Ecotopia and Rugged Individualism – the Common Ground

Snowflakes, whiners, and pathetic demands for Safe Spaces… What has happened to this country? Whatever happened to the Home of the Brave?

Is it the soy? The BPA? Birth control pills? Lack of playground time? Cultural Marxism?

Perhaps. But there is another factor, a factor which stems from both socialism and big corporate capitalism: Too much Dependence.

Listen to The Experts. Dial 911. Employer provided health insurance and retirement plans. Hire a licensed contractor. Ask Siri. If anything goes wrong, it’s the manufacturer’s fault.

We have become a Culture of Dependency, the very opposite of our pioneer forebears. This has psychological and political implications.

You can hear some push-back on conservative talk radio: advertisements for emergency food storage, advertisements for shooting ranges and concealed carry classes, and there is that evening talk show that preaches the virtues of getting out of debt…

There is another group that’s pushing back, a group with rather different hairstyles. They are pushing for more independence despite a diet that’s high in soy: the Eco Hippies. These people are forming local food coops, buying local, composting their organic garbage. These people dream of getting off The Grid.

The Grid. If ever there was an example of minute-to-minute dependence on The System, it’s The Grid. A ten second interruption in service can be disruptive.

The Call of the Eco Hippie can be a call to make America more Red (as in red state, not as in communist). Renters, apartment dwellers, and those who live in the core cities vote Democrat these days. The Republican base is rural and owns homes. A trifle more independent.

A Rural America without power lines would be even more independent. A food culture of buying local would lead towards power moving back to the state and local governments for food regulation – or even a bit of consumer responsibility.

Ecotopia vs. the Education Marxists

The liberal arts were an education in the history of thought, our culture, and of abstract mental tools that can be applied to reality. Cultural Marxists, the masters of bureaucrat fu, have wormed their way up to the top of our institutions and turned them on their head. The humanities have become instruction on deconstruction and hating of our cultural roots. Philosophy has become the art of ignoring reality, of believing that it’s all Consensus Fiction. Learning from the Stoics of yore has been replaced with Modern Indignation Studies; musical composition to random note making; visual art to advanced finger painting.

And thanks to tenure, the rot is entrenched.

It might be time to scrap the system and start again.

A culture of local independence, of Appropriate Technology, is a culture that requires more Practical Arts instruction. The electrical circuits on your home solar array don’t care what Michael Foucault thinks. Post Modern Circuit Theory is a recipe for electrocution or a house fire.

There is no grade inflation when Reality is grading the tests.

A school system that teaches how things work will have more male instructors. Real men. Men who don’t eat quiche. Public education won’t be 13 years of kindergarten.

As for those who bemoan a threatened decline in The Arts and Lofty Abstractions, let us note that “artist” and “artisan” come from the same root word. A course in drafting can be better training in fine arts than an advanced kindergarten art class where students get to play with new materials. Also, an art and music curriculum geared towards future church and community performance is going to produce more Beauty than instruction aimed at grovelling to the New York Homintern.

As for abstract math and science, designing a truss provides a reason to learn linear algebra. Electrical circuit theory provides a reason to learn complex numbers. Organic farming is all about managing predator prey balance – this is a lead-in to differential equations. Future academic types can be well served by a Practical Arts foundation. Understanding in local Appropriate Technology can be a better foundation for learning how to build that colony on Mars than courses in Pointless Mathematics that You Need To Get Into College.