“What have Conservatives actually managed to conserve?” is something I’ve heard a lot recently from people in right-wing circles (alt-lite as well as alt-right.) The basic point being made here is that despite their apparent best efforts, Western society has been sliding leftward, away from the values Conservatives espoused. A large part of this is due to the fact that Conservatives pride themselves on being “principled,” and on being “practical.” In being “principled,” the refuse to play the game by the new rules the left has made, and thus lose. You don’t see Conservative-run companies firing SJW employees, but the opposite happens all the time. And in being “practical,” Conservatives generally are driven to be entrepreneurs and to run successful businesses. They don’t want to fight an ideological war with their business. This is why we often see Conservative-run companies buckle under leftist pressure, firing people that are targeted by the mobs, and don’t work as a team to hire Conservatives fired from other companies for wrongthink. Many of us have come to see these claims of being principled, and practical, as simply masks for their cowardice, their unwillingness to put themselves in the line of fire to actually defend their ideological allies as well as their beliefs.
Brian Niemeier addressed this in more detail in a blog post here, and it spawned a discussion more directly relevant to me and many others I associate with, that being the culture war we find ourselves in.
Rawle Nyanzi took up the torch from there, and applied this concept to the arts, which has been almost completed ceded to the alt-left. In his post, he makes the point that it is precisely because Conservatives tend to be more practical, they ignored the arts as a life path. And there is truth to that. It’s hard to make a living in the arts, especially in the early stages of a career, which can last for some time. It is also not a “practical” skill. Many see it as an indulgence, or a hobby.
Thus, leftists, who more often than not do not desire to start and support a family, and who don’t have as strong a desire to work hard and accumulate wealth. So, they had no problem working in the arts, while Conservatives ignored them, and the left took over. But while the arts do not necessarily have an immediate practical use, art shapes the culture over time, and with only one dominant ideology, those creators can push their agenda on the public, which is susceptible to the influence of the media they consume.
Brian followed this up with another post, looking into more specific reasons why Conservatives have completely ceded the cultural battleground of the arts.
As interesting as it is to look back and see what got us into this unfortunate situation, however, I would rather talk about what we can do to change the state of things in the arts, and I hope that more people on our side of the political divide come to realize that this is indeed an important battleground, and to help play a role in fighting back.
Some more thoughts on that to come soon. For now, the important thing is for us to create good art. We cannot expect things to change if we, like Conservatives have for too long, complain about the state of the industry while not actively trying to make a change.
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