Blood And Soil: The Culture War That Is Shaping Our Collective And Individual Identities
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The United States is not in the midst of a political war despite the true fight manifesting in the domain of politics. America is instead in a much larger and a more significant culture war. This issue is so multifaceted and dates back so long that it can’t be attributed to any one event.
The Death of Modern Christendom
The traditional Christian world is fading away as faith declines faster than ever in the Western world. This is more catastrophic for America than any other state.
Moreover, Nietzsche noted that following this loss of belief, Westerners would cluster into ideological groups to regain their sense of identity.
Nevertheless, despite the decline, Western civilization was still responsible for Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment. Right? The millennia-old methods of seeking truth have empirically created the freest, most fair, technologically advanced, and powerful countries that ever existed.
These are the notions that are slowly molding the identity of many on one side of this culture war.
Blood And Soil
Americans today can barely comprehend the notion of blood and soil. Unless, one is a first-generation immigrant, as a population we can’t fathom the feeling of being tied to an ancestral homeland. Being connected with our ancestors who walked on the same ground thousands of years ago is a foreign idea let alone feeling.
While this is a noble notion, the foundation of 21st-century American culture includes sports and the state rituals that accompany them, reality television, a brightly colored flag, consumerism, petty ideological differences, and binge-watching Netflix.
A History of Slavery
Despite those men being famous for their works on the “natural rights
,” the United States has a century-old tradition of slavery and racism. One that still courses through the veins of the nation today.
13% of the American population had ancestors who were slaves. Following their “liberation” they were restricted and harassed in every imaginable way. Today, they’re ancestors, the descendants of slaves, continue to deal with the racism that remains laden within our age-old institutions.
The type of anger that must exist in the African American community is one I can only ever imagine.
Combining all of these seemingly fractured ideas into one whole, America finds itself divided into two large groups with subgroups underlying both.
First, the victimized and those who believe that American cruelty ought to override any other national story. The history of American righteousness, fighting for rights, being a country of immigrants is meaningless unless America fully lives up to its ideals. They point not only to slavery but the stigmatization of homosexuality, women’s suffrage, along with the suffering of minorities generally.
Second, those who see America and thus the West—despite its horrors—as the undisputed champion of the world morally, economically, and politically. If these ideals bind us together, America’s moral arc necessarily bends towards justice because people will fight for those rights with the flow of information. Furthermore, they’d argue that Western civilization has produced the fairest political and economic system with the highest standard of living in history and technologically advanced society to date.
I believe we are unable to find common ground because both stories are in their own right true. If Americans cannot admit the legitimacy of the other side’s interpretation of history, a loss of our collective and individual identities will worsen. This culture war may be the beginning stages of something less ideological and more tangible.
By Chris Panagakis
Founder of Curiosity Shots
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