Submitted by Paul Kindlon…
Sociocentric bias occurs when people uncritically accept certain beliefs and prejudices because that is the authoritative or dominant view of their social group or society. This is a phenomenon that leads to “group think”. Theoretically, if one were to disengage from the group geographically and intellectually for an extended period of time some semblance of critical assessment of the group would be possible.
After having spent twenty-five years of my life away from America and American thinking, I feel that I am in a position now to evaluate the country I grew up in from a more or less objective manner.
My American friends and relatives – for the most part – are convinced “things are progressing” and that America is evolving towards a more enlightened society. Except for the anomaly of Donald Trump and the deplorable Maga crowd, they contend, our nation is on an upward trajectory towards a more Ideal version of the American Dream.
From my perspective just the opposite is true. In terms of consciousness America, in fact, has gone backwards in time. Not just by a few decades, but by a few hundred years.
There’s a saying in the fashion industry that if no new creative ideas are being produced we simply revert to the past and copy former styles and patterns. This is what I see.
The Woke movement, for example, is really “the Great Awakening” version # 3.
In the 18th century and then in the early 19th century there were religious revivals organized by preachers who castigated the crowds for being horribly sinful. Having committed “moral transgressions” participants were urged to admit their sin of being all too human and required to engage in soul searching while feeling appropriate guilt and shame.
Robin Di Angelo – playing the part of a gentle yet stern Jonathan Edwards – is one of the preachers pointing the finger at herself and us white folk for the original sin of racism. We cannot rid ourselves of this shameful blemish, but we can perform public acts of contrition and practice self-loathing. To get along in your community and lead a good life you had to attend these revivals otherwise you were considered not “woke” and ostracized. Take a knee y’all!
But haven’t we broken new ground in the arts? you ask
Not at all. Lacking original ideas we have returned to “sentimentalism” in film, literature, and other forms of art. Sentimentalism – like the Awakening – was an early 18th century reaction to and rejection of Enlightenment Rationalism. Writers, for example, created works that “tugged at the heart strings” evoking tender emotions which were intended to bring about kindness, compassion and tearful sympathy.
In contemporary America this neo-sentimentalism is manifested as a decidedly anti-science social phenomenon. So much so that many woke people genuinely and sincerely believe there is no such thing as biological sex. Irrational belief has become a Virtue. Critical analysis a Vice.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.