Political culture of the world : Ayesha Bashir
Political culture in Political Science is a set of views of public and their judgements regarding the political system. In other words, it is a set of attitude and practices held by people which shape their political behavior. It is considered the reflection of government as it shapes population, political actions and perceptions.
However, political culture has been one of the sharpest tools of colonialists and imperialism in ancient times_ as well in medieval times contemporarily. Why are some states extreme and trying to impose their political culture on other states? In a realistic sense they do so because of their security and for the dream of being regional hegemon.
Howbeit, cultural imperialism is extremely a puzzle concept. It is based to influencing their culture of dominance on others. One can say that it is a soft power because it is imposed through music, television and films, which are very popular for young people and change people’s expectations of life and their desires for their own countries. Such as American lifestyle in the Soap Opera Dallas during cold war changed the expectations of Romanians and the influence of South Korean drama series in North Korea.
Why didn’t countries focus The bigg Daddy American products before 9/11? And why after 9/11 the American products were launched and used at every corner of the world in the name of war on terror?
In contemporary, global political culture is a great weapon in economy. The imported products represent certain values such as consumerism and the American companies are accused of wanting to control 95% of the world’s consumers good dissemination of American principles such as freedom and democracy. This method is being encouraged through the use of new information technology.
The countries which were the victims of cultural imperialism, are suffering from political and economic crisis and the citizens are not politically socialized, such as the African countries during the sramble of Africa in the period of New imperialism between 1818 and 1914 when the European powers imposed their culture by claiming that the Africans are uncivilized and we are there to make them civilized; same happened in Asia.
For example, Nigeria is one of the richest countries in Africa but its political and economical developments are delayed due to the corruption of its political leaders. And their political culture takes away their interests which is pathetical. This is because how parochial political culture shapes and influences their social actions. The lack of orientations of Nigerians towards the political system has caused the country’s sustainable national development.
The parochial political culture determined Nigerians’ actions, for example, a issue of bribery for contracts involving some Nigerian leaders. In America the people who were involved in scam have since been brought in books but in Nigeria non were jailed. This is how the Nigerians were culturalized politically for their own benefits. Likewise, in Philippines the political culture was influenced by the Spanish and American colonizers.
How American and Chinese feel about their countries? How they view others? How would they like to extend their values towards others? Both believe their culture is superior. In America it is called “American exceptionalism” which is related to three ideas; American history is different from other histories; it has a unique mission to transform the world into American democracy as it did it in Iraq; and its mission gives it a speriority over other nations.
81% of American believe that the spread of their values has a positive effect on the other parts of the world. The similar sense of political culture among the Chinese is called “Sinocentrism” by which Chinese see themselves as the political and cultural center of the world.
America has a missionary impulse; he wants to see the world in the American image. For example, it was the aspect of American Political culture not only to defeat the regime of Afghanistan and Iraq but to replace them with democratic governments. America also makes decision as a foreign aid allocation, which is based on how countries would adhere American conception of human rights.
China in ancient and medieval times could not extend her culture because of the Confucianism belief, but she, in twenty first century, is very extreme in some methods and trying to impose it through economical sources. As its language is being taught in Pakistan and even television channels in Pakistan are based on Chinese language.
Political culture changes from place to place and sometimes remains same. US and Britain both are democracy but have different political cultures. America has a written constitution with a federation, in contrast, Britain has never had written constitution and is a unitary State. This is what makes the Chilean different from Swedes and Spanish from Irish.
The British empire rule in Asia changed the continent politically, economically, socially and geographically. The divide and role policy of British seperated and weakened the world’s richest continent. It had seperated these tiny states in such a way which still cannot manage themselves and cause proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and over all middle east.
Pakistan has majorly been influenced by the British political culture. She still follows its ways of political system such as parliamentary form of government. On other side, she was inspired by America and made Pakistan as a federation.
Balochistan has also been the victim of culture of imperialism too. Many Arab writers defined Baloch ‘uncivilized’ and ‘dangerous people’ by which they face many obstacles in the process of making the State of kalat. Even the British itself formulized a formula that “Honor the Baloch”. The Sandeman system further changed the political culture of Baloch towards a parochial political culture by which Baloch attacked themselves with old traditions, customs and roles which are still being applied in the Baloch society. It is one the basic causes of backwardness of Baloch people.
The British administration in Balochistan was helped by Baloch sardars. Today again some factors are imposing their culture on Baloch which are already the victims of others’ cultures as one can understand how religion has been culturalized in Baloch society which is indeed leading them towards a black future.
Many theorists of system pointed that political system and political culture are two distinguish ideas. Since the political system itself is affected by political culture, such as Pakistan, India, Burma and Ceylon adopted same political institutions like democracy, party system, judicial system from the other developed countries like America, United Kingdom and France. But these institutions do not work same as they worked in developed countries. America is a democratic state and everyone knows that its democratic principles are strong, whereas according to the 1973 constitution Pakistan is a democratic country but here the bureaucracy and military are more powerful than the judiciary; it is all because of the political culture.
Hence, political culture is not a new and a simple concept, rather political culture is an extreme and imperialistic concept which has been used by some giant powers in the process of colonization to extending their idealogies. In the modern time, it has been mixed with economy.
The writer is a student of Political Science at University of Turbat.