Are we begging the question here?
To a greater extent than perhaps we care to admit to ourselves, the culture we are born into does limit us and define us.
There is cultural conditioning in the home and in the schools. There are cultural mores (moral views), norms and values that those around us expect us to conform to. There is a peer pressure – even among adults – to conform to these norms. Of course, these norms and mores have morphed considerably over the past 50 to 60 years in the US.
A certain amount of cultural cohesion and conformity is necessary in society, but when taken to an extreme, this can lead to a shunning of alternative points of view. Fear of how one will be thought of leads some individuals to practice self censorship and to remain silent on “controversial” questions and issues. We dare not objectively discuss certain issues, or disagree with the positions of very vocal “victim” groups.
Political correctness (including identity politics), feminism (including lesbianism), multiculturalism, and socialistic thinking all contribute to an avoidance of open and objective discussion of many issues. An example is race relations in the US. It is very difficult to discuss race relations without appeals to emotion and avoiding inconvenient, politically incorrect facts (such as fatherless children are more prone to engaging in criminal activity in their teenage years). The politically correct culture limits discussion of alternative courses of action to address societal problems. Thus, the culture is limiting our choices and our chances for constructively resolving those problems.
As to culture limiting and defining us: What about customary practices engrained in the society such that these are not, cannot be questioned? Examples: The rigid, corrupted caste system of India (Vedic precepts did not require that the caste system be based on birth, but rather on qualification/merit). Female genital mutilation in certain sub Saharan African societies and in some Islamic countries. In the US, routine infant male circumcision when – gasp – there is no medical or health necessity for it. (When you mutilate and thereby abnormalize the sex organs of males and/or females, you are abnormalizing sex – and then we wonder why there are sexual problems/frustrations in marriage.) All these are destructive, harmful, limiting customs that, within the cultures where these are practiced, have not been questioned sufficiently by many folks. We can add, for the US and for other Western nations, abortion and divorce as harmful practices that are not questioned or are taken too lightly by most individuals. The customs of a culture help to define the culture and its values or lack thereof.
Food for thought.
It does appear that, like it or not, the culture we are born into and grow up in does limit us and define us more than we may desire.
We think there were words in a song by RUSH (a Canadian rock band) that went something like this:
“Conform – or be cast out.”
It is now “counter-cultural” to question the currently dominant paradigm. There are some brave souls who are daring to question it and are even attempting to change the paradigm or at least lessen its hold on our minds.
other related thoughts
As well, there are those who seek to impose a foreign and alien ideology upon us in the West. This is being attempted from within by immigrants and converts who act on Islamic values and ideals. The irony here is that a post-Christian West is not up to the task of resisting Islamization. Secular humanistic non-belief (and its related moral nihilism, hedonism) cannot effectively oppose or resist erroneous religious belief. Socialism, feminism and “multiculturalism” have largely neutered (read: emasculated) European males. To a lesser extent, this is true for American males. Western culture has a very uncertain future.
We think there will be many men who will be casting their votes against the politically correct candidate for US president in this election; not because she is a woman, but because she represents so much that is wrong with the women’s movement these past few decades (and because her policies encourage government dependence and a further erosion of our rights). Many men, in the privacy of their thoughts, are tired of feminist attacks on their masculine nature and all things masculine. (Ironically, these feminist attacks are actually aided by certain Christian churches that have been rather antagonistic towards heterosexual men for centuries.) Another factor in play is a certain “Hillary fatigue” – caused by a not very likeable public figure that just won’t go away after so many years.
Happy Columbus Day.
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