A certain resurgent culture came up during an impromptu meeting of cultural geographers including myself. I stated that the culture's success was unfortunate because it was a "stupid culture" compared to the one it was competing against. The conversation then broke into three pieces. 1) those who agreed, 2) those who favored the previous culture but were uneasy with putting down the resurgents, and 3) those who felt it was wrong to compare cultures because all were equal.
To justify my views I attempted to explain what I meant. The three parties eventually agreed to disagree but I and a few others were still interested in trying to define what makes a culture stupid. To determine criteria I thought of culture as a living being needing to live and be successful to survive. Eventually I was able to lay down two greater categories with subfields that define a "stupid culture:" a culture that destroys its own population and prevents advancement. A breakdown follows.
Destroying Own Population
A culture that kills its own young: Abortion and infanticide are brutal and ugly. It also destroys generations depriving a culture of human capital in labor and ideas. The West kills out of convenience, India aborts because it does not like girls, and poor Chinese wait until after birth to leave baby girls by the roadside because girls cannot help the family prosper. American Blacks have been relatively lucky because their high abortion rate has only lead to loss of largest minority to Hispanos while India and China risk a crime-infested future because of lack of women.
A culture that does not replace its dying: Europe needs babies. The welfare state has replaced the need of children as a support system but the system needs a constantly growing working base to support the constantly growing retirement class. This has led to Europe importing Muslim population which was culturally mistreated by some European states and in turn rejects European progressive ideals. Old Europe culture may not have many decades left before it dies with a culture that does replace its dying.
Preventing empowerment: Humans are an excellent resource. They provide human labor and some are smart and can improve the fields of science, medicine, and politics. However, discrimination is an all too common human trait. South Africa and in the United States, for example, once had horrible laws that prevented Blacks of using their abilities to benefit the whole nation. Today, some Muslim countries prevent women from even leaving their homes by themselves let alone work or study. The cultures which promote such ideas may be "pure" in their own minds but they handicap themselves immensely.
Punishing the successful: At best this is like those cultures who view getting an education as "selling out" to the mainstream. At worst this is like the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward and the around fifty or so million dead people because of it. Too often "empowerment" movements which seek to bring equality quickly turn into efforts to punish the successful. This keeps education and industriousness down and the culture soon lags behind others.
Clearly most if not all cultures have some degree of stupidity in them. However, some sins are greater than others. Hopefully the vertical (powers that be) and horizontal (peers) pressure can help adjust these faults and improve cultures all over the world.
Self-made counterpoint: If the last paragraph too are not cultures just "less stupid" than others? Possible true. I on the other hand be in a less stupid culture than a truly stupid one.