It’s difficult as a thinking person to examine the present zeitgeist without coming to the conclusion that something within society has gone completely awry. We watch as all values are inverted and as all standards are abandoned as relics of a more judgmental, less enlightened time. We live in an era of relative values and subjectivity, an era wherein nothing is knowable, objective, or true. Nowadays, to assert that absolute truths do exist, or that the continued acceptance of cultural relativism within a society leads to decadence and ultimately, decline is to expose oneself to attack and ridicule, as well as the possibility of stiffer social and employment penalties. Nowhere in the culture is this inversion of values more apparent than in the spreading cultural antipathy towards aesthetics and ideals of virtue and beauty.
Beauty is perfection. Beauty represents goodness and transcendence. Beauty elevates the human race. Beauty is inspiration and pleasure. Humans are evolutionarily programmed to recognize, appreciate, and seek out beauty, and to create works of heartbreaking beauty in music, literature, and visual arts. Above all, beauty is truth. Preferences exist, but true beauty is undeniable. One might prefer the clanging of pots and pans, but no one can deny the beautiful mastery of Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor; similarly one might claim to prefer the aesthetics of a urine splattered cross in an art installation but that individual can never deny the perfection of the Sistine Chapel. Nonetheless, we are encouraged to ignore our senses, and to embrace the hideous in every form. The urine stained cross is now high art; the cacophony of banging pots and pans we are supposed to consider the magnum opus of the finest musical minds. Put simply, this is the complete uglification of the culture.
There are three key questions: (1) what causes this malignant attitude to develop and spread? (2) Why has the notion that things are either objectively beautiful or objectively ugly become one that no goodthinking individual dare entertain? (3) How exactly does this antagonism towards beauty manifest itself? This denigration of the beautiful is nothing more than an effort to subvert society, brainwashing individuals into believing that the denial of absolute truths and concrete realities is acceptable, even necessary if the denial ultimately results in a “better” and more radically egalitarian society.
Subversion as it relates to accretive cultural destruction is best defined by Yuri Bezmenov, a Soviet defector who worked as a propagandist during the 60’s. According to Bezmenov, subversion is the gradual process by which an enemy undertakes measures to change the perception of every individual within a target country. Perception is altered so severely through the constant use of various forms of propaganda that individuals are rendered unable to come to sensible conclusions about anything and become unwilling to fight for their very existence. The target society becomes a sitting duck for the enemy. Subversion succeeds in destruction by undoing logic and lowering defenses; it succeeds by twisting the mind so much that it becomes unable to discern the truth from a lie. Bezmenov further explains that subversion proceeds in four distinct stages: (1) demoralization, (2) destabilization (3) crisis and (4) normalization. We are concerned here with demoralization, as the erosion of the beautiful is in no small part a tool in the work kit of subversion.
To observe the assault on beauty, one need look no further than any of the various liberal pop culture e-rags that proliferate in all corners of the internet. The so-called “body-positivity” movement (also known as HAES, or “Health at Every Size”), exhorting us to close our eyes to the ugliness of obesity to the cry of “all bodies are beautiful!” and to embrace it as “real beauty.”
We see this in the efforts to do away with Barbie and to replace it with other grotesqueries that are said to represent “beauty across various spectra.” It can be seen as comic book heroes peak physical perfection are redrawn to reflect the average and the typical. Women are discouraged from attempting to achieve a feminine ideal of beauty and are instead encouraged to put as little effort into their looks as is possible and to adopt “gender neutral” fashion. Graffiti is pushed upon us as art, and we see the veneration of Banksy, the graffiti artist whose “work” you can obtain as prints from any online art retailer. We are told graffiti adds neighborhood character. Whether that character is good or bad is of no relevance.
There is, furthermore, the strange trend of photographing the abandoned flotsam and jetsam of American life to show the “haunting beauty” of these sites has become all the rage on electronic compost sites like Buzzfeed. Musically, frankly scatological music is pumped over the airwaves and it hits the Top 40.
The process of demoralization continues unhindered because of a lack of standards combined with a deathly fear of passing judgment on absolutely anyone or anything, even if the person is acting in the basest manner, and even if the thing is completely lacking in virtue or value. Why? Because we are taught, almost from birth, that everything is the same, and that everyone is equal: to discriminate is to deny the inherent equality in all things and all people. We are taught to ignore that the pursuit of the beautiful and the avoidance of the ugly is an evolutionary survival mechanism that enables the preservation of the species. We are forced to internalize a lie. Therefore, to say that obesity is bad because it causes severe health complications, and that obese people are disgusting eyesores is a thoughtcrime of the highest order. That would be to imply that the fat are not the equals of the fit. We should think that Melissa McCarthy is as beautiful as Zoe Saldana. We cannot say that gender neutral fashion is bunk, and that a woman in a flawlessly tailored dress looks better than some androgyne in a shapeless jumpsuit. We cannot say that Banksy is a hack but Botticelli is a genius, because to juxtapose the bankruptcy of one and the beauty of the other, to recognize the objective truth of the relative value of each contribution to the artistic cannon, is to immediately make a statement about the inferiority of the former.
This is not petty. Demoralization has a profound spiritual impact on society. Interacting with the average lobotomized, zombiefied leftist makes this clear. Nowadays, people are so used to being told what they believe that their minds lack vigor and are useless for critical thought. This general mental lassitude makes people unable to resist lies and the imposition of inverted values. It makes them likely to accept any harebrained assertion, truth or reality notwithstanding. It creates a generation of people without strong beliefs about anything, who will regard the downfall of their country with little more than a shrug and a yawn. This is the endgame of subversion: self-destruction through inertia.
Dr. Theodore Dalrymple should have the last word: “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”