Articles about Culture
1-50 of 182
Early Men and Women Were Equal, Say scientists
Study shows that modern hunter-gatherer tribes operate on egalitarian basis, suggesting inequality was an aberration that came with the advent of agriculture Our prehistoric forebears are often portrayed as spear-wielding savages, but the earliest human societies are likely...
The Woman Who Chose to Plant Corn
Not long ago, a Diné (Navajo) friend of mine, Lyla June Johnston, sent me a one-line email: “I am not going to Harvard… I am going to plant corn.” Her statement signals a profound divergence from the path she’d set out on when she was an undergraduate at Stanford University...
Ecocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction
Recent scientific reports about climate change make grim reading. A paper published in The Economic Journal by the respected UK economist Lord Stern states that the models previously used to calculate the economic effects of climate change have been ‘woefully inadequate.’...
How Values Work
Following decades of research and hundreds of cross-cultural studies, psychologists have identified a number of consistently-occurring human values. Early researchers into human motivations discovered a surprising consistency in the things people said they valued in life...
20 Principles for Successful Community Organizing
1. Most people are motivated primarily by self-interest. As a creative community organizer, you are always trying to figure out people’s common self-interest, the glue that binds political organizations and movements. 2. Institutions and people that hold power over others...
What Are We Greedy For?
A lot of people reacted to my comment on Facebook the other day that greed is more a symptom than a cause of our current system, with all its inequities. I’m asked, What is the cause of greed? First I’ll say what I think greed is: Greed is the insatiable desire for that which...
The More a Society Coerces Its People, the Greater the Chance of Mental Illness
Throughout history, societies have existed with far less coercion than ours. While these societies have had far fewer consumer goods and less of what modernity calls “efficiency,” they also have had far less mental illness. This reality has been buried, not surprisingly, by...
Nature Needs a New Pronoun: To Stop the Age of Extinction, Let's Start by Ditching "It"
Calling the natural world “it” absolves us of moral responsibility and opens the door to exploitation. Here's what we can say instead. Singing whales, talking trees, dancing bees, birds who make art, fish who navigate, plants who learn and remember. We are surrounded by...
This Is What Humanity's Impact On The Planet Looks Like
A new photo book from conservation experts aims to shine a light on humanity's impact on the planet and convince people to think about their contribution. Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot includes photos and essays exploring man's complicated relationship with the...
Anthropology Is so Important, All Children Should Learn it
Anthropology, the study of humankind, should be the first of all the sciences our children encounter, writes Marc Brightman, with its singular capacity to inspire the imagination, broaden the mind and open the heart. Moves to downgrade it in the education system by those who...
Judgement
Many people have little trouble confessing to being hard on themselves, to being “my own worst critic” or to being a perfectionist. They are, after all, merely confessing to something that our culture upholds as a virtue: the struggle against the self. People are generally...
Does the Supreme Leader Truly Love Our Land Mass? A Funny Satire About Corporate, Mass Media Humans
10 Quotes From a Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent...
Revolution without Upheaval: A Manual Of Change
When we talk about saving the world, what world are we talking about? Not the globe itself, obviously. But also not the biological world—the world of life. The world of life, strangely enough, is not in danger (though thousands and perhaps even millions of species are). Even...
The Culture of Maximum Harm
This is an excerpt from Beyond Civilization, pages 109-118. Read more here or you can check your local bookstore to buy a print copy. People have lived many different ways on this planet, but about ten thousand years ago there appeared one people who believed everyone in the...
Wanted: Men Who Love
Every female wants to be loved by a male. Every woman wants to love and be loved by the males in her life. Whether gay or straight, bisexual or celibate, she wants to feel the love of father, grandfather, uncle, brother, or male friend.
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to remove everybody from the face of the earth, because humans GENERATE toxic waste, whether it be...
Our Religions: Are they the Religions of Humanity Itself?
Contrary to popular opinion, Charles Darwin did not originate the idea of evolution. By the middle of the 19th century, the mere fact of evolution had been around for a long time, and most thinkers of the time were perfectly content to leave it at that. The absence of a...
We Need a New Story for Our Relationship with the Earth, One that Goes Beyond Science and Religion
It is no secret that the Earth is in trouble and that we humans are to blame. Just knowing these grim facts, however, won’t get us very far. We have to transform this knowledge into a deep passion to change course. But passion does not come primarily from the head; it is a...
Violence Is a Preventable Brain Disorder
‘Think of a world without war, a world of social justice, a world of ecological sustainability.’ This is how Robin Grille starts his talk at TEDX Pittwater. Robin is a psychologist, author, educator and advocate for children who is not alone in his dream for a better world...
The Lessons Ancient People Have for Us
From the San and the Kogi: Value community and cooperation; we are part of the world, not separate from it. One of the oldest cultures on Earth is that of the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in the northern parts of South Africa. The exclamation point in their name...
The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure...
Recovering Our Sense of Place, Reconnecting with Pachamama
The popular expression, “there is no place like home” can echo deep within the fiber of our beings. Remembering our homes intuitively invokes a sense of place for many of us. A sense of place or rootedness can awaken feelings of comfort, love, belonging, peace and security...
The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree, Brutality's Never Far Away
They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death. After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I...
Mutiny of the Soul
Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new. When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and...
Ursula K. Le Guin on the Future of the Left
When you’re given the opportunity to publish Ursula K. Le Guin, you leap at it—even if you’re ​ostensibly a fiction magazine and what lands on your desk is one of Le Guin’s political essays. It’s all connected, anyways. The recent ​National Book Award-winner and science...
The End of War
Feedback from my lecture at the Green Party annual meeting has been trickling in, and it seems that the talk wasn’t as well-received as I thought at the time. The people who walked out in the first five minutes – maybe they didn’t have to go to the bathroom after all, as I’d...
