“That is precisely the subject of a conversation I had one day with an elderly Englishman and longtime local resident. His view:
That the strength of Europe and of its culture, in contrast to other cultures, lies in its bent for criticism, above all , for self criticism –in its art of analysis and inquiry, in its endless seeking , in its restlessness.The European mind recognizes that it has limitations, accepts its imperfections, is skeptical , doubtful , questioning.
Other cultures do not have this critical spirit. More- they are inclined to pride , to thinking that all that belongs to them is perfect ; they are , in short, uncritical in relation to themselves. They lay the blame for all that is evil on others, on other forces ( conspiracies , agents , foreign domination of one sort or another ). They consider all criticism to be a malevolent attack , a sign of discrimination , of racism , etc. Representatives of these cultures treat criticism as a personal insult, as a deliberate attempt to humiliate them. Instead of being self-critical , they are full of grudges , complexes , envies , peeves , manias. The effect of all this is that they are culturally , permanently , structurally incapable of progress , incapable of engendering within themselves the will to transform and evolve.”
From The shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscžnski.
Ayşe Demokan Kudat’a teşekkürler.