The Counterculture We Need: Part 2
An Almost Forgotten Tradition
Many people wrongly believe that politicians have the power to save us from the hard times ahead. As we continue to watch the United States descend into chaos, remember that politicians have less power to fix our problems than we'd like.
Trump, DeSantis, RFK Jr., or anyone else will need a miracle to win the presidency in 2024. The deck is stacked against them. Not just the deep state but the electorate itself. Our society is structurally broken. We have far too many blue hairs with pronouns in their bio and 30-year-old gamer guys living in their parent's basement. It's ridiculous to expect a dysfunctional culture to produce competent leadership.
You're going to have to take matters into your own hands. That means Choosing Freedom in every area of your life—our theme for 2023. In many cases, Choosing Freedom requires you to live counterculturally. Let's explore countercultural living in faith, family, and health.
Part 1 Recap
In Part 1 of this series, I explored youth popular culture and countercultural trends that may provide a glimmer of hope. Young people often live counterculturally to rebel against their parents. As they grow up, those countercultural trademarks become the established popular culture. For example, look at how the perception of rock & roll transitioned from rebellious to classic over the decades.
Freedom starts with your finances, so I first examined how young people spend, earn, and invest their money. Then I investigated how they spend their time. Social media has a massive impact on both. Young people spend large amounts of their time on addictive platforms that collect their information at the expense of their mental health. Those platforms use their information to sell targeted ads and encourage consumption.
While there is a strong movement of young people who embrace hard work and financial discipline, they lack a comprehensive worldview or objective. What's the point of financial freedom if you don't have something meaningful to spend it on? And is it worth it if you have to sacrifice your soul to get there?
It's much more important to understand the impact you want to have and use your finances as a tool to achieve it. I'm not talking about just making a bunch of money and donating it, but also how you make your money.
We need to see a stronger counterculture in both finances and social media.
Check out Part 1 if you haven't already.
The way you spend your time and money reveals your priorities. Whether you realize it or not, your priorities reflect your worldview or personal philosophy.
Everyone has a religion. Everyone worships something they consider higher than humans. And everyone develops a set of values, religious practices, and an understanding of their purpose. It's human nature.
Even atheist "intellectual" types have a God. They value science and learning. Their religious practices include higher education, reading, and intellectual discussion. Their religious authorities are professors or "experts" in a given field, and their personal philosophy is a misplaced confidence in human agency. They might think they don't believe in God, but the evolution of the human race and the elusive "pursuit of knowledge" has become their new higher power. Millions of these types outed themselves during COVID, as they willingly complied with authoritarian lockdown measures and took experimental medical treatments because that's what the "authorities" told them to do, even though the mandates weren't objectively backed by science. They think that they're objective and scientific. But they're actually beholden to a strict religious hierarchy. That's why people defended COVID restrictions. They had to protect their religion.
Many people aren't atheists. They just don't know or care enough about religion to give it a place in their lives. 29% of US adults are unaffiliated with a religious group (these people are also called "nones"). Without a greater understanding of their purpose and place in the universe, their everyday lives become their religion. Some take a short-term mindset, aiming to maximize immediate comfort and convenience. Others take a long-term perspective, aiming to increase material success and achievement. While their objectives may be wholesome, they're missing a higher calling. They've found their "what," but they don't understand their "why."
Lots of people fill their "why" with shallow concepts of "social justice" and "making the world a better place." This is another religion. The pronouns in the bio. The social media posts apologizing for "white privilege." The ridiculous awards show speeches. The pride t-shirts and pins on backpacks and work uniforms. These are all signs of devotion. It reminds me of how the medieval Catholic church forced peasants to pay indulgences to forgive their sins. There's nothing logical about the social justice religion. It's a fairy tale cult.
The social justice religion's followers might believe they're fighting the power, but they're just aiding the elites. The regime uses cultural issues to drive a wedge between the producing class. And they use their perverted moral code to distinguish the sheep from everyone else. If you're willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to mutilate your child's body because social media said it was right...what else are you willing to do? When you follow the money, the elites are the only winners.
The mainstream narrative is that America is becoming more secular and abandoning religion with each passing generation. But the rise of religious "nones" has stagnated over the last six years. And a Pew Research study conducted in 2018 found that "nones" in the US are still much more likely to pray and believe in God than "nones" in Western Europe.
In reality, younger generations are very spiritual. They're simply choosing to divorce spiritual practices from religious traditions. Instead, they're mixing and matching spiritual practices and religious beliefs to their liking. Members of Gen Z are the most likely to be unaffiliated with a major religion due to a lack of religious experiences during their formative years, yet 71% of young people consider themselves religious, and 78% of young people consider themselves spiritual.
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