I personally believe that both biodiversity and cultural diversity are threatened by the influence of mankind and that it is important to keep individual civilizations relatively separate to protect variation throughout the planet. Plant, animal and human life are all affected by man’s ever growing presence, and without proper measures to negate this, I believe that the specific lines between societal and biological diversity will become more blurred and less defined. I feel that it is necessary for governments and establishments to endeavor to protect cultural diversity in order to avoid the possibility of mankind eventually becoming an analogous race. Even though I do see the benefits of communication and relations between cultures, I think it is best to keep societal values and concepts protected to preserve the diversity and variability within the human race. Although cultural differences can sometimes lead to disputes between races, I see this as a natural byproduct of the truly dissimilar species known as humanity.
            To illustrate this issue, following the end of World War II, the United States and Allied forces greatly influenced the reformation of the Japanese government and political system. Due to allied manipulation, various aspects of Japanese culture were compromised. For example, the emperor of Japan, long believed to be a descendent of a Shinto sun goddess, was forced to reject his proclaimed divinity. In essence, the emperor was forced to deny an aspect of Japanese culture that had been rooted in the nation’s society for many centuries. Additionally, the allied forces also brought great reformation to the Japanese government and lifestyle to fit the post-war world. Ethics and intentions of the Allies aside, this incident illustrates how mankind can greatly influence and corrode cultural diversity if left unprotected. Admittedly, these modifications were made to the Japanese culture due to post-war proceedings, but I believe this idea is absolutely the case no matter the situation. For example, like an endangered animal species on the verge of extinction, various cultures, like that of the Native Americans, have been greatly reduced thanks to shifts in mankind’s influence. In the same way that plant and animal life are threatened by industrialization, cultures that are traditionally rooted in the preservation of life, again like that of the Native Americans, are also threatened in the process. Although the United States has made efforts to preserve what remains of dying cultures, I believe more should be done to prevent irreparable damages. I personally feel that more could be done to protect cultures that lack urbanization and that are unfit to thrive in the modern world.
            I can understand why some might suggest that certain unions, treaties and relations between civilizations can be beneficial as they can lead to more cohesiveness and less complications between nations, but I believe these unions need to be as least obtrusive as possible. For example, I recognize that the European Union has helped bring unity to parts of Europe with things like the Euro, but I can also see the possibility of cultural conformity if left unchecked. One thing that makes the European Union successful is the fact that it respects the cultural differences between the nations that participate in the alliance. The nations unite on common grounds, but still operate as individual countries. The union succeeds because endeavors by the governments are being made to protect the diversity within the nations. As I previously stated, governmental action needs to be taken to preserve cultural diversity, and I believe that this is mostly the case with the European Union. However, I don’t believe arguing about the success of unions is valid because plenty of unions can fail due to cultural diversity and lack of leadership. For example, the precursor to the United Nations, the League of Nations, didn’t succeed at uniting the various countries partially due to a lack of cohesion and differing cultural views. Put simply, unions can fail and certain and their existence doesn’t necessarily equate to peace. Even today, Palestinian and Israeli forces are often at arms with each other due to cultural diversity despite being members of the United Nations. Unions aren't perfect and can fail, despite the best efforts of governmental forces. 

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    Jesse Kephart

    Attending Arizona State University. Likes Jello. Dislikes dirty laundry.


    April 2013
    March 2013
    February 2013



    Heading Photo Source: (2012). Japan flag. (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://th04.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/f/2011/231/1/8/japan_flag_by_think0-d475b7l.jpg