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American Mind: Creed and Culture In Clown World

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Andrea Yang:

“In 2004, Samuel Huntington published Who Are We? on the disintegration of American identity. At the time of its publication, Huntington’s willingness to even bring up identity as an issue was radical, even after sterilizing it. The idea that there was a coherent “we” half a century after progressives had sunk their teeth into American institutions of power, was—and still is—transgressive.

Huntington’s project, so radical to his critics, was simply to rediscover conservatism in terms of culture: to ground conservative politics in something deeper than abstraction. Huntington insisted that America was an essentially WASP conception, but wanted little to do with the “white” part, or even the more narrowly ethnic “Anglo-Saxon” part. Essentially, Who Are We? provided an academic justification for why English-derivative culture provided the essential support for Protestant-derivative creed in America. When James Nuechterlein reviewed the book in Commentary, he called it “defiantly unfashionable and counter-cultural. …”

Great article.

Eric P. Kaufmann is an American Mind contributor. He wrote a book about the deconstruction of American national identity called The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America. I read that eye-opening book while I was in college in the early 2000s. It is probably still the best book on the subject.

As for American identity, the key to understanding its current weakness and incoherence is situating the way the Boomers talk about it in their historical context. These people grew up in a world in which dumb people on television were considered legitimate authority figures. They grew up in a world in which the media was highly consolidated. In fact, there was no such thing as the “mainstream” until the 1950s because until the development of new technologies like film, radio and television and the decline of the old elites there was simply no means to project and exert cultural hegemony and deracinate White Protestant Americans and rewrite the very substance of our culture into a bunch of Jewish garbage.

Everything about the Boomer generation is a product of their historical experience. The “Judeo-Christian” religion, for example, only became a thing in the late 20th century. Their conservative views on economics was a byproduct of the crack in the New Deal coalition that was caused by desegregation between the 1940s and the 1970s. The sterile Sunbelt cities and suburbs the Boomers grew up in were created by the bulldozer. The Boomer morality itself which is based on grand displays of political correctness to signal social status to elites is a radical departure from traditional Western morality. The key thing to understand is that these people grew up in an artificial world that broke with tradition.

This is why I don’t really blame the Boomers. They didn’t really create this world. They were only the first generation to grow up in it and absorb its norms. I would suggest running terms like “racism” and “sexism” and “nativism” and “xenophobia” and “anti-Semitism” and “homophobia” and everything you have been told is right or wrong through Google Ngram Viewer. Far from reflecting any timeless conservative truths, you will become conscious of how the Boomer mentality is a passing phase.

Previous generations of White Americans simply did not think, speak, write or act like the Boomer generation who grew up under a Jewish elite at the top of the social pyramid. The past is a different country. If you spend enough time there as I have done, it will dawn on you that our world was a product of unique historical circumstances. It will inevitably change too as the older generations retire and die off and the forces which created and sustained their culture are irrevocably changed.

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