When Robert Putnam’s 2001 Bowling Alone came out, I thought it was just a delayed liberal response to the Reagan boom. But then, 11 years later, a sociologist whom I greatly respected, Charles Murray, came out with his profound Coming Apart, in many ways validating what Putnam argued. That got my attention. Now, Jessica Brown, in theweek.com, broadens the Putnam/Murray arguments with a new probing of human connected-ness in the wired age. To put it bluntly, we’re on the verge of a loneliness epidemic, with ramifications far beyond mere personal isolation and depression. In part, this tech-induced epidemic may explain the utterly bizarre and insane violent reactions to the Trump presidency and the fascistic frothings of the new American Brownshirt Movement formerly called liberals.
As Brown points out, human interaction is hitting all time lows. Putnam more than a decade ago warned against this when he noted that once-common social activities such as bowling and bridge are no longer popular. While it appeared for a while that gaming rooms—at least for young males—might offer a type of social interaction centered around video games, those too dried up as more and more gamers played on-line. (How many of you remember the video arcades that were common in so many malls, now abandoned?”) People over 40 used to laugh at a table of four teenagers, each on his or her cell phone, not talking to each other. But 20 years later, it threatens both a Borg-style mentality and a shocking lack of connectedness to other people. Some 25% of Vancouver’s residents, in one survey, reported being lonely—a percentage almost certain to grow as more jobs are filled by robots and automation. And one proposed solution, car-pooling, is comical given that liberals have done everything they could to demonize cars over the past 30 years—despite the fact that public transportation is held in as low regard as ever.
Murray’s research sheds socio-economic light on this phenomena by noting the stark divisions being perpetrated on the non-industrial economy by elites infatuated with “tech” and “clean” jobs. Under Barack Obama, the American coal industry and its workers were almost made extinct, saved just in time by Trump. American steel, auto, textiles, and other core industries may have just escaped death by fewer than 100,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, the myth of the college education being the be-all and end-all of job security has finally been exposed for the fraud that it’s always been. As the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco notes, the gap between college educated and those with only a high school degree has remained about the same since the mid-1990s. But by the late 1980s, a much more significant chasm has developed between those with merely a college degree and those with a post-graduate degree, nearly doubling. Other studies show that wage growth in technological skill-areas has flattened.
Researchers have already pondered the impact of so many college-educated laborers who are, or at least feel like they are, underemployed. This feeds the isolation brought on by the internet society, and in part has spawned the rise of social media and all of its pathologies. Whatever value social media has in spreading information and news fast, it also has created a generation of liars, or, at the very least, exaggerators. Just peruse people’s pictures on Facebook, for example. Then there is the widely-publicized online bullying, the incessant gossiping, and the outright fraud and invasion of privacy. But a vast expansion of social media was inevitable given the decline of genuine relationships. These were made worse by the “soccer society” in which parents transport kids to every athletic activity imaginable, further purring off genuine independence. Not surprisingly, in May 2016 the number of young adults living with their parents exceeded that of young people living with wives, husbands, or even “partners.” More desocialization there: it’s highly unlikely a 25-year-old will bond with parents in the same way he or she would with peers. More isolation. If you’re only options are Mom and Dad or Alexa, Jack will not grow up to be a well adjusted adult.
Given these trends—depression at prospects in the labor market (thanks again, Obama), the tech isolation, and the delayed adulthood—it is not surprising that younger people are both alienated and searching for any form of socialization. All that is necessary to send them off on a protest march (a social activity if there ever was one) is fake news hyping “Russian hacking,” “stolen elections,” “ global warming,” or the horrors of enforcing American borders. Fake news, which at one time would have been discarded by adults at the dinner table, by pastors from the pulpit, or by employers telling their younger employees they can do what they want on their spare time, but they can’t spread that manure at work, are all a thing of the past. The Brownshirt Movement (I refuse to allow them to name themselves, so I refrain from the “A” word) is a natural outgrowth of all this de-socialization, isolation, and phony news.
Consequently, the next time you see the black-clad fascist marchers assaulting people, while it’s doubtful in this history-bereft society that the first images coming to mind will be the SS and the SA, at least think of Robert Putnam and his bowling alley. You might ask Alexa where the nearest one is.
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VIDEO: Nancy Pelosi Thinks The Wall Is A ‘Luxury’? She Can’t Even Keep Her Own Party Behind Her!
Democrat House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s insistence on a border wall is a luxury the country can no longer afford.
