Return to Common Sense
April 4, 2017
Section: Culture - Philosophy
“American cultural elements, especially popular culture, has been exported across the globe through modern mass media”
“.” James Madison.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
The United States of America is an ethnically and racially diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration from many different countries throughout its history.
- Its chief early European influences came from English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish settlers of colonial America during British rule.
- British culture, due to colonial ties with Britain that spread the English language, legal system and other cultural inheritances, had a formative influence.
- Other important influences came from other parts of Western Europe, especially Germany, France, and Italy.
American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, scientific and religious competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements.
- The level of patriotism, individualism, religious beliefs, and our spirit of self-reliance sets the United States apart as a nation.
- There are certain consistent ideological principles, such as: individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy.
- American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity.
American exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming “the first new nation,” and developing a uniquely American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire.
- Americans are a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty and democracy, thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions.
- Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many have promoted its use in that sense.
- This exceptionalism has defined the character as a nation of opportunity, revealing our individualistic nature that has given way to self-reliance, and prosperity.
o Americans value free will, while many nationalities dismiss it as a delusion.
o Americans want “freedom to pursue life’s goals without state interference,” while Europeans want “state guarantees that (nobody) is in need.”
o “All men are created equal” is based on human dignity, not equality of outcomes.
Although the United States has not officially defined English as the national language at the federal level, it is the de facto standard.
- 30 states have passed legislation making English the official language.
- According to the 2000 U.S. Census, more than 97% of Americans can speak English well, and for 81% it is the only language spoken at home.
America has defined a unique role in today’s society.
- Early on American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe, but unique American characteristics and the breadth of its production now cause it to be considered a separate path and tradition.
- U.S. architecture can be said to be eclectic, something unsurprising in such a multicultural society.
- Social commentary has also been a preoccupation of American theater, often addressing issues not discussed in the mainstream.
- American music styles and influences (such as country, jazz, rock and roll, rock, hip-hop, rap) and music based on it can/could be heard all over the world.
- The cinema of the United States, often generally referred to as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early twentieth century.
- There is a regard for scientific advancement and technological innovation in American culture, resulting in the flow of many modern innovations.
- Throughout its history, American culture has made significant gains through the open immigration of accomplished scientists.
- Among developed countries, the U.S. is one of the most religious in terms of its demographics.
- Although participation in organized religion has been diminishing, the public life and popular culture of the United States incorporates many Christian ideals specifically about redemption, salvation, conscience, and morality.
- Apart from professional business attire, fashion in the United States is eclectic and predominantly informal.
- The cuisine of the United States is extremely diverse, owing to the vastness of the continent, the relatively large population (1/3 of a billion people) and the number of native and immigrant influences.
- Although the nuclear family concept (two-married adults with biological children) holds a special place in the mindset of Americans, it is single-parent families, childless/childfree couples, and fused families which now constitute the majority of families.
- Due to the low overall population density as well as urban sprawl, the United States is one of the few developed nations where most people commute by car.
- As the United States is a diverse nation, there are numerous organizations and social groups, and individuals may derive their group affiliated identity from a variety of sources.
The Culture War has rolled on in waves:
- Culture War 1.0 – Initiated by the left in the 1960s, the counterculture promised a destruction of existing social institutions such as church, family and capitalism.
- Culture War 2.0 – More silent majority, in the 1980s into the 1990s, banded with the WWII generation to reassert itself in directing American culture.
- Culture War 3.0 – The counterculture kids took over the universities in the 1990s and began to assert a campus culture of conformity on issues involving religion and sex.
- Culture War 4.0 – The counterculture have become the blue-nosed Puritanical establishment moving from tolerance and freedom to demanding persecution of anyone who dissents against the new orthodoxy in even the smallest way.
The left’s deconstruction of social institutions is not a quest for equality, but for destruction.
- Deconstruction is a war against definitions, borders, and parameters.
- To deconstruct man, you deconstruct his beliefs and his way of living.
o You deconstruct freedom until it means slavery.
o You deconstruct peace until it means war
o You deconstruct property until it means theft.
o You deconstruct marriage until it means a physical relationship between any group for any duration.
- The deconstruction of marriage is part of the deconstruction of gender and family and those are part of the long program of deconstructing man.
- The final deconstruction eliminates nation, religion, family and even gender to reduce the soul of man to a blank slate waiting to be written on.
Congress was given the 45 Declared Goals for the Communist Takeover of America in 1963 which included subverting the American culture.
- Infiltrate and get control to indoctrinate and subvert: schools, family, child-rearing, marriage, media, radio, TV & motion pictures, religion, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
- The modern “progressive” Democrats have embraced and implemented most of these goals.
In the 1960s and 1970s, leftist began to infiltrate the institutions as a means of cultural change.
- This “long march though the institutions” is popularized by the German New Leftist Rudi Dutschke and is attributed to the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci.
- In the words of Herbert Marcuse, this “working against the established institutions while working in them” is a means on insinuation and infiltration rather than confrontation for fundamental change.
- The fathers of the “cultural revolution” are Rousseau, Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud.
- Passion, like idealism, is a nostrum that the left prescribes in order to relieve itself from the burdens of moral accountability.
- The “new sensibility” of the Sixties and Seventies set out to lower intellectual, aesthetic, and moral standards and also to undermine the shared intellectual and moral foundations of society.
- Liberal “capitulation” by university administrators in the Sixties and Seventies helped to institutionalize the radical ethos of the counterculture.
