[This is an original thought-piece by the author]
Humans are pretty good at judging individuals (whether they say it or not). A mother telling a daughter her boyfriend is a deadbeat within two meet-ups is testament to that.
Judging a collective culture however, is a slippery slope. In a post-modern PC world, one can be accused of labeling by observing characteristics of cultures.
It’s a good thing I’m surrounded by third-world people, and I don’t feel the need to live up to political correctness.
What constitute culture
Culture isn’t confined to what people dress up in and do during Christmas time or rituals performed during Chinese New Year.
Culture is what’s done by more then two persons together on a regular basis.
This applies to what couples do together, what friends discuss when they hang out, how co-workers treat each other, to how families celebrate festive seasons.
Habit makes culture
What you do on a regular basis is referred to as a habit. What makes a habit good or bad are usually pretty evident.
If we think of a group/collective as a scaled version of an individual (group-think and group-behavior are very much established things), then we got ourselves a pretty solid tool to measure cultures.
Things done on a regular basis by a culture is the habit they create for themselves.
Habit is a conscious choice
Why does this matter? Because we can now critique a culture as a matter conscious personal choice, not something they are born with.
We have no problem admitting habits are born out of free will. Smokers mostly take responsibility for their own damaged lungs. Your criticism of a smoker’s inhaling habit can be argued logically and not taken as character assassination.
By framing cultures as habits, we are giving credit to the collective and acknowledging their responsibility in practicing a culture out of free will.
Criticizing a culture therefore means commenting on bad habits done on a regular basis, and not a character attack on the collective identity.