As a result, the arteries in American society are hardening. Social mobility is in decline, but, worse, the general drop in trust observable in all social classes is most marked among the poorest third of Americans. Nor should it be any surprise that they are \”cynical and even paranoid\”, writes Putnam: it is a rational response to their situation. Every institution that might be expected to alleviate their plight – family, school, voluntary organisations and church – has become dysfunctional.
Meanwhile, the rich, dealing themselves out of society\’s institutions into ever stronger and sealed ghettoes of their own, become ever more ignorant of the world around them even while they ensure their off-spring scoop life\’s prizes.
There are parallels in Britain. The rise of rightwing individualism and an accompanying celebration of the private and distrust of the public, is undermining the diversity and strength of our social institutions.
Umm, no. This is not a parallel. This is an opposite.
Family, voluntary organisations, churches, these are private social institutions. Your real complaint is not that Brits are giving up on their families at all: it\’s that Brits are turning from the public social institutions to private ones like the family.
This is the opposite of your complaint about the US.