The individual death of the counterculture

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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby jules.LT » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:06 pm UTC

mewshi wrote:I think the big reason why people fall away from things like this is because we have come to expect things to just... happen. Huge changes take time, and a lot of us give up before the momentum even starts. Maybe instead of saying, "I want this to happen," we should be saying, "I want to work toward this."

That's what NGOs are all about, and it seems to work.
If only more people chose to work in them... I know I will.

Also, I'm glad that environmentalism has gone somewhat mainstream and I don't mind that it doesn't mean we adopt hippy cultural codes. Call it "watering down" if you like.
Now, Alter-globalization might bear some nice fruits too...
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Are you sure yours and OlieGarkey's examples are new phenomena? At least as seen from Europe, it's fairly typical and has always been typical behaviour of Americans to go find their roots, especially if those roots are in English-speaking areas. A significan't part of the tourist sector of Protestant Catholic Debate Land and Haggisland is based on Americans visiting their ancestral village.

At the same time, both my and my girlfriend's job mostly involve writing reports in Galactic Basic instead of Dutch, because the reports might have to go to a international audience anyway. And I am writing this in Galactic Basic too. Such forces worldwide towards cultural integration seem to me much stronger, at the moment, than fragmentation.


[Wow do I hate filters even though they're hilarious.]

Ethnic tourism is one thing, yeah. But that doesn't mean reinvigorating your culture when you get home.

There are plenty of, shall we say, white honkeys that stay just as generic when they come back as they were when they left.

And I certainly don't hate them. Identity is choice, and I might crack jokes or feel sad for someone who doesn't make this choice as someone else points out:

Going back to your roots is fine, but only provided you don't start imitating your insular ancestors and demonizing people with different roots - that's the flip-side of the bargain. Honestly, I think globalization has it's advantages, like tomatoes. And chocolate.


Why would I need to imitate my insular ancestors when there's an entire country of Scottish folks that has kept my culture alive and well for me?

And their nationalists aren't racists either. The first ever Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament was a member of the Scottish National Party.

Modern Scottish nationalism isn't based on ethnicity, it's based on the desire for an independent country.

Did you not see the Ana-Nasach sign I posted? Love of self != Hatred of Other.

The only people I find distasteful are the Uncle Toms, the Dic Sion Dafydds, who gain political power and use it to advance generic whiteness or do to other cultures what was once done to mine. People like Peter King. He should know better. And yet he's doing to other cultures what was done to his.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby Zamfir » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:50 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:There are plenty of, shall we say, white honkeys that stay just as generic when they come back as they were when they left.

No idea what a honkey is, I am afraid. But I suspect from the context that noone believes they are a honkey, only that others are. And odds are, there is someone out there who thinks you are a generic fake scotsman who goes home to continue his Amerikan ways. That's a general problem when in criticizing people for being "mainstream". There is always another definition that makes you part of the mainstream. After all, in the end you are part of your culture, and you will carry it with you.

In my personal view, it's better to accept yourself as part of the culture around you with most of its flaws, and try to improve it from within. Defining yourself as outside of the parts you don't like is tempting. But it just leaves ownership of those parts in hands of people who do not want to change them.

But that's really just my view.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:In my personal view, it's better to accept yourself as part of the culture around you with most of it's flaws, and try to improve it from within. Defining yourself as outside of the parts you don't like is tempting. But it just leaves ownership of those parts in hands of people who do not want to change them.

But that's really just my view.


They can have it unchanged. I don't want to take anything from them. I don't want to change what they're comfortable with.

If that's burger king and britney spears, then let them have their happy consumerist paradise.

I've got my own problems in my own culture to worry about. There's tartan-tin identity to get rid of, which is the commercialized version of my culture sold via Braveheart and UK Tourist Traps.

I don't want to change their culture. Because if I were to change it, I would change it into my culture. And I think people have a right to hate bagpipe music, celtic punk, hebridean electronica, and gaidhlig folk if they want to.

I don't want to force anyone else to change. I want to embrace an ancient, living, growing, changing culture that I actually feel some sense of connection with.

White american culture feels alien to me and always has. But if that's what people are comfortable with, I don't want to change it or take it from them.

It's not like Budwieser and Reality TV harms me simply by existing. I'm going to be reading MacDiarmid and drinking a nice Islay.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby IcedT » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

I'm with OllieGarkey on this one, but I'd say on the Scottish angle that's more of a subculture than a counterculture. For me, a counterculture is a group that has a stated goal of replacing or significantly changing the mainstream culture, where a subculture doesn't accept all the values of the mainstream but isn't particularly offended by the mainstream's existence.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby masakatsu » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

IcedT is correct. Counterculture means a cultural group whose norms specifically oppose mainstream culture. The Scottish heritage, Irish heritage, and other expressions of cultural identity tied to heritage or other factors are subcultures. Fringe cultures are harder to define, with some authors defining as none culutural identity behaviors not expressively being opposed to mainstream culture. This gives the difference between counterculture and fringe cultures being defined as by level of political awareness.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:40 pm UTC

But what if your subculture is encouraging the destruction of mainstream culture in favor of other subcultures.

