>I also don't think the Japanese, e.g.,
>wrong for valuing social duties over individual gratification.
>Insofar as they value *imposing* "social duties" on anyone, I think
>I'd point out that these social duties are imposed from the bottom up
>than the top down. The basic value systems are just different.
Regardless which direction they're imposed, I claim that imposing anything on anyone by force is simply uncivilized behavior, whether it's displayed by a schoolyard bully or endemic in the population at large. To the extent any culture - including ours - embraces the idea that coercion is defensible behavior, it has no claim to be a civilized culture. Cultural relativism is beside the point.