making progress in multicultural times
In the age of multiculturalism, globalization and extreme fast communication, we should ask about danger of losing self-identity (in a private context) and ending civilizations (in a global context).
We saw the end of many civilizations: Hellenes, Romans, Aztecs, even Macedonians with Alexander the Great at the front. Despite the fact, that Macedonians were interested in different cultures, they gave a big autonomy to conquered nations, they stayed in military conflict with them. I think that Macedonians looked at The Other with curiosity but without understanding and adaptation, so without making progress.
Being closed and scared of changes, brings civilizations an alienation and an autodestruction. Only progress (which is always connected with changes and crisis) guaranty surviving.
I am impressed by Hindu — almost the oldest civilization in the world which still exists. They found balance between keeping their fundamental rules, cultural qualities and adapting some western values. Exchange of cultures is the first step to make progress.
We shouldn’t be afraid of total homogenization or losing identity, because there is still very strong attachment to particular traditions in each society. What we should be afraid is being radical, xenophobic, hostile to the Other.