Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The Corruption of Tradition
I must admit; anyone who has known me long enough knows I can be quite irritable, perhaps hostile would be a decent word. This isn't out of a dislike for people, but rather my expectations of people, especially those I'd like to consider friends or allies. To be fair, I'm rarely angry with them, but again the most accurate word would be irritation. Among these are so called "conservatives", whom claim to be traditionalists upholding an ideal long since dead. In America, many of these faux-traditionalists have a sort of decent view of things, more than an entirely modernised liberal perhaps would be - but they're often unwittingly defending the very things that began our corruption, that allowed western society to become the soulless shell it has become.
These are often people who decry socialism and communism, liberalism and degenerate behaviour. However; then they would defend capitalism as the only system worth noting, that we all must put profits before people, that we should be as efficient and profitable as possible. Our only goal in life to many of these people is to work to earn not just yourself money, but your nation. These same people would then proceed to claim themselves religious or Christian, when as far as I've read, Christ never advocated capitalism or anything remotely like it, or even flat out criticized some ideals we'd consider capitalist in nature, such as his disdain for usury.
The common traditionalist in America would have you believe that the 1950's (in America) was one of the greatest times in mankind's history - the woman stays home, cooks and cleans all day, and makes children (sex only for procreation mind you) at night, the children play outside most of the day and are respectful to their parents, and the father, firm as he may be, works most of the day and returns home to an already prepared, warm delicious meal.
As with any corruption, there are legitimate good things contained within. Children playing outside and remaining active, a firm but loving figure who provides for his family, a loving matriarch to watch and maintain the household.. It's not so bad sounding at all, even if corny and idealist.
However; that's the issue with this. This is all idealism. Being only twenty, I would be the first to admit I wasn't alive during 1950's America, and thus I can't possibly hope to say what is (or isn't) true about the decade that sums up ideal Americana - but I can say that most of it is nonsensical deceptions by what I've read and heard from the very people who lived during the time.
The reality often was a highly stressed out wife yearning for liberation brought on by various progressive movements, a stressed husband who may or may not have wanted to do more with his family, or may have even loved his work more, and unruly children who would go on to raise the various generations and counter-cultures we "embrace" today.
There's a reason all of the corruption and nonsense we see today isn't so long after the 1950's, most of what we see is a reaction against a highly hypocritical decade. The key point for the 1950's is the structure of the family - this is the last true tradition we can hold onto.
I'm going to make a controversial statement I imagine, amongst traditionalists of the "common" sort and the sort of traditionalists I'd sooner associate with - that to begin my dissection of this decade, I'll criticize the role of the woman in society.
Women aren't objects for us men to control - I'm not saying this to be progressive or popular with such people, but as a reality. What I was defending about this earlier was that *someone* was playing this structured role, to care for the house, to watch and guide the children. For a healthy household, somebody, be it the mother or father, should be filling this role.
While the decade (and a few before it) were wrong for assigning women to this role and looking down on any man or woman who wanted to do otherwise, it was right to actually encourage this role. In today's world, both parents often work, with a babysitter or in some cases a sibling helping to watch the younger children or to take care of the house. While this isn't terribly bad, it's the beginning of a trend; the emphasis on working and making money versus *actually* providing for your family.
Your family is something that, when structured properly, will stick with you for your entire life. Pre-modern civilization, in just about every culture, stressed the importance of ones family and/or clan, versus that of a "nation", "job", etc. While there were certainly issues the past relating to lackluster medical knowledge and in some cases, sub par hygiene, people weren't working backbreaking labour, and didn't spend all day beating their spouses or children as we like to portray (on another note, please visit this link for some facts on the middle ages and their society).
Money meanwhile is usually passed onto family, be it your sons and daughters, siblings and their children, etc. Only in very rare cases would one forfeit all he or she had earned in their lives for random strangers or charities, and this is the natural order of things, again, family first.
In the 1950's, society was all about money and consumerism, buying the latest trend because a man in a nicely tailored suit (at least then, not the rubbish people pass off today as fine tailoring) told them to purchase the next big thing, just as we are today. It's the fascination with these two concepts that only led to further corruption, bringing us into the terrible 1960's and later 90's, the betrayal of earth and blood for metal and paper.
This brings me to the provider, the father. This is a man who may or may not truly care for his family. He may work as hard as he does and ignore his family because he wants them to live a better life, or he may be so miserable with his at-home situation that work is a release from the mundane and stressful setting of the home.
If the person falls into the first, he's often a kind hearted soul obviously, one who is legitimately a hope, somebody I could sympathies for. If he's the latter, depending on his wife and children, I'd normally label him as scum.
The latter unfortunately, at least from my pessimistic view, is that of the common man today, and even then. Either wittingly or unwittingly, both good and corrupt man alike have been trapped into the confines of modern society, but this isn't anything recent, and that's the point of this entry.
To move onto children, I'd be a hypocrite to judge my generation and the next coming after mine. I spent most of my childhood indoors, playing video games and browsing the internet. This is still true to a very large extent, though it's not something I'm proud of or would defend. But I want it to change. I want to see future generations have a more genuine childhood than mine. I want to see much more loyalty and value in friendship than the lack of which I encountered in my own childhood. It's the only optimistic thing I could hope to have left, as children deserve to live a happy and near-burden free life. We brought them into this world, and it's not fair we give them all of our problems and thus make them into the people we are today.
To end this, I want to say I don't want to offend any reader whom has admiration of the 1950's. While I have nothing but disdain for capitalism and the consumerist lifestyle of the 1950's, I would admit it's a (sparse) improvement upon today's society, but such a lifestyle cannot hope to exist and be called traditional. It cannot hope to last; it will always collapse and degrade into the cesspit we call modern society.