Culture And Metaculture

Our recent post on differing views of the importance of tradition led to a disagreement, in the comment thread, on whether American culture was in decline. No, said our interlocutor “the One Eyed Man”, quite the contrary:

While you fret about “our own rapidly vanishing culture,” the rest of the world frets that their cultures are being subsumed into American cultural hegemony.

The French are furious that foreign films fail to fly in Florida, while Hollande’s homeland is a haven for Hollywood. Muslims from Mombasa and Malays from Malacca make money for manufacturers of Macs, Big Macs, and Mack Trucks. Go to the mall in a Latin American banana republic and you’re sure to find a Banana Republic.

The riotous and robust American culture, which runs the gamut from Duke Ellington to the Dukes of Hazzard, is in no danger of vanishing.

I replied (rather churlishly ignoring the outstanding alliteration in that second sentence):

We no longer have a “culture” — just a disintegrating and acentric multicultural congeries whose only distinguishable feature is continuously to seek the lowest available level of materialistic sensualism, and to pass along the bill. The rest of the world is right to worry.

Our reader David Duff chimed in:

Oh dear, I find myself siding with ol’ One Eye particularly when he points out that it is western, ie, American, culture which is consuming (word chosen deliberately) other cultures. This, of course, is precisely why the “mad Mullahs” are, er, mad – that’s ‘mad’ in the American sense, natch!

However, it will not be ‘total victory’, to quote a phrase, for American culture. Already, even in my miniscule circle of friends and acquaintances, I am meeting people who can only be truly defined as ‘international’. I just met a family of Chinese ethnicity whose background is lodged somewhere between Hawaii, Hong Kong, mainland USA, Singapore and Britain where they are already seeking places for their children at Oxford. “Oh, brave New World!”

It strikes me here that we need to be clear about the meaning of the word “culture”. The word, properly understood, refers to the ideas and folkways that are characteristic of, and above all shared by, a particular group of people. Indeed it is the sum of these commonalities of culture, as much as anything to do with biological relatedness, that defines “a people”, and binds them together as one people — and that defines nations as something more than mere patches of land enclosed by frontiers.

Culture, then, is what a common people share. Its very essence is its distinctness. The commonalities that have until now formed the essential foundations of culture, throughout history and around the world, are such things as language, religion, moral norms, history, myths and legends, great heroes, music, poetry, literature, cuisine, dress, and rituals of birth, marriage, and death. Above all, there is always a sense of extension in time: a reverent awareness of the shared culture’s unique embedding in history, and of the duty to preserve it for future generations by honoring and propagating its traditions.

By contrast, look at modern American (or more generally, Western) “culture”. Its highest value, its summum bonum, is now the very antithesis of culture itself: not commonality, but “diversity”.

At the heart of this unnatural, Utopian ideology is a fatal paradox: the notion of a single “culture” that is, somehow, all cultures at once. But if culture itself is that which is common to a people — that which is shared — then, given the profusion of incommensurable features that make up the world’s cultures, any hybrid that seeks to combine and assimilate them all can only have as its own core of commonality the vanishingly small area of overlap between them.

It is like a Venn diagram linking an ever-increasing number of sets: as each new human group is added to the collection, the intersection between them — the set of what is common to all, and thus the limit of what can form the shared basis of the new metaculture — becomes smaller and smaller. In the end, as is now plain to see, all that remains are the basest commonalities of our animal nature, grafted onto a few philosophical abstractions about the form of government.

In his essay Looking for the Barbarians (from his 1997 book Modernity on Endless Trial), Leszek Kolakowski asks us to consider the following quote from Arnold Toynbee, 1947:

Our own descendants are not going to be just Western, like ourselves. They are going to be heirs of Confucius and Lao-Tze as well as Socrates, Plato, and Plotinus; heirs of Gautama Buddha as well as Deutreo-Isaiah and Jesus Christ; heirs of Zarathustra and Muhammed as well as Elijah and Elishah and Peter and Paul; heirs of Shankara and Ramanujah as well as Clement and Origines; heirs of the Cappadocian Fathers of the Orthodox Church as well as our African Augustine and our Umbrian Benedict; heirs of ibn Khaldun as well as Bossuet; and heirs, if still wallowing in the Serbonian bog of politics, of Lenin and Gandhi and Sun Yat-Sen as well as Cromwell and George Washington.

