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Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean$
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Franco Cassano, Norma Bouchard, and Valerio Ferme

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233649

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233649.001.0001

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The Fundamentalism of the Rat Race

The Fundamentalism of the Rat Race

(p.52) Chapter 4 The Fundamentalism of the Rat Race
Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean

Franco Cassano

Fordham University Press

When we talk about relationships “between” cultures, do we in fact place ourselves outside them, like an unconnected and impartial judge (as the word “between” would suggest), or do we play the old game where one of the sides disguises itself as the third? Can one reflect on the relationship between cultures while neglecting the negative conditioning that the stronger culture exercises on the weaker one? Is the cultural model of the West, with its power and its constant tendency toward expansion, capable of tolerating societies governed by different organizational principles and by cultural models not founded on constant dynamics and on unlimited production? Conversely, can a cultural model founded on parameters that differ from production and consumerist models resist nowadays the cultural (but also economic and political) attacks of the West? This chapter examines cultural truism and deculturation, how competition breeds losers, the fundamentalism of the rat race, and the religion of ownership and consumption.

Keywords:   culture, rat race, fundamentalism, West, cultural truism, deculturation, competition, ownership, consumption

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