Our (U.S.) Newfangled Conservatives’ Penultimate Contradiction

Stephen Yearwood
2 min readMar 2, 2024

For promoting their preferred ‘culture’, government can’t be too big.

Photo by Vladislav Kosoborod on Unsplash

I do understand where these ‘conservatives’ are coming from. They see — correctly — that the pop culture/marketing complex that dominates daily life in the U.S. incessantly promotes the liberal cultural agenda of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ (for the record, an agenda this author supports). It is impossible for anyone to consume the typical content of pop culture — T.V., movies, music, etc. — without ingesting that agenda. To see or hear almost any commercial within the entertainment media is to be further exposed to that agenda.

The scope and the constancy of that messaging presents an overwhelming cultural hegemony from the point of view of anyone who has any issue with any part of that agenda. The definition of this newfangled ‘conservatism’ that has recently arisen in the U.S. is ‘anyone with an issue with any part of the liberal agenda’. It follows from the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That explains the perplexing mixture of ideas, goals, and personalities contained in that group.

So ‘conservatives’ who are branded as having nothing but enmity for the whole of the liberal agenda are being completely honest when they object to that characterization. Very few of them do have a problem with all of it. All of them, however, do object to the incessant, pervasive promotion of that cultural agenda within the pop culture/marketing complex.

There is only one institution with the power to contravene that complex: government.

Therein lies the problem. These ‘conservatives’ have made it their goal in life to use government to wrestle to the ground that complex and the agenda it promotes.

I am genuinely sympathetic to the hegemonic nature of the pop culture/ marketing complex. I know I would feel oppressed if it happened to be promoting any other cultural agenda. Yet, I can think of no way to curb that complex that would be consistent with living in a nation with ‘liberty and justice for all’. After all, it is composed of individuals expressing personal views. While it is pervasive, it is not forced on anyone in the sense that an agenda imposed by government necessarily is.



Stephen Yearwood

unaffiliated, non-ideological, unpaid: M.A. in political economy (where philosophy and economics intersect) with a focus in money/distributive justice