address: what can of pleasures can sustain a creature that is nothing special? Once the promise of immortality, of being chosen, was displaced by the promise of more life - the promise, as we say, of getting more out of life - the unloved life became a haunting presence in a life legitimated by nothing more than the desire to live it. For modern people, stalked by their choices, the good life is a life lived to the full. We become obsessed, in a new way, by what is missing in our lives: and by what sabotages the pleasures that we seek.
Adam Phillips (Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life)
We need to distinguish between two contrasting narratives of Culture Talk. One thinks of premodern peoples as those who are not yet modern, who are either lagging behind or have yet to embark on the road to modernity. The other depicts the premodern as also the antimodern. Whereas the former conception encourages relations based on philanthropy, the latter notion is productive of fear and preemptive police or military action. The difference is clear if we contrast earlier depictions of Africans with contemporary talk about Muslims. During the Cold War, Africans were stigmatized as the prime example of peoples not capable of modernity. With the end of the Cold War, Islam and the Middle East have displaced Africa as the hard premodern core in a rapidly globalizing world. The difference in the contemporary perception of black Africa and Middle Eastern Islam is this: whereas Africa is seen as incapable of modernity, hard-core Islam is seen as not only incapable of but also resistant to modernity. Whereas Africans are said to victimize themselves, hard-core Muslims are said to be prone to taking others along to the world beyond.
Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror)
Though the reasons for Israelite “convergence” are not clear, the complex paths from convergence to monolatry and monotheism can be followed. The development of Israelite monolatry and monotheism involved both an “evolution” and a “revolution” in religious conceptualization, to use D. L. Petersen’s categories. It was an “evolution” in two respects. Monolatry grew out of an early, limited Israelite polytheism that was not strictly discontinuous with that of its Iron Age neighbors. Furthermore, adherence to one deity was a changing reality within the periods of the Judges and the monarchy in Israel. While evolutionary in character, Israelite monolatry was also “revolutionary” in a number of respects. The process of differentiation and the eventual displacement of Baal from Israel’s national cult distinguished Israel’s religion from the religions of its neighbors. Furthermore, as P. Machinist has observed, one feature clearly distinguishing Israel from its neighbors was its apologetic claim of religious difference. Israelite insistence on a single deity eventually distinguished Israel from the surrounding cultures, as far as textual data indicate.
Mark S. Smith (The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel)
The imperialist found it useful to incorporate the credible and seemingly unimpeachable wisdom of science to create a racial classification to be used in the appropriation and organization of lesser cultures. The works of Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Buffon, and Georges Cuvier, organized races in terms of a civilized us and a paradigmatic other. The other was uncivilized, barbaric, and wholly lower than the advanced races of Europe. This paradigm of imaginatively constructing a world predicated upon race was grounded in science, and expressed as philosophical axioms by John Locke and David Hume, offered compelling justification that Europe always ought to rule non-Europeans. This doctrine of cultural superiority had a direct bearing on Zionist practice and vision in Palestine. A civilized man, it was believed, could cultivate the land because it meant something to him; on it, accordingly, he produced useful arts and crafts, he created, he accomplished, he built. For uncivilized people, land was either farmed badly or it was left to rot. This was imperialism as theory and colonialism was the practice of changing the uselessly unoccupied territories of the world into useful new versions of Europe. It was this epistemic framework that shaped and informed Zionist attitudes towards the Arab Palestinian natives. This is the intellectual background that Zionism emerged from. Zionism saw Palestine through the same prism as the European did, as an empty territory paradoxically filled with ignoble or, better yet, dispensable natives. It allied itself, as Chaim Weizmann said, with the imperial powers in carrying out its plans for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The so-called natives did not take well to the idea of Jewish colonizers in Palestine. As the Zionist historians, Yehoshua Porath and Neville Mandel, have empirically shown, the ideas of Jewish colonizers in Palestine, this was well before World War I, were always met with resistance, not because the natives thought Jews were evil, but because most natives do not take kindly to having their territory settled by foreigners. Zionism not only accepted the unflattering and generic concepts of European culture, it also banked on the fact that Palestine was actually populated not by an advanced civilization, but by a backward people, over which it ought to be dominated. Zionism, therefore, developed with a unique consciousness of itself, but with little or nothing left over for the unfortunate natives. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Palestine had been occupied by one of the well-established industrialized nations that ruled the world, then the problem of displacing German, French, or English inhabitants and introducing a new, nationally coherent element into the middle of their homeland would have been in the forefront of the consciousness of even the most ignorant and destitute Zionists. In short, all the constitutive energies of Zionism were premised on the excluded presence, that is, the functional absence of native people in Palestine; institutions were built deliberately shutting out the natives, laws were drafted when Israel came into being that made sure the natives would remain in their non-place, Jews in theirs, and so on. It is no wonder that today the one issue that electrifies Israel as a society is the problem of the Palestinians, whose negation is the consistent thread running through Zionism. And it is this perhaps unfortunate aspect of Zionism that ties it ineluctably to imperialism- at least so far as the Palestinian is concerned. In conclusion, I cannot affirm that Zionism is colonialism, but I can tell you the process by which Zionism flourished; the dialectic under which it became a reality was heavily influenced by the imperialist mindset of Europe. Thank you. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.
R.F. Georgy (Absolution: A Palestinian Israeli Love Story)
The Hungryalist or the hungry generation movement was a literary movement in Bengali that was launched in 1961, by a group of young Bengali poets. It was spearheaded by the famous Hungryalist quartet — Malay Roychoudhury, Samir Roychoudhury, Shakti Chattopadhyay and Debi Roy. They had coined Hungryalism from the word ‘Hungry’ used by Geoffrey Chaucer in his poetic line “in the sowre hungry tyme”. The central theme of the movement was Oswald Spengler’s idea of History, that an ailing culture feeds on cultural elements brought from outside. These writers felt that Bengali culture had reached its zenith and was now living on alien food. . . . The movement was joined by other young poets like Utpal Kumar Basu, Binoy Majumdar, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Basudeb Dasgupta, Falguni Roy, Tridib Mitra and many more. Their poetry spoke the displaced people and also contained huge resentment towards the government as well as profanity. … On September 2, 1964, arrest warrants were issued against 11 of the Hungry poets. The charges included obscenity in literature and subversive conspiracy against the state. The court case went on for years, which drew attention worldwide. Poets like Octavio Paz, Ernesto Cardenal and Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg visited Malay Roychoudhury. The Hungryalist movement also influenced Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Telugu & Urdu literature.
