Sunday, March 14, 2004

Why We Fight the Culture Wars

It has occurred to me that with all of the recent talk about religion in government, gay marriage, abortion, etc, that there has to be some kind of underlying cause or enabler of the culture wars. Why do people feel threatened? I think the reasons fall at what I would call the nationalization of American Culture. What that means is the changes over the last 50 years, post WWII mostly, where regional differences in everything has been shrinking and doing it fast, relatively speaking for a country's culture.

What I mean by culture really falls into what we consume. The biggest influence there is obviously what media we consume and even how we do it. The media has followed suit with almost all other industries into national corporate entities whose market reaches the entire country.

The nationwide reach of industries is what makes life everywhere more the same every day. Back when I was a kid you could go on vacation just a few states away and things were different. Different TV stations, different restaurants, different foods in the grocery stores, different actual grocery stores. Instead we now have the same things and I think the conservatives, more specifically the evangelical religious conservatives feel they are in regions of the country where the power structure of those corporations does not live. Their motivation then is to cut out the middleman and go for government control of certain aspects of their desired culture. That is where the theocracy comes to fruition. What it reminds me of is the communist movement. The problem with the communists is that they want their system of government/economics imposed on everyone. That is exactly what theocracy seeks to do. That is why this is a culture ?war,? but also something getting to look more like a civil war.

Ok, I am starting to sound apocalyptic, but maybe I am just prophetic instead. Maybe a power struggle is starting. It is not like I am the only person saying such things. We hear chicken-littles all the time talk about the Patriot Act and police states and my eyes roll. I see the Patriot Act as an infringement of our rights, but not an extreme one that is out to create a police state. When I add the Patriot Act with the ?Army? forming to serve in the Culture wars, then I start to think otherwise. Springer is getting the boot all of the sudden from WLWT. Howard Stern, WEBN, and Bubba the Love Sponge all getting grief. Are we headed to something worse than just a war of words?

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