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Politics Is Downstream from Culture…but What Is Culture Downstream From?

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April 23, 2022


Before his untimely death ten years ago, Andrew Breitbart’s most famous quote was “politics is downstream from culture.”  That concept is the basis for what is called the Breitbart Doctrine, which holds that in order to change politics, it is first necessary to change culture.

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Breitbart was partially correct.  In a cohesive, functional society whose members generally understand assumptions regarding faith and moral ideals, politics does indeed flow from culture.  But more importantly, culture is downstream from religion.

Andrew Breitbart was born in 1969, when the fundamental destruction of the unifying American religious narrative and morality had begun.  He could not see that the relationship between culture and politics is not a two-step progression, but two aspects of a self-energizing cycle consisting of three elements of human civilization: religion, culture, and politics.  Religion provides the foundation of belief, culture provides the enrichment of knowledge, and politics (the least of these) provides opinion and activism to recalibrate power as necessary to sustain unity.

Religion provides answers for the questions of whence and whither and why to control the self on behalf of society.  Religious belief in the significance of life and unchanging truth inspires a search for and participation in that truth, from which flows cultural creativity and engagement, which in turn unifies society and limits the dangers of political struggle.

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All stable civilizations result from the dynamic trinity of religion, culture, and politics.  America was fortunate to be founded when that religion was a passionate, decentralized, and freedom-loving Christianity as the basis for historic American religious tolerance.

When America could, broadly speaking, be described as one nation under God, the tripartite cycle of religion, culture, and politics originated in generative energy from the beliefs of distinctly American, pro-God religious consciousness that inspired the exploration of truth, meaning, and joy of a national cultural idiom, which in turn influenced the parameters of political endeavors.  In classical, pro-God America, the inspiration for a civilization of freedom and equality came from the unifying assumptions of theistic belief.  The assumptive belief in God and in the universal divine nature of all humans enabled the generation of a predominantly uplifting culture, which in turn was upstream from a generally lawfully and respectfully conducted political process.

That one nation under God has been irrevocably broken into two, irreconcilable American civilizations, one based in life and the other based in death.

Why did the civilization of this one nation under God, the  greatest constitutional republic in world history, come to be degraded and broken by the Democrats and the left?  Why did the unifying American assumption that freedom and equality are God-given come to be devalued, and the religions that imparted the belief in the sanctity of life come to be ridiculed?  Why did American culture become antagonistic to faith, and therefore ugly, weird, and dehumanizing?  Why did the government megalith become an anti-constitutional corruption?  Theological and worldly explanations are both available.  Take your pick, or you can have them both, as they are not incompatible.

Through the course of the 20th century, an ever louder cacophony from the left has spawned an anti-God, anti-American process of civilizational chaos that is wrapping around and squeezing the life out of traditional American civilization like a huge snake.  Andrew Breitbart could not have seen what is becoming apparent to all sane Americans.  The cycle of religion, culture, and politics, which sustains American civilization, has reversed course.  Politics is upstream from culture, which is upstream from religion.

Politics is temporally reactive and contains no unifying truth.  It is invariably divisive.  Civilization based in politics without unifying religious consciousness amounts to permanent and deepening social chaos.  The energy of this anti-civilization of the left arises in politics, which is leftists’ religion.  Politics in turn controls and censors non-conforming culture, which is upstream from non-organized, therapeutic “spirituality” and denatured Christianism, which cares more about political issues than it does about children and protecting human life.

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The profundity of the nightmare we are living through is hard to grasp.  The tone of our everyday lives as Americans is an anti-civilization controlled by the government-media-educational megalith that is anti-God, anti-American, and pointedly anti-Christian.  American social process now originates in the bitter energy of left-wing politics as replacement for religion.  That element of opinion maintains an inquisition of judgment of good and evil people based on a false, anti-historical obsession with long gone oppression by race, sex, and sexuality.  Left-wing politics operates as increasingly divisive fanaticism, which can be called scientistic materialism.  Science is prostituted to justify a hollow-eyed, humanity-hating doomsday cult of climate change.  The reverse cycle of civilization originating in godless political opinion has made a sacrament of disposing of pre-born humans, which idolatry is inexorably expanding to include post-natal infanticide.

Left-wing politics as religion substitute idolizes atypical and deviant sexuality and normalizes the abuse of children in that cause.  It is suffused with the odor of race grievance and enmity against European-Americans while writing a new scripture of falsified, degrading American history, wholly ungrateful for the magnificent sacrifices made by European-Americans to preserve the Constitution for all.  In short, American anti-civilization now originates in politics designed to cancel the God-given universality of American freedom and equality, and replace it with a political contrivance of toxic power derived from a  permanent derogation of traditional American faith and character.  And like all fanatic religionism, this politics places itself above the law and loves to shun.

The new American anti-civilization celebrated the theft of the last presidency because its outlandish hatred for the last president was a thinly disguised hatred of the American people.  Downstream from such politics is a deadening anti-culture industry.  Hollywood, Disney, Netflix, the race-obsessed “art” in virtually all public museums — these are creating not a new American culture, but a deconstructive anti-culture, which is erasing traditional culture.  Because they are largely based in politics, the left wing no longer has the inspiration, energy, or talent to create art or culture.  Leftists merely create propaganda of neo-elitist race, sex, sexuality, and victimization, which is purposed to destroy traditional culture, abusive to children, deadening, and boring.  Downstream from “mainstream” anti-culture of godless America are the self-soothing methods of therapeutic “spirituality” and the marginalized residue of once great religions.

In 1827, in his work entitled “Critical and Miscellaneous Essays,” Thomas Carlyle identified “[t]he three great elements of modern civilization, gunpowder, printing and the Protestant religion.”  For the sustenance of American civilization, the greatest of these was the Protestant religion.  The left is frog-marching its way through Carlyle’s trinity, destroying the right to bear arms and the right to free speech — but for the ultimate destruction of American civilization, they must destroy classical American faith in God.  To get the great elements of civilization to pervert and turn backwards with politics as the originating point, power must be taken away from God and placed in grasping human hands.  The struggle is not between the right and left.  It is between civilization and chaos.

Why are we still using Twitter?  Why are we still using Facebook and Google and all the rest of the engines of our own destruction?  Why are we still giving  money to corporations that despise us and support the blood-drenched BLM?  Why did we let them close the churches and keep the liquor stores open?  Why did we wear those cloth masks?  From the wisdom of the American heartland comes the question: “If underpants can’t stop a fart, how can a mask stop a virus?”  Why did we let them steal the presidency?  Why do we let them imprison and abuse righteous protesters against that massive crime? 

Freedom or slavery?  Civilization or chaos?  What is it going to be?

Visit Psychology Reoriented at Substack to read Dr. Tyler’s observations on timely topics.

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