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury (The Hungryalists)
Let me return from history and draw my conclusion. What all this means to us at the present time is this: Our system has already passed its flowering. Some time ago it reached that summit of blessedness which the mysterious game of world history sometimes allows to things beautiful and desirable in themselves. We are on the downward slope. Our course may possible stretch out for a very long time, but in any case nothing finer, ore beautiful, and more desirable than what we have already had can henceforth be expected. The road leads downhill. Historically we are, I believe, ripe for dismantling. And there is no doubt that such will be our fate, not today or tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow. I do not draw this conclusion from any excessively moralistic estimate of our accomplishments and our abilities: I draw it far more from the movements which I see already on the way in the outside world. Critical times are approaching; the omens can be sensed everywhere; the world is once again about to shift its center of gravity. Displacements of power are in the offing. They will not take place without war and violence. From the Far East comes a threat not only to peace, but to life and liberty. Even if our country remains politically neutral, even if our whole nation unanimously abides by tradition (which is not the case) and attempts to remain faithful to Castalian ideals, that will be in vain. Some of our representatives in Parliament are already saying that Castalia is a rather expensive luxury for our country. The country may very soon be forced into a serious rearmament - armaments for defensive purposes only, of course - and great economies will be necessary. In spite of the government's benevolent disposition towards us, much of the economizing will strike us directly. We are proud that our Order and the cultural continuity it provides have cost the country as little as they have. In comparison with other ages, especially the early period of the Feuilletonistic Age with its lavishly endowed universities, its innumerable consultants and opulent institutes, this toll is really not large. It is infinitesimal compared with the sums consumed for war and armaments during the Century of Wars. But before too long this kind of armament may once again be the supreme necessity; the generals will again dominate Parliament; and if the people are confronted with the choice of sacrificing Castalia or exposing themselves to the danger of war and destruction, we know how they will choose. Undoubtedly a bellicose ideology will burgeon. The rash of propaganda will affect youth in particular. Then scholars and scholarship, Latin and mathematics, education and culture, will be considered worth their salt only to the extent that they can serve the ends of war.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
Visible over Madame’s shoulder was a clock, hanging on the wall between a flag and a poster. The poster was for a new brand of beer, featuring three bikini-clad young women sprouting breasts the size and shape of children’s balloons; the flag was of the defeated Republic of Vietnam, three bold red horizontal stripes on a vivid field of yellow. This was the flag, as the General had noted more than once to me, of the free Vietnamese people. I had seen the flag countless times before, and posters like that one often, but I had never seen this type of clock, carved from hardwood into the shape of our homeland. For this clock that was a country, and this country that was a clock, the minute and hour hands pivoted in the south, the numbers of the dial a halo around Saigon. Some craftsman in exile had understood that this was exactly the timepiece his refugee countrymen desired. We were displaced persons, but it was time more than space that defined us. While the distance to return to our lost country was far but finite, the number of years it would take to close that distance was potentially infinite. Thus, for displaced people, the first question was always about time: When can I return? Speaking of punctuality, I said to Madame, your clock is set to the wrong time. No, she said, rising to fetch the beer. It’s set to Saigon time. Of course it was. How could I not have seen it? Saigon time was fourteen hours off, although if one judged time by this clock, it was we who were fourteen hours off. Refugee, exile, immigrant—whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
The attachment voids experienced by immigrant children are profound. The hardworking parents are focused on supporting their families economically and, unfamiliar with the language and customs of their new society, they are not able to orient their children with authority or confidence. Peers are often the only people available for such children to latch on to. Thrust into a peer-oriented culture, immigrant families may quickly disintegrate. The gulf between child and parent can widen to the point that becomes unbridgeable. Parents of these children lose their dignity, their power, and their lead. Peers ultimately replace parents and gangs increasingly replace families. Again, immigration or the necessary relocation of people displaced by war or economic misery is not the problem. Transplanted to peer-driven North American society, traditional cultures succumb. We fail our immigrants because of our own societal failure to preserve the child-parent relationship. In some parts of the country one still sees families, often from Asia, join together in multigenerational groups for outings. Parents, grandparents, and even frail great-grandparents mingle, laugh, and socialize with their children and their children's offspring. Sadly, one sees this only among relatively recent immigrants. As youth become incorporated into North American society, their connections with their elders fade. They distance themselves from their families. Their icons become the artificially created and hypersexualized figures mass-marketed by Hollywood and the U.S. music industry. They rapidly become alienated from the cultures that have sustained their ancestors for generation after generation. As we observe the rapid dissolution of immigrant families under the influence of the peer-oriented society, we witness, as if on fast-forward video, the cultural meltdown we ourselves have suffered in the past half century. It would be encouraging to believe that other parts of the world will successfully resist the trend toward peer orientation. The opposite is likely to be the case as the global economy exerts its corrosive influences on traditional cultures on other continents. Problems of teenage alienation are now widely encountered in countries that have most closely followed upon the American model — Britain, Australia, and Japan. We may predict similar patterns elsewhere to result from economic changes and massive population shifts. For example, stress-related disorders are proliferating among Russian children. According to a report in the New York Times, since the collapse of the Soviet Union a little over a decade ago, nearly a third of Russia's estimated 143 million people — about 45 million — have changed residences. Peer orientation threatens to become one of the least welcome of all American cultural exports.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
By a huge margin, AIDS gets more research money per patient than any other disease. Should those dying of other diseases blame their illnesses on this displacement of research funds? Should cigarette smokers who contract lung cancer blame their disease on those who failed to increase funds for cancer research? Since the necessity for self-justification requires the complicity of the whole culture, holdouts cannot be tolerated, because they are potential rebukes. The self-hatred, anger, and guilt that a person possessed of a functioning conscience would normally feel from doing wrong are redirected by the rationalization and projected upon society as a whole (if the society is healthy) or upon those in society who do not accept the rationalization. These latter are labeled homophobes, though it is they who become the objects of hatred. They are blamed for the misfortunes in homosexual life, which are no longer ascribable to the behavior that produces them, but to those who do not accept the behavior as moral, thus discomfiting its practitioners.
Robert R. Reilly (Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything)
Science fiction constantly interrogates the limits of identity and the nature of difference. The latter is frequently described through a quasi-allegorical displacement of the alien on to other countries and planets, following a strategy of encounter whereby readers are encouraged to re-examine their self-conceptions as a result of confrontation with the Other, with beings whose culture is rarely explored in its own right, but rather to highlight the markers of difference.
