"The real problem is how to restore religious attitude while accepting that death is final." This sentence from George Orwell in his essay on the author, and entitled, "Arthur Koestler" presents us with an idea which is much more problematic as one may care to admit. In this essay written in 1944 Orwell subconsciously begins to realise the futility of political ideology and asks how can we reinvigorate society's desire for existence.
As social animals humans have a necessity to be interdependent, but the on grand scale of modern society we are still trying to find our way. Religion in any of it's historical or pre-historical manifestations has been shown to act as a binding agent among high density human interaction. What becomes very apparent in the consideration of this universal human tendency towards religion is that it is not religion itself which is the psychological means to large social strutures, but rather the culture of religion. Accepting this axiom (which is easily demonstrated by the relics of any human social group of any scale: a representation of the metaphysical and man's relation to this psychological phenomenon) we come to the heart of the problem: what happens when religion demonstrates the same anti-social tendencies as political ideology. The answer most likely appears to be culture itself and it's practice. Very fine. What I'm not so conviced about is the culture that we see manifested today.
The history of culture has always been combined by the two practices of artisanry and artistry. The distinctions have a long and seemingly unclear history, but I feel it is safe to say that one implies a certain proportion of the other: no artisan is void of artistic inspiration, and no artist is void of artisan technique. What strikes me to be the failing trait in today's culture is the lack of artisanry due the consumer nature of our society. Things aren't made anymore, they are purchased. A healthy artistic environment has always had an economic element to it, but today's cultural purpose seems to serve economic gains. It's social value has a secondary role. One could even argue a tertiary role considering the hedonistic lifestyles of today where possession's manifestation of our ego is fully recognised and accepted: Habeo ergo sum.
To reevaluate and re-dimension cultural institutions and practices is a surefire method to structure our modern society in order to sustain itself serenely. Our entire history of existence tells us that culture brings us together and keeps us together. Know, we need it to help us from falling apart. If Nietzsche believed existentially, to do is to be, then we can't remove the artisanry from culture.