A cogent critique of conservatism
From an unexpected angle:
Why Metal is Right-Wing
When conservatism was serious, local institutions were prized for their own sake, with communities serving as the proper basis for affection--the "little platoons" in Edmund Burke's phrase. Today, conservatism is composed of 20-somethings making 20 something a year plotting to give deracinated corporations tax breaks. For me, it's the same conflict as listening to a new band on a metal playlist or hearing the same Rihanna "song" yet again on a "professional" station. The latter can only be called "culture" by a true cynic and serves as evidence that popular choices are imposed from above rather than the spontaneous "free market" of conservative/libertarian fantasies.(Via Radix).
Metal as a genre, even in its lowest form, relies upon musicianship. At its best, it can sublimate profound themes within complicated melodic structures. You can't "fake" good metal. It's no accident that many younger metalheads find that they "graduate" to classical when they get older, in the same way that the talented musicians who pioneered the genre owe a debt to the maestros of Vienna and Bayreuth.
In today's popular music, you can substitute Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, the animated corpse of Britney Spears, and whatever else they are promoting in and out of any given melody. It's hard to say if anyone would even notice--as long as you keep the autotune on. The themes are predictable, the melodies hackneyed, the "message" cliched--express yourself, even (especially) when you have nothing to say. Popular music is the soundtrack to American-style democracy, and I can think of no greater condemnation. If I can slightly borrow a famous phrase, when someone tells me the pop station is "culture," I release the safety catch on my revolver.
Clearly, if conservatism is about upholding the established order, heavy metal music is hardly the kind of thing champions of the long extinguished Ancien Regime would be comfortable with. Of course, that's sort of the point. We don't live in a world where the "Establishment" is patriotic landed aristocrats defending the interests of Church and Crown. We live in a world where Fortune 500 companies fund groups that combat "white privilege," where multiculturalism has joined hands with Goldman Sachs, where the justification for this System is outlined for you in your mandatory diversity training in the classroom and the corporate boardroom. It's their system, not ours. Why do we want to make it more efficient or cut their taxes?
I've repeated my own trope: conservatives at this point are conserving 20th century American progressivism. When I've mentioned this out in the real world, it provokes actual hostility. I'm reminded of my discussions with shell-shocked Syrian immigrants. They could not believe that their country disappeared before their eyes; it's still a topic you don't bring up in order to be polite. Incredibly, they never saw it coming, even as they were becoming outnumbered 5:1. Conservatives think it's just a matter of winning a debate; it's not. The debate is over, the winners have been decided, and the audience is leaving for the exits.
Speaking of Syria, what is it with the whole world's radio silence on that region? Two countries drawn up by the British and French last century are disappearing, and ... nothing. I thought it was kind of a big deal when two states where millions of people live start disappearing. Maybe this is just me.
We are some distance away from anything like the situations in Syria and Iraq, but the social and economic trends already in unstoppable motion are going to result in a huge reset, and it could easily be in our children's lifetimes. And conservatives are arguing over corporate tax deductions.
Oh, and happy Independence Day.