David Seed (Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
The ship left the construction bay of the factory craft with most of its fitting-out still to be done. Accelerating hard, its course a four-dimensional spiral through a blizzard of stars where it knew that only danger waited, it powered into hyperspace on spent engines from an overhauled craft of one class, watched its birthplace disappear astern with battle-damaged sensors from a second, and tested outdated weapon units cannibalized from yet another. Inside its warship body, in narrow, unlit, unheated, hard-vacuum spaces, constructor drones struggled to install or complete sensors, displacers, field generators, shield disruptors, laserfields, plasma chambers, warhead magazines, maneuvering units, repair systems and the thousands of other major and minor components required to make a functional warship. Gradually,
Iain M. Banks (Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1))
Our slower pace of life, our thoughtfulness, our spiritual and intellectual depth, and our listening abilities are prophetic qualities for the evangelical community, calling us to a renewed understanding of God and a fresh reading on the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Yet because of the extroverted bias in many of our churches, introverts are leading double lives. We are masquerading as extroverts in order to find acceptance, yet we feel displaced and confused. We are weary of fighting our introversion, and we long to live faithfully as the people we were created to be.
Adam S. McHugh (Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture)
For the philosopher Charles Taylor, experiences like mine—of being displaced in Brazil or of engaging in disputes in Egypt—bring to light what he calls “the sources of the self”: the beliefs and values embedded in a culture that shape our identity and the way we live.4 Under normal circumstances these sources remain hidden and inarticulate. My claim is that we should welcome the disruptions that compel us to confront them.5 DEBATE AND TRUTH Can we be sure that our beliefs about the world match how the world actually is, that our beliefs about what is right capture true moral norms, and that our subjective preferences match what is objectively in our best interest? If the truth is important to us, these are pressing questions.
Carlos Fraenkel (Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World)
The "new" Anglo-American feminist theory argues that too little mothering, and, in particular, the absence of mother-son connection, is what engenders both sexism and traditional masculinity in men. (...) This perspective positions mothering as central to feminist politics in its insistence that true and lasting gender equality will occur only when boys are raised as the sons of mothers. As the early feminist script of mother-son connection required the denial of the mother's power and the displacement of her identity as mother, the new perspective affirms the maternal and celebrates mother-son connection. In this, it rewrites the patriarchal and early feminist narrative to give (...) voice and presence to the mother and make mother-son connection central to the redesign of both traditional masculinity and the larger patriarchal culture.
Andrea O'Reilly (Mothers and Sons: Feminism, Masculinity, and the Struggle to Raise Our Sons)
When Islam swept out of the Arabian Peninsula, it became an invasive species to both the pagan and Christian areas it conquered. With it came the sexual practices of a very patriarchal, polygamist culture. While the religions it displaced were not particularly sex positive, Islamic sexual practices, on the whole, were uniformly sex negative.
Darrel Ray (Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality)
Like the regimes it had displaced, the corporate regime manifests inequalities in every aspect of social life and defends them as essential. And like the old regimes, the structure of corporate organization follows the hierarchical principle of gradations of authority, prerogative, and reward. It is undemocratic in its structure and modus operandi and antidemocratic in its persistent efforts to destroy or weaken unions, discourage minimum wage legislation, resist environmental protections, and dominate the creation and dissemination of culture (media, foundations, education).
Sheldon S. Wolin (Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism - New Edition)
Focusing on urban design, rather than people who inhabit and produce places, all too easily naturalizes their market-driven displacement.
Adonia E. Lugo (Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance)
The steady advance, and cultural power, of marketing and advertising has caused “the displacement of a political public sphere by a depoliticized consumer culture.”21
Edward S. Herman (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
Meditation has nothing to do with contemplation of eternal questions, or of one’s own folly, or even of one’s navel, although a clearer view on all of these enigmas may result. It has nothing to do with thought of any kind—with anything at all, in fact, but intuiting the true nature of existence, which is why it has appeared, in one form or another, in almost every culture known to man. The entranced Bushman staring into fire, the Eskimo using a sharp rock to draw an ever-deepening circle into the flat surface of a stone achieves the same obliteration of the ego (and the same power) as the dervish or the Pueblo sacred dancer. Among Hindus and Buddhists, realization is attained through inner stillness, usually achieved through the samadhi state of sitting yoga.4 In Tantric practice, the student may displace the ego by filling his whole being with the real or imagined object of his concentration; in Zen, one seeks to empty out the mind, to return it to the clear, pure stillness of a seashell or a flower petal. When body and mind are one, then the whole thing, scoured clean of intellect, emotions, and the senses, may be laid open to the experience that individual existence, ego, the “reality” of matter and phenomena are no more than fleeting and illusory arrangements of molecules. The weary self of masks and screens, defences, preconceptions, and opinions that, propped up by ideas and words, imagines itself to be some sort of entity (in a society of like entities) may suddenly fall away, dissolve into formless flux where concepts such as “death” and “life”, “time” and “space”, “past” and “future” have no meaning. There is only a pearly radiance of Emptiness, the Uncreated, without beginning, therefore without end.5 Like the round bottomed Bodhidharma doll, returning to its centre, meditation represents the foundation of the universe to which all returns, as in the stillness of the dead of night, the stillness between tides and winds, the stillness of the instant before Creation. In this “void”, this dynamic state of rest, without impediments, lies ultimate reality, and here one’s own true nature is reborn, in a return from what Buddhists speak of as “great death”. This is the Truth of which Milarepa speaks.
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
Quoting page 85: The OCR [Office for Civil Rights] in the early 1970s in effect experienced an internal capture shift. The black agenda activists who had dominated the office between 1965 and 1970 were joined and to some extend displaced by a new cadre of Latino activists. Not content with the transitional model of bilingual education, which used native-language instruction as a bridge to English language proficiency, the Latino nationalists called for Spanish-based cultural maintenance programs of indefinite duration. La Raza Unida’s 1967 founding statement captured the Chicano spirit of cultural nationalism and linguistic ethnocentrism: “The time of subjugation, exploitation, and abuse of human rights of La Raza in the United States is hereby ended forever,” the manifesto proclaimed. “[We] affirm the magnificence of La Raza, the greatness of our heritage, our history, our language, our traditions, our contributions to humanity and culture.
Hugh Davis Graham (Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America)
Among people with traditional values about household roles, men felt displaced from the position of honor as breadwinners that they had once enjoyed. Many women felt displaced from their ability to feel like competent homemakers and mothers. A middle-class income now required two full-time wage earners. Men were deprived of the traditional services of wives at the same time that women were deprived of their capacity to focus on children and the household. Juggling jobs and kids and keeping a family together required an everyday struggle and heroism that cultural elites seemed to dishonor. The rich solved the problem with nannies. Society was caught between the traditional, patriarchal family structure and a new egalitarian family structure long sought by feminists that was largely blocked by a lack of social supports. Neither model worked well for most people.
Robert Kuttner (Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?)
