Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Vampires and Society


Before we get started, here’s a pic of Spike and Drusilla, ‘cause they’re cool. They were the Sid and Nancy of the vampire set (at least until Joss Whedon ruined Spike’s character in Season 4), and they live on in my heart as my favorite undead couple. Admittedly, that’s a pretty limited subset, but there you go.

Dan and I were talking the other night about cultures, and Dan asked me the other night what makes a good culture. Now, I’ll freely admit that I’m not what you’d call a cultural relativist. Although I respect that different people have different cultures, I am willing to pronounce certain aspects of those cultures (even my own) wrong if I think they are. Anyway, I gave it some thought, and I came up with three elements I believe fundamental to good cultures. They are…

Diversity: The society is a welcoming place for people of various backgrounds: ethnic, economic, sexual, and intellectual. Citizens are not only free to be who they are, but to express these differences in art, music, academia and science.

Consistency: Citizens are treated in an even-handed fashion by their government, regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or economic status. They can reasonably expect fair and equitable treatment in all matters of law.

Community: Despite the diversity of the citizenry, the society possesses a strong sense of communal good. Citizens understand that individual fulfillment is inextricably linked with the public good, and that a society is measured by how well it treats its most disadvantaged members.

What you think?

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