See, that's the goal. If we get rid of all this artificial garbage, the stagnant waste that is main stream culture, and replace it with actual living cultures, you can build a better world.

White nationalism can't exist without white identity. So you destroy the concept of monolithic, generic whiteness. You replace it with Appalachian Folk culture, with Boston culture, with Louisiana Cajun culture, with Florida Cracker culture, with the cultures of the old world.

Why do we need a Generic white identity when there are countless rich cultures based in music, cuisine, and history surrounding us?

That's the goal: The cultural rebirth of America from a consumerist wasteland to a community of rich and vibrant cultures.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby IcedT » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:White nationalism can't exist without white identity. So you destroy the concept of monolithic, generic whiteness. You replace it with Appalachian Folk culture, with Boston culture, with Louisiana Cajun culture, with Florida Cracker culture, with the cultures of the old world.

Why do we need a Generic white identity when there are countless rich cultures based in music, cuisine, and history surrounding us?

That's the goal: The cultural rebirth of America from a consumerist wasteland to a community of rich and vibrant cultures.
The problem is that those cultures grew out of relative isolation. People move around a lot more now, communication is a lot faster, and because of that local culture is becoming less relevant compared to regional and national cultures.Gaelic, for example, is slipping because as far as communication (the primary reason for learning a language) is concerned, it's just not that useful. People learn it to preserve culture or history, but this is a self-conscious attempt at going against the grain for an aesthetic or sentimental reason. Most people just don't bother with cultural criticism, and that's been true all throughout history. They go with the flow and culture is the aggregate that appears.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

Also, fusion culture is also a fascinating phenomenon, especially when it manifests itself as food.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby IcedT » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Also, fusion culture is also a fascinating phenomenon, especially when it manifests itself as food.

This too. The world is a richer place for having Mexican-Korean taco stands.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

Without globalization, we would've never realized that all cultures have invented dumplings at some point.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:49 am UTC

IcedT wrote:The problem is that those cultures grew out of relative isolation.


This simply isn't true. Scottish Mercenaries served in every Military from the colonial powers to Turkey. They were in the Varaginian Guard, the personal Guard of the Eastern Roman Emperor before the ERE fell. Scottish documents from the 1300s have been found in Germany, and numerous primary sources are in archives in France.

The idea that these cultures existed and developed because of isolation is false. Travel happened, relationships happened, different cultures were exposed to each other.

France was unified almost a thousand years ago, but the Breizh culture has only been under attack for 200.

The issue was something created in France in the 1780's: Nationalism.

The idea of a cohesive nation is what is killing cultures.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby IcedT » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:24 am UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:
IcedT wrote:The problem is that those cultures grew out of relative isolation.


This simply isn't true. Scottish Mercenaries served in every Military from the colonial powers to Turkey. They were in the Varaginian Guard, the personal Guard of the Eastern Roman Emperor before the ERE fell. Scottish documents from the 1300s have been found in Germany, and numerous primary sources are in archives in France.

Mercenaries and traders had a great deal of mobility and nobles had a reasonable amount as well, but the common people were very much tied to the land. Elites could and did travel thousands of miles in their lifetimes, but they were a minority. Elite languages and court customs were international, but folk cultures persisted largely because most of their participants rarely went far from home. Even linguistic uniformity really only began to appear with mass literacy and printing in the vernacular and to this day it's not complete in even the most advanced countries.

OllieGarkey wrote:The idea that these cultures existed and developed because of isolation is false. Travel happened, relationships happened, different cultures were exposed to each other.
It's a question of degrees. Today, if I want to know about the culture in Turkestan I have instant access to an almost bottomless well of information thanks to mass media. Say I was a 14th-century Scotsman wanting to know about the same region- in the best-case scenario, I'd be able to find a handful of manuscripts at a monastery, probably written in Latin, containing very incomplete or inaccurate information and almost certainly outdated information. Would I have access to good histories and records from most of the British Isles? Probably. Documents about France, the Holy Roman Empire, and other notable nearby states? It's likely. And if I was wealthy or resourceful enough I could probably travel to many of those countries.

The point being that even the best-connected and most-educated people of centuries past had nowhere near the exposure to other cultures (especially very distant cultures) that even the average person has in the modern developed world. AND in addition, culture is no longer transmitted to us just through our immediate neighbors and a relatively small number of written works, but through a mass media network that is constantly spreading national and international cultures.