Under the current rules of American society, whites have no moral grounds to preserve racial majorities in any context, whether in a club, neighborhood, school, region, the nation as a whole, or even in their own families. Somewhere, deep in their bones, whites yearn for the comfort, the ease, the joy of living among their own people in societies that reflect the values of their ancestors. They answer this yearning whenever they move from Southern California to the North, from the city to the suburbs, from diversity to homogeneity. But according to today’s racial dogma, this yearning is evil. There will always be “white Meccas,” enclaves for wealthy whites who can afford them, but with no moral, legal, or practical way to preserve majorities, most whites will eventually come to the end of the road. They will find that the America for which they yearn has disappeared. At what point would it be legitimate for whites to act in their own group interests? When they become a minority? When they are no more than 30 percent of the population? Ten percent? Or must they never be allowed to take any action to ensure that the land in which they live reflects their values, their culture, their manners, their traditions, and honors the achievements of their ancestors? If whites do not cherish and defend these things, no one else will do it for them. If whites do not rekindle some sense of their collective interests they will be pushed aside by people who have a very clear sense of their interests. Eventually, whites will come to understand that to dismantle and even demonize white racial consciousness while other races cultivate racial consciousness is a fatal form of unilateral disarmament. For their very survival as a distinct people with a distinct culture, whites must recognize something all others take for granted: that race is a fundamental part of individual and group identity. Any society based on the assumption that race can be wished or legislated away ensures for itself an endless agony of pretense, conflict, and failure. For 60 years, we have wished and legislated in vain. In so doing, by opening the United States to peoples from every corner of the world, we have created agonizing problems for future generations. As surely as the Communists were mistaken in their hopes of remaking human nature, so have been the proponents of diversity and multi-culturalism. What goals might whites pursue if they had a racial identity like that of other groups? Clearly, they would end immigration; it is not in the interests of whites to be displaced by others. They would also recognize that when whites prefer to live, work, and go to school with people of their own race, that is no different from anyone else wanting to do these things. Whites—and others—should have legal means to preserve local majorities if that is their preference. That preference should not be imposed on anyone who wishes to live in a more Bohemian manner, but it is wrong to condemn whites—and only whites—for instincts science suggests are part of human nature. Another goal of whites would be to end the current propaganda about the advantages of diversity, for it only justifies their dispossession. Whites should also be free—again, like all other groups—to express pride in the accomplishments of their people.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
WE PAUSE to be with grief, joining the rebellion against a hedonistic culture of happiness-at-all-costs and reclaiming our rightful feelings. We learn to just be without needing to tame, alter, or displace our emotions. This is radically countercultural, even revolutionary, when all other social forces merge to quell, overcome,
Joanne Cacciatore (Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief)
Foucault’s books impressed and overwhelmed his readers with their appearance of careful scholarship and research (although in fact that scholarship was faulty, even mendacious, at crucial points), creating a new and exhilarating genre for cultural pessimists everywhere.55 “One must conduct an ascending analysis of power,” Foucault later said, “starting, that is, from its infinitesimal mechanisms”—including seemingly innocuous ones such as the Western family, its furniture, its eating habits, even its notions of personal hygiene—“which each have their own history” and are “invested, colonized, utilized, involuted, transformed, displaced, extended by ever more general mechanisms and by forms of global domination.
Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History)
I have to draw your attention to the fact that a Displace incurs an approximately one in sixty-one million chance of utter failure resulting in death for the subject.’ The avatar smiled wickedly. ‘Still willing?’ ‘Certainly.
Iain M. Banks (Look to Windward (Culture, #7))
Saigon time was fourteen hours off, although if one judged time by this clock, it was we who were fourteen hours off. Refugee, exile, immigrant—whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer (The Sympathizer #1))
The differentiations of the modern world have the same structure as tourist attractions: elements dislodged from their original natural, historical and cultural contexts fit together with other such displaced or modernized things and people. The differentiations are the attractions
Dean MacCannell (The Tourist)
Saigon time was fourteen hours off, although if one judged time by this clock, it was we who were fourteen hours off. Refugee, exile, immigrant--whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer (The Sympathizer #1))
Change" and "Displacement" are positive and negative terminals of the battery called "Transformation". When we fear the consequences of displacement, we develop resistance to change.
Sukant Ratnakar (Quantraz)
It is an intriguing paradox that while on the whole Brazil’s cultural economy was increasingly homogenized along the strategies of capitalism, the Northeast would be hailed as one of the country’s most culturally rich and resistant regions. How was it that the Northeast, its society subordinated both politically and economically, its people regularly displaced, managed to “preserve its origins and maintain its cultural traditions”? This was possible precisely because “northeastern culture” was like the Northeast itself a recent invention,
Durval Muniz de Albuquerque Júnior (The Invention of the Brazilian Northeast (Latin America in Translation))
one of the many valuable recommendations in this book is that we academics should, collectively, talk to each other more about how we actually spend our time, with all the anxieties, displacements, and failures that involves, rather than presenting ourselves as the overachieving writing robots whom most systems of assessment seem designed to reward.
Maggie Berg (The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy)
The Roman world was very aware of barbarians at its limits, but it did not depend on being opposed to be sure of itself; Christians insisted on a sense that they were being opposed and displaced, even as Christianity moved into more and more territories, changed people’s minds, changed the organization of their lives in alliance with kings and lords.
Michael Pye (The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe)
The cultural tools people employ to make sense of displacement are the means by which migrants guard against that shattering or implosion of self and attachment. Without these tools, the disruption of migration leaves disintegration in its wake that neither the individual immigrant nor the community of immigrants can bear.
Stephanie E. Smallwood (Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora)
Inside its warship body, in narrow, unlit, unheated, hard-vacuum spaces, constructor drones struggled to install or complete sensors, displacers, field generators, shield disruptors, laserfields, plasma chambers, warhead magazines, maneuvering units, repair systems and the thousands of other major and minor components required to make a functional warship.
