After more than a year of coronavirus alarmism, racial strife, businesses going up in smoke, and corporations growing more politically left, conservatives are burned out. The Declaration of Independence says “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” but anyone alive today knows no such pledge exists between the sparring factions of the country. The left’s “anti-culture” has led to the degradation of society and profound disunity.
This degeneration into anti-culture is why it wasn’t shocking when leftist activists said justice had not been served in the Derek Chauvin case, even after they got their preferred guilty verdict. “So no, this is not justice,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said. “I also don’t want this moment to be framed as this system working, because it is not working and that is what creates a lot of complexity in this moment.”
“Let’s Be Clear: There Was No Justice Served With Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict,” declared a Refinery29 headline.
The reason AOC and others on the left were not content is that these people want much more than just a conviction of Chauvin. They want to eliminate the justice system and defund the police, or at least “reimagine” these things, and let radical individualism persist in mob rule. The Democrats said the quiet part out loud after Chuvin’s conviction: Guilty verdicts aren’t enough. The whole system must be overturned.
Conservatives today are quick to emphasize a need to “take back the culture,” speaking of fighting back against the left’s war on biology, human dignity, language, institutions, and sexuality, among other issues. Indeed, the left has attacked the foundations of our moral order and made our cities and towns crime-ridden, drug-addled, COVID-restricted, and enflamed. In order for conservatives to successfully reverse this trend, however, we must first understand that how the left aims to steer society has nothing to do with the inculcation of virtue and community — the basis for a strong culture.
Rather, the left seeks to overthrow American institutions and traditions. Whether through critical race theory, anti-science gender theory, cancel culture, or the ahistorical “1619 Project,” — or more performative acts such as self-flagellation for climate change or arson for so-called racial justice — the intentions of today’s radicals are to segregate and divide. Through this “anti-culture,” which can be simply defined as “a culture set up in opposition to another culture,” the woke left unleashes a seek-and-destroy mission against our shared norms and values. We see it in classrooms, boardrooms, big media, Hollywood, corporate America, and even in churches and on city streets. Nothing is immune from the influence of the left’s anti-culture.
One culture can of course replace another culture, sometimes even to human benefit, as America’s Founding Fathers demonstrated. The difference is that what the left seeks to impose on our country — never-ending division due to a preoccupation with race and identity as paramount — strictly constitutes an anti-culture that does not contribute to a patriotic and unified nation. The left’s “equity” framework, for example, undermines the American belief that “all men are created equal.”
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro discusses this at length in his 2020 book “How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps.” Shapiro defines the left’s political motives as aimed at “disintegrationism,” whereas others seek “unionism.” The disintegrationists think, “Anyone who believes that America’s philosophy, culture, institutions, and history are unparalleled as a source of good and rights is … a Pollyannish jingoist at best, a bullheaded bigot at worst.” Shapiro continues, “Disintegrationists leverage the power of cultural institutions to target and destroy those who stand in their way.”
Disintegrationists leverage the power of institutions all the time to advance their cultural aims. Look no further than Major League Baseball throwing its weight around to crush conservative election integrity efforts in Georgia. Or consider college students who pressure their universities to disinvite and deplatform speakers who dissent from left-wing orthodoxy.
We no longer have a culture and a counter-culture. We have an anti-culture, designed at tearing down all traditions and institutions.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 8, 2021
Thus the warriors of leftist anti-culture seek disintegration. It’s why rioters and looters feel no remorse for ruining people’s lives in the name of “social justice” and why deconstructing history one statue and essay at a time elicits cheers and Pulitzer Prizes. This breakdown epitomizes anti-culture — where all men are not created equal, God is a myth, and it is acceptable for thugs with spiked baseball bats to trek through the streets pillaging businesses because, as voices in the corrupt media claim, “Destroying property … is not violence.”
Even the president subscribes to anti-culture, championing unity but undermining our shared values. President Joe Biden has capitulated to gender lies, equity rhetoric, and “systemic racism.” Any leader of the free world who believes America is systemically rotten severs the cords that would hold us together and sabotages any attempts at a shared culture.
As the culture lurches left, conservatives might feel inclined to relinquish. But the battle for American culture goes far deeper than one or two issues of secularism seeping into the mainstream. Conservatives must resist the left’s anti-culture. Because if we don’t, we will be without a common moral purpose to guide the country we love.