If anything, I believe Bonald’s post is at least pointing in the right direction, which is more than I can say for a lot of Christian blog posts I have read in the past six months.
Excerpts from private cultures (bold added):
Two observations. First, I believe many of us have had experiences like the following. I look back on the objective facts and accomplishments of my life to date, and I at once intuit “there’s so much more to me than that”. What though? Perhaps my unactualized potentials? A young man might naturally think this, but one with more years behind than ahead no longer flatters himself for having worlds of unrealized potential and is driven to suspect that the problem is more metaphysical, rooted perhaps in some gulf between the subjective and objective.
Second, we sincerely believe that the most important things in our lives are our relationships with loved ones and with God, that our communion with them is more important than solitary pleasures, however elevated (e.g. thinking, creativity). However, we cannot just be with friends and family. For short periods of time, it is enough to be silent in each other’s presence. On dramatic occasions like a reunion after long separation or a deathbed, expressions of love and gratitude are in order, but again quickly run their course. If one is to enjoy the presence of a beloved friend or kinsman for any length of time, one must turn with him to some other subject; one must turn to chatting–about shared memories, hobbies, politics, fiction, or some other subject admittedly of less importance than the bond of the two discussing it–or to some sort of activity. “Well, we can’t just sit and stare at each other!” you’ll say. Still, I find it interesting that the bond of the two requires a shared attention to a third.
Each human soul is a whole world unto itself. But each family, as well as each deep group of friends, is also its own private world. This became especially clear to me during the pandemic years. My wife and daughters and I have always spent a lot of time together, but then we spent little time with anyone else. With what ingenuity we had turned inward, the stories and games (our games being mostly stories acted out) we made up for each other became ever more elaborate, with ever more layers of character development and backstory to our imaginary world, a dramatic collaboration that continues to this day. My wife and I were and continue to be the main conduits of the larger culture to our children. Some of what we read to them I’d consider great literature; some of what we exposed them to were television shows from our childhood for which I’d make no claim to objective greatness. Either way, carrying these books, movies, and television shows from the wider culture to our family’s culture meant them becoming parts of a new whole (for example, the game my wife and I have of trying to stump each other with obscure Star Trek quotes), probably taking on new contextual qualities. I know other families who had similar experiences of the lockdown years.
Totalitarian Leftism is devouring the public culture, replacing everything with itself. Those of us who have not internally submitted to Leftism find the public culture increasingly loathsome. At some point soon, we may cease to see any value in participating in it at all. That is, even the idea of contributing a great novel, musical composition, or scientific discovery to the wider culture will lose any sort of appeal (even supposing one had the talent to do such a thing); how could I desire any creation of mine, anything into which I have mixed my self, to be recognized by and incorporated into that? Leftists may still wish to contribute to the public culture that they own, but however talented they are, the requirement that their work serve the hegemonic ideology will make it more a simulacrum of true art or science than the real thing. The rest of us will come to prefer our audience of a few.
I encourage you to read the whole post over at The Orthosphere.
As for me, I’ll add to Bonald’s thoughts by including some excerpts from a post in which I argued that we must not allow the System to live between us and our relationships (bold added):
As I noted in a post the other day, the experience of relationships between Beings is a fundamental purpose of Creation.
Beings are not limited to people but encompass every Being in Creation. One of the ultimate aims of these relationships is the kindling and expansion of love – not because love is a spiritual activity that serves life but because love suffuses life with its highest meaning and value – which entails that the motivations driving relationships ought to be rooted in the primacy of the spiritual – a primacy in which all Beings participate, whether consciously or not.
A simple and easy way to describe a relationship is to call it a connection or the state of being connected that arises after initial contact. Relationships are essentially exchanges. From these, communication, correlation, and correspondence emerge.
If relationships between Beings is a fundamental purpose of Creation, then Creation must be acknowledged as the "medium" for relationships.
The powers aligned against God and Creation appear to be acutely aware of the ultimate significance of relationships in Creation – our relationship with God foremost among them – and one of their all-encompassing goals lies in the disruption and destruction of relationships between Beings, primarily by firmly wedging their System in-between Beings and Creation and insisting that the System be the only medium of relational exchange and communication between all Beings in Creation.
The 2020 global birdemic coup offers a recent and vivid example of this motivation to live between Beings and control relationships in Creation.
For about two years, the powers opposed to God and Creation succeeded in severely curtailing, disrupting, forbidding, and diminishing relationships.
Not only that, but they also dictated the rules of relational engagement. They monitored, recorded, surveyed, micromanaged, manipulated, supervised, controlled, and regulated all relationships at all levels.
Relationships became contingent upon the System’s bureaucratic machinations. Terms like social distancing suddenly became acceptable and common in human discourse, as did notions of transformed societies in which none are safe until are safe.
And let’s not forget that the churches – meant to serve as a direct social and spiritual connection to God and Creation – eagerly and actively allowed the System to eclipse Creation and live between congregations and God in 2020.
The birdemic was the most tangible exhibition of the dark powers’ yearning to have their System live between Beings and Creation. In many ways, it represents the culmination of an insidious and seemingly ubiquitous stratagem to obscure Creation as the foundation of all communication between Beings and replace it with the System.
Most of my interactions with most people amount to little more than System interactions. People everywhere relate to each other only through the System.
And this is not limited to interpersonal relationships between humans. It extends to all Creation. I struggle to remember the last time I heard someone speak about nature or the weather without referring to the climate crisis or environmentalism. Virtually all of organized, institutional Christianity has reduced itself to broadcasting System-dictated agenda items, issues, and talking points.
The System only lives between us and Creation because we allow it to. No, more than that. We actively desire that the System live between us and Creation.
Relationships in Creation require free, autonomous, thinking agents motivated by and capable of love and creativity. Only such agents can know Creation directly and form knowing relationships in Creation.
Very few people appear interested in forming relationships in Creation because most people seem utterly uninterested in freedom, autonomy, and thinking, to say nothing of love and creativity. It’s far easier to permit the System to live between us.
A few years ago, I made a case for something I referred to as system distancing by emphasizing that such distancing was primarily a spiritual movement motivated by the mostly internal aim of drawing away from the System and closer to God and Creation.
Such a spiritual movement within individuals remains imperative. Although it is largely an internal movement, it is impossible alone.
It requires relationships with other Beings in Creation. Above all, it requires a relationship with Christ because the only we can ever hope to reconnect to Creation now is through Jesus.
Everything else is just the System living between us.