Asserting That All Cultures and Languages are Mixed Is Trivia

Asserting That All Cultures and
Languages are Mixed Is Trivial
Trivial? When since time immemorial the dominant
idea has been that of pure origins, pure lineages? As in
perspectives on language, nation, race, culture, status,
class, gender. The hieratic view was preoccupied with
divine or sacred origins. The patriarchal view posited
strong gender boundaries. The aristocratic view cultivated
blue blood. The philological view saw language
as the repository of the genius of peoples, as with Herder
and the subsequent ‘Aryan’ thesis. The racial view
involved a hierarchy of races. The Westphalian system
locked sovereignty within territorial borders. Next came
the nation and chauvinism. All these views share a
preoccupation with pure origins, strong boundaries,
firm borders. The contemporary acknowledgement of
mixture in origins and lineages indicates a sea change
in subjectivities and consciousness that correlates,
of course, with sea changes in social structures and
practices. It indicates a different ethos that in time
will translate into different institutions. To regard this
as trivial is to misread history profoundly.