Charles Murray on the new American Divide:
Sunday, January 22, 2012 :::
When Americans used to brag about "the American way of life"—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity.The underlying theme is similar to Mark Steyn's, though, as usual, Murray provides more statistical support and Steyn more timely examples and wit, concluding,
Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America's core cultural institutions.
For soft cultures in good times, dispensing with social norms is easy. In hard times, you may have need of them.
::: posted by Steven at 9:54 PM