Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development.
Some of these disparities have been among racial or ethnic groups, some among nations, and some among regions, continents, or whole civilizations.
In the nineteenth century, real per capita income in the Balkans was about one-third that in Britain. That dwarfs intergroup disparities that many in the United States today regard as not merely strange but sinister.
Singapore has a median per capita income that is literally hundreds of times greater than that in Burma. During the rioting in Indonesia last year, much of it directed against the ethnic Chinese in that country, some commentators found it strange that the Chinese minority, which is just 5 percent of the Indonesian population, owned an estimated four-fifths of the capital in the country.
But it is not strange. Such disparities have long been common in other countries in Southeast Asia, where Chinese immigrants typically entered poor and then prospered, creating whole industries in the process.
People from India did the same in much of East Africa and in Fiji.
Occupations have been similarly unequal. In the early s, Jews were just 6 percent of the population of Hungary and 11 percent of the population of Poland, but they were more than half of all the physicians in both countries, as well as being vastly over-represented in commerce and other fields.
By the late twentieth century, it was estimated that 17 percent of the people in the world produce four-fifths of the total output on the planet. Such examples could be multiplied longer than you would have the patience to listen.
In some cases, we can trace the reasons, but in other cases we cannot. A more fundamental question, however, is: Why should anyone have ever expected equality in the first place?
Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that not only every racial or ethnic group, but even every single individual in the entire world, has identical genetic potential.
If it is possible to be even more extreme, let us assume that we all behave like saints toward one another. Would that produce equality of results?
Real income consists of output and output depends on inputs. These inputs are almost never equal-- or even close to being equal. During the decade of the s, for example, the Chinese minority in Malaysia earned more than a hundred times as many engineering degrees as the Malay majority.
Halfway around the world at the same time, the majority of the population of Nigeria, living in its northern provinces, were just 9 percent of the students attending that country's University of Ibadan and just 2 percent of the much larger number of Nigerian students studying abroad in foreign institutions of higher learning.
In the Austrian Empire inthe illiteracy rate among Polish adults was 40 percent and among Serbo-Croatians 75 percent-- but only 6 percent among the Germans. Given similar educational disparities among other groups in other countries-- disparities in both the quantity and quality of education, as well as in fields of specialization-- why should anyone expect equal outcomes in incomes or occupations?
Educational differences are just one source of economic disparities. Even at the level of craft skills, groups have differed enormously, as they have in urbanization. During the Middle Ages, and in some places long beyond, most of the population of the cities in Slavic Eastern Europe were not Slavs.
Germans, Jews, and other non-Slavic peoples were the majority populations in these cities for centuries, while the Slavs were predominantly peasants in the surrounding countrysides. Prior to the yearthe official records of the city of Cracow were kept in German-- and the transition that year was to Latin.
Only decades later did Poles become a majority of the population of Cracow. Only over a period of centuries did the other cities of Slavic Eastern Europe acquire predominantly Slavic populations.
As late as97 percent of the people living in the cities of Byelorussia were not Byelorussians. Until this long transition to urban living took place among the Slavs, how could the wide range of skills typically found in cities be expected to exist in populations that lived overwhelmingly in the countryside?
Not only did they not have such skills in Eastern Europe, they did not have them when they immigrated to the United States, to Australia, or to other countries, where they typically worked in low-level occupations and earned correspondingly low incomes.Free Essay: Race and Religion in American Culture Race and religion are two concepts in American culture that can really tie people together, or clearly.
While people of a certain culture might tend to practice a certain type of religion, this does not mean that the god is a part of the culture. Instead it means that the religion is a part of the culture, and the god is a part of that religion.
While there are a lot of similarities, there are still a lot of differences as well. The connection between popular culture and religion is an enduring part of American life.
With seventy-five percent new content, the third edition of this multifaceted and popular collection has been revised and updated throughout to provide greater religious diversity in its topics and address critical developments in the study of religion and popular culture.
Religion Dispatches. Religion Dispatches is your independent, non-profit, award-winning source for the best writing on critical and timely issues at the intersection of religion, politics, and culture.
May 16, · Culture and Religion are not the same, though they are very close. There are various theories that suggest a model of relationship between them. Religion and Culture [Michel Foucault, Jeremy Carrette] on feelthefish.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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