Sunday, December 09, 2018

Social capital decreases as "elites" move deeper into their own separate worlds as if they were new universes



Fareed Zakaria, from CNN’s GPS, has a telling op-ed about the arrogance of today’s elite written after George H. W. Bush’s funeral. “I’m not calling to revive WASP culture. Just learn from it,” link .

He refers to an old code of contingently sacrificial chivalry where people in upper classes recognized their accidental privilege and would own up to it.  He gives as an example the “Women and children first” sequence of “Titanic”, as in James Horner’s 1997 movie.

That started breaking down over the issue of the Vietnam era draft, with the deferment fiasco.

  
I am reading Ben Sasse’s “Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal”, and David Brooks made reference to the loss of local social capital in a NYTimes piece Nov. 16, “It’s not the economy, stupid: How to conduct economic policy in an age of social collapse”. 
  
I don’t “hate” anyone in a different group as an “enemy” the way the tribalist fringe (on both and right) is behaving (and indeed some on Silicon value are trying to label and blackball some parts of the right as “enemies” for everyone)   But I am aloof socially to what is immediately around me, and find little point in getting involved in conventional voluntarism because it seems to lack much meaning, or continuity.  O enjoy the globalization, and have “almost” no interest in localism.  I am in danger of becoming called an “enemy of the people” if I don’t reach out when “asked to” once I have gone public, perhaps?  This is not quite the same thing as what Brooks and Sasse are talking about; it is even more subtle.

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