How, then, should we deal with the big questions which certainly do arise about the possibility of mutual understanding among different sorts of societies? It may be best to start by moving right away from the hypnotic case of empire, and looking at a quite different set of examples. Let us try simply reversing the position, and asking whether our own culture can be validly judged by those outside it. If (for instance) Japanese or Papuan or Kenyan or Russian critics mention something about our society which they think wrong, ought we to tell them that their comments are invalid because they don’t know what they are talking about?
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