Culture Capitalization

Global industrial manufactured culture, culture commodified, produces a world-wide monoculture or dominant culture of the least common denominator.  The products of this culture are for mass consumption.  Books and movies must have mass appeal.  Cultural diversity is compatible with this global culture because a few of us want something different than what is popular.  Local cultures cost more money, but they can be capitalized and commodified for sale.  The process of developing a local culture in Louisiana is one of inventing a product that people will want to buy.  However, there is no incentive for a person to speak French in their home because the products of the invented culture are intended for cultural tourists.  The problem is not how to preserve French culture in Louisiana, but to develop a modern culture that addresses the needs and desires of the people who live there.  What is the value of speaking French to a person living in the United States?  For me, it means that I can read books that have not been translated into English (yet).  Legislating cultural change appears to be a quixotic approach.  However, cultural activists could use legislation to put up barriers which level the field of competition between the local culture and the global commercial culture.  Cultural fences are not always welcomed by people who find themselves separated from each other.  In reality, how is a novel written by a “Frenchman” in Louisiana different in its concerns than a novel written by a European?  We are, after all, humans and the biggest concerns are those that affect all of us.


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