Kolakowski replies (my emphasis):

In a trivial sense we are already the heirs of these men, in that we live in a world they all helped to shape; but Toynbee clearly has in mind a heritage in a stronger sense, a positive continuity of ideas. But in order that our descendants may be heirs in this sense, we must admit that everything that makes the values and ideals of these people incompatible today will lose its significance; and then, far from having them all as our spiritual ancestors, we will have no one at all.

The difference between Catholics and Protestants could conceivably vanish, but then Bossuet and Cromwell will not so much become synthesized by our descendants as vanish altogether, losing what was specific and essential to each, and heritage will have no discernable meaning. It is, similarly, difficult to imagine how someone who values spiritual liberty might one day consider himself the heir of Lenin or Mohammed. We can imagine the question of liberty losing all significance in some future society that is perfectly totalitarian and accepted as such by its members; but in that case our descendants will indeed be the heirs of Lenin, but not of George Washington. In short, to imagine our grandchildren combining all these conflicting traditions into one harmonious whole, being at once theists, pantheists, and atheists, advocates of liberalism and totalitarianism, enthusiasts of violence and enemies of violence, is to imagine them inhabiting a world lying not only far outside the scope of our imagination and prophetic gifts but also beyond the possibility of any tradition whatsoever; which means that they will be barbarians in the strictest sense.

What remains of the high culture of the West in our new, barbarian metaculture is shrunken, withered, pecked by crows. As for the metaculture itself: what are its pillars? Where are its heroes, its mythos, its religion, its language, its great literature? Where are the commonalities that bind its people together? Gone, gone, gone.

Worse: where is its history? Not only gone, but despised. Our new “culture” has lost its sense of extension in time. Under modernity’s ascendant doctrine, the long history of the West is only a litany of sins, deserving not propagation, but repudiation. We have no legacy, no heritage, to cherish for posterity; we have pulled up our own roots. If our new American “culture” has any history worth remembering at all, it is no more than a few decades old, and consists almost entirely of the destruction of the past.

In our “brave new world”, then, we are cut off from both past and future, imprisoned in the present as no generation of people has ever been before. We have lost — jettisoned — both our rudder and our compass, and are unmoored and adrift. And as for “American cultural hegemony”: it is only this tottering, gibbering thing, this fly-blown, stitched-together corpse of a “culture”, that is “in no danger of vanishing”.

Macs, Big Macs, and Mack trucks: our mortal remains. Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.


  1. JK says

    In our “brave new world”, then, we are cut off from both past and future, imprisoned in the present as no generation of people has ever been before. We have lost — jettisoned — both our rudder and our compass, and are unmoored and adrift.

    “Maybe not” over there, where the Magna Carta reigned – … I think and worry. A DD worries most about “Hooligans” from someplace else. Where William Pitt yelled, “The King of England Shall Not” (unless it’s Somerset’s team I’m supposing)

    And “we” wonder as Malcolm’s above, in Hillbilly language wonder, “What Happened?” Massachusetts and probably NYC those folks (where Minutement got us our Freedom- no longer “allowed so much as a flintlock [ without Tory permissioned … and woe, woe wonder what’s happened

    MY GOD what’s happened to you New York? George Bush stood on the pile up there and declared, “You’ll not change us!!! Terrorism WILL NEVER CHANGE US!!!”

    Now I’ll admit – when we need a Fed Chairman or a Treasury Secretary he’ll have to’ve been trained/educated at the University of Goldman Sachs – but still … that’s no reason to change “We The People.”

    You rich guys in Congress (so long as you’alls divided – do TV stuff to your heart’s content.)

    We – DO NOT – need you.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink
  2. JK says

    Uh oh. Now I typed “we don’t need you” you’ll probably soon [like when ya’ll annulled the Fourth & Fifth Amendments to the Constitution ya’ll took thar oath to, … say, “What the heck is an American people unless you happen to work on Wall Street, an Oil Company or Wal-Mart – when we (the Congress nullified and seceded from the People) that what ya’ll agreed we could do against the Constitution anyway.

