Victims of Progress
Bodley wrote that many of us are “victims of progress”; I believe that he meant that we are allowing ourselves to get lost in our civilizations progress rather than withstand all the new intrusions (technology, social trends, etc.) and remain with our native culture. We are a civilization that is often introducing new ideas, scientific revelations and so much more that it is difficult to stabilize what exactly we believe. For instance, hundreds of years ago we were told that the Earth was flat, and we all believed it, now we “know” the Earth is round, how do we know that in another few hundreds or possibly thousands of years there won’t be a dispute about this? Without stability of all these new social or technological advances it is very arduous to accommodate our native cultures traditions.
“When acted upon by external forces a culture will, if necessary, undergo specific changes only to the extent of and with the effect of preserving unchanged its fundamental structure and character.” This relates very well to the foundation of our country. The Native Americans attempted to resist the English settlers’ and their way of life by fighting them off, which eventually ended with them having to retreat further inland, changing their culture geographically, as well as daily habits (i.e. switching from foraging to fishing).The act of retreating not only kept the Native Americans safe from the new settlers, but was also a way to continue to preserve their culture by avoiding contact with the English, which in turn resulted in avoiding progress. However, the external force eventually penetrated their cultures’ ways. The Native Americans continued their spiritual beliefs just as before any external force they experienced but later on, they became victims of progress because they were forced to interact with the settlers’ and learn their language, as well as their customs. The settlers introduced many new ideas and ways of life to the Natives...
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