March 11, 2004

Cultural Separation?

Wretchard is worrying about cultural separation over several informative posts.

The idea that a multicultural society is going to splinter and spin off into separate worlds is not a new one. Any culture that is as large as the United States has significant potential for such centrifugal force to create mutually incomprehensible subcultures. What does the flinty farmer in the hills of New Hampshire have in common with the surfer dude on California's beaches? Very little. But I think that Wretchard's pushing the idea a bit too hard, assuming we need to have a consensus of shared cultural experience, not just enough core common values to agree on in order to form a coalition type of a country.

The truth is that we never have been entirely united under one common culture. There were always regional differences and while the rise of broadcast TV has rubbed away a lot of the older linguistic differences, new differences rise in job, activity, or outlook subcultures. Slacker culture, geek culture, engineer culture, these are all new differences that are rising up to replace the fading hatreds of Wisconsin cheese heads v. Illinois FIBS.

Another thing that is likely to work against the separatism trend is the ability to share culture over the Internet. I looked at a paragraph in Wretchard's latest and couldn't figure out what QRF stood for. A bit of googling and I found out that its both a D&D models company and an acronym for a Quick Reaction Force.

While christians may be tempted to withdraw from society, this is profoundly against christian tradition, whether Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. Christianity is an evangelizing faith and most people, at heart, know it. You can't spread the news if you only interact with current believers. It is this central evangelizing feature of christianity that reassures me the most that we're not going to truly see a christian/secularist split in the US.

Posted by TMLutas at March 11, 2004 03:12 PM