    We voted. We had it notarized.

    This “We the People, Consent of the Governed, and the Enumerated Powers” is hereby annulled.

    It’s for your own good.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    You have a unique perspective, JK.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    Loosen up, Mac! You sound like your father reacting to Frank Zappa, and his world of little snakes, flesh-ripping weasels, Willie the Pimp, and Suzie Creamcheese. Trout Mask Replica probably sounds barbarian to someone whose frame of reference is the Trout Quintet.

    Maybe the Taylor Swift songbook won’t stand the test of time to the same degree as Cole Porter’s. Or maybe it will. Duke Ellington said: if it sounds good, it is good. From William Shakespeare (“Confusion now hath made his masterpiece”) to King Crimson (“Confusion will be my epitaph”): it’s all good.

    If you yearn for a place where everyone shares the same roots and traditions, spend some time in a place like Japan. It’s suffocating. One of the first things I noticed when I lived in Asia was how robust and variegated American culture is, as well as the fact that a lot of what you get there is what is made here.

    As for a lack of shared history or love of the past: tell that to the people who go to Fourth of July parades, dress up in Civil War reenactments, and stand for the national anthem at the ballpark. (You did not mention sports as an essential and unifying element of culture – any ten year old boy could tell you how many home runs Babe Ruth hit or how many games Lou Gehrig played in consecutively, just as anyone from Boston could tell you who Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone are.)

    You are younger than I am, which is way too young to be shaking your fist at a world which is passing you by. Time to engage a willing suspension of disbelief and open your eyes to the greatest culture the world has ever known.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    I’ve actually listened to Trout Mask Replica and the Trout Quintet back to back on occasion, just to keep my knees loose. And I think King Crimson, whom you also mention, are brilliant, innovative musicians.

    You’re missing my point entirely. This is an essay about the corrosive and self-contradictory ideology of multiculturalism.

    I’ve spent time working in Japan. It wasn’t suffocating; it was alien. I knew I was a visitor to a land and culture of great historical depth and internal consistency, one that had arisen naturally from the inherent qualities and particularities of its indigenous people. To be a part of it would have required that I change, that I learn and adopt its alien ways. That’s a real culture: it has distinct features that it seeks to preserve against social entropy. It discriminates between that which is like itself, and that which isn’t, in order to maintain its identity and internal harmony.

    We no longer do any of that. If everything is now compatible with American “culture”, it simply means that there is no longer anything there at all, no permanent qualities of any particularity whatsoever. Which means in turn, nothing, beyond generic human superficialities, to bind its residents into a single people:

    Language? No longer. Religion? No longer. History? As mentioned above, a litany of sins. Literature? Little beyond the level of The Da Vinci Code (which itself is a childish assault on a pillar of Western culture). Heroes? None of the despised white males who built and died for this nation, that’s for sure. No, instead we have trashy, horny celebrities. And so on. With all essential distinctness scraped away, all that remains as the basis of our new metaculture is, as I said above, just the basest sort of commonality: acquisitiveness, consumption, entertainment, and sex.

    I described the multiculturalist West as a “stitched-together corpse”. Already the threads are fraying, as the immune systems of the root subcultures begin to reanimate, begin to reject the transplant. Perhaps something definite will coalesce again, one day, from the sundered pieces. It may be painful, but it will be worth it.

    I appreciate that you are a blithe, breezy soul, Peter, and a natural optimist. No doubt you will make a comfortable place for yourself, in the time remaining to you, amidst the substantial material bounty your corner of our society can provide. The twilight of a great culture can be a pleasant place to live, and America’s gloaming may be long.