Iain M. Banks (Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1))
In reality, the various movements and removals of Indigenous peoples from the Southeast due to white invasion meant that the first western settlers were often Native Americans who migrated to spaces other than their homelands, where they encountered other tribes—longtime enemies, other displaced peoples, and groups who had long called this land home. Native peoples adjusted their oral histories and survivance strategies to incorporate their new surroundings as they had done for millennia, crafting stories that told of successful migrations and learning about the food and herbs of their new homes. As they were forced westward, the Five Tribes’ experience in Indian Territory was different from the other Indigenous migrations occurring around them. The Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Nations sought to use the settler colonial process to cast themselves as civilizers of their new home: they used the labor system that Euro-Americans insisted represented sophistication—chattel slavery—to build homes, commercial enterprises, and wealth, and they portrayed themselves as settlers in need of protection from the federal government against the depredations of western Indians, which, the Five Tribes claimed, hindered their own civilizing progress. Moreover, they followed their physical appropriation of Plains Indians’ land with an erasure of their predecessor’s history. They perpetuated the idea that they had found an undeveloped ‘wilderness” when they arrived in Indian Territory and that they had proceeded to tame it. They claimed that they had built institutions and culture in a space where previously neither existed. The Five Tribes’ involvement in the settler colonial process was self-serving: they had already been forced to move once by white Americans, and appealing to their values could only help them—at least, at first. Involvement in the system of Black enslavement was a key component of displaying adherence to Americans’ ideas of social, political, and economic advancement—indeed, owning enslaved people was the primary path to wealth in the nineteenth century. The laws policing Black people’s behavior that appeared in all of the tribes’ legislative codes showed that they were willing to make this system a part of their societies. But with the end of the Civil War, the political party in power—the Republicans—changed the rules: slavery was no longer deemed civilized and must be eliminated by force. For the Five Tribes, the rise and fall of their involvement in the settler colonial process is inextricably connected to the enslavement of people of African descent: it helped to prove their supposed civilization and it helped them construct their new home, but it would eventually be the downfall of their Indian Territory land claims. Recognizing the Five Tribes’ coerced migration to Indian Territory as the first wave among many allows us to see how settler colonialism shaped the culture of Indian Territory even before settlers from the United States arrived. Though the Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’ has come to symbolize Indian Removal, the Five Tribes were just a handful of dozens of Indigenous tribes who had been forced to move from their eastern homelands due to white displacement. This displacement did not begin or end in the 1830s Since the 1700s, Indian nations such as the Wyandot, Kickapoo, and Shawnee began migrating to other regions to escape white settlement and the violence and resource scarcity that often followed. Though brought on by conditions outside of their control, these migrations were ‘voluntary’ in that they were most often an attempt to flee other Native groups moving into their territory as a result of white invasion or to preempt white coercion, rather than a response to direct Euro-American political or legal pressure to give up their homelands….
Alaina E. Roberts (I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land)
The Five Tribes not only physically displaced other Indian nations in Indian Territory; they erased the history of southern Plains people and drafted a new history of Indian Territory. For example, in 1955, the Chickasaws built their council house, a sixteen-by-twenty-five-foot log house. Here, the Chickasaws rewrote their constitution and took their first actions as a sovereign legislature, under the first Chickasaw governor, Cyrus Harris. Although the log house was quickly replaced (within the next year or so) by a brick iteration, the log house serves a particular purpose in the pantheon of Chickasaw public history. In 1911, the Wapanucka Press, an Oklahoma-based newspaper, interviewed someone (presumably a representative of the Chickasaw Nation) about the story of the log house’s origins. The paper reported, ‘Slaves of the Chickasaws toiled in the dense oak forests cutting down the finest trees and hewing them into shape…Thick undergrowth was cleared from a knoll…paths were cut from bottom meadows.’ Rough-hewn and surrounded by overgrown foliage, the log house is meant to evoke the idea that the Chickasaws encountered a ‘wilderness’ in early Indian Territory. The reader is meant to believe that, as civilizers, the Chickasaws shaped this wilderness into the modern space that it became. This idea of ‘civilization’ is based on Euro-American colonizer’ ideas of advanced societies. The Cherokee Nation alleges on its website that ‘upon earliest contact with European explorers in the 1500s, Cherokee Nation was identified as one of the most advanced among Native American tribes.’ Although the Cherokees were asserting their longevity as a people and their pride in their culture, here they use a European measurement of their merit. In the nineteenth century, the Five Tribes succeeded at crafting a perception of difference. The western Indians certainly saw them as settlers. The special agent to the Comanches reported that they were angry that tribes such as the Creeks and Choctaws ‘have extended their occupation and improvements to the country heretofore used by themselves as a hunting ground,’ expressing that they saw the Five tribes as unlawful settlers, just like whites, and themselves as the dispossessed indigenous peoples of the region.
Alaina E. Roberts (I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land)
I see coming back to my village as significant, thanks to my privilege of being able to leave. But also because I can simultaneously cherry-pick my favourite aspects of my culture for anecdotes back home and social media, and keep the private, painful reflective ones for myself. This is what so many second-and-third generation immigrants experience visiting their homeland. We fine-tune the ability to find the nuances funny, deflecting the crushing weight of displacement and dispora drama that becomes part of our everyday.
Kieran Yates (The Good Immigrant)
it is likely that his looting of mortuary temples, his planting of crosses on sacred mounds, and his humiliation of chiefs whose claims to divine status were literally brought to ground when he displaced them from the shoulders of their retainers and made them walk powerlessly through their domains, all dealt severe blows to the religious beliefs that held together Mississippian cultures and chiefdoms.43
Daniel K. Richter (Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America)
During the last 3,000 years, long-distance trading cultures have steadily conquered, displaced, absorbed, or erased indigenous clans less enthusiastic about peddling wares across wide stretches of both sea and land.
Howard Bloom (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century)
Meeting people whose life trajectories were so different from my own enlarged my way of thinking. Outside the school, arguments over refugees were raging, but the time I had spent inside this building showed me that those conversations were based on phantasms. People were debating their own fears. What I had witnessed taking place inside this school every day revealed the rhetoric for what it was: more propaganda than fact. Donald Trump appeared to believe his own assertions, but I hoped that in the years to come, more people would be able to recognize refugees for who they really were: simply the most vulnerable people on earth. Inside this school, where the reality of refugee resettlement was enacted every day, it was plain to see that seeking a new home took tremendous courage. And receiving those who had been displaced involved tremendous generosity. That’s what refugee resettlement was, I decided. Acts of courage met by acts of generosity. Despite how fear-based the national conversation had turned, there was nothing scary about what was happening at South. Getting to know the newcomer students had deepened my own life, and watching Mr. Williams work with all twenty-two of them at once with so much grace, dexterity, sensitivity, and affection had provided me with daily inspiration. I would even say that spending a year in room 142 had allowed me to witness something as close to holy as I’ve seen take place between human beings. I could only wish that in time, more people would be able to look past their fear of the stranger and experience the wonder of getting to know people from other parts of the globe. For as far as I could tell, the world was not going to stop producing refugees. The plain, irreducible fact of good people being made nomad by the millions through all the kinds of horror this world could produce seemed likely to prove the central moral challenge of our times. How did we want to meet that challenge? We could fill our hearts with fear or with hope. And the choice would affect more than just our own dispositions, for in choosing which seeds to sow, we would dictate the type of harvest. Surely the only harvest worth cultivating was the one Mr. Williams had been seeking: greater fluency, better understanding.