- Institution of higher education in America in the 60s became major resources or reservoirs of the adversary culture.
- Vietnam civil disobedience was established as a prescription for moral intoixification, not to say anesthesia.
- “Sexual liberation” liberated from husbands, children, and from family, disestablishing the family as the central institution of human society.
- The long march of America’s cultural revolution is the story of the social and moral malaise in this country.
A little-known consortium of radical groups, public-funded universities and the federal government is quietly seeking to transform the arts and other academic disciplines into vehicles of left-wing extremism and indoctrination.
- The initiative, called “Imagining America,” headquartered at Syracuse University, embraces the philosophy of Communist historian Howard Zinn, famous for manipulating historical fact to fit Marxist paradigms of human “progress” and to plant the seeds of radicalism in unsuspecting youth.
- Imagining America (full name is Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life) was founded at a 1999 White House Conference initiated by the White House Millennium Council, the University of Michigan, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
- The goal of Imagining America is to transform America so that the collective trumps the individual, and the rest of the world trumps America.
The American Trinity:
- In God We Trust
- E Pluribus Unum
The Protestant work ethic (or the Puritan work ethic) is a concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes:
- Hard work
- Constant display of a person's salvation in the Christian faith.
The Idea of America:
- Man is created with certain inalienable rights, including Life, Liberty, and Property.
- Man has the right to self-government, the right to be left alone, the right to the fruit of his labors, the right to dispose of his property as he sees fit.
- All men are created equal under God and the law, and that no man can take away these rights, and that the sole duty of government is to protect them.
- The government must be accountable to The People, not the people to the government.
- Ours is to be a nation of laws, not of men, and that no one is above the law.
- Justice is blind, and man must be virtuous if he is to be free.
- Human rights come from the creator and cannot be abrogated by men.
Americanism is freedom founded on the power of the individual, and his ability to achieve without undue government interference.
- The state exists to serve man, to protect God-given rights, and to allow the greatest amount of political freedom within the bounds of ordered liberty.
- The people truly own their property and are not merely renting it, and that they are free to use their talents, initiative, and “can do” spirit to make the lives they dream for themselves a reality.
American Pursuit of the American Dream stands atop three pillars:
- Entrepreneurial culture.
- Personal independence.
- Family stability.
American Culture is different from any other culture in the world.
- The level of patriotism, individualism, religious beliefs, and our spirit of self-reliance sets the United States apart as a nation.
- Our culture holds dear our individual rights, while keeping a watchful eye on a potentially intrusive government.
- As a society, we largely support the limiting principles of the United States Constitution, expecting the role of the federal government to be restrained to only those functions necessary for protecting, promoting, and preserving the union.
- We expect our economy to grow as a result of a flourishing free market, with as little governmental interference as possible.
- Individualism means that we may encounter personal consequences, and we are fine with that, rather than expecting the government to somehow mend any vestige of perceived inequality.
We are all dependent on others in our culture:
- Individualism – We are dependent on people we know, and they on us—in ways that foster family and community, build habits of restraint and dignity, and instill in us responsibility and a sense of obligation.
- Dependence - We are dependent on distant, neutral, universal systems of benefits that help provide for our material wants without connecting us to any local and immediate nexus of care and obligation (false sense of independence).
Belief in American exceptionalism still exists today for a great many citizens.
- It involves industriousness and neighborliness, and a trust in one another as responsible individuals.
- It believes that problems can be solved, and that both risk and failure are necessary steps for achieving success.
- It views control of our lives is also part of it.
- It wishes success for all citizens, and our making available opportunities to anyone who has the gumption to achieve.
- It demonstrates that people can be left free as individuals to live their lives as they see fit, voluntarily coming together to achieve mutual goals.
All wars are Culture Wars.
- To win a Culture War, you must destroy their sense of purpose and the values instilled in them to break an organization.
- The Culture War begins by attacking abstract ideas; then it attacks organizations; and finally it attacks people.
- A Culture War is a war of values; it is a war of worth.
Return the American Culture to the American people.
- Ensure American culture is stressed as key component of American exceptionalism.
- Pursue policies that promote life, marriage, family, and religious liberty.
- Pursue limited government that encourages personal responsibility and concern for neighbors.
“The Long March” by Roger Kimball published by Encounter Books, 2000.
“Taking America Back” by Joseph Farah published by Cumberland House Publishing, 2003.
“The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen published by National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2006.
“Common Sense” by Glenn Beck published by Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009.
“Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark R. Levin published by Threshold Editions, 2009.
“A Return to Values” by Bob Beauprez published by Fulcrum Publishing, 2009.
“Saving Freedom” by Jim DeMint published by Fidelis Books, 2009.
“America 3.0” by James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus published by Encounter Books, 2013.
“The Revolt Against the Masses” by Fred Siegel published by Encounter Books, 2013.
“The New Class Conflict” by Joel Kotkin published by Telos Press Publishing, 2014.
“Plunder and Deceit” by Mark R. Levin by Threshold Editions, 2015.
“Principles Count” by Tom Feeney dated July 13, 2004 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/PoliticalPhilosophy/upload/71255_1.pdf .
“Cultural deconstruction: turning a safety net into a hammock” by David Coughlin dated September 7, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/40130
Jennifer A. Marshall and Rachel Sheffield dated July 2016 published by The Heritage Foundation at https://medium.com/2016-index-of-culture-and-opportunity .