Breaking News

The Culture War is over

July 1, 1993

The Culture War is over

By By M.L. Simon

The Culture War in America is over. The culturalists lost. I think in time this will be evident not just in America but in the whole world.

First I’d like to describe the culture war in America. On the left you have the multi-culturalists, the “we are all nice people and should just get along, and all cultures (except one or two) are good and worth preserving” kind of folks. They mean well but their ideas—especially theft by government—have not had an especially proud track record.

French colonialism was about transmitting French culture to the natives. To be civilized in the French empire you had to emulate French customs. It is one of the reasons that the French government has committees on culture. They think French culture equals French civilization; thus French culture must be protected.

Of course the great wars of the early part of the last century were about which culture would dominate Europe, French, or German. In the end they decided to more or less split the difference. Thus we have the multi-culturalists of Europe. Because if culture is primary but one culture cannot dominate then all cultures must be accorded equal respect. Of course taken to it’s logical conclusion what you get is nonsense. Slave holding cultures are not equal to non-slaveholding cultures. Canibals are not equal to cow eaters (there will be a few quibbles here I’m sure). What we learned from the early twentieth century wars is that deciding which culture ought to be dominant is not empirically provable.

Then we have the culturalists on the right. They believe they have the one true right and correct culture and if everyone only lived their way a bright and prosperous future lies ahead. Not to mention a lot fewer souls going to hell. Their efforts have not proved especially fruitful either. Not everyone wants to live in the one size straight jacket fits all mode. Then there is the problem of so many nuanced choices of the one right way that it becomes hard to choose.

Of course from time to time you come up against fascist cultures. The live like us or else people. These cultures inevitably breed serious resistance. Resistance will breed defeat. Inevitably.

So how do we cut this gordian knot of adjusting all cultures to harmonize with each other?

With ideas. Ideas can unite irrespective of culture. The last half of the twentieth century witnessed a war of ideas. Basically whether government controlled distribution or market controlled distribution were better economic systems. Of course each economic system created it’s corresponding political system. Because people naturally tend to trade among each other, state control requires vast armies of watchers. Too much economic activity outside the government plan will ruin the plan. In less rigorous socialist states similar problems are evident. When you have a vast array of regulations you will need an army of regulators. These are all a non-productive drain on the system.

In a market controlled distribution system, the optimal political system is one of democratic representation with protection for individual rights. In other words there are some things you can vote on and some things you can’t. This sort of self regulation along with market economics has proved to be the superior generator and distributor of wealth and individual liberty. So what the idealists offer is a compromise too. Accept our ideas of how an economic system ought to be run. Discard the parts of your culture that conflict with those ideas, keep the rest. Then what is valuable or at least not harmful can be kept and the rest MUST be rejected. It will be almost painfully obvious in each case what can be accepted and what must be rejected. Thus one can actually have certain minimal cultural standards without having to designate a preferred culture.

The left because of it’s attachment to socialism and multi-culturalism will have less and less to say about America. The real fight is between the culturalists and the idealists on the right. I’m betting on the idealists. Their ideas have wider application.

What we learned so far is that you can decide which ideas are better and which are worse. A system of proper ideas can be universal. This was the genius of Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Henry, Franklin, Washington, the worlds most famous smuggler—John Hancock, and many others of that amazing generation.

For quite some time the culturalists on the right and left have convinced America that the choice was between the culture of the right or the culture of the left. Because of the wake-up call we got on 9/11 we are starting to come out of that fog.

The Culture War is over. Culture lost. Democracy won.

M. Simon is an industrial controls engineer for Space-Time Productions and a Free Market Green (c) M. Simon – All rights reserved. Permission granted for one time use in a single periodical publication. Permission also granted for concurrent publication on the periodical’s www site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>