Helen Thorpe (The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom)
Princeton Tries to Explain a Drop in Jewish Enrollment; or "What is Communism?" by Yggdrasil The sine-qua-non of inner party power is a multi-cultural elite alienated from its tribal and racial kinsmen. It is the native elites - the indigenous leaders who might resist the inner party's drive for power that are always the target. ... For the reform version of communism developed by the Frankfurt School that now dominates the ‘liberal democracies" and the NWO, the masses of the nations are important as consumers ... What remains relevant to the inner party are the inner party's potential competitors, the native national elites with community ties to their brethren. In the Soviet Union, the inner party elites (using Lenin and Stalin as their cover) resorted to murder and forced resettlement to remove the native national elites, a fast, direct and brutal form of decapitation. In the "liberal democracies" the inner party uses a slower and less visibly brutal method of decapitation. Thus, in the liberal democracies of today we have "affirmative action" - a set of laws that places tremendous pressure on private businesses to displace native elites at the top with minorities who will be less plausible targets of discrimination lawsuits. These laws exist everywhere in the European world, and with the exception of the U.S. were enacted long before any significant minority constituencies (other than the inner party itself) existed to lobby for their passage. The entire program of displacement and decapitation within the liberal democracies was carefully drawn up and explained in "The Authoritarian Personality" by Theodor Adorno, et. al.(1947). It is a prescription for identifying any person who displays any bond of obligation to his own kind and the will to resist those who threaten the interests of his kind. Such "authoritarian personalities" are to be denied university admission and consigned to low status occupations, which is precisely what the laws of affirmative action and social rules of political correctness accomplish. Indeed, as I read the tables from the 1939 Soviet census published in Sanning's work [The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by Walter N. Sanning] I recalled my own research showing that the inner party, representing 2.4% of the U.S. population comprises 28% of the student body at Harvard, while the descendants of European Christendom comprising 70% of the population supply only 18% of the students. The American Majority has been effectively displaced at Harvard. Relative to their share of the Population, they have 2.4 times fewer students than do the inner party's Afro-American coalition partners. ... The United States Department of Labor has maintained a tracking study of 12,000 young people who were between the ages of 14 and 22 in 1979 known as the National Longitudinal study of Youth ("NLSY"). The CD Roms with all the data can be purchased from Ohio State University. These data show that at each given level of IQ (all participants were tested) the income and educational attainment of the descendants of European Christendom is much lower than for Blacks, Hispanics and Inner party members of the same IQ. In what will surely be a surprise to most middle and upper middle-income Euro-Americans, the effects are most pronounced at the highest IQ levels. In other words, it is the majority elite that suffers the widest disparity in income and education when compared with Blacks, Hispanics and Inner Party members within the same IQ range. When the effects are broken down by sex, we find that among males the disparity is most pronounced in the highest IQ ranges and disappears entirely by the time you descend to the 50% mark. The widest disparity exists among the top 2% of the population (those with IQs above 130).
Yggdrasil
Maps and Paradigms. This picture of post-Cold War world politics shaped by cultural factors and involving interactions among states and groups from different civilizations is highly simplified. It omits many things, distorts some things, and obscures others. Yet if we are to think seriously about the world, and act effectively in it, some sort of simplified map of reality, some theory, concept, model, paradigm, is necessary. Without such intellectual constructs, there is, as William James said, only “a bloomin’ buzzin’ confusion.” Intellectual and scientific advance, Thomas Kuhn showed in his classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, consists of the displacement of one paradigm, which has become increasingly incapable of explaining new or newly discovered facts, by a new paradigm, which does account for those facts in a more satisfactory fashion. “To be accepted as a paradigm,” Kuhn wrote, “a theory must seem better than its competitors, but it need not, and in fact never does, explain all the facts with which it can be confronted.”4 “Finding one’s way through unfamiliar terrain,” John Lewis Gaddis also wisely observed, “generally requires a map of some sort. Cartography, like cognition itself, is a necessary simplification that allows us to see where we are, and where we may be going.
Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order)
Of course, television is not alone in being confronted with this destiny - this vicious circle: the destiny of all those things which , no longer having an objective purpose, take themselves for their own ends. In so doing, they escape all responsibility, but also become bogged down in their own insoluble contradictions. This is, however, more particularly the critical situation of all the current media. Opinion polls themselves are a good example. They have had their moment of truth (as, indeed, did television), when they were the representative mirror of an opinion, in the days when such a thing still existed, before it became merely a conditioned reflex. But perpetual harassment by opinion polls has resulted in their being no longer a mirror at all; they have, rather, become a screen. A perverse exchange has been established between polls which no longer really ask questions and masses who no longer reply. Or rather they become cunning partners, like rats in laboratories or the viruses pursued in experiments. They toy with the polls at least as much as the polls toy with them. They play a double game. It is not, then, that the polls are bogus or deceitful, but rather that their very success and automatic operation have made them random. There is the same double game, the same perverse social relationship between an all-powerful, but wholly self-absorbed, television and the mass of TV viewers, who are vaguely scandalized by this misappropriation, not just of public money, but of the whole value system of news and information. You don't need to be politically aware to realize that, after the famous dustbins of history, we are now seeing the dustbins of information. Now , information may well be a myth, but this alternative myth, the modern substitute for all other values, has been rammed down our throats incessantly. And there is a glaring contrast between this universal myth and the actual state of affairs. The real catastrophe of television has been how deeply it has failed to live up to its promise of providing information- its supposed modern function. We dreamed first of giving power - political power- to the imagination, but we dream less and less of this, if indeed at all. The fantasy then shifted on to the media and information. At times we dreamed (at least collectively, even if individually we continued to have no illusions) of finding some freedom there — an openness, a new public space. Such dreams were soon dashed: the media turned out to be much more conformist and servile than expected, at times more servile than the professional politicians. The latest displacement of the imagination has been on to the judiciary. Again this has been an illusion, since, apart from th e pleasing whiff of scandal produced, this is also dependent on the media operation. We are going to end up looking for imagination in places further and further removed from power - from any form of power whatever (and definitely far removed from cultural power, which has become the most conventional and professional form ther e is). Among the excluded, the immigrants, the homeless. But that will really take a lot of imagination because they, who no longer even have an image, are themselves the by-products of a whole society's loss of imagination, of the loss of any social imagination. And this is indeed the point. We shall soon see it is no use trying to locate the imagination somewhere. Quite simply, because there no longer is any. The day this becomes patently obvious, the vague collective disappointment hanging over us today will become a massive sickening feeling.
Jean Baudrillard (Screened Out)
In my stories, I attempt to contrast the cultures and attitudes in India and the UK and explore the mindset of an immigrant, the question of displacement, the notion of belonging and the idea of home
Renita D'Silva
The dominant culture displaces what it doesn’t like,” said Lupita.
Dave Bartell (Hypatia's Diary (Darwin Lacroix #2))
In the 20th century, egalitarianism has been used principally as the political formula or ideological rationalization by which one, emerging elite has sought to displace from political, economic, and culture power another elite, and in not only rationalizing but also disguising the dominance of the new elite…. Egalitarianism played a central role in the progressivist ideological challenge, and the main form it assumed in the early 20th century was that of “environmentalism” – not in the contemporary sense of concern for ecology but in the sense that human beings are perceived as the products of their social and historical environment rather than of their innate mental and physical natures. Indeed, the ideological function of progressivism is de-legitimizing bourgeois society was accomplished by its identification of the society itself as the “environment” to be altered through social management.