OliieGarkey wrote:France was unified almost a thousand years ago, but the Breizh culture has only been under attack for 200.

The issue was something created in France in the 1780's: Nationalism.

Again, it's a matter of degrees. Did the French nominally have one ruler under Charlemagne in the 9th century? Yeah. Was it still a patchwork of feudal holdings with competing interests even into the 17th? That's true too. It's also a stretch to act like nobody ever tried enforcing linguistic unity before the Enlightenment. I mean, the Anglo-Normans were trying to ban Irish in the 12th century and Welsh even earlier, and that was ages before England could be considered anything like a modern national entity.

OllieGarkey wrote:The idea of a cohesive nation is what is killing cultures.
And what led to the rise of national identities? A more literate and mobile populace, loyalties to an abstract state rather than to a local lord, the acceptance of vernaculars as literary and scientific languages, a sense of uniqueness caused by broader knowledge of other European and world cultures... What is lost is often lamentable, but it's not like we aren't getting anything in exchange.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby masakatsu » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:03 pm UTC

Sigh, somewhere there is a socioeconomist slashing their wrists. Most of the human populace tend to gravitate to the most stable of social structures. For example"

In Iraq, the most stable of social structure in the Anbar provence, before "the Awakening" was the Qutbistic movement known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, where brutal guidelines were given, but measurable ones, meaning that the populace knew what gave a certain response. However, once a better social construct was created - applying fairer law & order, better social services, governance, etc..., the populace not only completely removed their support from al-Qaeda in Iraq, they formed militias to drive them out. The Anbar populace selected a better social norm that benefited them individually, tieing them to a national social norm.

OllieGarkey, you want a form of social anarchism, a very unstable social form, in consideration of modern media. Social norms are being set at a national and international stage now, not the regional and ethnographic stage they use to be set at. Yes, there is still regional influences, but those influences are being mitigated. As economic factors dictate movement and assimilation into a global norm, we will still see a unifing influence. I don't think you will see a generic whiteness going away, which, btw, shows a discriminatory outlook. You will see a cultural push driven by mass consumer wants, decided by social pressures and economic considerations. Just like the Anbar population deciding to push out al-Qaeda in Iraq due to social pressure and economic realities (there is an economic cost to having acid thrown on your face), high school kids will choose what to wear and what shows to watch based on the same considerations. Hopefully sans acid throwing. While not the same inputs and outputs, it is the same process that drives cultural inclusion.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby Metaphysician » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

I think that many people have begun to realize that sometimes counterculture can be counter productive. If somebody who hates mainstream culture simply takes all their friends and goes out to start their own thing, the put themselves into a box. Mainstream culture can now label them and dismiss them. I think many are beginning to realize that in order to effect real change, (at least in this era, in the US and most of Europe) it's better to remain a part of the larger culture, be an individual, be different and let that come through in your interactions with everybody. Once somebody knows you, they are much less likely to dismiss you as a kook and more likely to listen to what you have to say. It's why I think somebody like the Ronpaul, though he is politically more libertarian, remains a republican. People are more likely to listen to what he has to say if he's a part of the greater culture. I'm not saying that counter culture has never had its place, the counter culture in the middle of the 20th century changed the world. Thanks to that movement, we live in a better, more diverse and interesting place where multiple races, lifestyles, religions and political philosophies can co-exist in the same greater culture, a part of the great conversation.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:
IcedT wrote:The problem is that those cultures grew out of relative isolation.


This simply isn't true. Scottish Mercenaries served in every Military from the colonial powers to Turkey. They were in the Varaginian Guard, the personal Guard of the Eastern Roman Emperor before the ERE fell. Scottish documents from the 1300s have been found in Germany, and numerous primary sources are in archives in France.

The idea that these cultures existed and developed because of isolation is false. Travel happened, relationships happened, different cultures were exposed to each other.

France was unified almost a thousand years ago, but the Breizh culture has only been under attack for 200.

The issue was something created in France in the 1780's: Nationalism.

The idea of a cohesive nation is what is killing cultures.


Or maybe it's just creating a new culture. The amount of travel and communication we have now will certainly let cultures come together more than they ever have in the past. I think that if a new culture happens to emerge from that with many aspects of different cultures, who cares? It's just like what happened in the past and it's just like what will happen in the future. People change! It's a good thing!

For example, I do not identify with any particular cultural background (I am of European descent). My mother's family has been in the US since nearly the mayflower and my father's family has been here since the 1800s. I don't have any connections at all to Europe, except for my last name. I'm just American. My traditional food is beef and corn and chicken and potatoes. If I was pressed to say I was part of a smaller culture, the best I could do would be "White from Michigan". (I do like Michigan a lot!)

I'm just part of a newer culture. Sure it's got its problems, but so does every culture.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Sun May 01, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I'm just part of a newer culture. Sure it's got its problems, but so does every culture.


