Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This is What Social Conservatives Need to Hear and Act Upon

Andrew Klavan:

So all right, now we know. The media are the enemies of the people and they are protecting the culture for the proponents of the state. And now that we do know, it’s time for us to fight back. By us, I mean artists, journalists, thinkers, foundations, investors—anyone who tells stories, makes music or pictures or reacts to them with criticism, ideas, money and praise.

We need to build a New American Culture, and turn our backs on the culture of the state. We need to stop according respect or credence to reviews and awards that are used as social engineering tools to force the culture into anti-American state worship. We need to build an infra-structure of funding, review attention and awards to give praise, purpose and prestige to those artists who stand outside the MSM’s climate of opinion.


In truth, there is only one essential principle our new culture needs to remember and embody and it’s this: liberty is better than slavery. This principle alone implies a moral order and a human purpose. It makes a small state better than a big one. It makes America better than, say, Saudi Arabia. It makes a religion based on “love thy neighbor,” better than one based on submission. This principle alone will guide us away from mealy-mouthed self-abasement to balanced self-criticism and praise amidst our search for the dignity, strength and morality befitting free men and women.

If artists guided by this principle begin to create, if reviewers guided by it write reviews, if foundations give us grants and awards, if investors give us the funding we need, then the cultural infra-structure of the left will collapse of the rot and corruption of its bad ideas. We will take back the culture and if we take back the culture, we will take back the country too.

Hot Air comments:

Klavan’s words remind me of a quote by C.S. Lewis who said something along the lines of ‘what we need are not more Christian writers, but good writers who are Christian.’ I don’t quote that to suggest that only good art can come from believers, but I like the sentiment behind the statement. Too often, conservatives and Christians tend to isolate themselves from culture or create art that is too overtly political or religious while ignoring the fact that art needs to be good on its own merit in order to effectively communicate whatever message the artist is trying to send. As the abject failure of anti-Iraq war movies shows, preachiness doesn’t work.

The longer pro-lifers ignore this advice, the more our goal will elude us.

I say this without malice. The pro-life movement in Canada was built from scratch by average people who are the salt of the earth. Pro-lifers did the best they knew how.

But that "best" wasn't good enough, and we must take it to the next level.

We have a good number of activists. We have the ear of a certain number of elected officials. What we do not have is cultural clout. In other words, we do not have the ear of the people.

The only way to get that clout is to develop our own culture.

By this, I do not mean we have to make every movie about abortion. What this means is that the cultural products that we produce and consume should be related to-- and uphold-- our worldview.

We still need work on the political and activist front: no doubt about it. But practically nothing is being done on the cultural front.

I propose that on top of all the other work that is being done, pro-lifers should think about developing workshops, schools and other similar venues for artists to learn their craft and expose their works.

I also propose that we start thinking of creating a pro-life community-- a group of people who relate with one another as part of a group. We can't just be a church. The churches are unreliable. We need to be a community of people who interact with one another on a regular basis (not just twice a year at protests), who form the basis of one's social networks and who could provide an audience for our developing cultural and entertaing sector.

This must be more than just about getting a vote in Parliament. This has to be about completely re-doing culture and society. Because it's our culture that got us into this mess. We need to turn it around, not through protests, letters to the editor and such-- as important as they are-- but through the change of heart that art can effectuate.

I know that when this happens, pro-lifers will be on an equal political footing with anyone in this country.

If you believe as strongly as I do that we need this new culture, please, spread the word. Don't let this idea abort. We must talk about it. The longer we wait to act on this idea, the longer we will have to wait to see Canada restored. If you ignore this message and say nothing, you are contributing to the problem, not the solution.