Samuel T. Francis (Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (Volume 1))
More than 100,000 Bosnians were killed during the war. More than 2.2 million people were displaced. There were more than 677 detention centers and concentration camps where Bosniaks and Bosnians were subjected to agonizing, inhumane, excruciating, and horrifying war crimes and conditions by the Serb forces. Several of these camps held thousands of prisoners. Intellectuals, in particular, were targeted because they are the backbone of society. They drive progress and initiate changes that benefit everyone around them. That is why the Serb forces sought to eliminate critical thinkers so they could conquer Bosnian culture more effectively. More books, movies, TV shows, and songs should discuss the Bosnian Genocide and its effect on Bosnian culture.
Aida Mandic (Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I want to draw especial attention to the treatment of AI—artificial intelligence—in these narratives. Think of Ex Machina or Blade Runner. I spoke at TED two years in a row, and one year, there were back-to-back talks about whether or not AI was going to evolve out of control and “kill us all.” I realized that that scenario is just something I have never been afraid of. And at the same moment, I noticed that the people who are terrified of machine super-intelligence are almost exclusively white men. I don’t think anxiety about AI is really about AI at all. I think it’s certain white men’s displaced anxiety upon realizing that women and people of color have, and have always had, sentience, and are beginning to act on it on scales that they’re unprepared for. There’s a reason that AI is almost exclusively gendered as female, in fiction and in life. There’s a reason they’re almost exclusively in service positions, in fiction and in life. I’m not worried about how we’re going to treat AI some distant day, I’m worried about how we treat other humans, now, today, all over the world, far worse than anything that’s depicted in AI movies. It matters that still, the vast majority of science fiction narratives that appear in popular culture are imagined by, written by, directed by, and funded by white men who interpret the crumbling of their world as the crumbling of the world.
Monica Byrne (The Actual Star)
In the previous chapter we attempted to clarify Wilhelm Schmidt’s use of the culture-historical method of ethnology, which led him to the recognition of a number of culture circles around the globe. These integrated complexes of cultures were due to the migrations of people groups as well as other means of diffusion of cultural forms such as trade or imitation. The most common pattern was that when a later culture arrived in an area occupied by an earlier culture, it would either absorb or displace the older culture, oftentimes including the people who held it. By a careful analysis of the forms of culture manifested by different groups in different areas, Schmidt constructed chronological sequences, with the least sophisticated cultures (those whom Schmidt called “Primitive”1) as the ones most likely to resemble the original culture of human beings. His conclusion was that the people in the lowest position with regard to their material culture occupied the highest level of spiritual culture if one were to apply an evolutionist’s hierarchy. They were monotheists.
Winfried Corduan (In the Beginning God: A Fresh Look at the Case for Original Monotheism)
We live in an extremely individualistic culture, where we are constantly pushed to see our problems as individual failings, and to seek out individual solutions. You’re unable to focus? Overweight? Poor? Depressed? We are taught in this culture to think: That’s my fault. I should have found a personal way to lift myself up and out of these environmental problems. Now, whenever I feel that way, I think about the mothers in Rochester whose kids were being poisoned by lead, and they were simply told they should dust their homes more, or that their kids had a “perverted” desire to suck on chunks of lead paint. We can see clearly now there was a huge problem with a deep cause in the environment—and yet the primary response was to tell people to throw all their energy into a frantic individual displacement activity that made no difference at all, or (even worse) to blame their own poisoned children.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention - and How to Think Deeply Again)
In this context, it is worth evoking Nietzsche’s distinction between self-negating (ponderous) and cheerful (affirmative) forms of asceticism. If self-negating asceticism characterizes the mortified existence of the individual who is ruled by defensive and self-defeating ressentiment, cheerful asceticism—the kind of self-limitation that enhances the individual’s sense of power—is a precondition of innovation. In both instances, the subject’s “will to power”—the elemental energy that drives its actions in the world—is being tamed and restrained, but while self-negating asceticism wears down the spirit, cheerful asceticism distills and strengthens it. Self-negating asceticism, then, is a pathological formation that depletes the subject’s energy, whereas cheerful asceticism channels it into vigorously life-enriching avenues. Likewise, in more Freudian vocabulary, the symptom arrests the subject’s desire, whereas sublimation displaces it indefinitely, enhancing the subject’s appetite for uncharted (and therefore potentially vitalizing) forms of life. If the symptom ensues from, and lends expression to, a blockage of unconscious energies, sublimation ensures that these energies flow in an unencumbered manner. This is why Freud asks us to work our way from symptoms to creative expression; creativity, for him, is a means of fluently releasing energies that would otherwise be sacrificed to painful symptoms.
Mari Ruti (A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living (SUNY Series in Psychoanalysis and Culture (Hardcover)))
In the following ten years, Trisolaran reflection culture became popular on Earth, and began to displace the decadent native human culture that had lost its vitality.
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
Now the emerging consciousness of women represents a fundamental challenge to the gods of Western culture. Far from not wanting to have anything to do with religion, a position adopted by some feminists, the voices of women call for a renewed religious consciousness. We must undergo a profound conversion to a spirituality and worldview that honors womanhood and empowers our being; one that reveres the earth upon which all our foundations rest. Such a conversion will require a radical leap of faith into the unknown; we will often confront the ghosts and demons of the past, and all we will have to sustain us will be the barest hope and possibility that our efforts will succeed. Far from knocking at the door of patriarchy to get in, we need to overthrow the patriarchal “gods of displaced responsibility”, together with their warriors and priests if our world is to survive.
Mary Condren (The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion, and Power in Celtic Ireland)
Spices" The scents of spices are sad whether at home or in foreign lands ... At home, they passes through the nose to give a ray of hope, a breathing space that make us forget – albeit for a short while – all about the chains of religions, gossip, the absurdity of politics, and the cruelty of the ruling classes … At home, spices help us cope with the heavy weight of the backbreaking customs and traditions … You see everyone excited to have a meal that help them forget about the hardships, the crises, and the unsuitability of life at home … In alienating foreign lands, The scent of spices awakens everything that was lost, including the lost lands and homes… There is something unbearably sad about the image of a woman Standing in a kitchen filled with scents of spices reminding her of all that happened, all that was possible, all that should never have happened, and of all the irreplaceable losses … So many are the societies that have been completely destroyed, and of which nothing remains but scents of spices that add flavor to foods and marinate the wounds … Could spices be like old songs? We love them at home because they touch wounds we wish we could heal from, the same old songs break our hearts in foreign lands, because by then we have finally learned that exile doesn’t heal wounds, but rather pushes the knife deeper into them … And like the alienating foreign lands, the scents of spices declare that there is much more to the story of the wound; a story that kills if untold, and doesn’t heal when narrated … [Original poem published in Arabic on December 11, 2023 at ahewar.org]
Louis Yako
This displacement is not to happen through violence, coercion, or primarily through top-down legislation but through the church and its members embodying distinctive figures and fostering a counterculture to the hegemonic market-state of modernity.
