The culture war is real and it’s getting worse

Jun 16, 2021 by

by Frank Furedi, spiked:

Ignore the culture war denialists – we really are in the midst of an existential struggle over the future of society.

Unlike the German Kulturkampf of the 19th century – the cultural conflict between Bismarck’s Kingdom of Prussia and the Roman Catholic Church – today’s cultural battles seem small and almost non-political. They often revolve around differences of opinion on the nature of family life, how children should be raised, and what words we should use – and not use – when communicating with others.

The contemporary culture war is also different because the main protagonists do not express their beliefs systematically. They do not promote an explicit philosophy or ideology. That is why the different sides struggle to work out what to call their opponents. In this sense, today’s culture war is very different to the Kulturkampf and to other, more vicious struggles between Protestants and Catholics in Europe’s bloody wars of religion in the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.

Unlike today, everyone involved in the wars of religion knew what was at stake. The situation is very different in 2021, where often the very existence of a conflict over cultural values is denied. Media commentators insist there is no such thing as a free-speech crisis and that cancel culture is a myth. The culture war is the invention of groups of bitter, out-of-touch white reactionaries who fear the loss of their privilege, they claim.

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