Today I came across an essay from sociologist James Davison Hunter called The Culture Wars Reflect the Polarization of American Society. This is an amazingly accurate paragraph:
The question of the tactics of power politics imposing its vision on all others is not an idle one–for the simple reason that cultural conflict is inherently antidemocratic. It is antidemocratic first because the weapons of such warfare are reality definitions that presuppose from the outset the illegitimacy of the opposition and its claims. Sometimes the antidemocratic impulse is conscious and deliberate; this is seen when claims are posited as fundamental rights that transcend democratic process. More often than not, though, the antidemocratic impulse in cultural conflict is implicit in the way in which activists frame their positions on issues…a position so “obviously superior,” so “obviously correct,” and its opposite is so “obviously out of bounds” that they are beyond serious discussion and debate. Indeed, to hold the “wrong” opinion, one must be either mentally imbalanced (phobic–as in homophobic–irrational, codependent, or similarly afflicted) or, more likely, evil. Needless to say, in a culture war, one finds different and opposing understandings of the politically correct few of the world.
What is your analysis of cultural disconnects? Where do they come from? Why are they so intense? How can we fix them, if we even can?