    Your call for a “willing suspension of disbelief” is exactly what’s needed to see it all the way you do. I appreciate your frankness, and I understand the impulse. Enjoy your blue pill, then; I agree that it has much to recommend it. Sadly, I just can’t seem to choke it down — but that’s my problem, not yours.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Yo One-Eye, give (if you deigns to do) whether this’d give any of us what one of the first six would’ve guaranteed:

    – Of course having read it, I’d like to know how your letter to Senator Feinstein’d direct – or “prefer” as is the Left Coast”s GPS stuff: –

    Oops Sir, I’m just kindly asking whether that’d be Constitutional?

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  7. JK says

    The French are furious that foreign films fail to fly in Florida …

    Apologies for returning so quick but I always admit to spurting soonest – allow me to, erm, … ‘properly Revolutionize Frenchly’ for you One-Eye’:

    I’m just thinking you’ll be flailing Peter only ’cause the above Bill isn’t so accommodating.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  8. the one eyed man says

    Language? English is our lingua franca. Those who don’t have English as their mother tongue learn it, or their kids do. China has fourteen different dialects and Canada has a large French speaking community. Doesn’t seem to have impeded their national identity.

    Religion? More Americans attend religious services on a regular basis than nearly any other country in the developed world. They may be different religions, but the common thread is being a culture which values faith – which may be a stronger bind than cultures which have a single religion which is not widely practiced.

    History? I’ve seen my daughter’s high school history textbooks. No different than when our history teacher was B. Wear (“Avoid single causation!”)

    Literature? There are plenty of great contemporary writers – however the focus has shifted from the written word to cinema, television, and video. If Mark Twain were alive today, he would probably be doing what Jon Stewart does.

    Heroes? We’ve got plenty: Sully, the 9/11 responders, Pat Tillman, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Brett Favre, Phil Mickelson, and – wait for it – Barack Obama, whose ascension from a broken home through the race barrier to the Presidency is an inspiration to millions.

    Whether it’s King MacBeth or King Crimson, culture is a messy affair. I’m guessing that Hamlet’s reference to “country matters” shocked as many people as Kanye West does today. The diversity of our population breeds a culture which is variegated. Why would you want one which is monochromatic?

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  9. the one eyed man says

    JK: I met DiFi once. I was hiking along the Pacific coast and she and her husband were lost. Very nice lady.

    Would the bill be constitutional? I don’t know, I would have to think about that. The more I learn about secret courts and secret laws, the less comfortable I am with the status quo. However, I fear Al Qaeda a lot more than I feat the US government, and collecting metadata seems like a worthwhile trade-off. Probably the right path is to have less surveillance for more transparency, but I’m at a loss to say where to draw the line.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    English WAS our lingua franca, but that’s changing fast. Ride the subways. Hell, visit Congress.

    They may be different religions, but the common thread is being a culture which values faith – which may be a stronger bind than cultures which have a single religion which is not widely practiced.

    Peter, this is startlingly, shockingly naive. To equate the incomparable binding power of a shared religion with the crowding together of conflicting faiths displays an almost unbelievable historical blindness — especially in someone supposedly as well-educated as you are. Go read some history — almost any will do. Just look at the newspapers! Look at the Middle East — do they not “value faith”? Even the history of the United States, which is relatively free from religious violence, is one of mere, and often uneasy, tolerance; any “binding”, historically, has occurred within religious groups, not between them. And as the mix becomes more and more exotic, and that intersection in the middle of the Venn diagram gets smaller and smaller, tension and faction will only increase.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  11. the one eyed man says

    Regarding “the incomparable binding power of a shared religion,” you might want to take a look at Muslim countries inhabited by both Shia and Sunni. Or you could refer to this item in today’s Bloomberg:

    Which is more fractious: their mono-religious societies, or ours?

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  12. the one eyed man says

    Or Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    But that’s my point exactly. They aren’t “mono-religious”. They are distinct social groups, deeply divided along religious lines.

    Shia vs. Sunni, Catholic vs. Protestant, Muslim vs. Christian, Christian vs. Jew, Hindu vs. Muslim, Hindu vs. Buddhist, it doesn’t matter. Religion binds groups, and groups conflict.

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  14. the one eyed man says

    Needless to say, Shia and Sunni are part of the same religion, just as Protestants and Catholics are. They may be of different sects, but they worship the same God and share the same tenets.