And that's great! Be a Michigander! Rejoice in the local culture wherever you're from. But don't buy in to the generic whiteness that is Britney Spears and Burger King.

This is a janus movement. We can at once say back to our roots, and forward to tomorrow. Let's get rid of imaginary divisiveness, and create a new culture based on our roots, based on our locale, based on our ideas.

Let's forget the lies of the past that we know were never real, while at the same time preserving what was valuable.

That's all I'm saying. Generic Whiteness will starve if we don't support it. All I'm saying is be what you are, love who you are, and know that no one can take it from you. If you're a Michigander, be a Michigander.

Because if we love who we are and where we come from, if we know that it can't be taken from us because it's something real, then there's no room for hatred of other. If your identity is built on a cosmopolitan ideal, then there is no threat to your identity from someone different.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby podbaydoor » Mon May 02, 2011 3:24 am UTC

Britney Spears isn't generic whiteness. She's a singer that lots of people of different heritages enjoy, enough to give massive amounts of money and attention to her company, hence her status as a popular star?

You're treating this like people treat the Midwestern dialect. It's popularly thought to be the "accentless" dialect and is thus assumed to be the "mainstream" representation of American English. When in fact, it's just as much of a particular regional accent as a Texan accent or a British accent. I challenge you to find a person out there who hews perfectly to this arbitrary "mainstream" category that you've pushed a lot of vaguely defined concepts into. They're going to have something quirky that they like, something that they're passionate about, and your value judgment on the relative boringness of it is colored by your own biases.
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby OllieGarkey » Mon May 02, 2011 8:24 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote: I challenge you to find a person out there who hews perfectly to this arbitrary "mainstream" category that you've pushed a lot of vaguely defined concepts into.


You're probably right.

Can we get rid of the idea of "White People" now?
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Re: The individual death of the counterculture

Postby SHISHKABOB » Mon May 02, 2011 4:49 pm UTC

wtf is "Generic White People" culture? There is no "one culture" to rule them all in America. What we have here is a big television screen, both metaphorically and literally, that everyone is watching. Everyone is in a giant movie theater all together watching this film, it's a very large theater, with an enormous audience, which is the entire world. Each person is sitting in this big audience and is watching what he or she sees on the giant screen in front of them. The screen has a lot of things on it, too many to count, too many to pay attention to, so each person has got to focus on parts of it. A person sees something that he or she likes, and he or she focuses on that part of the screen, and maybe some other parts. That person is also sitting with his or her friends, and they are all talking about what they are seeing on the screen with each other. The big screen is everything that happens in the world, public and private, mostly public. Everyone is mashed together with the same exact influences on their culture and behavior, it's just that some of them can't see other things. Simple example: an affluent American man does not see hunger and poorness on his part of the screen, for whatever reasons he has not to see them, doesn't matter, it is not a part of his culture because of his specific personal things that he sees on the screen. At the same time, he is talking to his neighbors about his specific culture, and this culture mingles together with their cultures and it all becomes a big culture of rich people. However, the rich people are not all the same, they are not all as rich as the others, they are all not ignoring hunger and poorness in the world. This brings different viewpoints to the little collection of people in the audience, a woman a few seats over from the man sees a homeless family on the street and brings it up, it now influences the man's culture.

Basically, culture is a giant web, there is no single culture with a firm, concrete, definition. Regardless of how it "appears" to you, it is this way. A lot of people may be watching the same part of the screen at any given moment, but there are still an infinite number of parts of the screen that are being observed by an individual that some other individual is not observing. This creates diversity and it is there, it is everywhere. Now, this giant web of culture must be generalized, why? I dono, it just should be because then people in other countries can make statements about America even though it has a population of 300 million, or so that I can make generalizations about China even though it has 1.3 billion people.

This giant web can also be seen geographically, as someone pointed out. A town in medieval France is going to have its own little web of culture that is distinctly different from a town four hundred miles away in like Poland or some place that is four hundred miles from France. But at the same time it is going to have many facets that are 100% identical because we're all human beings and that's just the way things are sometimes. What you said about how mercenaries and traveling folks spread culture is true, sure, yeah, to a point. All they do is cause some guy in Constantinople to have a slightly similar vision on his screen as some guy in Edinburgh, but in a way that is so subtle and ridiculously tiny that is impossible to define as something on a wider "Byzantine" culture scale, or whatever, because you cannot say that a couple of mercenaries affected the culture of an entire nation. Actually you can because culture is cool like that.

Anyways, yeah, you should actually ignore me because I'm a college freshman who hasn't even ever taken any classes on anything related to human culture. Though I do think that my main point, that culture is a giant fluctuating web made of points which are individuals, is a good one.
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