We humans have risen to great heights since we ascended from the animal kingdom from which we are said to have evolved. Or, have we?
From nuclear, to small, to large extended families, to clans, to tribes and, in the last 5 centuries or so, to nations – this has been the traditional path to modern societies. In Asia communalism yet prevails, as in the Mediterranean regions of Europe. I do not know if communalism applies in the rest of Europe. Presumably communalism arose from tribalism.
Yet, in the currently dominant nations of the West, those created anew by immigrants from Europe (including the British Isles) in the last half-millennium, individualism (with its non-cohering societal relations) prevails. These new nations are the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Individualism may have been unavoidable in the foundation periods; but later? So, without the intervention of the State, could these new nations have evolved uniform ways of life, underpinned by shared values, comparable to the long-established, time-tested, uniform ways of life in communal, possibly tribally-led Asian territories?
As a bicultural Asian-Australian, formed by the communalism of Asia, but with both feet firmly grounded in the West, I can see both sides of the sampan as I continue on my personal river of destiny. However, the indigenes in these new Western nations, whose cultures were severely damaged, if not destroyed, while the invader continuously undermined the limited economic resources left to them, have not shared in this new way of life. Their traditional communalism is all they have left to protect themselves from the predations of their uninvited rulers. See my article ‘A needed unity from a recent diversity’ in http://www.webdiary.com.au