(…epitomized by an amalgam of White Supremacy with Hitlerian ideology)

Most of us are not just disturbed but also confused by its seemingly sudden appearance among us because it seems so far removed from everything we’ve ever known before, and just plain “un-American.” Presumably it is the stridency and violence of its current expression which disturbs us the most about it, more than anything else.

The causative factors which are igniting this resurgence of cultural regression in America, in contradiction to our vaunted traditions of being an exceptional model for an open and democratically inclined society, will probably be the subject of fierce debate between social scientists and cultural anthropologists for decades to come. But, for those of us who must live with it at this moment, we just don’t have that luxury because we are forced to deal with it on a day to day basis as best we can…right now.

Unfortunately, too many of us react to it with knee-jerk reactions of our own, by hurling simplistic epithets of “racism” and “Nazism” to denounce it, which does nothing to diminish either the strength of its virulence or the velocity of its momentum. Instead we need to better understand and learn how to come up with better ways to cope with it. 

To that end, and as we see it, there are possibly three causative factors involved here which, if we’re able to do something about them, might reduce its attraction for some elements of our society.

The first of these is the ever-increasing centralization of power at the Federal level. A centralization process which has disrupted the delicately balanced system of checks against such centralization of power designed for us by our founders (the Constitution). It’s those accrued imbalances which have created most of the social and political polarization we have today…as epitomized by the election of President Trump.

The second of these, and probably the strongest causative factor, has been the relatively rapid shift in our cultural and social norms and values since the end of WWII. The rapidity of that shift overwhelming our society’s capacity to adapt to the changes deriving from that…leaving many elements of our society with the perception that they have lost whatever relevancy they might have had before.

The third of these factors has come from the velocity of the development of new technologies and the resulting economic globalization which has come from that. In turn, those developments disrupted the previous matrix used in our society to achieve upward economic and social/class mobility (viz. the American Dream), thus reducing that opportunity and creating extreme gaps in affluence between its social classes which didn’t exist before.

 It’s the combination of these factors which seems to be the driving force for this resurgence of cultural regression in America. As with any other organism, that seems to be a defensive reaction to a perceived “invasion” against the organism’s previously known established order of things. That perception then leading to delusional fantasies of past “White Supremacy” and adopting the forms and tactics of Nazi ideology to combat the perceived invasion (ironic since it was their grandfathers who fought so hard to eradicate it). In short, all those who seem to have succumbed to those siren songs of extreme xenophobia against so-called “outsiders”, are displaying the symptoms of what amounts to…mental psychosis.

Which leaves us with the question of how best to deal with such a condition? Confrontation and force will only enhance its appeal and make it more infectious and dangerous. Yet, we cannot ignore or marginalize it either as just being an aberrant episode in the history of our society. To do so would leave us with an eventuality similar with what happened to the Weimar Republic in Germany, after WWI…and we all know the consequences that came from that.

That’s the dilemma we face with how to deal with this resurgence of cultural regression in America today.