While most genres of music and art from all time tend to surrender to market pressures and employ the baser urgers of the human condition from sex to revenge to other things like that to get popular, the country genre’s core demographic are conservative Christians and it does seem to represent the lives of most Christians. They make almost no attempt at clean living or altruism. It’s not like Hillsong United or Carly Pearce put out an album in support of refugees during the entire 2010s crisis nor does the average Christian artist write about a interpersonal Christianity. Forgiving people for slights and the personal struggle of resisting the daily temptations.
To speak to the latter, I would imagine that symphonies could be easily composed borne of the internal war against one’s own lust. While I am a heteroromantic asexual, I can tell you about the torrents of suffering clean living entails. Not drinking, doing drugs, doing tobacco, or having sex is easy and so is looking uncool, initially. Being, in effect, a gnarly-faced, despised, pariah for it and spending most of one’s months alone and boycotted is enough to drive one to the noose. The only reasons I have ever questioned my lifestyle, including my chastity, was not to be cool, so much, but to not be a lonely pariah. It is rather shocking how seriously our culture values “masculinity” and the vices that constitute it.
Temptation to traditional vice is not difficult to resist, nor is being laughed at, but being hated and alone for lacking masculinity. While my social rejeciton has been for more than that, my clean and beta-male lifestyle has led to loneliness up to and including getting in trouble with the Dean of Students at my college and the police for platonic harassment. I was recently watching a video by the group Cimorelli about their experience with abstinence and they said it made their life easier but for me and many others a number of dark things happen. First, the Lerner & Simmons Study which is a famous study on the social psychhology of being seen as a “loser”, the effect is one immediately becomes less sympathetic and one is seen as morally inferior to the more socially successful.
The Lerner & Simmons study spells out what is often called “karma” in the West. The idea that the universe is ulimtately fair, that the losers deserve their fate, and the winners deserve theirs. So not being accepted by bros or not looking like the cool kids leads, often, to the perception of one as morally inferior and immoral. Next, is the belief that status reflects work ethic which reflects character. If not vicing suggests a lack of social success then that leds to a belief in a lack of moral character. The typical stereotype one is associated with is that of a loser living in their mother’s basement. One is a degenerate and a parasite compared withh the heavy-drinking, drug abusing, promiscious successful people who is seen as an upright citizen.
Back to the beginning, the very subculture which supposedly supports a clean living and conservative lifestyle, ultimately celbrates a culture of masculinity and its associated vices which lead to those subconscious judgments and drive those who choose the lifestyle to the noose. It is not only about a people who believe in the ethics of an ideology which they make no attempt at living by, a hypocrisy which suggests moral nihilism, but that they actively contribute to the marginalization and oppression of “losers” by promoting that hypocrisy. The teleology is that one, in their culture, is either a hypocrite or a pariah. Once one is a pariah then Rawlsian liberal ethics, mostly based on Lockean negative liberties, then bannishes one since discomfort is in contravention of interpersonal consent, one has the duty to retreat, and then one is beaten into the S&M-style subspace that comes with completely losing one’s agency to the state.