Bennis of the Brown Shield Posted August 11, 2016 Share Posted August 11, 2016 6 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said: Arguably culture is more than movies/songs. Although it is true that if we look at the entertainment industry, and in other areas such as food, America might be dominant in virtue of having its products doing very well in foreign markets, this doesn't necessarily mean the culture of the US is in a good way. Culture is ultimately about the symbols, practices and beliefs that create a community/city or nation, and impart to it a sense, both of purpose and of its place in the world. Traditionally religion always served as the golden thread binding all aspects of culture together. Currently Christianity in the west is in decline and western culture along with it. Thinking about my own country, the UK, there is a very notable fracturing of society since at least the 1980s, if not before. Working class culture, in particular, has been stripped of its more positive attributes. The middle classes are now largely irreligious, and art/architecture is not really serving as any kind of replacement for Christianity (one only has to look at the state of modern art to see why). The connection with their own past forged through appreciation of classical and biblical literature and poetry is also disappearing within the middle classes. The western world is also experiencing a clash of cultures within its own civilization. Large portions of the western elite (except the Japanese and some East Europeans) do not believe their countries ought to have any distinctive culture, favouring instead the doctrine of multiculturalism, which suggests common cultural ties, which have usually underpinned nations and civilizations, can be replaced with the more loose and vague 'universal values.' It is of course possible that this will work in societies with large culturally progressive and university educated populations ... Moreover, particularly in the US, we see a strong clash of cultures between those elements which still cling to some vestige of the old Christian civilization and those who embrace a globalist liberalism. In the UK the Brexit vote illustrated similar divisions. Those who voted Remain tended to feel positively about feminism, multiculturalism and immigration while those who voted Leave largely did not. So there are now huge divisions within western culture. The main sign that out societies are unhealthy though is the collapsing birth rate. Commentators like Rousseau and Burke had no problem with identifying the ability of the population to replace itself as the chief indicator of the civilization's success. Now for a combination of reasons, mainly the collapse of religion and lifestyle changes, almost all western countries are on totally unsustainable demographic trajectories. This puts the west's immigration policies in perspective. It is true that mass immigration might be one short term way to counter this challenge (although this is not, largely, why the policy is actually pursued) other periods of mass immigration took place when the native (or 'original settler' in the case of the US) population was also increasing, so new immigrants only supplemented the population. In Europe a policy of mass immigration from Africa and the near/middle east will actually lead to the replacement of the declining population by members of a different culture and thus the collapse of western culture in areas of the host nations. This assumes, of course, that immigrant population do maintain their cultural distinctiveness, but given their numbers and the weakness of western culture this seems likely in the main. I do not know whether Hispanic immigration to the US poses the same problems. I do not think the Roman example is helpful here at all. It was always going to be very difficult to maintain control of the empire established by Caesar and Augustus. Only the collapse of the west in the fifth century is very remarkable and many provinces had been lost to rebels and barbarians before. Rome's foes became stronger as the empire went on. The political system did change, and became increasingly unstable, but Augustus is considered talented to have brought stability from 30 BC onwards so the challenge was hardly new. The potential for a disaster stemming from civil war was always there. The collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 7th century (and its transmogrification into middle age Byzantium) is even more understandable: it was the result of an epic 1/4 century war with Persia (an empire only slightly weaker than ER). I agree with Ummester, very interesting post. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.