Enormous social and cultural changes have swept the western world since 1945. The roots of some of these changes go back much further, in some cases to the 19th century. Feminism, the Sexual Revolution, the rise of antiracist ideologies, the LGBT movement, changes in how marriage is viewed, Political Correctness and more recently Wokeism. Social conservatives and many on the Right deplore most of these changes (in some cases they deplore all of these changes). Which is understandable. The western world today differs radically from the western world of 1945.
There’s nothing startling or controversial about this. It’s merely stating the obvious.
We need to ask two questions. Firstly, were these changes inevitable? And secondly, can anything be done about it?
Social conservatives and dissident rightists seem to favour the view that these changes were deliberately engineered, or were even the result of a conspiracy (or conspiracies).
I suspect that it’s possible that many (possibly most, possibly even all) of these social and cultural changes were to a large extent the inevitable result of the rise of mass media, mass education, democracy and capitalism plus various technological advances. They were the end result of processes that began in the 19th century.
Those social and cultural changes may have been, to a large degree, unstoppable.
What can be done about it? I think that the desire of many social conservatives and dissident rightists to completely undo all those changes is hopelessly unrealistic. It would be a bit like trying to undo the Industrial Revolution. It would require a complete social and cultural revolution and (barring some extraordinary apocalyptic event that brings present-day western civilisation to its knees) it seems unlikely that the conditions necessary for such a social and cultural revolution are going to arise.
Maybe the best that we can hope for is to ameliorate the worst features of these changes in the way that the worst features of the Industrial Revolution were eventually ameliorated. Maybe.
Maybe we can learn to live with most of the social/cultural changes if some of those worst features can be ameliorated. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves how much amelioration of the more extreme changes would create a world that we could live with.
I know, it’s not a very optimistic viewpoint from the point of view of social conservatives. It’s not even a very optimistic viewpoint from the point of view of more moderate social liberals.
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