Getting Back to 'The Good'Submitted by Molusk on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 02:29
Look around at our general culture, with its art, its manners and political values. We are all free to choose, and that is a great thing. But do we choose well? Why is it that so many choose things that seem veritably bad?
Take popular music. Is pop music evidence that the market can be led by the nose to value terribly poor products, just by clever marketing?
What about politicians? Are they evidence that the market and the majority decision are easily led astray by dedicated minorities of superior ability?
Is fast food and its cousins evidence that the market and consumer majorities can be led to bad, ill informed choices in a setting of general free decision?
Are popular superstitions, fallacies and unfounded beliefs good grounds for concluding that humanity is a dangerous beast that is best corralled by the alert and able few?
If politics and institutions are a game of managing this beast so that it doesn't hurt itself or others, is it wrong to engage in this game of belief and culture management?
If the beast is by its nature managed, is it wrong to engage in the fight for management rights against other elites who will lead it and direct it poorly and astray from the good?
Is bad culture, bad health, bad politics, bad attitudes, bad education, bad food, rampant waste, short sightedness, and the like, not good evidence that leadership and good stewards are needed for the health of the social beast?
Should good people really refrain from and shy away from being leaders, role models, and 'elites' for their own communities and for people in general?
What is the 'good' in a world where humanity, by its nature, avails itself to manipulation?
Freedom can hardly be the answer, since freedom is merely the starting point and open door to bad elites and bad leadership manipulating culture and politics via the market.
What would good elites and good leaders do in their communities?
What in fact is 'The Good,' if mere 'freedom' is an insufficient answer? Is there such a thing, or is it all relative, subject to the dictatorship of the free consumer?
What is the good in health, morals, art, politics, family relationships, and so on?
Have we "modern people" not overlooked a key area of life, by removing all concerns with what's really good from public or civic discourse, from education and from religion? Or is somehow this an advance?
Education is now just facts and training with a large smattering of spin, myth and political correctness.
Churches are just dispensaries of doctrine and too often unconcerned with promoting a general civic and secular good. They occupy a small cubby hole labeled religion, and are not interested in imparting a holistic set of values to the mind and life of a community.
There is no civic culture defining the good in all these areas, besides maybe rabid political correctness and cultural Marxism. For the rest, it is all left to the for profit "culture market," to manufacture and sell the commodity of culture.
All other players have cleared the field.
Can that be good?