Furthest Right

What Does Cultural “Hardening” Mean?


A recent article argued for America to implement a “Department of Culture.” This is actually quite creative when considered psychologically.

In the context of a civilization administered by a managerial central authority, where there is a blueprint for culture, it makes obvious sense that a “Department of Culture” would be the default method of achieving this. There the sleight of hand reveals itself however: this idea is actually intended to lead your thoughts from a department to the idea of an integrated culture as the next level beyond managerial civilization.

It is a recontextualization that makes it easy for you to see culture as an intrinsic survival blueprint for Western civilization. This process would start from a simple model, and branch out to more complex versions using different techniques such as Evolutionary Culture, or “This is what we want.”

A successful simple model would point out how “survival” should become intrinsically part of culture, such as in this example: Passenger cars have doors in order to protect passengers from falling out as well as to reduce noise. Clients accepted this as quite beneficial and are therefore willing to pay for it. However, engine ignition did not require locks at first but technology improvements eventually made a key-ignition possible.

As time passed, locks were added to car doors to protect valuable “goods” left in the passenger compartment from theft. This was followed by adding locks to the baggage compartment as well as the glove-box inside the car. Then lock technology had to be improved to prevent the car itself from being stolen. Then manufacturers realized that they had to put locks on the gas-cover to prevent theft of gas.

“Modern” cars ended up having four keys but customers were happy as long as there was a method to counter the threat. Then criminals got brazen and simply broke the gas-cover open when they required gas, which led to not only the gas-cover having a key, but the actual gas pipe screw-top getting a key as well. Each car owner then proudly carried five keys with him for each car.

Until this point in time, manufacturers were fairly pro-active, but then conceded to the creativity of the criminals by becoming re-active.

Then criminals broke both the gas cover as well as the screw-top in their effort to steal gas. This resulted in manufacturers redesigning the pipe to prevent plastic pipes from being inserted into the gas tank. In the meantime, criminals also got fed up with valuables being inaccessible inside vehicles, so they would simply break windows to gain access. Manufacturers started using specialized glass, but since criminals changed their techniques from rocks to spark plugs, they also darkened the glass to limit a casual view of the vehicle’s contents.

During all this time, clients were applauding manufacturers for taking such effective steps, which resulted in “reducing” their insurance premiums. In other words, the entire “market” has been duped into accepting criminal behavior as a cultural norm. “Our” culture therefore, allows criminals unfettered access to “our” cars. In fact, criminality has become a cultural value, like other externalized costs such as immigration and corruption.

To demonstrate this cultural effect, let us continue:

The only things left on a car without a lock are the wheels. Since that is now also being stolen, manufacturers started using special wheel-nuts. But since hub caps weren’t locked down, those got stolen too.

Clearly the end to all of this is to not have a car at all, because despite all efforts including GPS tracking, cars kept being stolen. In fact, car theft has reached such a scale that people are being hi-jacked or even killed in order to “get” the car, while everybody accepts it as “normal” through paying insurance.

The question is, how did this happen?

The answer is first of all that it became part of the culture, which became part of the financial system making money out of it, resulting in it becoming part of our politics which makes money out of all of us.

Hardening a culture against criminals is on its own a basic requirement to be pro-active. A pro-active culture will stop financial abuse, which will then stop political abuse. Some political commentators indicated that Trump will “harden” politics in future, but that is not enough for a stable civilization.

Political hardening is not enough because the political system can be infiltrated especially under egalitarian rule. What “lock” will you use in future against a mayor, or even police who might also be terrorists? Ask any South African where this is already the status quo: people trust those they know to have shared values, a.k.a. culture, and do not trust “the System.”

Culture needs to harden up as well. When we are merely re-active to problems, we have ceded our direction to the criminals, which means they effectively dictate to the rest of us how to live. By putting solutions in the wrong places, such as making cars into fortresses of locks, we have transferred costs from the criminals to the victims.

In the case of culture, “hardening” only occurs through strong standards of behavior. When car locks are the answer, we internalize the cost of theft instead of spending that money to prevent it. The same is true with the creeping decay in behavior that has afflicted the West for centuries.

Cultural hardening can also be expressed through a simple example. When we tolerate lies, we get more lies; whatever we tolerate, we get more of. A culture that sees lying as an unforgivable sin, and shames those who engage in it, shifts the burden onto criminals to disguise their lies — making it more likely they will be caught — instead of onto the rest of us to figure out what is truth and what is lie.

More complex examples are specific to individual cultures, but start with the idea of purpose. Re-active solutions, including reactionary thinking itself, still cede the narrative to the decay. Rather we need to look at the causes of that decay, and both make those disfavored, and add their antitheses to the list of encouraged behaviors.

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