The Domination of Government And The Decline Of Self-Reliance And Community
by Charles Hugh Smith
Is there a causal connection between the rise of the dominant Savior State and the decline of self-reliance and community? How could it not be a causal factor?
The now-classic book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2001, by Robert Putnam) documented the steep decline of community and “social capital” in the U.S.:
Television, two-career families, suburban sprawl, generational changes in values–these and other changes in American society have meant that fewer and fewer of us find that the League of Women Voters, or the United Way, or the Shriners, or the monthly bridge club, or even a Sunday picnic with friends fits the way we have come to live. Our growing social-capital deficit threatens educational performance, safe neighborhoods, equitable tax collection, democratic responsiveness, everyday honesty, and even our health and happiness.
While the causal connections between the decline of community and TV, the Internet, two-earner households, suburban sprawl and long commutes, etc., are visible in a common-sense fashion, they miss the primary unspoken causal factor: the growing domination of the Central “Savior” State in every aspect of the economy and society.
From an anthropological or natural-selection point of view–i.e. one informed by sociobiology– community and marriage alike are at root highly advantageous survival techniques: a group has far more resources than a similar number of isolated individuals, and offspring are more likely to survive and prosper if two parents are devoting resources to their upbringing rather than only one adult is carrying that burden.