    The purer example is seen in the Bloomberg article, where a country explicitly founded on Judaism is far more riven along religious lines than ours – with the conflict between Jews and other Jews. This is hardly unique. You can find examples going at least as far back as Martin Luther where conflicts within the same religion led to cultural stress and (sometimes) violence.

    Where your argument really falls apart, however, is a comparison of America with these other places. Every religion on Earth has its adherents here, from animism to Zoroastrianism. And we all pretty much get along.

    The Presidential candidate in 2012 was a member of a small and somewhat oddball Christian sect. The Vice Presidential candidate in 2000 was Jewish. The winning Presidential candidates in 1976 and 2000 were evangelical, born-again Christians. The candidates’ religions were never much of an issue. Even though they all represented small religious groups, in America it doesn’t make much difference what your religion is, as long as you have one. Unless you’re a Muslim or an atheist, your religious views (or lack of them) are not a bar to the highest offices in the land.

    Your argument fails in three different ways. First, the situation in Israel belies your assertion that having the same religion binds and unifies society. Secondly, the country with the greatest diversity of religious beliefs – ours – has been remarkably free of religious rivalry and conflict. If diversity of religion is dystopian, then we would be the worst of the lot. Finally, the logical conclusion of your argument is that things started falling apart once Protestants no longer were the dominant sect, and we would be a lot better off if we didn’t let in the Catholics, the Jews, and everybody else, so we could have a unified nation of Protestants named Buffy and Chip, all wearing Lilly Pulitzer and drinking G and T’s. Is that your assertion?

    Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  15. Malcolm says

    Peter, you’re just swinging wildly here, and what you’ve said above reveals a startlingly shallow understanding of both history and religion. If that weren’t bad enough, it also completely misses the point of this post.

    It is a fatuous and sophomoric simplification simply to wave your hand and say that Sunni and Shia Islam are “the same religion”. Yes, they sprang from the same root, and share many beliefs, but they have profound theological differences, and have been bitterly antagonistic to each other since shortly after the death of Mohammed himself. (You might as well say that humans and chimps, having diverged so recently, are effectively one and the same species.)

    Your comment here is imagined, presumably, to be a rebuttal of my own remark that Sunni and Shia are “distinct social groups, deeply divided along religious lines”; but that is, of course, exactly what they are. Likewise Catholics and Protestants; you gave an example yourself of how bitterly they can despise each other. For a far more sanguinary instance you might read about the Thirty Years’ War, a religious conflict that reduced much of Europe to cannibalism in the seventeenth century.

    None of this should be difficult to understand, but let me try to clarify it for you:

    1) Each of these conflicts is between distinct human groups.

    2) The primary distinction between these groups, and the source of their fiery antipathy, is the incommensurability of their religious beliefs.

    3) The binding agent within each group, the “strong force” that glues the culture together and impels its members to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of the group, is the particular set of religious propositions that they all jointly assent to, in distinction to that of their foes; it is this unifying belief that forms the foundation of each group’s distinct social and cultural identity.

    Yes, of course there is a hierarchy of identity and allegiance in all human societies, and schismatic conflicts within a larger faith can be the most violent of all, just as arguments within families can be more bitter than disputes outside them. (In schismatic violence, after all, each group is fighting to define the true version of their own faith, which cuts closer to home.) And yes, that hierarchy of allegiance can make for temporary alliances where they might otherwise not form: Sunni and Shia may temporarily join forces against the infidel, and I suppose even Muslims and Jews would suspend hostilities to repel an invasion of extraterrestrials. As the old rhyme says:

    Me and my brother
    We fight with each other;
    But woe betide
    The guy from outside.

    But to pretend that these conflicts are not religious conflicts, simply because they occur under the umbrella of a more general religious tradition, is obviously just silly. You really should be able to do better than this.

