Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rorty and the Mission of the West

Following up a link on Euan's post to Rorty's speech in favour of Western intervention in non-Western countries where the aims are to alleviate suffering and oppression, one thing that struck me on reading it is that Rorty seems ignore the possibility that a sense of the intrinsic value of culture is consequent upon Western intervention. Arguably, it is precisely when societies have reached a certain point of development at the level of political institutions, general welfare and population mobility that 'tertiary needs' like the desire for a deeper sense of cultural identity are felt. A greater sense of cultural identity might in turn provoke resistence to further Westernization.

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