Last week James Taranto resurrected Roger Scruton"s Oikophobia, defined as per Wikipedia:
Scruton defines it as "the repudiation of inheritance and home," and refers to it as "a stage through which the adolescent mind normally passes."
An extreme and immoderate aversion to the sacred and the thwarting of the connection of the sacred to the culture of the West appears to be the underlying motif of Oikophobia; and not the substitution of Judeo-Christianity by another coherent system of belief. The paradox of the oikophobe seems to be that any opposition directed at the theological and cultural tradition of the West is to be encouraged even if it is "significantly more parochial, exclusivity, patriarchal, and ethnocentric".
Taranto noted the distinction between the European Oikophobes that Roger Scruton was discussing and the distinct version in America:
There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as--and may even believe themselves to be--superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as "un-American" for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.
Yet the oiks' vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ."
This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.
A fuller discussion of Oikophobia in the context of development is worthwhile but will have to wait until I return to more consistent blogging. For now, I would focus on Scruton's comment that "the repudiation of inheritance and home [is] a stage through which the adolescent mind normally passes." The adolescent rejection of home and its iterations (ethnic group/tribe/religion) is composed of many different strands; it is nearly, though not completely, universal. Adolescents in more traditional cultures and subcultures typically navigate through a more limited rejection of their parents and culture. The vast majority of adolescents come to terms with the compromises and limitations of their own culture and become full members by the time they have become young adults.
The Oikophobes have now established their own subculture in which adolescent angst and the repudiation of limitations is not only accepted but celebrated; imperfections in America are then the objects of Utopian inspired rage.
In the near future I plan on addressing those aspects of adolescent development, in conjunction with cultural changes, that have heightened the Oikophobia of our increasingly out of touch elites. It should be an interesting series, triggered by comments by Siha Sapa and Nightelf.