100 years of the culture war

Frank Furedi in Spiked:

For almost two decades, I have been attempting to understand the origins and drivers of the culture war that has now engulfed the West. Many paint it as a continuation of the age-old conflict between left and right. But that is misleading. If anything, today’s cultural conflicts, be they arguments over statues or gender identity, coincide with the erosion of traditional ideological differences. Indeed, we have capitalists today who no longer defend capitalism, and an identity politics-obsessed left that is thoroughly hostile towards the working class – especially those who have white skin. The categories of left and right simply do not mean what they used to. And they certainly do not help us make sense of the culture war.

One reason why the culture war is so difficult to understand is that its main protagonists rarely lay out their cause systematically. There is no explicit philosophy or ideology of culture war. Indeed, as I argue in my new book, 100 Years of Identity Crisis: Culture War Over Socialisation, the culture war is driven by an ideology without a name. That is what I set out to explore – the historical origins and main objectives of this nameless ideology.

As I soon discovered, this ideology originated in the late 19th century in the most unlikely of places – namely, the nursery. The first clash in the culture war took place over the question of how children should be raised and educated. And it was this conflict over the socialisation of young people over 100 years ago that unleashed the forces that have led to today’s battles over identity and cultural values.

More here.