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European Culture: Wealth or Wellbeing?

February 3, 2016

I do worry a lot about the state of our culture in the European countries. It seems to me there is an awful lot wrong with our approach to life and our outlook on life. Yet I see very few other people complaining. Far from it, anyone who does complain is often shouted down by the loud voices of PROGRESS. Of REASON and SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, and of how we should bow down to these things and let them lead us to the promised land. This myth that we can let things such as technology do the hard work for us, so we can just be lazy and ride on its coattails, is a very dangerous one. It is also very blindsighted and naive to think that TECHNOLOGY and SCIENCE are all for the good, and to not realise that they can be a double-edged sword.

It will always take effort and hard work to maintain our cultural values and our moral integrity. These things will never get easy. But the way our kids are taught today, its as if this very impossibility can in fact be achieved. Somehow culture will be maintained by inertia alone. Well, are political institutions remaining uncorrupted by inertia alone? Do business men/women and companies looking for profit remain uncorrupted by inertia alone? Of course they do not, it takes effort and hard work to oppose them and bring them into line with our values. Too much fatalism is taught to the kids of the non-elite class (i.e. 95-99% of us). Science has unfortunately been brought to this service in the way kids are taught passive obedience to a fatalistic universe that they cannot influence or change in any way.

So, yes I worry a lot, in spite of, and partly because of, these strangely loud trumpeters of Reason and Science and Technology. Who seem to think just uttering a word makes them better by default than all past generations and societies and cultures combined. Because we have PROGRESSED. But much of this progress has become hugely stultifying of human spirit. We increase standards of living: net result everyone stays in and watches television and plays on computers. We increase protection against various diseases: net result, a generation emerges with no natural immunities and all sorts of new and strange illnesses seem to emerge, such as dyslexia, diabetes, cancer, depression, adhd, and many others that were largely absent in former times. Not to say there is a causal relationship here in any sense, but merely to point out that solving one problem only creates other problems, and so in no way allows us to get complacent about how PROGRESSED we have become.

Yet this side of the story is never portrayed by these loud trumpeters. The progress in medical care and welfare, has left us with a largely state dependent mass of people in Europe with very low birth rates, and very high tax rates. The two go hand in hand you will find. Yet the story we are told by those blowing their trumpets is that are birth rates have gone down because we are so darn progressed! It is almost laughable. Education they say, we are better educated, so we can feel smug and superior despite our unhealthily low birth rates. And we can always bring in more immigrants as the population ages… Ahh, but wait, here is where we see how culture is gradually eroded by this process. It is a gradual act of self-extinction. You cannot just bring in people en masse and expect immediate integration. You can create a veneer of it via political correctness, and via various elite manipulations of the media and advertising, but you cannot create a cultural reality of it.

How it has come to be seen as healthy and progressive to not even want to embrace the joys of life so much as to produce even enough offspring to reproduce your own generation, I do not know. How we can call a youth generation with diminishing social skills, and increasing emotional and mood problems progressive I don’t know. How we can call the extreme inequalities of wealth between rich elite and the poor rest of us, as progressive, I am once again flummoxed. Wellbeing and embracing the natural joys of life and culture need to be our new measures of progress within our communities. We need to brush this silly agenda aside, of the the trumpeters of TECHNOLOGY and PROGRESS and REASON. The fatalists and deniers that human spirit and human effort can achieve anything. We can admire the benefits and qualities of these accomplishments, and be proud of them, without having to faun all over them.

There is so much more on this topic that I would like to discuss. The dangers of our individualism and our political correctness agenda, the dangers of denying free will, were things merely touched upon. They go to the heart of the issue in our cultural crisis. Along with the guilt about empires and wars from the past. Along with an elite who clearly are hell bent upon either pacifying us, or if we don’t comply, destroying us. Subjects for another post and another day, when I have had time to think it over some more.

 

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