Human and Cultural Values
Salova Olesya 11
UNESCO defines culture as an
"aggregate of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional
traits, which characterizes a society or a social group. It includes,
alongside with arts and literature, ways of life, basic human rights, systems
of values, customs and traditions, and faiths". This is the definition that
helps to articulate the concept of cultural dimension of development.
Obviously, the concept of cultural
dimension cannot be tackled as a usual one, as long as it represents the
fundamental reference to measure and compare the importance of other factors.
No development or modernization will be real and sustainable unless it makes
allowance for and turns to good account the power of culture; unless it does
not ignore the life style, values systems, traditions, faiths, talents and
knowledge of the human community. The decision-making persons who neglect the
cultural dimension will be punished by the generations to come. The famous
Romanian writer Nocolae Iorga says that "without a culture banner a people is
not an army but a band". In other words it is culture that defines us as an
entity, unites and inspires us and rallies us to progress and ideal. The
modernization, which does not take into account the cultural dimension,
focusing exclusively towards external (foreign) models, shuts off the domestic
potential of creativity and diminishes the resistance capacity of society
against the sterile and or dangerous cultural influences.
And on the contrary, laying stress on
the cultural dimension of development, favors synergies: including not only
the adoption of concrete measures to improve the situation in the priority
sectors such as education, communications, science and technology,
agriculture, health, etc. It also implies encouraging the creativity spirit of
local people to find proper solutions for the problems any society faces in
its process of qualitative transformation. The example of Japan and other
prosperous Asian dragons proves that one can eclectically choose the
techniques and patters to be followed, providing they are assimilable from the
cultural point of view. The development of new technologies, globalization
respond to the over growing needs of the society, to the relative importance
paid to meet them, and to the desire to apply new, different solutions in
practical matters, calling to the creative imagination, perspicacity,
resourcefulness and experience of people. The implementation of new
technologies often generates new social conditions, which, at their turn, form
values and needs, thus catalyzing the progress. The uttered goal of the human
development is to improve the living standards of the population in a country.
The issue is to find the most efficient and urgent methods and means necessary
to attain this goal. The implantation of the European economic pattern,
without taking mechanically over the value system it is based on, its proper
adjustment to the local traditions, involving also the active and committed
participation of citizens, inspires hopes, and not only in the Republic of
Moldova. The economic success of Western countries, alongside with the
political, cultural and military advantages, always fascinates, persuading
other countries to plead for their model of development, for a western
economic and social structure and especially for a western consumption and
life styles, despite the local values and social and economic structures, very
different in many cases. In order to fairly and judiciously evaluate the
pro-culture policies it is necessary to apply for help to other disciplines
and sciences (not only sociology and economics, but also history, law, ethics,
etc.). A conjugation of synthetic knowledge is required — not very popular in
this part of the world - in order to objectively appreciate the components of
public policies in favor of culture: their past and present, the vectors and
core lines of cultural field, the agents and decision making bodies (State,
judets, communes, domain partners of local public administration, (more active
as far as opinions are concerned than far-reaching actions), trade unions,
diverse clubs, sponsors etc.); the relationships between the Ministry of
Culture as the main decision making body and other ministries and departments;
the artistic education, the network for training the administrators and
cultural amateurs... Following from the socioeconomic configuration of our
present evolution, all the aforementioned components are important due to
their social impact. It is up to each country and its decision making bodies
to decide on how to make use of the cultural trumps from the perspective of
modernization, But imposing the respect and public recognition of the
importance of arts, culture and science as agents of human development, is an
urgent imperative when the major task is to build a state starting from the
reconstruction of economy based on modern principles, and draw at the same
time the local population into profound political and social reforms.
'Culture is the essential spring
necessary to open a new horizon of real hopes and perspectives for the young
people, who are looking not only for a job good enough to assure a decent
life, but especially for a system of reference and a mobilizing elan...
Ended, culture is unable to
immediately solve the urgent problems a society is facing. Its actions and
results are lent and require time to get mature, but without the proper
cultural instruments the task to improve the quality of life is almost
impossible. Art and culture must be supported by the governments to realize
the special role they have in the process of building a new society (not less
valuable than the one of abolishing the old regime), to dynamically and
positively solidarize, getting rid of negativism and the Phanariot attitude "
don't disturb me and I won't disturb you" and a total detachment from the
public affairs (from Latin res publics). Today the sate policy on
culture must set up strict, objective, competent, and judicious norms and
rules and assure their observance (regardless the rank, social status, party,
ethnicity, confession!) in order to favor the total access to highly valued
cultural and artistic achievements and stimulate creativity.
The cultural sector, fluctuant and
hard to quantize, is very often marginalized compared to other sectors as for
instance economy, justice, defense, health. In reality, elaboration of a
coherent, fair and balanced cultural policy is one of the most complex
priorities for the present government. It is not the question of the quantity
of administrative resources - on this changing ground, the individual action
of just one or several personalities may unleash events of far-reaching
effects, while considerable sums of money could be thrown away without any
social result - but of the capacity of competent bodies to formulate tactic
decisions, which would stimulate synergies to bring forward concrete
objectives, to fairly make use of all the money coming from the tax payers, to
efficiently propagate culture, to respect the relationship between society,
art and cultural patrimony, avoiding the elitism trap, art isolation, and
catalyzing the emergency of "fan" and horizontal actions.
"Human values are conceptions of
basic categories of desired."
... are concepts...
In their essence, human values are
cognitive representations of human motives. They are not direct perceptions of
needs nor are they other feelings. Values are conceptions, by reason reshaped
ideas of what is good and desired for an individual.
Values are unconditionally desired to
everyone. Their importance can be judged only relatively - in relation to
other values. No higher measure ("supervalue") exists which could be used to
judge the importance of human values.
... of basic categories ...
There are not many values, because
they are the broadest motivational categories. There are as many personal
values as there are basic human motives (biological and social).
risk being lost. We feel as if being
carried away by a delirious crowd.
Which direction should we follow?
Where is the cultural and social progress? A useless, methodical,
myopic impoverishment of natural resources is spreading outward, without
taking into account sustainable development.
Individuals living in countries
governed by totalitarian regimes often close themselves up, trying to defend
their personality and values.
We wonder whether the lack of
democracy in those countries may have preserved some of the ancient values.
Human values are an individual matter,
because each person judges what is good and important and what is not.
These judgments relate to things that
are good and important for him personally, for a social group he belongs to or
the society as whole and in general. The taxonomy of human values should
answer questions: "Which human values exist in reality?", "How many human
values exist?" and "How can we classify human values in a logical system (What
are the relations among human values)?"
Because human values are the
conceptions of basic categories of desired and because their number is the
same as the number of basic human motives, my list consists of the following
social gathering hobbies / free time
food / drink
property / money
beauty / art
power / influence
moral, ethical principles
new experiences / adventures
personal safety / health
children partner / love
rest job / work
parents / home
freedom / independence
pleasure / comfort
prestige / fame
faith / God
knowledge / wisdom