The Revolver news aggregator, the self-proclaimed new Drudge, leads with a link to a story called “Is Culture Stuck.”
Interesting that this is the lead in this highly politicized moment on this mostly political site. Interesting, too, that the article appears less than what it seems: mostly a blog-style rumination, long on guesses and short on deep insights. I know that game.
While I don’t really resonate with the author’s conclusions about why culture is stuck it does appear to have been stuck in some important ways. Certainly that seems to have been the case until the recent past. But is it fair to say not much is happening at present?
As Steve Sailer and others have argued persusasively a distinct process of unmooring got underway in serious fashion around 2013, with the emergence of The Great Awokening. It is hard to say it’s still Kansas today. The old forms may remain–the look and feel of advertising is not much different today than it was a few decades ago. But the cultural messaging is quite different.
I don’t think the new cultural messaging is that manifest yet in our daily lives. Even in the ultra-blue progressive city in which I live relationships, clothing, and social forms are not radically different from the past, and do not mirror the apparent Woke consensus visible in the culture we consume. But in the long run you are what you eat, no?
Are the Great Awokening and its follow-on companion piece The Great Reset just fake, crap ideas superimposed from on high onto a culture that would be happy enough to roll on undistubed? For sure our real culture seems way more conservative than the new one on offer in advertisements and in Time Magazine.
But might it be the case that even the underlying, more conservative culture has a sense that it is beyond its sell-by date? Zombies, apoocalyses, conspiracies–the stories we tell ourselves thinking they are just stories and have no connection to our hopes and fears. If we are in a Fourth Turning–and I think we are–I think we all play a part in the shenanigans.
IN WHICH REGARD
Here is an article by Murray Rothbard in which he envisions World War 1 less as a tragic miscalculation and more as “fulfillment.”
In contrast to older historians who regarded World War I as the destruction of progressive reform, I am convinced that the war came to the United States as the “fulfillment,” the culmination, the veritable apotheosis of progressivism in American life.
He focuses attention on the intellectuals, “secondhand dealers in ideas”.
Most of these intellectuals, of whatever strand or occupation, were either dedicated, messianic postmillennial pietists or else former pietists, born in a deeply pietist home, who, though now secularized, still possessed an intense messianic belief in national and world salvation through Big Government. But, in addition, oddly but characteristically, most combined in their thought and agitation messianic moral or religious fervor with an empirical, allegedly “value-free,” and strictly “scientific” devotion to social science. Whether it be the medical profession’s combined scientific and moralistic devotion to stamping out sin or a similar position among economists or philosophers, this blend is typical of progressive intellectuals.
In this paper, I will be dealing with various examples of individual or groups of progressive intellectuals, exulting in the triumph of their creed and their own place in it, as a result of America’s entry into World War I.
We’re all in this together.