Cultural Sovereignty Cultural sovereignty sounds like a good idea, but like every good idea someone can find a way to make it bad. Many peoples have attempted to achieve cultural sovereignty, and yet to my knowledge it has not succeeded. There will always be someone out there that wants that piece of land, or believes that their ways are better. In this day and age it is my belief that cultural sovereignty is not plausible. Right now in Iraq, a majority of people would like to set up their own government that is based on their religious beliefs. It is what the people want, that is what they feel, is best for them, but the U.
N. , and or the United States thinks it’s a better idea for the people of Iraq to have a democracy just like ours. The people of Iraq are being prevented from having their own cultural sovereignty. One of the most notorious men in the twentieth century, Adolph Hitler, wanted cultural sovereignty. Except he wanted his culture to be the only one in the world, he started with the systematic extermination of Jews, blacks, homosexuals, and the disabled. His plans, if they had succeeded, were to eventually spread his culture to the western hemisphere.
His systematic extermination of people is probably the most famous attempt for cultural sovereignty. Manifest Destiny was the American peoples attempt at cultural sovereignty in the 1850’s. Their conviction was that the countries superior institutions and culture gave Americans a God given right; some even felt that it was an obligation, to spread their civilization across the continent. People thought that America had a unique society, the absorption of the Louisiana territory, rapid population growth, and advances in technology and industry gave Americans a strong feeling that they had something unique. Manifest Destiny was only the justification for expansion not the cause.
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this is one of few successful attempts at cultural sovereignty. In “Things Fall Apart” there was a well functioning Ibo Tribe. Their ways had kept the tribe together for centuries. In the 1850’s when the Christian missionaries came to Africa, they openly stated that the religious beliefs and government system to which they had lived by for centuries was wrong. The missionaries felt that Christianity was the only way, and that their English colonial rule was the only way to live by. People like Okonkwo wanted their sovereignty, not a white man from a continent away to now be his leader…
Eventually the ways of the Ibo culture disappeared as more and more people left their native beliefs and converted to Christianity and were replaced with western culture. The area that Okonkwo was from, Nigeria became a British Province. The majority of the population in the twentieth century spoke English and practiced Christianity. They were also ruled by British law.
Post-World War II brought about political pressure form other countries, for Britain to de-colonize their colonies, one of which was Nigeria the homeland of Okonkwo. It left the people of Nigeria in turmoil. Different tribal areas battling for control over the country, left the country to endure massacres from military leaders jockeying for control and the organization or proliferation of their own culture sovereignty. Whole Soyinka, states in an article that he dreams of Africa as a continent to get together and redefine the boarders of Africa. He realizes that with all these leaders eager to keep their title as “king toad” that no one will every really sit down and talk of “Humanity which is entrapped within those ponds.” He wants to give each separate culture their own land in which they lived in before European colonization. The problem that remains is who is honest enough and can remember who lived where and where boarders were before western civilization drew the boarders of today.
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You would have another Palestine. In today’s day and age I do not believe that cultural sovereignty is possible. There are too many “King Toads” that believe their ways are superior, and in some cases the most humane. Someone will always be there to suppress the ways of others.
Maybe one day when the world isn’t so worried about boarders or domination, cultural sovereignty may be possible. I am still undecided though weather or not I would want to live in a were all Christians live here and Jewish live here.