Conservatives are too concerned with money to win the culture war

If you think the left has too much power in education, blame Nadhim Zahawi. He could have become a teacher or lecturer instead of a businessman so successful that he has to suffer a tax bill millions. If you complain about the preaching of modern museums, blame Boris Johnson. He could have tried running one after leaving 10 Downing Street instead of talking about blockchain for fees. Every man’s choice is understandable. But each also means a less conservative person in the left-wing liberal domain.

The controversies of the day exposed an issue of rights and that was not corruption. It’s not “slutty”. It’s impossible to chase money and fighting in the culture wars. Zahawi is one person, but represents millions of conservatives in each generation. They have the right to choose lucrative work over life in the institutions that dictate the cultural weather. They have a right to complain about the success of the left in bending those institutions to their dogma. What is dishonest and also does not become is to do both: to lose the terrain and then boil over to its capture by hostile elements.

There is an axiom that is often said to be false by historians. Robert’s Conquest. Any organization that is not clearly right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing. The genius of insight is that it avoids paranoia. It doesn’t pretend that there is a conspiracy going on. It is impossible to imagine some Gramsci scheme to train leftist cadres and take them a long way through the institutions. It only recognizes a common leftist attraction to occupations where profit motives are not paramount. It’s harder than you might think for even conservative media to recruit and retain overly permissive non-liberals. Imagine how much more difficult it would be for organizations with no conscious effort.

In other words, while the culture war will change in intensity, its basic shape will never change. Unless universal compulsion is imposed on arts, academia, publishing houses, administrations, quanos, and public broadcasters, these entities will generally lean left. It’s a synthesis of individual choices like Zahawi’s. Or, really, Rishi Sunak is to go into finance. Or by Jeremy Hunt to start a business after graduation. If daring, I would call it the invisible hand of the market.

Correct, Businesses also “wake up”, but only after the above institutions have created moral pressure around. And let’s take a look at a bit of corporate life often accused of being the conduit for those ideas. Human Resources. One of the lower paying divisions in the typical corporation. I know, it’s Marxist crass, but at every turn there’s really a material explanation for the cultural outcomes.

Imagine, if you could bear it, the life of an ordinary stand-up comedian. You wander from pub to club for a small fee and expense. “Success” is the occasional spot on a TV show. You start a podcast with no deep pay. You self-publish a novel and lose money on it.

No one financially motivated will enter this world. People who prioritize other things, such as creative expression or public exposure, can. And that – not the innate humor of conservatives, not a libertarian plot against them – is why comedy is such a almost exclusively leftist. The right is often the first to say that a situation can be “unequal” without being “unjust.” It struggles to do so in this case.

Conservatism is to a large extent self-eroding. A (proper) welcome philosophy won’t attract enough people who want to serve in culture-shaping organizations. Certainly, the culture is becoming less and less conservative. The problem is even more acute in the United States, where conservatism is so high on profit motives that it is an industry in itself. Burning in the bowels of the Republic is a historical grievance. Even as the “movement” enjoyed electoral success for more than half a century, the fabric of life in this country has moved in a different direction. School curriculum. Language policies. The positive discrimination. Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes did not win because of this.

Some conservatives have rationalized this distinction between electoral victory and cultural regress as a kind of left-wing scam. Or, worse, proof of the futility of democracy. Their own complicity is lost to them. There are Republicans who can’t believe how left-wing universities are and can’t believe anyone chooses an unproductive academic life. At some point, you hope, irony will come their way.

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