From Sarah Hoyt's friend Robert Bidinotto. It is from one of his posts on Facebook. I thought it was insightful.
A BRIEF, OPTIMISTIC THOUGHT ABOUT CULTURAL CHANGE.
I have heard a great deal of despair lately about the state of our culture. Reading self-defined “cultural conservatives” (such as Rod Dreher) wailing that “all is lost,” it is easy to give in to pessimism.Such pessimism seems warranted if you define the cultural battlefield in terms of *existing institutions.* After all, evidence of decadence and decline is pervasive within our political, economic, educational, entertainment, and social institutions. Most have become captives or accomplices of the left-nihilists.But is that really the battlefield?History reveals to me different lessons. Such as: how a Renaissance and Enlightenment can emerge from the tribalism and mysticism of the Dark Ages, in which all institutions were hopelessly corrupt and coercive. Or how America itself could emerge from the historic swamp of universal despotism.We can learn from our enemies, too. The so-called “Frankfurt School” started as a mere school of thought — a bunch of Marxist professors in Germany. Ditto, the Fabian Socialists in the UK. We should study how they accomplished what they did, and take notes.We also should take lessons from what the military calls “asymmetrical warfare”: how a small group of insurgents can fight a much larger, better equipped and supplied force to a stalemate — and even eventually beat them. (Study George Washington and Francis Marion, for examples.) No, I’m not being literal; I’m arguing that the military analogy applies to the cultural battlefield, too: the battle over ideas and values.But creating new ideas, arguments, perspectives, and inspiring *visions* is not a numbers game. The creators of new ideas are always few, and usually solitary. Yet those few can eventually serve as navigators for an entire society. It was that truth that led Percy Shelley to say that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” The same can be said of an influential religious leader, philosopher, or narrative artist: think Jesus, Aristotle, Homer. Throughout history, these visionaries have been the de facto “asymmetrical culture warriors” of the world.Today, would-be asymmetrical culture warriors have access to technology, even at the individual level, that those earlier purveyors of ideas and values couldn’t have dreamed of — technological innovations that the military would call “force multipliers.” So, rather than gnash our teeth at the reach of mainstream- and social-media giants, or the influence of big corporations, schools, and governmental bodies, we “outsiders” can use technology to “hit them where they ain’t” — to spread our ideas and values in new forms, among receptive target audiences
This is way too big a topic for a Facebook post. But those of you with individualist perspectives in our collectivist era — especially, those of you in the storytelling arts — ought to think creatively about this. Above all, remember the unstoppable power of a captivating idea or perspective — and the fact that it takes only a single creative visionary to give it life in the world.