The Culture Wars still going on today Essay

Our society is rapidly moving away from a multi-caste society to a dual caste of the haves and the have nots. Both are too extreme and non-productive besides being totally destructive to a copacetic functioning society.

Culture by definition:

  • enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training.
  • acquaintance with, and taste in, fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills.
  • the integrated pattern of human knowledge, beliefs, and behavior that depends on man’s capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.
  • the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.
  • the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially be education.

With this broad and all encompassing definition of “culture” it simply means different things to different people:

  • the ‘culturati’ are people intensely interested in cultural affairs.
  • The wealthy are people who ‘think’ they possess ‘culture’ by virtue of their monetary worth alone.
  • the snobs are those that are from old money and see themselves as ‘better’ than everyone else – even the nouvea-riche.
  • then there are people like me who really do not give a shit about any of those highfalutin (pretentious) individuals who spend their lives with a pompous attitude and always looking their noses down on others and passing judgments based on their ignorance. And who truly believe that people actually give a damn about their opinions, their wealth, or their superior attitudes.

My interest in writing this article is strictly from the view of cultural anthropology which deals with ‘human culture’ with respect to social structure, language, politics, law, religion, magic, art and technology. And just how we got to our present stage of disarray in today’s society, especially in the U.S.A.

I believe that the main catalyst that brought us to this change, and the branching off from the mainstream society of yesteryear, was a desire to “be one’s self” and to grow as an individual. Coupled with the desire to learn, experience and hopefully enjoy our existence without judgmental influences by others with their limited and narrow views of how life “should be lived’ based on their personal skewed standards.

The cultural wars are complicated, but when viewed by a non culturati, like myself, it is exhilarating (exciting) to observe the actual transformation from a staid, stagnant and oppressive society to a ‘free thinking’ and ‘non-judgmental’ society.

Those who fight this change are not only making their own lives less enjoyable, but everyone else around them as well, and cheating themselves out of the pleasures of expanding their own horizons.

Growth and development of individuals and the society they live in are the mainstay of progression into a future without oppression, repression, or confinement – both physically and emotionally.

Let’s look at a few of those changes happening in this generation and give praise to their birth.

Old stagnant religious dogma versus new age spirituality:

  • The moving away from a concept of a vengeful god that demands blind devotion and threatens punishment for man made laws and their conceived ‘sins’. The embracing of a ‘newer’ concept of a Creator that is filled with love, compassion, acceptance of the wonders of his creations, and those who seek ongoing knowledge in place of clinging to old fairy tales of control and fear.

Sexual expression versus sexual repression:

  • Moving toward a society where mankind is able to embrace the god given pleasures of sex and gratification and understand that sexual activity is a biological necessity to maintain a healthy body and mind – and NOT only for procreation. Also realizing that unchecked procreation is detrimental to life on this beautiful planet; as its resources cannot sustain the excessive abuse and misuse that over population brings.

Freedom of thought and expression versus repression:

  • Moving away from religions that, by history, inhibit free thinking, and expression of self, and that discourage even the ‘desire’ to attain knowledge beyond the bounds of control by those religious entities.

Judgmental versus acceptance:

  • Moving toward a society that accepts people the way they are, and accepts that the creator makes no mistakes. The grossly ignorant see homosexuality as a negative in society. The enlightened see it as God’s creation to slow down the rapidly and deadly population over growth.

Diversity versus conformity:

  • Moving toward a society of recognizing and embracing the uniqueness of the differences between each other. Loving others for who they are – not trying to change them to conform to another’s perception of what should be. Conformity is only a good thing when it is adopted by everyone to include the reality of acceptance, love, helping others, losing self righteousness and eliminating selfishness from the equation for creating a blissful life.

Selfishness versus generosity:

  • Moving toward a society that provides for itself and seeing that all people have equal opportunity to be all that they can be. No-one needs more than they can use in this life time. To hoard and deprive others is truly a great sin against Dharmic Law and Cosmic Law.

Love versus hate:

  • Creating a society that promotes love and acceptance, and shuns and shames hatred and harm to others for any reason. (There is no need to expound on this point – hopefully even the dullest wit can understand this concept).

Science versus fallacy:

  • Moving toward a society based on reality of thought, fact, logic, common sense, and physical, visual, and mental acuity. Realizing that the fact is, we are meant to move forward in time – not dwell in the past and cling to the ignorance that brought about all of today’s hatred, greed and stagnation; truly an affront to our ‘progressive’ Creator.

Thirst for knowledge versus fear of change:

  • Creating a society where the desire to acquire knowledge will be the replacement for the present desire of acquiring wealth and material possessions. Creating a society in which the pursuit of knowledge will be within the reach of all, not just those who can afford to ‘buy it’.
  • Those who fight against the desire for knowledge, education and wisdom, do so not out of fear of change, but out of fear of the loss of the control over other people.

No-one needs to change if they choose not to. Simply just stay in the past and stop trying to drag everyone else back to that level of stagnation.

Societal changes will come, regardless of how hard the naysayers try to fight it off. Some will continue to deny it, refuse to believe it, not accept it, continue to oppose it, but, face the facts, my small minded friends: you cannot stop it.

So, live our own lives, in any fashion we desire, but for God’s sake, let others live their lives in the way THEY choose.

How does that old song go? “You can’t even run your own lives, so i will be damned if i let you run mine”. (or something like that).

The best legacy we can hope to leave our children is to teach them to follow their own dreams, trust their own hearts, think their own thoughts, and that the accumulation of knowledge is the real power – not the accumulation of material things.

And the greatest lessons of all – teach our children the ‘physician’s oath’: “First do not harm to others” and of course “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”; instead of what we teach them now: “do unto others before they do unto you”.

Live long and prosper.

by: d.william 03/17/11

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