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A New Approach to Culture (Pt. 1)

volanarchistOct 16, 2019, 6:15:41 PM

One of the greatest shortcomings of the Right is its inability to affect cultural change on a substantive level. The ability to influence culture, to convey ideas, sentiments, and philosophies in a way that doesn't come off as “preachy”, while not having the message be lost in the attempt to appeal to the masses, is what allows ways of thought to dominate society. The Right has, for some time, relied heavily on institutions like organized religion, the military, and the police to remain relevant in the cultural-political conversation. As people have lost interest, or became distrustful, of these institutions, so too did the Right lose their relevancy.

An example of that, in my experience, is when I went into a Christian bookstore in the mid 2000's, just to check it out and see what they were selling. I remember going towards the back to see what kind of CD's they had, when I saw a TV turned on in the kid's section, playing some weird show that I'd never seen before. It was a CGI cartoon called “Angel Wars”, which seemed to be a terrible CGI show that stole some of the themes and looks of Star Wars and tried to make it work with the premise of an ongoing war between Heaven and Hell.

My first thought was that it was a clumsy and desperate attempt to capitalize on the Star Wars prequels that were coming out around that time. Moreover, it seemed like it was a terrible waste of time, resources, and talent to try to get in on a craze that would be over in the space of a few years. Why bother sinking all of that into a cartoon that, truthfully, very few kids would watch and would probably be embarrassed to tell their friends about? It's not the real Star Wars and, by telling their friends about the show, they'd seem like they were religious fanatics or that their parents were trying to keep them from consuming any content that didn't have an overt Christian message.

This, to me, encapsulates what I see whenever I see the Right attempt to “be hip” and get into culture. These are a group of people, whose instincts are to come on strong with their beliefs and hearken back to “the good ole days”, that know no one is buying what they're selling and make desperate attempts to co-opt the trends of Leftist culture to gain ground. They try so hard to get people to “come back to the Right” that they don't understand that they're not providing any incentive for anyone to change their minds.

The Libertarian movement is guilty of this too, particularly when the response to poverty, State brutality against the people, and the destruction of the environment is met with quoting Mises and Rothbard or delivering a dry, uninteresting speech about market mechanics and how the State indoctrinates people into believing things that aren't true. The attempts that have been made, so far, to bridge that gap have come off as half-assed or ham-fisted, which tends to reinforce the idea of the Right being out of touch and irrelevant in contemporary conversation.

If the Libertarian message to non-Libertarians is, “Join us because we're right,” or ,”Join us because we're smarter,” it's no wonder that the movement is dying! The Libertarian message comes off as cerebral and and elitist, which isolates a lot more people than it attracts and creates a perceived barrier to entry: Think like us, become as smart as we are, or don't bother talking to us.

It may not be what's intended by Libertarians when they speak to people with differing political and philosophical ideas, but it becomes the end result. "If you weren't part of the Ron Paul Revolution, you wouldn't understand,” and, “You need to read up on and be fully versed in Austrian economics and Libertarian political theory to be considered a 'True Libertarian',” are what people hear and that needs to change to keep the Libertarian movement from flat-lining and to put it on a path of recovery and growth.