- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology»
- History of the Americas
The New American Culture
By John Franzen
With the latest trend of multiculturalism, it seems that anything or anyone can be deemed as American. The current state of culture in America then can be seen as a wide variety of sub-cultures, neither dependent on each other nor in many cases even relevant; in some cases interests are completely contradictory. Your looks, the food the eat, and the music you listen to are a part of your sub-culture, and with the wide variety of activities available in today's world this points to an ever-increasing drift from a core set of beliefs.
Many, at least in the cultural and media elite, believe that this diversity of talent and interest is what makes America unique. For them, "democracy" means an individual is provided for to pursue their dreams, as long as it does not interfere with the ability of others to do the same. And it is only with a large centralized federal government that this unique situation is possible, for without a centralizing force, these disparate interests would separate Americans and sub-cultures would truly become dominant in the areas that are practiced, without the extreme examples of exception we see in historically volatile areas.
Throughout history culture has always acted as a unifying force, for it is similar interests that bind a Nation together. But what happens when a culture is based on diversity; what is the result when a culture encourages uniqueness and separation? We will soon see in America.
Although the multicultural experiment has been in progress for decades, it was not until recently that it was truly streamlined in the media and replaced the sense of what used to be American. There is relief among some, concern among others, that the old culture is unlikely to return to form. Proponents of this "New American Culture" argue that democracy, freedom, and individualism hold us together as a people who promote equality in the right to pursue life. It is said that the Constitution set the foundation for a new kind of government that did not press its interests on the people, but rather was of an ideally equal people.
In the internet age, we can clearly see that this is not the case; time and time again it was the interests of the government that took us to war or mislead us for our votes. Those who came before us also knew that power corrupts, and that spoken intentions were often accompanied by silent wishes. While some truly believe in the equality promoted by the New American Culture which has become a fascination amongst the elite, others use it to their advantage, while still countless others reject it. A silent majority exists which dare not speak against it, for the growth of its major proponent now speaks explicitly to at least 90 million people. This is simply the number of employed and paid by the federal government. It does not even begin to take into account the corruption and abuse that is possible with such a large number of federal responsibilities.
This cultural experiment has been the most extensive in history. Untold resources have filled coffers. The government employs, pays, and subsidizes anyone who respects their power; for this reason, any person of any background is now seen as a reliable ally in the continuation of a hollowed, diversified central culture, which in itself has become nothing other than a vessel for a countless number of sub-cultures. In theory, the overarching values of democracy are universal; in reality, these mean nothing without the forces of money and power which hold the sub-cultures together.
For those experienced in the New American Culture, it is clear that there are certain segments of the population who retain their unique status as sub-cultures. But for untold millions, this "silent majority", what is it to be American? Reluctantly, they accept the New American values of equality and democracy. In public, they pursue their specific cultural interests. What binds them as people, as do the interests of the obvious sub-cultures? While African-Americans form in practice a Nation within a Nation, so too do the Mexican-Americans of the Southwest. The silent majority, which is comprised of those of European ancestry and those wishing to assimilate, is forced to accept these sub-cultures but is denied one of their own.
When the federal government is no longer able to fund the New American Culture, what will determine what holds these people together? While many aspects of the New Culture are derived from this silent majority, a good proportion of them seek to equalize the other sub-cultures against them as a people.
It is clear that the future of the American Republic cannot rely on the values of the New American Culture, and it is fairly safe to say that the ethnic sub-cultures will dominate in the areas where they have become ruling majorities. We are left wondering: What is it to be truly American, in an ever-dividing country, for this silent majority who wish to retain National unity over multiculturalism?