In Nothing We Trust

This article from the National Journal deals with something sociologists call the trust gap, that is, the idea that American society is in a dive due to complete lack of faith in its institutions. This graphic tells it all:


The article has its own biases, and wears them on its sleeve, but despite that it touches on something called social capital. You can, and should, read about it here. A short bit:
The growing disaffection of citizens from their public institutions may be related to a decline in civic engagement, and contrasts with earlier periods when Americans had plentiful stocks of social capital. The key to making American democracy work, Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his classic Democracy in America, has been the propensity of Americans to form all kinds of civic associations.
If you will look around you, and think about your own experience over the last couple of decades, you'll find this decline in social capital is true. We are more and more becoming loners. We are suspicious, afraid, and incapable of trust. Deep down, everyone else is the enemy.  We build McMansions, not neighborhoods, invest in schools, not education, in degrees, not relationships. If American society is to continue, this trend has to be reversed. It's not clear that is possible.

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