Community & isolation

Via some sort of link I was following from (probably) Maggie's Farm (which I don't want to omit, in light of discouraging recent stories about plagiarists who don't understand what's wrong with pretending their ideas are original):
Stella Morabito wrote the other day here at The Federalist about how personal relationships threaten the power of the state – and they do, because in their absence, the state inevitably seizes more power. We have a good example of this from the experience of Mexican society, as described in Jorge Castañeda’s book “Mañana Forever”:
“In the United States, there are approximately 2 million civil society organizations, or one for every 150 inhabitants; in Chile there are 35,000, or one for every 428 Chileans; in Mexico there are only 8,500, or one for every 12,000, according to Mexican public intellectual Federico Reyes Heroles. Eighty-five percent of all Americans belong to five or more organizations; in Mexico 85% belong to no organization and, according to Reyes Heroles, the largest type, by far, is religious. In the United States, one out of every ten jobs is located in the so-called third sector (or civil society); in Mexico the equivalent figure is one out of every 210 jobs. [internal citation omitted] In polls taken in 2001, 2003, and 2005 on political culture in Mexico, a constant 82% of those surveyed stated they had never worked formally or informally with others to address their community’s problems.”
Castañeda is describing a nation with nothing resembling the “little platoons” of Burke or the network of free associations that de Tocqueville credited with American democracy’s vitality. It is a nation which lacks lateral social bonds. Instead, it encourages a patronage society where the force of government surges in response to the clamor of the masses. [Rick] Santorum seems to think that is the American destiny in the wake of the current societal shifts, or barring some series of the enactment of pro-family policies. But that’s not necessarily the case, in part because American individualism in the modern sense is not what Santorum thinks it is.
The number of true individualists is still relatively small – they are the people who spend holidays staring vacantly into space. If you buy or sell things, consume popular culture, or have anyone in your life you say “I love you” to, you’re not a true individualist. [Abortion selfie-ist] Emily Letts is the furthest thing from an individualist – her confused expression of the destruction of the life growing inside her comes across as something between a struggling actress craving an audience and a human being craving someone to hold her hand through a difficult time.
The Morabito piece linked within the link is a fascinating look at how progressives fear families as the primary source of inequality in our society, and the primary competition for government influence.


Grim said...

Well, you're not really passing the idea off as your own if you're linking to the original piece! Otherwise, blogging becomes an impossibly painful slog that reads like:

"Hey, here's an interesting article that makes a point I find valid and/or have something to which I'd like to add or correct, as seen HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE...."

If you aren't referencing one of those commenting blogs' takes or ideas, it's not plagiarism to skip linking them all by name. The hat/tip thing we do is mostly a courtesy, but if you've read so many things you can't remember which one of them mentioned it to you, linking the original is surely good enough. That's where the real credit is due in any case.

Grim said...

On the subject of the article, yes, I think that's right. One of the advantages to Obamacare from the perspective of some of my left-leaning associates is that it might drive religious charities out of business -- it's very important to apply the abortifacient mandate to the Little Sisters of the Poor and Catholic hospitals for just that reason. Then the state can become the sole provider of care, with all that means for the growth of state power and control.

They also fantasize about taxing churches and charities, because it would be better to relieve the charities of the money so that the state can spend it instead. After all, aren't religions discriminatory, mostly doing charity for those of their own faith? Why shouldn't the charitable gifts be repurposed for helping everyone, which is obviously the business of the state? So they argue.

Ymar Sakar said...

A person without a family or loved ones, isn't an "individual", they are called a "slave".

Property or inanimate objects.

Human individuality is a subject matter the West no longer knows anything about.

Ymar Sakar said...

On the other note, if a woman owes primary fealty and loyalty to he husband, and vice a versa, they won't obey orders to kill their children or each other, based upon the command of the Emperor. They would rather kill themselves, Cleopatra like, than obey an external authority.

The State, thus, really really hates people like that who obey authorities other than the ones the State controls. So those competing authorities and hierarchies must be eliminated. Love, patriotism, family, child care, religion, all of it must go and be replaced with the True Religion, the Left's Utopia of Human Perfection. And people in certain areas of the US, think this is some far off dream that is about as threatening to the US as Hamas digging tunnels in Israel.

(Up until they come to Mexico, at least)