Aaron Renn's commentary and insights on our 21st century world, along with his conversations with some of the world's leading thinkers on the issues of today. Covering culture, media, economics, politics, Christianity and men's issues.
BENJAMIN MABRY: A New American Aesthetic
Dr. Benjamin Mabry joins me to discuss his essay on anti-managerial aesthetics. We will discuss what aesthetics are, why the approach promoted by "dissident right" figures like Curtis Yarvin won't work, and why we should reject the idea of a top 20% vs. bottom 80% of society in favor of an aesthetic scaled to speak to both the elite and the average citizen.
Anti-Mangerial Aesthetics Essay: https://aaronrenn.substack.com/p/newsletter-67-anti-managerial-aesthetics
Premium Mediocre: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2017/08/17/the-premium-mediocre-life-of-maya-millennial/
Anti-Mangerial Aesthetics (Newsletter #67)
In this month's newsletter, Dr. Benjamin L. Mabry discusses the importance of aesthetics, as well as sharing perspectives on what an aesthetic that would provide a genuine alternative and rival to the dominant managerial aesthetics of our culture today.
He describes the aesthetic mode of managerial society, which is based on an imperial mode in which there's a sharp boundary between ruler and subject, in this case the top 20% managerial class vs. the 80% of everybody else. He notes that a top 20% aesthetic is not that of a true elite in any case, as genuine elites are a very small share of the population, not 20%. He also argues that we should aspire to have an aesthetic that both the elites and the average citizen can relate to and admire, rooted in a genuine notion of excellence.
He also talks a bit about what such an aesthetic is and and is not. It is not a "mania for newness", or is it a retro-aesthetic that treats the past as just another style element to mix and match at real. Rather, it is the aesthetic and genuine culture of a particular people or subculture, not cosmopolitanism. For the American, this in part means unpacking and expressing the full sense of the aesthetic signifier "Made in America."
My Mission and Guiding Principles
I have listeners and readers who have joined at various points along the journey. In this episode I help reset and anchor everyone in the mission and guiding principles I've set out and try to live up to in my work.
Mission: I want to be a leading public intellectual so that through my writing and speaking I can help conservative American Christians successfully adapt to today and tomorrow’s world.
Live not by liesBuild up, don't just tear downHave skin in the sameGive compelling insight people can't get anywhere elsePay it forwardNYT: Is Scott Galloway the Howard Stern of the Business World? - https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/02/style/scott-galloway.html
Subscribe to my newsletter: https://aaronrenn.substack.com/
Why We Should Use Authentically American Language
Much of the language we use today can be divided into two categories: compliant and defiant. Compliant language - like DEI or ESG - signals agreement with the current elite consensus. Defiant signals some level of disagreement or rejection of that consensus.
Defiant language today often uses terms and imagery that are alien to American to American political and cultural tradition. "Nationalism," for example, does not appear to be a way that Americans have understood their relationship to their country. Catholic integralism and Continental philosophy and themes often seem bizarre to the average American.
These phrase, such as nationalism, can be perfectly appropriate to use in some contexts, but we should be evaluating the language we use to think about whether it is consonant with the cultural mainstream of our country.
As an example of an organization that did this well, consider the Claremont Institute's DC operation, which was called the "Center for the American Way of Life." The idea of the American way of life is one that resonates with the average man on the street.
In Praise of the Private Good (Newsletter #66)
This month's newsletter explains why American Christians, in particular evangelicals, having been reduced to a disfavored minority in the negative world, need to start acting like minority. That is, they need to focus much more on their own internal community strength and health - their private good. This is how all minority groups have always behaved.
This doesn't mean ignoring mission, the common good, etc. But you can't give somebody something you don't have yourself. I examine several case studies, including black Americans, Hispanics in Chicago, Catholic in the early to mid-20th century, and the Mormons. Additionally, I provide some starter ideas for what this new focus on community well-being might look like.
Above all, the important thing is to make the shift to a minority mindset.
Important and Feasible: Tools for Strategic Decision Making
I review a few perspectives on strategic decision making, including Jim Wilson's application of the "strategic point." As a bonus, we'll talk about what you can learn from the Big 10 conference signing on USC and UCLA.
Another excellent podcast with important insights about evangelical Christians’ minority status.
Love it - great stuff brother and God bless your work.
Aaron’s analysis helps refine the church and motivates us to go beyond our typical thought processes and participate in culture.