A Screed On Society and Culture

One area that I’d really like to see the Left do better with is culture.

I think it’s great in affirming inclusivity. Everyone should have equal access to society. I’m an egalitarian at heart and I believe in this. Your race, gender, sex, orientation, creed, ability/disability, whatever, should not bar you from being able to participate in society.

However, the Left has a bad reputation (in particular, atheistic Communism) for destroying culture, order, religion, and everything else in order to ensure equality.

I am a Leftist but emphatically not an atheist, Communist, or Marxist.

There is a lot of talk on the Right on how the Left is destroying culture in the US. I don’t believe this is necessarily so. I don’t believe that Christians being expected not to treat LGBTIQ people like shit is a destruction of culture. There’s nothing inherent about Christianity, even the most conservative interpretations, that says you must treat queer folks as pariahs. That’s a political choice.

I feel like our diversity is our strength. It is not the Left that is causing us to lose culture. If anything, it is our society itself. We often don’t cook our own meals. Food is culture. We sit and listen to radio, watch TV, or read websites, which insulates us from our neighbors. This is a form of separating ourselves from culture. And I’m guilty of it as well.

I share the critiques of modernism that many people on the far right have. I agree with Radical Traditionalists on many issues, just disagree strongly on the emphasis on ethnic homogeneity and on traditional gender roles. (Also, many of them are super racist…which I just have no tolerance for.)

I feel that radio, television, and the Internet have worked to destroy local culture. On the one hand, the Internet has been a savior for people like me who didn’t fit in locally and found my tribe, so to speak, online. I found other intersex people. I found Pagans. I found polytheists, and much more online. But this has come at a cost to society to a certain extent.

There’s often talk from some areas in the country (particularly anywhere not on the coasts) that they don’t see people like themselves represented on TV or movies. I absolutely agree. But now that everyone has a camera on their smartphone and has the ability to upload video….why don’t we have more local content? I think every area should have their own TV equipment and should create local content to help create culture.

Where I live in Boston is fairly overrepresented in popular culture, with plenty of movies and TV shows depicting life here. But other people have never experienced that.

We desperately need more local culture, everywhere.

Another issue that contributed to massive erosion of local cultures has been the ability to easily escape your home. 150 years ago, most people rarely left where they lived. Perhaps they were able to travel by train to some extent. But now many people view their homes as only a place to reside in between shifts. There’s very little of a sense of community. Democracy cannot work, in my opinion, without community.

People no longer believe in town meetings, in community meetings and government, local issues, but only vote for the big elections. President. Governor. Senators, Representatives. And again, I’m guilty of this as well. But it’s wrong.

Now I think cars and trucks have been a godssend to some, but it’s also led to the erosion of once vital downtowns. What if you mostly had to work in the town that you lived in? What if we couldn’t get clothes from China but HAD to buy locally? What if there was no way large chains like Walmart could function?

We’ve built entire sections of our country on the access of cars, so much that many places are simply not walkable. You need to have a car in order to find work, to go to the store.

I think it’s vital that people who need it have access to vehicles, such as the disabled or elderly who simply cannot walk.

Living in a city, we have public transportation…and I gave up my car in order to live here. What if everywhere was walkable? What if we didn’t live our lives around our jobs?

People no longer spend their winters around the hearth telling stories. We salt the fuck our streets to prevent ice which seeps into the water table. Why? So we can go to work? Is that really worth it if the work is non-essential?

I don’t have solutions. These are just thoughts. I feel like our modern society is sick and diseased. Some people want to blame it all on gay people or minorities or feminism (i.e., the equality of women). I strongly disagree with these.

We can have feminism and families. We can have gay people and families. We can have many ethnicities and still have families and cultures. But what we have is something unholy and unhealthy and it’s making us feel…not-whole.

It’s not because of democracy or the lack of monarchs. It’s not due to to a lack of nationalism. Think smaller. Much smaller. It’s the lack of community. It’s the placing of productivity and money over values. As a Leftist, I’m inclined to blame capitalism. But it’s not just capitalism. It’s industrialism. It’s globalism. It’s also a lack of values in the personal and community context.

You don’t need ethnic homogeneity if you have shared values.

 

 

~ by R.M. McGrath on 11/06/2019.

One Response to “A Screed On Society and Culture”

  1. […] First up from Sacred Blasphemies, A Screed On Society and Culture: […]

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