Political societies are coalitions of diverse subcultures or movements. And so I’ve been trying to remember all the cultural movements that I’ve seen arise over the past 70 years, and which were overlaid on top of the pre-existing culture, which was itself a coalition of different subcultures.
The antismoking/healthist cultural movement was perhaps the oldest, because it began to gather momentum in the 1950s, although it had roots in Nazi Germany, and far earlier. As a movement it was almost non-existent in the 1950s, but became steadily more powerful with almost every single subsequent decade. And since it is the principal concern of this blog, I’ll say little more about it, enough having been said already.
The next cultural movement also emerged in the late 1950s, and was the pop music culture. This culture rather exploded onto the world with the likes of Elvis Presley and a constellation of other musicians playing electric music. It was at its height in the 1960s, but has arguably been in slow decline ever since.
The third cultural movement, which emerged in the 1960s, was the drug culture, that began with marijuana, but rapidly expanded to include any number of other drugs, both legal and illegal. It seems to be still expanding, with new drugs added every decade, if not every year.
The fourth cultural movement was the US antiwar movement, which arose in response to the Vietnam war into which many young Americans were being conscripted. The 1960s drug culture may have been a consequence of US soldiers coming into contact with drugs like marijuana and opium in Vietnam. The antiwar movement now seems to be almost non-existent.
A fifth cultural movement in the late 1960s, perhaps also a consequence of US soldiers in Vietnam coming into contact with other cultures and religions, was the rise of what might roughly be called Eastern mysticism, whose various cults usually featured some Indian guru.
A sixth cultural movement was the women’s movement that began to gain traction in the early 1970s. This was almost contemporaneous with the seventh, LGBT movement, which started up around the same time, and now seems to be adding new sexual minority categories (e.g. transgender) every decade or so.
The eighth cultural movement was the environmental movement, which metamorphosed into the Green movement, and mutated further into global warming/climate change alarmism. This has become a very powerful movement, perhaps because it’s been the only one that’s science-based, and has entire industries based upon it.
The ninth cultural movement, which actually started life in the 1950s, but only became significant in UK culture in the 1970s, was the European movement, firstly with the European Economic Community, and then the European Union. This has perhaps been the most powerful cultural movement of all.
A tenth cultural movement might be Cultural Marxism, although this one tends to ride parasitically on the backs of other cultural movements (e.g. environmentalsim and the EU) and co-opt them for its own purposes. Marxism seems to have an endless ability to re-invent itself.
Perhaps Islamism might be termed another cultural movement, although it’s an import from the Middle East.
When these various subcultural movements emerged, they began to form loose coalitions. Political Correctness is perhaps simply a coalition of values, reflecting an underlying coalition of subcultures. It has no internal logic: it’s simply a consensus opinion. And in forming coalitions, the various cultural movements gradually ceased to be separate subcultures, and merged into a single pop, environmental, antismoking, LGBT, left wing, European superculture. In the UK, the adoption by the Conservative party’s David Cameron of the entirety of the environmental agenda in 2005 marked the triumph of environmentalist movement. The later acceptance of gay marriage by David Cameron marked the ratification and triumph of LGBT subculture. And the UK smoking ban of 2007 of course marked the triumph of the antismoking movement.
But when this loose coalition of subcultural movements gained cultural ascendancy, it also became fascistic. Fascism may simply be something that emerges when some subculture gains ascendancy. Up until the point when they became ascendant, the subcultures were usually simply trying to defend themselves. But once they gained the cultural ascendancy, they started imposing their values on everybody else, usually by force of law. So, for example, in 2009 the EU parliament voted for a European smoking ban, complete with show trials for prominent dissidents. It was a way of saying, “We’re in charge now! Do as we tell you to do!”
It was at this point that the entire coalition, gradually pieced together over many decades, began to disintegrate. It’s rather hard to see how a political union can survive when it makes large numbers of its own people into second class citizens, arrogantly imposing its values upon them in all kinds of ways.
In the USA, the Democratic political movement – Clinton, Obama, etc – has been exactly the sort of “rainbow” coalition of separate movements just described. But wherever it has gained ascendancy in the USA, it has regularly behaved tyrannically. And whenever it has done so, it has begun alienating former supporters. And these have been slowly drifting away, and voting for somebody else. In the UK that’s been evidenced in the shock Brexit vote, as Britons rejected the EU. And in the USA it’s been expressed by the shock election of Donald Trump, as Americans rejected Hillary Clinton.
The loose coalition of cultural movements had gained the ascendancy, only to lose it a few short years later, when people began to recognise – and reject – the fascistic characteristics it had increasingly begun to openly display.
The collective hissy fit of the largely leftwing US mainstream media at the presidency of Donald Trump grows from a refusal to recognise that they have lost their ascendancy. They thought that history was going in one direction, and that they were riding its wave. But the wave has now broken, and is retreating back down the beach. And the danger is that, having scored a great many victories, the left is about to lose everything it has won.
Not all the cultural movements I’ve listed have been fascistic in nature. Music is not inherently fascistic. Nor are drugs. Nor is sex. Nor is quietistic Eastern mysticism. Environmentalism – the wish to preserve the natural environment – might not be inherently fascistic, but modern environmentalism with its tyrannical windmills has somehow managed to become fascistic. But Islam and Cultural Marxism and the EU superstate were arguably always inherently fascistic and bullying in character. And antismoking healthism also. And when ordinary people recognise it, they reject it. They revolt against it. And if all the cultural movements I’ve listed have grown out of a revolt against one thing or other, the next set of social movements will also grow out of similar revolts.