Cultural Conservation

Topics: Culture, Aesthetics, Morality Pages: 3 (761 words) Published: May 11, 2000
One problem with cultural conservation:
To put it simply, and its not a problems that only conservatives very often confuse (or conflate ethics and aesthetics. When Gertrude Himmererfarf lambastes out (as she perceives it) 'amoral, 'sexually deviant' and 'polymorpously perverse' culture she is primarily responding to something that she finds culturally foreign and aesthetically threatening.

I agree with her that values are oftentimes a good thing, but only when they are born of an ethical and pragmatic perspetc
ive, not an aesthetic one.
The conservatives want a seemingly neat and compartment society wherein stable appearances are maintained and archaic cultural archetypes are adhered to religiously. I grew up in a world of cultural archetypes. I grew up with white businessmen going to office buildings while their wives stayed at home and their kids went to school. or , more accurately, I grew up with alcoholic, adulterous business men who lives culturally insular lives while their wives took sedatives and smoked cigarettes and vented their frustrations on there kids, and these same kids took reams of drugs, got abortions, drove drunk, and victimized the weaklings. I grew up in what most conservatives would consider a utopia; lots of money, prestige, cultural cohesion, and good conservative values. But their values were in fact aesthetics, and maintaining these aesthetics ruled and ruined their lives. Almost everyone in this suburban bourgeoisie system hated their lives, but because they had been brought up to worship aesthetic myths they felt that to question them was an admission of personal failure.

What are these myths? they're old and platitudinal but I'll trot on them again: that's money makes you happy, that society is right and that poverty is bad, that maintaining convention in every aspetc

of your life is the ultimate good, that aberrance
from these ideas is sin. etc
I'm not going to say that the polar opposites of the clichés is...
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