The crisis of Culture and the importance of rescuing it

The crisis of Culture and the importance of rescuing it

The Culture crisis It is currently, without a doubt, the most serious that Humanity has experienced throughout its history. Western Culture (although also many others) are mortally threatened.

Everywhere we can verify that we live in a deeply ill society: spiritually empty, without humanist formation, morally and intellectually impoverished and with Culture increasingly confined to minority circles.

Is Culture crisis reminds us of that sonnet of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), "Ozymandias":

I saw a traveler from remote lands.He told me: there are two legs in the desert,Of stone and without trunk. Right beside himFace in the sand lies: the broken face,

His lips, his cold tyrant gesture,They tell us that the sculptor has been ableSave the passion, which has survivedThe one who could carve it with his hand.

Something has been written on the pedestal:“I am Ozymandias, the great king. BeholdMy work, powerful !, Desperate !:

The ruin is of a colossal shipwreck.At his side, infinite and legendaryOnly the lonely sand remains. ”

The crisis of Culture

Let's see, then, why Culture is important for the individual and also why we say that it is being seriously undermined; the why of the Culture crisis.

The importance of Culture for Man

Culture is a reality (a whole) in which the human being develops. He forms and acts according to her, in all areas of his life. Without Culture we could not live as human beings. Similarly, it would be impossible for us to have a minimum feeling of roots and belonging, we could not grow as people. Culture is like our mother: we receive everything from her.

Culture: cultivation and training of individuals

Within the Culture the comprehensive training of the person, the improvement in all orders (we enhance our best qualities).

In fact, the cultural mission is to elevate, enrich and ennoble life. Teach to speak, to do and act, to live and die. It makes us people, forges character. It gives us humanity, height, depth and maturity. Culture is at the service of the individual: Personal life (dignity, happiness, freedom) is the reason for being Culture.

Towards a definition of Culture

We could define Culture as a hierarchical order of values. Represents the tradition, intergenerational transmission, the heritage, the immortality (understood as the transmission of knowledge and the order of life over time). It is, therefore, a hierarchical set of principles, norms, values, criteria, ideas and ideals.

The culture It covers the following:

  • Knowledge
  • Feelings
  • Institutions
  • Virtues
  • Manners
  • Life forms
  • Style (ways of being)
  • Language
  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs and convictions
  • Instincts
  • Habits
  • Life skills

The word "Culture" comes from:

  • Worship (religion, rites)
  • Culture (to cultivate, like agriculture, represents the roots in the earth - blood and soil - harmony with Nature)

In short, the Culture it has so much to do with him natural order and the natural communities (family, lineage, region) and with the worship (the transcendent vision of life and contact with the sacred).

The axium of the Culture

Culture is a compendium of essential and supreme values, of which we can highlight 3, mainly: Good, Truth and Beauty.

Good, Goodness, Good, we can find it in all good ideas, good intentions, good character, good intentions, good customs, good sense, good judgment, etc.

The two great forces that sustain the Culture They are:

  • The Light, which is represented by intelligence and wisdom
  • And the Hot (love, affection, affection, attachment)

With all of the above, we can say that The mission of Culture is to illuminate life, give him wisdom, help the individual to understand and understand, besides giving him warmth, affection and love. The human being cannot live in darkness (in darkness, ignorance) or in a cold environment, without roots, inhuman (without affection or noble emotions).

There are two aspects in Culture

There is a objective and subjective reality in Culture

  • Objective culture it is, for example, the Spanish, the Chinese, the Indian, the Muslim ...
    • The mission of objective Culture is to make the world a home, creating a climate and an environment in which the individual can fully develop
  • Subjective Culture is very personal, interior (the person assimilates to a greater or lesser extent the Culture where he lives)
    • The mission of subjective Culture is to humanize Man, make him grow personally and spiritually. Being a cult means knowing how to live, knowing how to give meaning to life and shaping one's own personal world

Culture (K) and Civilization (Z)

In all society (nation, town, race or cultural entity) 2 planes are distinguished in which the individual understands reality, and interacts with it: Culture (K) and Civilization (Z). These are complementary, although they can face and cause contradictions.

  • Culture (K) refers more to the spirit and soul. It refers to the Humanities, to the spiritual life. For example: religion, philosophy, art, letters, morals, science, teaching, sports, games, history, etc.
  • Civilization (Z) refers more to the body (the material). It has to do with everything related to technology (the satisfaction of personal and social needs): politics, bureaucracy, industry, law, army ...

Continuing with the previous line:

  • Culture (K) aims to improve the human being in all its aspects; make the greatness of Man manifest
  • By cons, Civilization (Z) pretends to live better, giving facilities to life (through technology, laws, police, etc.)

Dichotomy between Culture and Civilization

While culture strives to know, understand, understand and love reality and the world, Civilization aims to dominate, control, subdue, exploit and manipulate the environment.

