Why Culture is Not Reality

John Brodix Merryman Jr.
27 min readSep 11, 2023

When it’s hundreds of millions and billions of people, it’s not so much culture and politics, as it’s biology and physics.

The world is breaking down across the spectrum in ways that will combine to defeat our usual tactic of patching problems as they arise, rather than the much more fundamental strategy of digging down and dealing with the causes.

This habit of patching has created a disjointed worldview that will be unable to sustain much further civilizational progress, as all the various institutional and ideological groups fight over finite resources. Since their positions only harden over time, it limits possible solutions to more patchwork.

An alternative would be to step back and examine the various beliefs and assumptions driving human behavior. This would not be a popular effort, considering the degree to which we are embedded in the various cultures, but it is one that could develop over time and gradually heal some of our more self destructive behaviors.

Given the need to step outside culture and convention in order to frame it, as well as incorporate a range of issues into a bigger picture, this essay is not constructed as linearly and sequentially as our thought process prefers, but more as cycles of conceptual expansion and consolidation. Which is how structure does develop. So it might seem like I’m…