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Camille Paglia and cultural “immaturity”

January 4, 2014 by Tunya

Posted on a # of sites:           Tunya Audain January 3, 2014

Is The Cultural Shift Intended?

Camille Paglia says that all this huge public controversy about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and his negative views of homosexuality “is a sign of immaturity, juvenility.” That his views should not be suppressed in a free society.

She goes on to say: “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide.” She despairs because victories of the 50s to strengthen free speech have been for naught.

Paglia is seen as one of the world’s shrewdest cultural critics. But I think she has not finished connecting all the dots. What if this state of “immaturity” was intended?

Let’s consider that oft quoted saying — “If you’re not a socialist at 20 you have no heart; if you are still a socialist at 30 you have no head.”

Now, what if there actually was a deliberate project to petrify a culture at a juvenile and immature state — at 20 or so? Wouldn’t the project honchos be so delighted to hear this world expert announce their socialist achievement?

Well, isn’t that what critics of the common core curriculum in the US are saying: That the traditional curriculum in schools is being watered down; that skills, content and knowledge are being replaced by soft competencies such as collaboration and creativity? That a general dumbing-down has been happening for a long time?

It seems that an “incrementalist” strategy might have successfully achieved a wholesale cultural shift. I would really like to see Camille Paglia apply her analytical skills to sort out whether the common core deserves all the negative fears it is generating.

1 Comment

  1. Tunya says:

    One comment to my post said:  “ . . . The left has done everything they possibly can to celebrate youth, and have painted the right as "old."


    I replied:  From The Chinese Playbook Of The 60s

    During the Chinese Cultural Revolution the Four Olds were to be destroyed and replaced with the Four News. 10 years of “spontaneous” harassment occurred to obliterate the “old”.

    "Red Scarf Girl" by Jiang is a great read for flavor of how people felt and suffered during this time. This little book, an easy read, is, I am told, often a reader used in ESL classes — cheap from second hand outlets.

    While the “old” was not always specific (old street names, photos of bourgeois grandparents, good furniture, etc.) the “new” was new
 customs, new culture, new habits, new ideas.

    In following the advance of common core and 21st Century Skills Learning the “old” is often portrayed as individualistic, while the new is working in a group, producing collective projects. The byword is that the work world today requires — teamwork.

    Note how “me-to-we” is creeping in also.

    These cultural shifts are not necessarily evolutionary but are deliberately being guided through changes in curriculum materials and new textbooks.

    Besides “incrementalism” which I mentioned before as a strategy we also have “permeation” and “embedding”. We cultural watchdogs should note carefully how code words and other techniques are being used to manipulate narrative and eventually the mindset of the young and culture generally.

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