Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The Culture Wars are Over - and the Left Won!

I saw an analysis of the American kulturkampf on Keith M. Ellis' blog that I felt I had to share on here:

A fear, or lament, among many Democrats is that the appeal of anti-liberal sentiment among a majority of Americans is indicative that Americans are more conservative and reactionary than we’d like to believe. However, my personal theory is that it indicates, in a sense, the opposite. The truth of the matter is that in the war of political ideology, liberalism is continously triumphant over conservatism. The exception that leftists focus on is the rejection of most forms of socialism and the embrace of market economics. But that’s the exception to the rule. What matters most to people in terms of how they experience their life is culture. And our culture has been marching to the left for a very long time. I think the result of this is that while most Americans are reasonably happy at any given moment with the state of the liberalism of American society, they fear that it will shortly go too far. Culturally, they recognize that we’re not in danger of moving dramatically to the right. They fear the rightist tendency less. This is why, I believe, that anti-liberal sentiment is more effective politically than is anti-conservative sentiment. It’s about latent fear. (People don’t like being told what to do—an essential feature of cultural conservatism; but they are essentially traditionalists unnerved by “too much change”.)

I couldn't have put it better myself.