home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |
A Good Year for Climate "Deniers" If Ann Coulter Didn't Exist...

print view

Why the Culture War Matters

by Christopher Chantrill
January 07, 2009 at 12:05 am

WHY IS IT that performers at cultural events seem to think it is ok to make politicized comments, as Jay Nordlinger notes?

The indefatigable Mark Steyn takes a stab at it.

Liberalism is the default mode of the culture — to the point where the left-of-center position is so pervasive it’s no longer a position at all, but rather something uncontentious, received wisdom, part of the air we breathe.

Yes, he says, people from Hollywood sidle up to him and say “how much they agree with my book but please don’t mention it to anyone.” But so what? The trouble is that there is no payoff from people sidling up to you. Crypto-conservatives are just that: hidden. When the culture is default center-left then you can expect most people to be default center-left.

If the non-political sphere is permanently left-of-center — the movies, the pop songs, the plays, the sitcoms, the newspapers plus the churches, schools and much else — it’s simply unreasonable to expect people to walk into a polling booth every other November and vote conservative. The culture is where the issues get framed and the boundaries set.

There’s a good argument to make that there is a pretty substantial rejectionist front out there, people who are disgusted with the cultural liberalism and determined to do something about it. Then there are those who are naturally conservative in their habits and who just do not like the rude, crude culture of Hollywood and liberal politics but just sit there and do nothing.

Right now the conservative orientation is a subculture and doesn’t look to be making much progress any time soon. If you are a kid in college, the default youth culture is the licentious liberal culture of the hookup and girls gone wild. If you are a women working in government the default culture is feminist multiculturalism that celebrates Halloween but mumbles about “holidays” during the Christmas season.

It won’t change until we do something about it.

|

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


mysql close

 

©2007 Christopher Chantrill