Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Answer to the Culture War

Center for a Stateless Society

The drama of the so-called “culture wars” picked up recently with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene calling for a “national divorce” over supposed entrenched cultural issues. Setting aside how this would be a terrible deal for red states, how fundamentally unworkable the idea is (what happens to blue cities inside red states), or how bad a deal it would be for MTG herself (given how her own state voted in the last presidential election), let’s actually engage with the fundamental problem here: the culture war.

The culture war, more than anything else, serves to cover the failures of the capitalist system. People are angry. Real wages have been stagnant for decades as the cost of living rises. Jobs have become ever more precarious and workers’ rights are rolled back (including by our current “pro-labor” strike breaker president). The housing market has been a hellscape since 2008, we JUST got out of a two-decade long war, and soldiers coming home find a VA that’s unable or unwilling to meet their needs. All the while the rich keep getting richer. So-called “free trade” agreements have been struck over the last several decades promising jobs and using the rhetoric of free markets, while casting them aside in favor of statist privilege, capitalist control, and the decimation of labor movements, all in a search for ever more exploitable labor. Couple this with the increasing atomization and breakdown of community support structures we’ve seen during the era of neoliberalism post-1970s and you effectively have a large chunk of the population facing serious economic crisis whilst having far less support.

Rage is the natural and normal response to this. So, if you’re a rich scumbag looking to maintain your power, and the masses are increasingly angry with the system you benefit from, what’s your best option? Divert their anger. And so we get to the role of OAN, Newsmax, and the whole right wing media apparatus. They divert the anger away from the capitalists that own the system, and towards innocent BIPOC. And so we get armed hooligans showing up at drag shows.

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