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One problem with cultural conservation:
To put it simply, and its not a problems that only conservatives very often confuse
(or conflate ethics and aesthetics. When Gertrude Himmererfarf lambastes out (as she
perceives it) 'amoral, 'sexually deviant' and 'polymorpously perverse' culture she is
primarily responding to something that she finds culturally foreign and aesthetically
I agree with her that values are oftentimes a good thing, but only when they are
born of an ethical and pragmatic perspective, not an aesthetic one.
The conservatives want a seemingly neat and compartment society wherein stable
appearances are maintained and archaic cultural archetypes are adhered to religiously. I
grew up in a world of cultural archetypes. I grew up with white businessmen going to
office buildings while their wives stayed at home and their kids went to school. or , more
accurately, I grew up with alcoholic, adulterous business men who lives culturally insular
lives while their wives took sedatives and smoked cigarettes and vented their frustrations
on there kids, and these same kids took reams of drugs, got abortions, drove drunk, and
victimized the weaklings. I grew up in what most conservatives would consider a utopia;
lots of money, prestige, cultural cohesion, and good conservative values.
But their values were in fact aesthetics, and maintaining these aesthetics ruled and
ruined their lives. Almost everyone in this suburban bourgeoisie system hated their lives,
but because they had been brought up to worship aesthetic myths they felt that to
question them was an admission of personal failure.
What are these myths? they're old and platitudinal but I'll trot on them again:
that's money makes you happy, that society is right and that poverty is bad, that
maintaining convention in every aspect of your life is the ultimate good, that aberrance
from these ideas is sin. ect.
I'm not going to say that the polar opposites of the clichés is true, that would be
one of the failings of the radical left. I believe that for the most part these criteria are
irrelevant. Money can make life easier, but it also can make life miserable. Poverty can
be bad but it can also be fine. Convention has some good points and some bad points.
What it all com...
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