Ethnocentrism is the attitude and/or ideology concerning the relationship between an individual's own group and other groups. Positive aspects of the subject's group are strongly emphasized while features and members of other groups are judged in terms of standards applicable to the subject's group, and are often denigrated. An easy rejection of the unfamiliar is characteristic of ethnocentrism which therefore makes it a component of prejudice. In pluralistic societies, ethnocentricity can be destructive to patriotism and good citizenship, and lead to exaggerated demands for cultural and political autonomy.
North American Indian myths show various tribes claiming to have been created at 'the heart of the world'; anthropologists occasionally exhibit ethnocentric attitudes when they evaluate the culture or behaviour of members of another society by the light of their own culture; neo-colonialism is supported by ethnocentrics delineating 'modern civilization' from 'backwardness'; and in the Middle East, wars are being raged by various groups holding their cultures and ideologies to be superior to those of neighbouring groups. Norway's claims that her continuation of whaling is a cultural tradition which is inviolate is an example of cultural chauvinism which cannot adjust to changing world values. France has gone further than the EEC/EU in limiting imported programming on television to 40%, so that French creativity does not die for purely budgetary reasons (due to cheaper imported programmes).
The myth that any modern human culture represents the pinnacle of human achievement is cultural arrogance of the worst form. It is a gross misreading of history and anthropology. The fact is that we live in a disintegrating culture. Triumphalism provoked by the demise of communism is not checked by the recognition that capitalism is also proving inadequate to the challenges of society.