Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

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Powerful new David Brooks piece

Brooks muses long on low culture's extreme masculine brand of aggressiveness, and asks:

It is the least privileged parts of society that are often the most sexist, reactionary, and even materialistic. We have a dynamic urban culture that treats women like whores and that regards owning a Mercedes as the highest possible human aspiration, and the leading articulators of progressive opinion have almost nothing to say about it. They can't seem to bring themselves to admit out loud that their most effective ideological enemies have turned out to be the same underprivileged people they wanted to rescue from exploitation.

Society is not run from the top, or from any one place. Instead it involves a complex dance of different groups rebelling and innovating, co-opting and exploiting. Feminists or progressives or conservatives who blame the cultural elites for most of society's ills are attacking a monster that can't control its own movements. The elites are often a step behind, trying to catch up to the real innovators. All of this raises a set of hard-to-answer questions. How do you react when people further down the social pecking order—whether they are disenfranchised whites or underclass urban minorities—are creating a culture you find degrading? How do you criticize that culture without seeming square, elitist, or even racist? No one has figured out the answers.

("The Return Of The Pig")
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