They’re a counterculture.
They’re not the culture.
The dominant culture of the West is tolerant. It’s tolerant because that’s in the best interest of technology, where creativity is the gating factor to economic growth.
The economic facts aren’t changing. China isn’t going to beat us because you can’t get mass creativity from slaved minds. Russia remains tied to the old economy of resources, money coming out of the ground. Even the Middle East is liberalizing, because the Sauds and their fellow sheikhs can see the handwriting on the wall, can see Israel becoming more powerful than they can ever hope to be. They know they must get on the right side of the new economy. It’s where they’re investing their oil wealth.
The war in Ukraine is the last gasp of the old order. Putin took over America for a few years, but that’s done. Regardless of what political reporters or aging liberals may think, high tide here has passed. Much will happen between now and November. Treason is being uncovered, the tide of war is turning, and those who assumed their rights under the law are increasingly angry.
This doesn’t mean it’s not going to get messy. The Nixon Administration was extremely messy, for both sides of the cultural divide. What was then the dominant culture saw things collapsing around them, saw Nixon’s resignation as the last straw, and launched the movements that eventually aligned behind Trump. What was then the counterculture saw a continuous political retreat, from that day to this, but their causes are now dominant.
Most people agree that women deserve bodily autonomy, and equal rights. Most people agree that black folks deserve equality. Most agree that gay people are people and must be treated as such. Most people want guns controlled. Most people want the climate crisis addressed.
It’s not close on any of these questions. It wasn’t close, going the other way, in the early 1970s. The counterculture of the 1970s was forced underground, but economic change eventually made it dominant. Today’s conservative counterculture will also be put down, in time, but again it’s going to be messy.
The most important thing you can do today is know which way the wind is blowing. It’s not blowing toward fascism and religious intolerance. Conservatives wouldn’t be arming themselves and acting like Weathermen if it were. Just as the technology wind isn’t blowing toward proprietary advantage and closed source. It’s blowing toward the values creative people need for money to rain down from the clouds. Nations that follow those values will continue to gain increased economic advantage from it.
The more eyes you have on the code, the faster the pyramid of code can rise. The more people can participate in their own government, the more truly free and economically secure people a society has, the faster its economy can grow.
These are the facts of our time. They are not changing.