I would rather be fighting 'The Man' 

I bought a tee shirt a while back that has a Black Power fist on it and the words "I'd Rather Be Fighting The Man" emblazoned on the front. As a white guy in my 40s that seems sort of odd to some people, and while hipsters would consider it ironic, that's not how I meant it. I liked the slogan and the symbolism for a simple reason.

When the idea of "fighting the power" and opposing "the man" became truly popular, it was the late 1960s when the counterculture was fighting a social revolution to transform culture and politics into their leftist image. The hippies, who had valid concerns about the culture around them, wanted people to stop trusting authority, stop relying on the structures of the society around them, and abandon tradition and the past for a new, brighter future.

Today, the situation is reversed. The left controls politics, the media, entertainment, education, nearly every aspect of western culture is dominated by leftist ideology. Even churches, hospitals, and science often have leftist tilts to them. The hippies won, they transformed culture, they led a fairly bloodless revolution and crushed the man. The counterculture has become the culture. Don't think so?

Turn on Rush Limbaugh in your car, loud. Roll the windows down. Dress up conservatively and go to school. Carry a Bible around with you. Mention that you voted for President Bush. Attend a Tea Party.

And see how your peers act. Think about how you feel when you do it; do you feel like you're a part of your local culture or defying it?  Do you feel just a little worried that someone might notice you have the local talk radio station on your earphones? Wonder what your friends will say if you they find out you go to church a few Sundays? Think you'd be in trouble at work if you read the latest Glenn Beck book on break? If you live in a rural area, chances are no, but in much of the country, in the cities and places where culture is shaped and society is directed, you probably would feel uncomfortable doing these things.

The left is the culture today-- they have become the establishment.

They largely control what we see, what we learn, what we enjoy in entertainment, what is considered true and false, what is news, what is liked or disliked. They dominate our culture in at least as great and expansive a fashion as the right did fifty years ago. When the hippies started questioning authority, that authority had no more control over education, politics, entertainment, news, information, and the rest of culture than they hold now.

The left is the man.

So when I have a shirt that says fight the man, I mean something different, yet very similar to what they did.

Looking around the cultural landscape of the United States, that's difficult to see. The left has continued its calls for fighting authority and the presumption of the hated right being in control of society is very pervasive and widely held. Entertainment assures us that behind it all sinister conservative businessmen and politicians pull all the strings, that secretly, somehow, the right is still really in charge, still really the dominant culture and that those who oppose this are heroic. Look at those who are considered rebels today: they are the ones who are even more leftist than dominant society, they simply take what is already there and distort it further, pushing it even more to the left.

Others are simply wierd.

Consider the strange online followers of Lexi Bee, oddball teenager with a cotton candy version of the goth/scene culture. She looks more My Little Pony™ than culture warrior, but she's thought of as a rebel, breaking boundaries and defying the man. Bright pink hair and stuffed animals aside, she's not rebelling against anything except what is commonly seen. Teenagers wanting to stand out find it hard these days, when the dominant styles and look of older ages have given way to an I-Pod jumble of whatever you personally happen to like and want.

Everything, that is, except for the true counterculture. When the culture is dominated by one outlook and ideology, the true counterculture is the one that opposes this.

You can tell what really makes the dominant culture uncomfortable or unhappy by how it responds. Lexie Bee is ignored or shrugged at, perhaps with a giggle; dress in conservative clothes and carry a Bible and the response is very different, even hostile. If you listen to Rush Limbaugh in your car loud enough for others to hear, there's always a fear someone will condemn you, scowl at you, even come over and yell at you. Read a Bible in school and you might even be suspended.

That's where the revolution is at, young people. If you want to fight the man, if you want to defy authority, shock your parents, and stun your peers, if you want to stand out and be noticed as someone who defies the society around you, the answer isn't an even bigger nose stud or a fauxhawk. The answer is to turn right. Dress up for school, be respectful to authorities, skip the "green" rallies and "anti-war" slogans. Read the freaking US Constitution instead of Das Kapital in college.

If you want to really fight the power, then you should fight the left.

Look at the world around you. Sense something is wrong? Fear for your future?  Frustrated at what's going on and how things are headed? Go to a Tea Party. Turn right, my son. You may even shock your folks a lot more than that lame tribal tattoo; chances are mom may have one. 

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About The Author

Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor is an author and illustrator from Oregon, the owner of Word Around the Net where he has been blogging for four years. He is a freelance contributor for the Examiner Opinion Zone blog. Christopher also is the owner of Kestrel Arts, a small games and entertainment company.
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