A video comparing the recruitment advertisements of Russia and the US recently went viral. (I am sharing the less popular although original video.) Common responses were the US still has a greater military might, the current Russia is a shell of its Soviet self, this makes the US look good, etc. Not to be unpatriotic, but the Titanic wasn’t instantly sunk after hitting an iceberg. However, the question is, what is decay?
We can look to a fallen Berlin Wall and recognize a ruin, but when it comes to things and terms considered subjective, how do we determine decay? More plainly, what is the fallen state of a civilization?
If genitalia is no longer an indicator of gender, society will struggle for an objective standard. Our subjective desires will resemble Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill. Disagreement is constant, the only interim of peace we find is when we all agree that someone else is to blame.
These personal questions are difficult to ask in a society wanting to establish alternatives. Free speech and free thinking are supposed to be hallmarks of the US. Surely we don’t have to agree on all things. Yet, when we don’t agree on the starting point, being the founding of our nation, it should come as no surprise that we find meager commonality in terms of a resting place.
The perpetuation of a country is inherent to a military recruitment ad, there is an implied conservation. Although I have strayed (and will continue to stray) beyond the details of the comparison, it is interesting to consider the mechanics of progress while preserving an identity.
This type of discussion often comes up in other ways. At times the topic can be about the soundness of a book publisher, or the orthodoxy of a school, but the theme is in regard to association of heritage and reputation that remain despite contrary developments.
I can think of multiple examples in which children strayed from parental teaching, resulting in name recognition that is misleading. Yet, if all you know is the name, you will expect a modern day Lutheran to mimic and quote the original Martin Luther without variation. Making such an assumption can prove that you only know the name of Luther.
Presbyterians should honor John Calvin, but even Calvin University has liberties that seem contrary to its namesake. The prominent Ivy League schools were established to glorify God, does anyone expect this anymore?
It is an odd time to conserve anything that isn’t the environment these days. Statues, documents, everything is judged by standards that were established tomorrow. It seems conservation became unpopular, then boring, we were too apathetic to notice changes and not changing with the times is problematic. For better or worse a reputation remains even when the details are forgotten.
So yes, things change as they do, but we remember some as they were. It is silly to picture London today as Charles Dickens described it. Perhaps equally foolish is the expectation of a modern day Charles Spurgeon there.
How did Augustine see ruins of the Roman Empire? Rome is after all still available for tourism. Phrased this way it seems quite stupid to ask. Yet, the traditional bastions of conservatism have changed, but some still expect Germans to wear dirndl and lederhosen.
Despite the cultural and engineering accomplishments of Deutschland, what do people remember?
There are so many boogeymen out there. It requires very little effort to be called racist, sexist, accused of a phobia. It’s part of the word games being played. If you notice the Overton shift you are overreacting. If you don’t notice, I assume you don’t know how to boil a frog.
I can recall people on the left complaining about the ease of being labelled Woke and a Socialist Commie. I have seen people on the right complain about incessant misrepresentation as well. This has become more reasonable as language is becoming more vapid and or fluffy. During election season a constant theme was— my opponent wants bad things, I only want good things. Vote for me!
Things like equality and fairness are flexible and admirable, who can be against such aspirations? Well, that depends on who is defining these terms and by what means do we proceed and arrive. What’s the harm of having a Trojan Horse within your gates? That depends on if it is empty.
Everything is a political land mine. Simply buying a chicken sandwich at a particular place is enough for people to assume your political and religious convictions. Likewise, if you have pronouns in your bio people will deduce your political and religious positions. Yet, stereotypes do exist for a reason.
So here we are. A society in constant search of a righteous fight. A society that wants to be secular, but righteous with morals. Because morals are necessary to be good, and everything I want is good.