    Meanwhile, look at what you’ve said about U.S. politics, in light of the fact that the nation retains, for now, a Protestant Christian majority (or, if that is now no longer the case, a very substantial plurality). You mention a Mormon and a Jewish candidate, both of whom did not win, and some Protestant Christians, who did. You mention also that Muslims and atheists still need not apply. Despite the presence in the U.S. of a significant number of Catholics, we have only ever had one Catholic President (all the rest, of course, have been Protestants) — and Catholic theology, in particular the the issue of divided allegiance, was a major obstacle to JFK’s candidacy, and one that he overcame only by the narrowest of margins (and some vote-rigging besides).

    Finally: all your bluster completely misses the point of this post, which is about the way that multiculturalism, as a matter of obvious logical necessity, pares away the commonalities that are essential for robust social and cultural cohesion. The digressive question of whether, with particular regard to religion, it happens to be sectarian or interfaith differences that are more likely to lead to actual violence is completely beside the point; what is germane to this topic is that both of them remove from our Venn diagram one of mankind’s primary sources of cultural unity.

    Posted July 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  16. “Canada has a large French speaking community. Doesn’t seem to have impeded their national identity.”

    Nor has it impeded the French-Canadian nationalist movement, which continually advocates independence for Quebec from Canada.

    “They may be different religions, but the common thread is being a culture which values faith – which may be a stronger bind than cultures which have a single religion which is not widely practiced.”

    In the annals of history, religious differences in close proximity have never inspired cultural binding. On the contrary, they invariably inspire warfare.

    “I’ve seen my daughter’s high school history textbooks. No different than when our history teacher …”

    Au contraire: “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, first published in 1980, is the nation’s best-known history of the nation. It has sold more than two million copies and shaped an entire school of historiography. While criticized by historians, a generation and more of students have embraced the book. Whatever its content, and however it is read, Zinn’s history is a major cultural signifier of the New Left, revisionist, progressive, and multicultural impulses active on and off campus, inside and outside history departments, during the last three decades.”

    “If Mark Twain were alive today, he would probably be doing what Jon Stewart does.”

    I doubt it. Jon Stewart is a comedian with a stable of writers adept at pandering to his left-wing fan club. His shtick includes reviving threadbare tropes, such as the repeatedly debunked premise that Hiroshima and Nagasaki constituted genocide and thereby established President Truman as a war criminal.

    Mark Twain was an intelligent, knowledgeable, and skillful humorist and writer.

    “Heroes? We’ve got plenty …”

    Sully, the 9/11 responders, Pat Tillman, Michael Jordan — fer shur! Steve Jobs, Brett Favre, Phil Mickelson — OK, but your mileage may vary. “Obama, whose ascension from a broken home through the race barrier to the Presidency is an inspiration to millions”? Meh. Obama’s ascension from a dysfunctional family, an arguably crazy mother, through questionable assists from affirmative action and Chicago-style thuggery, he is held in contempt by millions more.

    Posted July 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Peter, you wrote:

    Heroes? We’ve got plenty: Sully, the 9/11 responders, Pat Tillman, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Brett Favre, Phil Mickelson, and – wait for it – Barack Obama…

    You will recall, perhaps, my pointing out that a sense of extension in time is essential for cultural robustness, and for cultural survival: the belief that we carry forward a great treasure from the past, guard and cherish and burnish it in our own lifetimes, and bequeath it with love and reverence to our children, and to our children’s children.

    Tellingly, however, all of the heroes in your list are men of our own time. Completely absent are the immortals of our culture whom we admired when I was a boy: the wise Greeks; the great kings of England; Columbus and the other intrepid explorers who mapped the globe; the Founding Fathers; the visionary geniuses of the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution; the brave American frontiersmen; and so on.

    My pointing this out is not intended to diminish the people you have named, but rather to illustrate that, even in rebuttal, you confirm my diagnosis. As I said above, our new metaculture is cut off from the past, with no roots to nourish it, and no heritage to cherish for posterity.

    Posted July 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink
  18. If you make no distinction between authentic American culture and primarily Jewish created subversive pop “culture” that simply happens to come out of America then I suppose you can be as incredulous and disingenuous as one-eyed. America’s “culture” is no longer existent in an obvious way, it has all been “localized”, i.e. not obvious from a merely cursory glance at America. The demonization of organic American culture sublimated it and to some degree ghettoized it.

    Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

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