Posted: Dec 28, 2020 3:22 pm
by Spearthrower
arugula2 wrote:There's no such thing as purely "organic" cultural change. It's mostly people agitating, and then going with the flow. There're always others pushing against the flow (I'm usually one of them), but sometimes the reasons given don't amount to much & are opaque.



While not so much the rest of your post, the above I do agree with very much, and think is true across all cultures and times. Within a group of people, there's a balance between progressive ideas to reform some aspect of society and the reactionary conservatism of tradition and heritage. Across time and generations, the balance between these forces shifts back and forth seeing the under-dog of the time agitating against the old/new. Typically both parties' points have some value and no society seems to do so well when either force becomes too dominant. Too much stasis through focus on the maintenance of traditional ideas and the civilization becomes unwieldy and less able to respond to new circumstances, whereas rewriting too much of the valued traditions leads to dissidence, discomfort and the arisal of wholly new societal fracture lines.

I think you can find examples of this in every documented civilization of the past right up to today. What is typically disappointing about us ground apes is that even when a progressive faction with 'good' ideas manages to gain the upper hand and overthrow a past system of injustice, they immediately just become the reactionaries themselves. The hippies became the bureaucrats.