True identity is the key to resisting propaganda

With the relentless demand for reparations, land acknowledgements, and gender-fluid pronouns, it can be easy to understand why conservatives are burned out on the concept of identity. The left has used identity politics as a weapon to mercilessly bludgeon foes and extract material and political capital that are then used to bribe the client classes of the Democrat Party. This progressive obsession with an artificial and hollow collectivism can easily drive the right to assume that radical individualism is the only answer, but that would be a mistake.

The lack of a true, organic, and meaningful identity lies at the heart of our nation’s ills, and to fight back, we must understand the role identity plays in creating a healthy and prosperous social order.

Human beings are more clearly defined by their limitations than by their freedoms, and it is in the limitations of our identities that we find true meaning.

While modern Western culture is obsessed with the notion of individuals choosing their own identity, it is important to recognize that none of us construct ourselves from the ground up. All of us are born into families and communities that serve as the substrate from which our individual person arises.

Identity is never formed in a vacuum; we define ourselves by our relationship to others and our place in broader society. Father, son, mother, daughter, elder, child: These are our most fundamental identities and the ones that will inform all other relationships we encounter.

These organic familial structures also introduce us to key formative concepts that shape our world, like language, religion, tradition, and custom. These concepts give us a sure footing and help us to understand how we should order our lives, how we should treat others, and what common moral vision guides our community.

Most people do not deeply interrogate these beliefs because they form the bedrock of the social order. These unquestioned axioms serve as pillars of identity that hold the broader civilization aloft and help it to maintain its particular character. To be a member of one culture is to be defined by the pillars of identity that set your way of being apart from the many other societies across the world.

Human beings are more clearly defined by their limitations than by their freedoms, and it is in the limitations of our identities that we find true meaning.

The spirit of the strong, independent individual is burned deep into the Americans psyche. The courageous pioneer carving out a new piece of civilization on the Western frontier remains the ultimate American archetype, even after all those lands have long been settled. But what we often forget about those brave frontiersmen is that their ultimate goal was to bring civilization, to create a community where none existed before.

The first structures built to mark the transition from trading post to frontier town were the church, courthouse, and schoolhouse. Even the most rugged individuals knew from their own cultural upbringing that religion, education, and law were fundamental to the continuation of the way of life they held dear.

Conservatives are often blown away by the speed at which culture now shifts. New ideological trends seem to burst forth from nowhere, dominate our society, and then recede as quickly as they emerge. Mass media is the main delivery system for these memetic contagions, blasting them like endless propaganda across every platform of communication until they are superimposed on the public consciousness.

Parents watch their children adopt alien forms of speech and dress, chanting strange slogans and spouting ideological pronouncements with no connection to reality. The constant drip of social media, state education, and algorithmically curated entertainment has the capacity to create entire social movements seemingly out of thin air.

These social movements often present themselves as forms of identity. Transgenderism, arcane sexualities, and protest movements all become costumes that young people try on and wear for a time before discarding them and consuming the next round of memetic contagions. While identity may seem like a problem, it is actually the lack of authentic identity that makes modern society susceptible to these relentless waves of ideological possession.

Like a tree with deep and old roots, an individual who is woven into an organic network of rights, responsibilities, and traditions is far less likely to be pulled out with the tide. It is the foundational nature of identity that orients us and sets us firmly against the fads and fashion that ideology can bring to bear.

Propaganda can only be countered by a firm grounding in who we are and what we are loyal to. The man whose life is full of meaningful relationships and tied to the shared moral vision of his community has no need to look for the cheap artificial identities that modern leftism offers.

In the preamble to the Constitution, the founders remind us that the United States is not just a vision for the current generation but a heritage to be handed down to our posterity. If conservatives want to fight back against the putrid identity politics of the left, they must instill the organic identity that the founders relied on to make America great: the Christian faith, the regional traditions that came predominately from Europe before taking on a distinctly American flavor, and the voluntary communal associations that defined so much of day-to-day life. This also means taking back the responsibility to educate our children and carefully select the media we consume. We cannot hand the minds of the next generation over to those who seek to destroy us and expect them to be returned intact.

In a sea of ideological propaganda and social conditioning, only the organic network of faith, family, tradition, and duty can bind against the raging tides. In the battle against identity politics and social programming, the answer is not radical atomization of the individual, but the healthy and powerful identity that our founding fathers promised as the birthright of this great nation.

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