Christopher Watkin (Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture)
The young Moroccan-Dutch youth downloading English translations of Arabic texts from the Internet is also looking for a universal cause, severed from cultural and tribal specificities. The promised purity of modern Islamism, which is after all a revolutionary creed, has been disconnected from cultural tradition. That is why it appeals to those who feel displaced, in the suburbs of Paris no less than in Amsterdam. They are stuck between cultures they find equally alienating. The war between Ellian’s Enlightenment and Bouyeri’s jihad is not a straightforward clash between culture and universalism, but between two different visions of the universal, one radically secular, the other radically religious.
Ian Buruma (Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance)
come alive and to speak, had to be chosen by the reader, who would vary the sounded breath according to the written context. By this innovation, the aleph-beth was able to greatly reduce the necessary number of characters for a written script to just twenty-two—a simple set of signs that could be readily practiced and learned in a brief period by anyone who had the chance, even by a young child. The utter simplicity of this technical innovation was such that the early Semitic aleph-beth, in which were written down the various stories and histories that were later gathered into the Hebrew Bible, was adopted not only by the Hebrews but by the Phonecians (who presumably carried the new technology across the Mediterranean to Greece), the Aramaeans, the Greeks, the Romans, and indeed eventually gave rise (directly or indirectly) to virtually every alphabet known, including that which I am currently using to scribe these words. With the advent of the aleph-beth, a new distance opens between human culture and the rest of nature. To be sure, pictographic and ideographic writing already involved a displacement of our sensory participation from the depths of the animate environment to the flat surface of our walls, of clay tablets, of the sheet of papyrus. However, as we noted above, the written images themselves often related us back to the other animals and the environing earth. The pictographic glyph or character still referred, implicitly, to the animate phenomenon of which it was the static image; it was that worldly phenomenon, in turn, that provoked from us the sound of its name. The sensible phenomenon and its spoken name were, in a sense, still participant with one another—the name a sort of emanation of the sensible entity. With the phonetic aleph-beth, however, the written character no longer refers us to any sensible phenomenon out in the world, or even to the name of such a phenomenon (as with the rebus), but solely to a gesture to be made by the human mouth. There is a concerted shift of attention away from any outward or worldly reference of the pictorial image, away from the
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World)
By the end of the cold war, the prospect of nuclear winter had clouded every corner of our pop culture and psychology - a pervasive nightmare that the human experiment might be brought to an end by two jousting sets of proud, rivalrist tacticians. Just a few sets of twitchy hands hovering over the planet's self-destruct buttons. The threat of climate change is more dramatic still, and ultimately more democratic, with responsibility shared by each of us even as we shiver in fear of it. And yet we have processed that threat only in parts, typically not concretely or explicitly, displacing certain anxieties and inventing others, choosing to ignore the bleakest features of our possible future and letting our political fatalism and technological faith blur as though we've gone cross-eyed into a remarkably familiar consumer fantasy: that someone else will fix the problem for us - at no cost. Those more panicked are often hardly less complacent, living instead through climate fatalism as though it were climate optimism. Over the last few years, as the planet's own environmental rhythms seem to grow more fatalistic, skeptics have found themselves arguing not that climate change isn't happening, since extreme weather has made that undeniable, but that it's causes are unclear. Suggesting that the changes we are seeing are the result of natural cycles rather than human activities and interventions. It is a very strange argument. If the planet is warming at a terrifying pace and on a horrifying scale it should transparently concern us more, rather than less, that the warming is beyond our control, possibly even our comprehension. That we know global warming is our doing should be a comfort, not a cause for despair, however incomprehensibly large and complicated we find the processes that have brought it into being. That we know we are, ourselves, responsible for all it's punishing effects should be empowering, and not just perversely. Global warming is after all a human invention and the flip-side of our real time guilt is that we remain in command. No matter how out of control the climate system seems; with it's roiling typhones, unprecedented famines and heat waves, refugee crises and climate conflicts; we are all it's authors and still writing. Some, like our oil companies and their political patrons are more prolific authors than others. But the burden of responsibility is too great to be shouldered by a few however comforting it is to think all that is needed is for a few villians to fall. Each of us imposes some suffering on our future selves every time we flip on a light switch, buy a plane ticket, or fail to vote. Now we all share the responsibility to write the next act.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
The catastrophe in Children of Men is neither waiting down the road, nor has it already happened. Rather, it is being lived through. There is no punctual moment of disaster; the world doesn't end with a bang, it winks out, unravels, gradually falls apart. What caused the catastrophe to occur, who knows; its cause lies long in the past, so absolutely detached from the present as to seem like the caprice of a malign being: a negative miracle, a malediction which no penitence can ameliorate. Such a blight can only be eased by an intervention that can no more be anticipated than was the onset of the curse in the first place. Action is pointless; only senseless hope makes sense. Superstition and religion, the first resorts of the helpless, proliferate. But what of the catastrophe itself? It is evident that the theme of sterility must be read metaphorically, as the displacement of another kind of anxiety. I want to argue this anxiety cries out to be read in cultural terms, and the question the film poses is: how long can a culture persist without the new? What happens if the young are no longer capable of producing surprises?
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
The instructor suggested that an alternative exists for both of them. Understanding that both men and women are fundamentally intensely sexual alters the view of the world of the addict and coaddict alike. Each has to take responsibility for his or her own sexual feelings. Addicts no longer need to feel compelled to insane behavior in order to meet their needs. Coaddicts can focus their energy on developing their own sexuality as opposed to being obsessed with the sexuality of the addict. Sharing sexual initiative as well as economic opportunity can displace feelings of jeopardy and exploitation. When both addicts and coaddicts can accept their sexuality as an exciting and rich part of relationships, old myths that equate sexual feelings with being bad are dispelled. By challenging beliefs and cultural expectations, family members can find a path out of addiction.
Patrick J. Carnes (Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction)
This may bear witness to the bulldozing effect of Western dominance, which tends to destroy every indigenous aspect of the cultures with which it comes into contact, but it is not a good argument for the superiority of European music. American popular music has swept the world; but few musicians consider it better than the varieties of music which it has displaced.
Anthony Storr (Music and the Mind)
In the next millennium, as the modern nation state is relativized and national sovereignty is displaced into societal arrangements still to be invented, it will be increasingly evident that the major faiths are carriers of culture.
Francis George