Thus, we find the following:

  • The Culture pursues: authority, ends, inner, deep, spiritual, qualitative, being, wisdom, community
  • While the Civilization pursues: the power, the means, the external, the superficial, the material, the quantitative, the possession, the knowledge, the society united by interests

The Civilization must be subordinate to the Culture. A community It works like a living being. You will be healthy if you respect this natural hierarchy.

Crisis of Culture, the decline of civilization progressivism

Decay occurs when the natural order of things is altered and the correct hierarchy is suppressed. Thus, Civilization imposes itself on Culture, manipulating and enslaving it.

When this occurs cultural values ​​are reversed, appearing a rampant materialism and hedonism, the subversion of morals and values, intellectual, spiritual and personal bankruptcy.

Therefore, chaos and disorder arise, championed by an alleged progressivism, which has nothing to do with making the human being better, freer, wiser, higher. Words lose their meaning and degeneration accelerates.

We have, therefore, the Materialistic civilization. Thus, the spiritual and transcendent dimension, so necessary for the human being, is lost. The principles on which life is based are lost and order and cultural life are possible.

The Logos (reason and word), confusion reigns, perplexity, dejection, dehumanization of the individual.

The progressivism civilization results in a dehumanized society, spiritually dead, without transcendent meaning, anchored in the material and in the present (the enjoyment of the "here and now"). A society divorced from Nature, of the cosmic, natural order, without the supreme ideals of Good, Truth and Beauty ("everything is relative").

The civilized barbarian as a product of the culture crisis

It is the prototype of progressive homini; This being is capable of reaching high levels of technological knowledge, handles large amounts of data, can even possess many material goods, but his soul is empty. It is a person without roots who knows nothing about himself (who he is, where he comes from and where he is going). He has no idea of ​​the world in which he lives (his history, culture, religions, music, poetry, thought). He doesn't know how to live or die.

Loss of values it means that there is no longer trust, commitment, loyalty, honesty, courage, decorum, respect ... It does not accept norms or hierarchies (except its own).

They arise like this, decomposition currents, such as the so-called egalitarianism (the equalization by the low, the massification, the dissolution of the individual in a gray mass). Teaching is ruined, radical and totalitarian ideologies expand, as well as propaganda, brainwashing and the most abject manipulation of the community.

Mediocrity advances everywhere. The world becomes more vulgar and apricot. Insolence, impertinence, demagogy, stupidity are everywhere. Democracy becomesoclocracy (the leaders are the worst expression of the community, the least complete, the least wise and trained).

The culture crisis: inculture and anti-culture

They are the two forces that threaten to destroy the Culture.

  • Inculturation manifests itself in bold and petulant ignorance. Cultural values ​​are despised as one thinks one is very cultivated (one feels cultivated while empty inside). It is linked to the expansion of a subculture that invades everything. For example, telebasura
  • Anti-culture seeks the destruction of Culture, goes against it. Culture is the other way around, denigrates and impoverishes the human being. We can see it in anti-art, anti-music, anti-poetry, anti-moral, anti-justice, anti-religion (sects, atheism, secularism), anti-philosophy (intellectual demagogy), nihilism (the destruction of Well, Truth and Beauty). Destruction of language and word

As a result, We obtain an unworthy, immoral society, without ideals or principles, without honor, without a fixed direction. A society without norms, in the well of nihilism, materialism, hedonism, relativism. In this state of affairs is our Culture today.

Rescue and rebuild the Culture

In these times of crisis of Culture, there are those who ask themselves if it would not be better to drop what is already rotten and facilitate the emergence of a new Culture. On the other hand, others consider rescuing at any cost the Culture that saw us born and in which we developed. Without a doubt, it is a very difficult decision. Each with important advantages and disadvantages at a practical level.

However, and above all, what is imposed is to recover the principles, the correct vision of the world and personal, social and spiritual reality. This should be broad and generous, but should not yield an iota in the main.

It is the responsibility of every person to affirm the values ​​that make cultured and civilized life possible. Everyone must transmit those values ​​without complexes. We must go back to arouse enthusiasm for high, transcendent values; educate in the love of effort (especially new generations).

It is our obligation to overcome pessimism, as this has no place in nature. We must use the two great forces which, as we said at the beginning, sustains human life: Light and Fire, wisdom and love, intelligence and will.

It will be difficult, tedious and will take time, however, the alternative is decay, degeneration, nothingness. We must form new elites with criteria of rigor and demand, with a spirit of service, heroic sense and good leadership. That is, a select minority that changes the attitudes of lost people within nihilism and progressive decline and promotes cultural change for the better.


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  • Medrano, A. (1996).Magic and mystery of leadership: the art of living in a world in crisis. Yatay
  • Scruton, R., & Solé, J. (2001).Culture for smart people. Peninsula.
  • Scruton, R. (2002). The intellectual hegemony of the progressive left.Public Studies Magazine, (85).
  • Scruton, R. (2016).The soul of the world. Rialp editions.
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  • Scruton, R. (2018). We must overcome the false idea of ​​Europe.Spanish Reason: Bimonthly Thought Magazine, (209), 353-355.
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