Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eroding stability

An article by Evan Thomas in Newsweek compares present day America with the social turmoil of Germany. No, he doesn't bring up the issue of fascism. Instead he notes the wonderful contributions Germany has made over a long history, yet the country was frequently convulsed with social problems.

America has the social stability that Germany lacked (at least since the Civil War). That stability is built on our Constitution and that our upper class keeps changing through immigration. Americans have enough common sense that it would be difficult for those who rant and rave (see McCarthy) to get over 50% of the vote before their lies were exposed by our free press.

But Thomas thinks our stability is eroding. Some of his reasons:

* Politics is so polarized that neither side hears the other.

* The income gap is now huge.

* As the rich get richer with no care for the rest, the folks outside the gated communities are growing restless.

* In an atmosphere of fear and envy rumors spread fast -- mistakes are seen as sinister plots.

* The internet has expanded opinion, but not truth. Mainstream media isn't successful anymore in exposing distortions. Political forces are capitalizing on those distortions.

No comments:

Post a Comment