pwa wrote: Mike Sales wrote:
That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).
That is why I voted Plaid.
I don't speak Welsh, but I once had a discussion with a Welsh speaker (who had picked it up late in life) and we agreed that in West Wales the Welsh language is, among other things, a defence against some of the worst aspects of modern culture.
The main reason me and t'ladywife moved to Wales was one of attraction - the attraction of a culture and it's practitioners where community and a careful conservation of the tried & tested amalgamate to provide an inclusivity, stability and depth lacking now in most post-modern cultures. The post-modern is full of the shallow, the temporary and the meaningless. It's like one of those Yank cartoons where there's a change of scene about every half a second and the main theme is violent contentions with a goody-winner and a baddy-loser albeit the contentions concern nothing that matters a jot. A lot of English regions have gone-cartoon. Brexit is some sort of dark cartoon, full of baddies and goodies heading for violent confrontations they think they can just jump-up from, undamaged.
Many these days seem to operate with the crass assumption that socialism and conservatism are some sort of mutually-exclusive attitudes, with the former spoiling our consumerist urges whilst the latter allows everyone to do anything they like. In practice, socialism and conservatism are mutually supportive in that the sociability mechanisms increase the opportunities and range of what it's possible to like and enjoy without preventing everyone else from enjoying the same privilege - whilst also destroying the infrastructure that provides the supports and opportunities..
In Wales they still value public services of quality, from roads, transport, libraries and all the rest to simple good habits of neighbourliness. Yet many of the Welsh are highly individualistic, some bordering on eccentric. They represent a fine example of the paradoxical resolution of being socialistically-minded about their institutions and public services whilst being genuinely individualistic but also conservative enough to reject the new-daft when they see it.
I recall my youth, when that was true in England. It still is in parts; but so many people there seem nothing more than constructs of some mass media organs of the nastier kinds, full of often very stupid and fact-free notions served up to them by "reality" TV or Hate Mail "stories" or very stupid Yank movies. Many "are what they own" wrapped in a layer of mass media cliche and nothing more.
Language is the main repository of out mental constructs and notions; and therefore of many of our behaviours. English seems these days to be full of mass-media language rots & cankers, many of them cooked up in some Yank media lab such as Hollywood and similar factories of crass ideological claptrap of the faux-individualista ilk. Much of English culture has become one big advert for a shallow consumerism in which nothing has value except money and the status is buys via conspicuous consumption and the consequent ability to denigrate "losers". Vast herds of "individuals" are in fact indistinguishable in their beliefs and behaviours, which aren't theirs at all but rather a series of simplistic gestures reminiscent of The Twist or perhaps Jiving installed via the TV.
The Welsh language might be rather too fixed & stable to meet all the "needs" of the post-modern world but it seems to be a language that forms and represents a very healthy and resilient culture, with an historical depth. English still has the same capability but no one learns the old-fashioned stuff these days, as 150 words of assorted cliches is so much easier, especially if you have to buy something or emit a bit of hate speech.