Pelosi is having a very difficult time during this government shutdown, as I explain:
Here are some reasons Nancy Pelosi is struggling:
- The Democrat “Problem Solvers Caucus” met with President Trump without her
The Democrat problem solvers left the door open to “common ground” but still requested that the government re-open before that common ground can be discovered.
Here are what the Democrat problem solvers said about the meeting. The Democrat problem solvers include “Josh Gottheimer, Thomas Suozzi, Vincente Gonzalez, Anthony Brindisi, Dean Phillips, Max Rose, and Abigail Spanberger,” but no Pelosi.
“Over the last weeks, we have been listening to our constituents and speaking with our fellow Members of Congress — in both parties and in both chambers. There is strong agreement across the aisle and around the country: We must reopen the government. Our security, safety, and economy have been compromised, and millions of families are suffering,” the Democrat problem solvers stated.
“There is also strong agreement that if we reopen the government, the possibility exists to work together and find common ground to tackle some of our country’s toughest problems and fix them. But that conversation can only begin in earnest once the government is reopened. We accepted the White House’s invitation to meet today to convey that message,” the Democrat problem solvers said.
2. Democrats keep saying good things about the Wall, without saying the word “Wall”
Democrat congressman Hakeem Jeffries said on the House floor that Democrats “are prepared to have a conversation about infrastructure on the border” and “a conversation about our broken immigration system.”
Jeffries is the latest Democrat to suggest open-mindedness on compromise so long as Democrats can use a different term than “Wall.”
Jeffries said that Democrats are not prepared to have these conversations during President Trump’s supposedly vindictive government shutdown, but they might have no choice.
California Democrat Katie Hill went on Fox News to talk about Democrat openness to “physical barriers,” and Rep. Cheri Bustos expressed openness to a “partial Wall.”
3. Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got onto the House Financial Services Committee
Here are Ocasio-Cortez’s stated objectives for her tenure on the committee: “Personally, I’m looking forward to digging into the student loan crisis, examining for-profit prisons/ICE detention, and exploring the development of public & postal banking. To start.”
4. Pelosi is still haunted by her ignoring of the Angel families who visited her office
Shame on Nancy Pelosi!
She HID behind HER WALL and REFUSED to meet with the ANGEL MOMS we brought to her today!
EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW SHE’S A DAMN COWARD! pic.twitter.com/s61ekhGE0g
— The Deplorable Choir⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@DeplorableChoir) January 15, 2019
5. President Trump guaranteed back pay to furloughed workers, shifting blame for the shutdown to Democrats
President Trump signed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019.
With the workers assured pay, the Democrats are squarely in the center of attention. The government can only be re-opened with their commitment to funding the border wall.
Now, every day that the shutdown drags on and workers don’t get paid can be perceived to be the fault of Democrats. If Democrats fund the border wall, then the workers can get paid again.
6. Her plot to postpone the State of the Union by blocking Trump from the House floor was ridiculed
Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen thanked the Secret Service and her own agency, DHS, for their commitment to secure the State of the Union address to be delivered by President Donald Trump.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” stated Nielsen.
Democrat House speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing to postpone Trump’s State of the Union, citing supposed security deficiencies caused by the government shutdown.
But the Secret Service, as always, is prepared to serve with honor.
Democrats are running out of tactics to apply pressure on President Donald Trump to end the government shutdown without a Wall.
7. Chuck Schumer Did Not Have An Inspiring Press Conference Outside the Capitol
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats held up posters of furloughed government workers outside the Capitol Wednesday.
Republicans including Rep. Mo Brooks and Louie Gohmert have already shown photos of the victims of illegal alien crime on the House floor, including a 13-year old girl who was beheaded by an illegal alien.
Schumer’s statement ignores those victims of illegal alien crime. Now that President Trump has signed the back pay bill, the blame for the shutdown shifts to Democrats, who keep workers from getting their paychecks through their refusal to fund the southern border Wall. Schumer held up a poster of a man with a heart ailment, but did not address the Angel families who arrived at Nancy Pelosi’s office this week while Pelosi ignored them.
“Open the government,” some of the Democrats briefly chanted.
Chuck Schumer: "I want President Trump to look into these faces and see what he is doing by using these men and women as pawns, using them in an extortion game to say I am going to hurt these people unless I get my way. Mr. President." https://t.co/Onj5jFK9Nr pic.twitter.com/7MyTMWhaUF
— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2019
8. President Trump refuses to back down
“We’re going to stay out for a long time, if we have to. We’ll be out for a long time,” President Trump said on a conference call with some of his supporters.
“People are very impressed with how well government is working with the circumstances that we’re under,” the president stated on the call.
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