at be+cause, we think a lot about culture as a powerful vehicle and arena for change. It is also something we like to create--from producing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts to starting a clothing line to assisting other culture makers in their efforts to create positive social change. Being part of a lab (our parent company is C3 Lab), we like to innovate and experiment. This blog is where you can see it happen.
The Culture Project
There have been other more moderately conservative efforts along this line. As we've talked about before in this blog, the Washington Institute convenes "conversations of consequence" in an effort to "renew culture". While their efforts are underlined with a strong theme around serving and social justice, The Culture project is focused on what they call "Liberty Culture".
The Project goes on to explain why it is needed:
A recent article at The American Thinker, by Bruce Walker, included an interesting passage indicating exactly why we need The Culture Project:
A lot of persuasion is necessary before Americans (including our elites and their institutions) change their way of thinking. We in fact still need a crusade to change hearts and minds more than a candidacy.
Exactly! Top-down action will never change hearts and minds to the degree necessary to make a fundamental difference. Focusing on politics alone will continue to leave us frustrated. The Culture Project offers a bottom-up approach in the cultural influence professions. Nothing like it has ever been attempted before.
A new "crusade to change hearts and minds" has begun.
The Culture Project claims that it is basing its strategies on "a different approach, one that has worked for the liberals and can work for conservatives." While there is likely more liberal-identified than conservative-identified institutions that work in part or whole in the cultural realm (not to mention culture makers and leaders), there is no single progressive think tank working in the focused way that both The Culture Project and Washington Institute do to act as a hub for thought, activity and leaders on strategies for moving culture.
That leaves liberals at a distinct disadvantage. They have all the makings to excel in ways that corporations, religions and conservatives would die to achieve, and squander it because they don't realize its power and their advantage in using it.
Perhaps they are looking right at it but instead of seeing power and opportunity, they are blinded by celebrity. As a colleague said to me the other day in talking about the Obama-Phenomenon: "This is not something that Obama created. He has just figured out how to use culture to create a movement." (See our blog posting the other day on cultural indicators in this election.)
A side note: Our intentions with this blog have always been to gather thoughts on this subject. Tell us what you think about the idea of creating a think tank to be more serious about furthering work in this field.
the culture project highlights for me what seems to be a moral dis-ease with persuasion. the common trope is that liberals can't agree on anything long enough to organize. that to me is false. what's probably more true is that liberals tend to respect privacy and boundaries to a degree that makes persuasion an uncomfortable act.
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