Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Post About Fragmenting Everything And Creating A Really Bad Albeit Ironically Funny Mashup

We live in a scandal driven world that prefers heat to light. Consequently, Americans seldom deal with the funadmental issues.

Writing at First Things, Peter Leithart looks at capitalism's effect on families:
The most penetrating conservative analysts of family life, such as Allan Carlson, have always recognized the cultural contradictions of capitalism and of technological society. They have always recognized the costs (as well as the gains) of separating work and home; of geographic, vocational, and social mobility; of the indisputable wealth-generating power of capitalism. On the ground, though, conservatives look the other way when told that our economic system or our technological progress might inhibit the formation of what [Wendall] Berry describes as an economy that “exists for the protection of gifts, beginning with the ‘giving in marriage.’”
 Leithart describes most people's daily lives:
What kind of scrutiny can a community have over marriages when neighbors see neighbors only when both are comfortably encased in a sound-proof, air-conditioned bubble of glass and steel? How much help will your friends be to your family if you squeeze out time for real conversation only a few times a year, on the handful of evenings you’re not working late at the office? How much community scrutiny is possible when “live and let live” is a cultural axiom?
Peter Lovenheim begins his analysis of the Amanda Berry, Gina DeJeseus, and Michelle Knight captivity and rescue with similar questions:
Do you know your neighbors well enough to realize whether something horrible is happening in the house down the street? To call them if you need help? To trust that they’d put themselves at risk to help you?
Lovenheim continues,
The fault of this horrible crime, of course, is with whoever kidnapped and held these women. But I wonder what would have happened if the neighbors had spoken to one another more and shared their worries. I wonder if, collectively, they would have pushed law enforcement authorities to check things out, to get involved. I wonder if this tragedy could have been discovered much sooner if the neighbors on Seymour Avenue had been, well, a little more neighborly.
Both men seem to come to same conclusion:
Fragmented communities weaken marriages, and our society seems cunningly designed to fracture communities. The subtle threats are the most corrosive, and are deeply engraved on the physical arrangements and habitual patterns of our lives.
Both our civic and political leaders are ill-equipped to develop and espouse adequate solutions to fragmentation at the local and family level. Instead, Americans argue about whether Jesus was a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. We fight about guns and Confederate symbolism. Meanwhile. we minimize the fact that all of us probably love money more than we ought. In short, our political and cultural discourse resembles this mashup that recently came across my Twitter feed.

It really doesn't matter which party is to blame. Neither are offering solutions to deal with the fundamental issues.

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