What is it about the prefix “iso” that is important to isoculturalism? Does it stand for something? Does it have it’s own meaning? Could it mean that there is the desire to see cultures become isolated? Do we desire to look at culture differently isometrically?
Egoculturalism however, seems to be more clear. When you take from someone’s culture to build your own. We try to tolerate other cultures in attempt to allow our’s to glean the few little things we like so that our culture is stronger. “Ego”culturalism seems obvious. But why “Iso”culturalism? What is it about the iso?
When trying to develop a term for the concept of isoculturalism, many things needed to be considered. It was clear that there needed to be a connection and perhaps relationship with all of the other “culturalism” terms out there. But what would it be. There needed to be something in the term that would cause reflection on what this new view of culture would adopt.
“Isos” in the greek language expresses equality. While Isoculturalism does not dream about equal cultures as it has been viewed in the past, equality was a concept to be understood. However, with consideration of the difference between cultural equality and the view of isoculturalism, it seemed prudent to start with a goal that many already have in common. The goal of equality. Yet the bar would be raised above equality. The evolution of culture could see a new and higher goal… Isoculturalism.
In George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, there was a scene in the book when the pigs had finally won some ground. The view up until this point was that “all animals are equal”. But this view of equality would not stand up under the pressure of leadership. It seemed that the pigs felt that their pig culture was a little more advanced than that of the others. It was at this point, that pigs became more equal.
This is how it seems to be with people. Orwell’s commentary stands the test of time. When we look for equality, it is usually not to bring others up to our level. It appears that we do so in order to bring them up, and then retain who we are. Human nature is for us to be more equal. This is where Isoculturalism dreams of a higher goal.
Equality is a good goal. It is not the best goal. When we start aiming for equality, the goal of isoculturalism is, that one can see the people in the other cultures and attempt to build them up apart from culture. Simply seeing people as people is the starting point. In order for us to act in this culturally altruistic sense, we must evolve, past simple survival. We must dream of things bigger than having all of the animals as equals.
Just like in Orwell’s tale, equality can not succeed. People desire to be above others. It is in our disposition. But in a relationship, a good healthy relationship, equality comes close when each individual submits to the other, helping them become a better person. This is the dream of isoculturalism. When we see all cultures as worthy of being in relationship with, and then we submit to them to build them up. Imagine if others build you up. Imagine if you built others up. Imagine if all the cultures of the world came together to support each other selflessly. That is an evolved globalization. This is a higher goal. This, is Isoculturalism.