After reading Two Phrases That Destroyed American Culture over at Violent Acres, I am struck by just how far the destruction of culture has gone. Not just in the sense of the article, but more generally. The question is, what is culture? What do I mean when I say culture has been rooted out and eradicated?
Culture is not, and never will be, a property of a group. That is the fundamental issue at stake here. Culture is a property of an individual. The problem here is that the word has a different meaning when you say a person has culture versus when a group has culture. In America’s heyday, what virtues were espoused as important? What type of acts were elevated to grandeur? These ideas can be attributed to culture. However my point is that the group itself doesn’t actually possess culture because the group is nothing more than a large number of individuals which happen to hold similar values and ideas regarding such matters. This is usually because of close geographical proximity or other reasons which might cause them to interact more often than with some randomly selected person. So if you apply culture in a group sense, you end up with conformity = culture. When that starts happening, no “new culture” is created and the national pastime becomes the systematic eradication of whatever culture they might have.
OK, that was a pretty strong statement. And it’s true. A group can impress itself simultaneously on an unlimited number of people because each of those people has their own brain, and is fully equipped to impress upon themselves. When you have a group identity superseding the individuality of each person within a group, everything goes to hell. A generalized weakness sets in. No one person is able to sway the massive tide of group decision. I think that this exact mentality is the inevitable side effect of democracy, and is its fundamental flaw as a system of government. Masses of people doing things they don’t want to because they think everyone else in the mass wants them to when, at best, nobody cares. Voter apathy, a general sense of being out of control.
Culture lives in the soul of each individual. Metaphorically speaking, of course. The day that each individual surrenders their culture to a group, there is no culture left because then there’s nobody in the group holding their own, leaving the group barren, and everyone in it destitute. Pandering becomes rampant. The need to please others, the need to conform, becomes a basic drive. And when your self-worth is dependent upon others, everyone else has the power to destroy you with little or no effort. A million other issues stem from this. Socially, each person represents a threat to everyone else. We cut our interactions to the superficial only, chitchat, the weather, universally agreed-upon gossip, and other “sanctioned” topics. Essentially, this constitutes a total lack of social skills, yet they’re the ones we perceive as “social.” This lunacy about “personal space” becomes an issue. We avoid conflict like the plague and call it “getting along.” Bullshit- everyone is scared of getting slammed for rocking the boat. I can name at least a hundred symptoms that are equally serious. Seeking the path of least resistance becomes habitual. Not only is this a recipe for failure inducing either an inferiority complex or blind hubris in the face of failure, but lack of ability due to lack of trial, practice, or even effort leads to consistent failure and the short-circuiting of the basic feedback loop. A reduced tolerance for adversity elevates the desire for convenience and comfort to a need. We develop the concept of a “comfort zone”- There are some perfectly natural things that the average shmuck simply cannot make themselves do- craziness! The difficulties in our lives become magnified in perceived size by their scarcity- “stress” anyone? Every sentence I raise makes me want to pump a book just on that topic into your head, but I can only follow it with one more sentence, dammit! Now, compounding some of these issues together, knowing that they’re all compounded in all possible configurations just because they’re all in the mix, let’s mix total lack of social skills with stress. You get the perception that drama is a good thing because it indicates you have a social life. Fuck that! Next, what about comfort zone with a slice of hubris? You see confident people going about their business with a paper-thin but nevertheless effective veneer of authority who have absolutely no fucking clue, doing ridiculous things like “what, you don’t wear underwear covered in pear juice on your head?” and then “there’s something wrong with you.” Back to the basic attack, effective against the masses who are too dependent on approval to live. Interestingly, comments like that assume that the other person will be affected by such a remark, with accuracy I might add. And they are effective in the first place because everyone else is too stupid and cowed by a perceived group to stand up and go “you know what? Fuck you.”
How many people would think along the lines of the article Two Phrases? They’re the ones who don’t need approval. They’re the ones who know “the group” is a paper tiger- nobody is going to back up someone who says “what’s wrong with you” who isn’t themselves cowed in the same way, or trying to simper themselves up the imaginary ladder a bit. The annihilation of culture begins with the subjugation of the individual, with the slavery of independent people to the whim of an imaginary monster. An imaginary monster whose will is invariably interpreted by a select few. A select few who had the guts to stand up and grab that authority from the monster. The pattern has repeated countless times throughout history, from religion to the government to “the people.” I sense echoes of The Remnant in this behavior, and at the same time I see the shadow of The Elites. Virtue and power, respectively.