Disorderly Conduct
Last weekend I decided I would get the kids outdoors for a little time in nature. The Susquehanna River was frozen over, with the most remarkable ice formations. Even though the water is not deep in this part of the river, ice somehow piled up several feet. The photograph...
#Leftistshark: Katy Perry's Super Bowl Left Shark plus Noam Chomsky quotes
From Boing Boing with meme-love. You're welcome.
How America's Sporting Events Have Turned into Mass Religious Events to Bless Wars and Militarism
BOSTON, Jul 7, 2014 —On Saturday I went to one of the massive temples across the country where we celebrate our state religion. The temple I visited was Boston’s Fenway Park. I was inspired to go by reading Andrew Bacevich’s thoughtful book “Breach of Trust: How Americans...
Why the Macho Sludge Peddled by 'American Sniper' Is Really Cowardice
Martin Luther King Jr. exemplifies real bravery in "Selma." Well, you can beat on your chest / Hell, any monkey can. —Bruce Springsteen, “Real Man” In an essay on Theodore Roosevelt, Gore Vidal classified the former president and known tough guy as an “American sissy.” He...
Why Hollywood War Propaganda Like 'American Sniper' Is So Effective
Following the release of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper,the masses of America have been chomping at the bit to slaughter Muslims. The film, which portrays the deadliest sniper in United States history, is a hit among the sect of Americans that tends to demonize Hollywood...
Killing Ragheads for Jesus: On Watching 'American Sniper'
“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that...
The Cost of Whiteness
Most white Americans believe they were born white. Yet their own stories of early racial experiences describe persons who were bred white. Which is it-nature or nurture? Neither. The social process that creates whites produces persons who must think of their whiteness as a...
The Demon in Darren Wilson's Head
In his testimony before the St. Louis County Grand Jury, Darren Wilson said he felt like a five-year-old peering into the face of someone who “looks like a demon” as he wrestled with Michael Brown, the black teen he later shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri. In other...
Top Five Counter-culture magazines
In tribute to Charlie Hebdo, we select our favourite radical publications which challenge authority with every issue. Charlie Hebdo’s willingness to offend traces its way back to France’s radical post-war activists and intellectuals who helped ignite the student revolts...
The New Story: Why Changing the Myth Changes Our world
Alan Heeks explores the pathways that can take us from the ‘old story’ of addictive materialism into a new, creative and regenerative post-industrial society. Since earliest times, people have created stories to make sense of their world. In 1978, Thomas Berry1 coined the...
If We Want to End This World's Tragic Cycles of Violence, We're Going to Have to Do Something Extremely Radical
When every cultural force beckons us to hate, to harden our hearts and vilify the other, we must have the courage to look, deeply, with an intention to understand. To ignore the rage of the dispossessed, to dismiss it without understanding its roots, will not bring us any...
Charlie Hebdo: Middle East Blowback?
After the Paris massacre, European governments should resist narratives of civilizational conflict and push for a ceasefire in the Syrian war. The recent attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left a dozen editors and cartoonists dead, has renewed...
To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This
More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four...
The Beginning of the American Fall
A comics report by Stephanie McMillan about two movements that converged on Washington DC, Stop the Machine and Occupy DC.
Mourning the Parisian Journalists Yet Noticing the Hypocrisy
As the editor of a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine that has often articulated views that have prompted condemnation from both Right and Left, I had good reason to be scared by the murders of fellow journalists in Paris. Having won the 2014 "Magazine of the Year"...
Charlie Hebdo: We Must Grieve the Dead Without Misconstruing Racism as Democratic Ideal
The recent attack on the headquarters of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo was devastating, underscoring violent times under the treacherous shadow of terrorism. We must take care not to lace our grief with hate, vengeance and more violence by misconstruing our...
Charlie Hebdo: This Attack Was Nothing To Do With Free Speech - It Was About War
In less than an hour of the dreadful shooting of 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the politicians had already started to lie to their own public. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, declared that, “freedom of expression is not able to be killed by this kind of...
We're Making a Mistake If We Let a Mass Slaughter Become a Debate about Cartoons
Yes, Charlie Hebdo was a magazine that delighted in controversy and provocation. Yes, it skewered religion and took joy in giving offense. Yes, the magazine knowingly antagonized extremists — Charlie Hebdo's web site had been hacked and its offices firebombed before today...
Activists Plastered the Tube with Posters Telling People Their Jobs Are Bullshit
This morning, many sleepy, grumpy, bloated people across the country returned to their jobs for the first time since before Christmas. Some of those people in London – the country's largest hub of early morning misery – were made to stop and consider the numb feeling inside...
Why Men Are So Obsessed with Sex
Have you ever encountered a baby whose gender is unknown to you? Not knowing can feel profoundly uncomfortable. We barely realize how great the differences are in how we treat male and female people, and in what we expect of them. These differences are by no means subtle...
A Circle of Gifts
Wherever I go and ask people what is missing from their lives, the most common answer (if they are not impoverished or seriously ill) is “community.” What happened to community, and why don’t we have it any more? There are many reasons – the layout of suburbia, the...
Zombie Apocalypse and the Politics of Artificial Scarcity
Dystopian narratives have long been an alluring and thought-provoking form of entertainment, especially for those who take an interest in studying social and political structures. From classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World to the current hit, The Hunger...
Race 101: Colorblindness and the Privilege of Not Seeing Race
For white folks to claim that race should not matter is to reveal that race has never negatively impacted us. The invented supremacy of whiteness has provided us with privilege and power in politics, social institutions, and our personal and professional lives, making it a...