Are we headed toward cultural doom?
This cancel culture phenomenon that's been foisted upon us is a manifestation of true evil, of both intent and results. I have no doubt that, if it's allowed to continue unchecked, we will be headed for a fate as bad as that of other once-great cultures in history. As soon as freedom and creativity are snuffed out, a culture rapidly begins the process of decay.
One example is ancient Babylon, once the most advanced city in civilization. It, and its broader area, Mesopotamia, thrived roughly where Iraq, Syria, and Turkey now sit. This was back a couple of thousand years BC. You've maybe heard of the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
Today, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey don't evoke many images of creativity and scientific progress. Hard to imagine that, 2,000 years before Christ, the area was home to a culture that created advanced mathematics, codified astronomy, and created sophisticated art and literature. They developed a modern number system (where Roman numerals once were the standard). They developed many of the fundamental elements of physics. Way back in Hammurabi's time (1792 BC to 1750 BC), the Babylonians developed a complete legal code. While a bit more severe than our modern law, many of its principles (for instance that you are innocent until proven guilty) are used to this day.
The finer details of how that great culture fell are not important. Fall, it did. Internal political strife weakened it, inviting invasion by its enemies, and that cracked it apart. You'll find plenty of information online if you're curious.
The parallels are not necessarily linear. The point is, that we, like the Babylonians, are not invincible. We don't take seriously the dangers we are facing right now. We could easily destroy ourselves, to the point where we would no longer have a culture. Once our culture fails, we open the doors to invasion. The Chinese, I suspect, will be happy to step in that door.
My friends and family on the left ridicule my worries, but they don't bother to look at history. They don't seem bothered by our current lack of integrity as a government and as a people. I'm puzzled that they don't see past their own noses.
We're immersing ourselves in some seriously bad ideas and actions right now. All thought and speech that doesn't conform to a made-up standard are silenced. That "standard" changes depending on who you are. Trump was hounded for "Russian collusion" that never happened; Biden's Chinese and Ukrainian collusion are studiously ignored, as is his son Hunter's role in it. In fact, it could be argued that the FBI's and media's suppressing Hunter Biden's laptop lost the election for Trump. When it comes to COVID, WHO's warped pronouncements on COVID are golden, but actual scientific study and factual findings are suppressed even if those findings could have saved countless lives. The list could go on for pages.
Power-mad technocrats and bureaucrats adjudicate all speech, weighing the evidence based on their biases, rather than reality. We are setting our culture on a rapid-transit pathway back to the intellectual dark ages.
We have a lot of work to do to fix the problems, and perhaps little time to do so. John Kerry and AOC made dire predictions that we have only 9 or 12 or whatever years until climate change consumes us -- which if you believe, I have a bridge to sell you. I predict (and if you think about how fast our decline has happened in the last year, you might just agree) that we have a very short period of time to reverse our current downward spiral before it's too late and the damage is not so easily remedied.
I think about how rich a culture we have always been, diverse in thought, excited by scientific discovery, excited by the possibilities of our language, of mathematics, of inventing a better tomorrow. Art and science have thrived. We are an inventive society and have accomplished more as a culture than most.
Now we stifle real scientific inquiry in favor of codifying meaningless groupthink. We label Dr. Seuss as dangerous, and Cardi B's obscene gyrations get a G rating. Conservative thought is banned, but child porn thrives. Hollywood funds stuff nobody wants to see, but a movie that exposes real issues can't find funding. For that matter, power-mad internet platforms often shut down funding sites if the group or project dares to color outside the established progressive lines.
All our energy seems to be directed towards retarding progress, not making it. The election was but one step on our road to perdition. The progressive left is working assiduously to herd us along this road, and the result will be a society that collapses of its own dead weight if we're not careful.
Image: Panel with a striding lion, ca. 604–562 B.C., Babylon. Public Domain.