cultural infantilism

The unconscious mind  will always strive to certain ends, depending on your goals and needs. When somebody treats you in such a way that they undermine your self-esteem and make you doubt your own judgement  they are working to create dependency in you to draw from that, even if they do not recognize this themselves.

In terms of finding friends who will listen, I really like Zimbabweans. There is still enough humanism in Zimbabwean culture for Zimbabweans to be able to listen to others, most of the time. In contemporary Western culture, we are going through a post-humanist phrase, where the person doesn’t really matter. It is like Kleinian “object relations” where a person is only important in terms of the function they serve for me. If they nurture me, I will accept that nurturing function, but I will not get to know the person since to do so is a strain and a burden and doesn’t serve my immediate needs.

The post-humanism of Western society is infantile since few people can afford to represent themselves as whole human beings, because they just get cut down.


3 thoughts on “cultural infantilism

  1. Hi Jen, yes, I like how you tied the first paragraph in with your analysis. I certainly have experienced what you describe here, not only on a personal level, but also on a structural, systemic level.

    With your analysis of Zimbabwean culture in relation to the ability to listen, would you make a correlation with the value of this being learned through oral traditions, or? I am not sure, as I do not know much of Zimbabwean culture, I am just curious if this would be a factor.

    This compartmentalizing of the person into segregated parts is very prevalent. People are treated as ojects; objectified for one's own means. Means to an end. The value placed on their immediate function, as you say. No time or interest in authentic dialogue. Also a conditioning process of the culture of capitalism, and classism.

    This dehumanizing process fosters division and apathy. And control, as you say, few can afford (quite literally) to present the values of compassion and integrity. The very values we need to become whole.

  2. Hi

    With regard to Zimbabwe, it isn't oral culture that makes Zimbabwe more humanist. It's just that the logic of late industrial capitalism hasn't reached Zimbabwe to the same degree that it has reached, and pervaded Western culture. One can consider Zimbabwe to be in a kind of time warp vis-a-vis most of global culture.

  3. Right. I hear you, and I see the connection in your thesis statement. Thank you for your clarification. I think the practice of listening is fascinating in and of itself. In Canada, being such a young country compartively, listening has definitely been defined as a practice driven by the principles of economics.

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